Tucker Carlson devoted a segment of his show last night to discussing Democratic Socialism with Professor Cornel West. After outlining some of the policy prescriptions advocated by Democratic Socialists—”state ownership of major industries,” reparations for black Americans, abolishing ICE, etc—Carlson asked Cornel West for an example of where such a program has worked.

Can you point to an example, an extant example, of it that works? Venezuela seems like an example of Democratic Socialism. Would you say that it is and if so does it work?” Carlson asked.

“No, I don’t think that Democratic Socialism as an ideal has been able to be embodied in a larger social context.”

The interview could have ended there with West admitting that this is an idea that has never worked, except that would be letting West off the hook too easily. Carlson brought the question back around to this point saying, “What happened in Venezuela? They call that Democratic Socialism but they don’t have toilet paper.”

At this point, West deflected by blaming outside forces for Venezuela’s failure. “Any time there’s been the attempts of ordinary people to engage in self-determination, they can get crushed by external nations, look at U.S. policies toward Venezuela has been very, very ugly,” West said. He added, “So we’ve never had a chance to really pull it off.”