Twenty-First-Century Socialism and Education in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

  • Mike Cole
Part of the Marxism and Education book series (MAED)


In chapter 4, I made a distinction between schooling, on the one hand, and education on the other, with the former referring to the processes by which young people are attuned to the requirements of capitalism both in the form and the content of schooling, and the latter, “a more liberatory process from birth to death, a process of human emancipation and socialism.” In many ways, the whole Bolivarian project of twenty-first-century socialism is in its very essence education in that sense of the word. As we shall see, the revolutionary president of Venezuela has described the country as “a giant school.” In order to understand how this extraordinary project came about, it is necessary to look briefly at some economic and political historical antecedents before addressing the advent of the government of Hugo Chávez, the ensuing ascendancy of social democracy, and the move toward socialism. After that I address some of the forces opposing the Bolivarian Revolution. I then assess Chávez’s call for a Fifth International, in light of previous Socialist Internationals, discussed in chapter 1 of this volume. Given the unique scenario of Chávez’s call for the abolition of the state that he represents, I return to a consideration of the (neo-)Marxist theory of the capitalist state, and suggest a possible amendment of the theory.


Indigenous People Communal Council Century Socialism Critical Race Theory Participatory Democracy 
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© Mike Cole 2011

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  • Mike Cole

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