Friday, November 11, 2005

Hugo Chavez and "21st Century Socialism"

I'm all for popular sovereignty and economic independence, but my impression is that demagoguery and the personalization of issues only undermines the full realization of these goals; it does not complement them. The emphasis should be on what Venezuelans, etc., are doing to create a viable alternative to neoliberalism--not on what their self-involved figureheads tell them they should be doing.

It may be that Chavez's policies--like Castro's--are widely supported by his constituency. The question in my mind is the degree to which these policies have been developed through popular participation vs. a top-down sort of authoritarianism with little meaningful input from the average citizen. Even if the outcome is the same, I do not believe the two enjoy equal justification.

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