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October 20, 2005

I Request 90 More Years Of Abe Osheroff

Robert Jensen recently did a long, genuinely interesting interview with the extremely appealing 90 year-old activist Abe Osheroff:

AO: What's happening in Latin America, the move to the left, looks genuine and promising. There's been a certain globalization of anti-imperialist forces. I welcome them. I'm happy about them, but I do not think this is the answer. I don't expect that at all, because I've learned in my life that most radicals and revolutionaries are much better people before the revolution than after, and some of those virtues come from not being in power -- they just lack the opportunity to be real bastards. So, these developments are very good, but to engage in wishful thinking is ridiculous politically.

RJ: So Hugo Chavez is not the messiah?

AO: He's more than not the messiah -- he also seems to be a pretentious fucker.

Read it all.

Posted at October 20, 2005 07:12 PM | TrackBack

Hugo Chavez is a pretentious fucker indeed. But he's also a politician, and look at the company he keeps.

Pretentious? Yes. But is he as pretentious as a politician who layers a Texas accent over a Connecticut one? No.

Fucker? Yes. But there's no contest here, kids.

Posted by: Sully at October 20, 2005 08:55 PM

In a recent local election for sheriff, I mentioned to an activist that I voted for the Democratic contender -a convicted thief - rather than for the right-wing control freak. She responded that that was appropriate because the convict could "be molded" according to our agenda, I.e. fighting for health care, minimum wage increases, etc. In fact, that is the real issue:how beholden a politician is to illegitimate power. At some level, they all are but in our society one needs to periodically attend to tactical rather than principled positions.
The control freak stayed in office. We still have chain gangs along the highways and parks performing those services the county is otherwise obligated to meet.

Posted by: mk at October 21, 2005 09:12 AM

Calling Chavez a pretentious fucker is probably appropriate for someone who is one himself and worked for enough of them to know. People will not be saved by messiah's but by their own effort's to make the world a better place.

Posted by: Mike at October 24, 2005 06:59 PM

Jonathan, a million thanks for the pointer to the interview. I haven't read anything that spoke to me so strongly in years.

Posted by: Nell at October 26, 2005 12:50 PM