Article taken from Venezuelanalysis.
The following is an article from the Socialist Debate website about the role of voluntary labour in Venezuela’s housing construction program, Mision Vivienda, launched in April this year to address the shortage of housing in Venezuela. It discusses the significance of voluntary labour in the transition to socialism.
By July 20th 2011
Practice has had the last word: this process is headed for socialism. The facts have already appeared on the social horizon. Reality has outstripped the Byzantine discussions of the philosophical pretenders who deny our socialism. They have their refutation from within the bowels of life itself.
An historic event has occurred in Venezuela: the oil workers were summoned to Voluntary Collective Labour in Mision Vivienda and arrived en masse. And the number exceeded fifteen thousand.
Voluntary Labour, where the worker goes off to work motivated by altruism, and committed to the society to which they belong and in which they feel wanted, is giving labour a new meaning: it is liberating it, experimenting with it, and prefiguring free labour. It is now done without the compulsion of survival.
Voluntary Labour is the “sharp tool” that must be used to build Socialism. It radiates to all of society the new ethics of the loving relations, and through it the working class leads the revolutionary process.
The massive surge of oil workers to Voluntary Labour means that the conditions for the flourishing of socialism exist in Venezuela. It’s indicative of the class struggle that socialism unleashes on the old world, against capitalism, a system that hangs on in a thousand ways. It unequivocally indicates that the Socialist battle takes place here in our midst, even though we sometimes misunderstand it.
Without a doubt, the Bolivarian Revolution has created conditions to build socialism as never before in our history. Socialism can arise in Venezuela because it expands and reinforces the state-administered Social Property. This form of property enables the fruits of labour to be the property of society as a whole, constituting itself thus as the basis of the Consciousness of Social Duty.
The workers become more and more aware of their power and their historical role, a role that goes beyond merely making demands; they’re committed to showing the way to the new world. This is the material basis for the advance of the process.
Furthermore, the government, political power, is in the hands of the Revolution, embodied in president Chavez. The call to socialism, to anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism that came down from the high command, unleashed the contradictions that generate movement and make the way toward socialism possible.
After years of struggle, favorable factors converge: Social Property administered by the state; a working class that is conscious of it historical role; Popular Power lead by Chavez – the most important Venezuelan revolutionary of the last hundred years in loving harmony with the masses; the Housing Mission as the auspicious setting for demonstrating the power of voluntary labour.
Centuries of hope, hope in the possibility of greatness, hope that we can defeat the deadening mediocrity, finds its concretion here. We are privileged: socialism is almost within our reach.