Good article from the Roberts/blog…
I am often surprised at the lack of solidarity with Venezuela. We have endless marxist chatter, but with a real laboratory of change, a shrug of the shoulders.
Part of the problem is the lack of any concrete thinking by leftists when it comes to actual specifics. But Venezuela could have been a prime laboratory for a transition to what I have called ‘market communism’, which is not the same as the partial socialism we see now, and the ad hoc muddle of concepts and methods that haven’t done anything to really transform Venezuela.
One thought: Venezuela should have taken its chances and moved toward the expropriation of the whole economic system and tried to create a new form beyond cliche socialism and full communism by creating a new range of industries owned by a commons, not the state, and run by semi-independent communist entrepreneurs. That refers to a system that has never existed: we need to be able to show that it can exist and be ready to assist in its creations. The left has lost three, perhaps four, priceless opportunities in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, to move beyond capitalism.
The idea that one country can’t transit alone is surely false. We need a set of transitional states to lead the way, even through the chaos of globalizing interconnection.
Perhaps this older left is contracting to advance again. Something needs to change in the movement beyond capitalism, and Venezuela is a tremendous lost opportunity.The ‘simple trick’ (in reality complex) of a ‘market communism’ is beyond the leftists now muddling through Karl Marx ad infinitum. Chavez was a smart guy, but he seems to have braved the enigma of the dialectic in the standard texts. It is a disservice for leftist to peddle this junk to people whose keen edge is dulled by bad marxist theory.