First were the leftist dictators.
Then came the economic turmoil, the riots, secret police, social upheaval, raised inflation, mass starvation, and millions of citizens left struggling to acquire basic needs like food and clean water. In the past year alone, the country of Venezuela has seen indescribable chaos, all of which can be attributed to socialism.
The New York Times recently ran a story on the state of disarray in Venezuela, detailing the country’s financial collapse and the widespread starvation Venezuelan citizens have been suffering for years at the hand of President Maduro’s regime.
Missing from the article, however, is any mention of Venezuela’s socialist government—the same government that was once praised by American liberals as an example of a successful socialist nation. The article only once references the country’s ruling socialist party, and this mention is towards the article’s end, making no connection between the harmful leftist system and the country’s total collapse.
While many were understandably disappointed with this blatant display of fake news on The New York Times’ part, others were frustrated that the publication had carelessly helped propagate the myth that socialism is “harmless”. For those of us who understand history and know better, this is troubling for a number of reasons.
In case you’ve forgotten, liberal elites in the United States hailed Venezuela for years, propping it up as some sort of leftist utopia. Once the country spiraled into economic chaos and reinforced what most of us already knew—that socialism can never work– these leftists were silent. As Maduro stifled his critics and political opponents with threats of violence, American leftists were silent. As the country’s ruling class secured absolute power through a repressive government and the subjugation of its citizens, American leftists were silent.
In an AMAC Advantage Magazine article from July, author John Whelan discusses some of the factors that lead Venezuela to the point where it is today, explaining:
“Despite possessing the largest oil deposits in the entire world, Venezuela’s per capita gross domestic product (PCGDP) averaged a negative 0.10% for the 40 years from the 1958 establishment of a “social democracy” (replacing earlier dictatorships) to the 1998 assumption of power by Chavez, who quickly installed himself as a new dictator destroying the oldest democracy to fall into totalitarianism since World War II. Chavez nationalized more industries, implemented exchange and price controls, and corrupted the national bank, oil companies, and the judicial system, while aligning with Castro’s Cuba. Secret police (the Colectivos) enforced Chavez’ will with strong-arm tactics.”
If “successful socialism” means operating under an illegitimate democracy and turning your country into a criminal enterprise, then Venezuela gets an A+. But for those of us who have the common sense to recognize this system for what it is, the cause of Venezuela’s destruction is clear. Any country where socialist policies take root will ultimately collapse. In the words of Margaret Thatcher, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”.
Despite The New York Times’ irresponsible reporting and the rallying cries of American millennials who insist that so-called “social democracy” is harmless, history has shown us that socialism, no matter where, is doomed to fail.
Those who willfully ignore this history are doomed to repeat it.