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By Steve Ellner
December 30, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Steve Ellner’s blog with the author’s permission –– Many analysts have belittled the seriousness of Donald Trump's anti-globalization rhetoric and even such jingoistic proposals as the construction of a wall along the Mexican border. They point to Trump’s appointments of such global players as Rex Tillerson and Steven Mnuchin as evidence that Trump cannot and will not turn his back on global commitments and realities.
Along these lines, William I. Robinson (whose work I have always admired and used extensively in the classroom) argues that Trump represents the rise of neo-fascism, but in no way threatens to put a halt to, or a break on, globalization. As proof, he points to the global dimensions of Trump’s own capitalist holdings.
In contrast to Robinson, I argue that globalization is still basically a tendency rather than an all-encompassing reality and that the nation state is a fundamental element, which has to be at the center of any analysis of the world’s political economy.
Steve Ellner: 'There is much to learn from the positives and difficulties of the Venezuelan experience'
By Lucas Koerner
October 21, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Distinguished Venezuelan history and politics professor Steve Ellner visited Caracas from September 26 to October 7 to teach an intensive seminar at the Venezuelan Planning School, titled “The Role of the Venezuelan State in the Transition to Socialism”. VA sat down with the long time Universidad de Oriente professor to discuss a range of pressing issues facing Venezuela, including the country’s current economic crisis, the recall referendum, the future of the Bolivarian process, the efficacy of state social programs such as the CLAPs, rentierism and the Maduro government’s controversial Mining Arc, as well as the role of international solidarity.
By Steve Ellner
Steve Ellner addresses a forum in 2014 on Chavismo in Caracas, Venezuela.
In the first part of the interview (available here) conducted by Evaristo Marcano, Professor Steve Ellner contextualized government politics that favored those businesspeople who did not support the general strike of 2002-2003. According to him, the strategy was relatively successful from a political viewpoint, but not an economic one. In the second part of the interview, Ellner argues that populist policies also have to be contextualized in order to be objectively analyzed. At the same time, he calls for a critical examination of the assertion that the government’s social programs and labor policies have generated low levels of productivity.
E.M. Populism is a topic that has been widely studied and has generated considerable polemics. Renowned analysts specializing in Latin America have dedicated considerable effort to understand the phenomenon. Recently, Margarita López Maya, in an article published in a daily of national circulation, maintained that the upcoming elections in Venezuela will pit the populist model against democracy. By framing the issue in these terms, is she not ignoring the complexity of a phenomenon that, at least in Latin America, has many variations?
[English at http://links.org.au/node/4439.]
Por Steve Ellner
02-06-2015 -- Rebelion -- Los izquierdistas en Venezuela han formulado varias explicaciones sobre los retos actuales, y el descontento creciente que enfrenta el país, el cual aumenta la posibilidad de que la oposición se apodere del control de la Asamblea Nacional en las elecciones al final de este año. En la lista de explicaciones está la comparación desfavorable de las cualidades superiores del liderazgo de Hugo Chávez con las inferiores de su sucesor Nicolás Maduro. (Este mismo razonamiento es utilizado frecuentemente por los miembros de la oposición, quienes –explícita e implícitamente – atribuyen las deficiencias de Maduro a sus orígenes obreros.) Una segunda explicación es que funcionarios corruptos son los responsables de la crisis económica actual, que incluye la escasez aguda de productos de primera necesidad y una inflación galopante que ha llegado a tres dígitos.
Over three months in the early part of last year, Venezuela was subjected to a campaign of violence and disruption known as the guarimba, organised by elements of the right-wing, US-backed opposition.
By Steve Ellner
May 22, 2015 -- VenezuelAnalysis, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Leftists in Venezuela put forward a number of different explanations for the pressing economic difficulties and growing discontent that has beset Venezuela and increases the possibility of an opposition takeover of the National Assembly in this year’s elections.
By Steve Ellner
May 13, 2015 – versions of this article were published in Red Pepper (April-May issue) and Alborada.net, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission of the author -- It’s a point of honour for Venezuela’s government that despite the sharp plunge in oil prices and acute shortages of goods, President Nicolás Maduro has ruled out austerity measures. In a recent TV interview conducted by former vice-president José Vicente Rangel, Central Bank president Nelson Merentes explained why, when he asked: “Do you remember what happened on February 27, 1989?”
