The Venezuela socialism death spiral thread


Seems like a bit of a Catch 22. How do you ship off the psychopaths when they’re the ones in charge? Sounds like a coup situation to me. Weren’t you just saying that soldiers and helicopter gunships aren’t useful?


Well, that was my point about the ‘international force’ that was mentioned earlier.

I don’t think you’d actually need soldiers - or very few of them, at least. This is a failed state we’re talking about: I doubt they could muster serious resistance to something akin to a very large SWAT team. I suppose it depends how many genuine psychopaths are in charge: they tend to be more motivated by the prospect of hurting as many people as possible and less so by the prospect of being shot, so they’d resist arrest just for the amusement value.

I suppose technically it would be a coup, but the article was talking about a coup by populist consent. I’m not sure if that makes it legal, but honestly, if I were in that situation, I’d just want somebody to fix it so I could go back to wasting time on the Internet. I really would not care if the people fixing it were of my nationality or not.


Sounds like a job for the CIA (plus a few Seals/Delta teams). :sunglasses: They don’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to situations like these, but hey, what does Venezuela have to lose?

Another option is having Venezuela’s main opposition parties work out a deal with the Colombian government to send in troops and advisers to manage the situation until real elections can be held. Colombia seems to have made the transition from failed state to sort-of-works state with South American characteristics, so maybe they can provide the know-how necessary to help turn things around.


I think I suggested something like that earlier in the thread :stuck_out_tongue:

However I still think the Colombians would literally have to remove 20% of the population by means of a large additional police force and new courts. Some people are just unfixable, and there are a lot of them in third-world countries because unfixable people tend to thrive and reproduce under such circumstances.


I need to know: how did you come up with that? It sounds amazing!


Ah, you’re obviously a youngster.

GIYF. It’s a fictional country invented by cartoonist Andy Capp. It was basically a vile shithole supposedly somewhere in the USSR. What made it funny was that the main characters of the strip lived in a crappy corner of the US and were uniformly stupid, lazy, slovenly and corrupt; Lower Slobbovia was a sort of reductio ad absurdum, suggesting that however bad the residents of Dogpatch were, it was physically possible for things to be even worse.

Scott Adams basically copied the idea (Elbonia).


Al Capp, squire. Andy Capp was very British, but he was still lazy, slovenly and corrupt in his own way.


Um … yeah, it was Al Capp of course.

When you’re old enough to remember stuff like that, you’re also old enough to get confused. :blush:



You all be trippin


The only problem I see is that it has been tried. Basically, favelas so fierce they had their own government, with taxes and public services and stuff. Remember our social classes closed the opportunities to any economic participation, education, etc. So when they started giving land away, people did not know what to do with it. Zimbabwe syndrome. When the people grew restless, they threw guns.

Interestingly, many people in middle to semi high class in Venezuela go about their daily lives with some resemblance of normality, broken only by the occasional murder or real estate grab by the government. The bureaucracy is taken over by what we call socially resentment filled people. They want revenge now that they have the power. And so every single piece of paper you may need in your daily life is hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Much worse for those in voluntary exile: if they come in, they can’t get out, their passports confiscated. If they need a new one, they pay several thousand USD with no guarantee… and wait months, maybe years.

It is the working class people the ones who get out, do the walk north or southbound across borders out of Venezuela, washing cars, cooking, fixing cars, all kinds of jobs in places they may not be welcomed.


Are we talking something like the Iraq war here?

You can’t build a nation out of just anybody.


“When justice is gone, there’s always force.” - Laurie Anderson



Comrade @politbureau! Comrade @Winston_Smith! Save us from this heretic! :runaway:


Comrade Finsky spends so much time s***ting on the poor that I don’t remember which thread it was, but maybe he remembers: “X percent of the poor are incurable lazy parasites who want to be and deserve to be the way they are” – remember that? Something like 90 or 95 percent?

And now we have a third world country – a poor country – where 80 to 90 percent of the population is “perfectly normal”? Bizarre. :dizzy_face:

Is it just that Latin America is special?

So carve out a bit of Venezuela’s excess territory (they have plenty of it)

Sure, any country less densely populated than the UK has “plenty” of excess territory. :roll: You sound like my Japanese acquaintance saying, a few years ago, that a continent of 500 million people should have no trouble at all absorbing 1 million refugees. :rainbow:

I suppose technically it would be a coup, but the article was talking about a coup by populist consent.

