web analytics

Meanwhile, in some good news…

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, September 28th, 2010 - 12 comments
Categories: democratic participation, International, socialism, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

Over the past few weeks there have been a few mainstream  reports on Cuba (e.g. here, here, here and here). They all report that the Cuban state is going to lay off about half a million or a million employees. And this is  reported in terms of that final victory (yawn…yet again) of market capitalism over the failed idea of the command economy.

And as such, sorely and completely misses the point.

Cuba isn’t about to become a repeat of 1990’s Russia. And it isn’t about to become a miniature China where economic freedom is exercised within the constraints of a political straight-jacket.

The laid off government employees will be receiving training and education on industrial democracy. That is,  on how to take control. And on how to form and operate worker collectives and cooperatives and (presumably) on how to take control of other formally state controlled aspects life.  In other words, the Cuba state is embarking on a journey towards levels of decentralisation and democratisation inspired by the Bolivarian Revolution, that our state here would meet with truncheons, tear gas and rubber bullets at a bare minimum were we to demand anything remotely similar.

And while Cuba sets out on its journey from the starting point of a command economy, Venezuela has already  embarked on the same journey from the very different starting point of market capitalism.

Which could be read as having a bob each way. Which is just fine by me. The challenges and obstacles that each population will encounter will be different. For example, I assume that unlike in Venezuala,  Cubans will not have to contend with Trotskyist elements vying to impose their particular vanguardist agenda on the revolution or with a belligerent bureaucracy pulling the chain at every turn. Neither will they have to deal with an old but still powerful elite engaged in well funded and widespread monkey-wrenching as it hankers after a return to ‘the good old days’.

But as well as the various challenges, there are unique possibilities arising from the make-up, motivations and relative strengths and weaknesses inherent to the respective populations given their recent divergent socio-politico cultures and history.

I’m just quietly hopeful that one or the other, or even both populations can successfully negotiate whatever hazards lie ahead and achieve that holy grail of a withered state and  21C socialism.

In the meantime, I don’t expect to see any positive reporting by our msm on events as they unfold. Rather, I just expect the tried and tired same old, same old by way of media reports. That is, I’ll have to continue reading between the lines of anything connected with the Bolivarian Revolution as though I was alive in the old Soviet Union and relying on Pravda for my information from abroad instead of living in a Social Democracy with a supposedly free (ie informative) press. Oh, and I’ll take an occasional on-line gander at the English Correo del Orinoco (which yes, is page after page of Chavez in what some might see as a ridiculously over the top positive light. But given that the majority of the press in Venezuela is rabidly anti-Chavez, I can kind of excuse that as an  editorial line.)

12 comments on “Meanwhile, in some good news… ”

  1. Juan Manuel Santos 1

    I’ll have to continue reading between the lines of anything connected with the Bolivarian Revolution as though I was alive in the old Soviet Union and relying on Pravda for my information from abroad

    Thanks for this. For all Chavez’s faults I still find it incredibly frustrating to read stuff in the mainstream press that I know for a fact is lies and agitprop. It’s quite simple why it happens – in a horribly unequal and class-ridden society like Venezuela’s, foreign journalists tend to associate only with the wealthy elite who despise Chavez, and frequently don’t even leave their hotels. Very few reporters go into the barrios and talk to ordinary people or their community leaders. Hence we get this one-sided caricature of the Bolivarian revolution, entirely narrated by the quasi-fascist Venezuelan elite.

  2. Justin 2

    Hugo Chavez has so much faith in democracy, that he gerrymanders the electoral system in his favour, politicises the police and military, confiscates private property, shuts down opposition and offers cheap appliances to the poor as part of his election campaign, as support falters. All while Venezuela’s economy is the poorest performing in the region (-2% annual growth), and inflation runs at 30%, and it has record levels of crime, and increasing social unrest.

    Brazil taking a market-led centre-left approach looks at 6.5% growth and sustainable poverty reduction from 12% to 4% of the population, as 25 million people have moved into the middle class (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/sep/26/brazil-economy-petrobras-privatisation). The success of its neighbours will hopefully in my view provide Venezuelans with gentle inspiration to look beyond the failure of extreme market-capitalism and far-left socialism.

