Overturning capitalist rule in the West is still largely a theoretical proposition. That is not to discount the many positive efforts which currently exist, only to say that a "popular front" and focused praxis is still a long ways off. Not so in Latin America, where movements across the continent are engaged at this very moment in a life or death struggle with Right-Wing forces. While the worlds ( and much of the Lefts) attention is focused on the Middle East or Eastern Europe, the battle over control of resources and the distribution of power and wealth in the other America is entering a crucially decisive stage.
The most fascinating aspect of this struggle is it's historic confluence with the democratic revolution as it takes place not on the old field of armed insurrection but in the new territory of majority building through a mostly indigenous and working- poor based awakening. This is not to say violence is not present (especially in relation to reactionary forces), but only that political models are mostly liberal and have converged with social or collective-based economic models. This reality springs from both the failure of neo-liberal capitalist policies and the concrete demonstration by China of the lie that democracy "necessarily" follows capitalism. ( witness Americas heightened, nervous efforts recently to perpetuate the myth) The Right is very familiar, large landholders of mostly European descent using their political power and wealth to maintain an unjust and often barbaric system of priviledge over the indigenous and mestizo majority. The petite bourgeois and new urban rich hope to moderate and social-democratize the process (maintaining markets and current property relations) but they understand that the power of this democratic wave is immense.
The Western media which served as cheerleaders for the "rainbow revolutions" of the old soviet republics purposefully ignores the explosion of bottom-up democracy in countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador and to a lesser extent Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. Peoples movements are on the march in much of Cental America and Mexico but they go largely unreported. Would you know from reading the NY Times that Lopez Obrador and the National Movement in Defense of Oil are organizing an unauthorized plebiscite on privitizing oil production? Or that Peruvian Pres. Alan Garcia's approval rating is in "free fall" (less than 20%) after signing a free trade deal with US? Do our candidates for President understand the nature of these movements so close to our own border? Their statements would suggest not. Mc Cain just blinks and mumbles while Obama gives a hard edged speech in Miami where he panderingly called Chavez a "demagogue" who "does not govern democratically" and runs an "authoritarian government". As opposed to the friendly relations he hopes to keep with Colombias Uribe : "We'll work with the government to end the reign of terror from right-wing paramilitaries." Either he does not know the connection between the government and the death squads or he is ignoring them, either way it is inexcusable. It is mostly Clintonesque boilerplate about "development aid" and "drug security" yet liberals ,such as Laura Carlson of Foreign Policy in Focus continue to "believe" in change. When she states that "nobody really believes that campaign rhetoric is the same as applied policy" she without irony points out the hollow nature of US style "democracy".
A real dilemna for supposed revolutionaries (such as myself), sitting here in safety, is how can I simply be a spectator, a commentator, while this decisive struggle takes place so near to my home? Like those who went to Spain in 1936 or to Algeria or Cuba or Nicaragua, real solidarity would be demonstrated by showing up in person.