Double Rainbow Award! :grinning: :rainbow: :rainbow:

Btw before you ask, no, I don’t have a solution. I’m just being my usual, pedantic self. :whistle:


Self-awareness…off the charts! That DB apprenticeship is really coming along swimmingly. :grin:


Well, someone would need to replace DB if it ever became obsolete…


Indeed. When the government fails, the people make their own arrangements. The problem here is that every favela has their own system. There is no integration, no enforcement beyond the local thuggery (who may or may not have their own interests) and they’re basically just making it up as they go along: nobody is trained to do the jobs they’ve taken upon themselves. It’s better than what the government does, but only slightly …

… because this. You get the same problem happening when people assume unofficial power.

If outsiders were brought in by popular vote, then there would be no (or very few) issues with resentment against the “occupiers”, especially if locals were employed en masse to take over after some specific timescale (I’d suggest 10 years). The outsiders would, in effect, be employees of the people.

No. I’m talking here about an army of bureaucrats, supported by honest policemen (one of the world’s scarcest resources, but they are out there). People who know how to do extremely boring and extremely specialised data management. Land surveys and property titling. Banking. Records of births and deaths. Road repair. Law enforcement. All the tedious crap that “revolutionary” governments just can’t be bothered with. It would be - as mentioned in the article - a bit like placing a company under administration to avoid bankruptcy. It’s a slightly embarrassing procedure for the management (less so for the employees) but it often works.

And, again, there would be no “rebels” causing mayhem because 80% of the people would have invited the bureaucrats in. The other 20% would be quietly shuffled off to play whack-a-mole with each other; they’d probably be perfectly happy with this arrangement since that’s what they like doing above all else anyway.

Aiyo. There’s a difference between poor countries and poor people. What I was trying to say, above, is that once the number of poor people reaches a certain critical mass, they impose their poverty on the entire population. Poor people are not necessarily people with no money: they’re just people who have a poverty mindset. They’re professional victims who think that their ‘poverty’ (real or imagined) justifies them doing all sorts of horrible things to others.

I’m not going to put a precise figure on what the “critical mass” is. It depends how effectively the poor can impose their will on others by violence, incompetence, grand larceny, etc. However it is a fairly low number. Probably below 5%. When more than 1 in 20 people are incorrigible scumbags, nutcases, or pathologically stupid, everything starts to fall to pieces. My theory is that by removing those 5% (or 10% or 20% or whatever it happens to be) everyone else has a chance to get back to normal. To take a trivial example, it’s easier to open a corner store if you know for a fact it won’t be raided by armed thugs on a regular basis.

Are you serious? Venezuela is one of the most sparsely-populated countries on the planet, especially considering its vast natural resources. It could easily support building a new City Of Assholes somewhere in the jungle. It might be a tourist attraction. Like Westworld after the robots turn bad.


What’s a country, anyway? A polity, a community, or as some would have it, a family, or even a corporation…

So we can take your rationalization a repackage it: there’s a difference between poor communities and poor people, or between poor streets and poor people, or between poor classes and poor people.

Yet communities, classes, polities… they are all made up of… people! Individual people.

So how does it work?

In the UK, 90% of poor people are bad because they’re below average, whereas in Venezuela, 90% of poor people are good because it’s not their fault that they’re poor – most people in that country are poor, so they were just born into unfortunate circumstances.

Is that it?

If so…

In the poor parts of the UK, 90% of poor people are good because it’s not their fault that they’re poor – most people in those cities/communities/etc. are poor…

Or is it…

In South America, 90% of poor people are bad because they’re below average…

Keeping in mind, of course, that there are different definitions/standards of poverty, and most of the time that people talk about poverty, they’re not using your nuanced definition, which also means that when they hear you say poor people are lazy they understand it as people who meet the general (monetary/material) definition of poverty are lazy.

First of all, robots are beyond good & evil. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: As for statistics, you’re talking to someone from a frozen wasteland, so meh.

I’m talking here about an army of bureaucrats,

Colonel Kurtz’s last words: The clipboards! The clipboards! :dizzy_face:


You know DB is gonna see this, right? I fear for your safety, bro.


Am I the chosen one? @discobot fortune