Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Chávez and the Future of Chávismo | Critical Legal Thinking
The most charismatic, democratic political leader in decades is dead. Whenever charisma plays a role in a democratic context, it establishes a particularly mobilizing political relationship between rulers and the ruled, as it adds to democratic legitimacy an identity of belonging and a sharing of goals that go way beyond political representation. Well used to being hit by a distant, oppressive power (which tends to thrive in low intensity democracies), the popular classes come to experience a bridging of the gap between the represented and their representatives. Opponents will then speak of populism and authoritarianism, but they will seldom convince any voters. This is because, in a democratic context, charisma allows for levels of democratic civic education that are otherwise very difficult to attain. Such unique chemistry between charisma and democracy tends to strengthen both of these, especially when it brings about measures aimed at the social redistribution of wealth. The problem with charisma is that it ends with the leader. In order to move on without the leader, democracy needs to be strengthened by two ingredients whose chemistry is equally difficult to obtain, especially in a post-charismatic period: institutionality and popular participation.
As they shout “We are all Chávez!” in the streets of Caracas, the people are lucidly aware of the fact that there was only one Chávez and that the Bolivarian revolution is bound to have enemies, both internal and external, who are strong enough to challenge the keen democratic experience that he offered them over the course of fourteen years. President Lula of Brazil was also a charismatic leader. President Dilma, who came after him, has built on the strong institutionality of the Brazilian state and of Brazilian democracy, but has found it difficult to complement it with popular participation. Venezuelan institutions are much less strong, but on the other hand the thrust of participation is much higher there. It is in this context that one must analyse Chávez’s legacy and the challenges ahead.
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