Les Miz after reality finally bites

An absolutely stunning photo. The people behind the barricades are, of course, the people who put Chavez and now Maduro into power. I wonder what they now know that they didn’t know then. If you look to the government to give you things you didn’t earn for yourself, this is the very plausible place you will end up. I doubt that many of those now on the streets have learned a thing, and I have not come across an article anywhere that truly explains why the Venezuelan economy has fallen apart.

Picked up at Instapundit.

UPDATE: Here is perhaps an article that may have the explanation: What Caused Venezuela’s Collapse Is No Mystery — Except To Economically Illiterate Journalists. So let us see what answer they come up with. This is where they start:

The cause is simple. Socialism. End it and you will end the misery.

I suppose that’s right, but what is this thing referred to as “socialism”. What are its characteristics and what can be done to avoid it? This, I’m afraid, we don’t entirely find out. The rest of the article describes how mainstream journalists evade the issue, with examples from The New York Times, The LA Times and USA Today. They attribute the collapse to falling oil prices, corrupt business leaders and even the weather which brought on a drought. And, of course, these weren’t the causes of the drastic failure of the Venezuelan economy, but after all is said and done, we end where the story began.

It is their unwillingness to admit that socialism can’t work that drives so many mainstream journalists to look for something, anything, else to blame when socialist economies invariable fail.

Socialism is merely a word that describes lots of economic systems, many of which have been very successful. What’s missing is any discussion of what in particular they have been doing wrong. It is this that seems to leave out that specifics of what needs to be avoided and what ought to be done in its place.

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47 Responses to Les Miz after reality finally bites

  1. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Evil Capitalists, of course! Just Capitalists, they’re automatically evil, right? Nothing to do with failed government policies, I’m sure. I mean, it can’t be.

  2. cynical1

    Has John Pilger commented yet?

  3. RobK

    If you look to the government to give you things you didn’t earn for yourself, this is the very plausible place you will end up. “
    This is what needs to be taught in schools everywhere.

  4. Louis

    Children and teenagers don’t want to hear it will take years and hard work to get what they want. Enter the promise of socialism. And there are plenty of teachers and lectures who love the admiration it gets them selling this message to the kiddies.

  5. duncanm

    Has John Pilger commented yet?

    Back in 2016

    A few vomit-worthy mentions..

    John Pilger: My impression was that Venezuela was undergoing imaginative, historic, even epic changes.

    In the barrios, local democracy in the form of autonomous communal councils was changing people’s lives. Children were learning about history and the arts for the first time; Venezuela’s literacy programme was the most adventurous in the world.

    The rate of poverty halved. What struck me was the pride ordinary people felt – pride in their revitalised lives, and in the previously unheard of possibilities that lay ahead and in their government, especially Hugo Chavez.

    John Pilger: I traveled with Hugo Chavez across Venezuela. I have never known a national leader so respected and held in such affection as Chavez. He was an extraordinary man, who never seemed to sleep, who was consumed by ideas. He would arrive at a farmers’ meeting with a stack of books under his arm: Dickens, Orwell, Chomsky, Zola.

    uh huh..

    Has there ever been such a relentless display of bad faith journalism? I doubt it. As a result, people in the US and the UK and elsewhere were denied any real sense of the remarkable changes in Venezuela.

  6. duncanm

    Here’s Pilger only days ago…

    Apparently, its all a right-wing capitalist plot..

    We note the growing concern across Latin America that elements of the right wing within Venezuela have called again for the ousting of the elected president, Nicolás Maduro – including overt calls on the military to oust the president – before the constitutional end of his term (Editorial, 26 April). This follows the US decision to renew sanctions against Venezuela. With Donald Trump attacking Venezuela during his election campaign, there is great concern that he may step up intervention aimed at regime change. We call for respect for Venezuela’s national sovereignty and an end to such interventions.
    John Pilger, Richard Gott, Andy de la Tour, Michael Mansfield QC, John Hendy QC, Judith Amanthis, Dr Julie Hearn, Dr Hazel Marsh, Professor Frank Land, Salma Yaqoob

  7. Philippa Martyr

    Apparently, its all a right-wing capitalist plot..

