In Venezuela, "We Loot Or We Die Of Hunger"

While we have reported on previous incidents of looting, analysts are starting to fear that the current wave could linger amid the Venezuela’s economic freefall into a Mad-Max-like dystopia - very different from the promised-land of socialist utopian success promised by Bernie Sanders and his Latin American predecessors.

It is clear that amid desperate food shortages Venezuelans are picking up new survival skills.

“It makes you want to cry,” said Luis Felipe Anatael in a telephone interview with The Guardian.

“I think we are headed for chaos.”

A hungry mob took just 30 minutes to pick clean his grocery store in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz, hauling away everything from cold cuts to ketchup to the cash registers.

“Whenever there are anti-government protests, they have more than enough teargas, tanks and troops to put them down,” he said.

“But for us business people, there is no security.”

During the first few days of January the Venezuelan Observatory for Social Conflict, a Caracas rights group, recorded 107 episodes of looting and several deaths in 19 of Venezuela’s 23 states.

As The Guardian notes, President Nicolás Maduro blames the country’s woes on an “economic war” against his government by rightwingers and foreign interests.

But rather than reforming the economy, the government has resorted to handouts and far-fetched schemes.

A newly formed ministry of urban farming encourages people to grow tomatoes and raise chickens on their patios and rooftops.

Another campaign encourages Venezuelans to breed rabbits for the table. At a recent news conference, Freddy Bernal, the urban farm minister, declared:

“We need people to understand that a rabbit is not a pet. It’s two and a half kilos of meat.”

A woman with a sign reading ‘There is no food’ protests against new emergency powers decreed by President Nicolás Maduro

But as they grow thinner some Venezuelans insist they have a right to take matters into their own hands. That was the case in the western city of Maracaibo, where residents recently swarmed into the streets, stopped two trucks filled with flour and candy, and emptied them.

“We either loot or we die of hunger,” one of the looters, Maryoli Corniele, told Diario la Verdad, the local newspaper.

As Daniel Greenfield recently wrote, this is what really happens when socialists run out of other people's money.

Hugo Chavez had once touted the “marvelous community experience” of bartering. Now his collapsing narcostate is reduced to bartering its precious metals and jewels to survive.

Ordinary Venezuelans have long ago been battling imaginary inflation in the real life horror of socialism by trading in their worthless money for subsidized products and then reselling them on the black market. But increasingly they’re just bartering them to avoid the increasingly worthless currency.

Venezuela’s new supermarkets are the Facebook groups where the people trade sugar for beans. It’s a marvelous community experience that Hugo Chavez’s daughter, the richest woman in Venezuela, hasn’t been able to share with the rest of the populace. When Maduro, the former bus driver driving the country off a cliff as its insane leftist dictator, began chowing down on an empanada during a televised speech, the mouths of his starving people watered and a million memes were born.

But Maduro is promising Venezuelans that a replacement for money is coming soon. Venezuela’s dictator plans to create his own bitcoin, a cryptocurrency based on the only thing his failed state has, oil.

Forget the ‘monero’ and make way for the ‘petro’.

“The 21st century has arrived!” Maduro told a populace that is stuck in medieval times.

Venezuela’s past technological experiments haven’t exactly gone well. The joint Iranian-Venezuelan car company produced a vehicle more radioactive than Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The Chinese Vergatario socialist smartphone comes in handy when bartering for groceries on WhatsApp.

The ‘Petro’ will be backed by oil, gas, gold and diamonds. Except that Venezuela might be proposing to back its imaginary money with reserves that it already mortgaged to Russia. And that would make its imaginary money even more imaginary than it already is. But creating its own bitcoin would be a perfect solution by providing worthless money to everyone that wouldn’t even need to actually be printed.

But it still wouldn’t be worth anything.

 

And bitcoin is already in Venezuela. Tech savvy citizens who turned to imaginary money to escape worthless money aren’t about to switch to government money that’s both imaginary and worthless.

What happens when socialists run out of money? They start pawning the family jewels for more imaginary money while creating conspiracy theories about a capitalist war on socialism.

The left hates reality and math. Its theories turn money worthless. And you can’t eat theories.

Venezuelan socialists took a booming economy, destroyed its currency and reduced it to a barter economy. That’s what happens when socialists finally run out of other people’s money.

If you want to imagine the future of socialism, picture trading sugar for beans on social media.

That’s the leftist economy of tomorrow brought to you by their welfare policies of today.

Comments

shamus001 wee-weed up Sun, 01/28/2018 - 00:02 Permalink

Once Maduro is finally gone (preferably dead) and a rational form of Capitalism emerges, the first thing that needs to happen is open acreage for farmland corporations. (lease it on the cheap for 50 years) and get the population picking veggies/fruits etc. Ranching also.  People get to work, earn A REAL LIVING, NOT A FAKE SOCIALIST HANDOUT, and everyone begins EATING FOOD.  Once agriculture is restored, with some descent exports set up, THEN YOU CAN BEGIN THINKING ABOUT TECHNOLOGY IMPORTS and all of the things that SUCCESSFUL CAPITALISTIC COUNTRIES enjoy.

