Friday, February 25, 2005

Being an intellectual is easier than being a human being

Actually, it's been hard to be an intellectual today because the human being part has been so time-consuming, what with looking for a new room-mate and trying to understand what I was doing for the last seven months while I thought I was so blissfully happy in love. I always tell people that once something doesn't work out, that it's not so helpful to go back and rewrite the past as a bunch of meaningless foolery, but it feels that way today for a number of reasons I won't go into.

Today, I barely read the current news, but I have been back in the depths of Farrell Dobbs' Teamster Rebellion, a book that describes a model of well-organized militancy: the Minneapolis Truckers Strike of 1934. The truckers' success in getting the farmers and the unemployed on their side was especially impressive, and the coordination with workers to meet day to day needs of strikers and unemployed reminded me of the efforts made (in a very different situation) during the right wing trucker's strike in Chile. Today such a strike seems almost unimagineable, and not just because of the Taft-Hartley act.

And speaking of Chile, what's going on in Venezuela today, I wonder?
I'm so glad I wondered, Chavez is in the newsfor for declaring publicly that socialism, not capitalism is the only answer to poverty and inequality. Of course, this has got the American corporate media screaming "Castro," etc. "Venezuelan Analysis" has pointed out the distorting nature of such claims here.For A more reliable and nuanced discussion of Chavez's economic programs appears here in an article comparing Chavez to Abraham Lincoln.
And while the U.S. has shrugged off and dismissed Chavez's recent charges that the U.S. is planning to intervene again against the Venezuelan government, the U.S.'s behavior in the past towards Allende, Aristide, and going further back -- to Mossadeq and others, gives us plenty of justification for taking the news of pending American intervention against Chavez (socialist or no) very seriously.

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