Saturday, October 6, 2012

The election I'm looking forward to

Revolution is happening all around the world, while all I'm left with this lousy election. A single party that I disagree with on nearly every issue; war, education, climate, sustainability, poverty, fair trade, the environment, healthcare, transparency, civil liberties and so on, I stand in opposition to both parties, left without a voice, without a vote, without a choice, in what i'm told is the world's greatest democracy.

But there is an election I am excited about. Hugo Chavez is up for reelection. The American media likes to paint Chavez as a dictator, but the democracy in Venesula puts ours to shame. No corporate or private money is allow, public funds are given to the candidate and they receive equal air time. Great effort is taken to get people registered to vote, currently 96% of Venezuelans are registered to vote, where the US has about 70% registered. The voting machines are the most advanced in the world, totaly fool proof and completely auditable at every level. If the US system was that good in 2000, we wouldn't have had the 5 to 4 supreme court decide the election. This is what democracy looks like. 

Jimmy Carter, when not buying sweaters for the winter months, oversees elections with the Carter Center. He said, "Of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world." Every poll has Chavez in the lead. His strategy is simple, represent the masses, dramatically improve their lives, and raise voter turn out. It is the opposite of a fixed election. It is revolution, through democracy. 

There is something big happening in South America. They are working to end an era. We are still in the age of imperialism and capitalism (you can use those words almost interchangeably). Since Columbus, South America has been been exploided for its land and labor by the west. Conquistadors, plantations, colonialism, neo-liberialism, IMF loans, Structural Adjustment Programs, war on drugs, right wing death squads, overthrowing socialist leaders, United Fruit, world bank, deforestization, privatization, free trade- all have been or are impearial tools of the west and has crippled the people and land of the continent. Imperialism and colonialism are still very much still practiced. 

Many South American countries are shaking the shackles of colonialism, and standing up for themselves, and for the first time claiming thier land for themselves. (not first time, but previous attempts have been met with CIA coups- exception: Cuba) This is why we paint Chavez as a evil dictator, he threatens the order of things, and the current order of things is good for our businesses.  Now the exploited are standing up to the exploiters. They are cutting ties with the IMF, standing up to western banks and institutions, nationalizing industry, standing up to the US in climate talks and trade agreements, and no longer being bullied by the affluent. A recent example of this is Ecuador granting asylum to Juilian Assange. I kept seeing post about little Ecuador standing up to the big UK, but Ecuador isn't little, they are a part of a bigger movement. 

Latin American and Caribbean countries have formed The Bolivian Alliance of the Peoples of our America. Members include Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and a handful of Caribbean states. Some call it Socialism for the 21st Century. Literacy rates, health care, wages, quality of life, infrastructure, education, and democracy are on the raise. Poverty and pollution are in decline 
(In Venezuela, poverty has been reduced in half, extreme poverty reduces by 70%). When industry become nationalized, profits stop being extracted from the people, and decisions can be made based on what is good for the people, instead of what is good for the company.  When a compainy becomes under state control, there is no longer profits, but public revenue. That money can go to anywhere that society sees fit. Exxon alone makes annual profits of 80 billion, imagine if that 80 billion were public funds or tax revenue. Exxon tends to use that money to squash alternative energy research and development, if it was a public company we could do the opposite. There is no solution to the environment crisis under capitalism. The good news is an alternative is growing. 

These countries have been systematically keep poor and beat down for hundreds of years. It is amazing what they have been able to do in 10 years. They are doing things sustainabley. Many western economicist have said the growth can't last, but it has. Many said a recession would cripple them, but they have done well with every recession and economic blow that has been dealt. Our growth is not sustainable, we inflate as fast as we can leaving the middle hollow and the edges expanding while destroying the environment and creating more inequality. They are building solidly, making sure thier foundation is strong, protecting the environment, eliminating inequality, and looking out for each other. How do you think these economies will compair in as time goes by?

When fueling, fuel from Citgo.

I hope this is the beginning of the end of the age of imperilism/capitalism. My name is John Shambo, and I am a socialist. 

Socialist Anonymous