How can it be? Venezuela, once the richest country in South America, is now famous for malnourished children, starving adults and spreading disease. As the world looks on with horror, warns Mary Anastasia O’Grady in the WSJ, the real problem is ideological. It’s a lesson Americans need to heed.
Socialism in Venezuela whipped up envy and a deep distrust of business or anyone who dared to be creative and build wealth. “Poverty and dystopia were inevitable., continues Ms. O’Grady.
Socialist Pap from Our Politicians
Venezuela’s intelligentsia spent much of the 20th century inculcating the population with socialist pap. If you’re not sure what that means, listen to Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They spout the same nonsense.
Punishing Entrepreneurs in the Name of Social Justice
Intellectuals, educators and politicians promised that sticking it to the rich was the path to socialist paradise. As government intervention in the economy—particularly through price and exchange controls—damaged living standards, Venezuelans voted for more of it. Little did they know that by targeting the rights of successful entrepreneurs in the name of social justice, they were setting up the country to fail.
A Devastated Country Abandoned the Creative Class
Venezuelans haven’t abandoned the collectivist cause. Many popular opposition politicians still call themselves socialists, unwilling to defend the creative class and its members’ right to the fruits of their labor.
Socialism Strangles the Individual
Venezuela needs an ideas revolution that recognizes business as an endeavor of the human spirit. Socialists pose as humanitarians and sometimes even as Christians but their system strangles the person, who is at the heart of Catholic teaching.
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