Quote Of The Day

“Since the collapse of the Soviet empire, many defenders of socialism have argued that dictators, including Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot, were aberrations; they took Marx’s ideas in the wrong direction. They claim that nationalization of the means of production (call it communism, socialism, or Marxism) and democracy can be compatible. In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek showed that it cannot. Some 50 years later, Hayek’s argument holds. Every socialist regime tends toward authoritarianism of some sort. Chavez reminds us of the anti-democratic nature of socialism. As such, he is turning into a major embarrassment for many on the Left who supported him. Unfortunately, what the proponents of socialism again and again fail to realize is that it is the message, not the messenger, that is embarrassing”. —Cato @ Liberty

23 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”

  • He is indeed starting to ruin whatever good image he made for himself but just because he is bad doesn’t mean his policy is necessarily bad. Venezuela seems to be doing quite better than anybody had predicted. If Chavez turns into a crazed dictator I think he only has himself to blame and not a political or economic theory.

  • Venezuela is only doing better than people predicted because of the high price of oil (Venezuela, being a large exporter of oil), see here, back when Chavez started nobody thought the price of oil would rise as high as it has.

    But when that price of oil drops, it will be easier to see the real damage Chavez and his political and economic theory has caused.

  • This is very true, but look at the last 500 years to see the damage capitalism has done to Venezuela and Latin America as a whole. 😉

  • Just in case my subtle joke was lost, I am not saying capitalism was the culprit for the hard times in Latin America… rather, it was the fact that corrupt and evil people have been behind it. Capitalism or socialism is irrelevant when you have a psycho behind the helm.

  • I suspect that the culprit is more likely to be “capitalistic” monopolies countenanced by corrupt government. Were a free market functioning there, you would have competition minimizing the effects of corruption.

    Of course the socialists like to call such freedom the “black market”, but its leveling effects give the lie to such pejorative terms.

  • Not true – so long as what is implemented is real capitalism, it doesn’t much matter how ‘psycho’ the person behind the helm is. For example, see Chile under Pinochet.

    The problem with Latin America is not the ‘evil’ people that run the countries, the problem is that Latin America has not implemented much real capitalism in the first place (due, in large part, to the evil people running the countries), instead it has implemented what economist Gary Becker dubs “Crony Capitalism”, see here.

    Collectivism, whether in the form of communism or (real) socialism, is a failure no matter who is in control. Granted, if there is a psycho at the helm it is much worse, but even properly implemented collectivism is a failure, see collective farming, for example.

    Last but certainly not least, it is only through free markets, property rights, and a free press, that one can prevent ‘psychos’ from taking over. So in addition to collectivism itself leading to mass murder, it also paves the way for mass murderers to lead the country.

  • Real functioning capitalism has never existed in Latin America at any significant level. In a properly working capitalist system, big companies die and rich families occasionally lose their shirts. But in most of Latin America, the rich families have been rich for centuries and their pet companies stack the political deck against competition, especially from “below”.

    This is why it needs to be easy to operate a legal small business, and why an almost perfect test for the wealth of a country is how easy it is to operate if you actually followed the letter of the law. If you can’t legally run a small business, it’ll never get big, and evil bribe-farming bureaucrats will use your “illegalness” as an opportunity to seek bribes.

    (Note that this isn’t to say that state cronyism doesn’t happen in the US or other western countries, but that it happens to a crushing degree in Latin America.)

  • You can do an Obama “I told you so” with this economy too.

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