Venezuela & Building a New Society from Below talk with Julio Chavez, Noam Chomsky, and Michael Albert

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Global Crisis of Capitalism -> Crisis of Representation
= Exhaustion of Political Parties, Older Leaderships, Neoliberal Policies
= New regional leaderships promote constituents (Chávez, Evo, Correa)

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/2359

They are actually redrawing what they want their political boundaries to be.

in the future we hope the mayorships etc. will make space for this new proposal

the communal governments
the socialist

As Jon (i think; friend of Susan's) pointed out at the very beginning, there's some irony in the large picture of Chavez on top and then the banner "Building a New Society from Below."

This global capitalist crisis, we are getting ready to confront with local power, alternative models.

Change the logic to have people before

[he is flagged that he is out of time by Gregory Wilpert]

I'm sure you have heard of the "dictator Chavez"– I was a student [activist] under other regimes

The participation through elections in the last 10 years; all the economic, social achievements, these are definitely fundamental achievements the people will continue to defend

I would like to end as
a militant [of the socialist]
Bolivarian revolution
say to the people of the United States
we will continue this transition
ideals of liberator Simon Bolivar
"Motherland socialism or death" (? oy vey-- i admit it does sound better when they say it)

Albert:
Thre are not many pople ho would voluntarily

two things i hope will [signify] a new society
* classlessness: no group dominates another
- can't have 2% of the population own all the productive assets
- we also can't have a layer of people who have a

(y'all know Albert's a http://parecon.org

(He's talking directly to Julio Chavez, it's pretty cool-- my paraphrase: "you are part of a revolution, i have

Private ownership has to go.
We can't have people that own mines
who profit off it
and as a result are richer than kings used to be

people's influence should be [based on] participation
we also cannot have
change division of labor so we all have a comparable

redistributing property or at least
and doing this to attain classlessness
one last point on

you can't have markets and have classlessness
there was a time when people were abolitionists -- there was still slavery, they didn't believe it

markets create [inequality]

[I have read through all the parecon plans on this and I simply disagree. The lengths they go to to get rid of markets show the huge extent to which they have to restrict liberty to create an artificial state where there is no markets. The free exchange between people has a place, can be good and productive and simply basically human in a good sense, when conditions are equal. It is not trade or exchange that is fundamentally the problem, it is unequal and unfair distribution of power. To think that we have to prevent all exchange to keep a just society indicates no faith in ourselves.]

markets create an environment which is not just antisocial -- you must be antisocial to progress
you must cut costs, and compete-- in essence by exploiting yourself

implications of this strategically

long term goals
constituency larger, more empowered, and desiring more in the future

we have an economic crisis
we live in a sick and peculiar world where crazy systems
the world productive capability has not gone downhill in a year-- the exact same potential exists in people and technology as last year
what's the problem?
when something causes a hickup, it can spread

demand that everyone work 30 hours for same pay -- full employment
profits are too low, i'm going to turn off my machines

students supported strike of campus police
who want to beat the hell out of me

campus-wide discussion of way police earn less than professors
or their cushy conditions fulfilling work, why earn more than the people who clean their offices?

we don't do this most of the time because we don't really think we can win
so all we think about is alleviating the most egregious pain

ok, suppose we want classlessness
suppose we don't want racism

(we have a smattering of color here, not bad... age and sex balance too-- except for the all-male panel...)

we need movements where we don't [treat people in a racist way]

most organizations have a dues structure less progressive than the U.S. tax system

most movements seem to be about showing off learning

in the United States we need 100 million people on our side [that's only a third...]

how do we create structures that give people hope
internal self-management, democracy

some of our left media have ownership and internal class structures as bad as Newsweek or Times.

