Research on East-Central Europe suggests that the transitions from state socialism to capitalism generated civil society. The present authors focus on the effects of a transition of the opposite variety: from capitalism towards state socialism. Both kinds of transitions are characterized by a disjuncture between enduring political economies and legitimate discourses calling for them to be changed. Marshaling qualitative and quantitative data, the authors demonstrate the existence, and assess the effects, of such a disjuncture in the case of Venezuela between circa 2000 and 2010. They examine a subset of rural civic organizations, showing that they referenced mutually-incompatible aspects of the disjointed state when developing their programs, leading them to within-class heterogeneity and occasional across-classes convergence, as is characteristic of pluralist civil society.