As an old reconstructed Socialist, I should be a fervent supporter of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, but his version of “Socialism” is the one that has given a bad name to a good idea. Chavez portrays himself as “champion of the people” and no doubt many of his programs have aided the lives of poor people, but there is always the question, “what price of salvation?” His price is en inefficient economy, inflation running at 30%, government corruption, denial of civil liberties to anyone deemed “an enemy of the people” and third rate goods and services.
The essence of Socialism is not to oppress anyone– even the wealthy. It is to ensure there is equity in society, to ensure the wealthy pay a fair share of taxes and business executives are required to protect the rights of those who invested their money in the company. A Socialist society works for decent education opportunities for all and medical care that is available to both rich and poor.
Above all, Socialism requires government officials who serve society before themselves. Hugo, you are no Socialist!!