Socialism is so Absurd, Some People Don’t Realize It’s the Cause of Their Suffering

By: Guillermo Rodríguez González - Nov 1, 2016, 9:09 am
Young Venezuelans, who have no memory of when foreign exchange control was established, they can not imagine a market with free currency exchange. (Youtube)
Young Venezuelans have no memory of when foreign exchange control did not exist. (Youtube)

EspañolTalking to the common people in a revolutionary socialist country is like an experience from science fiction — a journey through time or out of this reality.

After decades of isolation, how they think about the world and the customs of their daily lives range from laughable to tragic. Most basic ideas and news comes to them incomplete and distorted compared to the rest of the world. They mistakenly assume that their everyday lives must be similar to what we would see in places they know little or nothing about.

For example, young Venezuelans assume there must be foreign exchange rationing everywhere, along with the rationing of almost everything else. When informed that this is not the case in the rest of the world — or that in the near-past that it wasn’t like this in Venezuela — they get angry and refuse to believe it, or listen in wonder.

With limited internet access to globalized TV or movies, it’s easy to understand how they could assume this. The few who travel are amazed to see shelves filled with the products they have to wait in long lines for, or never get at all. Venezuelans, like Cubans and North Koreans, live in a strange bubble of propaganda, disinformation and isolation.

In university, I teach kids about the fundamentals of economic theory, but find it hard to get them to imagine a normal economy, a system of free prices, market abundance. They do not believe that prosperity is “given” or that any given product in an economy can prosper independently of institutionalized regulations that make it so. They do not believe that socialism creates wealth, but cannot conceive of anything else because they share the prejudices of almost everyone else that has fallen trap to socialist propaganda.

So when those who have known nothing but socialism go out into the real world, they are shocked by any supermarket they come across. It is in this moment that they start to understand why capitalism works and socialism does not. The hard part is adopting the customs and institutional values of those successful societies back home, where socialism thrives.

Individuals prefer to flee from misery to prosperity whether they do or do not understand what is creating it. It is logical that most young people want to leave Venezuela, both the few who truly believe in socialism as well as those who hate it. The sad truth is that not all of them can.

Guillermo Rodríguez González Guillermo Rodríguez González

Guillermo Rodríguez is a Venezuelan researcher at the Juan de Maria Center of Political Economy and a professor of political economy at the Institute of Managerial Professions in Caracas.

Mexico’s World Reputation Has Dropped from Developing Country to “Failed State”

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Oct 31, 2016, 5:09 pm
Violence in Mexico, a weak rule of law and security institutions influence the bad international image of the country (Youtube)

EspañolMexico's international image has been on the decline since 2006, shifting of late to labels like "barbaric," "ultra-violent" and "failed state." Universidad Iberoamericana recently released a report titled "The Image of Mexico in the World 2006-2015," detailing the change the country has undergone, which by all counts shows that its reputation is not a good one in the eyes of those outside its borders. The study used a million informational sources, 10,000 of which came from international organizations as well as the media, diplomatic reports, social media, Internet search engines and film, among others. Before 2006, the positive image of Mexico was one of the best worldwide, the report said, but it began to change with the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez. Then, perception worsened when Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador claimed fraud in elections against PAN candidate Felipe Calderon. Later, a rebound in drug trafficking resulted in a war between cartels that was high in fatalities. Read more: Mexico's Most Vocal Conservative Cardinal Apologizes for Anti-LGBT Comments Read more: US Expats in Mexico Fear Retaliation Should Trump Become President The study was conducted by Dr. César Rivas Villanueva, a researcher at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He said the country is being weighed down by social inequality, corruption, a dysfunctional legal system and "very weak" security institutions. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); But on the other hand, the report said Mexico is also an "emerging" country with signs of economic progress, urban development and civil liberties. "We are mariachi hats, tequila, Aztecs, Frida Kahlo and Chavo del Ocho," the report said. Source: Sin Embargo

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