This is EXACTLY what socialism is: Part 2 of 2

That is not real socialism!

Part 2: The Dictatorship of the Proletariat

[This is the second article in a two-part series examining the oft-repeated claim that what is occurring in Venezuela is “not real socialism.” The first part examined the first phase of socialism: the Proletarian Revolution. This part will examine the second phase of socialism: the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.]

 Karl Marx was known to often quote “Mephistopheles” from Goethe’s Faust.

Everything that exists deserves to perish.”

 Socialism is a macro-philosophy (lacking specifics, inadequate in guidelines). Since socialism lacks details, socialists have been able to swim around in perpetual fluidity, skirting any and all responsibility for peddling a mortiferous ideology. The excuse, But! That’s not real socialism! is thrown out a lot. Thus, it is important to measure how “socialist” a country is against the philosophy of Karl Marx, the communists’ god.

The following is a point by point, plank by plank, comparison of Marx’s theory of socialism, as shown through his writings, with both Lenin’s Soviet regime and the Chavez-Maduro Venezuelan regime.

As illustrated in the last article, Venezuela has been suffering under a Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

This is exactly what socialism looks like: it is an ugly beast soaked in human blood and sadistic power plays

According to Marx, once the Proletariatian class has achieved power – the Dictatorship of the Proletariat – it “will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State.” This task, he explains, “cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads.” This is precisely the reason that socialism requires a dictator.

This fledgling stage of socialism, the period of transition from capitalism to pure communism, is of utmost importance. It is the explicit task of the communists in this fragile critical period to institute capitalism, Bourgeois crushing policies that, “by means of measure, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.” In other words, socialists must push forth policies that are economically insolvent and crippling. It is only through the complete destruction of the old that the new can emerge.

In the Communist Manifesto, the socialist bible, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels lay out 10 planks (10 processes/methods) through which the Proletarian Dictatorship will demolish every last trace of the capitalist system. Since socialism is not an exact science, each plank will be accomplished and carried forth at varying times, in varying ways and in varying degrees until, finally, a new world a born.

The below table illustrates the level and means of governmental adherence to the 10 planks for the Soviet Union (under Vladimir Lenin) and Venezuela (under Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro).

PLANK 1: Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura (1999-present)
·       1917 Decree on Land: abolished private property and redistributed land among the peasantry; peasants seized the land that belonged to monasteries, churches, and nobility

·       1918 Fundamental Law on Land Socialization: “All private ownership of land, minerals, waters, forests, and natural resources within the boundaries of the Russian Federated Soviet Republic is abolished forever.” This included “All privately owned livestock, agricultural implements, and buildings of estates that are worked by hired labor shall be taken over by the land departments of the uezd, gubernia, regional, and federal Soviets without compensation.”

·       1922 Land Code: “The 1922 land code nationalized all land and prohibited its purchase, sale, bequest, and mortgage. Land in cities became state property together with all buildings. In the countryside land was divided among the peasant families. The use of hired labor was banned.”

·        2001: 49 laws passed that redistribute land and other wealth

·       2005: legislation is passed which mandated the break-up of estates and the subsequent redistribution of that land to the rural poor

·       Ownership records required: Private land owners must show a record of ownership, “a consistent chain of property title going back to 1848, if they are to enjoy full property rights – otherwise they face expropriation.”

·       Example: The El Maizal farm, seized in 2009, was then set up as an agricultural, peasant commune.

·       Private Citizens “can legally squat on and apply for a piece of anyone’s land who they suspect cannot prove definitive ownership..” This has led to some of Venezuela’s rural inhabitants forming unofficial coalitions for the extensive occupation of properties. As Foreign policy points out, “…the ensuing disorder and legal battle drains and resources and reduces productivity on an estate, which is then subsequently declared noncompliant with the productivity clause of the land law, and becomes eligible for redistribution to those who invaded the property.”

·       As of November of 2015, the government claims to have expropriated some four million hectares of private property.

PLANK 2: A heavy progressive income tax or graduated income tax
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura (1999-present)
·       Following the Russian civil war and after decimating the economy to just 14% of what it had been only a few years earlier, peasants began to revolt. Lenin then reintroduced some capitalist aspects back into the internal Russian economy. He called this The New Plan. Instead of taxation via food confiscation (which created a famine), under the NEP the peasants paid in graduated taxes within the communal structure. The state remained the owner of the land. ·        Referred to as the “tax revolution” by various socialist propagandists, Venezuela has a progressive tax structure.
PLANK 3: Abolition of all rights of inheritance
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura (1999-present)
·       1918: inheritance is abolished through the Decree Abolishing Inheritance ·        Venezuela has a progressive death tax (inheritance tax) that can be as high as 55%, effectively cutting some individual’s inheritance in half.

·       Land: Due to the land use laws, even long-time family land may not passed down to posterity. For others, their land may be seized after inheritance, even after the payment of death taxes on that property.

PLANK 4: Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura (1999-present)
·       Kulaks: Peasants who seized the most productive lands were called Kulaks and were among the several groups of citizens deemed to be “unreliable elements,” and thus, were sent to Lenin’s concentration camps.

·       Class warfare was so ripe under Lenin, which then worsened under Stalin, that any peasants with one cow more than other peasants often came under mob attack.

·        2001: 49 laws passed that redistribute land and other wealth

·       Opposition land seizures: The National Guard is used to seize large swaths of private property of individuals opposed to the regime, often in the dead of night.

