Don’t miss this engaging, Deep-Think piece in Rebelión by Jesse Chacón (or rather, I suspect, by the Spanish grad student who ghost-writes his columns).
In rare, intello form, Jesse takes aim at capitalism’s ideology of endless growth, echoing Club of Rome themes as he argues the environmental case for producing less, better.
I have to admit I’m of two minds about this one. One the one hand, there’s no denying the troubling environmental consequences of one of the few policies the Venezuelan government and opposition seem to agree on: developing the Orinoco Tar Belt.
On the other, to hear a former minister in a government that has – if such a thing is possible – deepened Venezuela’s economic dependence on oil exports defend the revolution on environmental grounds is a bit rich. No part of the analysis in his column finds any practical counterpart in the actual policies of a government that has reined in oil output only through bungling and incompetence, never by design.
And, of course, the overall message here – that what Venezuela needs is economic contraction, not growth – is imbecilic to an impossible-to-overstate degree: the kind of thing that might sound just about plausible to a bong-toting bon pensant European leftie, but crumples into a heap of unemployment and misery when rolled out in Parapara.
Still and all, I found the column refreshing. It’s so rare to read a chavista argument built around arguments rather than ad hominem attacks, you treasure it when you find it.
I don’t even care that Jesse probably didn’t write it himself. In the current atmosphere, I think he gets points even just for signing off on a column like this: wrong, sure, but substantive and free of the usual VTV clichés. Which isn’t nothing.