venezuela v scandinavia
Socialism v Social Programs
2016 misconceptions do not end at ‘fascism.’ Socialism, and specifically “democratic” socialism are also tossed around by the left to mean things that they are not.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (RIP) has brainwashed my generation into adopting the naive ideology of ‘democratic socialism’ for the noble and just cause of economic equality. This brand of socialism, coined for the sake of his campaign, is supported by the Scandinavian countries as a symbol of a beneficial government; one that provides services regardless of income.
Industries sell services and commodities to customers. Duh. But Bernie and his bros hold healthcare and education sacred because they represent our lives and our collective futures. Therefore, they should be considered ‘rights’ and provided by the government without the taint of an industrialist’s profit. But real rights are free and guaranteed, not forced upon the population by the taxation of a ‘social democracy’. Scandinavians may enjoy the hallmarks of Bernie’s campaign pleas, but they pay high taxes for it.
It could be argued that the USA is already a ‘social democracy’, with social programs like Social Security, Obamacare, Affirmative Action and Medicare. But no system is perfect, so what do Democratic Socialists want? Why would higher taxes be a priority for this group? Have they ever received a paycheck? Darling Sweden has lived the problems of a government run healthcare system, so why does Bernie want to dismantle the entire system, only to rebuild it with the flaws we already know exist?
And if Scandinavia and her free market aren’t ‘democratic socialism’ what is?
- Socialism is a state run economy.No profit, No private property.
- Democracy is a state of government that is elected by the people.
Usually, political parties are created to represent people’s distinctive interests. In a theoretical socialist state ‘the people’ would be represented by ‘the party’ which would control the economy in their best interest. To elect a party that believes in a free market would not be socialist, so it would have to be run by a single party, and that party would pose questions to the people for a democratic vote on how to run the state enterprises.
Socialism assumed that every worker would have the same viewpoint, or close to it. What happens when hardworking people disagree with the benevolence of socialism? Ask the single party states of China, Cuba, USSR and North Korea.
When the democracy of socialism demonstrates its inefficiency, the first thing the socialists take away is democracy, or natural rights.
Democracy assumes that there are more viewpoints than a government can predict. Greece, Britain, and France all have ‘socialist’ political parties. If that party is elected (God forbid) they do not become a socialist government overnight; they still have a free market. Democracy is open to fresh ideas, and all voices can have a say. Socialism is not as open minded.
Look no further than the democratically elected socialism of Venezuela:
After leaving the military, Hugo Chavez attempted to overthrow the government in a coup. He failed to capture the president, and offered surrender in exchange for televised address to his co-conspirators. He was imprisoned, but the charges were dropped by the president due to his growing popularity, and Venezuelan’s dissatisfaction with the government. In 1998, Chavez won the presidency after capitalizing on that dissatisfaction, while uniting his socialist party.
A new constitution was drafted, oil wealth was redistributed, and social programs were expanded. Chavez’s new constitution called for a new election, and he was re-elected in 2000 to a 6 year term. An enabling law was passed that gave him the power to implement new laws by decree. As his agenda became more radically socialist, he was met with resistance.
Venezuela is an oil rich country, and a member of OPEC. 80% of its revenue is accounted from its state run oil company. As oil prices surged, so did Venezuela’s revenue (or Chavez’s). He spent more money on social programs, and his approval rating soared.
Chavez nationalized electricity and telecommunications and tried to change the constitution again in 2007: the popular 6 hour workday, the ability for the executive branch to control the central bank and seize property, and the indefinite election of the president. It did not pass.
Chavez died in 2013, and Venezuela has suffered from his policies and his corrupt government. After the price of oil dropped in 2014 and economies around the world tanked, the Venezuelan economy became an emergency. Today electricity is rationed, and people are starving. Government issued vouchers have replaced currency due to hyperinflation. Murder is on the rise, and there are shortages of the basics; grocery stores are empty, so people eat wild dogs.
Socialism becomes authoritarian even if it is democratically elected.
Much like North Korea acts as China’s younger brother, Venezuela acts as Cuba’s. Chavez, visiting Havana in 1999 said, “Venezuela is traveling towards the same sea as the Cuban people, a sea of happiness and of real social justice and peace.” After the failed coup of Chavez in 2002, Cuba exchanged their military presence for barrels of oil.
To put it kindly, actual human rights, (freedom of press, religion and speech), are not strong points of Venezuela or Cuba. Yet Bernie Sanders, ideologically blind, commends dictator Fidel Castro for the healthcare and education he provided to Cubans. He ignores Cuba’s military presence in Africa to prop up dictators, or brainwashing young Cubans and using them as shock troops in Soviet military efforts. Bernie proves himself to be the socialist he claims he isn’t, while contradicting himself and living it up in a new mansion. Then again, Chavez’s daughter is worth $4 billion. Is this all just a ruse for your money? Nah…
Bernie’s followers pretend to be champions of democracy and this ‘democratic’ kind of socialism, all while silencing disagreeable speech and charging others as racist etc. The rhetoric of democratic socialism puts ‘people ahead of profits,’ simplifying and demonizing the role of bankers and businessmen in a free market economy. Hm. Scapegoating a class of people to revolutionize a just and fair government sounds eerily familiar…to something….
It is frightening to hear Bernie supporters admit that they wouldn’t mind a ‘benevolent dictator’ as he spearheads a misnomer movement. But one has to appreciate their honesty. It is seldom.