Defending the consumer society

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The fantasy
The fantasy
The fantasy

For the last decade we have been told that consumerism … is bad. It is evil. It sustains the capitalists, who in return exploit the common folk. The State must intervene on behalf of the common folk and restore the means of production to the proletariat. Stop exploitation is the calling.

We need to call them out on this heresy, and we need to do it forcefully.

Chavismo’s narrative is fueled by the defense of the small guy. The forgotten. The wretched ones. But in the process, it has turned them into mere subjects. The State itself becomes the exploiter. And the State is the Party.

In opposition to Chavismo we have a myriad of camps, none of them really providing an alternative narrative.

We have those who seek vindication, those looking at chavismo as a historic mistake and pursuing an agenda of restoring the republic of the past. There are also those who see today’s problems as a mere lack of “efficiency”. Poor management sort of speak. Others would argue that we must all come together in the defense of freedom, but fail to translate that into something palpable.

Free to do what? What freedoms do the average Venezuelans lack? Well, the freedom to consume for starters.

A consumer society is defined as a type of society in which the ‘satisfaction of daily needs’ is realized ‘through the capitalist model’. Daily desires are satisfied trough the acquisition of ‘commodities’, goods which are produced for exchange and are on sale on the market. We also conceptualize the purchase and use of goods as acts of ‘consumption’.

Yes. To consume as much as we want with the resources we have. See, consumption is way more than just satisfying needs. It is about satisfying preferences, tastes, fetishes. It is about food and nourishing, but also about gastronomy, about culture, technique and art. We consume experiences, services. We acquire tools for earning and learning. To practice hobbies which won’t yield any other dividend that a sense of achievement and happiness. Through consumption we tell society who we are. How we are unique. To be able to consume is to have choices. To have choices is to have power.

Overconsumption is bad – bad for the individual, bad for the environment. But that’s the beauty in all of it. In a free society information moves among individuals, also alerting them of the consequences of bad decisions. After all, with power comes responsibility.

Any construct of a narrative around the ideal of freedom must consider that freedom is only attainable by empowering each and every individual, and that empowering happens by giving people choices. Chavismo distrusts individuals with power. It only seeks what they seem as good or proper. We see it in the way they seek to control society. From censorship to economic regulations.  Chavism hates that Venezuelans have choices.

We need to call them out on this. The lack of choice is a supression of a basic right, and that enslaves us. We can only wish somebody would say this clearly.

54 COMMENTS

  1. Only a center-right narrative will make people wake up. If you make a light Chavismo speech like the ones Capriles likes to do, people will believe that there’s nothing wrong with the fundamentals of the current State, but rather with just the ‘efficiency’ in which this ‘good socialist model’ you have has been implemented. But that’s a complete lie. It’s absurd! You can’t reform what is broken, you must destroy it to ashes! And build something anew on it.

    You can’t fight model A by presenting model A revisited, you must present model B: to appeal to the people with something different! Gloria Alvarez is right.

  2. What distresses a lot of critics of consumerism are (a) that the freedom to purchase often seems to be raised to the highest value in society over say, the freedom to express one’s views, the right to a fair trial, or the freedom to freely elect one’s leaders, so that, as long as I can buy four kinds of toothpaste and an iPod I am not going to get very upset about my neighbour being jailed without due process, and (b) the troubling aspect of consumer culture is that people start to identify with what they consume and measure their self-worth and that of others by what they acquire, which has a de-humanizing and isolating effect.

    For some, a day in Sambil is a deeply enervating and depressing experience -hours lost that will never come back, surrounded by people in a passive, drone-like state- but for many, it is the highest form of recreation, better than a day on Avila, better than an afternoon with mom.

    I think there are degrees of consumerism, some normal, some destructive. Interestingly, socialism in Venezuela has not tried to fight consumerism; it has flourished. Just like the Catholic church in Venezuela, which has had to tread lightly on consumer culture for fear of losing people to the Evangelicals, who as a protestant sect, are not as conflicted about acquiring stuff just for the sake of it.

