Wednesday, January 10, 2007

GUEST COLUMN about Hugo Chavez's plan to nationalize its energy industry

Calling A Spade A Spade

by Dr. Michael J. Hurd of

Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez is taking over what remains of private, or semi-private, industry in his country, calling it "21st-century socialism." And he actually thinks that calling it this is a GOOD thing?? At any rate, a political analyst in Venezuela by the name of Erik Eckvall is entirely right to say, "Let's call a spade a spade. This is Communism. [Chavez is] clearly saying the state should own the means of production."

More precisely: Chavez is saying that HE should own the means of production, and he's electing to call it socialism. Regardless of the century, the results will be the same: property seized through force and theft will cease to function as property. That's why Communism--another word for total socialism--failed on such a spectacular level in Soviet Russia and its satellite countries, by any rational economic standard. That's why North Korea is starving to death. That's why Communist China, while retaining as much control as it can over the right to free speech and the media, has been forced to go in a capitalist direction in the economic realm. When you throw morality (i.e., property rights) out the window, you get very, very bad economics as a result.

Let's get past the labels of both Communism and socialism. State ownership of production, while an accurate definition of these systems, has become too polite. Let's really call a spade a spade: any government official who seizes any private property, whatsoever, is guilty of theft and coercion. Government that protects private property is civil; government that seizes private property (in all, or in part) is criminal.

I wonder if our Congress and President will at least call it what it is...and apply the same principle to themselves?

1 comment:

Galileo Blogs said...

"We will respect the shareholder
rights of all the companies the state moves to nationalize." So said a member of Venezuela's finance commission today.

With respect like that, I would sure hate to see what disrespect looks like!