On Sunday 30 July, so-called elections took place to a so-called Constituent Assembly in Venezuela. It is important, for the future, the revolution, and democracy, not to fool ourselves about the meanings of the words being used here.
For all Venezuelans, there can be no doubt: what was elected today has nothing in common with a sovereign constituent assembly. By “a sovereign constituent assembly.” we mean one which exercises power.
I joined the Peace and Freedom Party under the guidance of leaders of the International Socialists (IS), including Mike Parker and Jack Weinberg, in 1967-68. This was my only real involvement in a third party. It was not only long ago, it was a different context: there was a large, lively left movement, which at the time appeared to be still growing (we hoped).
Thus the P & F was conceived of—and briefly was—a movement party. That’s why it may be worth a look back.
To get the party on the ballot in California, we had to get people to change their party registration, via a registrar, often from Democratic, to P & F. Some 107,000 did so in California, which was remarkable. The same year George Wallace used the same procedure to get an almost exact number of registrants for his party.
I recall an IS member, J.B., said to me “I just wish we had his demographics!” So true.
On the night of July 15, the Turkish society watched a military coup attempt, live on TV. For some it was so difficult to make sense of it that they chose to interpret the whole event as “staged”, being a member of a society inclined towards conspiracy theories. How could one call this a real military coup?
In the United Kingdom, we are accustomed to progressives conducting their arguments in confident terms of complete inevitability. Progress is a one way street, and we are marching ceaselessly along it towards the end of history, almost without trying.
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