Venezuela: Dictatorship, Collapse, And Consequence

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Brandon Smith via,

If you want to outline the numerous failures of ideological and economic socialism, just name any socialist nation and you are sure to uncover an endless supply of examples. In fact, many countries where socialism is not total but making considerable inroads often suffer from severe decline — the U.S. being one of them. Whatever socialism touches it destroys, because forced interdependency does not work. It is a broken concept with no large scale successes (this includes China, which suffers from considerable poverty and a totalitarian government despite it being the most successful garbage economy out of a host of other garbage economies). Yet, proponents of socialism keep trying again and again claiming that "this time is different."

So ample have been socialism's failures in the past several years that socialists have resorted to a classic blame game in order to maintain the delusion. You see, when you bring up nations at the very end of the socialist cycle on the verge of extinction — nations like Venezuela, all you are going to hear is the argument that it was "the evil western capitalists that sabotaged the experiment."

This is a fascinating journey into cognitive dissonance. Because in order to believe this nonsense, you have to first ignore the cold hard reality that socialist policies and politics have permeated every aspect of most western nations to the point that they can no longer be called free market societies. The fact is, IF sabotage of Venezuela can be proven as the cause of its economic ills rather than the inherent pitfalls of socialism, it would merely be a group of socialist nations sabotaging another socialist nation. "Capitalism" plays no part in this mess whatsoever.

In fact, it has been international banks like Goldman Sachs that continue to fund failed socialist projects like Venezuela through bond investmentIf anything, the banks have been artificially keeping the government afloat when it should be allowed to fail so that it can be replaced.

Venezuela is perhaps the easiest of modern examples of socialist collapse, and maybe it is lazy to pull the Venezuela card when discussing these issues, but consider for a moment that the country is important exactly because it is a cautionary tale. Venezuela as a disaster state is at the end of the path ALL other socialist nations are traveling down. Venezuela is the future, and the future is bleak.

Here is the problem: Human beings need some structure to function as a group, this is true. But, human beings also need participation in a structure to be voluntary, otherwise, they are unlikely to find meaning or happiness within that structure. Without productive and inventive individuals striving to improve a structure, the structure will eventually stagnate or implode. Without individuals to support it, the system is nothing; it does not exist.

Socialists tend to suffer from severe mental blockage when contemplating the idea of "voluntarism." They just can't seem to grasp it. I believe this stems from a core assumption — the assumption that other people need to be forced to do "necessary" things, otherwise they will not do them. So, for example, socialists and big government champions will consistently argue that infrastructure like roads and fire fighting and police and schools could not exist without taxation; taxation being the stealing of other people's money to pay for services that are supposedly vital to everyone. However, all of these services and more can and have been built and maintained in the past through free markets as well as through voluntary efforts. Force and taxation was not required back then, but for some reason it is required today.

What changed? Nothing. We have only strayed so far down the path of interdependency and government interference that most people can't imagine life without it.

Another argument I hear often from pro-socialism types is the argument that interconnectivity is its own rationale. That is, they argue that the community requires dependency, because if you are independent then you are not supporting others and are thus harming the system. "We all have to live together within a society and if you are not helping us then you are hurting us," they state.

See how that works? You MUST participate, because if you don't you are harming everyone else. It is not a victimless crime to walk away or to build a competing structure like those "selfish" libertarians claim. You are a part of the machine and if you stop serving your function then the whole machine may break and then we all suffer. Therefore, the application of force and coercion becomes morally acceptable because the "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."

This is the horrifying perpetual circle that is collectivism; we all stand together or we all fall together, toe the line or else!

Well, as we have seen many times this ideology is not very practical or successful. If human beings were bugs with a central hive mind then maybe socialism would have some merit. But thankfully, most of us are not bugs and we do not thrive in environments that treat us like drones. We might tolerate them for a while, but we certainly do not thrive in them. Frankly, such systems should be allowed to collapse because they are a hindrance to mankind, not a beacon of progress.

When examining Venezuela, we see the classic big government collapse in motion.

First comes economic strife as the inability of the system to provide "equality" becomes apparent. All high minded socialist and communist (same difference) structures end up with an oligarchy. As long as big government is present, the power mongers will flourish.

Beyond the massive gap that inevitably develops between the power elite and everyone else, socialism is actually highly effective at creating wealth equality; in that it makes all other people equally poor. In Venezuela, the government has hiked the minimum wage three times this year, and surprise surprise, this has done nothing to alleviate the problem. Try explaining this to the leftists in the U.S. demanding a mandatory $15/hr minimum wage and they will dismiss the comparison outright. Explain to them how, just like in Venezuela, hiking minimum wage requirements results in more poverty rather than less, and they'll start talking about what is socially "correct" rather than what is mathematically evident.

