[A]ll countries have a shelf-life – … they experience a slow rise, typified by a strong work ethic and a free-market philosophy, which results in a highly productive country. That productivity later results in a high level of sympathy for the disadvantaged, which political leaders turn into a justification for government largesse. That, in turn, results in a population that grows complacent and, eventually apathetic, culminating in a decline into totalitarianism.
This pattern has existed for thousands of years. Sometimes, the process is a slow one, as in ancient Rome; sometimes, it can take place over mere decades.
[T]he EU, US, Canada, etc. … are in the latter stages, just prior to totalitarianism. …
On rare occasions, we witness a country that’s right at the birth stage, or possibly the rebirth stage. At present, we have an excellent example in Cuba, a country that’s been famously in the totalitarian stage for over half a century, due to a collectivist political regime.
Of course, collectivism always ends at some point, as it destroys initiative. Eventually, initiative reaches such a low point that the lack of productivity is insufficient to sustain the system itself. The system literally goes broke and the country is ready for a reset.
The author then describes how in Cuba free enterprise was allowed a toehold with restaurants catering to foreigners, starting in the 1990s. Then came apartments for rent and taxis. The private ones thrived while the government ones sucked.
The government has done its best to limit these developments, whilst endorsing them, as they are a clear affront to the official policy of collectivism. Periodically, they threaten to punish those who make too much money, creating economic inequality. As recently as 2005, Fidel Castro spoke fervently that the rise of free-market entrepreneurs was counter to his revolution and that, “The abuses will end… In this battle against vice, nobody will be spared. Either we will defeat all these deviations and make our revolution strong, or we die.”
Trouble is, the writing is on the wall. Collectivism left the Cuban people in dire poverty and only free enterprise has made improvements possible. The Castros therefore have had a terrible dilemma: how to continue to support the concept of collectivism, whilst living off the reality of the free market.