    I think we should all be asking about the role of Tony Abbott in this.

  8. C.L.

    An absolutely stunning photo. The people behind the barricades are, of course, the people who put Chavez and now Maduro into power.

    It’s true, isn’t it.
    They wanted free stuff and all they got was this stupid barricade.

  9. Fisky

    If only Venezuela opened its borders to millions of Muslims and Africans, none of this would ever have happened.

  10. H B Bear

    Oh well. I’m sure it will work next time.

  11. thefrollickingmole

    The gruinaid had an article by a Venusian (or however you spell it) and the problem was…..
    Chavez died.
    So if hed stayed alive it would all be unicorns shitting skittles and lollypop rainbows etc…

    From todays letters section..

    From the safe distance of an Oxford college it probably does seem highly improbable that the US would invade Venezuela (Letters, 1 May). But if you live in a struggling oil-rich country, knowing your continent has suffered US political and military intervention throughout most people’s lifetimes, and then look across to the US role in the devastation of oil-rich areas of the Middle East, it is harder to sleep at night.
    Mark Lewinski
    Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire

    • Malcolm Deas is absolutely right in decrying the notion of an American intervention in Venezuela as nonsense. Why on earth would the US risk the reputational damage of a military intervention when its ends can equally well be achieved by giving covert aid and comfort to the Venezuelan opposition, as in many a previous case?
    Douglas Graham
    Hamilton, South Lanarkshire

    And their editorial..
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/25/the-guardian-view-on-venezuela-a-country-in-pain

    Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro has failed his country. Picked by Hugo Chávez as successor just before his death in 2013, President Maduro has been an incompetent leader in hard times. He has failed to address the economic crisis triggered when the fall in the price of oil exposed the weaknesses of Chavismo, his predecessor’s ambitious experiment in poverty alleviation and social ownership. Now, in what was once South America’s richest country, more than four households in five are in poverty, twice the level of when he came to power. Babies and children die for lack of access to commonplace medicines. Murder and kidnapping for ransom are rife. Inflation is running above 800%; the economy is contracting sharply. Democracy itself is being eroded as the president defends his faltering grip on power. Weeks of protests have been met by state violence, semi-official vigilantes and, increasingly, counterattack from some opposition groupings. There is a wretched stalemate; and there is a real fear that violence could soon escalate out of control.

    For …more than a decade, Chávez seemed to offer a better prospectus: decent housing, proper wages and a fairer future. But after his premature death, the fall in oil prices laid bare the old divisions.

    Its worth reading the whole thing for an idea of just how intellectually dishonest and mendacious people can be when confronted with yet another example of ideology trumped by reality.

  12. struth

    Socialism…………………..
    That’s not socialism says the socialists.

    If your an Austrian National socialist, you are not a socialist, you got socialism wrong.

    Socialism is not communism, the communists are completely different.
    The United Soviet SOCIALIST Republic had nothing to do with socialism, they got socialism wrong.

    Anyone with a South American accent aren’t doing socialism the way it should be done, they always get it wrong.

    Cuba, same, that bloody accent, plus they like cigars…………………..and they think they can be socialists?!

    They all got socialism wrong.

    What was Venezuela thinking?
    Trying to do socialism with South American accents.
    Of course they got it wrong.
    They didn’t take into account the sabotage by white western males.

    If only they all had the brains of the Antifa kiddies, you know , the spoilt rotten little wankers who have lived their privileged, insulated little lives in the freedom others died to provide, and never having experienced true socialism, can be clear of thought on the subject.
    Very clear of thought.

  13. Up The Workers!

    Maggie Thatcher put it best when she said: “The problem with socialism is that sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money!”

    For a comprehensive definition of the word: “Idiot”, look in the Encyclopedia, where you will find a mug-shot of John Pilger.

  14. Up The Workers!

    I wonder whether Fauxfacts’ striking Socialist toadies, propagandists, activists, and presstitutes could be persuaded to move to that Socialist Workers’ Paradise and ‘Pilgerise’ to their hearts’ content? Maybe their good proletariat A.L.P.B.C. Socialist colleagues could even accompany them out of solidarity.

