How many of us have called “openly called” for the overthrow of capitalism? Well apparently Tariq Ali doesn’t see the irony in his statement about Chavez’s failure to renew a TV licence for the anti-government channel RCTV. By his logic most of the newspapers of the far left could be legitimately closed down in Britain.
The argument for cenorship of alternate points of view being aired within a society via radio and television is Stalinist to the core. In Cuba, Castro has done this for years and gotten away with it in the name of “the revolution”. Yet what was that revolution fought for if not freedom from tyranny? Chavez is following Castro in one of his worst legacies, despite many positive advances which remain due to the Cuban Revolution.
I have always argued for “no platform for fascists” and stand by that argument. However, this isn’t a “fascist” TV station – it simply opposes the government in the strongest terms. That is not a reason for shutting it down. The way to silence such critics is to give them less and less to criticise. In fact this kind of behaviour merely emboldens critics and gains them further adherents.
The response of the left to this development should be watched closely and one can pass their own view on those organisations which support Chavez’s latest move without critical comment.