Where are all the Chavistas? Huh? Where?


I guess what I am struggling with is how hard you are apparently trying NOT to find a link between socialist policies and failed economies. There’s a long list. While there have been some financial meltdowns in developed countries, many of the reasons leading to these were also issues of “social engineering.” Most of the analysts that I have read indicate that the lower standards to encourage, for example, minority home ownership in the US led directly to the number of nonperforming loans that swamped the system. This, however, managed to last longer than normally due to the sophisticated bundling of bad debt into credit instruments by financial “experts.” Not saying only one set of policies will lead to economic success but I think we can pretty much guarantee that the more socialist policies are implemented, the lower economic growth will be, the greater opportunities there are for government corruption and mismanagement, and ultimately, the system has a pretty good chance of collapsing on itself after it runs out of “someone else’s money.” No?


So you don’t actually want to talk about Chavism, just socialism in general, and you don’t have an explanation for why Venezuela is the way it is, other than that its economy took the same kind of “socialist” tendency that’s found in the US property market and amplified it, or something.

I don’t hang out in US property market circles enough to understand how letting businesses decide for themselves whether or not to approve loans and how to sell those loans to other parties passes for socialism (in the statist sense), so perhaps you can enlighten me about that.

Bottom line, A = B and B = C ergo A = C is something I find very doubtful, in any context, and I won’t rush to divest myself of any and all contact with “socialist” countries like Canada for fear of a Venezuelan death spiral any time soon. :sunglasses:


Chavism was a particularly corrupt, violent form of socialism. I have no doubt that being from Canada sufficiently removes you from that reality. Continue to enjoy but use with moderation/caution. Have a nice day and a safe tomorrow.


Canada doesn’t qualify as socialist if you go by the dictionary definition. Venezuela under Chavez was certainly socialist according to definition.

Definition of socialism

1 any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2a a system of society or group living in which there is no private property

2b a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3 a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done


Can you introduce some good sources that explain Venezuelan socialism?

For sure. And be cautious with your “socialist” property market, eh?


Here’s a start

Along with Chavez’s seizure of private land throughout his term should qualify for definitions 1,2a and 2b of socialism.

Another Socialist Paradise (Pipedream) Circling the Toilet

That’s a start indeed, but it’s basically just a list of assets that were seized by the government, in many cases also mentioning the compensation that was paid in return (which may or may not have been adequate).

Clearly there’s some evidence to support MW’s definition 1, but no matter how much one dislikes the seizure of certain assets and redistribution of land (and I’m not advocating or condoning anything here), it’s not at the same level as abolishing private property as in definition 2a or abolishing private industry as in 2b. Otherwise, we would have to say a famous anti-socialist socialized Taiwan, would we not?

US style civil forfeiture makes an interesting comparison. Large companies tend to be left alone, and instead private vehicles, houses, piles of cash etc. are seized, without compensation (though with a legal basis, however controversial). Does that make your country socialist? :ponder:


No. Because only countries with provinces, not those with states can by definition be “socialist.” Hope that helps.


As opposed to… where exactly? China? North Korea? The former USSR? The former east Germany? Vietnam?

Where in spacetime is this non-corrupt, non-violent form of socialism? It never seems to materialise.


Joke’s on you, Fred. Venezuela doesn’t have provinces. :doh:

Good question. But why do these discussions even happen, if people don’t actually want to learn anything from them?

It seems the whole purpose here is to say in a first world context, “public health care is bad, public pensions are bad, anything with a tinge of ‘socialism’ is bad, and various 2nd and 3rd world countries are the proof.” Is that not the point?


I think we can pretty much guarantee that the more a person eats, the more weight he will gain, ultimately resulting in obesity and death, and if you waste time analyzing what a person eats, it means you’re desperately trying not to find a link between eating and obesity. Eaiting is bad, m’kay?


Chavism is just your average garden variety of Latin American dictatorship, no different from the ones in the 1800s and 1900s and same old cow manure. Not even a creative message as makeup, no disguise. Could be rubber or oil, banana or pineapple plantations, same old systems in place, export oriented, take the money out, keep population ignorant and outside of economic participation. Hence, a model for disaster over and over again. Same in Chile, same in Brasil, same in all places, the pendulum just swings eventually.

