Red Star Rising in Venezuela
Ever wander how statism deals its final blow to democracy?
Take a look at Venezuela. Hugo Chavez has a big day coming up
December 2nd. That day could “democratically” usher in a new age for
his ascendant Red Star. On that day, Venezuela’s government will in all
likelihood be restructured so that Mr. Chavez can run for president
indefinitely, have the power to appoint new regional vice presidents
circumventing local rule, expropriate more of the economy and another
nearly 70 amendments to the constitution that are vaguely worded nails
in democracy’s coffin.
For statism to work there needs to be a legislated personality cult
around the leader. Everyone in the government must derive their power
from this single source. Federalism cannot be tolerated and all
vestiges of democracy must be circumvented. Chavez has accomplished
this by bringing as many people under the pay of the government as
possible; many of his supporters are employed by the government.
Furthermore, local posts that were once decided by residents are now
being circumvented by presidential decree. It is now his people who
will be deciding local matters not independently elected officials who
may oppose Hugo Chavez’s wishes.
The economy is extremely important as well for statism to take hold;
specifically “who” controls the economy. Allowing private individuals
and corporations to direct the economy would not work because it would
be out of Hugo’s control then. He wouldn’t have the power to create
communal farms “for the people” and he wouldn’t have the overall
control that he needs to retain his power.
Money is extremely important to everyone who doesn’t have it. If the
majority of people’s pay checks are coming from one source (the
government) and that same source is mandating that you only have to
work six hours a day who do you think is going to have power? Of course
this power is not going to be eternal but that doesn’t matter. These
people are poor and ignorant and don’t understand that statist
economies are always doomed for failure because they are structurally
The farms that have already been given to the poor are barren and
Venezuela’s currency is spiraling out of control. Corporations are
leaving the country and little foreign capital is sifting into the
country due to the specter of expropriation. There are a million other
reasons why statism, especially in the form of socialism and/or
communism, are doomed for failure.
Oh, and one more thing needs to be around for statism to grow roots; useful idiots. The fawning article on which this piece was based comes from the New York Times. Here’s some of the things that the article says about Hugo Chavez and his red star rising in Venezuela:
In two weeks, Venezuela seems likely to start an extraordinary experiment in centralized, oil-fueled socialism.
An “extraordinary experiment”? What about the previous “experiments”
during the 20th century? During a long period the majority of the
world’s population lived under socialism but that boat has reversed its
course. Did the NY Times miss that story?
Interviews this week on the streets here and in
Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second largest city, offer a window into the
strength of Mr. Chávez’s followers and the challenges of his critics.
His supporters, many of whom are public servants in a bureaucracy that
has recently ballooned, have flooded poor districts to campaign for the
“The comandante should have more power because he is the force
behind our revolution,” said Egda Vilchez, 51, a pro-Chávez activist,
as she campaigned in favor of the new charter this week at a busy
intersection in Cacique Mara, an area of slums in eastern Maracaibo.
Such statements may sound dogmatic, but they are voiced with a
fervor in organized campaigning that is unmatched in richer areas of
Venezuela’s largest cities, from which much of the opposition to Mr.
Chávez is drawn.
These statements are being made by people who are being paid by the
government. Of course they are dogmatic and of course they are being
expressed with “fervor.” She and a thousand other lemmings are doing
the same thing because they are getting their next meals from a
government that sells them a Pyrrhic future and gives them a little bit
of power. And the NY Times believes this tripe as much as the paid
shills in Venezuela.
walking into a grocery store here offers a different
view of the changes washing over Venezuela. Combined with price
controls that keep farmers from profitably producing some basic foods,
climbing incomes of the poorest Venezuelans have stripped supermarket
aisles bare of items like milk and eggs. Meanwhile, foreign exchange
controls create bottlenecks for importers seeking to meet rising demand
for many products.
Such imbalances plague oil economies elsewhere, with oil revenues
often making it cheaper to import goods than produce them at home. But
the system Mr. Chávez is creating is perhaps unique: a hybrid of
state-supported enterprises and no-holds-barred capitalism in which
500,000 automobiles are expected to be sold this year.
Lacking here, for instance, is the authoritarianism one might expect
in a country where billboards promoting Mr. Chávez have proliferated in
the last year.
This part of the piece started out so promising, the Times actually
called attention to some of the country’s problems. But in the end they
spend less time delving into the problems of an economy on the brink
then they would give to trashing our own economy. Instead of
maintaining the right heading on this line of thought they give hope
that maybe this time things are going to be different for statism
because this time it is “unique.” There’s a “hybrid” in Venezuela now.
Without actually explaining what they meant there’s really nothing
we have to go on. Cars don’t make an economy grow. And to say that
there is a “lack” of authoritarianism is laughable. Chavez shut down a
television station. He’s shut down multiple news outlets and he is
paying people with government money to spread the Hugo word.
Things are going to get much worse for this Latin country. Their
economy is going to plummet, personal freedoms are going to disappear,
and internal strife is going to skyrocket. Hugo Chavez says that he is
going to rule until 2031, my guess is he won’t last longer then 2015. BigT