Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Vargas Llosa Touts For Gangsters and Facists

Property is individual and private or it is not property, said the author Mario Vargas Llosa addressing a far-right conference entitled "International Conference for Freedom (sic) and Democracy (sic) held in Caracas. Er, I thought Venezuela was supposed to be a virtual dictatorship, and here they are allowing the enemy to hold a conference. For the record, I wouldn't. I would send these criminals packing, toute de suite. (For those who object to my statement, Venezuela is undergoing a revolutionary process, and you don't allow counter-revolutionaries a chance to regroup. (1) It is a matter of life or death, should reaction succeed in Venezuela, the outcome will be a bloodbath, that will make Pinochet look like Gandhi.)

Now Vargas Llosa is a fine novelist – I have read most of his books and enjoyed them – but he is a shitty politician and an even shittier anthropologist. Property is individual and private or it is not property, simply does not stand up to anthropological inquiry. Communal property is very common, almost universal among hunters and gatherers, early agriculturalists and the peasants of Russia until the end of the 19th Century. This line, was in fact, the very one the European invader used to steal First Nation's land. Since their communal property was not a legitimate form of property in the eyes of these land thieves, it was not owned and therefore open to appropriation. I wonder what the First Nations People think of Llosa's comment? I also wonder how the one billion members of cooperatives world-wide feel being told that their coops should not be recognized as property? Could it be the criminals for whom Llosa is the intellectual facade, are preparing for another robbery, seeking to pillage the social economy?

For someone who supports corporate capitalism, touting individual or private property, is laughable hypocrisy. Corporations are forms of collective capitalism. Apply Llosa's concept honestly and corporations are not legitimate property.


1. Make the lands and machinery of production for common use... And those who... oppose this work of supreme social justice, kill them! Ricardo Flores Magon in the 1910 Mexican Revolution.


Blogger Liberaltarian said...

The authoritarian Left likes to bill anything to the right of its politics and philosophy as "conservative". That conference in Venezuela was attended by a lot of pro-market economy social conservatives, but dominated by free market social liberals; a.k.a. "libertarians" like Mario and Alvaro Vargas Llosa.

The only good thing about Hugo Chavez is his standing up to predatory U.S. Republican and Democrat foreign policy. Other than that, he proved himself a coward for having the Vargas Llosa's detained and harrassed at the airport for hours; not attending the conference; and censoring any Venezuelan media that opposes his fascist policies. He obviously feels threatened by words of opposition.

He is a pompous meglamaniac and dictator-at-heart who has been successful at selling dinosaur Eurocenric socialism to that large segment of the Venezuelan population that is primarily both poor and ignorant.

As for traditional Indigenous American societies, they have never exercised outright ownership of land in the European sense, but have always recognized and exercised DOMAIN over territory. And within many tribal lands, domain over plots of land on the part of individual tribal members and families for maintaining their dwellings and growing legumes for themselves has been exercised.

The only Indigenous Americans that ever exercised anything close to coercive Eurocentric socialism were several Aztec, Mayan, and Incan emperors. Aside from that, all traditional Indigenous American communities functioned on whqt is known as voluntary communitarianism--not the Marxist-rooted variety of fairness and equality by state force.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Comrade Laissez-faire, Chavez is no fascist but a social democrat. He is Allende-like figure, riding atop a wave of working class and peasant radicalization. (the difference being, fortunately, is that the military is with him, not against him as in Chile.) As a social democrat, he seems to believe that reactionaries should have full democratic rights, no matter the situation. In a revolutionary situation, as now exists, they should be suppressed completely by arming the people, not giving them a venue to spew their hatred.

So they gave Llosa a bit of a wait at the air port? I'd send the fucker packing!

Chavez did not refuse a debate. He did not wish to participate, but wanted a public debate intellectual to intellectual, which the right-wingers refused. Chavez was smart not to go up against a word-spinner like Llosa, but the latter was a coward for fearing to go up against a left-wing intellectual.

