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World Social Forum

---this is an entry that Jade lost and now is found, reposted by me---

There is lot, in fact far too much, to say about tonight`s event with President Chavez, so I will try to keep it somewhat brief in order not to overwhelm myself or the reader. I believe that entries by others will fill in some of the blanks. That said...

He began unleasing his two-plus hour long word hoard with a series of salutes to the gone and current heroes of Latin American and Caribbean emancipatory, independence and anti-imperialist movements. A number of the names mentioned were more well known to me than others; Bolivar, Amaru, Zapata, Poncho Villa, Sandino, Marti, Fidel, Che and many more I cant recal or do not know were payed homage by Chavez and a roaring crowd of probably 5000. Chavez, as you may or may not know, is a very rousing speaker and as such his profound praise to revolutionaries and yelling rhetorical fits of excitment when denouncing Mr. Danger, the Empire and the yolk of capitalist imperialism is deeply moving, and simultaneously hilarious. In him is a charisma rarely seen in politicians from the U.S. that I have have any experience with. He is just the most refreshing sip drank in his context.
Later in the speach, departing from his pre-accepted and predictible praising and denouncing, came a riskier forray into the nature of humanity, impending biospherical collapse, and the systemic nature of the capitalist system and its urges toward death. It was here that he truely began rousing intense feelings of immenence and my ever-increasing perception that Venezuela may very well be some kind of true emerging vanguard of a broad revolutionary transformation of a neo-socialist orientation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Will Venezuela really live up to its ponential of bringing about some socialist version of Bolivar´s vision of a united and integrated southern counterweight to the Empire`s hemispheric hegemony? Those kind of thoughts, in conjunction with Chavez` penetrating rhetoric, were what brought me goosbumps and shivers of the spine off and on throught the speach. The bringing forth of a fundamentally critical insight of capitalism, which he focused on its utter illegitemacy and unworthiness in conducting the human species (with their special and uniquely unique consciousness) in its journey through history, was an overwhelmingly exciting thing to hear. The president even went so far as to uncover the inherrent and unacceptable eco-destructivity of the capitalist order, claiming that unless something drastic was done immediatly there would be no 22nd century because capitalist humans will have brought our whole species, as well as great swaths of the biosphere, to extinction. That`s an impressive thing to hear from a world leader, even if he might be contributing to global ecodestabilization through petroleum exports or allowing deforestation and srip mining to continue in his own nation to. The fact that he even laid bare the claim that capitalism (that taboo term and great unassailable pillar of political and economic discourse) is not an option for our common future and only socialism (that respects diversity, autonomy, justice, and democratic ideals) can achieve a society worthy of humanity was such an unfamiliar and astonishing thing to actually obsorb coming from a democratically elected legit head of state.

Though Chavez is an awesome speaker to watch and it was genuinly amazing to hear his claims, my scepticism of his rhetoric remains. Here I dont want to be taken as whiner criticizing what appears to be a resplendently significant emergence. I have to say I am not entirely sure that I believe that he is fully devoted to hist lofty goals and is willing to fully back his criticizems, though I want to believe it. He really is convincing and maybe I just dont want to get my hopes up to high and have them let down. Will Chavez live up to his wonderous mythology and dangerous denunciations? The proof of it all will lay wherever the puddingy substance of his actions and programs emerge, not in his incredible speaches.
More later, perhaps...

posted by tim on Saturday, January 28, 2006