This Wednesday we will once again see the traditional May Day parade. In a difference from other countries, where the working class takes advantage of these events to make its demands, our workers will march with photos of Hugo Chavez (to whom, at the last moment, this day is dedicated) and will carry a variety of previously approved slogans. The major placards of the day will hold the slogan: “For a prosperous and sustainable Socialism.”
Although it seems incredible, not a single person will carry a sign asking for higher wages (even though the whole world knows and proclaims it that no one has enough to live on), no one will demand the liquidation of the system of dual currency, or a reduction in prices, or the building of affordable housing, or improvements in transportation. Much less will we be able to read something relative to the freedom to unionize or any protest over the elimination of jobs.
The official response to the absence of these demands is that this is a government of the workers and peasants and there is no reason for them to march in protest against themselves. They know that they will have to wait until there are the objective conditions to improve the situation. They have been persuaded that if progress is not faster it is because the country can’t manage to produce more and better and this, it’s obvious, is their own responsibility, so how can they come out in protest?
Those watching the parade from the grandstand have been very busy lately satisfying the conquests of the middle class. The purchase of cars and houses, expanding the cellphone network, freedom to travel the world, marketing of modern home appliances, permission to open a little business and to hire workers, acceptance of the law of supply and demand in the marketplace. Someone from that other sector of the self-employed will happily wave their prosperous flags and, at best, they might even be allowed, in the midst of the parade, to sell something to the workers who are those who ensure their sustainability.
I think it was Lenin who said once that reality is stubborn and obstinate.
29 April 2013