It would seem an exercise in futility to try and kibbitz Venezuela, but I consider it an exercise of value even if it is up in the air, totally on the sidelines and never comes to the attention of anyone in Venezuela. Venezuelans have in this case an opportunity to create a real socialism, and those with the chance have a lot of ways to get it wrong.
It might therefore be sheer presumption yet not inappropriate to make a gesture of ‘talking to one side’, an ‘aside’, and it almost reminds me of the translators of sign language to one side of the pol making a speech.
But the issue is clear: don’t let the neo-liberal hyaenas stage a counterrevolution. A great opportunity will be lost.
What we are referring is a simple set of abstractions pursuing a different kind of social agenda, which simply echo on the sidelines, ‘perhaps it helps’: democratic market neo-communism. Communism/socialism has many confused representations, this one attempts to create a very broad blueprint that reconciles many opposites:
1. step one is the expropriation of the bourgeoisie, at the high end. We leave a lower threshold to semi-autonomy, subject to regulation. Property, i.e. industrial macro projects, belong to the Commons.
2. the executive power consists of a strong state that guards the revolution, but which otherwise has limited powers which are delegated to different branches of government. This sector with be a one party or zero party state, republican with a president and set of guardians, and an elected president.
3. a congress and a set of courts based on multiparty democracy that is completely free of big money of any kind. It will be meritocratic, with short elections, state sponsored advertising on an equal basis, etc…: creating a reformed democracy given the grotesque distortions of the american example
4. a set of economic institutions and courts to match will mediate the issues of development projects, allocations, planning…the central state will not be allowed to muddle through this sector which operates with a separation of powers.
5. the resulting macro economy will be a hybrid of state corporations and entrepreneurial startups created by individuals with licenses to operate with ecological resources.
6. there is a lower threshold below which a high degree of autonomy is left to balance the anarchist pole of the equation. This sector can show many combinations of small-economy/communes/farms/MGO’s etc…
7. the system must have a democratic core with rights and liberties and a populist program that deals with labor, education, medicine ( these probably free), housing, employment in populist emphases, and move beyond the sterile anti-liberalism of earlier communists. It will however be a balance of powers.
This system will have a national basis but move to create a union of such states. It will be able to have trade interactions generally but without domination effects by global capital which begin to be phased out…
This is intended as a rough sketch used to break mental habits generated in the muddle of socialist thinking. It is a strong communism, but leaves the question of economy open, although as the planning factor matures the nature of the mix can change.
The point is to think in a new way about something bolsheviks completely muddled. It separates constitutional communism from the economy to go with it.
I cannot rotely apply this to Venezuela, but it might suggest a rough plan of action. The real question is how to transit from the Bolivarian confusion to a real socialism. Perhaps this broad framework might help.
It would be tragic to see Venezuela lose it achievements of Chavismo, but that is what will happen if they let the hyaenas stage their counter-revolution egged on by the US. The result will be the reinstatement of neoliberalism and the loss of all the achievements of the last generation.