May 21, 2007

The Paradox of Politization

Quico says: Chávez has politicized everything. But chavismo is scared of politics. Chavismo dramatically expands the political domain, injecting politics into every nook and crevice of daily life. From the country's official name to black bean packaging, no sphere seems off limits. At the same time, chavismo fears politics. It goes to great lengths to avoid genuine political exchange, the back-and-forth of genuinely opposed ideas. Chavismo shares the old left's suspicion of bourgeois politics, its antipathy towards the unpredictable cut and thrust of political debate - it likes political ideas safely directed from the center, not running wild beyond their control. For chavismo, politics must be everywhere, but must everywhere be controlled.