The Suicide of Venezuela, by Joel D. Hirst.
Venezuela is slowly, and very publically, dying; an act that has spanned more than fifteen years. …
[N]ational suicide is … not the product of any one moment. But instead one bad idea, upon another, upon another and another and another and another and the wheels that move the country began to grind slower and slower; rust covering their once shiny facades. Revolution – cold and angry. Hate, as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship. Corruption bleeding out the lifeblood in drips, filling the buckets of a successive line of bureaucrats before they are destroyed, only to be replaced time and again.
Venezuela made mistakes made before by others:
[A]n army of people smarter than me pointed out publically in journals and discussion forums and on the televisions screens and community meetings and in political campaigns that the result would only be collective national suicide. Nobody was listening.
Now life in Venezuela is much worse than it was before Chavez:
I chat with my friends, who continue to try and explain to the mindless why their misery is a direct result of one bad idea built upon the last in a great edifice of stupidity. Good men and women who are stuck in a two-decade old debate from which there is no escape. I say silent prayers for the next in the long line of political prisoners. I look at photographs of places that I knew – beaches where I went and restaurants that I frequented; covered in garbage or boarded up and stinking. I watch the videos of the nightly sacking of supermarkets that are fortuitous enough to have had a supply of something.
Bad ideas, such as too much socialism, matter:
There is no food either; they tell the people to hold on, to raise chickens on the terraces of their once-glamorous apartments. There is no water – and they give lessons on state TV of how to wash with a cup of water. The money is worthless; people now pay with potatoes, if they can find them. Doctors operate using the light of their smart phones; when there is power enough to charge them. Without anesthesia, of course – or antibiotics, like the days before the advent of modern medicine. The phone service has been cut – soon the internet will go and an all-pervading darkness will fall over a feral land
Meanwhile in Australia, many prominent trendy politically correct leftoids, who presume to know what is best for Australians and are given ample media time by the ABC, lauded the politics of Chavez. In 2007 they invited Chavez to Australia, writing:
Dear President Chávez,
We, the undersigned citizens of Australia, would like to extend a warm invitation for you to visit our country. We have watched developments in Venezuela with great interest. We have been impressed by the great effort that your government has taken to improve the living standards of the majority of Venezuelans. We have also noted with keen attention the moves that your government has begun to make to create a society based on popular participation in all spheres of society—from the workplace up to the national government.
Among the signatories, as Tim Blair noted, are some of Australia’s greatest losers:
- Andrew Ferguson, NSW Secretary, CFMEU
- Antony Loewenstein – Independent Journalist
- Dick Nichols – National Co-ordinator, Socialist Alliance
- Jakalene X – Indigenous community activist
- John Pilger – Independent Journalist
- Kerry Nettle – Australian Greens Senator for NSW
- Kerryn Williams – Editor, Green Left Weekly
- Keysar Trad – Islamic Friendship Association
- Mathew Chuk – General Secretary, National Union of Students 2007
- Natasha Stott-Despoja – SA Australian Democrats Senator
- Phillip Adams – ABC journalist, Republican of the Year 2005
Yet I will bet none of them, being politically correct, will admit that they were incorrect.