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The Incompetence of Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías in the Modern World.

Reader comment on item: Venezuela's Tyranny of Bad Ideas

Submitted by Robert (United States), Aug 27, 2018 at 23:45

Dear Daniel Pipes,

Neither Socialist not Capitalism explain adequately
the incredible disaster which an Oil Economic Power experienced.

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías has only competitor in modern times for ruining his country,
and that is the Austrian-born Chancellor of Germany, Adolph Hitler.
There are other countries whose economies are funded by one commodity - like Saudi Arabia.
And China is a Planned Economy.
Cuba, itself a socialist country,has managed to survive.

As much as you blame Socialism for the economic collapse of Venezuela,
you must admit that there has to be a special place in Hell
for Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

Somewhere, someone (I hope)
is writing a great analytic book
explaining in detail exactly
Chavez brought about the Economic catastrophe which is Venezuela,
Socialism notwithstanding.
How much worse Chavez was than Castro, Mao, Stalin, is incredible.
No one was as indifferent to Economic principles as he.
At least the former Soviet states and satellites
had some sense of productivity, industrial output, standard of living.
Chavez seemed to think that only Poverty needed elimination,
and that the (apparent) endless "Black Gold" of Oil
needed equitable redistribution to the less fortunate.
Again, I don't think the economic collapse of Venezuela
can be attributed to Socialism alone;
Chavez has a special place reserved for him,
as do the Venezuelan people - and Venezuelan culture - which produced him.

On the other hand,
the Great Capitalism which is embodied in the United States
resulted in the Crash of 1929,and the subsequent Long Depression,
from which we did not easily overcome,
except by the "Socialism" of FDR,and the economic productivity of World War II.
And then there is the Banking and Real Estate disaster of 2008-2009 - Recession?

I don't believe tooting the superiority of Capitalism over Socialism is useful.
We shouldn't blindly use the Socialist Venezuelan disaster
to rally in favor of everything that is dubbed CAPITALISM.
Instead, we should ask,can we not improve, or even Progress,
without becoming a "Chavez" Socialist?
The COMPUTER, a relatively new Tool,
may give us a way to improve upon "free" economic laws in operation.
Science has given us the means to harness Nature
instead of being blindly ruled by its laws.
Why can't Science also give us a means to control Economic laws even better.
That first happened in 1913
when the USA created the Federal Reserve.
Much earlier, Alexander Hamilton gave us our national bank.
Today, President is reintroducing Tariffs
to protect the USA against Globalization.
That makes sense,since our planet is limited
and the Free Market has the ultimate constraints of not being infinite.
There are natural limits to economic growth,
as there are natural limits to Oil, and Gold.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

In my article, I provided a short list of dictators who immiserated their countries: Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin, Tojo, Hitler, Ho, Mao, Kim, Nasser, Pol Pot, Mugabe, Assad, Saddam Hussein, and Khomeini. Many more could be added, starting with near-by Castro.

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