Step 1.  Get ranching and farming! and put those unemployed to work PRODUCING SOMETHING!

Step 2.  Set up exports of something OTHER than oil.  Hell! Take in the U.S. recycling and make useful $hit out of it like China used to do and sell it back to us! (but first...again, Maduro must DIE, and someone that isn't a dictator must enter office)

Good luck!

In reply to by wee-weed up

VWAndy Sat, 01/27/2018 - 16:17 Permalink

 This is part of that not owning oneself folks. That the only thing they can think of is to simply eat the seed corn. No thoughts of building up a barter system or anything of that nature. They would rather Darwin themselves than accept reality. Many will die before the few grownup take charge.

Benjamin123 VWAndy Sat, 01/27/2018 - 17:07 Permalink

Your typical Venezuelan would have nothing to trade in a barter system. They produce nothing to barter. You can make the point that remote subsistence farmers produce food, but the millions in Caracas, Maracaibo and Valencia certainly produce nothing.

About 15 years ago i suggested to my family to buy a plot of land and grow plantains. Not gonna happen, we are not peasants they said...

In reply to by VWAndy

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Benjamin123 Sat, 01/27/2018 - 18:54 Permalink

When I graduated with my BA I had set up an internship, for the summer, on an organic farm. It was a fun summer and very hard work! I decided that I needed to have more income, as I didn't own any property. What did I do? Moved off the island, rented a small converted garage that had been remodeled and had a small bathroom, laundry, kitchen, and closet and was an open room. I gave myself two months to fail in business or I would get a job. What business? I started a residential housecleaning business. I took out ads in the local papers, got a business license, got a bond, got business insurance, and opened a business checking account.

In two months I was fully booked with as much work as I could handle on my own. I probably should have hired people at that point, but my degree was not in business and I had no managment skills. I no longer clean houses. Did I ever have to go and fill out an application for a real job? No. And it is now more than twenty years later and I remain self employed, a home owner, and live a comfortable middle class life.

My mother grew up in poverty and I was raised that all work is honorable. We were never allowed to treat anyone badly based on the work they were doing. I have never thought that I was too good to do any job. But what you said is becoming more common in the US, as well. People think they are too good to do certain jobs. I wasn't raised that way so the idea is foreign to me. I find that many of my peers were not raised the same way nor are young people, most, raised this way now. Times have changed.

In reply to by Benjamin123

7thGenMO Justin Case Sun, 01/28/2018 - 06:02 Permalink

True story - I'm riding the train in Copenhagen around Christmas time - my first visit to Denmark.  I had come from NYC where nobody even looks at each other on the subway, but what I noticed was that total strangers would just start talking to each other, smiling and laughing.  Having lived in northern Europe, my thinking is that socialism can work for small, homogeneous (the people have common bonds) countries until the state acts against its own people - such as in the UK and Sweden.  In the Corporation USA, Inc., there is so much die-versity that .gov would quickly become more oppressive than now under socialism.

In some ways, the Amish and Mennonites practice a form of voluntary, Christian socialism, as did much of America when we still had a Christian ethic - Puritans and Old Methodists were very much like the Amish of today and had many social programs.  If .gov would get out of the big business of transfer payments, I think that money could be spent much more effectively at the local level instead of being filtered through DC.  I'm not suggesting everyone should become a Bible banger, but there are benefits to a Christian ethical system.

In reply to by Justin Case

css1971 GooseShtepping Moron Sat, 01/27/2018 - 17:16 Permalink

I keep telling you guys. Scandinavian countries are fascist, not socialist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_fascism

They don't believe for a second in the "socialisation of the means of production". It's all private ownership and markets with the state regulating everything to as near death as they can get away with without actually killing the host.

In reply to by GooseShtepping Moron

css1971 Justin Case Sun, 01/28/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

It isn't.

America first began implementing fascism in 1933, as "The New Deal" and has progressively been ramping it up over the last 80 years. Hence "progressivism".

Some would argue the Fed was the first example of Corporatism, so 1913, rather than 1933, but by 33 it was explicit.

The end result will be the same. Just, slowly.

Look, if you don't believe people have long term goals like these, just Google "The long march through the institutions".

In reply to by Justin Case

BigPunny css1971 Sun, 01/28/2018 - 11:28 Permalink

You must be retarded if you the New Deal is still going. The best years this nation has EVER seen - the most prosperous and where the middle-class became the largest in the world - was under New Deal policies. 

Then came Reagan. Reagan stripped all of that away in exchange for laissez-faire capitalism, which is precisely why we see our nation crumbling beneath our very feet. 

But if the dissonance is so strong in you that you cannot acknowledge that what you've believed to be true all your life as being the cause of our economic and social collapse, then there isn't much that one can say to you that will ever make it through that dense head of yours. 

It's actually very amusing to watch people try to spin Socialistic policies as the reason for our impending failure. I say that because now they're actually trying to conflate socialism and fascism, which couldn't be further apart. You cannot have a socialist economy under a fascistic regime - it's impossible. 

