Hugo Chávez, Social Democracy and Twenty-First-Century Socialism in Venezuela: An Alternative to the Neoliberal Model

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


In chapter 7 of this volume, Francisco Dominguez describes in great detail the massive social programs initiated since 1998, when President Hugo Chávez won the presidential elections in Venezuela by a landslide. These measures, of course, entail an educational project for the Venezuelan people, and other peoples in the region and indeed the world.1 They represent a major challenge to US neoliberal capitalism and imperial hegemony, and its attendant ideological and repressive apparatuses (Althusser, 1971). However, while the innovations allow the export of socialist ideas and ideals, they are in themselves classic social democracy rather than socialism, somewhat akin to the policies and practice of the post-World War II Labor governments in the United Kingdom. What makes Venezuela unique, however, is that whereas these British Labor governments were posing social democracy as an alternative to socialism, and, indeed, attempting to fight off attempts by revolutionary workers to move toward socialism, Chávez was presenting reforms as a prelude to socialism.


Participatory Action Research Critical Pedagogy Representative Democracy Critical Race Theory Participatory Democracy 
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© Sara C. Motta and Mike Cole 2013

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  • Mike Cole

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