Friday, August 5, 2016

Venezuela: From Democratic Socialism to Forced Labor

Venezuela has progressed to the ultimate result of socialism: forced labor. When people do not have incentives to work (for PROFITS), then you have to put a gun to their head to get the work done. It reminds me again of Chapter 38 of the Tao Te Ching:

When a truly kind man does something, he leaves nothing undone.
When a just man does something, he leaves a great deal to be done.
When a disciplinarian does something and no one responds,
He rolls up his sleeves in an attempt to enforce order.
Therefore when Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is kindness.
When kindness is lost, there is justice.
When justice is lost, there ritual.
Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
Knowledge of the future is only a flowery trapping of Tao.
It is the beginning of folly.
Therefore the truly great man dwells on what is real and not what is on the surface,
On the fruit and not the flower.
Therefore accept the one and reject the other.

Someone told me that Venezuela is not socialist, but communist.  Is that so?

Socialism is defined as "a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole." Under socialism, the State owns or heavily regulates all schools, farms, factories, markets, etc., eliminating private ownership.


Communism is defined as "a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs." All property means all schools, farms, factories, markets, etc., eliminating private ownership.

"Owned or regulated by the community as a whole" is the virtual equivalent of "publicly owned" because if the State regulates the means of production, then it controls the means of production, so any "private" ownership is in name only...because if I don't have control of my property then I don't really own it. Ownership means having control and responsibility; without that one doesn't have ownership.

Karl Marx identified socialism as a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism, which he claimed would be the "dictatorship of the workers." 

 Hence, since both socialism and communism eliminate private ownership/control of the means of production, they are essentially indistinguishable economic systems. This is why the former communist Soviet Union was officially named the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics.

Many people confuse welfare state with socialism. Many European nations claimed to be "socialist" are not so, because these States do not abolish private property or own all means of production. They are capitalist welfare states providing their citizens with social safety nets, wherein many schools and all or virtually all of the means of production, farms, factories, etc. are privately owned. In fact, some of the European nations claimed to be "socialist" rank high on the economic freedom/private enterprise index. Switzerland ranks #4 (compared to #11 for the USA, and has no minimum wage!   Another darling of the left, Canada ranks #6.  The Nordic nations aren't socialist or even predominantly left-leaning either:


Hugo Chavez was democratically elected to presidency of Venezuela.  Venezuela got into its current situation through democratic socialism. The State/ collective took ownership of the means of production, and this is where they ended up: poverty, starvation and forced labor, which is not news for socialism. The same thing happened in the USSR.  

Socialism is immoral because it is based on theft: taking private property from the rightful owners.  Theft of property inexorably leads to theft of liberty.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

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