It is hard to believe that socialism is alive and well anywhere in the world, let alone Australia. Perhaps ‘alive and well’ should be shortened to simply ‘alive’ as no good comes from socialism or socialist policies.
Lying in that halfway house between capitalism and communism, the socialist claims to occupy the sensible centre (hasn’t that become a popular term lately?) as if they have discovered how to enact the utopian dream.
Unfortunately, no matter the lofty aims socialism always results in a dystopian nightmare.
The latest global example is the country of Venezuela. An oil-rich nation, the wealth that was delivered by private enterprise and laissez-faire economics was eroded by a succession of governments that chipped away at economic freedom. As living standards declined, the siren song of populist politics was voiced by Hugo Chávez. When elected just twenty years ago, he promised to turn ‘light socialism’ into ‘regular socialism’.
He nationalised the oil fields, agricultural production, the banking, mining, steel, power, transport, tourism and telecommunications industries. He raised taxes - all in the name of fairness and equality.
Chávez became the pin-up boy of the hard left across the globe. The lefty luvvies scrambled to associate themselves with this new hero of the people. In Australia, they even signed a public letter inviting him to Australia. In part it read:
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.
Although we are on the opposite side of the globe we feel that our shared ideals of social justice and democracy bring us close together. Every country has its own traditions and culture and has to find its own solutions, but what Venezuela has been able to achieve in so little time will be a source of inspiration and ideas for many in Australia.
The letter was signed by dozens of union officials, journalists, lefty politicians, academics, Islamic fundamentalists, the then President of the Labor Party (now a Liberal candidate) and a former ‘centrist’ Democrat Senator.
It is simply extraordinary that people in responsible public positions would embrace such a demonstrably flawed and failed ideology. History demonstrates that no matter who implements it or what is promised, socialism always ends in failure. Socialism is the wrong side of history.
Venezuela is our latest socialist failed nation state. When Chávez came to power a 100 bolivar bill was worth USD28. It would buy 288 eggs or 56 kg of rice. Today it is worth one US cent and it takes five of them to buy just one egg or twice that for only one kg of rice.
Venezuelans are starving, eating garbage, losing weight. Children are malnourished and even being given up for adoption by desperate mothers. An estimated 3 million Venezuelans have fled as refugees. That is what socialism delivers.
And yet, we see remnants of this failed vision here in Australia.
There are continuous calls for the government to own banks, power companies and telecommunications infrastructure. Labor is promising to raise $200 billion in additional tax, putting their hands in the pockets of pensioners and businesses alike. The arguments are exactly the same as those used by socialists of yore – fairness and equity.
Unfortunately, the end result is always a government living beyond its means, stifling free enterprise and reducing people to mere economic units of the state.
The populist minor parties are also happy to nationalise infrastructure, stifle private enterprise and blow up the budget with big spending programs. They contradict themselves with almost every successive policy announcement but no-one seems to care.
It’s as if the people have given up hope that politics and politicians will ever work for them and they just want to vote for whomever makes the biggest noise.
Australia deserves better than that and unless we emphatically reject the light socialism that is being delivered, it will likely morph into the spiral of economic destruction that has been demonstrated in places like Venezuela. The fact that so many notable Australians supported the Chávez experiment should be warning in itself.
The left never learn from history or the lived human experience. That’s why only the Conservatives can be trusted to do the right thing.
Things that make you go Hmm…
Labor will regret their retiree tax, Turnbull backs Banks as the Greens say coal causes Tassie bushfires. There’s a marry-your-sister visa racket, Canberra salary snakes and ladders whilst Cormann’s cleared and rural Victoria goes Mad for a 40th bash. A SA senator’s caught cotton pickin and as PETA are at it again, will SA’s Tunarama soon use only fake tuna?
Father Rod has an American nightmare, and who’s the real villain – Virginia’s governor or Julie Andrews’ Mary Poppins? Trump stirs State of the Union, DC’s ‘Colonials’ are under attack, Twitter’s on a gender bender, the UN tells the EU to go harder on CO2 - and ain’t life Grande?