You can’t talk about Venezuela without the words “socialism” or “communism” popping up…
But I’ve found that most people don’t know the difference between the two. This is what I want to explain here today. After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what each of these terms mean, and (more importantly) where to use them.
[tweet “Now, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw someone use the word communism to refer to what’s happening here in Venezuela.’]
And as I scrolled further down the page, I saw someone else say Venezuela is a socialist country…
So which is it?
Before I answer this, I have to explain the difference between socialism, communism, and capitalism. And honestly, until not so long ago, I couldn’t actually explain this…
Not until I came across a joke that accurately explains the contrast between these ideologies. Here it is:
- Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
- Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
- Communism: You have two cows. You give them to the government, and the government then gives you some milk.
Can you see the difference? If it’s not clear enough, the focus is on who owns the cows…
Socialism focuses on trying to have shared access to the means of production, but these means are still owned by the workers.
Communism is the idea that everything, including the means of production, should be owned collectively. In this case, the government owns the cows (not the workers) and they give you the output (the milk).
Now… back to my original question…
Should you use the word socialism or communism when referring to Venezuela? Well…
I would say Venezuela is a communist ideology. The fact that the government seizes lands, businesses, and everything you can think of so they can own it all tells me this is the case.
The fact that they did this purely because of greed and filling their own pockets is a discussion for another time.
And then again, this is only my opinion…what do you think?
Did you know the difference between socialism and communism?
Leave your answer in the comments section below.
Omar Cagua is a direct response marketing consultant and copywriter who’s worked with startups and 8-figure companies alike. The 20+ years he lived in Venezuela make him a defender of the free market.