We can have small organizationns that meet our ideals
the co-op

"I want a workplace that's just, that's democratic, that's equitable in how it distributes assets"

elect officials, tend to equalize wages and incomes
have tremendous [ambition]
50 representatives of cooperatives
person after person was saying [we did all this] it was wonderful
and all the old crap is returning
wondering if Margaret Thatcher wasn't right

It isn't human nature, or rule of law of social relations that imposes hierarchy back on us
you made a change but left some things that corrupted what you were doing
you left the division of labor
the 20% doing the empowering work

woman who had worked in front of furnace, tending it, now doing all the books with a computer
was the hardest thing
the hardest thing was "first i had to learn to read"
here's the rub-- she was doing it. Now she was

while still people just working in front of the furnaces

so if they had gotten rid of the division of labor

the incomes were [beginning to revert to being unequal]

the market was forcing them to get rid of daycare, to speed up

so they made managers who would do these harsh decisions

in Venezuela, it's incredible
you can't find an article that's not anti-Chavez
even in an article about baseball

what is the Bolivarian movement doing with this?
it is having an effect

after 10 years, the election should have been 70-30 not 55-45

Venezuela is trying to create a new world without [violence]

hard part is they are trying to do it on the backs of some leaders bringing the population along

A lack of a vision for what newspapers, a media should be like

They do not want to appear that they are anti free speech

they don't want to create civil war

they are cautious
in taking over factories too, a problem

What if Bolivarian revolution had said that the media needs to be turned over to the people
but protect some anti-chavez voices
but not owned by a private group
and here's how we'll move toward that
[support for the movement would be higher]

the biggest threat to anything good in the world
is the united states
foremost purveyor of violence

Wilpert promoted his - http://venezuelanalysis.com -- which IS running on Drupal now

Noam Chomsky - the US is the greatest threat, but the values we're talking about are right there in our culture, including intellectual culture
- opposition to wage labor - Northern soldiers fighting against slavery and the temporary slavery of wage labor - Abraham Lincoln called it this

Irish artizens
average life expectency of a male around 20 years
free-est media in U.S. history
written by people themselves

CIO came very close to a revolution

when you have a sit-down strike
very close to what Mike was talking about
why are we sitting here unemployed

unions a democratizing force
people together
plan

"hazard facing industrialists"
they use Marxist [classification] from the opposite perspective

these values and attitudes are very

Adam Smith - bitterly opposed to division of labor. He harshly
the first paragraph, the butcher does this, the baker does this
go on for a couple hundred pages
the division of labor will turn people into the most stupid as a human being can be
he believed in equality
his main argument for markets was that under conditions of perfect liberty they will lead to perfect equality

these ideas are at the core of [intellectual culture]

classical liberalism considered wage labor such an atrocity, if an artisan produces a beautiful work on command, we may admire the work but despise what he is [a robot]

a month ago, a sit-down strike
Republic Windows and Doors
they didn't win everything but they one some things
factory wasn't moved
sold to another company agreeing to keep it there

this puts the fear of god into [capitalists]

30 years ago, youngstown, major steel industry wanted to leave, people in the town insisted on keeping it, taking over factories
went to the courts and asked for a change in management structure
[to have it by] stakeholders
lost in the courts, naturally

constant, unending efforts to control people's thoughts, attitudes
to attack institutions may [enlighten people]

Obama chose to demonstrate his solidarity with working people
plant he picked was caterpillar
their military bulldozers wiping out olive groves, towns in occupied Palestine
the other crucial element never protested, during Reagan's term -- the firing of flight controllers
"PATCO" audience shouts
[shortly after that] Caterpiller was the first company in decades to break a strike bringing in strikebreakers
most people don't even know/remember that

In conditions of crisis, lots of things can happen

[sometimes some things] cannot be beaten back by massive propaganda [and violence]

ought to be an organizer's paradise
just have to help people get to the point, bring out what they really believe

wave taking over Latin America can be inspiration

[friend of K, forget name]
what will we do here -
my question once again is

OK this may be something of a demonstration of the practical problems of participatory democracy.

(I'm missing what this guy is saying but people are cheering]

Translator: "OK he's going way too fast for me"
Audience: [applause]

Venezuelan grad student here at MIT
reconcile giving power to the people, why only those who support the president [Chavez]?