Venezuela


#121

Jesus F. Christ, that is a horrible read. Makes me doubly glad socialism ended here before things deteriorated to this kind of degree. Socialism always fails, I have no idea how so many people can still believe otherwise.


#122

Again, it depends on how you define it. A strict, Marxist definition is pretty useless as it’s mostly theoretical. Practical definitions along the lines of social democracy work pretty well, while practical interpretations along the old Soviet line were dismal. Some form of state involvement in the economy certainly does work well. Neither total state control nor laissez faire capitalism seem to do much good though.


#123

Even Vox not sugar coating it:


#124

#125

Quite an article.

I was struck by this passage:

That’s more or less how the GOP describes America right now. And… sure enough, it took only three comments to find the guy saying the US is next in line for collapse. “Obama is our Chavez.”


#126

That’s a lovely essay.


#127

Thanks for sharing that link, Malathor. I’ve been reading that blog for about the last hour. Everything I’ve read has been great.


#128

Allow me to paraphrase:

“Venezuela is fucked. Therefore, Ayn Rand was right!”

Fascinating.


#129

Well, it’s not as if all this was caused by a giant tornado or something. Whether it’s representative of “socialism” or not, the government in Venezuela does seem to be stupid and corrupt enough to star in an Ayn Rand novel, with catastrophic consequences.


#130

I’m not sure Venezuela’s situation is an indictment of any particular form of government, other than to say that authoritarian regimes often loot the country one way or another, leaving its economy in shambles. This isn’t the first example. It sounds a lot like what happened to Zimbabwe after Mugabe’s “land reforms,” except even worse.


#131

But it’s not simply that they looted it. Venezuela’s problems stem from them nationalizing their industry and then grossly mismanaging it.


#132

Well, Norway has nationalized some of its key industries and then managed them well. There may be overlap in your Venn diagram between ‘socialist government’ and ‘collapsing economy’, but the overlap is small, depends on the definition of ‘socialist government’, and certainly is not 1:1 as implied.


#133

Even the USSR didn’t implode within a generation (in fact it was very resilient during WW2), so it must take a special level of bad government to bring this about.


#134

He also spelled “publicly” as “publically”.

And in his picture, he’s wearing a vape for his head.

The Vox article is very good and offers a lot of background on the institutional problems that created this mess.


#135

OMG, you weren’t kidding.

Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? NO says the man in Caracas!


#136

It’s a variant spelling, prescriptivist protestations notwithstanding.


#137

Aw. Bless your heart, honey. You gave me an Actually for correcting the hideous spelling of the vaping douchebag monthly blog.

(FWIW, I agree that Venezuela’s socialist government is a totalitarian nightmare fully responsible for the mess they’re in, and Malathor’s Vox link is terrific, non-Randian reportage and opinion mixed to that end.)


#138

Again, the dude is wearing a fedora or some other ridiculously obnoxious hat in his picture.

His APW* is likely north of 10.

*Actuallys Per Week


#139

Oh, also LATAM, one of the biggest South American airlines, and Lufthansa have both suspended service to Venezuela.

This sounds like a situation on the verge of a violent coup at least, or civil war at worst.


#140

Hey, I’m not endorsing ‘publically’, but language changes. In 50 years, ‘publicly’ is going to look archaic. May as well start getting used to it now.