Populism, rentism and 21st Century Socialism: Communication Leader - Followers – The Plebiscite logic – Permanent campaign – Communicative State (El Estado Comunicador) Centered on Chavez • Aló Presidente • Presidential Broadcastings – Sophisticated Technological Platform… A sort of Direct Democracy – Sociopolitical Networks directly linked to Chavez: Top-bottom Communal Councils – Political Organizations: MVR Circulos & PSUV – Participatory Organizations Social Composition of Chavism • Followers mainly from lower classes and most recently from rural areas classes. Electoral Composition Chavez’s political elites Military. Lower and middle class. Professional education Civilian. Lower and middle class Professionals. Middle age and leftist social and political activists. Conclusions • Chávez as the empty signifier in 1998. • The political struggle during his first term. • The State centralization. • The Constitutional amendment and Chavez authoritarian tendencies. • The weakening of democratic institutions.