Socialism’s end in theory is admirable but what is true in theory is not necessarily true in practice. In practice, socialism always requires authoritarian power to make it work. A system of public ownership needs everybody to surrender their individual sovereignty to a central planner, voluntarily or otherwise.
And so, it is unsurprising to have Hugo Chavez assumes dictatorial power so that he can continue to forward his socialist agenda. He is the central planner in Venezuela but some Venezuelans disagree with him. That disagreement comes in form of an election. After seeing a democratic result unfavorable to his socialist government, he convinced the outgoing Chavez-friendly legislature to allow him to rule by decree for the next 18 months.
The socialist agenda is bigger than democracy, so it seems. Always be careful about giving any socialist too much power, or any for that matter.
Maybe one should be more sympathetic to socialism. Maybe one should argue instead that it is Chavez the dictator who is corrupting the system while hiding behind socialist facade.
Yet, having socialists all around defending Chavez makes that separation as real as socialist dream. And a socialist dream is a pipe dream.
 — CARACAS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s parliament gave President Hugo Chavez decree powers for 18 months on Friday, outraging opposition parties that accused him of turning South America’s biggest oil producer into a dictatorship.
The move consolidated the firebrand socialist leader’s hold on power after nearly 12 years in office, and raised the prospect of a fresh wave of nationalizations as the former paratrooper seeks to entrench his self-styled “revolution.” [Venezuela assembly gives Chavez decree powers. Jack Frank Daniel. Reuters. December 17 2010]