    I agree there is power in purchasing things. But the power of protest, the power of people banding together and acting for a common cause, the power of putting one’s individual hard earned money to the service of cause or a political party, those are irreplaceable and necessary to the proper functioning of a society, and perhaps those are the kinds of powers that the middle class in Venezuela will become more comfortable exercising, as purchasing power disappears.

  3. Poorly edited fallacy upon fallacy.

    Consumerism didn’t drive Venezuela to the mess it is in today, not single-handedly at least, but coupled with extreme inequality it created the conditions for Chavez to rise to power unchecked and with the overwhelming backing of poor people who never had the choice of ‘four kinds of toothpaste and an iPod’. To nostalgically bemoan the lack of choice Venezuelans have today is to look at the most immediate consequence affecting middle and higher classes in Venezuelan society and call that the single most pressing problem we face; it willfully ignores the causes for how under the blatant ‘inefficiencies’ and sustained ‘mismanagement’ everyone knows took place and continue to do so, no one wearing any other color than red has won any truly consequential election since 1998 (and I don’t mean Smartmatic).

    And this:

    ‘Through consumption we tell society who we are. How we are unique. To be able to consume is to have choices. To have choices is to have power.’

    I just have no reply to that… its just a sad affirmation.

    • I guess the other point Venezuelans will remind me of from time to time is that consumption in Venezuela is often not so much a choice as it is a response to chronically high levels of inflation. Consumption is not an expression of liberty so much as a symptom of a dysfunctional economy.

      • Bingo! Whenever people talk sanctimoniously about the consumerism of Venezuelans, when the fact is that we have experienced double digit inflation for 30 years, heavy restrictions to acquire foreign currency forthe middle class, not to mention the complete lack of access of the poor to buy foreign currency . So you are an average Venezuelan who works at a Ministerio and have been paid your “utilidades” you don’t have an account overseas to buy dollars, don’t really move in the circles of people who trade dollars in cash, you are left with a bunch of cash in a currency that is losing value rapidly and can’t be change for foreign currency, what would be the logical response to that from a Norwegian or a Japanese in a same circumstances? To spend it on consumer goods. So instead of criticizing people for making rational choices we should blame governments with disastrous and irresponsible monetary policies for 3 decades.Can anyone really say to an average Venezuelan to save those bolivars in the bank with the 16% YEARLY interest rate and not to spending on a fridge with a straight face?

    • If you say this post is poorly edited, then you should show why. Just saying isn’t enough, especially when your own writing needs editing.

      You think you can write in English, but really, you can’t. As in, if good English was Usain Bolt, your English would be Walter Marquez.

      And in any case, you are not even talking about Linares’ post. You don’t understand what he is saying at all.

      Come on, don’t be sloppy, carefully read the post again, then go and read Jane Austen for an hour and only then try to reply.

    • Consumerism in the worst sense of the word (People buying stuff to “show status”) has been used as another instrument of domination by chavismo, because it satisfies a part of the population’s desire for power as the article writer said, and it’s a relatively harmless power for those who control the mafia in the high sphere.

      That was (and IS) the fallacy behind cadivi/sencoex/simadi/dollarmonopoly fraud, the regime claims that “because of their magnanimity and grace, poor people who couldn’t afford nor find anything (which is bullshit, by the way…) now “have access” to those stuff.

    • ” backing of poor people who never had the choice of ‘four kinds of toothpaste and an iPod’. To nostalgically bemoan the lack of choice Venezuelans have today is to look at the most immediate consequence affecting middle and higher classes”

      You can’t ever get the point if you keep believing the idiotic chavista brain-rotting propaganda.

    • Poverty is in many instances defined as the lack of ability to access good and services. So it is not only a claim for the middle and upper classes. Ideally these classes would also account for the majority of society. But poverty is only eradicated with empowerment, not via alleviation (which has a different, more humanitarian purpose).

