A good rebuttal of those who argue Venezuela's socialist revolution hasn't moved fast enough in nationalising all sectors of big capital.
How much socialism?
Translated by Owen Richards
The question orbits every revolution. Processes are defined in the amount and speed of changes.
The reformists, the social democrats, often appear to be close to Socialism. At least, they don't combat it openly. They have their Socialist International and don't hesitate to call themselves socialists - take the MAS for example. They accept that capitalism is malignant, they admit the need to change it, but, when the time comes for action, they start slinking off.
They say: "Changes must be made bit by bit so as not to disrupt the economy", "the changes should not be extended too far, certain areas are sufficient", "private enterprises have a right to subsist, society needs them". With such parsimony, the Consciousness of Social Duty is not formed, and the changes get absorbed by the capitalist system. They thus derail the possibility of building socialism.
The revolutionary position is clear: as much and as rapid a socialism as the Consciousness of Social Duty requires, and at the speed necessary to prevent capitalist restoration. This is the formula for building and defending Socialism. There is no other.
The changes can be material ones: those related to Social Ownership administered by the National State, the only form of ownership that is entwined with the Consciousness of Social Duty.
Regarding social organisation: those who make up the national fabric, from the capillary units up to the national level, from the base to the national leadership bodies. This scheme applies to all forms of social and political organisation.
Changes of consciousness: here the message of our means of communication is fundamental - the example of leaders, and the signals they send to the population. These messages should translate the steps of the Revolution, in ideology, in consciousness, in ethical and moral values. It's important to emphasise that these changes in consciousness and culture are the main aims of socialist construction and the Revolution's measure of success.
The level of consciousness is measured by mobilisation: a defenseless, sedentary mass is an unconscious mass. A combative mass - organised and mobilised, defending the revolution and the Commander [Hugo Chavez] on any terrain - is a conscious mass.
Isolated advances get diluted; they should be achieved in unity, and at the different speeds imposed by circumstance, but always with the same tendency, the same spirit.
Socialism is not built by proposals for advance in one area, while simultaneously taking actions of retreat in another; or, as Che [Guevara] would say, by using socialist tools in one area and blunt tools in another. The masses will end up confused, the lines that separate us from the oligarchs blurred, and the life will be sucked out of the socialist idea.
Capitalism will never be good: be it small, medium or big, it will always exploit and damage the planet. There is no possible third way - the third way ends up sooner or later in capitalism. The dilemma is Socialism or capitalism.
Spanish original: 'Un Grano de Maiz'