    • Bill 2.1

      And just as you, Justin hope that Venezuelans will receive gentle inspiration to look beyond the failure of extreme market-capitalism and far left socialism, not realising for one moment that that is in fact what the Bolivarian Revolution is all about, I hope something will provide you with gentle inspiration to think beyond the face value of the mainstream reportage and beyond the unquestioned swallowing of simple spoon fed orthodoxies.

    • Augustus 2.2

      And how many of the poor have appliances in Brazil?

    • Bored 2.3

      Having read a bit of history of South and Central America you note that the indigenous inhabitants and the poor have since the conquest been exploited in the most deplorable way, everywhere. To see in Venezuela and Bolivia the “Indians” in charge gives me some hope that they can overcome the historic repression and exploitation that has come with colonialism, imperialism and capitalism. Non of these “isms” has done native Americans anything other than injury, why would they regard “market capitalism” afresh with any justified hope? I suspect they might just use their own constructs, perhaps reclaiming stolen land for their own use trumps any need to “grow” GDP etc.

    • Bored 2.4

      Actually reading the Guardian article is somewhat alarming. It appears that as we head towards declining oil and gas the energy rush has headed for Brazil, on top of the bio deisel rush to clear and replant the Amazon rain forest. One thing can be predicted for sure, the money that comes in will go out with the energy resources, the locals will get a little and soon it will all be gone, and they will be left with zippo living in a desert. Marvellous thing industrialised man, centrist, extreme left or right, same result.

      • Bill 2.4.1

        Here’s a thought.

        What if we had, instead of the so-called ‘alternative’ of a parliamentary and corporatised Maori Party, a vehicle that encouraged the development of a genuine synthesis of the highest (ie the most democratic and equitable) denominators from Maori/Pasifika cultures and socialist ideals; ie, a Pacifika version of the Bolivarian Revolution grounded in Pacific rather than Latin American indigenous cultures?

        Where’d you stand? For or against?

        just asking

        edit. To avoid confusion, I should point out that that’s intended as a general question and not aimed at you Bored….or any other specific person.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.4.1.1

          There’s no real point in us holding on to British/European culture but to be able to answer the question I’d have to know more about Maori/Pasifika culture.

        • Bored 2.4.1.2

          No issues Bill, I did not want to open that debate but it had occured, as it has to you what the parallels are between the American Indian experience and that of Pasifikans. I hope to hell we can achieve the cultural blend here that has not happened there.

  3. Puddleglum 3

    One of the most trashed and unequal parts of the globe is South and Central America – that comes with being America’s back yard. Good luck to them and here’s hoping they can keep the wolves’ snouts out of their affairs for long enough to try their own solutions. it can’t be worse than what they’ve been through with all our ‘help’.

    Forever the optimist.

  4. Malcolm 4

    Bill, I really don’t get your cheerleading for Chavez and the so-called Bolivarian revolution. It’s an anti-working class, populist statist regime. The articles below show the real nature of supposed socialism for the 21st century. Most are from Venezuelan libertarians (not Trotskyists!). Real socialism involves destroying the social relation of capital, destroying the system based on commodity production, money, and wage labour. Self-management does not automatically lead to a transcending of capitalist social relations.

    http://libcom.org/library/venezuela-vetelca-story-first-ever-bolivarian-factory

    http://libcom.org/library/revolution-delayed-10-years-hugo-ch%C3%A1vez%E2%80%99s-rule-charles-reeve-el-libertario

    http://libcom.org/library/the-myth-co-management-venezuela-reflections-alcasa-invepal

    http://libcom.org/news/steel-workers-strike-venezuela-attacked-chavez-state-02042008

    http://libcom.org/news/workers-struggle-betrayed-hands-state-union-venezuela-20082007

