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Venezuela's Socialism...And Ours
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This week we witnessed the horrible spectacle of Nikki Haley, President Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations, joining a protest outside the UN building and calling for the people of Venezuela to overthrow their government.

“We are going to fight for Venezuela,” she shouted through a megaphone, “we are going to continue doing it until Maduro is gone.”

This is the neocon mindset: that somehow the US has the authority to tell the rest of the world how to live and who may hold political power regardless of elections.

After more than a year of Washington being crippled by evidence-free claims that the Russians have influenced our elections, we have a senior US Administration official openly calling for the overturning of elections overseas.

Imagine if President Putin’s national security advisor had grabbed a megaphone in New York and called for the people of the United States to overthrow their government by force!

At the UN, Venezuela’s President Maduro accused the Western media of hyping up the crisis in his country to push the cause for another “humanitarian intervention.” Some may laugh at such a claim, but recent history shows that interventionists lie to push regime change, and the media goes right along with the lies.

Remember the lies about Gaddafi giving Viagra to his troops to help them rape their way through Libya? Remember the “babies thrown from incubators” and “mobile chemical labs” in Iraq? Judging from past practice, there is probably some truth in Maduro’s claims.

We know socialism does not work. It is an economic system based on the use of force rather than economic freedom of choice. But while many Americans seem to be in a panic over the failures of socialism in Venezuela, they don’t seem all that concerned that right here at home President Trump just signed a massive $1.3 trillion dollar spending bill that delivers socialism on a scale that Venezuelans couldn’t even imagine. In fact this one spending bill is three times Venezuela’s entire gross domestic product!

Did I miss all the Americans protesting this warfare-welfare state socialism?

Why all the neocon and humanitarian-interventionist “concern” for the people of Venezuela? One clue might be the fact that Venezuela happens to be sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves. More even than Saudi Arabia. There are plenty of countries pursuing dumb economic policies that result in plenty of suffering, but Nikki and the neocons are nowhere to be found when it comes to “concern” for these people. Might it be a bit about this oil?

Don’t believe this feigned interest in helping the Venezuelan people. If Washington really cared about Venezuelans they would not be plotting regime change for the country, considering that each such “liberation” elsewhere has ended with the people being worse off than before!

No, if Washington – and the rest of us – really cared about Venezuelans we would demand an end to the terrible US economic sanctions on the country – which only make a bad situation worse – and would push for far more engagement and trade. And maybe we’d even lead by example, by opposing the real, existing socialism here at home before seeking socialist monsters to slay abroad.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Neocons, Venezuela 
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  1. “No, if Washington – and the rest of us – really cared about Venezuelans we would demand an end to the terrible US economic sanctions on the country …”

    Socialism doesn’t work? Or is it Venezuelan corruption and U.S. sanctions that don’t work? After the crash. In post Imperial America. Will we conclude that Capitalism doesn’t work?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  2. It’s not socialism, it’s communism. The socialism is the ideal or ”utopic” community, a complex and egalitarian hunter/gatherer like society.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  3. Yee says:

    Venezuela’s problem isn’t socialism, it’s they produce almost nothing except cruel oil. Everything they need, they import.

    When oil price is high, they live better than most of the Latin America; when oil price crash or productivity drop for some reason, they don’t have enough money to import.

    You would have the same problem even if you were capitalism or feudalism, if you don’t produce anything except oil.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @CalDre
  4. anon[228] • Disclaimer says:

    in 20th century’s Europe , colonization was the best thing that could happen to humanity Even Germany fell for it and colonized foreign territories.

    Now the debate back then between a 3rd world and 1st world country’s citizen would have been something like this:” Asian and African countries cant colonize Even if they did, they would mismanage . The path to success lies in exploration and establishment of new shops, industries, right kind of labor- owner relationship and export”

    Today capitalism is exactly same- it is an occupation, it is a colonization but an abstract level away from land, concretes and buildings and soldiers. This is not granted to the 3rd world countries . That development – economic banking, free flow of surplus money , influencing election, or UN security councils or IMF and WB and pricing of labor – are the privileges enforced and maintained by army.

    Without the 3rd world, Capitalism will enter into a free fall.

  5. @WorkingClass

    I’d say both. We know Communism doesn’t work, and sanctions just intensify the resulting misery. We can’t really say much about capitalism in modern times, because that hasn’t been any… maybe the flea market.

  6. @Yee

    When oil price is high, they live better than most of the Latin America; when oil price crash or productivity drop for some reason, they don’t have enough money to import.

