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''All of us began with Marta Harnecker'

'It is no exaggeration to affirm that Marta Harnecker was arguably the most important disseminator of Marx and Lenin’s ideas among successive waves of activists in Latin America...'

Not only among Spanish-speaking students of Marx. I first read Marta's work around 1980, and I'm sure many others everywhere benefited as well. And from the writings of her partner Michael Lebowitz, his many books including Beyond Capitalism, Build It Now, The Socialist Imperative.

By the way, I notice that this article was translated by Federico Fuentes, who had differences with Harnecker and Lebowitz over the Bolivarian Project, but who all emphasize the extent to which socialist change, as the author of this appreciation writes, 'involves a complex equation in whichnew organisational forms are not built - and will never be built - a priori, but rather are the result of the struggles of the times. They are products of and produce a platform of real and concrete demands, capable of transforming reality and shifting the balance of forces, while raising consciousness and drawing in other people and sectors to the project. But not to demand the possible. The neoliberal project affirms that almost nothing is possible. Marta, on the contrary, regularly recalled and emphasised that politics is the art of making possible the impossible.'

From what I know I am sure that, have to hope that, given the experience over all that workers in Venezuela have had in the Bolivarian Project and the attempted implementation of the forward-looking provisions of the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela, they can never go back to and accept willingly a capitalist regime.

The Bolivarian Constitution, as Lebowitz has written, 'calls for democratic planning and participatory budgeting at all levels of society and upon “self-management, co-management, cooperatives in all forms.”' This is reinforced by 'the communal path to socialism that Chavez refined in his last years.'  This seems so even in the midst of renewed impoverishment and the over-dependence on their primary export product, brought on by what could be seen in many of its aspects as the arguably Bonapartist nature of the regime from the time of its origins, attempting to straddle rather than outright eliminate its capitalist underpinnings.

This worker-peasant adherence appears to be in the main why the project persists despite many errors, including not adequately promoting agricultural self-sufficiency and failure to root out the corruption in the bourgeois bureaucracy from which it necessarily sprang.

Not even the top Venezuelan military brass seem able or willing to engineer a coup at this point, particularly since the bourgeois opposition is so weak and has so many divisions, the hand of the the US government is so patently visible in this oil-rich country, and a preponderant number of peasants and workers still appear to stand behind the Maduro government; and this despite evident stagnation of the project, reversion to privation and chronic shortages of essential goods.

And I feel that despite disillusion, the influence of people like Harnecker and Lebowitz and Istvan Meszaros, through Chavez, has left its permanent mark on people's perception of how the seemingly 'impossible can become the possible.' And the determination that change has to start somewhere, even if its proponents face mountainous obstacles in trying to go it alone in a powerful, hostile capitalist world.



   All of us began with Marta Harnecker

/In memory of Marta Harnecker, who passed away on June 14, 2019/

By *Miguel Enrique Stédile *

June 25, 2020 — /Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/ <https://p.feedblitz.com/t3.asp?/343373/18214696/7003855_/links.org.au/> — During an interview, then-Bolivia Vice President Álvaro García Linera and Spanish state parliamentarian Pablo Iglesias were exchanging ideas on classic texts and their own initiation into politics when the Spanish activist proclaimed: “All of us began with Marta Harnecker”. This statement is not only true for today’s young leftists but for thousands of people who have defended Marxism and socialism in the past four decades.

It is no exaggeration to affirm that Marta Harnecker was arguably the most important disseminator of Marx and Lenin’s ideas among successive waves of activists in Latin America, starting with the publication of her “Booklets for Popular Education” in the 1970s and followed shortly after by /The Basic Concepts of Historical Materialism/ <https://p.feedblitz.com/t3.asp?/343373/18214696/7003855_/~www.rebelion.org/docs/87917.pdf>. At the same time, her own political and intellectual trajectory is illustrative of the course of the Latin American left in the second half of the 20th century.

read more <https://p.feedblitz.com/t3.asp?/343373/18214696/7003855_/links.org.au/all-of-us-began-with-marta-harnecker>

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