It is with a heavy heart that one reports on the inevitable consequence of collectivism, because, since collectivism is predicated on state violence and threats of it, the outcomes are always, always bad.
Case in point: Venezuela, where Breitbart’s Ben Kew notes that desperate citizens were attacked by armed police April 20 when they protested the dire lack of medicine and health care.
According to Kew, and Carlos Camacho, of The Latin American Herald Tribune, protesters shouting “genocidas” (genocide perpetrators) tried to gain access to the Caracas base of the Venezuelan Health Ministry, but were met by armed police. The police assaulted the protesters, some of whom were suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and HIV, causing multiple injuries and fueling the fires of even greater resentment over this diseased socialist health system.
For Breitbart, Kew writes about the medical problem nationwide:
Shocking reports from inside the country include cases of patients being asked to bring their own bandages, gauze, and medicine, while the chronic lack of medicine has led to a rise in amputations of infected limbs, more mastectomies due to a lack of cancer treatment…
It goes on and on.
And it is important for folks involved in political disputation in the U.S. to recall that this resultant collapse of a socialist health system started by Hugo Chavez after his “election” in 1998 is not just an example of socialism to be used as a chess piece in some political contest. It’s not an abstract factoid, stripped of its moral dimensions and reduced to a check on a debate box. This is a moral issue. We remember that real people are suffering and they need not suffer, especially in a country as naturally blessed as Venezuela. As we at MRCTV have reported, the Venezuelan population is starving, and medicine is often harder to get than food. And current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro refuses to open charity channels to help. The result of the collectivism is a growing disaster.
Transplant patients have not received their government-provided medication since last year, while AIDS and HIV stricken patients began noticing scarcity in 2009, but say it has grown far worse over the last few months. The ministry distributes the drugs for critical patients.
No central plan will offer a long-term solution to this. In fact, it is collectivism that brought this disaster about. Doctors and drug makers who are controlled by government dictates regarding what they can charge and offer will not long offer much.
Yet few pop media reporters or politicians north of the Equator are willing to discuss it. Indeed, many Hollywood elites praised Chavez’ socialism and the uptight man of late-night, John Oliver, once blamed the Venezuelan collapse on a decrease in the price of oil, never once mentioning that the entire oil industry in Venezuela was destroyed due to Chavez’s nationalization schemes, and never mentioning the collectivization of most of the rest of the national economy.
Whoops. One wonders if he will mention that Venezuela is descending into chaos tonight as he goes on the air, a descent happening despite some of the highest oil prices in years.
Over and over, conservative and libertarian economists and reporters have offered information on the Venezuelan collectivist death spiral. At MRCTV itself, we have covered stories for years, stories ranging from President Maduro having a birthday cake made for 650,000 Bolivars ($65,000) while people on the streets ate pigeons, to the Venezuelan hyperinflation, which just saw Maduro order three zeros cut off of the inflated Bolivar’s price level, this coming just a few years after Chavez already did precisely the same thing.
Do we think leftist pop stars and politicians will wake up? Does it appear likely that people such as Vermont’s socialist U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will retract his statements praising the state-run economy and redistribution of property seen in Venezuela?
How about Sean Penn, who seemed incapable of criticizing Hugo Chavez when he was stealing people’s property and livelihoods or criticizing Nicolas Maduro as he ordered farmers to work for the government?
What of Britain’s hallowed collectivist MP from Ireland, Jeremy Corbin, who insists that the collapsing health care system there is dying not because it is centrally planned, not because it inspires wasteful spending that leads to price caps and rationing, and has seen revelations of secret plans to close facilities and verified reports of, aborted babies being used as fuel in financially desperate and morally bankrupt hospital furnaces, but that, as he claims, that it is dying because it simply isn’t getting a big enough increase in taxpayer cash? Will Jeremy ever acknowledge the unavoidable consequences of collectivism after he praised the state-run system in Venezuela that did many of the same things?
This new story out of Venezuela is terrible and frightening. Disarmed by the government, desperate and ill Venezuelans are being threatened by armed agents of the state as they try to get the medicine they had been promised by the collectivist system, medicine that only the competitive free market can provide in higher quality at lower and lower prices.
Yet, in reality, those guns and that state force were always there. They lie at the heart of all supposedly peace-loving collectivist systems that take from some in order to give to others. In the end, that’s all the government has, violence and threats of violence, to engage in its pernicious, so-called “beneficence”.
Lessons to learn in the areas of the world where people still hold onto tiny vestiges of their former liberties.
Lessons the left seems unwilling to acknowledge.