Chavistas have an odd way to look at capitalism. On one hand they are the most savage of capitalist, looting the national treasury in a way that would make blush the worst robber barons of the XIX century. Robber barons who would, by the way, leave at least a track of material achievements behind them, or at least will endowments; something yet to be seen by our home grown barons who limit themselves to subsidize equestrian joints where they can show off their own horses. Ain't it so Andrade? But if on one hand they have no problem white washing 2 billions in Andorra or refuse to account on how the government "lawfully" spent 12 billion through HSBC, they have no problem telling us how bad capitalism is.
None will reach the summit of Chavez saying that capitalism destroyed life on Mars (yes, the planet) but gems of idiocy keep popping up. Maduro is a particularly well talented student for whom I have high hopes that he will come up with something even worse than the Mars idiocy. His latest account on how capitalism changed Venezuela in the last 100 years is for the annals. You will find out the following:
- 100 years of capitalism have estranged people from the countryside and thus there is a need for "urban agricultural revolution" which will be of course properly equipped with a very urban and capitalistic ministry of urban agriculture. Wits like me think that a ministry of urbane culture may be useful in today's Venezuela but what do we know.
- I have to semi agree on something with him. He says that capitalism has imposed on us an "unproductive and parasitic lifestyle". If certainly his lifestyle and the one of most chavismo is unproductive and parasitic, I could not agree more, he should still tell us who built all the infrastructure they found when they arrived into office in 1999 and that they have left to rot since.
- Where he gets more offensive is in his misunderstanding of the whole system, or worse, his refusal to understand and learn. For example capitalism has turned all us into consumers, we are not producers anymore. So he stresses his ignorance as to what is produced must come out of thin air. He cannot even stick to a traditional commie way of enslavement through debt.
- And to finish with a flurry he takes Japan as an example of what can be done against that dependency culture of capitalism. Supposedly Japan has reached its agricultural "frontier", whatever that means. But in Maduro's mind it means that Japan has run out of places where to produce food so the huddled masses have taken to produce whatever they can to avoid starvation. From their balconies to their backyards they grow what it takes, including chickens in "vertical coops", the same ones that Chavez long ago promoted (maybe these pesky Japanese imitators stole the idea from Chavez?). Certainly Maduro ignores that the obsession for freshness in certain Asian cultures makes people want to buy they chicken live to kill and pluck at home, or that they will only trust their favorite fruit/herb only if grown under their watchful eyes. But it is not a matter of anyone explaining that to Maduro, I have the feeling that like Chavez he could not care less for veracity.
We did learn something through: Nicolas and Cilia have Wonderhen. They get all the eggs they need from a single hen they raise in a corner of Miraflores palace (I assume as the place was not specified). And they are delicious. The best!