Letter

Socialism does not need propaganda - facts and logic are enough to defeat capitalist arguments

By Simon Ashworth Wood
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Hola everyone : )

I am writing this letter in response to the comment submitted by "jsb" on Sat, 17/04/2010 - 14:23, under this article:

Venezuela’s Young Communication Guerrillas

Here is my response to jsb's comment:

When promoting participatory democracy, equality, full national independence, and the sharing out of a country's wealth and power amongst all of that country's people (i.e. socialism), we don't need to use "propaganda". We use facts and logic instead.

Now, let's get a few things straight:

(1) the original "news" source for the claim in the comment by jsb, was El Universal: a capitalist newspaper, owned by rich people and funded by advertising revenue from private corporations that are also owned by rich people. Venezuela's democratically-elected socialist president and government of Venezuela, and millions of working class people in Venezuela's socialist movement are more or less united in the goal of sharing out Venezuela's wealth and power amongst all Venezuelans. And this goal is in direct conflict with the agenda of El Universal and its corporate advertisers, which desire to maintain and increase their own wealth and power, to the detriment of Venezuela's working class majority.

Thus when El Universal makes negative claims about the president and government of Venezuela, and against the people in Venezuela's socialist movement, the economic agenda of El Universal and its corporate advertisers makes its claims suspect, makes its claims not credible. The unethical character of that corporate agenda (hoarding wealth and power in the few, while the majority of people are exploited and more or less impoverished) makes El Universal's claims even more suspect, even less credible.

(2) El Universal supports the ideology of capitalism in general. This capitalist system that we live in is one of oppression, exploitation and impoverishment. It is a system in which owners of capital (e.g. land, mines, factories, trucking fleets, ships and supermarkets) exploit us working class people who do the work that create humanity's wealth. What I mean is that the owners of capital steal much of the wealth that we working class people produce, and the owners of capital only pay us a fraction of the wealth that we produce. Thus, the owners of capital become richer and richer, gaining more and more capital, and using that economic power (especially their control of the mass media), to dominate politics, to enforce their will, and to ensure that they keep their wealth and power, and increase it.

That capitalist system, the system of oppression, exploitation and impoverishment results in overwork, poverty and suffering for billions of people, causes the deaths by poverty of 11 million children each year, and results in state violence against anyone who rebels against the capitalist system. Any information source - such as El Universal - that supports such a system, is extremely unethical, and cannot be relied upon to be honest about anything... and therefore it is certainly not a credible source of information.

(3) El Universal supported the 2002 military coup against Venezuela's popular, democratically-elected and egalitarian government (that coup only lasted 47 hours, and was reversed by millions of working class Venezuelans and soldiers loyal to democracy). This fact shows El Universal's agenda to be even more suspect, even less credible, when it comes to the will and welfare of the people of Venezuela.

Now, the people of Venezuela are making a socialist revolution against the opposition of the U.S. empire, Venezuela's capitalist oligarchy and privileged classes (including their dominant mass media corporations), and against the capitalist ideology with which people were indoctrinated over many decades of capitalist rule. The capitalist system constantly spreads lies and deception (propaganda) to promote its agenda, especially in the capitalist media, and for this reason, we use information activism to counter those lies, to show people the facts, to enable citizen to make decisions based on facts and logic, instead of capitalist dogma.

I have studied Venezuela on an almost daily basis for years, and I have never seen any non-capitalist information source claim that Hugo Chavez, nor the members of Venezuela's socialist movement in general, "support violent attacks against people who pose no imminent danger of themselves being violent" (as claimed in the article from the discredited El Universal corporate newspaper). In fact, you can find many articles in Venezuelanalysis, from multiple sources, that quote Hugo Chavez and members of Venezuela's socialist movement speaking AGAINST such violent attacks, by supporters of the revolution (or by the opposition). And furthermore, Venezuela's government has arrested and charged people for committing such violent acts.

Venezuela's revolution is a peaceful revolution. A few supporters of the revolution have made mistakes, engaging in violence against people who posed no imminent danger of being violent (e.g. Lina Ron did something like this), but those actions were aberrations, and they harmed the revolution, and went against what the revolution stands for.

On the other hand, the capitalist opposition in Venezuela is OFTEN violent (just like capitalism in the world in general), and this is a necessary part of re-imposing their system of capitalism (oppression, exploitation and impoverishment) upon the working class majority, because no working class person who knows the facts about capitalism would willingly submit to the injustice of capitalism.

We socialists use any means necessary to achieve socialism (the sharing out of wealth and power amongst all people). This does not include oppressive violence, because oppressive violence is counter to our goals (of sharing out wealth and power amongst everyone). But this does include distributing leaflets and doing other non-violent direct action to give everyone access to the facts about capitalism and about what is happening in Venezuela's revolution, and to show people the reasons for socialism.

I have never seen any credible evidence that Venezuela's democratically-elected President, Hugo Chavez, spoke against showing people the truth (with leaflets or any other means). If what the El Universal article says is even partially true, it shows that Hugo Chavez was clarifying that the journalists were being opposition activists (what'smore, spreading pro-capitalist lies), not journalists, when they got into any violence that they got into.

The capitalist opposition propagates lies, prejudice, demagogic arguments and capitalist dogma, deceiving the people, to trick people into submitting to oppression, exploitation and impoverishment, to benefit the owners of capital. We socialists counter that propaganda by giving people facts and logic, to promote the sharing out of wealth and power amongst everyone, so that we can participate in managing economic capital democratically.

Peace,
from Simon Ashworth Wood : )

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