Monday, December 2, 2013
-The Face of Socialism in the 21st Century
I just returned from Caracas, Venezuela. Having been on the State Department's travel advisory list I received several warnings about the rampant violence in Venezuela. I was reminded of kidnappings and Venezuela achieving the highest murder rate in the world.
We have socialists from all over the world that ignore the Venezuelan catastrophe. Sean penn doesn't go there anymore and our own President (who proudly cherishes his autographed copy of one of Chavez' insipid rants) doesn't care to mention the pivotal moment that grips this once powerful nation.
When you arrive in the airport in Caracas you are greeted by a customs line that is longer than any bread and soup line that stands for photographic history of the Great Depression. The airport bathrooms are a complete mess, lacking toilet seats, soap and paper towels of any description.
After waiting in this customs line for an eternity, finally you are summoned to a kiosk where a miserable person with a rubber stamp deciphers the illegible visa document. It is a document that is printed on thin paper and incredibly small font. I don't normally wear glasses, but I needed good lighting and a magnifying glass to make sure I didn't fill in the wrong string of boxes.
I surrendered the document to the miserable person with the rubber stamp as she questioned the proper way to pronounce my first name. After the phonics exercise I tried to be cute with the woman. She sneered and stamped my passport. Probably one of the last nations in modern time that still relies on the rubber stamp.
The rubber stamp in itself is more representative of communism and socialism than the hammer and sickle have ever been. It should be embossed on the flag of any nation that wishes to identify itself as Socialist or Progressive. In fact Americans that consider themselves Progressive should be reduced to an authenticating process 100% reliant on the use of the rubber stamp and ink pad.
After liberating my luggage from the carousel, we are greeted by free-lance money changers. These guys greet travelers with a simple question: "you need change?"
Its not necessary but do pack plenty of small bills if you ever go.
Socialism created a currency crisis as it does in all socialist states. Venezuela, like Zimbabwe is in the throes of compounding deflation. When the government seizes the assets of the functional businesses and proceeds on a course of obtuse nationalization, the producer class flees and the poor are encourager to loot, as we saw two weeks ago with the government incited looting of DAKA consumer electronics.
The currency is broken into two tiers: official government rate = 6 bolivars to 1 USD, and the street rate of approx 50 bolivars for every 1 dollar. As you can see, only an idiot would change at the official rate.
In order to backstop this disaster, Maduro the Bus driver cum Dictator may have either had another revelation from a winged incarnation of Chavez, or someone with a high school understanding of finance got through his thick skull that if he doesn't stem the deflation, his own military may not be able to save him. There is a lot of talk about reverse repo involving Gold and Oil or bonds etc... I don't expect the Ruler by Fiat to deliver a coherent message on the subject any time soon.
The situation isn't desperate but you can see that it is not stable by any means.
Currently, socialism in the USA has hit the wall of its own construct. Barack Obama, like Maduro tends to rule by fiat and most of what has been inflicted on the backs of working class Americans has been under the pretense of helping the poor or needy.
The ACA which is nothing more than a ham-fisted attempt at wealth redistribution is falling apart at the seams. The Clintons and other prominent democrats have already jumped-ship.
Obama is looking every bit as oafish as Nicolas Maduro, but Obama has decided to fade from the limelight. He'll re-emerge for his "close-up" as most narcissists are wont to do.
Both refused to compromise and both belittled and degraded their opposition.
Republicans will tragically try to rescue the ACA rather than stand back and let it collapse. In Venezuela, Maduro is actually standing back and starting to allow the evil capitalists do what they do best. Obama hand-picked his tech-support to rescue the ill fated program, and they are ralizing like some of us have already said, it's not the hammer, but it's the blueprint that is flawed.
In the end, if the capitalists succeed, El Supremo can take credit and call it a doctrinal victory, and no one will question it.
In America, if the ACA disintegrates, Obama will be left with nothing but a fig-leaf covering his lady-parts. The republicans won't let that happen and will devise a means of resuscitating components of the law, only to revitalize Obama's efforts to castigate and denigrate them.
I am of the belief that America really needs to hit bottom. All the phony socialists and liberals that have never seen the end result of "progressivism" really need to own these moments.
As for Caracas, some of the nicest most polite and fun-loving people I've ever met are enduring misery but not showing it in the least. There is a pervading optimism that things will get better in spite of the government. Liberals and Progressives, gaze upon your southern sibling. This is your ideological creation, far be it the spawn of an unfettered free market.
When I left Caracas, I saw the other inevitable construct of socialism: the Shanty Town. Every where socialism has been hailed boasts a shanty town that is beyond the comprehension of America's poor.
The final experience was leaving. After a one-hour queue to get my seat assignment, I went throught the x-ray booth. Upon exiting a young kid in a pseudo-Major Domo uniform demanded my documents. He wondered where i was going. I told him I was returning to America. My spanish is weak, however one of my companions heard the exchange and intercepted the twit. He was convinced that I was not an American and possibly had forged documents. After a bit of convincing, the micro-fascist decided to let me go. My companion said that if this guy wanted to make me miserable, he could have jailed me for lack of a blue sky.
Another three hour queue to the exit visa line - another miserable exchequer of rubber stamp and I damn near miss my flight. The gate closed behind me.
I have to return on business, and I wish I could take every progressive with me and show them what happens when their ideology is followed to the letter.
Posted by ikaika at 8:30 PM