Venezuela Yes, Castro No / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

8 03 2014

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Venezuela, Life or Abyss: Let’s Not Abandon Them Now

Left-wing dictators never step down. Thus says a killer subject called Universal History.

Left-wing Latin-American dictatorships have no reason to be the exception. They institute eternal systems like the Castro dynasty to the humiliation of the Cuban people. Or they impose their feast of outrages before and after being deposed from power, such as in Chile with the radical regime of Salvador Allende. In both cases, the price of any change is criminally high.

Today, Venezuela is struggling in the streets between these two limits. They have already gone beyond both.

Translated by: M. Ouellette

8 March 2014

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2 responses

9 03 2014
Omar Fundora

Yoani said elsewhere….”We are now being called upon by the official media to recover lost values. According to the version put forth by the commentators on TV, responsibility for the deterioration falls mainly on the family, a portion on the schools… but not at all on the government. They talk about bad manners, rudeness, lack of solidarity and the extent of bad habits such as stealing, lying and laziness…..”

Each culture assumes it is in possession of the moral truth. From an outside perspective, our progress might be seen as a regress. Consider factory farming, environmental devastation, weapons of mass destruction, capitalistic exploitation, coercive globalization, urban ghettoization, and the practice of sending elderly relatives to nursing homes. Our way of life might look grotesque to many who have come before and many who will come after….. What, then, is morality based on? To answer this, we need to consider how morals are learned.

Children begin to learn values when they are very young, before they can reason effectively. Young children behave in ways that we would never accept in adults: they scream, throw food, take off their clothes in public, hit, scratch, bite, and generally make a ruckus. Moral education begins from the start, as parents correct these antisocial behaviors, and they usually do so by conditioning children’s emotions. Parents threaten physical punishment (“Do you want a spanking?”), they withdraw love (“I’m not going to play with you any more!”), ostracize (“Go to your room!”), deprive (“No dessert for you!”), and induce vicarious distress (“Look at the pain you’ve caused!”). Each of these methods causes the misbehaved child to experience a negative emotion and associate it with the punished behavior. Children also learn by emotional osmosis. They see their parents’ reactions to news broadcasts and storybooks. They hear hours of judgmental gossip about inconsiderate neighbors, unethical coworkers, disloyal friends, and the black sheep in the family. Consummate imitators, children internalize the feelings expressed by their parents, and, when they are a bit older, their peers. (IT IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT PLACE TO TEACH MORALITY, BUT INDOCTRINATION THAT HAS TAKEN PLACE IN EDUCATION MOLDS THE PROLETARIAN TO BE GOOD COMMUNISTS ). Reason is always slave to the passions.

If this is right, we have a set of emotionally conditioned basic values, and a capacity for reasoning, which allows us to extend these values to new cases. There are two important implications. One is that some moral debates have no resolution because the two sides have different basic values. This is often the case with liberals and conservatives. Research suggests that conservatives value some things that are less important to liberals, including hierarchical authority structures, self-reliance, in-group solidarity, and sexual purity. Debates about welfare, foreign policy, and sexual values get stymied because of these fundamental differences. The Communist morality is more utilitarian . Utilitarianism, defined simply, means that what is good is defined by “what advances the greatest happiness,” or the greatest well-being. This definition was later modified by having this standard being applied to the “greatest number of people.” Now, if we were to examine this in terms of a proletarian morality, a proletarian utilitarianism would be defined as “that which advances the cause of the proletariat is good, and that which retards the advance of the proletariat is evil.” The morality problem in Cuba, from the point of view of the Government, is due to bad Communists in the population and not to the Ivory towers where the leadership resides.

The second ethical system that can be seen as informing communist moral perspective is a Deontological one. Deontological ethics refers to a number of ethical systems which define themselves based on rules or norms, rather than outcomes alone, to understand what actions can be considered moral. Proletarian morality, as it moves to resist the alienation and exploitation of workers, must define both of these as abhorrent and counter to their moral expression. This is not done in the same deceptive manner that the bourgeoisie defines the protection of their private property. Rather, it is an earnest expression of the desire to render both exploitation and alienation obsolete, to destroy them as they pertain to the human experience. Hence, proletarian morality must contain a mechanism which protects workers and revolutionaries from these forces, from being subjected to them and from subjecting other workers to them.

Looking into the future of Cuba one has to ask yourself how are Liberals and Conservatives from the Right and the Left going to coexist when individualism and self-reliance clashes with the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people….A Socialist Democratic Republic offers a solution to this problem.

9 03 2014
Omar Fundora

It sounds like you would like to see a second revolution in Venezuela. The People of Venezuela already voted and they voted for Chavismo. The protestors in Venezuela are the minority, Maduro has reached out to the opposition to put an end to this madness, but, they simply want to rule by anarchy. They want to turn Venezuela into another Mexico so they can trample on the Common Good and suppress the will of the people. Then invite the U.S. corporations to run the oil industry in Venezuela and be shower with million of U.S. dollars for their loyalty to the Hegemony of the U.S selling their sovereignty for material comfort and conveniences….sad very sad indeed …what has happened to patriotism??

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