Sunday, May 17, 2015

Capitalism as seen from chavismo

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!


  1. Boludo Tejano1:46 PM

    Then there is that golden oldie, -Louis Vuitton Carreño:Capitalism is bad, says the wearer of a Vuitton tie and Gucci shoes.
    A video of a Gucci- and Louis Vuitton-clad politician attacking capitalism then struggling to explain how his luxurious clothes square with his socialist beliefs has become an instant YouTube hit in Venezuela.

    Venezuelan Interior Minister Pedro Carreno was momentarily at a loss for words when a journalist interrupted his speech and asked if it was not contradictory to criticize capitalism while wearing Gucci shoes and a tie made by Parisian luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton.

    "I don't, uh ... I ... of course," stammered Carreno on Tuesday before regaining his composure. "It's not contradictory because I would like Venezuela to produce all this so I could buy stuff produced here instead of 95 percent of what we consume being imported."

    It appears that for the upper echelon of Chavismo, it is all about plunder. Capitalism is merely a system which produces what Chavismo takes and distributes.

  2. Boludo Tejano3:51 PM

    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.

    An example where "You didn't build that" would tend to apply.

  3. The guy is more stupid than I thought.
    I hardly know anything about Japan, but I do know it is a capitalist country all right, in spite of all the subventions and trade protections (any country has them, including the USA).
    Someone should translate the following for Maduro's followers:,_forestry,_and_fishing_in_Japan

    1. Charly7:58 PM

      He doesn't need to be stupid, he just smokes so many doobies between sessions that it clouds his intellect.

  4. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Why didn't they also ask him why he needed a gaudy huge watch worth thousands of dollars, does not a simple Russian socialist made watch not suffice, instead of a capitalistic swiss watch. Why does the enemy of capitalism wear a watch worth thousands of dollars - Do as I say not as I do! Twer it ever thus.

  5. Charles Lemos11:17 PM

    Having read his speech, by "frontier" he means they have run out of space. Indeed Japan has limited agricultural land. Urban agriculture is a worldwide trend and was used successfully in Cuba to augment production in the late 1990s. There is a rapidly growing urban agriculture movement in the US in cities like Oakland, Detroit and Portland. So Maduro isn't exactly off base. He's simplistic for sure but this is man who has an elementary school grade education.

    And he's lauding Japan's urban agriculture efforts not chastising them. And you seem to have misunderstood what he meant by capitalism has turned humanity into consumers not producers. He isn't arguing that production has ceased only that prior to 1850 most items required at home were produced in the home. He's not wrong though again he's not exactly an intellectual tour de force so it's worded poorly.

    What Maduro says or does matters little really. And mocking him serves little purpose because at the end of the day, the man who runs Venezuela is Diosdado Cabello. And he's about to get indicted in the US for drug trafficking. It's likely to be a sealed indictment. Cabello, unlike Maduro, isn't an idiot. He's quite savvy and ruthless. Maduro isn't even ruthless. He's more pathetic and pitiful. But Cabello's indictment is going to blow the proverbial shit off the fan. Expect further repression because we are talking hundreds of indictments of la creme de la creme of Bolivarian Venezuela from military generals to members of the National Assembly to governors of at least two states, to sitting cabinet ministers. Maduro will not be indicted and is thought be oblivious to the corruption around him.


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