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What could have caused the crisis in Venezuela? It is a total mystery

It was tides. No, chemtrails. Or Trump? No, Jews, you can never go wrong blaming Jews. Or maybe it was just ‘bad luck‘. Or perhaps Brexit? Ah, it was global warming! Yes, global warming is what stymied the wise policies of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. For sure.

Perry de Havilland, helpfully providing feedback when a thoughtful fellow on Twitter suggested we need to figure out what caused the crisis in Venezuela.

19 comments to What could have caused the crisis in Venezuela? It is a total mystery

  • Tim

    And to be clear, that “thoughtful fellow” is no stranger to the disastrous nature of socialist governance (having led a disastrous socialist experiment himself …). Sorta puts his comment in a different perspective.

  • Bharata Vishwanath

    Sorta puts his comment in a different perspective

    No, I think pretty much every person reading the above figured out the target of this humour was well left of centre 😆

  • Tim

    Obvious that he is a socialist: less obvious is that it is the latest in his 20+ yrs struggle to paper over his own legacy.

  • llamas

    Baroness Thatcher famously observed that the problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money. We should be grateful for this experiment, which has given us another meaningful data point in the range of possible values for ‘sooner’.

    Adam Smith further observed that ‘there is a (great) deal of ruin in a nation’, and this gives us another useful point on a graphical plot of ‘deal of ruin’ vs ‘time to ruination’.

    I like precision, and strive to increase it whenever possible.

    Had he been saved to be with us yet, I would have loved to see Professor Hans Rosling apply his Trendanalyzer tools to the economic metrics of Venezuela – a graphical representation would be fascinating.

    Sorry if you’re Venezuelan, though.

    llater,

    llamas

  • TDK

    There’s a letter in this week’s Spectator which I shall quote in full

    Sir: Contrary to the impression given by Jason Mitchell, Venezuela does not have a socialist economy (‘Maduro’s madness’, 25 August). It has a ‘mixed’ economy (and therein lies some of its problems; such as food hoarding by private companies hostile to the regime). The private sector is large, and involved in numerous sectors within the economy; food distribution, pharmaceuticals and so on.

    The US sanctions against Venezuela have always been about regime change, and these sanctions amount to a blockade of the country. US and European banks have refused to handle Venezuelan payments for medical supplies, and pharmaceutical companies have refused to issue export certificates for cancer drugs — therefore stopping them being imported into Venezuela. Despite these sanctions being illegal under international law, they continue, and will continue until the ‘social democracy experiment’ in Venezuela is crushed. No country could survive this economic strangulation, irrespective of their political hue.
    A.D. Baley
    London SE19

    I particularly like the “food hoarding” idea, as if the death of millions of Kulaks who also “hoarded food” isn’t there as an example.

  • In other news Venezuelan choco ration to rise from 30 grams to 20 grams during the next week.

    Doubleplusgood, eh comrade?

  • Fraser Orr

    @John Galt
    > In other news Venezuelan choco ration to rise from 30 grams to 20 grams during the next week.

    That isn’t right JG. In fact the ration was raised from 30 grams to 40 grams. Moreover, we aren’t using that capitalist “gram” anymore!! No now we use the Venezuelan gram which is 0.01 ounces rather than the decadent capitalist pig definition of 0.035 oz. And of course, since our Government run schools focus on political ideology rather than such pedestrian bourgeois topics as “arithmetic”, we assume nobody will notice the difference. That rumble in their stomach is in fact a cry of “Vive La Revolution!”.

    (BTW, far fetched though this might seem, in truth it happens every single day in every modern economy as big central banks get to redefine what “dollar” or “pound sterling” means. It is interesting that the US Constitution puts the right to “coin” money, given to the congress, in the same section that they get to define weights and measures… a point that is utterly lost on most people who are brainwashed as to the meaning of money.)

  • lucklucky

    Do you have a source John Galt?

  • Socialism will never work because it would require the people in charge to sacrifice as much as the people they are in charge of. This is not something humans are capable of … for long.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Caustic, Perry. Very caustic. 😆

  • Ferox

    Naturally, the capitalist reactionary forces have stolen all the People’s magic dirt.

    The fix, as always, is to crack down on the kulaks and the wreckers. More ditches, more bullets. Viva la revolucion!

  • madrocketsci

    Socialism will never work because it would require the people in charge to sacrifice as much as the people they are in charge of. This is not something humans are capable of … for long.

    Socialism will never work because people can’t think in bureaucracies. The underlings won’t think for you at the point of a gun, the people in charge don’t want them to think anyway. The people who can rise to be in charge of such command-organizations do so by lying, faking, and political backstabbing, not ‘merit’ or ability. They climb a ladder to loot the organization, then loot its reputation. Notice that every organization, even in capitalist countries, that grows large enough to become bureaucratic, hierarchical, and political begins to rot the moment the founders leave.

