We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Ron Radosh, as well as other knowledgeable or honest critics, recognize the “travesty” of “Oliver Stone’s new documentary, South of the Border, his ode to Hugo Chavez and South and Latin America’s new quasi-Marxist and not so quasi dictators.”
For some background into useful idiot Oliver Stone’s “standard far-left narrative that is part of a long line of propaganda films, a modern American version of the old agitprop”:
From the BBC report and from Robert Service’s bio of Trotsky, will the real Chavez and Trotsky please stand up or be excused by ignorant fantasist rationalizers of tyranny?
By Nathalie Malinarich BBC News Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had always said that with his new term in office, beginning on 10 January, the socialist revolution would start in earnest. And, after his resounding victory on 3 December, he has wasted no time.
Before even being sworn in for the third time, Mr Chavez has said that he wants to merge all his coalition partners into a single party, warned he will not renew an opposition TV channel's licence and announced he will nationalise key businesses.
He has also called on the National Assembly to give him the power to rule by decree for a year and replaced his Vice-President, Jose Vicente Rangel, seen as a key figure in his previous administration.
While some of the announcements themselves have not come as a complete surprise, for many, the intensity and pace of the change has.
Exactly what the so-called deepening of the Bolivarian Revolution - named in honour of the 19th Century independence hero - would entail was not made clear during the presidential campaign.
“ In this 'permanent revolution' we are in for endless surprises ” Alberto Garrido
Whatever its shape, the notion of the socialist days to come fills Mr Chavez's supporters with hope and his opponents with dread.
With each speech, Mr Chavez gives more details of what he plans to do.
Swearing in his cabinet two days before his own inauguration, Mr Chavez explained that the new era would be backed by "five engines", which would: - allow him to rule by decree for 18 months
- lead to socialist constitutional reforms
- reinforce popular education
- change the "geometry of power" or the way political, social, economic and military power is distributed across the territory
- lead to the "explosion of communal councils" In the same address, Mr Chavez also announced he would nationalise key businesses, declared himself a Trotskyist and cited the ideas of Marx and Lenin.
Chavez backers, or Chavistas, say the revolution will lead to social equality - his critics argue it will turn him into a Castro-like autocrat.
Political analyst Alberto Garrido says Venezuelans are likely to hear many more radical policy announcements in the coming days, months and years.
"In this 'permanent revolution' we are in for endless surprises," he says.
Mr Garrido says the revolution that is being established in Venezuela is unique and does not follow the Cuban model, as many of the government's critics say.
One of the innovations announced by Mr Chavez is his Cabinet, he adds.
Its members are now "ministers of popular power" - they have a direct link to the people and are expected to operate more like a team than a classical Cabinet.
The ministers - who are mostly younger than their predecessors - will be expected to spread the revolution from the streets.
Another sign of the changing times, observers say, is Mr Chavez's decision to replace Mr Rangel as vice-president.
Mr Rangel was an important figure in the "transition period" that ended with the December elections - he was seen as someone who could reach out to other groups.
His replacement, Jorge Rodriguez, is described by critics as a radical who does not tolerate dissent.
But Mr Chavez is not carrying out his revolution in isolation.
Mr Garrido says international affairs may be playing a part in what he says is Mr Chavez's decision to go faster down the path of his "21st Century socialism".
He says that problems facing key Chavez allies - Bolivia, Ecuador's president-elect and Iran - may make him want to establish this phase of the revolution before the 2014 deadline he has set.
Another possible factor behind Mr Chavez's recent announcements may have been the nomination to the US state department of John Negroponte - known to be very critical of the Venezuelan president - Mr Garrido says.
On the international front, Mr Chavez will also be keen to continue spreading his own brand of socialism abroad, which once again will set him on a collision course with the US and other Western nations.
That will not be the only battle on his hands.
Mr Chavez's recent announcement that he will not renew the licence of the country's most viewed terrestrial channel, RCTV - which he accuses of having backed a failed coup against him in 2002 - is likely to lead to a wider confrontation with the media.
Whatever happens, it looks likely that the world will be hearing a lot more about President Chavez's revolution. Published: 2007/01/10 02:09:54 GMT
His [Trotsky's] critique indicated a difference with the Politburo on practicalities but not on questions of strategic principle…This was a state which…lacked mechanisms of control such as inter-party competition, an autonomous judiciary, a critical press and an electorate which could throw out the scoundrals. Trotsky passed over other flaws in the Soviet state order without comment….He had nothing to say about corruption and fraud. He avoided the atmosphere of distrust and apathy engendered by dictatorship, terror and legal nihilism.Trotsky never tried to fix a serious boundary between desirable centralism and undesirable centralist authority. He rejected morality as a subject for proper debate. He accepted and propounded Marxism in its Bolshevik variant as an unchallengeable truth….There is nothing, though, in Trotsky’s private papers to indicate that he acted merely out of calculation. He truly believed, through to the end of his life, that what had been wrought by the Bolsheviks in the half-decade after the October Revolution was a model of communist achievement….But although he may have gulled a multitude of people this was only after he had gulled himself.He felt an inner need to sustain his morale.This depended on being able to persuade himself that a chasm existed between his ideas and the politics of the Politburu….His central argument was that the October Revolution would not have gone to the bad if only his leadership and policies had not been defeated by his internal party enemies….[However] Trotsky’s specific alternatives to the policies adopted by Stalin from 1928, indeed, were to share many of Stalin’s assumptions….
Bear in mind that Thugo is not a theoretician. Trotsky, Schmotsky. It is a good cover for accumulating power. His multimillionaire even billionaire friends who were penniless before Thugo took power. If you support Thugo, it is all good. Like Fidel said, within the revo: everything; outside the revo: nothing. Thugo is more tolerant of others having wealth than Fidel. As long as you support Thugo, wealth is fine by him.
I've seen polls that say Chavez is unpopular, even moreso as his statist economy crashes. But, lack of popular support didn't stop the Soviet or Chinese or East European communists. Ultimately, it will take overwhelming economic collapse combined with popular revolt, armed revolt probably.
Miss the '50s? With US help, he'd be gone by now.
Then, we'd also provide employment to leftists explaining why that is such a bad thing!