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Significant global progress made under Christchurch Call
    A stocktake undertaken by France and New Zealand shows significant global progress under the Christchurch Call towards its goal to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.  The findings of the report released today reinforce the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach, with countries, companies and civil society working together to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New chair of interim TAB NZ Board appointed
    Racing Minister Grant Robertson has announced he is appointing Elizabeth Dawson (Liz) as the Chair of the interim TAB NZ Board. Liz Dawson is an existing Board Director of the interim TAB NZ Board and Chair of the TAB NZ Board Selection Panel and will continue in her role as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government to phase out live exports by sea
    The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high standards of animal welfare. We must stay ahead of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Inter-prison kapa haka competition launched
    For the first time, all 18 prisons in New Zealand will be invited to participate in an inter-prison kapa haka competition, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The 2021 Hōkai Rangi Whakataetae Kapa Haka will see groups prepare and perform kapa haka for experienced judges who visit each prison and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government takes step forward on counter terrorism laws
    The Government has introduced the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill, designed to boost New Zealand's ability to respond to a wider range of terrorist activities. The Bill strengthens New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm. “This is the Government’s first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Carbon neutral government a step closer
    Coal boiler replacements at a further ten schools, saving an estimated 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next ten years Fossil fuel boiler replacements at Southern Institute of Technology and Taranaki DHB, saving nearly 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next ten years Projects to achieve a total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Appointment of Chief Parliamentary Counsel
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Cassie Nicholson as Chief Parliamentary Counsel for a term of five years. The Chief Parliamentary Counsel is the principal advisor and Chief Executive of the Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO).  She is responsible for ensuring PCO, which drafts most of New Zealand’s legislation, provides ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Emissions report shows urgent action needed
    Every part of Government will need to take urgent action to bring down emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today in response to the recent rise in New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions. The latest annual inventory of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions shows that both gross and net ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ becomes first in world for climate reporting
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says Aotearoa New Zealand has become the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their business and explain how they will manage climate-related risks and opportunities. The Financial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Awards celebrate the food and fibre sector employer excellence
    Exceptional employment practices in the primary industries have been celebrated at the Good Employer Awards, held this evening at Parliament. “Tonight’s awards provided the opportunity to celebrate and thank those employers in the food and fibres sector who have gone beyond business-as-usual in creating productive, safe, supportive, and healthy work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tourism Infrastructure Fund now open
    Applications are now invited from all councils for a slice of government funding aimed at improving tourism infrastructure, especially in areas under pressure given the size of their rating bases. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has already signalled that five South Island regions will be given priority to reflect that jobs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Construction Skills Action Plan delivering early on targets
    The Construction Skills Action Plan has delivered early on its overall target of supporting an additional 4,000 people into construction-related education and employment, says Minister for Building and Construction Poto Williams. Since the Plan was launched in 2018, more than 9,300 people have taken up education or employment opportunities in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Youth Justice residence offers new pathway
    An innovative new Youth Justice residence designed in partnership with Māori will provide prevention, healing, and rehabilitation services for both young people and their whānau, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.  Whakatakapokai is located in South Auckland and will provide care and support for up to 15 rangatahi remanded or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Duke of Edinburgh
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today expressed New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time.  On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Five Country Ministerial Communiqué
    We, the Home Affairs, Interior, Security and Immigration Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (the ‘Five Countries’) met via video conference on 7/8 April 2021, just over a year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Guided by our shared ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inspiring creativity through cultural installations and events
    Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni has today announced the opening of the first round of Ngā Puninga Toi ā-Ahurea me ngā Kaupapa Cultural Installations and Events. “Creating jobs and helping the arts sector rebuild and recover continues to be a key part of the Government’s COVID-19 response,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Drug-testing law to be made permanent
    Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Research by Victoria University, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, shows that the Government’s decision in December to make it legal for drug-checking services to operate at festivals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better rules proposed for freedom camping
    Public consultation launched on ways to improve behaviour and reduce damage Tighter rules proposed for either camping vehicles or camping locations Increased penalties proposed, such as $1,000 fines or vehicle confiscation Rental companies may be required to collect fines from campers who hire vehicles Public feedback is sought on proposals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government backs Air New Zealand as Trans-Tasman bubble opens
    The Government is continuing to support Air New Zealand while aviation markets stabilise and the world moves towards more normal border operations. The Crown loan facility made available to Air New Zealand in March 2020 has been extended to a debt facility of up to $1.5 billion (an additional $600 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Building gifted for new community hub in Richmond red zone