At bottom, wage increases and social welfare measures are meaningless in the face of severe currency devaluation.  Venezuela has seen its currency value disintegrate by 93% in the past two years.  So terrible are the conditions now that starvation is becoming normalized.  In Venezuela, they call it the "Maduro Diet".

The next phase of the socialist breakdown is usually dictatorship. When the fantasy of pure equality dies and people are left with very little to show for their faith in the system, they start to become disillusioned and angry. Some citizens will decide to try the peaceful method and walk away from the broken structure so that they can build their own. Ultimately though, this is nothing more than a stopgap.

The Venezuelan government has been cracking down on alternative markets (often called "black markets") for years in order to force the population to remain as cogs within the socialist system. You see, in a socialist framework, people are property to be used for promotion of the system. They are not allowed to leave while the system is in dire straights, because the simple act of leaving stands as a damning indictment of the system itself. Leaving the system or peacefully competing with the system is treated as an act of war on the system.

The mode of dictatorship eventually meets with political opposition. People are only tolerant of tyranny for so long, and they will act. But, being generally moral, the average person will first seek out non-violent strategies to counter overt oppression. Again, this is nothing more than a stopgap. Venezuela has followed the same battle plan multiple dictatorships have followed in the past; namely the imprisonment of political opponents and activists.

This is usually a signal that the subject nation is on the verge of full spectrum collapse or civil war. Within months of any political cleansing, most totalitarian governments either start a war with another country to unify the public through fear, or, they destabilize into civil unrest. It is clear that Venezuela is going to fracture completely in the near term.

In previous articles I have warned about this process within Venezuela in terms of the consequences that will erupt throughout South and Central America. With a breakdown in Venezuela, Donald Trump's border wall will be looking like a rather fantastic idea as millions rush from the ground zero turmoil that will be created when the region melts into factional war and refugees flee.

My first suspicion though is that no such border controls will exist and we will be caught completely unprepared.

My second suspicion is that this turmoil will provide some attractive opportunities to the establishment elites within the U.S. Remember how Europeans were goaded into accepting millions of immigrants from the Middle East in the name of "atoning" for the war crimes of the West? Parts of Europe are now slowly but surely crumbling under the stress of a completely incompatible culture overrunning the existing value structure. Remember how critics of the policy were told that "we created the mess in the Middle East and now had to pay for it?"

Expect the same exact rhetoric if and when the crisis in Venezuela spills over its borders and disrupts the southern hemisphere. American policies such as sanctions will be blamed. Socialists will chide the American public that they should feel guilty and leave the border open as penance for creating the mess in the first place. And, being that there are still no legitimate border controls, many of these refugees will enter the U.S. unimpeded.

At that point, we will perhaps see the next phase of collapse within the American socialist experiment as we are seeing the dismal results of socialist experiments in Europe overwhelmed by too many immigrants with no intention of assimilation. To make a "new world order", as establishment globalists sometimes refer to it, the old world order has to be destroyed. Socialism is in itself a very effective weapon for undermining the coherent structure of nations and cultures, leaving disaster and ashes in its wake.

With the slate wiped clean, as it were, international financiers and other elitists always seem to be in the right place and time to build the next system; a system even more centralized and more oppressive than the one before.

What we see in Venezuela is a potential nexus for greater calamity in the western hemisphere. And, what we also see is a microcosm of the socialist cancer in action. It is not some self-contained rarity, it is the common and predictable outcome of a society based on collectivist servitude and false promises of equality.

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BritBob's picture

Venezuela appears for the first time as "not free" country report of Freedom House organization attributed the new category to "the combination of extreme economic mismanagement and heavy-handed Government" of President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro is a keen supporter of Argentina's mythical Malvinas claim even speaking at regional conference on behalf of Argentina (CELAC).

How can Argentina claim the Falklands when she has never legally owned them?

Falklands- Never Belonged to Argentina (single page) :


Still, why let a good old socialist distraction get in the way of the truth.

lakecity55's picture

Bob, surely by now you have a folder with cut and paste Falklands statements for fast posting.


svayambhu108's picture

Venezuella has the biggest reserve of oil in SA of course the need democracy and capitalism

D Nyle's picture

Libtards in Hell, Dreams do come true

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Venezuela is gone.....not even Bernie Sanders can save them now.


In other one gives a rats ass about the Falklands...

