Venezuelan Co-ops and what can we learn from their economic revolution?

Professor Wolff, I would like to know your thoughts on the Venezuelan socialist movement and in particular the cooperatives and communes. It appears the cooperatives are struggling to replace the entrenched capitalist system. There are many critiques from outside influence (US clandestine ops), to lack of diversified industries, trade deficits, black markets, hoarding by the elites and chronic inflation. I would like to know, why are cooperatives struggling to replace capitalist enterprise in Venezuela? I ask this because I believe the situation in Venezuela may give us some useful insight into our own efforts to replace the capitalist enterprise here at home in the United States.

Official response from submitted

The situation in Venezuela has a number of special circumstances that make it hard to judge worker coops without reference to them. Such special circumstances include internal political turmoil, the depressed global oil price that hurst an oil-dependent exporter like Venezuela, unremitting hostility from the US, economic problems in Europe hampering its ability to interact with Venezuela in mutually beneficial ways. If you want good scholarly attention to worker coops in Latin America, here is a place to start: Peter Ranis, Cooperatives Confront Capitalism: Challenging Liberal Capitalism, London: Zed Books, 2016.

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  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2016-12-31 14:16:22 -0500
  • Kevin Gopaul
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-12-30 13:13:32 -0500