Friday, July 7, 2017

Venezuela: For the Left, It Is Only About Power

July 5 is Venezuelan independence day, so what better for President Maduro's colectivo thugs than to attack the opposition-led National Assembly! That from a report by The New York Times.

I seem to remember back in the day that when right-wing Latin American dictatorships deployed armed street gangs, we were taught to call them "death squads." What happened to that?

It would be comical if it were not so tragic that the lefty president of  Venezuela, who speaks for the people, would send his supporters to rough up the representatives of the people. Meanwhile, reports the dead-pan Times, the Venezuelan Supreme Court, "which is loyal to the president," is looking into removing the Attorney General Luisa Ortega, who recently "sharpened her criticism of the president’s plan to let a constituent assembly of handpicked loyalists write a new Constitution."

I'll bet that if the US Supreme Court were loyal in that way to President Trump that the Times would not be so nonchalant about loyalty.

As I say, this would be funny if it weren't so tragic. Hey, Maduro, fellah, the whole point of constitutions and national assemblies is to avoid riots in the streets by people who judge that they are outside the system and cannot get a fair hearing when the government gets together to decide what the next policy of force is to be. Once you short-circuit the democratic process then you are signalling to the opposition that force and rebellion are the only recourse for the opponents of the regime.

As Dennis Prager likes to say, I am getting real clarity on this, and it doesn't hurt that I am right in the middle of reading a biography of Karl Marx.

The whole point of the last few centuries is that, for the first time ever in human history, the decisive question is not defending our borders from the neighboring tribe. Used to be that our patch of land was decisive because we grew our food on it, and without that food we were toast. Good land meant good food,  and land was life. "Land, it's the only thing that lasts," said the doomed Gerald O'Hara in Gone With The Wind.

For if land is not decisive, and instead its food can be traded for labor, for goods, for inventions, for energy, then the importance of political and military power fades away. Power is no longer the regime's granaries, or its army, or its armed forces. Power is the intangible capital in the minds of the people, and the more you leave them alone to get on with it, the more intangible capital they create in their fertile imaginations and their busy lives.

But this is what the left has turned against, ever since Marx. Here's a piece from Karl Marx: The Passionate Logician by Joel Carmichael about the first trip Marx made to England with Engels and encountered there the workers and the Chartists.
The workers still respected law and order and believed that they could improve their situation by organizing in trade unions and by influencing legislation. This was all the more puzzling for Marx, for according to his and Engels's theory, it was logically necessary for workers in the advanced industrial countries to be on the threshold of "bursting asunder" the old order.
The point is that all the rubbish about revolution has nothing to do with the workers' needs and aspirations. They do not imagine themselves the rulers and the movers and the shakers. They just want a decent life and a modicum of respect. The whole superstructure of revolution and "fundamental transformation" is the secular religious dream of the secular sons of the bourgeoisie, poets and writers and intellectuals and activists that imagine themselves as rulers. The workers don't want to fundamentally transform anything; they just want to wive and thrive and they want their needs to be considered in the councils of power. Marx and Engels understood this. When they actually referred to the workers privately in their letters "the workers were referred to simply as jackasses, gullible fools, etc."

In other words, the political activists on the left are just like ruling-class apologists of the state. The left talks about the wonders of the oppressed and the marginalized, and the ruling class makes a big fuss over "our" soldiers and police that keep us safe. But the truth is that all they care about are their local political feuds and their foreign wars. The "people" and the "heroes" are in the final analysis nothing more than cannon fodder, the dupes of the ruling class.

The left is no different from the kings and the emperors of old. They have their power project and they need a people to do the fighting and dying for them. Part  of that process is flattering  the people that they are the chosen  ones, and that the bourgeoisie, or the Soviets, or the Muslims, are their dangerous enemies. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

I suppose the only saving grace is that the left's fantasy of power always leads nowhere and every leftist regime ends in economic ruin, so the left will never inherit the earth.

But in the meantime millions of lives are ruined every time some leftist fantasy meets reality and flushes itself and its dupes down the toilet.

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