·       Example: “…the most high profile case was the occupation and seizure of land belonging to Manuel Rosales, a former governor and chief opposition candidate to Chavez in the 2006 presidential election.”

·       Choosing the winners and the losers: According to Foreign Policy, Chavez and Maduro have used vast information databases on individual citizens to punish dissent and to reward loyalty. “Pro-regime individuals (chavistas in local parlance) in states with pro-regime governors are substantially more likely to receive land grants from the National Land Institute than opposition or political unaffiliated individuals.”

·       Title withholding: Those who received land often do not receive land titles so that the regime can exercise leverage over such individuals during election times.

PLANK 5: Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura (1999-present)
·       Supreme Economic Council: Banks were centralized and the Bolsheviks attempted to move the economy toward the abolishment of money by instituting a bartering system. ·        Dozens of banks have been taken over by the government, including the Spanish-owned Bank of Venezuela.
PLANK 6: Centralization of all means of communication and transport in the hands of the state
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura (1999-present)
·       Lenin pushed forward the idea that the press, when in the hands of the enemy, is like a weapon and must be oppressed.

·       1918: “Bourgeois and even opposition socialist presses came under attack sporadically; papers were ordered to shut down, editors placed under arrest, and ‘detachments of sailors’ sent to printing offices that failed to comply.”

·       1918: All socialist and Bourgeois papers are shut down. The Bolsheviks now have a monopoly on communications.

·        2007: Important communications companies are nationalized.

·       2007: Public demonstrations ensue after the government refuses to renew the broadcasting license of a TV station, because it has criticized the regime.

·       2010: Six television channels are shut down by the government “for not adhering to the rules for transmitting government material.”

·       2012: Globovism, an opposition television station, pays a $2.1 million fine to avoid being shut down after their coverage of a prison riot.

·       2015: Public transportation fares are raised.

PLANK 7: Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura  (1999-present)
·       Instituted collectivized farming

·       Peasants, land use, and production were controlled by the Commissariat of Agriculture.

·       Grain and other agriculture products were confiscated for redistribution by the Cheka.

·       The state became the owner of all things. It sought to be the producer and the distributor.

·       Extreme centralization occurred, especially during the civil war.

·        2001 land law “allows the government to confiscate privately owned land judged to be idle or unproductive.”

·       Instituted a new state-owned farming sector

·       Production rates: Even for the approximate 10% of land owners who are able to prove land ownership all the way back to 1848, expropriation may still take place should the government deem that land to be delinquent in meeting agricultural production level mandates.

·       Terms of Use: Those who receive land grants must adhere to production plans

·       2007: Important energy companies are nationalized.

·       2007: Government takes control of all Orinoco Delta petroleum explorations.

·       2007: The government expropriates the companies Exxon Mobile and Conoco-Phillips.

·       2008: The government nationalizes a large, Venezuelan subsidiary of a Mexican-owned cement company called Comex.

·       2008: Household fuel distributors and gasoline service stations are nationalized.

·       2012: Price controls are extended on more basic goods. Businesses are threatened with expropriate for price control noncompliance.

·       2014: A new mandatory fingerprinting system is put in place at supermarkets to ensure citizen purchasing limits.

·       The government now owns over 500 businesses (which are losing money).

PLANK 8: Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura (1999-present)
·       October, 1918: Universal labor conscription

·       1918: Lenin established the first concentration camps. The camps were to serve two purposes. First purpose was forced labor. The second purpose was the imprisonment and subsequently, as Lenin himself stated, “…the cleansing of the Russian land of all harmful insects, of fleas – swindlers, of bugs – the rich, and so on and so forth.” A decree in 1919, mandated the establishment of at least one concentration camp in every provincial city in order to fully utilize prison labor for public works. These camps were the inspiration for Hitler’s concentration camps filled with Jews. Under Stalin, these camps would later come to be known as Gulags.

·        2016: The regime issued a decree mandating factories allow their workers to farm the land should the government so desire. Resolution No. 9855 mandates the formation of a “transitory labor regime.” The entire population is now a defector army waiting to be drafter to labor camps.

·       As hunger spread, the Venezuelan government encouraged city-dwellers to begin planting urban gardens.

PLANK 9: Gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by more equitable distribution of the populace over the country
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura (1999-present)
PLANK 10: Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.
Soviet Russia – Lenin  (1917-1924) Venezuela – Chavez/Madura (1999-present)
Public education had already been instituted prior. It is worth noting that both governments began imposing their own controls over education, including the implementation of propaganda in the curriculum.

Nine out of ten!

Venezuela has clearly demonstrated a strong level of adherence to and activity within nine out of the ten of the communist planks. The train wreck that we see when we turn on the news is capitalism being destroyed: it is the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Socialism requires a dictator.

The impotent, vacuous claim that what is happening in Venezuela is not real socialism is blatantly false! This is socialism. This is the second phase, the phase of ruinous, devastating destruction of society. This is exactly what socialism looks like: it is an ugly beast soaked in human blood and sadistic power plays.

When asked to define his life’s mission, Karl Marx answered, “To dethrone God and destroy capitalism.” Is it any wonder socialism is the ideology of destruction, of murder, or famine, of misery, of slavery, of desperation, or death?

Venezuela is socialism. It is the latest chapter in a 100 year old story that always has the same ending.

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