Venezuela

In Venezuela, Yet Another Socialist Government Crushes Dissent

People getting starry eyed about socialism should look to Venezuela for some important warning signs.

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Miguel Gutiérrez/EFE/Newscom

El Nacional, one of the few remaining independent media outlets in Venezuela, ceased print publication last week after the government choked off access to paper. The newspaper earned official ire with its long opposition to socialist strongman, Hugo Chavez, and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, as their rule became increasingly totalitarian. While El Nacional plans to continue to publish online, the end of its print edition is bad news for Venezuelans who value dissenting voices and truthful information.

If there's any silver lining it's that Venezuela provides a valuable lesson for that rising tide of Americans who think they've found a shiny new toy in a system for forcibly organizing society that keeps promising utopia, but instead delivers starvation and brutality through centralized control of the economy.

"El Nacional was one of the few politically independent newspapers that continued to publish despite the Maduro regime's pressures to silence its coverage of Venezuelan reality," the Miami Herald noted in its report on the newspaper's difficulties.

Venezuela's socialist regime has been tightening the screws on journalists and critics for years, using law, regulation, and pure brute force to silence anybody who might oppose or merely embarrass rulers.

"For more than a decade, the government has expanded and abused its power to regulate media and has worked aggressively to reduce the number of dissenting media outlets," Human Rights Watch reports about conditions in the country. "Existing laws grant the government power to suspend or revoke concessions to private media if 'convenient for the interests of the nation,' allow for arbitrary suspension of websites for the vaguely defined offense of 'incitement,' and criminalize expression of 'disrespect' for high government officials."

That yet another socialist government seems unable to tolerate criticism should surprise absolutely nobody. Collectivist societies emphasize the group, and those who would lead the group deeply resent those who would stand apart.

"Because socialist society aspires to be a good society, all its decisions and opinions are inescapably invested with moral import. Every disagreement with them, every argument for alternative policies, every nay-saying voice therefore raises into question the moral validity of the existing government, not merely its competence in directing activities that have no particular moral significance," wrote widely read socialist economist Robert Heilbroner in a 1978 article in Dissent. "Dissents and disagreements thereby smack of heresy in a manner lacking from societies in which expediency and not morality rules the roost."

Importantly, El Nacional continued publishing through violent attacks on its staff and facilities by pro-government colectivos who frequently bash the heads of those who would speak heresy against the powers-that-be. What did in the newspaper was the economic power that socialist governments exercise through their centralized control over buying, selling, and the means of production.

"The immediate reason for halting the presses is the lack of printing paper," reported Deutsche Welle. "In Venezuela, importing paper requires a special permission by the government. Several smaller newspapers have already been forced to suspend print."

Having nationalized the telecommunications giant, Cantv, Venezuela's government exercises similar control over online information. While officials haven't been shy about censoring, fining, and assaulting journalists, concentrating economic power in the state may well be the most effective weapon for silencing independent voices. This, also, is not a surprise to anybody paying attention.

"Private property may be an inherently exploitative institution, but it is also potentially a protective one," Heilbroner admitted in The Nature and Logic of Capitalism, a 1986 book he intended as a critique of free markets. "It seems fair to suggest that some kind of relatively inviolable non-state employment sector is a condition for political freedom as we know it."

In the same work, Heilbroner, whose books sold millions of copies, conceded that "democratic liberties have not yet appeared, except fleetingly, in any nation that has declared itself to be fundamentally anticapitalist, which is to say within the self-styled 'Marxist' socialist ambit."

A few years later, faced by the reality of socialism's abject failure to feed people even as it was beating them into submission, Heilbroner switched his loyalties to a welfare state based on capitalism's productive power and tolerance for liberty.

But Heilbroner died in 2005, and socialism is popular again—more popular than capitalism among Democrats, according to Gallup (although it's not clear that the government's dominance of the means of education has correctly taught Americans the definition of "socialism"). So Venezuela gets to serve as an unfortunate refresher lesson.