    Nah, oil prices were very high through 2008. Venezuela went Communist 10 years or so before that and the Crown Jewel of S. America went tits up soon after Chavez got started.

    You would have the same problem even if you were capitalism or feudalism, if you don’t produce anything except oil.

    The Saudis live solely off of oil. They’ve been doing fine economically throughout the wild oil prices swings. (I’m not praising the place in general, by any means, and eventually their oil-supported prosperity will wane.)

    Canada has got the western provinces, especially Alberta, with oil and tar sands. Those areas do have boom and bust cycles in real estate, but things never go all Venezuela. YOU NEVER GO FULL COMMIE… NOT EVEN PARTIAL COMMIE!

    • Replies: @Biff
  7. @Santoculto

    Socialism is a concept that even even a kindergartner knows is against human nature. The problem is those 16 more years of indoctrination that wipe out the simple concepts known by a 5 year-old. Some of us get through it though … enough to know that Socialism is Commie-lite. The guys in control don’t tell you about who will come after you eventually with guns if you don’t comply.

    “Oh, it’s just a raise in our property taxes for these people over here.”
    “I don’t want to support those people’s kids. I’ve got to feed and shelter my own.”
    “It’s OK, it’s just a tax; we’re all just part of the friendly community.”
    “What if I don’t pay this part of the tax?”
    “Well, you’ll just get it added on to next year….
    “…uhh, yeah, eventually they’ll take your house, sure, but it shouldn’t come to that.”
    “What if I stay in my house anyway?”
    “We’ll have to call an LEO, you know, just for your safety, to escort you out.”
    “What if I don’t come?”
    “Uhhhh, yeah, he’ll just go ahead and shoot you then.”

    Communisim-lite – same coercion, without all the harsh language.

  8. If socialism is so terrible, doesn’t work, is bound to fail…………. why the hell does ZOG USA spend billions of dollars trying to take socialist governments down?

    Use your brain folks. This isn’t hard t all. Capitalism is the failure, capitalism depends upon socialism to save it, time and time again.

    While you’re stuck with unaffordable, crap healthcare, we send billions and billions to Israel, and yep they have a socialized healthcare system, they love socialism for themselves, they want you to live with capitalism. Wake up!

    Socialism is government by the productive members of the world, the working-class, rather than the parasites on the working-class, the capitalists.

    And since it is workers who create all the wealth, and capitalists, as we all know, don’t do any productive labor of their own, it is the capitalists who are using other people’s money. I mean, why the hell do you think all these IMF bailout loans require austerity? The people being bailed out with other people’s money are the capitalist bond holders. The people who are being forced to pay are the working-class people who neither contracted the debt nor received any of the proceeds.

    Capitalism works so well for the capitalist elite only because the capitalists rely heavily on socialism to rescue them from capitalism.

    • Agree: Cyrano
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @Cyrano
  9. @redmudhooch

    Socialism is government by the productive members of the world, the working-class, rather than the parasites on the working-class, the capitalists.

    Yes, it worked so well in Russia for 7 decades and Russia for 4.

    When it comes to healthcare, as far as the business side of it goes, indeed China has taken the lead. (Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4)

    Is it possible you could try your Commie experiment somewhere else, RedMud, say Asia or Antarctica? I don’t want any part of it.

  10. the title

    reminds of an essay by the Stalinist Jew Mark Vishniak in a c. 1943 issue of Slavonic Review:

    “Russia’s Democracy…and Ours”

  11. Yee says:

    Achmed E. Newman,

    That’s because oil price didn’t fall enough to causing Saudi an economic melt down.

    Saudi Arabia’s oil field is easier to extra and higher quality, so their oil extraction is lower in cost.

    Saudi and Venezuela has roughly the same size population, but Saudi has about 4 times more oil production at a lower cost than Venezuela, so they still have enough revenue to keep the economy running.

    Basically, Venezuela runs a trade deficit, Saudi still runs a trade surplus due to low cost. This is a problem common to most countries in the world, Saudi and Venezuela only explain it in the simplest form. (Not familiar with Canada, but I guess they follow the same rule too.)

    I increasingly find Westerners incapable of analyzing problems objectively. They’re just content to recite political rhetoric.

  12. Cyrano says:

    The only thing (well 2 things actually) that saved capitalism in US and as a consequence everywhere else – during the great recession in 1930’s were a little bit of socialism (The New Deal) and a lot of war (WW2).

