Maduro appears to have frittered away a golden opportunity. But the game is not up yet: he can simply begin to move Venezuela to full socialism. But what is that?
We have suggested many times that the original Bolivarian formulation, not unlike that of Sanders, was not truly socialist and in the end this factor comes home to roost. You must shit or get off the pot. What on earth were Chavez and then Maduro up to to have let the opportunity pass? They created a lot of institutions that can pass easily into a fuller socialism.
We have also suggested that the fault lies with the standard marxist formulation that has no real avenue to deal with a social transformation to lead to socialism. The result would be another of the crypto-stalinist failed socialisms so often the result of marxist/leninists. It was perhaps shrewd of Chavez to move indirectly, or not. But now the time will run out if no real steps to transformation can’t occur. We have suggested several times that our version of ‘democratic market neo-communism’, a thinking tool to analyze three/four term systems, could provide a balanced transition: a three/four sector division of planned and market economies with a semi-anarchist third zone. This could fit Venezuela well if a true revolution can lay the foundations: step one, a revolutionary expropriation of all large industrial and other corporations, leaving much of the small scale economy below a certain threshold alone, subject to regulation. The creation of a Commons, and the licensing of resources to socialist entrepreneurs. A committment to ecological socialism. As a transition, the original businesses could remain marginally intact but now in the Commons, and owners in some cases could become managers, or else sent packing. A combined socialist market and planned sector could coexist under a strong presidential system that guards the Commons, but has no control over the economy run by independent economic bodies, next to a parliamentary system with multiparty or a dialectical three party system under a neo-communist constitution based on the Commons, ecological and economic courts, labor orgs, etc…
This kind of cojoined socialist/liberal system would bypass the stalinist idiocy latent in marxist versions. The system must have economic and all liberal rights, but can enforce the Commons as a axiom of social fairness. But the transition during a revolution doesn’t have to be a sentimental tea party: the treatment of capitalists, reactionaries, counrter-revolutionaries must be ruthless but fair, suspect to habeas corpus. ETC…
It is not very hard to create a real socialism or our neo-communism if the will is there and some clarity of thought. Our third sector generates a triadic balance and can relieve the pressure that generates stalinist totalization.
In a way Venezuela was on hold in its oil bonanza: the passing of the oil age is a blessing in disguise. The Cubans (who system we are not advocating) made the transition without oil. Venezuela needs a new economic foundation and without oil addiction. Under our DMNC Venezuela could be prosperous in no time: a transition beyond oil and foreign capital/loans to a shared economy that is balanced and reconstructing from scratch. Make sanctions irrelevant.
One suspects that Putin in the background would sabotage socialism and wants to turn Maduro into a dictator along global fascist lines. The answer there will test Maduro to see if he is an idiot or a socialist.