    Surely, all being good SOCIALISTS, they would put their principles before pay-packets – wouldn’t they???

  15. Fulcrum

    What Keynesians know and eternally refute.

  16. jonesy

    The problem will be…When the unwashed break through the barricades to find out the cupboard REALLY IS bare! The next lesson will be good and hard.

  17. Norman Church

    Like water going down the plug hole in the Southern hemisphere, those at the barricades are clearly engaging in counter revolutionary behaviour.

  18. Rabz

    And then they all went back to their corrugated iron lean tos, caves, cardboard boxes or holes by side of road to chow down on some tasty dirt cakes.

    The happy ending, socialist style.

  19. Nerblnob

    It’s the fault of the Evil Oil.

    I know because my brother told me.

  20. Helen

    Brazil and Venezuela produce about the same amount of oil – a lot. In 2016 they were respectively 10th and 11th on the list of oil producing countries. Australia is 31st, producing just a tenth as much. Brazil has a population of 210 million, Venezuela just 31 million. So you think Venezuela would be OK.
    The problem is that oil is Venezuela’s only resource – 90% or so of its export income. So fluctuations in the world oil price have a really big impact, and if you haven’t been looking after your production infrastructure, well…
    Having all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for trouble no matter what the colour of the government. And if you are a South American country with a long history of internal conflict and dictators on both sides, and a pattern of swings from one extreme to the other, that makes it even harder to come up with sensible solutions. Just blaming capitalism on the one hand (eg Pilger), or socialism on the other (eg Trump, or comments here) doesn’t explain or help resolve the situation.

  21. Andysaurus

    The Chiefio is pretty much on top of it. He uses a lot of non-standard sources like Russia Today so he gets a pretty balanced view [IMHO]. He is also, as the English would say, sound on such things as climate change.

  22. Texas Jack

    Give Turnbull time…

  23. terry andrews

    dumb remarks, the socialists never got the urban vote

  24. Tim Neilson

    Helen
    #2372300, posted on May 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    and if you haven’t been looking after your production infrastructure, well…

    There’s one of your indicators right there. Socialism is sufficient, but not necessary, for that kind of disaster to occur. But government interference is always the crucial ingredient. Google “South Australia”, “renewable energy” and “meddling incompetent imbecile” for an analogous situation.

    But think further Helen. Why does this type of thing always occur in its most catastrophic forms in high tax high spend high government interference jurisdictions – aka socialist or at least socialist-lite?

  25. cynical1

    Brazil and Venezuela produce about the same amount of oil – a lot. In 2016 they were respectively 10th and 11th on the list of oil producing countries. Australia is 31st, producing just a tenth as much. Brazil has a population of 210 million, Venezuela just 31 million. So you think Venezuela would be OK.
    The problem is that oil is Venezuela’s only resource – 90% or so of its export income. So fluctuations in the world oil price have a really big impact, and if you haven’t been looking after your production infrastructure, well…
    Having all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for trouble no matter what the colour of the government. And if you are a South American country with a long history of internal conflict and dictators on both sides, and a pattern of swings from one extreme to the other, that makes it even harder to come up with sensible solutions. Just blaming capitalism on the one hand (eg Pilger), or socialism on the other (eg Trump, or comments here) doesn’t explain or help resolve the situation.

    The situation will be resolved soon enough.

    When we leave fossils fuels in the ground.

    No more price fluctuations.

    Then we shall have true equality.

    We’re all Venezuelans now…

  26. marcus

    Hi Steve, not sure if you’ve already read it, but I had a go at explaining how their economy fell apart here:

    https://themarcusreview.com/2016/09/21/venezuela-has-completely-run-out-of-other-peoples-money/

    In my view, the whole house of cards came crashing down for Venezuela when the Saudis stopped playing chicken with the USA over oil prices:

    https://themarcusreview.com/2017/01/10/saudis-lose-game-of-chicken-with-usa/

  27. Trader Perth

    Its very hard to budget when a countries inflation rate is 40/45% per month, as in Venezuela’s case. Venezuela has a history of poor monitory policy.

