reprints of the commune’s pamphlets – buy online

We have printed more copies of our series of pamphlets, several of which (in particular the long-unavailable Venezuela pamphlet) were out of print. See below for a list of the seven pamphlets available. They cost £1 +50p postage per copy. To order online, work out the total of your purchases then ‘donate’ the money here, making sure to specify in the text box what you are ordering.

communestall

Alternatively, write to uncaptiveminds@gmail.com to place your order. We take payment by cheque (addressed to ‘The Commune’, at The Commune, 2nd Floor, 145-157 St. John Street, London EC1V 4PY) or by transfer to Co-op account S/C 089299, A/C 65317440. Continue reading “reprints of the commune’s pamphlets – buy online”

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imperialism and populism in latin america: the case of peru 1968-75

by David Broder

For many mainstream commentators, the clashes following the coup against soft-left Honduran president Manuel Zelaya fit into the usual analysis of a continent-wide battle between pro-US conservative parties and a radical “pink tide”.  It is indeed striking how prominently supporters of the Honduran military coup allege interference in the country by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, a theme also particularly commonplace in the political discourse of the right in Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia. The Times[1] this week approvingly quoted one observer to the effect that “Chávism versus anti-Chávism is a new version of Communism versus anti-Communism”.

However, while the Venezuelan president is evidently an influential and controversial figure and the focus of much attention, we must go beyond the typical media epithets about his personality – ‘firebrand’, ‘outspoken’, and so on – and ask: what dynamics and social forces do these conflicts represent? Why has Chávism and anti-Chávism generalized across Latin America, how irreconcilable are the divisions, and to what extent are these questions of anti-imperialism and class struggle?

perucolonels

To understand what is taking place, it is important to contextualize the supposed “pink tide” led by Chávez in the history of Latin America, and in particular the continent’s many examples of ‘populist’ governments with supposedly ‘anti-imperialist’ and statist agendas. This article looks in particular at the case of the ‘Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces’, which governed Peru from 1968 to 1975. Continue reading “imperialism and populism in latin america: the case of peru 1968-75”

honduras: mass movement to defeat “pinocheletti”

by Roberto Ramírez

The coup d’état against president Manuel “Mel” Zelaya is first of all a sign of how the global crisis has opened up a new political situation across the world. Last year, at the outbreak of the crisis, we warned that it would mean more polarised politics, as much in a right-wing direction as to the left, and that this would mean increasing abandonment of the  political “centre” and sharper confrontations.

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Honduras, a country hit hard by the global crisis, is itself one of the weakest links in the Central American semi-colonial chain… which for more than three years has seen the highest level of struggle in Central America, with national mobilisations (the “civic stoppages”) which have several times managed to paralyse the country. One aspect of this previous polarisation was the birth of the CNRP (National Popular Resistance Council) which brought together union federations and social movements calling for “civic stoppages” and other mobilisations. Continue reading “honduras: mass movement to defeat “pinocheletti””

the commune’s pamphlets: reprints now available

More copies of our pamphlet series, many of which had sold out, are now available. The text of each of  the seven pamphlets is online (see the list of subjects below), but you can also order paper copies – £1 +50p postage per copy.

communestall

Write to uncaptiveminds@gmail.com to place your order. We take payment by cheque (addressed to ‘The Commune’, at The Commune, 2nd Floor, 145-157 St. John Street, London EC1V 4PY) or by transfer to Co-op account S/C 089299, A/C 65317440. Continue reading “the commune’s pamphlets: reprints now available”

new pamphlet on chávez’s venezuela

We are pleased to announce the publication of our seventh pamphlet, “The revolution delayed: a decade of Hugo Chávez”.

The pamphlet features the translation of an interview conducted with El Libertario in Caracas by the French anarchist ‘Charles Reeve’, alongside an interview with Loren Goldner, author of Ubu saved from drowning: worker insurgency and statist containment in Spain and Portugal. These documents are prefaced by a chronology of recent developments in Venezuela. Click the image below to read it online.

You can order the pamphlet for £1 + postage by writing to uncaptiveminds@gmail.com or The Commune, 2nd Floor, 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PY.

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the revolution delayed: 10 years of hugo chávez’s rule

This month marks the tenth anniversary of Hugo Chávez’s coming to power in Venezuela, and ten years of the “Bolivarian revolution”. This process has included waves of state intervention in the economy and fervent rhetoric against US imperialism. But while some on the  left see this Chavista movement as the new “socialism for the 21st century”, groups such as ours have argued that it is actually more like an old-fashioned attempt at modernisation by a technocratic élite; that  increased bureaucratic power over capital is not inherently progressive;  and that the “revolution” in Venezuela allows for very little working-class control or initiative from below.

Here we present a translation of a March 2008 interview conducted by the French anarchist ‘Charles Reeve’ with two members of the El Libertario group in Caracas, the nation’s capital, which offers some stark insights into the reality of the situation. Looking at various aspects of the Venezuelan economy and living standards in the country, it argues that Chavismo and the mythology of the “Bolivarian revolution” conceal a raft of neo-liberal reforms and attacks on workers’ rights, and that we must break out of the dynamics of Chávez vs. the opposition in order to build an autonomous working-class alternative.

chavezreviewstroops Continue reading “the revolution delayed: 10 years of hugo chávez’s rule”

evo morales and the constitutional referendum in bolivia

In September 2008 we carried extensive coverage of the coup attempt by white right-wing oligarchs in the east of Bolivia, who wanted to split the country, overthrow Evo Morales’ soft-left MAS government and crush the mighty workers’ movement. There were numerous racist attacks on indigenous people, with dozens massacred by fascist militias. As Morales vacillated and called on the mass movement triggered by the coup attempts to keep ‘calm’, it was up to the urban poor, indigenous peasants and workers to defend themselves. Eventually the failure of the coup resulted in Morales sitting down to talks with the oligarchy, and after making concessions over his planned State Political Constitution, the document will go to a country-wide referendum on Sunday 25th. The article below examining the issues is a translation of a piece by Socialismo o Barbarie.

Before the constitutional referendum of Sunday 25th January 2009, we say…

Neither the ‘no’ of the reactionary racist oligarchy in the east…

Nor the ‘yes’ of MAS, which wants to introduce “Andean capitalism…

We call for abstention!

Declaration by Socialismo o Barbarie Bolivia
La Paz, 22nd January 2009

Continue reading “evo morales and the constitutional referendum in bolivia”