sc94597 said:
Leadified said:

How can Venezuela be socialist if it has a private sector? Where do you draw the line between Norway and Venezuela.

1. Define "private sector", there is nothing about socialism which inherently precludes markets, money, or individually controlled property.

2. Socialism is merely the bulk of ideologies which wish to solve various inequalities in bargaining power so that the laborer, borrower, and renter are not exploited by absolutist proprietors.

3. There are plenty of socialisms that wish to eliminate all governmentalism and "public" sector entirely. The biggest difference between Norway and Venezuela is rhetoric and implementation. Venezuela's government was aiming for a socialist society, whereas Norway's has given up on that goal.

4. Norway is of course the smarter of the two, as socialism and the modern nation-state are incompatible. The latter cannot achieve the prior through mandates. 

This is a more serious response so I'm going to break this down into points.

1. I was referring to the private ownership of the means of production. Original post attempted to equate the welfare state and taxes with socialism so I was being a bit facetious.

2. Fair definition, although this point would actually immediately disqualify Norway because the government aims to work within a capitalist framework.

3. As far as I'm aware with Venezuela and Chavez, his ideology was basically utopian socialism. Without emulating Cuba and the USSR, he imagined that he could reform Venezuela to socialism with the use of nationalization, worker's self management and coops. Strangely enough, Chavez believed he could do this while also maintaining the bourgeois (and consequently no class struggle) in Venezuela. To me it seems that Chavez liked the language of socialism much more than the theories of socialism itself.

Article about Chavez's "Socialism in the 21st Century".
XXI Century Socialism

You're not wrong calling the utopians, "socialists", however since some people are looking to demonize and reduce socialism without understanding what it is, I'd rather not call either Norway or Venezuela socialist.

4. I agree for the most part.