Venezuela: building a socialist communal economy?

Yaffe, H. (2015) Venezuela: building a socialist communal economy? International Critical Thought, 5(1), pp. 23-41. (doi:10.1080/21598282.2014.996178)

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Abstract

In 2005, Chavez declared that the Bolivarian Revolution was building “socialism for the 21st century.” Almost a decade later, however, the economy remains dominated by a parasitic capitalist sector which obstructs efforts to build alternative socio-productive relations. In avoiding a head-on confrontation with the bourgeoisie, the government is experimenting with the introduction of a parallel communal economy in which the social product is communally owned and invested on improvements to the habitat and wellbeing of the poor Venezuelan majority. This explains the strategic importance of the Communal Economic System (CES), as the principal vehicle for the introduction of socialist relations of production in the Venezuelan economy. The article discusses the challenges facing the development of the CES, based on my experience of working with the Vice Ministry of the Communal Economy, the institution responsible for fostering and regulating that system. Among Venezuelan government teams there is interest in Ernesto Che Guevara's contribution to the transition to socialism in Cuba. While Guevara's methodological and theoretical approach to socialist political economy can serve as guides to action, in Venezuela its potential is blunted by the lack of state control over the economy and socialisation of the means of production.

Item Type:Articles (Other)
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Yaffe, Dr Helen
Authors: Yaffe, H.
Subjects:F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JC Political theory
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:International Critical Thought
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:2159-8282
ISSN (Online):2159-8312
Published Online:13 March 2015

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