Same all over the world where you have an elite in control of an export oriented cash cow, no active participation of the population as economic beings and producers, and eventual fallout. Same in Syria, same in Venezuela.


[quote=“yyy, post:30, topic:161731”]It seems the whole purpose here is to say in a first world context, “public health care is bad, public pensions are bad, anything with a tinge of ‘socialism’ is bad, and various 2nd and 3rd world countries are the proof.” Is that not the point?

But is that not true? Public pensions are great if you’re old right now. If you’re decades away from retirement - they’re awful. Retirement age keeps going up, and eventually there’s going to be a generation that has paid into the pension system all their life but will never benefit from it.

Taiwan is a prime example. It’s struggling with pensions and a bloated civil service. At the same time, it’s a capitalist system tinged with some socialism - but the standard of living is much higher than in China, which has the same ethnic majority but is a socialist system tinged with capitalism.

Two populations that are very culturally and ethnically similar, with radically different outcomes. If China had Taiwans capitalism it would be a first world power house.


Pinochet, now there was a dictator you could sink your teeth into! Chavez would have been thrown out of a helicopter decades ago if he was born in Chile.


That’s one way to run a pension system, and unfortunately it’s popular around the world.

How many economists consider Taiwan’s pension system normal or particularly socialistic?


Chavez pretty much abolished private industry and was on the way to making everything owned by the government, including supermarkets and setting prices. We see how well the supermarkets are doing now.

As for US civil asset forfeiture, that is against the US constitution since it deprives a person of property without due process. The US government does a lot of things that are against the constitution. So in practice, the US is a little socialist.


He abolished SME’s and self-employment? He forbade growing vegetables in your own back yard? (I’m just asking.)


Eh, nope, he “nationalized” stuff to give away among his friends/relaticves/followers. Not exactly the same.


Even where the government controls everything, somebody still needs to run it. Even in Democracies, cronies still get government contracts. I don’t see how implementing socialist polices excludes favoritism.

I don’t think he abolished small business, but he was somewhat hostile towards it (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2011/07/201173014318619360.html)

Though with price controls in place, I don’t see how a small business could survive without an underground market or government support. I think the current state of Venezuela (food shortages) proves my point.

I don’t think he banned backyard gardens, but by focusing on that you’re overlooking the fact that he seized farmland under his socialist policies to implement state controlled farming and that resulted in food production dropping. Not sure what the ratio of city to country dwellers is in Venezuela, but a few backyard gardens are not going to feed a country.


One more time: he is not a socialist, he is just another opportunist. It is not the talk, it is the doing.

YYY: not all land is suitable for crops. Many people invaded the empty plots, plots that were used for cattle before or exhausted by agriculore, or simply fallow. They set up tent as the value of the land is for a house. They have no idea how to plant anything, and ther eis no one to teach them.

In te ol country, people invade lands that atre fallow so they can claim that property and resell it…then settle elsewere and resell…etc. They do this with support of politicians, who are in the cut. I imagine it is teh same in Venezuela. But no one is planting nor producing.

To get an SME going, you would need reliable sources of something. I mean, there is no flour for bakeries…unless you are loyal to teh Government. That si how it started, until distribution chains broke down.

This is something most people have not experienced. I remember when the US closed down our imports/exports. We are talking daily food lines. Very easy to say grow something when it takes months to grow stuff -read the Martian- while food is consumed by millions quickly. In a week you have no cooking oil. In a month you have no food. If you have no petrol, you cannot move food around. That is why you have survivalists in the US. You need tractors to plow fields. No, there are not enough oxen, nor all oxen that are there can be used for plowing and no, it cannot be done fast enough by hand. If people even knew how to do it.

I have also lived through social breakdown after an earthquake, attempted coups, etc. No water in the pipes, no food in the stores. That is why the world admires places like Japan and Taiwan who keep their sh** together when a real cathastrophe happens.


Estimated dead under Pinochet: 1,500. Chile is now Latin America’s richest in terms of per capita income.
Estimated dead under Castro: 150,000. Cuba used to be Latin America’s second most developed and literate society after Argentina. Today, it circles the bowl with Haiti and Dominican Republic. But it has such high standards of medicine and education. Thanks for playing! All provided to you by Cuba’s Bureau of Statistics with no independent verification but that never seems to trouble the UN or its agencies. Wonder why… wonder why…