Yesterday, many of us did a double take when we read the latest toxic public announcement by Hugo Chávez’s economic czar, Jorge Giordani.
Giordani publicly announced that Venezuelans should stop expecting to get things for free. He cited the example of the gas subsidy, calling it “absurd.”
When you blog for a long time, you realize there are easy posts to write, and there are ones that are not so easy. A post discussing such a position is one of the easy ones.
One could write a decent post highlighting the absurdity of criticizing the very policies the government has spent fourteen years promoting. One could also highlight the contradiction of a government that gives away appliances as means of survival, and then criticizing the attitudes this very thing engenders.
But really, none of these posts would be that interesting. These are slam dunks. Is there anyone sane out there who can read these statements by Giordani and not scratch their heads?
With their radical disdain for logic, chavistas have completely destroyed Venezuela’s public sphere. You see, the public sphere is worth having whenever there are two sides that have more or less rational, internally consistent points of view. Their differing worldviews can then be contrasted in the public sphere, even vehemently, and democracy can fourish.
But in this case, Giordani is acting, well, senile.
It’s not simply a matter of saying “oh, finally Mr. Giordani is seeing the light.” It’s the internal contradiction of criticizing a gas subsidy your government spends billions of dollars implementing. It’s the insanity of slamming Venezuelans for expecting “gifts” while at the same time saying that the exchange control (a gift that benefits the rich) is here to stay.
I mean, when the other side is completely bonkers, what’s the point of arguing? That, I think, is what’s making it so difficult to continue blogging about Venezuela.
The crazy ones won, they are the majority, and there is not much more to say I guess.