Juxtaposition: Venezuela

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.


About Adaptive Curmudgeon

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13 Responses to Juxtaposition: Venezuela

  1. Timbotoo says:

    Who know jack shit about the task at hand.

    That sums up all you need to know about Venezuela in particular. The Eternal Comandante set about expropriating any and all going concerns. PDVSA the oil company for example, was gutted of management and technicians and milked. Now it is a shadow of its former self. The list goes on and on. The maintenance of the turbines of the hydro electric plant was abandoned and now there are major power cuts.

    I lived in Venezuela for 16 years and saw that the previous regime was corrupt and inefficient but this “Socialism of the 21st Century” outdoes them by a factor of eleventy.

  2. The govt might be socialist, but the ones running the country into the ground sure don’t live like one of their glorified worker peasants. Also, their whole economy is run by oil. They have NEVER tried to diversify. Thus, oil price down….system collapse. Idiots.

  3. Easily Amused says:

    I’m surprised Venezuelans haven’t resorted to mass cannibalism yet.

  4. Malatrope says:

    Socialists believe that all men are equal. Not that all men are created equal, but that after a lifetime of learning and differentiating and making use of their unique individual talents that – they are equal. They are interchangeable. The ones at the top don’t want to go to the effort of understanding a wide universe of skills and abilities with which to form teams, they just want to move bits of the grey goo that is their population of peons from here to there. That is all they are capable of. If the grey goo bits fail, then they dispose of them and push in some fresh grey goo. The first wad must have been past its expiration date.

    Half of humanity is below-par. Because this will always be the case, we will always have the rise of below-par governments, and socialism. By whatever name.

  5. Chipmunk says:

    Coming to a country near you!

  6. Lee says:

    Know Jack Shit about ANY task at hand or even recognize there are tasks at hand that must be done now.

  7. cspschofield says:

    Sweden has had a Socialist government, though I think that passed. And France has had one too. Neither is doing great, but neither has yet descended into the toilet. That said, Socialist/Communist States ran up a record of misery, mass slaughter, and economic incompetence in the 20th Century that would make the most corrupt of the Imperial Chinese Eunuchs green with envy.

  8. jon spencer says:

    They just did not do it correctly this time, next time for sure.

  9. Doctor Mingo says:

    Sweden managed to survive only through a strong cultural work ethic but socialism still took it’s toll.

  10. MadRocketSci says:

    I always like how our betters tell us that socialism is “more scientific”. It *is* probably the only idea in political science that has been tested in a controlled experiment: For the whole 20th century, we’ve cut countries in half. One half was allowed to remain more-or-less free, and the other had some socialist dictatorship imposed by China, Russia, or their own home-grown totalitarians. Every starting culture, every starting wealth level, every lattitude/longitude/whatever. It was all varied, and the outcomes were consistent.

    If your theory predicts that socialism will result in wonderful things, and you get smacked in the face with the history of the 20th century, then the *scientific* thing to do is wonder what the hell is wrong with your theory!

    It isn’t even all that hard. There are glaringly obvious things wrong with socialism as an idea. Socialism is the idea that you can become wealthier if you have your choices taken away at the point of a gun. It already fails, by definition! Socialism is the idea that you must interrupt what people naturally want to do, disrupt their transactions, suppress their pursuit of their interests, and instead order them some other way, and that doing so will make them *better off* than if they could freely pursue what they want. And that in doing so – in inserting coercion not just to prevent crime, but to prevent every single voluntary impulse, that you can end up with anything other than an inhuman police state.

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