Democracy and Revolution: Latin America and Socialism Today by D.L Raby

By D.L Raby

Is socialism lifeless because the fall of the Soviet Union? what's the future of the Left? Raby argues that Cuba and especially Venezuela supply suggestion for anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist hobbies the world over. one other international is feasible, yet in basic terms via a good political technique to win strength on a favored and democratic foundation. Raby argues passionately that the future of progressives isn't the dogmatic formulae of the outdated Left, nor within the spontaneous autonomism of John Holloway or Tony Negri. as an alternative, it's to be present in new, huge and versatile well known pursuits with daring and decided management. studying the connection of key leaders to their humans, together with Hugo Ch?vez and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Raby exhibits that it really is extra worthy than ever to take strength, peacefully the place attainable, yet in all circumstances with the power that comes from well known solidarity subsidized by means of strength the place worthwhile. during this manner it truly is attainable to construct democratic energy, that may or will not be socialist counting on one’s definition, yet which characterize the genuine anti-capitalist substitute for the twenty-first century.

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While it is true, as was pointed out by several critics, that Ukraine’s so-called ‘Orange Revolution’ benefitted from considerable Western financing and pressure (Laughland 2004; Steele 2004; Traynor 2004), the evident corruption and dirty tricks of the previous Kuchma Government made it impossible to defend on any kind of democratic or popular basis. Once pluralist elections are firmly established and the futility Raby 01 chap01 37 20/6/06 14:50:53 38 Democracy and Revolution of the political choices on offer becomes apparent, together with the negative consequences of unbridled capitalism, then disillusionment sets in; but even so few seek a return to the state-Socialist system.

In this respect the ‘mainstream’ is once again profoundly mistaken; but before we examine why, it is first necessary to review the received wisdom on ‘democratic transition’. ‘TRANSITOLOGY’ AND THE NEW ORTHODOXY The rise of neo-liberalism since the early 1980s is generally viewed in economic terms, as the imposition of ‘free trade’ and monetarist fundamentalism as the only economically acceptable policy. But the neo-liberal strategy also has a specifically political agenda, which is the concerted attempt to impose liberal pluralism as the only acceptable form of government (with the convenient exception of a number of pro-Western dictatorships).

Bush in Washington and Tony Blair at Westminster, and is suggestive of the degeneration of the liberal system in its classic heartlands. The growth of executive power, the emasculation of parliament and the destruction of innerparty democracy and civil liberties have contributed powerfully to voter disillusionment in the very countries which like to present themselves as democratic models for the world, but which no longer even live up to their own liberal principles. Hinkelammert in 1990 criticised the newly emerging liberal regimes of Latin America as ‘National Security democracies’ still subject to military supervision, and perceptively suggested that this restricted liberal model was also beginning to take hold in the advanced Western countries (Hinkelammert 1990, 215–16).

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