Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998 with 56.2% of the vote, during the 14 years he was in elected office his socialist policies saw average public and private growth at around 3%, while significantly reducing poverty, inflation, unemployment, childhood malnutrition and so on. Spending on education, health, housing and social security increased to almost 25% of GDP by 2011. Compared to the state of the country under the prior failed capitalist oligarchs’ governance, Chavez’s socialism was a great success. It galls me when I see people blindly quote the mainstream press, with their abysmally lacking critique of the socialist state in Venezuela, while ignoring the actual causes of the problems, both there and in other countries. What an amazing job the US government has done in producing a compliant population with such poor critical thinking skills that they can be so easily manipulated and propagandized into believing just about anything. The problems in Venezuela are not caused by socialism, the issues there are caused by the same deposed capitalist establishment who sucked that country dry in the first place. They want power back, they want their high profits back and are willing to make the people suffer to get what they think should rightfully be theirs. Over the years these monied interests worked to undermine Chavez, and after his untimely death continue to do so under Maduro. They’ve been assisted by the capitalists in the US who themselves are threatened by the success of any socialist system. The US is a major contributor to the problem in Venezuela (and in fact the entire world) through both covert and overt actions. The belligerent and illegitimate American government can’t allow a socialist society to exist and thrive, if their own people saw non-capitalist society consistently exceed the propagandized expectations of their mass media, they might finally see through the lies and revolt, ousting the capitalists and ushering in a similarly structured people-centric society. But enough on Venezuela, let’s talk about the value of work. A worker in a capitalist society such as the US produces wealth that does not benefit herself as much as it does her employer and her government. The employer arguably takes the majority of worker generated value and redistributes it to pay the supervisory management structure, the board of directors, shareholders and others who do little to nothing themselves to deserve this excessive reverse socialism. To add to the injury, the government skims off an additional percentage to redistribute to the war machine while throwing the odd penny towards social programs. While our labor is being stolen and we are being exploited to benefit the idle rich, it remains very difficult, if not impossible, for most to leave work. In fact unless you’re one of the wealthy your participation in this system is mandatory. If you leave work you will lose your income, healthcare, potentially also your shelter and then any possessions you may have. You may lose your children, ending up on skid row in a shelter or living on the streets. I would go as far as to state that work in a capitalist society is essentially equivalent to paid slavery because it is impossible to leave and continue to survive. Meanwhile in a more people-centric socialist system, yes, the government will take a portion of the wealth generated and redistribute it to those who have no work and to pay for social programs like health and education, but the advantage there is obvious – if you find yourself with no work or have to leave work, then you are on the receiving end of that redistribution, you continue to benefit from provided healthcare and education and also have a minimum stipend to live off. A fully socialist society cuts out the minority who are the profit takers, those sitting in their mansions idly enjoying the lion’s share of the labor stolen from the majority. Socialism more fairly distributes the efforts of society as a whole to benefit everyone equally, so that those who can’t work can still live. Meanwhile Capitalism promotes selfishness and hording by the few to benefit themselves, promotes international wars and theft and generates environmental destruction as it attempts to continue the ponzi scheme of ever increasing growth in a world of finite resources.