It is hard to comment on the situation in Venezuela, but, despite my ‘communist’ perspective, I must point out that the marxist legacy has no real procedure for dealing with such a situation. and there is a lot of downright muddle if not disinfo in that canon. The situation requires more than one adviser despite the interest here in his efforts! It is a situation that requires therefore some novel solutions. I can only inject my own ‘not quite a solution’: a version of market neo-communism. That merely suggests detaching socialism/communism from economic principles. Expropriate large-scale economic formations, leaving a threshold below which ad hoc economic realities are in controlled let go.
The international headlines are all screaming at Venezuela, but the situation is hardly hopeless. There is a functioning government, an army, and a political infrastructure. What more is needed? The neoliberal world will not contribute anything here: we are at a crossroads and don’t need another banana republic. The one in Washington is quite enough. At a point of crisis it would be good for a ‘socialist’ system in quotation marks to try an experiment: a classic socialist/communist completion. Expropriate the whole higher level shebang. Send the reactionaries packing to Miami. But allow a transitional economy with a high degree of autonomy to corporations, industrial apparatus, as de facto market economy with a broad control/planning factor from the central government. This situation can still allow small scale autonomous economic formations, shops, small industry, innovative start ups, mixed independent farmer/collective ag combinations.
The government should simply skip this referendum and create a new emergency situation that allows the take over of the industrial/corporate apparatus. The socialist government must control the overall context and ownership of such large-scale combinations, but evade the detailed planning factor of corporate entities, given the assumption that they are playing ball with the larger system.
I see no reason why entrepreneurs can’t receive a considerable payout from successful entities, with a strong inheritance tax apparatus, etc…
Class struggle doesn’t require, at first, the total equalization on an absolute basis: how about minimalist differential inequality that can begin to produce equalization with creative rather than totalized solutions. Such a system is tricky because it must move toward democracy and toward totalized control (undefined, and NOT totalitarian). The combination is possible.
I find it hard to believe that with the control of the army the government can’t move to full socialism/communism, being careful to not bite off more than it can chew. Declare corporate owners, chiefs, executives, to be stewards for properties belonging to the Commons, to the people.
In any case, it would seem that Venezuela, not surprisingly, doesn’t have any real plan: the marxist canon offers little help here. But the broad outlines are a start. With market neo-communism you control the ownership factor, control the outline, as the details remain in a transitional ‘market’ flux.