Free Markets, Free People

Two real world examples of socialism and big government that leftist voters ignore

It isn’t like you have to go back ages in history to see governing models that don’t work.  The recent end of the Cold War provided perfect examples.  But they collapsed in the ’80s and our younger generation has no memory of the hardships the people of those countries suffered under socialist totalitarian rule.  They also give indications that they think government is the solution for all our problems instead of understanding that for the most part government is responsible for many of our problems.  It seems they think that if we just had big government, everything would be lovely.

The “Feel the Bern” crowd are enamored with “social democracy”.  They like to point to Europe and pretend that the system is a desirable one.  But instead of pointing to Europe, perhaps they should cast their eyes to the south – to Venezuela.  They might find it, oh, I don’t know, enlightening:

In 1999, Venezuela was taken over by Socialist who promised that he would punish big corporations and redistribute wealth to “the people” to provide health care, education, infrastructure, and even out income inequality. (Sound familiar?) The American Left cheered. Celebrities like Sean Penn and Danny Glover praised his Democratic Socialist economic measures. Chavez systematically nationalized the oil, banking, agricultural, food distribution, telecommunications, and power industries in Venezuela; because running them as social democratic communes would eliminate “greed” and give the people lower cost goods and services. The American Left praised him for “democratizing” the Venezuelan economy. When Chavez shut down opposition TV, radio, and newspapers the American Left defended it as necessary to protect the Revolution.

The American Left likes to pretend now that Venezuela isn’t a real example of Social Democracy; but up until the economy collapsed (as every sensible person knew it would) they were Chavez’s biggest cheerleaders, as the links above (or any Google search) shows.

It is, of course, a horrific example of a socialist takeover, but a typical one.  A once well-off country with the most proven oil reserves in the world reduced to literal poverty.  Food shortages, other commodity shortages, you name it, you can’t get it there.  Oh, and about those oil reserves?  Well it seems that Venezuela has an energy crisis.  And the government’s solution?  Well it said everyone should take Fridays off (yeah, screw productivity – that’s a capitalist construct) and this bit of brilliance:

Last week, his government said it was shifting its time zone forward by 30 minutes to save power by adding half an hour of daylight.

Socialism … in Venezuela’s case they’re actually feeling the burn.

Then there is Brazil.  Brazil is the lover of “big governments” wet dream.  Or as it has now become, a nightmare.  Brazil is a failing state and the primary reason that it is failing is because of the premise under which it has operated for decades.  Big government paternalism:

For all its modernist appeal, it was one more expression of the country’s long and troubled attachment to the concept of a giant paternalistic state, responsible for managing the affairs of the entire society, from its biggest companies to its poorest citizens.


“The problem is, from time immemorial, Brazil’s political leaders only see one way forward, the growth of the state,” said Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a former leftist intellectual who sought to reduce the size of Brazil’s government while president from 1995 to 2002. “But you need another springboard for progress, that doesn’t exclude the state but that accepts markets. This just doesn’t sink in in Brazil.”

Many wan’t to blame Brazil’s problems on corruption like the corruption scandal now rocking the nation.  But the corruption arises from the base problem … big, unanswerable government:

While many observers of Brazil’s predicament have focused on the country’s corruption, that may miss the point. Brazil’s deeper problem lies in the failures of its Leviathan state, which has perennially reached for the utopian visions embodied in Brasília but instead has produced recurring cycles of boom and dramatic bust.

Of course there a huge lessons to be learned from these two countries that apply to this country and the current political arguments now being made.  All, to some degree or another (with Socialist Sanders being the extreme) argue for both social democracy and bigger government.  We apparently don’t learn from other countries but insist on learning the hard way, by repeating what has already failed any number of times.

That’s because of arrogance and the belief that the only reason any of this hasn’t worked in the past is the right people weren’t in charge.

With the class of politicians we have running today, Hugo Chavez would be a better choice to run their ideas.

And we all know how well he did.


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9 Responses to Two real world examples of socialism and big government that leftist voters ignore

  • A new study by Oregon State University (OSU) psychologists have come up with a new tactic for turning skeptical conservatives into full-blown global warming alarmists: frame the debate in terms of patriotism.

    OSU academics found conservatives were more amenable to “pro-environmental” ideas, like man-made global warming, when they were framed as “obeying authority, defending the purity of nature and demonstrating patriotism,” according to a press release.

    Methinks that this idea has come and gone in Venezuela and Brazil.

  • “That’s because of arrogance and the belief that the only reason any of this hasn’t worked in the past is the right people weren’t in charge.”

    And not an example they’ve seen has changed or will change that belief.

    Like ObamaCare, if they get a chance to implement socialism by ramming it through, any problems will be caused not by their socialism, but by that fact that some people didn’t like their plan.
    This mere not liking of the plan will be determined to be the cause of all subsequent failures.
    In short, there is nothing you will ever do that will prove to them that their plan wasn’t completely workable and right.

    The only people who ever admit that they were wrong are the socialist survivors of socialist killing fields.

    • Since leftists seem to be enamored of foreign jurisprudence, they can borrow Article 58 of the Soviet Penal Code since they aren’t using it anymore. That will take care of those pesky wreckers and saboteurs.

  • I’ve seen Leftist Chavista-like sorts simply assert that all of Venezuela’s problems are due to the United States undermining Chavez, because reasons.

    It never changes.

    • googled that a few weeks ago and big shock, that’s the first thing that came up.

  • Our options this November appear to come down to a felon and a con man, each playing opposite sides in the crony-capitalism game. Used to think ‘how far we have fallen’, but recalled 2008 and 2012.

    History really isn’t taught in any meaningful way here in The People’s Republic of Illinois. The reason given by a close relative HS teacher is there isn’t enough time the way the curriculum is set up. No accident one suspects, as the evidence just doesn’t support the preferred narrative.

    It’s difficult to find people on the left who will converse in a reasoned fashion, point by point, on anything from economics to climate change. It’s really not worth trying anymore as it comes down to raised voices – usually theirs, shaking heads – not theirs – and having to listen to talking points. Why was not one person killed going from West to East Germany, and why is no one boarding makeshift rafts to head to Cuba? Where is the massive emigration to Venezuela? The subject will either change quickly, or the Blame America tropes come out. (And why are the Castros and Hugo Chavez’ daughter so wealthy if it’s all in the name of ‘equality’?)

    We’ll hear how it hasn’t been this warm it 200/1000/10,000 years. So why was it that warm so long ago when humans were living in caves – or not at all? Why are we regaled with the proof of climate change with ‘the warmest day/month/year in (pick a location du jour)’, but when confronted with how cold it is in (pick our locale) we’re told that climate has to be studied in the long term? Why does the actual (satellite and balloon) records reflect no significant warming compared to their trusted models? Why do those climate researchers who are true believers adjust prior temperatures down – and why does every ‘adjustment’ further their cause? It’s not really science, it’s computer modeling. Science involves hypotheses, (real) data, testing each hypothesis against the data, and the active engagement of contrary views. In real science the data isn’t altered to fit the hypothesis. And there’s a lot of historical evidence that things are just peachy when it’s a degree or two warmer.

    In the end the only thing between us and Venezuela/Brazil is the second amendment – and if Hillary gets to appoint the next Supreme Court justice, well…

  • With the class of politicians we have running today, Hugo Chavez would be a better choice to run their ideas.

    And we all know how well he did.

    >>>> He did QUITE well as a matter of fact. Lived like a king, his daughter is a billionaire. And that was the whole point wasn’t it?

  • An example of the future:

    • Idiocracy.

      You’re a clown reveling in the descent of modern politics into absurdity.