      You may think of yourself as morally superior because you don’t need or desire an iPod or 4 different types of toothpaste, but there is really nothing wrong with desiring it. I am tired of hearing people say that poor people shouldn’t be wasting their money in fancy phones as they should have other priorities, as if they were morally inferior because of this.

      It is too bad that you don’t have a reply to such an affirmation, nor able to argue against what you call fallacies.

      • The ancients had terms that described the human penchant for going overboard in desiring and buying frivolous things that took their fancy but which added little of benefit to their life ,and that instead made it more difficult for them to be able to aquire the things they really needed to make their lives more secure and comfortable , concupiscence was one such term .!! businesses in a market economy play to this weakness in people through massive targeted advertisment in order to improve their profit line . Its the equivalent of promoting waste, causing people to buy things which they neither need nor can profit from while preventing them from using their money with optimally rational utility, Remember a city that at huge cost built a sports a stadium in the US which structure could pivot to take advantage of the best sunlight angle regardless of the time of day.I wonder whether money spent on such architecturally fancy feature deserved more priority than other uses.

        • And all those things are bad Bill, but what’s your alternative?

          There are many things I don’t need but they make me happy. I love biking. I don’t need to bike anywhere. I just do it for sport and for enjoyment.

          Bicycle brands may try to get me to buy stuff, and in some cases they’ll charge me more for less value and other times I will be very satisfied about the purchase. The level of satisfaction has to do with knowledge and results.

          I understand what you are saying, but what Chavistas are after and some of the others in the comments is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

          You may not appreciate any of my hobbies. I may not appreciate yours. But that doesn’t allow you or me to pass any judgments on others on what are their preferences or choices.

          You know what has proven to me to be the most effective antidote against impulse purchases? Customer reviews.

  4. The problem is that the cumsuming society you are defending is, by far, already overconsuming. Marketing and capitalist values are among the main drivers of such overconsupmtion. The current consumer society needs to change,….(not towards Chavismo obviously).

    • Is consumption, when you have no other option, over consumption?

      In the real economy, you have two choices: consume or save. As Canucklehead notes above, with inflation as it is (and yes, it is historically high now, but, compared to most other countries, it has always been ridiculously high for 20+ years) what other choice do you have? Currency, as a means of a saving medium, is either a destructive choice (bolos) or unavailable (dollars). So consumption becomes another manifestation of the lack of choice.

      You consume whatever is available because to do otherwise is self-destructive.

      I think the difference now in Venezuela compared to, say, thirty years ago, is that the lack of choices in consumption options and the lack of a savings alternative has forced a shift from wants-based consumption into needs-based consumption. The irony there is that not having choices will only put upwards pressure on inflation.

      • You can do many things instead of either “consume” or “save”. You can become (or aim to become) wealthy enough to have a very decent life instead of become (or aim to become) a millionair and have 40 pairs of shoes that math each of your 40 purses (or 4 ferraris and so on)

        The Venezuelan scarcity scenario is a differetn ballpark. Drawing the line between needs and wants is not easy, but In normal capitalist and overconsuming countries people buy (or desire to buy) many things they don´t need, way too many. Why?

        • In economics, you either save or consume. If you are seeking to become a millionaire, you are saving.

          The question is, how do you save in Venezuela? You either save bolivars, which lose value due to inflation, or you seek out unavailable dollars (assuming you do not use black market transactions). Certainly, if you are trying to employ capital through an existing financial structure in Venezuela, you will have extremely limited access to dollars, if any. So how do you become a millionaire (in dollars, not bolivars; the latter is laughably easy) by any real standard and do it legally?

          Bear in mind your average lower-middle class Maria Alejandra only has access to bolivars and has had her purchasing power effectively crushed in the last couple of years.

          When you only have access to bolivars and you watch the ability to buy/save eroded away on a daily basis, saving is the equivalent of financial suicide. Your only option is to consume; more often than not in durable goods that can be exchanged later. This is one of the reasons for the insanity involving appreciating value in used cars. Likewise for appliances, televisions, and the like. Hence, needs-based consumption going far beyond non-existent cooking oil or harina pan.

