Cheese not on the Shelves
The Impostume returns, not overly impressed, from The Bolivarian Republic Of Venezuela. In Zizek's Did Someone Say Totalitarianism there's an apposite, if typically having-and-eating-one's-cake critique of the function that the other supposed to struggle has for the Western leftist, in terms as much of the 'good example' of Cuba as well as the familarly indefensible (and hence so much more appealing to SZ) Eastern Bloc. And obviously a country which appears to have a monarchical succession, a Castro dynasty, seemingly, recalling Brecht's term for the USSR as a 'workers' monarchy', is a dubious model of Socialism. But even so, as a (perhaps atypically impoverished) proverbial Western Academic Marxist, I always desperately want to believe in such places - and especially in Latin America, the only place outside pockets of Western Europe where socialism even exists as a positive idea, irrespective of whether it's an actual reality. That there must be somewhere where we're winning, even if that 'we' wouldn't go down all that well in the barrios. Or even when you have these peculiar alliances springing up, the decidedly odd idea of a petrol-fuelled anti-imperialist front made up of Iran, Belarus, Venezuela and Ken Livingstone's wildly neoliberal London.
Mind you, it's funny how even here, critiques of socialisms actual or alleged always centre on what you can and can't get in the supermarket.