Part of that lesson is that 2.3 million Venezuelans, of a total population of roughly 30 million, have fled the country, with thousands more joining them every day. The economy, once one of the more prosperous in Latin America, has seen "a cumulative GDP decline of almost 50 percent since 2013," according to the IMF. Residents of the country—those who stay—have a difficult time finding enough to eat.

"Chávez and Maduro destroyed the market in food by imposing control prices that resulted in underproduction when the official prices did not meet costs of production," says the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University. "Their governments expropriated farms, ranches, and even food distributors such as butchers. There's very little if anything produced on these expropriated territories."

And, of course, the country's socialist government jails political opponents, beats demonstrators, and uses its legal power and economic control to stifle dissenting opinions that "smack of heresy" in a system in which there is no "relatively inviolable non-state employment sector" to serve as "a condition for political freedom."

It's enough to make you think that, just maybe, the people getting starry eyed about socialism should look to Venezuela for some important warning signs.

NEXT: Elderly Phoenix Woman Dunks on Welfare-Seeking Phoenix Suns Owner

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  1. Sadly, a lot of Venezuelans are going to have to die to stop the evil that is socialism. The same thing that Tony, PB, AmSoc, Rev. Arty and other commenters here want for America.

    This is why I want a constitutional amendment criminalizing the practice and advocation of Marxism in America as a carve out of,the first amendment. These people are existential enemies of America and our freedoms.

    Cut them out like a cancerous tumor.

    1. Your constitutional amendment is just another flavor of despotism, using the power of the State to stifle dissent and to decide what is morally acceptable. It has the exact same flaw as socialism because both are simple variants of statism. When the State determines what is morally acceptable, the State will make sure that that definition preserves the State, above all else.

      The only thing close to a solution is to keep the State as small and powerless as possible. Your proposal just gives the State more power.

      The fact that you cannot imagine how your powerful State would ever be abused and corrupted shows how poor your imagination is and how little you understand about the evils of government.

      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. I’m a slaver because I want to criminalize slavery?

        That makes sense. I’m sure you would have been self righteous about stopping plantation owners from enslaving blacks back in the day too. Because this is essentially the logic of your argument.

        1. Last of the Shitlords|12.18.18 @ 1:23PM|#
          “I’m a slaver because I want to criminalize slavery?”

          No, you’re a slaver since you hope to use slavery to combat slavery.
          Fuck off, slaver.

          1. No, I’m not. I know you can think harder than this, please do.

            1. And Sevo, if you have alternate ideas on how to push back against the progtards, I would be thrilled to here any and all alternatives.

              Even talking about doing something to actually stop them is a huge step forward.

              1. If my car doesn’t start I don’t need to have any “alternate ideas” of how to fix it to know that hitting any part of it with a sledgehammer is going to do more harm than good.

                Its the same with your proposal, I don’t need to alternate idea to know that taking away freedom is not a good way to protect freedom

                1. A society and a car are not the same thing.

              2. Last of the Shitlords|12.18.18 @ 4:10PM|#
                “And Sevo, if you have alternate ideas on how to push back against the progtards, I would be thrilled to here any and all alternatives.”

                Sorry, you proposing slavery to ‘solve’ slavery in no way obligates me to provide alternative solutions.

                1. I’m proposing banning the practice of enslaving people as a means to prevent slavery. I’m open to any number alternative ideas or variations of my own. So if you’ve got something better please don’t be shy. Seriously.

                  I just want to save us all from these Marxist monsters. The whole point of my original co,meant was to get a discussion going. Things are getting bad. We need solutions.

                  So discuss.

                  1. Instead of adding an amendment criminalizing a belief (Marxism), I’d prefer an amendment clarifying the commerce clause so states can opt out if they wish. Always reduce!

                    1. Criminalizing it’s practice. You can believe in slavery if you want. You can’t actually enslave people.

                      Same principle.

