Tuesday, 22 May 2018
This Is Socialism
The left's ability to twist the facts according to their prejudices is astonishing isn't it as we are seeing with the implosion of Venezuela with much worse likely to come. And yes I know that this cognitive dissonance is not unique to the left. It is a very human trait. it is just that we on the right are less prone to have to resort to this kind of fact twisting because our particular ideology isn't really an ideology at all. Capitalism or free markets are just a natural and organic way for the world to operate. It's how the world operated for millennia with modern economies growing and organising as they became more complex. Socialism is the opposite of organic.
At the weekend John McDonnell, still the Shadow Chancellor in much the same way that Ken Livingstone managed to cling on to this Labour Party membership for two years despite everything, admitted that he still wants to foment the overthrow of capitalism even if he doesn't know how to spell foment. This was a rare moment of honesty for the nasty old would be dictator. Unfortunately he then reverted to his norm by claiming that his party or at least his wing of the party have not long been apologists and even cheerleaders for the Chavez and then the Maduro regime currently stealing elections and the futures of millions of their countrymen.
It's not real socialism in Venezuela, McDonnell claimed. Well that's not what he and others in the party hierarchy used to say. Indeed Chauncey used to point to Venezuela as an exemplar of socialism. Others like Richard Burgon and the egregious Chris Williamson have frequently defended not just Chavez but his successor. The now departed less than cuddly Ken Livingstone once excused the failings of the Maduro regime by claiming that they made the mistake of not executing the elite when they first came to power. That's a humdinger of an excuse if ever I heard one.
But the claim that Venezuela is not real socialism is arrant nonsense. This is socialism just as we have always got to know it. Maduro, the proto dictator, has turned into a dictator precisely because he is a socialist and his policies have failed and caused misery as they always do. And so, just like McDonnell, instead of facing the reality that his prejudices and resultant failings of led to misery amongst the very people that he is supposed to be in politics to help, he doubles down, blames everyone but himself and becomes a tyrant.
It has become a cliche now to point it out, but Venezuela has more oil than any other country in the world. It's reserved are greater than that of Saudi Arabia. Yet its oil production is now down to 1950s levels. Why? Because of catastrophic mismanagement leading to low investment and staff fleeing abroad. Venezuela tried the standard socialist policies of price controls, high taxes, nationalisation, welfare bribery and managed to run out of money in a country awash in oil. That is what socialism always does. It is a failed experiment that sounds fair until it is tried because then it always comes up against human nature. It is a failed experiment that has failed every time it has been tried meaning that its apologists have to make excuses for it.
That is why capitalism works. It works because we are all essentially selfish creatures who work for our own betterment. Even Chauncey realises this without realising it because he promises free stuff to students and everyone else he can think of all paid for with other people's money. Then when they try it they find that the money runs out. And thus the descent into underinvestment, punitive taxes and punitive policies ending up in repression or worse. It happens every time.
Venezuela is now a basket case economic disaster that is failing to feed 90% of its population, has been seized by a kleptocracy because that is the only way Maduro stays in power. Maduro sends his kids to foreign universities typically. The country is rapidly imploding, cannot pay its debts, has levels of inflation that put Zimbawe to shame and its people are leaving in droves, flooding to neighbouring countries that are struggling to cope. It's got so bad that even our own Marxist Labour Party has stopped calling it all fake news. Now they just claim it was never really socialism at all.
Guido has now unearthed a parliamentary motion that McDonnell, Chauncey and others signed up to the last time Maduro stole an election, back in 2013. He congratulated proto dictator Maduro on his election and his 'socialist revolution.' Funny how it is no longer that now that it is clear that it has imploded the economy and reduced people to abject poverty and hunger.