    Lack of “self-sacrifice” and generosity, supposed lack of intrinsic virtue in humans, etc. have absolutely nothing to do with it. I like to push back when I can against the “socialism failed again, therefore humans are more evil than we thought”, as if slavery is ever going to lead to utopia even with saints.

  • madrocketsci

    WRT posters like the twitter poster: This sort of blindness must be deliberate! It’s too … infuriating to be some sort of mental incapacity, right? They have to know they are full of shit, right?

  • Paul Marks

    Let us start with the basics.

    If the government mandates a price below what supply and demand (the free market) would come to – then the government creates a shortage. The good vanish from the shelves.

    And if the government mandates wages and conditions better than the market (buyers and sellers of such service) would come to – then the government creates unemployment.

    And if the government imposes costs on business enterprises with regulations – these costs either get passed on to the customers (higher prices) or the business is destroyed. “It is a dead parrot, it is deceased, it has ceased to be….”

    But it is pointless trying to explain any of this to the socialist rulers of Venezuela or its supporters around the world – the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mrs Theresa May, does not understand any of the above.

    It is a horrible thought, but a TRUE thought, that the logical conclusion to the policies that Mrs May (not just Mr Corbyn – Mrs May as well) supports, is Venezuela. The difference between Mrs May and Mr Corbyn is in the speed they would destroy “capitalist society” (under Mr Corbyn civilisation would be destroyed much more quickly) – sadly there is no great difference in understanding of basic principles between them. Both sincerely want to do good – but, by putting their faith in the state, they do harm.

  • Ferox

    If the government mandates a price below what supply and demand (the free market) would come to – then the government creates a shortage. The good vanish from the shelves.

    “Only if hoarders and wreckers don’t think first of the People rather than their own self-interest.”

    And if the government mandates wages and conditions better than the market (buyers and sellers of such service) would come to – then the government creates unemployment.

    “Only if the exploitative class continues to put their greed above the interests of the proletariat.”

    And if the government imposes costs on business enterprises with regulations – these costs either get passed on to the customers (higher prices) or the business is destroyed. “It is a dead parrot, it is deceased, it has ceased to be….”

    “Again, wreckers, exploiters, and kulaks. The People must be stern in their response to such pernicious counter-revolution. Class consciousness must come before squeamishness. Eggs, omelettes, etc.”

    But it is pointless trying to explain any of this to the socialist rulers of Venezuela or its supporters around the world – the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mrs Theresa May, does not understand any of the above.

    Whether they understand and don’t care, or they don’t understand and actually believe their b.s., doesn’t matter. They have power (i.e. guns by proxy) and they are coming to kill those who try to stand in their way. The era of being tolerant of their noxious bile has come to an end, in my view. The time to gather shot and dry powder has arrived.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Socialism fails due to three basic reasons:

    1. Person A taking money from person B and giving it to person C is the worse kind of economy ever, socialists like to call this “wealth distribution” but it is not, because it depends on the largess of person A, who is never concerned or accountable, it just becomes “wealth movement”, it is never broken down and distributed.

    2. Collectivism requires decision making contained to a small group of people, and requires people to collectivize, the combination of bad decisions and forced collectivization spells massive disaster. One of the features of free market capitalism is that mistakes do happen but only in small doses, so it learns and evolves, but in socialism those same mistakes are made by the same people over and over again, eventually it ends in a death spiral that cannot be reversed.

    3. Socialist “democracy” requires that people continue to vote for socialists, this is done by “educating” the population, limiting the candidates or just plain ballot rigging. Either way socialism tends towards authoritarianism, as it cannot possibly allow for a non-socialist to gain power, this eventually culminates in unaccountable people, who continue to contribute to points 1 and 2.

    After 100 years in 100 countries, you’d have though by now they’d get it right.

  • lucklucky

    Socialism always ends in Fascism, the moderate form of Marxism.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Inspired by Runcie Balspune (and lucklucky), i have come up with 3.5 reasons why socialism “fails”; though some people might see some of these items as success.

    1: Socialism entails giving more power to the ruling class, and even if the ruling class were composed entirely of angels, i would refuse to submit to them on principle.

    1.5: In fact, the ruling class is not composed of angels: angels have little incentive to compete to rise to the top, while demons do. (NB: i found Why the Worst Get on Top (in The Road to Serfdom) unsatisfactory as an analysis of this.)

    2. Even if the ruling class were composed of angels, they still lack God’s omniscience, and therefore would fail due to the socialist calculation problem.

    3. Socialism is incompatible with democracy, the rule of law, and freedom of speech: see Road to Serfdom. To which i would add: equality before the law.

  • Mr Ed

    i have come up with 3.5 reasons why socialism “fails”;

    The thing to ask them is:

    “So in the USSR/China/East Germany etc., did they kill (a) too many people? (b) not enough people? or (c) the wrong people? And you can mix c with a or b.”

    And

    ‘Who would you kill to achieve socialism?’

    “What’s off limits in creating socialism?”.

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