But here you all are, trying to smash them together because the only other option is to admit that your greed and hate for others is what is causing our collapse. 

Just more proof that nothing will be fixed until it collapses, and only then if we're willing to acknowledge the need for a social good and that working together is necessary, will we see the reconstruction of America actually result in a better future. 

The best societies are those who care for each other; the worst societies are those full of selfish individuals who think "me, me, me, me."

It's quite sad. 

In reply to by css1971

Ms No css1971 Sat, 01/27/2018 - 19:15 Permalink

Marxism was never what people were lead to believe it was.  I believe it was also Mussolini that defined Fascism in it's commonly excepted definition and he wasn't trustworthy either.  It's not just a BS economic system it's biggest identifiers are how they divide and conquer.  It was never intended to be a permanent system or functioning economic system.  Millions of books have been written on "types" of socialism but very few of these people in modern times seemed to be aware that it is nothing more than an infiltrate and destroy system that the same people have always been behind.  Socialism is just Marxism where they morphed their tactics.  This is the best description of it that I have heard.  He refers to it as post-modern Marxism, which is dead on. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLoG9zBvvLQ

Edi: Except the part where he says it doesn't have an organized backing trying to overthrow like the Bolshevik revolution did.  That is complete BS and he has to know better.  Nobody fully represents our reality correctly.

In reply to by css1971

BigPunny Ms No Sun, 01/28/2018 - 11:37 Permalink

You clearly don't understand the concepts of Marxism OR Socialism. Very evident. You're conflating it with fascism, which is impossible to have under an actual 'true' socialist society. 

The happiest nations on Earth have more socialist policies than other nations. 

Your ideology comes from your need to blame anyone and everyone for your own problems and hardships instead of blaming yourself. In a society where socialism is done well, you would be cared for no matter your idiocy, which means that as you age, you begin to realize how stupid you were. 

But here, you get to spout your bullshit hatred and blame everyone else for your fuck-ups in life. Never your fault; always someone else to blame. 

Grow up, snowflake. 

In reply to by Ms No

css1971 Your Creator Sun, 01/28/2018 - 09:51 Permalink

Socialists keep on shouting #NotRealSocialism at all the multitude of failures and then trying to call #ScandinavianSocialism at any successes.

Sorry. You don't get to have your cake and eat it. Either it is, or it isn't.

So. Socialism is the "socialisation of the means of production", ask any #RealSocialist, and so Scandinavian countries are also #NotRealSocialism. Having multiple definitions for words is common practice for The Left. It's much easier to mislead and misdirect. You can always claim "but I meant X", when in fact saying Y.

So what is #NotRealSocialism in reality then? Well, it's in most cases a form of fascism. With the means of production being retained in private hands. Which means most people who call themselves socialists, are in fact fascists. Obviously they don't want to call themselves that, but it's what they are.

And virtually every attempt at #RealSocialism ends back at Fascism. China for example. Communism -> Fascism.

In reply to by Your Creator

BigPunny Your Creator Sun, 01/28/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

You're a dumbass, clearly. 

Fascism and Socialism are on opposite ends of the spectrum. 

Capitalism turns into Fascism when the people who own all means of production (corporations) take control over policy and rule and form oligarchies. 

Socialism, on the other hand, is when the people have a say in the production of goods or organizations for the public good. Examples of socialist organizations include our military (although nowadays, it's actually owned and operated by corporations since corporations own our government instead of the people, which is Fascist Capitalism, not Socialism), municipal water supplies, EMT services paid for by the community it serves, firemen, disaster relief organizations, etc. 

When corporations run shit - which is what they have been doing since Reagan destroyed most regulation and every President did the same thereafter - the public good is no longer a factor in decision-making. The public is simply a means of consumption and labor - there is no thought towards what is good for the public. . . the ONLY thing that matters is making money, then making more money. 

We currently live in a Fascistic Oligopoly which has some Capitalism and little Socialism. The people no longer control the government: corporations do. That's not socialism. That's the exact opposite of Socialism. 

And that's why I called you a dumbass. 

What you're doing is trying to keep from having to admit that your ideology is destroying this nation so you're trying to spin it somehow in order to justify maintaining your ideology. That's called cognitive dissonance. You know somewhere down deep that what you're pushing is hurting everyone but you just keep it going by forcefully justifying it. And since you can't use facts to justify your ideology, you've now resorted to lying completely. You're simply lying --- or, you really are just a stupid fuck that doesn't even know what you're saying because fascism is nearly the exact opposite of Socialism. 

Now you know. 

In reply to by Your Creator

booboo GooseShtepping Moron Sat, 01/27/2018 - 17:33 Permalink

comparing apples to oranges but you answered the question to it's eventual failing as well. Socialism is way more than just an economic theory, it is a social order, a political structure, it shapes thinking. It is not JUST an economic theory. Besides its been tried enough times to take it out of the theory category. Socialism works great if you are the Donner Party.

 

In reply to by GooseShtepping Moron