          As for overconsuming in “normal capitalist” countries, that is more a function of easy access to capital/debt, which more often than not, creates bubbles which ultimately deflate. Hence the debt market liquidity crisis in 2010 when there was essentially a credit freeze in the US on all but the most extremely qualified buyers.

          There is an inverse relationship with the propensity to save (and its obverse, the propensity to consume) and expanding economic conditions. When economies are booming, people spend, when they contract, they save. This is typically because inflation/interest rates/expanding economies are all related and, to save when in a period of inflation results in a negative real rate of return. Notice the savings rate uptick during recessions here.

          The narrative in developed economies is that, since the economic turmoil of the 70s, consumer credit has become in general more available which has pushed down the overall savings rate. Are they overconsuming? Perhaps. Note that in the chart above, the savings rate went negative around 2005-2006, which would indicate an over-reliance on credit. Unsurprisingly, this took place a year or two before the wheels came off on housing (2007) and then the economy in general in 2008.

          This is the paradigm that is broken in Venezuela. To save is to suffer even as the economy implodes.

          • Ah, you economists! Let me try again. In life you either consume or save or you can consume/save less alltogether. If you reduce your work hours and income and spend more time with your kids, you will consume/save less.

            Overconsumption is also about people buying or saving much more than they need. About the desire of having an unlimited capacity to either buy/save.

    • There must be a Goldilocks society out there where consumption isn’t too high, and it isn’t too low, but is JUST right!

      I wish some expert on consumption would point it out to me.

      • But the informatin consumers are getting comes from advertisement, etc, a big element of the capitalist system. That you need a new cell phone every year and so on. Capitalism has a big problem as it assumes growth can be indefinite when clearly its not. The system needs to change, evolve…. How? Big challenge.

        As someone mentioned bellow, Chavismo identified the problem and builds its discourse around it.

        • When every middle-class family in the US has a Mars-capable, recreational spaceship parked in the driveway, then maybe we can have a discussion on the limits of economic growth.

          Personally, I will need dual afterburners, but you can skip the chrome trim package.

          • haha good one!! the thing is that very few would get to have a spaceship….and mars is a pretty shitty place to live in…

  5. I might be nitpicking, but seems to me this post seems has fallen into a trap by arguing around an ideology, starting from the assumption that the fight should be around an ideology dubbed consumerism. I think you can agree that consumerism is bad if you define it properly, for instance as “the absolute submission of the individual to material desires satisfied through consumption”.

    Chavistas and the like exploit the concept of consumerism by granting it a broader ideological meaning, using a definition such as “consumerism is the ethos of consumer society, who’s goal is the exploitation of the individual through explicit manipulation of human behavior, for instance by narrowing choices, to serve commercial interests”. There are at least a couple of flaws or contradictions in this line of reasoning. First, it flips the argument on its head. It assumes that the problem is with the values of society, not those of the individual. Secondly and most critically, it is a paternalistic argument, it assumes that a Big Brother State is required to guard the individual from society (and itself). In most liberal countries, freedom of expression is granted holy status to avoid this flaw in reasoning.

    Some truths can’t be avoided, they defy reduction to a simple ideology. You can’t separate the individual from society. Social and individual values are usually intertwined. Material goods lead to comfort. Objects can become fetishes and status symbols. These are just parts of our physical and social DNA.

    Chavistas have identified a problem, the erosion (or just absence) of social values. But their approach to any solution is dogmatic, militant and paternalistic. Venezuela is not Singapore, and that approach is not going to work.

    Best thing is to avoid absolutisms and shoot for a middle ground.

    • “Chavistas have identified a problem, the erosion (or just absence) of social values. But their approach to any solution is dogmatic, militant and paternalistic.”
      The flaw in this idea is that chavistas actually wanted to “solve” the problem, when they actually used it as a means to extert power and control the population.

