Commune or Nothing! Venezuela’s Communal Movement and its Socialist Project
by Chris Gilbert
$23.00 / 208 pages / 978-1-68590-023-6
Karl Marx wrote that theory becomes a material force when it grips the masses. He should have added that theory usually grips the masses because it connects with ideas, projects, and dreams they have developed themselves. This is what generally happens in revolutions, and it is certainly the case for the idea of the communal project in Venezuela.
In 2009, ten years after the Bolivarian Process began, Hugo Chávez proposed the communal path to socialism in a historic television program. That project had solid bases in the thought of Marx and István Mészáros, yet it would have been dead in the water if the idea of replacing a society dominated by the logic of capital with one based on communal relations had not connected with aspirations and values already alive and operating in Venezuelan society.
As it turned out, self-organized communities around the country seized on the communal project, which resonated both with values shaped over the longue durée in Venezuela—through its enduring campesino, Indigenous, and Afro-Venezuelan traditions of self-governance | more…