Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Sickening Slide

Regardless of the huffing and puffing I sometimes do in my ferociously morose moods, I don't think that left wingers are bad people. But I do think that they have, perhaps with good intentions, set themselves on a road and become imbued in a culture that ends up in a very bad place.

If a leftist could show me how their ideas would end up with the kind of just society that they want, then I could go along with it. But those ideas won't and they can't, and I think that history has more than definitely shown that again and again.

For every group of leftists today who think that they are different, that their agenda is improved and smarter and won't bring us yet another totalitarian state, there is the story of an identical group of idealists who thought the same thing 30, 40, 50 or 70 years ago but whose ideals put them on the road to the killing fields of Cambodia, the mass starvation of the Chinese cultural revolution, the millions killed in re-education camps in Vietnam, Stalinist Russia, and so on.

And yet they just can't or won't see that.

They can't see that behind the idealism of any radical there is an ordinary human being with ordinary human nature, who will act as human nature dictates, in selfish ways and in cruel ways to get his way if given that power. No, they think that they are different, so much better than any of the leftists before them, so much better than anyone at the other end of political spectrum, better than those who will acknowledge the unavoidability of selfishness in human affairs. They can't believe that their honest good intentions could ever produce an undesirable outcome.

But we have an exemplar of all of this in the present day, that is, Venezuela. It is the sickening slide of a nation and a people into a totalitarian nightmare of oppression, degradation, and possibly starvation.

Venezuela's Marxist dictator, Hugo Chavez, has begun confiscating farms and ranches, a violent act worthy of Zimbabwe's ethnic cleansing, marauding socialist tyrant Robert Mugabe. Like Mugabe, his made his first target a wealthy British aristocrat. But unlike Mugabe, who openly reveled in barbarism, Chavez is using stagecraft calculated to create a melodrama that will excite his supporters, while putting the rest of the world to sleep. And he's doing it to conceal reality.The land is supposedly going back to the people after being taken from a rich landowner in Britain. In reality it's being given to 25 of Chavez's friends, and so many of the poor people are not happy with what Chavez is doing.

So, in the end what has happened in Venezula is that one group of elites led by Chavez has taken control of the country from the old elites, and the people at the bottom are still screwed.

All with the best of intentions, of course. Chavez knew he could not just give parcels of land out to poor people because he knew that food production would go to zero in that event, and so he came up with this scheme to keep the land in competent hands. Most likely, food production will go down regardless, and it will be the common people who suffer, as always, in that case.