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CARACAS, Saturday December 01, 2012 | Update
 
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INTERVIEW | Luis Pedro España, sociologist

"The government has fallen into the trap of its own unfeasibility"

"A maxim of chaos is making a mistake again and again"

Luis Pedro España feels that the Venezuelan State stopped regulating multiple forums (Photo: Oswer Díaz Mireles)
ROBERTO GIUSTI |  EL UNIVERSAL
Saturday December 01, 2012  12:00 AM
Luis Pedro España is a restless spirit in permanent ferment. His studies on poverty, his role as a social promoter and his inquests into the Venezuelan reality overlap one another.

What is your rationale for any kind of protests, for whatever reasons and from several sectors, throughout the country, one and a half month after the presidential election, a short honeymoon and good expectations?

This does not work because in this case, the winner just ensures continuity; it is not a vote of hope or renewal.  As for the source of protests ahead of Christmas time, some of them are of a labor nature Guayana (southern Venezuela) is one of the main focuses- and they are linked to seasonal pressure. But there are rather structural causes. Not only protests, but a chaotic, anarchical situation because the State stopped regulating some spaces.

The Venezuelan State is ascribed a totalitarian trend and the intent to meddle even in private lives. Notwithstanding, you refer to withdrawal from spaces that the State used to occupy.

The fact of the matter is that such withdrawal is not voluntary. It simply cannot make it. From the standpoint of its intents, laws and new agencies, it seeks to control more and more the society. However, in real terms, it cannot make it because one thing reads the law and another thing is its enforcement. And the government faces enormous troubles related to implementation.

The government leaves spaces out of incapability.

That is correct. And that creates a different order, called chaos.

You refer to a new order or disorder?

It is disorder that cannot be explained from the previously established order. Whenever the State pulls out, formal standards vanish and this leads to local order. Thus, for instance, shelters (for people made homeless) do no work in accordance with Venezuelan laws, but as appropriate for those who share such space. Now, therefore, such order is so local that any outsider will regard it as chaos.

Sort of poky States...

They are atomized orders, the great disadvantage of which is their failure to communicate one with another. Therefore, they are unable to mix one with another and this is absolute loss of modernity, because the boost for humankind was precisely some agreements that helped anticipate what would you do. Living together was based on universal rules which told us what should happen. However, whenever the State pulls out "factual order" appears, as called by sociologists.

Theoreticians postulate that any revolutionary process involves chaos as a condition to demolish the prevailing order and replace it with a new order.

Revolutionaries of the 19th Century are not appreciated by Marx and Engels because they were sort of destroyers who preached liquidation of the establishment and the State. In this way, a new order would sprout. (...) History has shown that such an assumption is unfeasible. And the government is aware of it.

Is it not a model that, despite being unviable, has its continuity ensured by the election results, no matter that, at bottom, it is the cause of the crisis?

Yes, yet government does not deem it unfeasible. It is a maxim of involuntary creation of chaos: being adamant in making a mistake time after time. Moreover, it is too late for reinvention. It (the government) made its own trap and fell into it, because it sold to the people its own exaggerated imagery: "We live in a paradise; oil income suffices to meet all our needs." Such an exaggeration taken to public life led to such an unfeasible public policy; hence, there is chaos and protests.

How can this be settled?

A new social contract must be created and this means a democratic change of government able to provide new premises for a good working order. That was put forward on October 7, to such an extent that the government leeway was only at ten percentage points, compared to the usual 22. Therefore, only a new government is able to reach an agreement among the existing social sectors, including this current government.

A new government or change in the stance of this current government?

One most cherishes it, but it is late for reinvention.

How can we change a government that was recently ratified?

Constitutional terms are sacred and these very terms will tell it.

However, politics goes faster than constitutional terms

The government has proved to be pragmatic, and whenever it finds unfeasibility, it takes a step backwards. For instance, there are economic urgencies, such as ludicrous gasoline price, unsustainable fiscal deficit and looming, requisite devaluation. The government refuses to yield to any of them, but it surely will have to do it.  We do not know about the outfit or costume, but it will happen. In the face of reality, the government is pragmatic and holds it back. Nor is it an insensible ideologist that crashes into the wall.

Nevertheless, in 2007, after winning the presidential election the previous year, President Hugo Chávez embarked upon radicalization resulting in its defeat on December 2. Do gubernatorial elections stand for the referendum at that time?

The government is not comfortable with the leeway of October 7; evidence of it is the blurry invention of a constituent process, which is not, but querying the people to lumber them with support...

Is does not dare to call for another referendum?

No, let alone a constituent assembly where the most voted pro-government deputy would be (pop singer) Hany Kauam. They do not dare to go beyond and they are seeking further support, compared to that of October 7, for a government plan to be disclosed in January. Sure enough, gubernatorial elections will be a good timing to show legitimacy. If the government manages to win all of the 24 state governments, then will not need any referendum whatsoever.

Translated by Conchita Delgado
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