Blue Balls's picture

And yet the Venezuelians in Mami vote for Hillary.

Friedrich not Salma's picture

And Univision's chairman is a large Hillary donator.  Univision, a Spanish language broadcast station, has all Latin Americans in the palm of its hand.

Teja's picture

But Venezuela is a great and longstanding friend of Russia! And enemy of Merica! We should not mess with Friends of Putin on ZH, or say negative things about them! Especially as all opposition members in Venezuela are paid by the CIA.

And, Venezuela has recognized the Independence of Crimea and its voluntary integration into Russia!!!!

What is happening here? WE have to talk to the editors. This has to stop.


HenryHall's picture

Actually, the Falklands dispute is not just about the Falkland Islands.

It's also about South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Which will become very important if Arctic methane turns out to be a real problem for the planet. You might call it Britain's insurance policy against abrupt climate change. Small price to pay for an unlikely, but potentially super huge, payoff.


Dizzy Malscience's picture


One does not need to be a Venusian Hawking Particle Physicist to understand …..

How things and particles go if you are the third largest oil source for the US.


GUS100CORRINA's picture

Venezuela: Dictatorship, Collapse, And Consequence

My response: See what happens when there are NO MORAL ABSOLUTES in a society and this same society has a MARXIST PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL worldview? ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. 

May Venezuela R.I.P.

2 Corinthians 3:17

The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty and freedom.

Lore's picture

Now we're getting somewhere. "Socialism" is being pushed as a convenient straw man, but the economic hitmen have been mucking around in this country for decades.  This is yet another cookie-cutter attempt at "color revolution":

US Regime Change in Venezuela: The Truth Is Easy if You Follow the Money Trail (31-Jul)

"While the Western media attempts to frame Venezuela’s crisis as a result of “socialism” and “dictatorship,” it is clear by reading the West’s own policy papers that it is owed instead to a systematic assault on Venezuela’s sociopolitical stability and economic viability, spanning decades...

One needs not be a fan of “socialism” to understand that the ultimate outcome of Venezuela’s collapse will be a further concentration of power in Washington and Wall Street’s hands. Such power, regardless of whatever ideology it is superficially wielded behind, will always be abused. Regardless of the alleged form of government a nation may take, as long as it is a step away from unipolar globalization, it is a step in the right direction.


The crisis in Venezuela is not one of socialism versus capitalism or dictatorship versus democracy – it is one of hegemony versus national sovereignty, of centralized unipolar power versus an increasingly multipolar world."

Why is Venezuela in the White House’s Crosshairs? Confronting The Neoliberal Propaganda Media Machine (11-Jun)

"In his hour-long presentation, the Ambassador introduced the issues at stake by explaining that Venezuela today has the largest known oil reserves in the world and the fourth largest deposits of gas; that the US is importing 60% of its lush energy use (a distant first of the globe’s per capita energy users), mostly from the Middle East, where it is subject to long and costly transport (40-45 days), and to many risk factors, including the Gulf of Hormuz, controlled by Iran, where today about one third of all the world’s petrol must pass through.


By contrast, shipments of petroleum from Venezuela across the Caribbean to the refineries in Texas takes only 4-5 days.


This is the main reason why Venezuela is in the White House’s crosshairs, plus, of course, the fact that for Washington it is totally intolerable to have a sovereign socialist Republic in its ‘backyard’ – and so close, the same syndrome applies also for Cuba, a genuinely successful socialist nation, having survived almost sixty years of atrocious and criminal American strangulation. There is no tolerance for sovereign independent countries that do not bend to the dictate of the United States and her behind the scene handlers."

Diatom's picture

"What's happening in the USA is a microcosm of the capitalist cancer in action... It is not some self-contained rarity, it is the common and predictable outcome of a society based on debt servitude and false promises of justice."

Lore's picture

Nice bit of word-switching, but I would subsitute the words "FASCISM AND SOCIALISM" in place of "capitalism." 

True "capitalism" is languishing.  Actually, it's under active attack. 

PGR88's picture

You are the "cogntive dissonance" the author spoke of

Lore's picture

There is no dissonance.  Regardless of its flavor, a regime is either puppet or it is not.  See also: "Suitable Leader."

indygo55's picture

Not just in SA but the world. Any correlation with that fact and the destruction of the nation? Hummmm ya think? A slightly new form of a economic hit, right? Or the largest oil deposit, just around the corner from the US has nothing to do with it? Just a coincidence? I don't think so. Those Goldman bonds, whats the collateral? Think about that. 

back to basics's picture

You are an idiot Brandon spewing brainless shit again.

