Free «Democracy in Venezuela» Essay Sample

Venezuela experienced political problems caused by diverse strategies and principles applied by the Chavez government and state capitalists. In any democratic state, for then bureaucrats, or managers employed by the state, rather than owners, or managers employed by the owners, will make the immediate and most directly felt decisions; and in place of the distant stockholders there will be the distant executive and the legislature. This is not to say that controls exercised by such democratic agencies are insignificant. It is rather to note that the managerial function, whatever the nature of the economic system, remains a technical one, and as such it is not readily susceptible to the sort of democratic responsibility that is commonly institutionalized in the political sphere. Thesis Democracy and democratic institutions serve the country better while capitalism would ruin its economic and political stability as a nation-state.

The Venezuelan coup attempt of 2002 unveiled political and economic conflicts took place inside the country. The period of independence shows that nrationalization of the basic industries in Venezuela affords guarantee that abuses of power will be eliminated. It eliminates one source of such abuses of power, namely, private rulers or private governments. But it can do this only by replacing those private rulers with public officials, who may themselves act oppressively, either on their own initiative or in accord with instructions given them by a superior official or agency, in turn. The failed coup d’etat shows that capitalists represent a strong opposition to the democratic government and resist strongly any democratic and national changes in industries (Collins 2005). Consequently, the problem, to the extent that it may be considered "a" problem, is shifted to another battleground; it is not solved. with the tendency of modern democratic governments to adopt some form of welfare economics. It is clear that the welfare state, by providing (or guaranteeing) certain minimum standards of health, education, and welfare, alters the bargaining position of some groups with respect to others. Those who are no longer threatened by starvation can more easily resist the impositions of better-circumstanced groups, and to that extent the welfare state limits the power of private governments to oppress weaker, because more dependent, men. But the welfare state is still open to the same sort of dangers that attend a nationalized economy. Woloski (2005) admits: “instead of uniting the country, however, Chavez' victory caused greater friction between the upper and lower classes. As the new government's projects were aimed mostly at the poor--the core of Chavez's support--they alienated the upper and middle classes” (p. 7). .The remark illustrates that democracy is better for Venezuela inhabited by poor and low income people. Capitalism would ruin lives of millions of people living in absolute poverty. For it transfers rather than eliminates the power of deprivation; democracy lodges that power in the hands of political officials, where before it had resided in the hands of private rulers. And such a transfer, it is plain, carries with it no assurance that this power will be more wisely, or less arbitrarily, used. In fact, by enabling administrative officials to withdraw benefits, e.g., social security and unemployment compensation payments, or access to state-owned or state-aided low cost housing, from certain dissident individuals or groups, it gives those officials a degree of power, and therefore of potentially oppressive power, at least the equal of that of private governments. That such a grant of power can be, and on occasion has been, abused has been time and again clearly demonstrated during the past decade. While both nationalization of the basic industries and the trend toward welfare economics promise to alleviate or to remove some abuses of power, or the sources of some abuses of power, they do not constitute a bar to all of them. In fact, where the abuse now occurs, it may well prove--because of the increased strength of the oppressive power--to be even more oppressive than before (Collins 2005).

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Capitalism would ruin stability in the country and would lead to exploitation of the working poor. Since it is the oppressors rather than the oppressed who, in actual fact, commonly make that choice--who determine which abuses, not merely which alternative choices (as they must appear to their victims), shall be imposed--what is at stake is a determination between forms or grants of power that entail the possibility of certain abusive acts. Democracy prevents capitalists from abusing their powers, experience has demonstrated the essential inadequacy of that constitutional arrangement as an effective instrument of control. McNally (2002) underlines: “At the end of a twenty-five year period in which foreign direct investment has grown massively, multinational capital now seeks a new legal regime where the rights of global property owners-international investors-take precedence over all others” (p. 45). Capitalists would not remove the division and separation of powers; for the consequences of such removal would, in their eyes, but increase the power of the majority and thereby the evils of its impulsive and frequently despotic actions. What they recommend instead is the adoption of additional checks and balances; they seek further and more effective methods of impeding or restraining simple majority rule. Political power, after all, is but one of many forms of social power (McNally 2002). Always those who own or control access to the means of production, who have a primary say as to the allocation of a country's resources, who largely determine the distribution of income, possess a degree of power that enables them to affect--sometimes inescapably and always profoundly--the lives of others. Invariably the head of a family, or of an educational institution, or of a church, or of any other social or cultural organization exercises power over those subject to his jurisdiction. In a democratic society, such organizations are afforded a considerable degree of autonomy, so that those who exercise power within them are rarely rendered responsible to those over whom that power is exercised. In corporate economic organizations particularly, the lines of power take on definite oligarchical, sometimes even dynastic, overtones (Collins 2005).

The attempt to bring Petroleis de Venezuela under state control was an important decision for the democratic government as it would help the state tope with increased financial burden. For one thing, to the extent that government ownership or nationalization concentrates attention on, and designs corrective measures for, the abuses of economic and social power, it leaves unaffected the vital question of oppression by political powers. “Whereas movements emerge around essentially reformist demands, they tend to develop methods of struggle that negate the permanence of extant social structures by mobilising 'the collective self-activity of oppressed people” (McNally 2002, p. 368). In fact, by transferring to the state a number and range of problems heretofore outside its jurisdiction, both the gravity of political abuses of power and the opportunity for such abuses to occur may well be intensified. In the second place, a transfer of title is often no more than that, it need not involve a removal or a lessening of abuses (Schulz 2001). The controls, if any, must lie elsewhere --in the hands of the policy-determining agencies such as the President and the Congress. But since, in the modern democratic state, strikes against the government are disallowed, workers (and their unions) who would press for the redress of certain grievances might find that their chances of victory are less, not greater, than before (McNally 2002).

In sum, democracy is better for Venezuela as its state institutions and structure of the economy cannot serve the interests of capitalism. Capitalism in Venezuela would ruin its social and cultural unity and deprive millions of people social support. Through a network of labor and business law, the governments of economic organizations find themselves seriously circumscribed in what they may or may not do. In these and other ways, as a democratic state, Venezuela has employed their political powers to control what they have conceived to be intolerable excesses of private power. By the very fact that it thereby unites both political and economic power within a single orbit, to prepare the conditions for a monolithic empire; and when there is no longer any effective economic power outside of government, the probability is, in the modern world, that there will no longer be any effective way to check the abuses of government.


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