Well, personally, I have no issue in blaming capitalism, in a philosophical sort of way, as that’s pretty much an accurate accusation. The problem is, you can blame socialism just as accurately. It’s not the system–both can actually work if they are moderated in some way–it’s the people.


I tend to agree.


People will always be people. The best systems acknowledge their weaknesses, such as greed, and bring them out into the open to use them to our advantage.

The worst systems pretend like this time people will be different. And so it goes.


That’s one way of doing it, sure. Smith sought to harness what he felt were the natural tendencies of people to compete and pursue self-aggrandizement. He wanted to use those impulses to benefit society as a whole. That doesn’t mean he was right, though, or that he had stumbled on to a fundamental truth about humans. It’s one way of looking at things. There are any number of arguments over whether humans are fundamentally competitive or cooperative, and there are plenty of ways of construction a model of society that is not based on pure self-interest. Given the rather, shall we say, mixed record of capitalism in delivering the goods in terms of broad social benefit, and the equally at least mixed record of competing systems, I think it’s hard to declare one approach manifestly better than the other as a done deal.

No doubt though that capitalism has proven the best way to produce wealth, even if the distribution and effect of that wealth often remains problematic. Even Marx acknowledged that; communism depended on a thriving capitalism as a precursor.



Yeah but their government provided services to the population! Let’s all laugh as millions fucking die.


In a, heh, hyperbolic fashion you’ve hit on a very important point. Well, important to me at least. The issue in Venezuela isn’t “oh noes, socialism demonstrates it’s inherent evilz!” but rather “once again, the promise of actually using the wealth of the nation for the benefit of its people got sidetracked by greedy, arrogant mofos who believed their own hagiographers.” Historically, it seems to take strong leadership to move a nation to change the status quo for the better…but that same strength all to easily becomes a cult of personality, with dire consequences.

And no, it’s not limited to the left, either. It was right-wing shenanigans that got most of Latin America into the crap hole it wound up in.


Lalala, I can’t hear you! Stop complicating my black and white world view!


My apologies! I’ll send along the Golden Book of Mythological Ideological Clarity as compensation! ::)


No time for jokes. We need to find those strong leaders for Venezuela that won’t become corrupted by power. They’re out there somewhere.




Which is generally the case.

Power corrupts. But Trump got elected on the same kind of bullshit promises. That he’d break everything, and then some kind of populist Paradise would emerge out the other end.

The reality is, real governance is hard, and most of the people babbling populism have no idea how to actually do it.


Amen. Well, most of the people who claim to be good at it don’t know squat. The only thing you can hope for is that someone is honest enough to say, “hey, I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll work hard and with anyone with a good idea to find them.”


Chomsky on Chavez in 2013: The “liberator” of latin america.


I was always baffled as to why anyone have even one shit about what Chomsky said regarding politics.


I’m sure the socialist paradise is just around the corner.


Three years ago when I started this thread I noted that Venezuela was providing an object lesson for Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. That process is now complete.


The sanctions would bar dealings in new bonds and stocks issued by the government and state oil company.

A statement issued by the White House said, “These measures are carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule.”

The action followed President Nicolas Maduro’s decision to convene a special assembly to rewrite the constitution of the oil-rich nation and assume many government powers. U.S. and Latin American leaders say Maduro’s government is veering toward dictatorship.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.


At this point, who would buy these bonds and stock? It feels like the average expected return would be higher just setting the money on fire.


Friendly nations providing support to the Bolivarian regime, and vulture funds.