Venezuela: In these times of scoundrels
Venezuela: In these times of scoundrels
[El Libertario, # 38, June-July 2004, p. 2]
As has been the norm in recent Venezuelan history, the summits of power promote,
again, the alleged importance of the noisy cat fights they show their bedazzled
spectators. Using verbosity as grandiloquent as worn out by overuse during these
5 years, both struggling political gangs proclaim that the next presidential recall referendum will be the mother of all fights, since both sides swear that now they have the opponent on the ropes, ready for the decisive punch that will determine their overwhelming defeat.
We have insisted plenty on the emptiness and dishonesty of this debate, but it
is essential to continue expressing our criticism of the arguments that those
competing for power can only justify with endless repetition. Thus, they insist
that we must trust the electoral process and its delegation of power upon elected representatives as the only rational and realistic solution to the collective problems, asking that we Venezuelans forget the sad results brought to us by that fallacious illusion during the IV as well as the V Republic. They repeat to exhaustion that participating in the elections is an expression of the decision-making power in our hands, denying the overwhelming evidence of our exclusion from the real decisions that affect our lives day to day, omitting that this fictitious amount of electoral power is exercised only under conditions strictly regulated by the ruling elites. This way, even the reduced space in which to question the state's power presented by a recall referendum is diluted when such act is framed within a carefully institutionalized process within the norms set by authoritarian power for its greatest benefit.
that, we have witnessed, in relation to these norms during the most recent
rounds of this struggle for power, how both have not spared the ways to cheat
each other and us, to the extreme that the president of the National Electoral
Council accurately described when he said that this was a process characterized
more by its deceptions ("tramparencia") than by its transparency
The repeated abatement of all participation and all collective action regarding the elections reveals that deep down both Chavistas and the Coordinadora
Democratica share a deep seated disdain for the people's ability to confront and
solve their problems. In spite of traversing a socio-economic situation that screams for organized popular mobilization to face the multiple calamities we suffer (unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, delinquency, crisis in public services, etc) both sides limit their efforts to the electoral scene, appeasing their followers with ethereal promises to be delivered after their election or ratification. The success they have enjoyed putting social struggles to sleep with the electoral opium has been the greatest victory for this system of domination and repression we suffer, since after all, if people would understand that direct action and self-management could solve their problems without the need of a State nor of rulers supposedly indispensable, both gangs would be shown up in their shameful vulgar identity of authoritarian opportunists.
Neither "revolutionaries" nor "democratic" ...liars!
The above idea is linked to the widespread and false dilemma of determining the
supposedly "lesser evil" character that some of the electoral contenders might
have. Those who attribute said condition to Coordinadora Democratica seem to
ignore lots of evidence that render untenable any illusions of their use of
power in a different manner than Chavez, except for the fact that they would
abandon the pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric in fashion. Equal or worse is the case
of those who assume that the current government is the guardian of social rights
and achievements, attributing to the Commandant's and his minions' heroic
testicles a decisive role in achievements that are not dependent on the cowardly
spirit of those who hold power, since in the end it is organized popular action
the only solid and steadfast guarantor of any advance or betterment of the
common good. The most regrettable outcome of having allowed this cheating logic
to carry the day is the cost incurred in dismantling previous efforts of independent social organization, since all exits lead to the messianic helmsmen who -now or in the future - would run the State. In addition, in contrast to the effort, time and dedication required to build free and conscientious grass roots structures, both factions promote crony submission to authoritarian power as the easy and quick way out, when the truth is that this leads to the blind alley of demobilization and impotence.
Let it be clear: all the proposals being presented by those who wield or aspire
to wield state power are deeply damaging to the Venezuelan people because - with
different shades of demagogic pyrotechnics - they all seek to reinforce
authority, to amputate any possibility of developing autonomous social movements
and to impede the empowerment of people's rights. Whoever prevails, the
processes currently at work, of militarization, repression of dissent and
enlargement of authoritarian socio-cultural controls will continue their dark
escalation which we have been suffering.
In this picture, we the anarchists reaffirm the proposals we have been insisting
upon that are winning acceptance among Venezuelans already sick and tired of the
cheating games of such scoundrels. To that 45% of voters depolarized and
"neither-nor" ("ni-ni") - but also to those doubters who continue to believe
that the way to go is the ballot - we say that the crisis will not be resolved
at the hand of actors that only aspire to power because of its advantages, be
they Hugo Chavez or any other clownish anti-Chavez, as real changes for the
better will only come from below and with the conscious effort of all. Many fear
such change due to the panic that has always been sown by the system of
domination, but to those who think so we say that - even scarier than what we
build with everybody's passion and reason - is to continue expecting solutions
from a power structure that has only deceived and fleeced us. We don't sell a
miraculous formula, nor do we proclaim that under our blessed guidance the
people "will cease to suffer", but we will always insist that the road to a
better future will come from collective efforts and consciousness, with no need
for fraudulent luminaries nor authoritarian institutions.
Don't let authoritarian power deceive you nor encourage you ... read, think, act
Against blackmail and manipulation: direct action and self-management!
Let's build the authentic social power of decision-making through mutual aid and
collective direct action!
Self-management is the real participation!
There's no way out with the State nor with any authoritarian power! GET RID OF