    It seems that they never forgot this recipe for success. Even today US uses a little bit of socialism – unfortunately a fake one – multiculturalism, and a lot of war(s) to keep the good ole capitalism going. I have only 2 objections to this arrangement:

    1. Use some real forms of socialism, not fake ones
    2. Drop the wars from the recipe for success of capitalism and let’s see how long it will survive.

  13. We arguably live in the most corrupt country on earth. We are the prime example of what greed can accomplish. We have elected people to steer our ship who have not the ability to think for their self. Just listen to what comes from the mouths of Haley, and Zinke. Either they are bought and paid for stooges, or they have the IQ of a fence post. Either way they need to be replaced, as does the cause of all of our problems, the Federal Reserve.

    • Replies: @CalDre
  14. CalDre says:

    Your claim is quite false and it seems you are influenced by the “Manufactured Consent” media.

    While Abby Martin is a die-hard liberal, she produced a nice documentary about Venezueals which, with video evidence, dispels a lot of the Manufactured Myths.

  15. CalDre says:

    It is an economic system based on the use of force rather than economic freedom of choice.

    Again, the capitalists flagrantly lie about this. Capitalism is based on private ownership of property, which is based exclusively on force. The only reason one man can inherit billions of dollars and nobody else can touch it is because the state uses extreme force and violence to protect this inherited power.

    Capital = power. Period.

    All economic systems are based on the use of force.

    Looked at another way: Ron Paul and similar “libertarians” claim that the State must use force to protect the injustices caused by inheritance, monopoly grants (such as copyrights, patents, and the like), and other property rights; but, if the state simply does not enforce, with violence, these injustices (and allows the other people to take a small share of it), then that is the use of force?

    That’s really turning things on its head! By not using force, according to Paul, the State is using force!

    Well these types of lies are common in “libertarian” circles – these people aren’t libertarians at all, they are tyrants.

  16. CalDre says:
    @the grand wazoo

    We arguably live in the most corrupt country on earth.

    US is very corrupt but, there are vastly more corrupt places, including Ukraine, Mexico, Egypt and many other places I’ve visited.

  17. Biff says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I don’t care what kind of ‘ism’ you attach to Venezuela; the fact of the matter is Washington is at war with Venezuela over its oil, plain and simple.
    Sorry, Venezuela’s problems are not Because of socialism or communism or capitalism or it’s just a shithole country, and they are just plain stupid. It’s all about the oil, Oil, OIL!

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  18. @Biff

    I just gave two counter-examples to the contrary and before that the counter-example of Venezuela itself, Biff. It was the crown jewel of S. America. That means, not a shithole, if you understand what “crown jewel” means. However, all of the Latin American countries seem to go from 3rd-world to Communism to military rule, to scarred but slightly improved, and back again in cycles. The S. American cone is a decent amount better due to having formerly let in loads of Europeans, but most seem to be rolling shitholes, without regard to resources.

    The Venenzuelan government has nationalized the oil, oil, oil fields, Biff. Have you seen any government-run industry that runs smoothly … anywhere? Communism takes incentives away from hard work, discouraging said work. What’s the point in working hard when rewards are distributed according to other people’s needs?

    • Replies: @CalDre
  19. @Yee

    Venezuela was the crown jewel of S. America in the 1980’s Yee. That was during a large, long oil GLUT that started near the beginning of that decade. Prices did not recover until ~ 1,999 – 2,000. This does not fit the timeline of Venezuela’s descent into Communism at all.

    In fact, it’s almost 180-degrees out of phase. Chavez took over in 1999, am I right? That’s right when oil prices recovered and began a long climb through 2008. In those years, how’d Venezuela do under Communism? Not too awful good, it sounds like, as it doesn’t from anywhere where rat becomes a stable of “the people’s” diet.

    There’s a simple analysis that I won’t even charge you for. If you’re going to associate Venezuela’s decline with a decline in oil prices, then you’ve got to have your timeline match. It does not. Why do:

    a) you Commies come out of the woodwork here on, when there’s a whole world of Communism on-line?

    b) come up with such silly arguments? Do you think the pure stupidity of your arguments will somehow make them fly?

  20. @Yee

    Sorry, Yee, I should probably not have called you, in particular, a Commie. That doesn’t make your oil price argument as a cause, instead of Communism, of Venezuela’s descent into hell, any more right though.

    • Replies: @CalDre
  21. CalDre says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Have you seen any government-run industry that runs smoothly … anywhere?