  28. iain russell

    Marcus, agree entirely. The other failure of the Sauds was to fail to understand US bankruptcy laws. All those fracking rigs were parked with the the companies put on ice, waiting to reemerge whenever the price was right. Hey Presto! The industry was never broken, it just lurked.

  29. Marcus Classis

    The other failure of the Sauds was to fail to understand US bankruptcy laws.

    The Saudis are capable understanding very little but shagging goats, sticking your backside in the air, slavery and buggery.

    Oh, and ‘people give us money for black liquid so we can buy cocaine, sports cars, meth, slaves and heroin’.

    1,400 years of only marrying your first cousins does that.

  30. Dr Faustus

    The other failure of the Sauds was to fail to understand US bankruptcy laws. All those fracking rigs were parked with the the companies put on ice, waiting to reemerge whenever the price was right. Hey Presto! The industry was never broken, it just lurked.

    Correct.

  31. Fred

    …but it’s not real socialism.

  32. Jannie

    This is all Trump’s fault. Or some other Yanqui capitalist. But whatever s left of the middle class better pretend to be poor or they will become the problem.

  33. Jimf

    It’s always wealthy , immune ,entitled , holier than thou lefties like Pilger that stay true to the ideology and ignore the suffering of the common folk .
    A bit like that parasite hypocrite Geoff Cousins re Gunns in Tas and now Adani. He’s made his millions , so fuck everyone else . His SJW credentials must be riveting around the dinner party table . “Pass the ’96 grange can you Felicity? Anyway , where was I ? Oh yes then I was able to ….”
    Spew …

  34. Peter

    The sad thing of course is that the populace behind the barricades cannot even pelt the police with rotten fruit for their role in protecting a corrupt and (literally) bankrupt government. They will have had to eat the rotten fruit – assuming they could get any.
    This is the natural end result of every socialist “workers paradise” that ever existed – or ever will exist. But next time they say, it will be different. Next time we will do it right.
    But as Maggie Thatcher so succinctly put it – the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples’ money to spend. Will someone please inform Bill Shorten of this fact. Oh and by the way, while you are about it, also please inform four fifths of the Parliamentary Liberal Party who have decided that what is good for the Labor goose is good for the Liberal gander.

  35. Habib

    Latin Americans are as dumb as Australians, they keep electing fascists/commies having believed their bullshit, expecting a different outcome to last time. Too stupid to survive.

  36. Fulcrum

    I suppose the glowing write ups we read in “our” press about Venezuela over the past twenty years or so was FAKE NEWS.
    Dont believe everything that spews from the media, especially from those, like Pilger, with a poor track record.

  37. Tel

    The problem is that oil is Venezuela’s only resource – 90% or so of its export income. So fluctuations in the world oil price have a really big impact, and if you haven’t been looking after your production infrastructure, well…
    Having all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for trouble no matter what the colour of the government.

    This is total rubbish.

    Not so long ago Venezuela produced its own food. They have plenty of fertile land, they have all the things required to work the land. There is no reason for anyone to be starving in Venezuela.

    http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/AG.PRD.FOOD.XD/compare?country=ve#country=au:ve

    Up to 2013 their food production index was growing faster than Australia. Possibly some of those statistics are fudged, but in general they have a perfectly workable capability to feed themselves.

    The data is not available after 2013 when Maduro the useless bus driver took over.

  38. Tel

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/venezuela/steel-production

    Steel production in Venezuela was rising up to 2007 and since then has turned around and made a straight line for zero. If it had kept going up they would have a valuable steel industry by now.

  39. struth

    . And if you are a South American country with a long history of internal conflict and dictators on both sides,

    Helen comes bounding in to prove my point.

    People that have South American accents can’t get socialism right, can they Helen?

    You space cadet.

    Who were the right wing dictators Helen, seeing they were from both sides?
    Firstly, a dictator, that meaning governing from the top down (leftism), can’t be right wing, your argument is an extremely poor excuse making for socialism, and indeed , quite racist.
    It is racist because you attempt to excuse it by insinuating that a once wealthy country was always going to be in trouble because of the inherent corruption in South America.
    You will be shown to be completely racist by Australia very shortly, who can do corruption as well, if not better than our South American friends.

