I have been reading David Solway’s The Problem with Hate Speech which has brought this to mind. It is about how the left is doing what it can to make arguments contrary to its own beliefs illegal by transferring the normal expression of one’s own opinion into forms of hate speech, which is then made against the law. His article concludes:
If we do not speak our minds, or prefer to huddle under a canopy of pietistic complicity, as many do, we will awaken one day soon to find our freedom of expression even more severely compromised than it now is—or worse. Indeed, “microfascism” has a way of morphing into macrofascism. The upshot is that we will have reaped the bitter harvest of our cowardice, and an ironic form of justice will have been served.
If ever there has been a belief system that has led to the death and misery of more people than the various forms of socialism that have been tried and are still being tried, I do not know what it is. Venezuela stands before us today as a
living dying example of how rapidly a society can be devastated by socialist leaders, and even while the example has been there before us, something like a quarter of the voting population of the richest and freest country that has ever been have been following Bernie Sanders – their own Hugo Chavez – and sincerely wish to see him become president of the United States.
Socialism is not the welfare state. It is not trying to assist the disadvantaged and the poor. It is not trying to lift the fallen and comfort the afflicted. It is a desire to run an economy from the centre, to steal the property of the capitalists and make everyone better off by making the most economically illiterate people in a society its political leaders.
In which socialist experiment has this not followed as night follows day: Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation.
Venezuela is convulsing from hunger.
Hundreds of people here in the city of Cumaná, home to one of the region’s independence heroes, marched on a supermarket in recent days, screaming for food. They forced open a large metal gate and poured inside. They snatched water, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, potatoes, anything they could find, leaving behind only broken freezers and overturned shelves.
And they showed that even in a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, it is possible for people to riot because there is not enough food.
This is from The New York Times, and therefore you might think the evils of anti-capitalism are at least being exposed. Not a bit of it. The entire article is purely descriptive. There is not a sentence in it that lays blame on anyone for the catastrophes being described. It is not entirely certain that anyone among the reporters at The New York Times actually knows. This is the only part of the story that tries to explain a thing:
Economists say years of economic mismanagement — worsened by low prices for oil, the nation’s main source of revenue — have shattered the food supply.
Sugar fields in the country’s agricultural center lie fallow for lack of fertilizers. Unused machinery rots in shuttered state-owned factories. Staples like corn and rice, once exported, now must be imported and arrive in amounts that do not meet the need.
The reporter cannot even bring himself to name the particular form of “economic mismanagement”, not even so much as to describe it as the guaranteed fruits of an anti-capitalist, socialist government. And there is no doubting that this has added to the socialist death toll, as described by this story from a month ago in the same journal of record: Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals. And they are not dying, they are actually dead.
Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died.
“The death of a baby is our daily bread,” said Dr. Osleidy Camejo, a surgeon in the nation’s capital, Caracas, referring to the toll from Venezuela’s collapsing hospitals. . . .
“It is like something from the 19th century,” said Dr. Christian Pino, a surgeon at the hospital.
The figures are devastating. The rate of death among babies under a month old increased more than a hundredfold in public hospitals run by the Health Ministry, to just over 2 percent in 2015 from 0.02 percent in 2012, according to a government report provided by lawmakers.
The rate of death among new mothers in those hospitals increased by almost five times in the same period, according to the report.
And what does this reporter say about the causes of such horrors? Does he explain that this is the natural consequence of following a socialist policy?
“This is criminal that we can sit in a country with this much oil, and people are dying for lack of antibiotics,” says Oneida Guaipe, a lawmaker and former hospital union leader.
But Mr. Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chávez, went on television and rejected the effort, describing the move as a bid to undermine him and privatize the hospital system.
“I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one,” Mr. Maduro said.
Can we lock up anti-capitalists for their hate speech, their insanity, their ignorance, their murderous beliefs? No we can’t and, of course, we shouldn’t and there is no chance that we will. Nevertheless, anti-capitalist rhetoric remains at the centre of political discourse in the West. It is the most lethal belief system on earth and you can find it not just on street corners but in every legislative body across the world.