The root of evil

How bad does an anti-capitalist country's crisis have to get before even the Washington Post deplores it?--even if they continue to exhibit no understanding of what's gone wrong down there.  Obviously it's not Obama's fault Venezuela is a basket case, how churlish, but otherwise something or other is happening that we'd rather not get into.

My husband's comment:  "'Autocratic populist government'? 'Economically illiterate'? But we can't write 'socialism', because true socialism hasn't been tried yet." Well, far be it from me to get into another tired debate about the technical definition of socialism. What's clear enough is that a system that erases price signals, nationalizes industry it can't run on its own, and uses governmental power to redistribute goods instead of enforcing enough order and protection for property rights to create an incentive for economic production will produce . . . poverty and collapse. Welcome to paradise, where money isn't important!


Anonymous said...

I don't know why people say that true socialism has not been tried. It has. For me, the problem is that it never got beyond the enslavement and killing part (Marx admitted that slavery was the first step, and violent revolution involves killings, frequently murder).


Gringo said...

Concurrent with this refusal to mention the S word,the WaPo employs Francisco Toro as a columnist. Mr. Toro is executive editor of the oppo blog Caracas Chronicles. Mr. Toro certainly knows the harm that such Socialist policies as confiscation and government controls have imposed on Venezuela. I would be interested to know what Mr. Toro thinks of the WaPo not using the S word in the editorial. As a negative opinion might not result in his continued employment at the WaPo, I would understand why Mr. Toro might not be candid.

At the same time, much of the Venezuelan opposition, has some blind spots. The default position of most of the oppo is often rather socialistic. This is not surprising given that for decades before Chavez took power, the Venezuelan government has owned enterprises involved in not just producing oil but also aluminum and steel, to name just a few industries. "Sow the petroleum." they call it.

A substantial proportion of the Venezuelan oppo, either expat or in Venezuela, would have a hard time deciding which is worse- Chavez or a Republican. Mr. Toro's view of Donald Trump- is Trump like Maduro or is Trump like Chavez[follow the first link]- sounds like a recycling of the political atmosphere at Reed, the college where Mr. Toro got his Bachelor's degree. Mr. Toro is far from the only oppo person to have such a view of Trump. CHIEF OPPO SPOKESMAN Jesus Torrelaba made a similar statement shortly after Trump's election. Maduro had a more diplomatic reaction to Trump's election than did the CHIEF OPPO SPOKESMAN.

Conclusion: the Venezuelan oppo doesn't inspire much confidence.

Ymar Sakar said...

Socialism is an economic theory. Economic theories can fail or succeed.

Evil is eternal. That is why I label things evil, because it's not just a Political Theory. Not just an Economic Theory. That's not what they are doing. Feel free to accurately label the problem first, before the solution presents itself.

Ymar Sakar said...

What people working on the Tower of Babel mean by "True socialism" is in the same sense as what Christians say about emulating the true life of Jesus Christ, that no human has been capable of it. It's an ideal to work towards, for a true believer or fanatic the Utopia of Eden on Earth is what matters. Not all the failures in the way.

Texan99 said...

Socialism works great among people with intimate connections. We use capitalism because it works great with distant strangers. Each of us is free to be flexible about where to draw the line between the two. When idiots try to draw the line at the border of a country, man-made famine is generally the least of the horrible results.