    One day soon, if not already, someone like you , in another country will make the comment that Australia was always going to fall, as they could never pronounce their vowels properly, and the price for wool collapsed around the world.

    Get this Helen, it’s socialism, and it’s that simple.

  40. Bela Bartok

    Amazed that the lessons of the 70s are being repeated.
    Catholic theologians created ‘liberation theology ‘ to support socialism in Latin America.
    They openly called for socialism to overthrow capitalism which represented ‘structural sin’ through venality and oppression. They even supported Cuba under Castro, and Che.
    They distinguished between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ socialism, calling every socialist country bad, except Cuba which was a workers paradise.
    50 years later I wonder if those ‘liberation theologians ‘ (including the present pope) are sitting around saying ‘gee, this socialism is really oppressing people. We need capitalism to fix things’?
    Yeah – I doubt it too.

  41. Peter

    The characteristics of socialism are pretty much the same everywhere – at least in the end game phase. First of course we must understand that socialism works contrary to human nature – the perfectly normal desire to care for and provide for oneself and your family. So socialism always has to entail force (eventually) to prevent people from doing this.

    In the beginning it often uses lies instead in order to gain power, but in the end it is always force. Why else is it always the socialist countries that have walls and borders to keep people in – not to keep people out like everywhere else? How many boat people do you see hopping on rafts to cross to Cuba – not the other way around? This tells you everything you need to know about socialism. Second it involves the use of laws to oppress (another form of force but I refer here to economic and political oppression not physical though the two go hand in hand.) By using regulations and laws to prevent people from engaging in economic activity, socialist countries rob the initiative from their people, preventing them from engaging in enterprise that might otherwise make them self sufficient – which of course would detract from the socialist power. Third is cronyism. Socialists define everything as being political so guess who gets the rewards – not the productive and useful, but the politicians and their families and their supporters – the hangers on, the leaners, not the lifters. And of course hand in hand with this goes theft – theft of personal wealth to enrich the ruling class. Then of course we have destruction of accountability in government and institutions – all in the common good you understand and with this too of course goes the destruction of rule of law. Law is what the ruling class use to embed their power further – not to protect personal property or peoples human rights. The law becomes nothing more than a tool of oppression. And finally of course there is the rampant and cynical use of other people’s money, stolen from them not just to enrich themselves as recounted above but also to buy power and influence. All once more, for the common good. And so, eventually the circle turns – power gained by deceit, fraud and ultimately physical force, corruption, destruction of incentives to work, oppression and waste. Then collapse. The perfect system. It must be perfect – it has been proven over and over and over and over. And always produces the same outcomes in almost precisely the same way. It is almost as if socialists have all bought a copy of the life and works of George Orwell and are using it as a playbook.

  42. Howard Hill

    This ^^^

    That barricade looks just like the one I saw in Clayton the other day outside McCormick foods. They were complaining about their paymasters not honouring their social licence. I recommend they sue Kim Wong Andrews for failing to teach them at a safe school, that social free shit stops once the paymaster can no longer produce enough free shit for everyone.

  43. Combine Dave

    An absolutely stunning photo. The people behind the barricades are, of course, the people who put Chavez and now Maduro into power. I wonder what they now know that they didn’t know then.

    I doubt it.

    The problem is the culture of the people and their enduring support for socialism (somewhat similar to the French) .

    Throw out the current leaders and it won’t be long before Venezuela starts back down that path again of tye politics of envy and OPM.

  44. Combine Dave

    sky
    #2372242, posted on May 5, 2017 at 4:17 pm
    If only Venezuela opened its borders to millions of Muslims and Africans, none of this would ever have happened.

    Given Australia is copying the Venezuelan economic model and is likely to have an ALP gov soon hell bent upon opening our borders to millions of new welfare seekers/ALP voters from the ME and Africa- I wouldn’t joke about this!

  45. terry andrews

    WTF, please back up your claim’ socialism has worked in places’ with a name. How does this shit get shown on this supposedly respectable site

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