Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:'Capitalism' as 'Whatever the Left Doesn't Like'

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

A report that originally appeared in the New York Times decries recent slight market liberalizations in Venezuela in terms that would have made Walter Duranty proud:

Even these, as devalued as they have been, have helped in Venezuela. (Image by Jp Valery, via Unsplash, license.)
After years of nationalizing businesses, determining the exchange rate and setting the price of basic goods -- measures that have long contributed to chronic shortages -- Mr. Maduro seems to have made peace with the private sector and let it loose. And while the country's economy continues to contract overall, the declining regulations have encouraged companies serving the wealthy or the export market to invest again.[link omitted]
And, much later:
The transformation also brought some relief to the millions of Venezuelans who have family abroad and can now receive, and spend, their dollar remittances on imported food.

But the boom has also come at a cost.

The new free market economy completely excludes the half of Venezuelans without access to dollars. This exacerbated inequality, that most capitalist of ills, and undercut Mr. Maduro's claim of preserving the legacy of greater social equality left by his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, and his "Bolivarian Revolution." [bold added, link omitted]
This is what happens -- as the entire "1619 Project" by the Times amply demonstrates -- when "journalists" feel free to leave terms undefined.

It is a safe bet today, that whenever one encounters the term "capitalism" in a news story, especially in a left-wing organ like the Times, it really just means, "something that displeases the left-wing intelligentsia."

To quote Ayn Rand once again, so we know what capitalism is (and what the left is against):
Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.

The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of the government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man's rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man's right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control. [emphasis in original]
A dictator who apes other dictators by permitting a very circumscribed modicum of semi-freedom from complete state control has done anything but establish a "free market", let alone capitalism. (We further set aside for the moment the worthwhile question, ably addressed elsewhere, of whether inequality is good or bad, let alone an "ill.")

It is disgusting to see -- all but explicitly stated -- a clear editorial preference that Venezuelans all starve to death equally rather than any feel relief that any others don't also have. And on a par with that is the complete neglect of the pregnant questions of (1) why a professed socialist (like Maduro) would find such measures effective and why (2) a self-professed champion of the "common man" (like any socialist) would not urge Maduro to greatly expand and accelerate measures that are clearly helping at least some Venezuelans.

Instead, the Times damns the slight loosening-up of the economy for failing to create an instant, universal paradise (after remaining silent for decades now about the descent into hell caused by socialism) -- and calls it "capitalism." And wails about an "ill" that can be anything from yet another example of elite looting under socialism to a universal manifestation of the laws of economics under capitalism.

Whatever it is, it's wrong, and capitalism caused it. Such is the "thought" process on the left.

Sadly for anyone in Venezuela who wants freedom, the socialist dictatorship has found a way to tighten its iron grip on power by further imitating Cuba. And sadly for America, one of our leading newspapers has decided it is more important to double down on socialism by making Nicolas Maduro into a "capitalist" non-person, rather than begin to consider what it might mean that even a very slight whiff of de facto freedom can bring relief to millions of Venezuelans.

-- CAV

Link to Original

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...