Autocracies, old and new

Venezuelan socialism: A post-truth authoritarianism

Expositor / Institución
Felipe Benites
Seminarios UCEMA

Modern socialism, of any century, is nothing if not authoritarian. The theoretical apparatus that supports such school of thought (which has not been able to generate adjustments without losing its essence, except for the practical adaptations implemented by Lenin in his time) does not admit the exercise of democratic political principles or the enjoyment of economic autonomy by its citizens. Quite the opposite, in fact. 

In Venezuela, this contradiction was metabolized thanks to the incomes provided by a rising oil market (2003-2008) and smoothed by a newly-minted epic and a narrative of justice that appealed to wide resentments and accumulated social frustrations. Before the foreseeable consequences of a restrictive management of all kinds of freedoms exploded, the ‘revolution’ tried to restrict its aims but then, faced with the failure of such designs, it has been forced to adopt new policies with which it honored one of her first self-definitions: “peaceful, but armed”. 

There are various indicators (2014-current) that show a disastrous reality and today, with a certain liberal varnish especially in the economic sphere, a repressive and autocratic political regime wants to rejuvenate.

Felipe Benites

Sociologist with studies in Social Management. He has been a postgraduate professor in the area of Public and Social Policies and a visiting professor in higher education institutions in Venezuela and abroad. Political advisor with government functions and member of the Academic Committee of Cedice, Libertad where he has written work on the subject of property rights as well as economic and social mobility. He currently serves as Executive Director of the civil association of Leadership and Vision.

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