On that date massive nationwide disturbances broke out after the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez announced sharp price hikes and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, setting the stage for the 1992 military uprising led by Hugo Chávez. The memory of February 27 and the decision of the formerly left-leaning Pérez to come to terms with powerful economic groups as a way out of pressing economic difficulties undoubtedly weigh on Maduro’s response to the current situation.
For more on Venezuela, click HERE.
By Steve Ellner
December 24, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Nearly two years after the death of Hugo Chávez, the key question that many on the left are debating, in Venezuela and elsewhere, is whether his successors have been true to his legacy, or whether the “revolutionary process” initiated more than a decade ago has now stalled or even been thrown into reverse.
The recent emergence of a number of pressing problems has convinced some Chavistas that the revolution has either been betrayed or, at best, that President Nicolás Maduro is severely lacking in Chávez’s political acumen.
Entrevista con Steve Ellner: 'La estructura capitalista es tan poderosa que el Estado no puede desligarse de ella por ahora'
Steve Ellner entrevistado por Evaristo Marcano Marín
11 de abril de 2014 -- Aporrea -- Steve Ellner es un destacado investigador venezolano, Profesor Jubilado de la Universidad de Oriente (UDO), tiene varios libros publicados y una gran cantidad de artículos escritos en revistas venezolanas (CENDES) y de otros países. Recientemente regresó de Australia, donde desarrolló un seminario sobre el acontecer político de América Latina.
* * *
En varios momentos de esta entrevista, pensé y me ubiqué del lado de las explicaciones que nos ofreció Steve en cada una de sus respuestas. Me sentí comprometido con esa idea sobre el Estado que rescata de Nicos Poulantzas, en la cual, deja atrás esa especie de objeto secuestrado por una determinada clase y se concibe como una especie de espejo que recoge y refleja toda la dinámica social.
Venezuela: ‘Bir ülkenin devrimci bir devleti ve kapitalist bir ekonomisi olabilir mi? – Steve Ellner ile görüşme
[English at http://links.org.au/node/3817.]
Professor Evaristo Marcanoiçin Steve Ellner ile görüştü; İngilizceye çeviren Steve Ellner, Türkçeye çeviren Işık Barış Fidaner
22 Nisan 2014′te Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal‘da yayınlandı.
Steve Ellner ile görüşmemin çeşitli zamanlarında, sorularıma karşılık sunduğu açıklamaları benimsedim. En çok benimsediğim şey olan Nicos Poulantzas’ın geliştirdiği devlet fikrinde verili bir sınıfın nesnesi olmanın yanısıra ve bunun ötesinde devlet ulusun toplumsal dinamiğini içine alıp yansıtan bir tür ayna olarak kavranmakta. Bu kavrayışa göre devlet her bir toplumsal kuvveti mobilize etme kapasitelerine uygun olarak büyüyüp değişen bir kuvvetler ilişkisi. Bu tez Venezuela’da gerçekleşmekte olan mevcut süreç bağlamında çok pratik anlamlara gelmekte.
Venezuela: ‘Can a country have a revolutionary state and a capitalist economy?’-- Interview with Steve Ellner
Steve Ellner interviewed by Professor Evaristo Marcano for Aporrea.org; translated by Steve Ellner
April 22, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, with permission of the author -- At various moments in the interview with Steve Ellner, I welcomed the explanations that he offered in response to my questions. I most identified with the idea of the state as developed by Nicos Poulantzas in which in addition to, and beyond, being an object of a given class, the state is conceived of as a type of mirror that takes in and reflects the nation’s social dynamic. According to this conception, the state is a relation of forces that grows and changes in accordance with the capacity to mobilise each social force. The thesis makes much practical sense in the context of the current process taking place in Venezuela.
Vice-president Nicolás Maduro with Hugo Chavez.
By Steve Ellner
January 16, 2013 -- New Left Project via Venezuelanalysis.com -- The illness of Hugo Chávez creates uncertainty over the future direction of his government, and specifically its commitment to revolutionary change and socialism. Throughout the 14 years of his presidency, the key to Chávez’s political success was the constant deepening of the process of change, which invigorated the rank and file of his movement. Chávez’s political capital, which enabled him to decree radical changes, was well earned. It stemmed from the extreme courage he demonstrated with the coup attempt he led in 1992 and the one that was led against him in 2002, as well as the compassion he has shown for the underprivileged.
By Steve Ellner
April 2012 – Science & Society, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- Michael Lebowitz has drawn on the diverse experiences that led to the failure of socialism in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and elsewhere, and those in Venezuela where he has resided for nearly a decade, to bolster his thesis on the need to place the transformation of values at the centre of socialist construction.