      “Venezuela is not Singapore, and that approach is not going to work.”
      That’s because every chavista with power will use it to actively extort and exploit everyone else he can because he knows he’ll GET AWAY WITH IT, the main difference with Singapore is that there is NO “GETTING AWAY WITH IT”, they solved their problem because they attacked and killed it at its root and core: IMPUNITY.

      • IMO the real flaw is giving to much credit to chavismo and not reading it as a master planned distraction by the puppet master!

    • The ideology to me is liberal equality. One of the pillars of liberalism is that people must have the same opportunities and that different outcomes are to be a consequences of your own decisions. I can’t think of a better way to attain this than with a capitalist, market society with well informed consumers.

      • We need the same opportunities. And that requires a radical change of education, particularly education for the poor. It also requires a radical land reform, even in a very urban country as in Venezuela. Very few want to change either of those two things in Venezuela. They want their children to have better access to education than the rest and they are not aware of the whole disadvantages of someone who grew up in a shitty house located in a piece of land for which the parents had no property rights.

        • “Very few want to change either of those two things in Venezuela.”

          Yeah, those are the mafias that deny power to the people, be it power through education (can’t deceive and manipulate them that easy), or power through private property (can’t extort them and take reprisals against them that easy)

  6. I think the readers here might enjoy this site (and probably already know about it, but just in case). Check this out:

    http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/en/data/spi/countries/VEN#data_table/components/VEN/IRL

    In Personal Freedom and Choice, Venezuela ranks 91/133… considering who comes after us, this is really sad.

    Here you can see every country Social Progress Index, and how they fare among countries with the same GDP per capita. http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/data/spi

  7. Consumption is only half of the equation. In order for any society to consume, it must first produce. Raul Baduel, in his swan song editorial, breaking with Chavez, wrote, “We can talk about distribution of goods. But before they can be distributed, they must first be produced.”

    If you want to take the shackles off of consumers, you must first take the shackles off of the producers.

  8. “Chavismo’s narrative is fueled by the defense of the small guy. The forgotten. The wretched ones. But in the process, it has turned them into mere subjects. ”

    It’s called Populism. And of course it’s a big lie. But it worked in Corruptzuela because the poor, uneducated were indeed being forgotten, left out and alienated by decades of AD/Copey Oil bonanza and exclusive Theft. Our populace felt jealous and bitter against the rich “sifrinos” who had it all. Now, at least, if they throw a mango at their presidential monkey, they might get an apartment, un trabajito resuelto con el gobielno, etc.

    Hopefully we are learning that lesson.

    The next semi-democratic MUD-Crap government we get, after several more stolen elections, needs to feed and incorporate the Masses a lot more than Ad/Copey did. Steal a bit less, educate and engage a lot more people into the production machine. Or they will revolt again, seduced again by the typical fallacies of populism and totalitarianism.

  9. “We need to call them out on this. ”

    The problem is the majority of Vzla’s populace is not prepared to comprehend your coherent, intellectual discourse. The merits and perils of consumerism, the fundamental virtues of the Greek Republic (which btw. already identified the flaws and fallacies of “democracy”, since Plato, introducing the concepts of separation of powers, etc).

    These are socio-economic concepts that fly waaaayyyyyyy above the heads of most of our under-educated populace. They are learning the hard way, because there’s no toilet paper, that there’s something wrong. But try and explain to them about “over-consumption auto-regulation trends in modern society..”

    You can begin to have a conversation with the people about such proven concepts in places like Chile or even Colombia or Costa Rica. In Vzla, we are still at the Mango Messages stage.

    • Heck, even many of our “opposition leaders” aren’t prepared to hold such a discourse. Ask Capriles to read what you wrote and explain it to his beloved pueblo.. “Si mi pana, eh que si a ti te guhta algo, eh gueno que te lo compres, chamo, ehta bien que consumas toitico lo que quieras, asi funsiona la vaina economicamente, vale..”

