Socialism and reality collide: Venezuela’s Maduro loses

Sounding like 'blame anyone but me' Hillary Clinton, Nicolas Maduro blames his country's woes on foreign enemies, but there are easier explanations for the failure of Venezuela's oil economy: Socialist incompetence and cheap oil.

A statue of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin is toppled during the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990.

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2017 — Venezuela’s President Nicolas Máduro was given permission to manage his nation’s economic affairs by decree back in 2013. Since then, Máduro is fond of blaming his country’s economic disaster on warfare waged against it by domestic and international enemies of his oil-rich nation’s “scientific socialism.”

Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro.

What Máduro calls “warfare” is in reality simple and natural competition. And as we see at the end of every stock market’s trading day, there is a buyer and a seller, a winner and a loser.

Like the hair-brained “scientific” theories concerning climate change, socialism only works in theory. Maduro’s edicts did not stem Venezuela’s economic spiral. Instead, they led to widespread famine.

The winners tend to be those who read the market’s signals correctly, whether in business journals or in candlestick charts, and trade accordingly, quickly cutting their losses when a trade goes against them.

Venezuela descends into dictatorship

When Venezuela’s high court – most of whom were appointed by Chavez and his democratic socialist successor – declared itself the sole legislative and constitutional authority in the land, democratic socialism and jurisprudential authoritarianism converged to disasterous results:

“As long as the contempt and invalidity of the proceedings of the National Assembly persist,” said the Venezuelan high court, “this constitutional chamber shall ensure that parliamentary powers are exercised directly by this chamber or the body that it chooses, to ensure the rule of law.”

But socialists are committed to the dogmatic principles of their ideology, looking for enemy saboteurs to explain their theoretical failures rather than opening their eyes to the more dynamic reality surrounding them.

The political left is one long historical thread of failure coupled with conspiracy theories:

  • World War I, said the Russian Bolsheviks, was a plot by capitalist munitions manufacturers to profit from conflict.
  • Jews, said Germany’s National Socialist Worker’s Party (Nazis), were responsible for military defeat and the economic deprivations afflicting the Fatherland.
  • America’s economic decline is linked to the nation’s wealthiest one percent not “paying their fair share” in taxes, insist failed Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders (an avowed democratic socialist) and Hillary Clinton.
2016 Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at a CNN debate.

And though emails purloined by computer hackers from Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington showed high-ranking party officials rigging their primaries in favor of Clinton, the left’s prevailing conspiracy theory is that Donald Trump and members of his staff worked with Russian intelligence agencies to steal the presidency from the woman political theorists said could not lose.

Venezuela descends into dictatorship

There are only two constant conspiracies if you can call them that, operating in the world today: reality and stupidity.

Conspiracies are the balm the left relies on to sooth the disappointments that inevitably come when the imaginary collides with the real.

Just ask the very disappointed Nicolas Máduro, Bernie Sanders and, of course, the stewing Hillary Clinton.

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