Why isn’t there more talking about Venezuela?

Michael Albert, inventor of the parecon system, writes on why the American Left won’t talk about Venezuela’s great experiment.

When the anti Leninist left is dismissive, I wonder if it occurs by way of a kind of analogy to past history. Anti Leninists know that once upon a time, many very wonderful leftists lent their support to the Bolshevik project. The Russian revolution was under attack, after all. But even at those moments, its destiny was written in its own policies. The Leninists crushed vehicles of popular expression. They established the infrastructure of what became a gulag state. Supporters not seeing that reality, then, blinded by their hopes, were making a severe error. I suspect non supporters of Venezuela fear making the same mistake. They don’t want to let hope that the Bolivarian process is good outweigh purported evidence that it is bad. So they refrain from supporting Venezuela believing that by withholding support they are like the prescient early critics of Leninism, and, then, additionally, by being silent rather than pubnlic, they aren’t ratifying reaction. But what is their purported evidence?

This is where a conundrum arises. For I just don’t see what gives this analogy weight. For example, can any whisperers or dismissers who believes they are wisely refraining from supporting authoritarian centralism point to new Bolivarian laws that are reactionary and repressive, other than regurgitating manufactured nonsense from mainstream propaganda? Can they point to structures being constructed in Venezuela that are reactionary, or to structures that are participatory and being crushed? Can they point to Bolivarian concepts or values that themselves auger authority and repression? What am I missing? I certainly see problems, but nothing that remotely warrants dismissal.

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