Venezuela is not a socialist state, it's a corrupt, dysfunctional state run to the ground by idiots.

Finland is a socialist state. But that doesn't fit your flawed narrative does it?

runningman18's picture

It's typical of pro-socialists to claim that failed socialist states (and there are many) are "not truly socialist".  Venezuela is socialist by every measure.  The state controls business and trade and has nationalized all industries including farming.  Finland is also in economic decline because of the stupidity of socialism.  Their own finance minister called Finland the "sick man of Europe".  The only flawed narrative is that of the socialist sheeple.

HenryHall's picture

> Finland is a socialist state. But that doesn't fit your flawed narrative does it?

On the other hand, India is the model for capitalist countries.

2040 USA will look a lot more like 2017 India than 2040 India looks like 2017 USA.

Stuck on Zero's picture

In the final days of the Soviet Union the state blamed "reactionaries" for all the ills of the country. In Nicaragua they blamed "counter-revolutionaries."  In the USSA they blame "white males."

runningman18's picture

Like the article points out, the banks (like goldman sachs) support Maduro and have for years.  That's all you really need to know to understand what is happening in Venezuela.  The banksters always throw their support behind the bloodsuckers.   

Thoresen's picture

Maybe Bob lives somewhere like Gibraltar, in which case I can understand his obsession. But his obsession adds nothing to the ZH debates.

HenryKissingerBilderberg's picture

Venezuela appears for the first time as... MALVINAAAAAAS!

are you a chatbot?

nmewn's picture

I've always found it highly amusing when those who support royalty try to discuss socialism and its faux populism or any aspect of "e-qul-it-teee"!

Shut up serf, the peoples politburo has deemed it a law ;-)

Rusty Shorts's picture

I must say, there is a great opportunity to profit buying properties in Venezuela. Lots of people are desperate to emigrate and are selling their homes, and since very few Venezuelans have enough cash to do so (local banks simply don't give credit for that), the prices are low and can be haggled for even lower if you offer to pay in american currency.

Friedrich not Salma's picture

I polled Vens a few years ago on this topic based on your theory. The answer was that the Chavista government workers and military traffickers were buying properties and real estate prices remained constant, at least in the middle to upper class neighborhoods. Capital controls also make it difficult for outsiders to purchase. This was all before their high inflation began.

Elvis is Alive's picture

"Property" ain't worth shit if there is no rule of law and there isn't in Venezuela. The author is dead wrong about Goldman Sachs "propping up" the Venezuelan ecomony. All GS did was buy bonds on the open market, and it is going to make a killing on them because no one else is going to be able to order in the firepower to seize Venezuelan assets (i.e. old fields) that government sachs will be able to once Ven defaults. Knowing GS, they probably called Blackwater prior to buying the bonds.

Maduro is so stupid he is using food as a weapon to control the opposition. The author thinks GS is dumb enough to bet on this cruel blockhead Maduro when anyone who can do math knows Ven is going bankrupt. 

The crap shoot with buying Ven property is this: we know GS is going to put in a government that protects its assets. But will they put in a government that protects YOUR ASSETS in Venezuela?

I don't think it could even if it wanted to. The Ven culture is that it is okay to steal because they would be a rich country if oil companies hadn't stolen from them. In reality, Ven is a poor country because no one wants to sink money into a country filled with dens of theives, and it is getting worse by the day. The creators/producers are packing up and leaving the country in droves.

That cultural attitude towards stealing is going to take any government, even the most benign one, decades to destory, and Ven will be a poor country until that attitude is abolished.

Rusty Shorts's picture

Agreed. But if Maduro falls 2017/18, it can be good to be prepared to go to a New Venezuela with real currency and real trade and diplomatic relations. Then it will have a golden era. Just like Medellin, Colombia.


Preparing oneself for going there quickly after democracy can be a very good deal; just like when Argentina was dirt cheap 2002-2005. Then inflation rose to 35% after Kirschner sacked his genius economy minister Duhalde. 

Ben Tornilloed's picture

I doubt State Farm would insure your casa nueva against explosion from military ordinance.

LittleGreenMan's picture

WTF does this article have to do with the Falklands?

hestroy's picture

STF your filthy english mouth, retard.

Ben Tornilloed's picture

Las Malvinas son Argentinas!

CatsPaw's picture

Socialism is a con game played by those who benefit from it.

And people being stupid enought to believe it.


Think about the average idiot. Then realize 50% of idiots are even dummer than that idiot.

