Hugo Chavez famously said, “The only way to save the world is through socialism, but a socialism that exists within a democracy; there’s no dictatorship here.”
The American political right and center have been trying to feverishly tie democratic socialism to the ongoing failure of the Venezuelan state. American advocates of democratic socialism insist Venezuela isn’t a true representation of democratic socialism and that more palatable Nordic outcomes can be achieved. However, a closer look at the policy stances of American democratic socialists reveals some very concerning parallels between their policy preferences and those of the currently failing Venezuelan state.
The ‘Democratic’ Part Doesn’t Stay for Long
In the beginning, Venezuelan socialists won power in fair, open, and democratic elections. This is important to note because American socialists are convinced democratic norms are sufficient protections against tyranny. They are not.
Democratic elections in Venezuela were slowly corrupted by those in power for the sole purpose of preserving authority. Many in America decry the role of private money in our electoral process, yet ignore the potential dangers of a centralized government-run electoral system.