    2. Sadly, a lot of Venezuelans are going to have to die to stop the evil that is socialism.

      This alone shows your limited understanding. Try this instead:

      Sadly, a lot of ordinary people are going to have to die to stop the evil that is government.

      1. Yeah, ordinary Venezuelans. This article is about Venezuela. Are you confused on that point? It’s not like the article is about Canadians, or Uzbeks, or people from Swaziland.

    3. This defective imagination of yorus really really annoys me.

      How well can you define Marxism or socialism? How well can you define “practice” and “advocation”? Do you really think corrupt self-serving bureaucrats won’t find a way to twist that 180? and ban just about anything they want? How long do you think it will be before simple basic knowledge of Marx is banned except for a few elites, such that no one really knows what it was, and then it is introduced under a different name?

      Such ignorance is appalling in someone who thinks he is elite enough to tell everybody else what they can and cannot discuss.

      1. I cannot comprehend his reasoning. He knows of the government rats’ schemes and incompetence, yet he wants to grant them significantly and dangerously more control over our lives.
        Insane.

        1. It has its risks. But Marxism is always evil and despotic. At least we can have the discussion. Instead of complaining about them and doing nothing.

      2. “Yes” to the above. The Devil is in the details… Always!!! Outlaw Marxism = empower bureaucrats, lawyers, and Government Almighty at large, to haggle (using our tax money) all day long, about what exactly is, and what is not, Marxism.

        Well done, well said!

        1. Also this kind of stance (outlaw Marxism) shows an ignorance of history. Truth in labeling would require that such a law be labelled the “Resurrecting Joe McCarthy” law…

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy

          1. Just because you are paranoid, that doesn’t prove that no-one is out to get you.

            1. I think I might see what you are saying, maybe…

              Yes, the commies and socialists ARE out to get us an our freedoms! And they were, in the days of Joe McCarthy, as well.

              But “beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing”. As soon as we empower the anti-communists… Hitler was an anti-communist too, come to think of it… As soon as we empower these folks too much, the power is a shit-magnet, and we get wolves in sheep’s clothing, like Joe McCarthy and Hitler.

              Stuff-and-stuff is complicated, and stuff!!!!

              1. McCarhy was never a villain. So much be,iced about him are distortions or outright fiction. For example, he wanted closed hearings, as he knew many of the people,e he investigated would be completely innocent. He didn’t want the mere fact of investigation to damage these people. The democrats were the ones who insisted on public hearings.

              2. Abuse of what I am proposing is a serious concern. Only a fool would think otherwise. But as of now we are losing our country,bit by bit to the incrementalist strategy of the progressives. And only a fool would think that they will just stop without being stopped.

                1. Yes, I agree, please stop them! Stopping them at the ballot box, and with speech, though, is near-infinitely better than trying to stop them with laws.

                  1. We ran the table for two years on the democrats. It reversed very little. Noting is getting better. Winning elections isn’t enough anymore. They’re too entrenched.

                    But at least we’re talking about this. I am totally open to alternate ways of stopping them.

                    1. Yea. Much better to just round them up and murder them. You’re almost too fucking retarded to be worth replying to….guess that makes me not much better. Also your boy Trump won so what the fuck are you exactly complaining about?

                    2. You’re a Hihn sock, or PB. Either way, you’re part of the problem.

                    3. I’m neither Toby….just someone who finds the stupid shit you say fucking annoying.

                    4. My intellect exceeds yours by a substantial amount. Your comments reflect a dullard with a tiny mind and no ideas. Threatened by his intellectual better proposing ideas to stop your groupthink and your tyranny.

                      You are an evil stupid person.

                    5. “You are an evil stupid person,” says the guy who is actually proposing rounding up people and sending them to re-education camps/prison/gas chambers.

                    6. We ran the table? Libertarians? Oh you mean Republicans. Could it be that the nation is ruled by two interchangeable flavors of progressivism?

                    7. although I think “two flavors of authoritarianism” is more accurate.

