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 peculiarly Venezuela supply notion for anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist hobbies internationally. one other global is feasible, yet purely 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 previous Left, nor within the spontaneous autonomism of John Holloway or Tony Negri. as an alternative, it truly is to be present in new, huge and versatile renowned 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 energy, peacefully the place attainable, yet in all instances with the power that comes from renowned cohesion sponsored by means of strength the place beneficial. during this approach it truly is attainable to construct democratic strength, that may or will not be socialist reckoning on one’s definition, yet which signify the genuine anti-capitalist substitute for the twenty-first century.

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Raby 01 chap01 38 20/6/06 14:50:53 Democracy, Formal or Substantive 39 The welfare state was only achieved through the pressure of working-class organisations (above all the trade unions) and political action by Social Democratic/Socialist and other left-wing parties, and also because of capitalist fear of the alternative represented by the Soviet Union and other Socialist states. But its impact can scarcely be overestimated: it is the welfare state which has done more than anything else to give working people the feeling that they have real, if limited, influence on the political process.

On the other hand, if free elections produce victory for a popular anti-imperialist movement or one which opposes neo-liberal orthodoxy, as in Nicaragua in 1984, Haiti with Aristide or Venezuela with Chávez, then their legitimacy is immediately questioned and they are subjected to immense pressures (including violence and sabotage) to hold fresh elections under ‘international Raby 01 chap01 39 20/6/06 14:50:53 40 Democracy and Revolution supervision’, a term which all too often means interference to favour pro-Western candidates.

There can be no doubt that despite widespread disillusionment with politics and politicians, the majority of the population in the West continues to regard ‘liberal democracy’ as desirable; they simply find its actual performance to be profoundly disappointing. Similarly there can be no doubt that liberal-pluralist elections serve as an attractive alternative to an arbitrary regime, as in many Latin American countries in the 1980s and in Eastern Europe since 1989. The attraction of liberal pluralism in these circumstances is simple: it offers the opportunity to complete the overthrow of a repressive system and to have at least a minimal say in choosing the politicians who will run things.

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