The Suicide of a Nation

It is not like Vesuvius destroying Pompeii, writes Joel D. Hirst.
No, national suicide is a much longer process – not product of any one moment. But instead one bad idea, upon another, upon another and another and another and another and the wheels that move the country began to grind slower and slower; rust covering their once shiny facades. Revolution – cold and angry. Hate, as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship. Corruption bleeding out the lifeblood in drips, filling the buckets of a successive line of bureaucrats before they are destroyed, only to be replaced time and again....

In my defense – weak though it may be – I tried to fight the suicide the whole time; in one way or another. I suppose I still do, my writing as a last line of resistance. But like Dagny Taggert I found there was nothing to push against – it was all a gooey mess of resentment and excuses. “You shouldn’t do that.” I have said. And again, “That law will not work,” and “this election will bring no freedom,” while also, “what you plan will not bring prosperity – and the only equality you will find will be in the bread line.” And I was not alone; an army of people smarter than me pointed out publically in journals and discussion forums and on the televisions screens and community meetings and in political campaigns that the result would only be collective national suicide. Nobody was listening.

So I wandered off. I helped Uganda recover after a 25 year civil war – emptying out the camps and getting people back living again. I helped return democracy to Mali, and cemented a national peace process. I wrote three novels. I moved, and moved, and moved again. I loved my wife; we took vacations. We visited Marrakesh, and Cairo, and Zanzibar and Portugal and the Grand Canyon. We had surgeries. I had a son. We taught our son to sit up, to crawl, to walk and to run; to sing and scream and say words like “chlorophyll” and “photosynthesis”. To name the planets one by one, to write his name.

All the while the agonizingly slow suicide continued.
Which nation do you think he means? Read the rest.


raven said...

It won't be too long here-
they are working hard on going Full Venezuela.
(except for paid Federal Holidays, which seem to be every other Monday and Friday)

Anonymous said...

We could have a hand in reversing this decline.

We could export vigorous Venezuelan men trained to live and work like Americans, after they have made their pile and are ready to return. Such people would be impatient of corruption, and significant in their home towns.

All we have to do is, let them freely have guest worker passes, but not citizenship unless they comply with the citizenship rules.

Many of these people came here just to work. Many of them continue to support people at home. But our immigration laws give them no status, and it is dangerous and expensive to visit home, so they in many cases lose their ties to their homes.

We should make it easier to visit, come back, work, and return.


raven said...

Maybe we should import vigorous Venezuelan's and have them teach our children what a flustercluck unbridled socialism results in.

Gringo said...

Maybe we should import vigorous Venezuelan's and have them teach our children what a flustercluck unbridled socialism results in.

The Venezuelan diaspora is estimated at 5% of the population, which would be 1.5 million Venezuelans living abroad. There are already quite a few Venezuelans in the US. I would estimate 500,000- 1 million.Weston in the Miami suburbs is known as Westonzuela.

The firing of PDVSA employees in the wake of the 2002 strike resulted in thousands of Venezuelan engineers and technicians taking their skills to Canada to help develop the Alberta tar sands. The Venezuelan diaspora is disproportionately educated and enterprising.Reminds me of Greeks in the US compared to Greeks in Greece.

Will they return to Venezuela? Certainly not until Chavismo is out of power.

Ymar Sakar said...

There are immense problems when humans listen to false prophets.

Of course, there are even larger problems when the prophecies become true but people ignored them in favor of their own personal fruits of evil.

It is a good thing, in some respects. That evil punishes evil, that divine punishments exists, or merely the results of a natural world collapsing on a wrongly built bridge. Without consequences in life, anybody can claim to be right and on the path of truth and nothing would contest them.

If people live with virtues, they will be rewarded, most of the time. If people live with evil, they will be punished. The Venezuelans have already chosen and their fate diverged according to that choice, but it happened so fast historically. In one generation.