It does not matter what label you give yourself, if you side with the counter-revolutionaries, and they are successful, you will have aided and abetted fascism. As but one example – the “Chicago Boys” were “libertarians” - who of course, helped Pinochet. There are only 3 possible positions to take in Venezuela. 1. Side with reaction 2. Support the Chavistas uncritically 3. push for a real revolution from below. I take the latter.

“poor and ignorant” ???? Poor yes, but to accuse them of ignorance is arrogance. The fact they are opposed to capitalism, imperialism and wish for cooperative alternatives, puts them way ahead of the class compared with complacent North Americans who still fear “socialism” and believe in frauds like Obama (or worse!)

“Coercive Euro-centric socialism??? The Chavistas have gone way beyond social democracy and are aiming for workers control and cooperatives, not top-down statism. The old bureaucratic model has been tossed out the window and popular power is what motivates most of the far left, whether anarchist, Trotskyist or left-social democrat (like Naomi Kline.) No one wants that statist, top down shit any more, for obvious reasons.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Graeme said...

Chavez is way too lenient with these fucks. Send them to Miami.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

I agree. My idea is that each reactionary gets 1. A one way ticket to Miami 2. One suitcase 2. And is allowed to take $500 . I fancy a variant of the line the Economic Hit Man used against Latin American Presidents who refused to toe the corporate line. "In my left hand pocket I have a ticket to Miami for you, in my right hand pocket a revolver to shoot you. You have your choice."

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, in the hypocritical world of 'social democrats' humans have human rights, but, thank god, 'reactionaries' are not human. Doubleplusgood.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

In the first place, I do not claim that social democrats repress reactionaries. They plainly don't and suffer the consequences, i.e. Allende. It is only because we do not wish to be suppressed and massacred, that genuine socialists and anarchists must suppress counter-revolutionaries - in a revolutionary situation, please note.

Reactionaries are certainly human, but are our enemies. Enemies that balk at no crime to maintain their power over us.

Revolution and counter-revolution are not parlor games, they are a form of warfare. I wish peaceful, gradual reform were possible, but the rulers will not allow it, thus forcing the people to revolt against them.

Repression of counter-revolution should not entail gratuitous cruelty, however. This quote from Bakunin says it all, " Begin by striking down those who oppress you... and having destroyed the power of your enemies... disarmed and helpless... invite them to live and work along side you..."

3:47 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

I agree that Vargas Llosa's views of property are nonsense, and it may well be that he has ties with people on the counter-revolutionary Right who've collaborated with the CIA's attempt at Pinochet Mark 2.0 in 2002 and would like to do so again.

But I disagree that Chavez is just a soc dem. If he's not the full-blown authoritarian made out by the American Right, and nowhere near as authoritarian as the people the CIA would like to replace him with, he's nevertheless got more than a little Peronist or caudillo DNA in his makeup.

And I strongly disagree that gatherings of the political opposition should be suppressed as "counter-revolutionary." The means are the ends in process. And giving a "revolutionary" government the power to do such things "for the duration" tends to feed the side of human nature that ENJOYS doing such things for the sheer sake of doing them. I agree that Chavez is nowhere as authoritarian a "dictator" as he's made out to be by many on the libertarian Right in the U.S., but I certainly get the impression that there's side of him that would be dangerous to feed by giving him power to suppress "counter-revolutionaries."

One thing Chavez could have done to suppress the threat of repeated attempts at counter-revolution after 2002, which I would have fully supported: Seize all the papers and records and hard drives in the U.S. Embassy, CIA station and military attache in Caracas (including all correspondence with private intellectuals, industrialists, landlords, the Associated Press, etc.), immediately after his restoration, and publish and widely disseminate them as a collection of documents (including the identities of all U.S. diplomatic, military and intelligence personnel involved). Expose the cockroaches to the light of day.

12:58 PM  

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