    Christchurch’s Richmond suburb will soon have a new community hub, following the gifting of a red-zoned property by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to the Richmond Community Gardens Trust. The Minister for Land Information, Damien O’Connor said that LINZ, on behalf of the Crown, will gift a Vogel Street house ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages funding reopens
      Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the reopening of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Languages Funding in 2021 will make sure there is a future for Pacific languages. “Language is the key to the wellbeing for Pacific people. It affirms our identity as Pasifika and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • ERANZ speech April 2021
    It is a pleasure to be here tonight.  Thank you Cameron for the introduction and thank you for ERANZ for also hosting this event. Last week in fact, we had one of the largest gatherings in our sector, Downstream 2021. I have heard from my officials that the discussion on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Strengthening Māori knowledge in science and innovation
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has today announced the 16 projects that will together get $3.9 million through the 2021 round of Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, further strengthening the Government’s commitment to Māori knowledge in science and innovation.  “We received 78 proposals - the highest ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government delivers next phase of climate action
    The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Continued investment in Central Otago schools supports roll growth
    Six projects, collectively valued at over $70 million are delivering new schools, classrooms and refurbished buildings across Central Otago and are helping to ease the pressure of growing rolls in the area, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. The National Education Growth Plan is making sure that sufficient capacity in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Two more Christchurch schools complete
    Two more schools are now complete as part of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme, with work about to get under way on another, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Te Ara Koropiko – West Spreydon School will welcome students to their new buildings for the start of Term 2. The newly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Independent experts to advise Government on post-vaccination future
    The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination strategy which has been successful in keeping our people safe and our economy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting Māori success with Ngārimu Awards
    Six Māori scholars have been awarded Ngārimu VC and the 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial scholarships for 2021, Associate Education Minister and Ngārimu Board Chair, Kelvin Davis announced today. The prestigious Manakura Award was also presented for the first time since 2018. “These awards are a tribute to the heroes of the 28th ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Global partnerships propel space tech research
    New Zealand’s aerospace industry is getting a boost through the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), to grow the capability of the sector and potentially lead to joint space missions, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced. 12 New Zealand organisations have been chosen to work with world-leading experts at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backs more initiatives to boost food and fibre workforce
    The Government is backing more initiatives to boost New Zealand’s food and fibre sector workforce, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “The Government and the food and fibres sector have been working hard to fill critical workforce needs.  We've committed to getting 10,000 more Kiwis into the sector over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister welcomes Bill to remove Subsequent Child Policy
    Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill in the House this evening. “Tonight’s first reading is another step on the way to removing excessive sanctions and obligations for people receiving a Main Benefit,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mental Health Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Government has taken a significant step towards delivering on its commitment to improve the legislation around mental health as recommended by He Ara Oranga – the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Whenua Māori Rating Amendment Bill passes third reading
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill passing its third reading today. “After nearly 100 years of a system that was not fit for Māori and did not reflect the partnership we have come to expect between Māori and the Crown, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trans-Tasman bubble to start 19 April
    New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the conditions for starting to open up quarantine free travel with Australia have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little welcomed ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi to Parliament today to witness the third reading of their Treaty settlement legislation, the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill. “I want to acknowledge ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi and the Crown negotiations teams for working tirelessly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Independent group announced to advise on firearms matters
    Minister of Police Poto Williams has announced the members of the Ministers Arms Advisory Group, established to ensure balanced advice to Government on firearms that is independent of Police. “The Ministers Arms Advisory Group is an important part of delivering on the Government’s commitment to ensure we maintain the balance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiri Allan to take leave of absence
    Kiri Allan, Minister of Conservation and Emergency Management will undertake a leave of absence while she undergoes medical treatment for cervical cancer, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I consider Kiri not just a colleague, but a friend. This news has been devastating. But I also know that Kiri is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Excellent progress at new Waikeria prison build
    Excellent progress has been made at the new prison development at Waikeria, which will boost mental health services and improve rehabilitation opportunities for people in prison, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Kelvin Davis was onsite at the new build to meet with staff and see the construction first-hand, following a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Expert panel proposes criminal limits for drug driving
    To reduce the trauma of road crashes caused by drug impaired drivers, an Independent Expert Panel on Drug Driving has proposed criminal limits and blood infringement thresholds for 25 impairing drugs, Minister of Police Poto Williams and Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Covid-19 imgration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago