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Creation Date: 2003-02-03
I wasn't going to do a Making Of JF tonight, but I read something that was very worth it. What was it, you ask? An article about Anarchists in Venezuela. If you've been too busy protesting the war on Iraq, Afghanistan, or otherwise, you might have missed the glaring conflict in Venezuela. If you keep your eyes on news, you've seen some very disturbing things coming from that neck of the woods. The basic facts are: Chavez is president, he is a socialist, and he has been ousted once or twice by opposition, but currently resides as technical president. Supporters of Chavez say that the counter-revolution was prompted by the CIA. While this is not confirmed by solid evidence, it makes good sense considering the CIA's history in Central America and especially with leftist governments like Chavez. And now I'm going to add my opinions. Unfortunately, I don't have much of an authority. What I know, I get from what I read: Drudge Report, Seattle Indymedia, and a few others. If I were in your situation, I'd look for better, more informed opinions than mine. Perhaps in a few years, my opinion may become much more informed on the topic. What I do have for you is a commentary on the correct way that an anarchist works. I applaud the true anarchists keeping it real in Venezuela (they are pictured in the center of my silly little pic).

From what I've seen, Chavez is nothing less than a socialist dictator supported by a power-hungry left wing, sensible people, and half the military. He was elected but has not kept his promises: help the poor. There has been a growing opposition that is combining power hungry right-wing, sensible people, businesses, and the CIA/paramilitary. Which side does one pick? This article explains that there are anarchists who are not party line, some that are not anti-government, and some that are anti-socialist. If these roles confuse you, let me explain: the power-hungry right sees anarchists as leftists which looks that way when the right is exercizing unwarranted authority. The power-hungry left sees anarchists as leftists, too. But when the left exercizes unwarranted authority, guess what? We side against them.

My father immediately associated my pacifist anarchism with socialism (and even totalitarianism if you can grasp that), but he doesn't understand that anarchists like myself know that one side is Chavez/Left/Gore/CIA, the other is Paramilitary/Right/Bush/CIA and that I pick _neither_. I read a horrible article about Chavez seizing food and water from legit businesses because they were on strike (a really Atlas Shrugged type of game). Then I go to the other side of the news and I see that the paramilitary (aka CIA) is shooting into crowds of peaceful protestors/farmers. Then I see Chavez doing this, CIA doing that. If you're picking a side in this conflict, you're picking the wrong side. The correct side is to end the conflict without major loss of life and without a major dictatorship from either side.

Oh, get this argument that my father used at this point of the conversation: "When the anarchists are in power, what do you suppose you'll do?" Hahaha! What's wrong with his question? Anarchists define themselves by not having power over anyone but themselves. So when anarchists "are in power", they won't be anarchists. A correct questions is, when government stops taxing people and stops handing cash out and bullets, what will you do? I'll do what I do, but I'll donate some time doing the jobs that the gov't formerly did poorly. I'd pay teachers to teach my kids, I'd donate time to a food bank/shelter. I'd donate time to a hospital. In Javantea's Fate, I imagined that Jav would be a mild-mannered, benevolent, just sheriff. You have and you will see what it gets him. Anarchy is about governing oneself because you're free to do what you want. Anarchy can exist within a totalitarian dictatorship (even a jail cell), within the anarchist him/herself and that is what it remains. Every bit of freedom feeds the soul and that is what the anarchist lives on.
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