I am reading The Road to Serfdom by FA Hayek. It is a brilliant argument as to how socialism leads to totalitarianism. The left, of course, says, “No, no, no!” Hitlarism, fascism, and Stalinist communism were what was wrought from the ideas of the right. Of course they ignore the fact that the USSR was the acronym of Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics and that Nazi stood for National SOCIALIST German Worker’s Party.
Progressive/statist/altruists will tell you that the rule of law, our Supreme Court, and our Constitution will protect us from the excesses of the Nazis and the Russian Communists. What they leave out is that Stalin and Hitler did not do anything “illegal.” The constitutions, laws, and court members were changed such that every action, regardless of the horrific nature of the action, was entirely “legal.” That is why there was a Justice Trial in Nuremberg, and the judges were punished.
Without doubt the progressive/statist/altruists applaud socialism. They crave central power, central planning, control of the economy, and the list goes on. One does not need to go to history books or read the musings of dead economists to come to this conclusion. One only need look to Venezuela, the latest attempt to show the “wonders” of socialism.
[Source: As Socialism Shattered Venezuela, The Useful Idiots Applauded, by Jeff Jacoby}
Progressive/statist/altruists were enamored with Hugo Chavez. He would show the world that socialism was not totalitarianism. Ouch! Chavez seized control of every lever of state power. Again, we see the “plan:” rewrite the constitution (Obama just ignored it), strip the legislature of power to allow Chavez to legislate by decree (Obama got out his “pen”), and place a stranglehold on the economy (Obama used regulation, particularly the EPA, and the “stimulus”).
Chavez took over the Venezuelan energy sector (Venezuela had the largest oil reserves in the world) and with a fortune in oil revenue pouring in, Chavez had free rein to put his statist prescriptions into effect. The so-called “Bolivarian revolution” over which he, and now Nicolas Maduro, presided was an unfettered, real-world example of anticapitalist socialism in action.
Few Americans realize that Venezuela was the most affluent South American nation and had been for four decades when Chavez began his socialist dictatorship. He transformed it into a showpiece for command-and-control economics: price and currency controls, wealth redistribution, ramped-up government spending, expropriation of farmland, and the nationalization of private banks, mines, and oil companies.
Now there are food riots. Socialism has transformed a once prosperous nation into a third world dystopia. And in a nation awash with oil available to be taken from the Earth, they had to import oil from the USA – yet they cannot generate enough electricity to keep the lights on in Venezuela. In every national experiment of socialism, scarcity has been the result. For three years in a row, Venezuela has ranked No. 1 on the Cato Institute’s “misery index.”
Am I being unfair to say that the progressive/statist/altruists “ate up” the plans of Chavez? [From the Jacoby article] In a Salon piece titled “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle,” David Sirota declared that the Venezuelan ruler, with his “full-throated advocacy of socialism,” had “racked up an economic record that . . . American president[s] could only dream of achieving.” The Guardian offered “Three cheers for Chavez.” Moviemaker Oliver Stone filmed a documentary gushing over “the positive changes that have happened economically in all of South America” because of Venezuela’s socialist government. And when Chavez died in 2013, Jimmy Carter extolled the strongman for “improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.”
Well, as it is Christmas time, I will end this missive with a socialist Christmas story. [From the Jacoby article] Ten days ago, (Venezuelan) government agents raided a toy distributor, confiscating nearly 4 million toys on the grounds that the company was planning to sell them at inflated prices. The regime says it will make the toys available at below-market prices to the poor — thereby ensuring that in Venezuela next Christmas, toys won’t be available at any price. If nothing else, Venezuelan socialism has accomplished this much: It has transformed the Grinch from fiction into reality.
My friends, capitalism has become a “dirty word” among progressive/statist/altruists. They prefer socialism. But capitalism is the only moral economic philosophy. You choose.