Robert Tracinski @ The Federalist revisits a famous song that told us to “imagine” life and the world “without”, instead of with. Many loved the melodic poetry of the song that assumed a Utopian existence for the people of this world if we just lost our religion, borders, money possessions, personal freedoms and individuality. Few people who list this song realize it is an ode to socialism/communism…
John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ gave us a fantasy vision of socialism. Venezuela is showing us the brutal reality.
So did this brave experiment in socialism result in “no need for greed or hunger”? Did it bring about “a brotherhood of man”?
Elsewhere, looters attacked a corn warehouse after employees began giving out small amounts of grain at the gates, but there wasn’t enough to go around.
Before you judge Venezuela’s looters, consider what you would do if your children were starving.
So much for “no hunger.” What about the “brotherhood of man”? Not only is looting soaring in Venezuela, but so are all forms of crime. It has gotten so far out of control that mobs of vigilantes are burning people alive in the streets over petty thefts. It turns out then when people are starving, there’s not a lot of brotherhood. Instead, they fight like dogs over a bone.
Now for the part about “no greed.” If there’s one thing the history of socialism teaches us, it’s that government officials can always find a way to live like kings while the people starve. So in Venezuela we see rampant corruption, with Hugo Chavez’s daughter amassing a fortune estimated in the billions.
There’s a lot of other baggage that comes with “idealistic” worldview of socialism. John Lennon also asked us to “imagine there’s no heaven” and “no religion.” This was not just about atheism, but about a range-of-the-moment outlook in which we were supposed to be “living for today.” Living in the present because “now is all there is” was a really big thing in the 1960s. The hippies wanted us to be like the lilies of the field and take no thought for the morrow.
That’s one thing socialism has delivered on. It’s easy to live only for today when long-term planning has become impossible and you have no idea where your next meal is coming from.
Socialism was also supposed to lead to world peace.
Under its socialist leaders, Venezuela has been in constant conflict with its neighbors, particularly Colombia, where Chavez supported the FARC narco-terrorists. That continues today, with his successor Nicolas Maduro responding to the economic crisis by announcing “military exercises to counter alleged foreign threats.” This is no surprise to anyone who knows the history of socialism. Socialist systems always rely on nationalism, a jingoistic style of patriotism, and a constant war frenzy to mobilize the support of the people and distract them from the failures and corruption of the government.
Socialism doesn’t even deliver domestic peace…
These truths about the fundamental inhumanity of socialism are old news, and we didn’t need to see any of it confirmed again in Venezuela. In fact, it had all been demonstrated over and over again before John Lennon came along. When he wrote “Imagine,” it was no longer necessary for anyone to imagine the actual real-world meaning of socialism….
However, the left twists themselves into knots trying to dismiss Venezuela’s horribly failed socialist system to near collapse … and are wincing by the thorn of Cuba in their Burkenstocks because they cannot blame Venezuela’s disasterous economic situation and growing intollerable poverty on a U.S. embargo. “Meltdown in Venezuela: the anatomy of a ‘monstrously unique’ economic basket case” … Except that it is not “unique”. Obvious inhumane socialist and communist failures (like China and Cuba and North Korea) aside, we are seeing economic emergency in the socialist governments of Europe and the Scandinavian countries as well as they “run out of other people’s money” for their compounded cradle-to-grave entitlement socialist systems. Hell, a huge amount of our tens of trillions of debt are socialist entitlement programs, and that doesn’t even factor in the unfunded liabilities that would jack that current over $20 trillion to $100 trillion.
Socialism and communism have to completely destroy capitalism and private business and personal wealth, with a centralized government running everything. And once that is 100% ‘successfully completed’, you have Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela. It has, and is, failing over and over again and again all around the world spanning over a century. Why? Because socialism and communism are economically, culturally, socially, and personally unsustainable. So, Hell no, Venezuela’s collapse of socialism is not “unique”. The evidence to the contrary is across the globe. And so, if you insist on scratching you collective heads and asses and ask: “What has gone wrong in Venezuela?” … You are either willfully ignorant, or criminally ideologically-driven.
Meanwhile, “Coca-Cola has been forced to halt production in Venezuela over sugar shortage”… I guess not everything goes better with Coke.
It is what it is…