9 March 2008

Endogenous Right

Right and left are relative terms. Class is what defines a human collective entity within a political economy. So what is the “Endogenous Right” in Venezuela? No doubt it is something similar to what we in South Africa would call a “National Bourgeoisie” (or sometimes: “Patriotic Bourgeoisie”).

“Endogenous” means “coming from the inside”, as opposed to “exogenous”, which means “having an external origin”.

It appears from George Ciccariello-Maher’s account (linked below) as if the Venezuelan Revolution feels the lack of something like our African National Congress (ANC). Up to now Venezuela has done without a single, central, mass revolutionary organisation. The “Chavistas” are already in power, but now they have started a process to create the PSUV, the Socialist Unity Party of Venezuela.

Just over one year ago, the PCV (the Venezuelan Communist Party)
decided against liquidating itself and joining the PSUV. In January this year, we published a firm statement from PCV Politburo member, Carolus Wimmer, confirming the basis in principle of the existence of an autonomous Communist Party, which we dare say the SACP would agree with.

The vanguard party is indispensible, but is there really a necessity for a single, monolithic structure, to the exclusion of others? Was it, for example, using hindsight, a good idea to disband the United Democratic Front (UDF) in South Africa, as was done so speedily after the 1990 unbanning of the ANC?

In Venezuela the PSUV formation process still goes on, and appears in this article as a dangerous tussle between the local bourgeoisie (the “Endogenous Right”) and something called the “False Left,” which perhaps also has its counterparts in South Africa. Click the link for a guided tour of the Venezuelan political economy, complete with a cast of many named personalities. It feels authentic because of that, but the slate of names that he lists is Ciccariello-Maher’s own, and who is he? He is an academic in California. So be careful. Note that there is little or nothing in the article about the position of the PCV, yet the PCV has to be a crucial consideration in any such political calculation about Venezuela.

ANC President Jacob Zuma tries to negotiate his way through a political economy that is no less complex than the Venezuelan one. In the next linked item Alec Russell of the London business newspaper the Financial Times interviews him, and then follows the interview with an article on where Zuma stands in relation to Thabo Mbeki in particular.

The ANC has called Eskom “irresponsible”. Ja, well, no fine. In that case a few heads should roll, not so? See the fourth linked item.

Unless, of course, those Eskom heads are protected by another part of the same ANC.

This morning’s front page story from the Sunday Times assists us even further to reflect on the phenomenon of the endogenous, national, patriotic (or not), right-wing local bourgeoisie. This story highlights the role of Saki Macozoma (pictured) in three-cornered deals involving the ANC. This was at a time when Macozoma was known as the most ruthless and dedicated supporter of incumbent ANC President Thabo Mbeki, prior to the 52nd ANC National Congress in December 2007.

Click on these links:

Endogenous Right vs False Left in Venezuela, Cicciarello-Maher (2627 words)

How ANC chief Zuma sees party and country, Alec Russell, F Times (1978 words)

Zuma says he is more powerful than Mbeki, Alec Russell, F Times (624 words)

Eskom announcement on new developments, ANC (110 words)

Saki in ANC payoff scandal, Buddy Naidu, Simpiwe Piliso, S Times (932 words)

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