      • Floyd: I you need to gain the sympathy of children you are not going to shout to them ´’less recess and more homework ‘ and ‘stop hankering for sweets , eat more spinach , you dont do any sermonising if you want to get any where with them . dont you know anything about democratic politics !!

  10. Funny how we can identify capitalism with two contrasting cultural stances. one the stance of the person who seeks to maximize utililty by making the most efficient parsimonous use of resources , by seeking to get the biggest bang for the buck, to optimize the use of resources to obtain the highest result/ gain/ yield , to whom waste is a kind of secular sin , waste for example in spending on largely superfluous frivolities , in childish novelties , on the other hand the capitalist of the ta barato dame dos, so quintessential venezuelan , who loves spending on things that he doesnt really need or desire except to feed his conceit by engaging in sunturary consumption or childish fascination with the new a and attention catching.

    Communism is supposed to be austere , frugal , heroically self restrained and yet in Venezuela those who claim to be devotees of the revolution can be as spendrift and wasteful as the most consumate of capitalist consumerists, dont we remember the queue at the door of Daka.?

    In Venezuela consumerism is beyond ideology its a cultural birthmark imprinted in the soul of all venezuelans . The thing is that capitalism and wannabe socialism ( if drenched in a shower of oil money) can sattisty this consumerist urge but ordinary communism and failed capitalism cannot sattisfy that urge .

    The freedom to choose is soemthing we an all cherish , but if it is used to waste money on frivolities then we cannot admire the use made of that choice. if it means that needs remain unsattisfied in order to gratify whims then we can only condem the use thats made of it .

    Example , for the regime to waste money in buying a satillite from China or weapons from Russia for prestige purposes while neglecting the upkeep of infrastructure or hospitals and the energy demand of the coutnry is a form of show off consumerism . Yes the state can also indulge in the worse forms of consumerism . !!

    • “show off consumerism”? Nah.. it’s mainly THEFT.

      Corruptzuela loves those deals with China or Russia because of the Mind-Blowing Kickbacks.

      We over analyse and over-complicate things in Vzla way too often.

      Apply the concept if GUISO, everywhere, and you will understand almost anything.

      • Anything they spend on is going to include a juicy guiso , but spending on certain things makes them feel grand and powerful and a proto world power !! so yes consumerist proclivities also exist in revolutionary govts .!! as much as they do in ordinary people.!! Consumption ( shopping , spending) has become ludified , a recreational activity only secondarily motivated by the pursuit of the useful .!!

    • “…on the other hand the capitalist of the ta barato dame dos, so quintessential venezuelan , who loves spending on things that he doesnt really need or desire except to feed his conceit by engaging in sunturary consumption or childish fascination with the new a and attention catching. ”

      That’s because that ISN’T capitalism, that’s being a dumbass.

      • Modern market economies thrive on people consuming the maximum they can , on spending as much money as they can, be it earned or owed , if people are methodically and constantly given every encouragement and inducement to spend as much as they can , whether such expenditure is wise or foolish then we who favour market economies cant turn our backs and say ´that their problem´. Look at how cigarrete commercials are vetted and taken of the air , the same principle applies . If we encourage people to spend foolishly and profit from it then there si an element of responsability in the existence of such behaviour and its consequences. !! We cant wash our hands on what is a crucial part of modern market economics.

        • Yeah, yeah, I know, the old “but there are those who identify themselves as capitalists and therefore they choose to exploit dumbasses without any foresight of the consequences of their methods!”

          The problem is that capitalism is about to accumulate and produce riches that would be sustainable in the long term, AND, because you’re not isolated from your environment, your relationship with it MUST be one that helps you to sustain said production, and the best way to achieve it (Not the easiest, nor the most pleasant one) is to benefit your environment so said environment elements will help you to improve even more.

          Hell, an example of a capitalist with a working brain is, someone that provides a service with QUALITY, he may charge a hefty price for said service, but the customers will return because they’re getting a benefit from said service, and in turn the service provider has an incentive to improve, because that’ll earn more steady profits, so he’s getting “pan para hoy, y pan para mañana también.”

