Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Trust him, it will work this time!

Hugo Chavez is taking Venezuela trippingly down the well-paved path to socialism.

The path is paved, of course, with the murdered souls of millions of poor suckers who had the bad fortune to live in countries where their leaders decided that they knew how to make this inherently flawed model work.

Chavez announced he is nationalizing the telecom and the electric industries, and that Venezuela is "heading toward socialism and nothing can stop it." He also has his eyes on his nation's oil companies, and will soon ask his national assembly to expand his powers to legislate by Presidential decree.

Sound vaguely familiar?

Being a socialist means never having to own up to the fact that everywhere it has ever been tried, it has been a dismal failure (at least if your definition of success is increasing the well being of your people.) Usually, though, leaders like Chavez care not a whit about their countrymen. They care about their own power.

Socialism, it turns out, is a horrible system for creating a functional society, but it is a fabulous model for consolidating power in the hands of a thuggish dictator.

Socialism's track record doesn't ever seem to give pause to the many Marxists being churned out by our higher education system. Just walk through the pristine Reed College campus and you'll see them. Pampered, privileged, and oh-so-sure that their utopian vision can be realized if only people were smart enough to put them in charge.

2 comments:

Mick said...

Although I agree that socialism in the real world hasn't really been successful, I'm not sure you understand what the phrase "inherently flawed" means. How is socialism inherently flawed?

Rob Kremer said...

Mick:
That is a legitimate question that deserves a serious answer. Here's how I believe socialism is inherently flawed:

First, the basis for socialism is that the needs of the group are more important than the needs of the individual, and therefore individuals are required to sacrifice for the good of the whole. While this sounds good, it is inherently flawed because it is contrary to human nature.

It is human nature not to want to be enslaved. Forcing people to live for the benefit of others is a form of enslavement.

Another flaw is that socialism as an economic system lacks the proper incentives that result in economic growth, innovation and wealth creation. If economic assets are collectively owned, then noone has the incentive to find new markets, new products, innovate, reduce costs, etc.

The self interest in becoming wealthy is what has created the most powerful economy in human history right here in the US. If noone was allowed to actually profit from their ideas and hard work, there would be fewer ideas and far less hard work.

I believe this is why every single socialist state has not just failed, but has failed spectacularly.

Controlling human behavior requires force and lots of it. So socialist states are usually police states. And they usually end up eliminating the people who think that human nature is to be self interested.