Any surprise someone smart can con them into groupthink a lie?

new game's picture

something brandon didn't mention is the fsa that evolves. these are people that have no intention of pulling the wagon. so at it's core is humans that are slackers for many perceived reasons. mainly "i am fuked by the rich, and therefor i deserve their wealth for fuking me over".

also survival instincts play into this ruse. less is maor in the world of survival. moving less(avoiding being eaten or killed). and freebies with less energy exerted(road kill for coyotes and crows-flurishing!).

think about food stamps vs growing a garden as an example too. so humans become conditioned that others labor is to be exploited and of course vote and join the party that provides that. it becomes an unstoppable force til self destruction. we in merica are at the blame game stage...with debt rising and sure economic dissaster awaitsing. tic tock...

Vageling's picture

+1. Good post.

The victimrole is not an effective survival mechanism. Blaming the rich for having screwed you over is ignoring the root. That is, you  allowed them because you played their game a long. Less is more. Nobody forced you to buy all that crap you don't need. With money you don't have. And nobody forced you to become dependant on others. Too many fsa fools never bothered to learn valuable skills. Wut dafuq good does identity politics degree do? Silly theories to find excuses to justify victimroles and why any should have some right to demand the fruits of another ones labor. Insane. Their ideology is destructive but they refuse to accept that reality and continue to be in denial hence we're at the blame stage. 

LittleGreenMan's picture

Every form of gov't is a con-game if it is actually controlled by the 0.001% of the population who are rich and morally corrupt beyond imagination and who bend the system to their benefit.  For example, the US doies not have "Free Market Capitalism".  Our markets, laws, and gov't systems have been corrupted to benefit the 0.001% so that they can maintain their wealth and power.  The name given to the form of government that a country has, "communist", "socialist", "democracy", "republic", etc. doesn't matter as much as how corrupt the people running it are.  Granted, a less-centralized gov't has a better chance of not being corrupted, as the Founders of the US knew, though it only took us less than 200 years to f-up their plan.

Nunyadambizness's picture

That is why they didn't want a democracy--they instituted a Republic through the Constitution.  Unfortunately, through the creation of the Federal Reserve Act, the 16th and 17th Amendments, the Un-(or extra)-constitutional Agencies proliferation since the turn of the last century, the intentional dumbing-down of the populace, over-regulation, and the intentional takeover of Hollywood and the news media, we have now arrived in the place where we are.  If we do not change course, I doubt the Republic lasts another 35 years.  Welcome to the combination of Animal Farm and 1984, brought to you by the Communist party.

TeamDepends's picture

Amen!  Which is why we have posted this vid at least a dozen times over the years.  If you have left-leaning friends show it to them.  Hell, even the most hardened Bernouts could be swayed by it.

HillaryOdor's picture

Every form of gov't is a con-game.

You should have stopped there.  You started to sound like a whiny little Marxist after that.  There will always be  a 0.001% and no one is ever morally perfect.  The question to ask is do you want the top people to be productive and contributing to society in some way that makes your life better, or do you want them to be politically connected parasites who produce nothing, only take.  It is not anyone's fault for bending the system.  It is the people's fault for not insisting on a rigid system.  If your competitors are bending the rules you have no choice.  Go along or die.  You stupid people shouldn't have built the system this way in the first place.

LittleGreenMan's picture

When I say the 0.001% of the population, I'm talking about the kind of people who run the mafia.  I don't have any problem with anyone being rich, and I don't expect anyone to be a saint, but our system is being controlled by the equivelent of the mafia.  

I partially agree that it's our fault for allowing it to happen, but when you look at the tactics that they've used to take control, it's hard to fault the average, good, honest, person for not realizing all of the tricks that were played on them to make that happen.  For example, assassination.  And the way the MSM is used to Manufacture Consent.  It's hard to believe, and most of the people that I explain that to don't believe it.

It's time to drain the swamp of the puppets of the 0.001%.

youngman's picture

Yes look at Bernie Sanders..he got a new resort house...none for the workers

hestroy's picture

Bullshit. For you it is better when natural resources are owned by some fat joo parasite?

lakecity55's picture

"Socialism for thee, not for me"
--Hitlary, Zuck, Gates, Bernie....

847328_3527's picture

<<Socialism is a con game played by those who benefit from it.>>


That's true. The only people eating meat and sipping fine wine every night in NK now and during Chairman Meeows days are the government leaders and top party officials...while their people starve.

VinceFostersGhost's picture


"Socialism for thee, not for me"


Socialism is never for the Socialists...they are always in the protected class.

LittleGreenMan's picture

Some animals are more equal than others.

Richard Chesler's picture

Or as congress critters say "affordable care for thee"...