Resistance on the rise

Chris Kok

Credit: Steve Schirra

A world rebellion to global capitalism and American imperialism is rising. It is made up of individuals, groups and nations that are sick of exploitation by the United States and neo-liberal trade policies. Its best known member is Hugo Chavez, the leftist president of Venezuela.

On Sept. 20, Chavez addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations. While American media focused on his reference to Bush as the devil, it ignored the substance of the issue. It is much easier to mock someone for using figurative language than it is to address serious grievances.

So, what did Chavez have to say? First he recommended Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky. Chavez also talked about the U.S.-backed overthrow of his presidency in 2002. Though I have not seen the documents, the immediate support of the Bush administration for the coup leaders showed that their inspiring words about freedom and democracy rang hollow.

Chavez also criticized the U.S. support for Israel during its war crimes in Lebanon this past summer. Referring to the deliberations in the U.N. Security Council, Chavez said, “The immoral veto of the United States allowed the Israelis, with impunity, to destroy Lebanon.”

Chavez is a leading voice in the global class struggle. He is linking with other developing countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Not only is he making connections with these poorer nations, he is trying to help the poor of the United States. Chavez did this by offering cheap gas to heat houses in poor U.S. neighborhoods last winter. Although Harlem accepted Chavez’s support, Chicago felt it was better to spite this world leader for his opposition to the United States, forgetting what the poor want and need.

But enough about Chavez – he is only one player in this global revolt. Other signs of this revolt can be seen in the election of Evo Morales in Bolivia, and in the Other Campaign led by Subcomandante Marcos in Mexico. Morales was elected in Bolivia after a series of mass movements resisting privatization of water supply and oil resources in that country. The people of Bolivia did not want neo-liberal capitalism.

Marcos has been leading the Chiapas rebellion in Mexico since 1994. This resistance started the day that NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) took effect. This is another rebellion against neo-liberal capitalism.

Another form of this global rebellion is the World Social Forum. Started in 2001 as an alternative to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, WSF has grown in size and significance. Although it does not explicitly espouse socialism, communism or anarchism, it is looking for a solution that is radically different from the neo-liberal economics that are pushed by the United States.

So, let the U.S. media mock Chavez. Let them misunderstand him. For Chavez is only one of millions. Each day, those who are fed up with economic imperialism grow in number. The more the media mock Chavez, the more surprised the ruling class will be when the oppressed classes of the world move from rebellion to revolution.

Chris Kok is a senior political science major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]edu.