          On the other hand, you have the stupid vivo, who only cheats, swindles and exploits others, giving a shitty service, no one’ll ever pay again for a shitty service, no matter how cheap, but the bastard vivo can keep in the business because he somehow extorts the money from the others with a monopoly for example or through the others ignorance, he may get an inmediate profit, but he’ll have to move onto new targets to predate since those who he’s already screwed won’t come back, so he has “pan para hoy, hambre para mañana”

          • Ralph Its difficult to pin point the topic , Ive been to Florida malls full with people frenziedly buying what to me is garbage , totally superflous gadgets , and stuff , like children . I instinctively find that behaviour and the cast of mind that promotes it distasteful and the height of folly and yet I understand that if people were more balanced and wise in their spending that would hurt the market economy which depends on fostering that kind of behaviour to make a buck. I knew a colleague who lived our in the outskirts in a rented home , had to spend long hours commuting , always arriving late at work , then one day he got into a bit of money which would have helped him to buy a better located home instead he went out and bought a monstrous gadget filled fancy station wagon . Businesses dont care whether they make their money on peoples follies or on having them to buy things which bring more substantial benefits to thei lives. Im posing this as a problem involving the clash between two conflicting values , the value of letting people use their freedom to indulge their concupiscence and leading an economically disorderd life and the value of having the market economy prosper and grow to the benefit of all by engaging in that kind of buyng behaviour. In the XIX century brittain wen to war with China in order to protect the interests of british opium traders in china whose business was being hurt by Chineses govt efforts to stop this pernicious trade. Are there any limits , is there a way in which the laws that rule a market economy can protect stupid consumers from becoming the victims of their own follies.??

  11. You are right on target Mr. Linares. The Chavistas came to power arguing that they wanted to help the huddled masses, the destitute, the poor, the hungry and the homeless. They said that inequality and corruption were rampant and that they would give the country equality for all and wealth redistribution to help all those huddled masses yearning to be free. What an honorable thought and idea that was. What a wasted opportunity to truly help those who needed help . My mother had a saying that is applicable here: “Lo que hicieron con las manos lo destruyeron con los pies.” Yes, what they built with their hands they destroyed with their feet by trampling over every means that was available to them to achieve their goals of feeding, clothing and sheltering the poor.

    Historians will likely say that Chavismo was a failed experiment at creating an utopian government that failed to deliver what it promised to those very folks who flocked to their support.

    Chavistas could have easily turned the Social-Democratic state apparatus that was already in place to truly help the poor citizens as they purported they wanted to. Instead, they proceeded to dismantle the consumerist system that had been carefully nurtured and put In place over half a century. Venezuela already had the socialist Constitution that called for free education and healthcare, as well as all the necessary international banking and distribution networks for the efficient distribution of consumer goods and products. If they had really wanted to, they could have easily, for example, chosen the French model of wealth distribution that heavily taxes income and consumption. Instead they ended up with a perverse coje-culo (an ass-grab) economic system that is anachronistic to the fast paced and ultra-competitive market system that has overtaken the world at a furious pace.

    Their hungry and huddled masses remain hungry and yearning to be free to choose.

    The only remaining questions are: When will the system finally break down? What will replace it following the ensuing chaos? And what kind of Venezuela will rise from the ashes?

    Time will tell.

    • Voy a lanzale primero una lechosa ‘pa ve si me da una casa, sino el manguito pal apaltamento.

      • Mmmmm…

        …Tengo una mata que echa mangos mutantes de 2 kilos…

        ¡LA PROMOCIÓN, DAMAS Y CABALLOS! ¡LLEVE SUS MANGOS CON BASTANTE ESPACIO PARA PONER SU MENSAJE PARA EL PRESIOBRERO, Y PEGAN BIEN DURO, SÓLO 150Bs EL KILO!

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