March 6, 2013: Three years ago Salon whined we should pay more attention to the epic socialist success of Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle:
“When a country goes socialist and it craters, it is laughed off as a harmless and forgettable cautionary tale about the perils of command economics. When, by contrast, a country goes socialist and its economy does what Venezuela’s did, it is not perceived to be a laughing matter – and it is not so easy to write off or to ignore. It suddenly looks like a threat to the corporate capitalism…” (I added emphasis to this and other posts.)
OK, I’m game. My opinion is that socialism fails every goddamn time and all that really changes is the number of years between the glorious revolution and the inevitable starvation or mass murder. But I could be wrong. Salon in 2013 told me Venezuela was just peachy. Is it? Lets look at socialism’s impressive record of economic achievements just three years later:
June 16, 2016:
“A wave of lootings and food riots in crisis-hit Venezuela claimed a fourth life Wednesday… …The government blames the chronic food and medicine shortages on the opposition and an “economic war” it says is being waged in league with the U.S. government. To avoid the threat of unrest associated with long food lines, it has assigned neighborhood committees linked to the ruling socialist party to distribute food.“
July 31, 2016:
“The Marxist “paradise” once worshipped by such Hollywood naifs as Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover and Michael Moore is now forcing its citizens to work on neglected farms… Home to the world’s worst economy, Venezuela is beset by severe food shortages, riots in the streets and hyperinflation that’s closing in on 700 percent… So Maduro has now issued an executive decree that subjects all workers to being forced to work for 60 days (or more, “if circumstances merit”) in the fields, growing badly needed food. Economically, the move makes no sense. Morally, it’s barely one step up from government-sanctioned slavery.”
September 1, 2016:
“‘We have been retained by the National Guard in at least – six checkpoints. It’s not fair,’ she said. ‘I feel sad. This government is not what we expected. We’re tired, tired of hunger and humiliation.'”
September 6, 2016:
“Over the weekend, Gen. Padrino announced the appointment of 18 military generals and admirals to oversee the production, distribution and commercialization of 18 categories of food and items considered basic staples for Venezuela’s economy.”
I’ll say it loud enough to be heard from the cheap seats; when a county goes socialist it ALWAYS craters, not sometimes or occasionally… but always. That’s why Russia and China (unlike twits in American universities) gave up on it. Socialism has repeatedly declined into food riots, forced agricultural labor (a form of slavery that’s as cruel as it is ineffective), and party/military control of everything (including food).
P.S. One thing raising food on my little homestead has taught me is that it takes skill. It’s not just musclehead effort. It’s a delicate dance between you and everything nature might throw at you (genetics, biology, chemistry, climate, predation, you name it). Rounding up a dozen schmucks from a city (dentists, accountants, school teachers, truck drivers) and dropping them on my yard for a 60 day “work detail” would seriously screw up what little food production I can manage. Nothing says socialism like burdening precious food production with a herd of urban slaves that know jack shit about the task at hand.