    Are you kidding me? In particular we are referring here to oilfields. Countries where oil fields are nationalized: Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq (before the Empire’s destruction), Libya (before the Empire’s destruction), etc. In some of these countries the governments have also nationalized the extraction companies, but that is not necessary to nationalize the oil – i.e., the government can instead pay private companies a per-barrel fee for extraction rather than letting them keep all the revenues but taxing them, and some countries are mixed, like Iran and Russia, with the latter having most of the oil extraction by state-owned companies but these companies sub-contract with private companies for some projects.

    At the end of the day corruption is caused by lack of competition, not whether the government or a private entity owns it. The more competition, the more efficient. But the vast majority of the “West’s” industries have little or no competition – e.g., Facebook, Verizon, Comcast, Northrup Grumman, etc., etc.

    • Replies: @KA
  22. CalDre says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    There’s an argument that Venezueal’s descent has been a deliberate ploy of the oligarchs (Venezuela, contrary to your bald-face-lies assertion, is not Communist in any way) to impoverish the country to get rid of efforts to somewhat redistribute income in a country that had gross disparities (inherited, much like feudalism). Yes it nationalized oil but so have many countries, such as Canada – see my post above.

  23. jay says:

    Sanctions on Iran and Russia hasn’t led to the Venezuelean disaster.

  24. KA says:

    learned new facts and also how to think and analyze

  25. ka says:

    the collapse of Venezuela is a text book example how hoarding, non-distrubtion, prevention of import of food , and health products followed by increased prices, combined with judicial and media power can generate an explosive crisis. .

    • Replies: @CalDre
  26. CalDre says:

    Exactly – sort of like the tribal boycott of Germany in the 1930s. Except in Venezuela the local oligarchs are also pretty much all hostile to the government (because they are greedy and feel “entitled” to the billions they inherited from their parents who stole it). Then you have overt US hostility as well.

    All in all, Venezuela is an object of economic war. Sure the socialist government made some mistakes, but who doesn’t. Only point is, it’s not just the fault of “socialism” or “the government” or “dictatorship” – there are powerful forces working to make it fail.

    • Agree: Biff
  27. Anonymous[183] • Disclaimer says:

    Our system of private property in land forces landless men to work for others; to work in factories, stores, and offices, whether they like it or not. Wherever access to land is free, men work only to provide what they actually need or desire. Wherever the white man has come in contact with savage cultures this fact becomes apparent. There is for savages in their native state no such sharp distinction between “work” and “not working” as clocks and factory whistles have accustomed the white man to accept. They cannot be made to work regularly at repetitive tasks in which they have no direct interest except by some sort of duress. Disestablishment from land, like slavery, is a form of duress. The white man, where slavery cannot be practiced, has found that he must first disestablish the savages from their land before he can force them to work steadily for him. Once they are disestablished, they are in effect starved into working for him and into working as he directs.
    ~Ralph Borsodi (1929) This Ugly Civilization Simon and Schuster.

  28. Antiwar7 says:

    You nailed it, Mr. Paul. All “humanitarian” intervention is sold using extremely selective concern.

  29. Both the article and most of the comments are way off. When people say that socialism is better than capitalism, and socialist countries fail because of external factors (e.g., sanctions by capitalist countries), they might be right, but we’ll never know. When people want to praise one system or the other, they have to take into account all the factors, including external ones. Because we do not live in an ideal world: we live in a real one. As for comparing the U.S.’s alleged excessive public spending with the bloody oppression and widespread misery in Venezuela, it’s disingenuous, to say the least. The author should come clean and say that he does not want the U.S. to intervene because it would not pay off economically for the U.S.; but honesty is not his forte, it seems.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  30. @Brás Cubas

    The author should come clean and say that he does not want the U.S. to intervene because it would not pay off economically for the U.S.; but honesty is not his forte, it seems.

    He doesn’t believe in intervention anywhere in the world and never has. He has railed against wasteful, unconstitutional spending for longer than you’ve been alive.

    Dr*. Ron Paul has been known for 40 years or so in politics. He was the only Congressman I’ve ever heard of who did the job per his oath to the US Constitution his entire time in office. How long have you been around, Mr. Cubas? You don’t know Jack Squat about Ron Paul, so the 2nd part of your post is just plain asinine. Latin America has never, and COULD NEVER, have a man in office with the integrity of this man.

    * That’s in REAL doctor, an OB, who’s delivered thousand of babies into the world.

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