                    8. That’s not precisely the case, but certainly does enter into it.

      3. I’ll try my imagination on for size. I get where you’re coming from, as I want to protect the first amendment, but I also don’t see an infinite amount of space to inhabit. If you let any big government run wild, on a global level, eventually you’ll run out of space in which to practice free speech.

        So where do we go, what do we do, after socialists lay claim to everything but the arctic circle? I don’t have a lair in a mountain to hide in, I guess I’ll just die waiting for John Galt to save me.

        1. Ryan (formally HFTO)|12.18.18 @ 9:42AM|#
          “I’ll try my imagination on for size. I get where you’re coming from, as I want to protect the first amendment, but…”

          No, you don’t want to protect the first amendment; you just admitted it.

          1. “… but I also don’t see an infinite amount of space to inhabit.”

            At some point, no matter who is shutting down speech, you will run out of places to hide from them. I’m not the one who is going to hunt you down, but I’d prefer to stand my ground as opposed to running away.

            So answer my question: where do we go, what do we do, after socialists (or anyone else) lay claim to everything but the arctic circle?

        2. “So where do we go, what do we do, after socialists lay claim to everything but the arctic circle? I don’t have a lair in a mountain to hide in, I guess I’ll just die waiting for John Galt to save me.”

          There is no waiting for someone to save us. Either we start doing the procedural work to make Marxism u workable here, or get ready for a civil war. That is assuming that most people,e would just prefer to give up and be enslaved into the collective. I’ve always gotten the vibe that many people who lost here would rather give in than actually hit back.

          I’m the opposite. If they can’t be stopped through peaceful, procedural means that its game on. Amd if the progs choose to destroy themselves in an armed conflict trying to enslave the rest of us, then that is in their own heads.

          Or the progressives could just give up, abandon their evil works, and live in peace with the rest of us.

      4. Ok, arguing about exactly how to define what I propose is legitimate. Such and a,end,enteill require careful use of language to prevent abuse. This is not impossible.

    4. Please, please be facetious. If you’re not, then you’re no better than the fucking Reverend or anybody you criticize.

      1. Do you mean me? For wanting to outlaw the practice of a system that by definition infringement gets in all our freedoms and enslaves all of us? You see that as equivalent to Arty?

        Really?

    5. The exact word the altruist Fuehrer used was “extirpate” in the 1939 translation of Mein Kampf–the one Orwell reviewed. The U. of Chicago editions of the 1980s changed that to “exterminate” in a textbook example of ex-post-facto grasping of what Positive Christianity is really all about.

    6. You actually dont need to carve out an exception.

      End government run schools, taxpayer subsidized propaganda outlets, and maximize freedoms under the Constitution.

      Socialism would be exposed daily for what it is and kids would not be brainwashed to be pro-Socialism on a massive scale.

      The Free Market of free speech actually kills Socialism all on its own.

      1. “End government run schools, taxpayer subsidized propaganda outlets, and maximize freedoms under the Constitution.”

        Sounds great. Yet somehow, these things came to be anyway. Somehow, it got worse than that in Venezuela. Somehow, these awful ideas penetrate society, and seem to be getting worse every day. At some point, the freedoms of others you defend will not be reciprocated. Now what?

        1. NAP only works if reciprocated. So it doesn’t work.

          1. Based on my multiple attempts to draw out a response, and this being the only one, I feel like that’s the reality of the situation. NAP seems to be a utopian idea, something only supported through other people willing to stand up against what utopians get to ignore

            1. I believe in hitting back, hard. Maybe not after getting hit once, but there is a limit. The progressives are not afraid of us, or to do whatever they want.

              So now they have activist judges that make shit up as they go along.

              They have tens of thousands of embedded activists in federal and state government.

              The rule of law is used by them as a weapon on us, but inapplicable to them.

              They hound anyone to ruin through social media that disagrees with their groupthink.

              We are long past debate or dialogue with progressives. They know they can do these things. They don’t give a fuck what any of us have to say. Elections don’t stop them even if they don’t win, and if they succeed in using our borders to get enough illegals into Texas to turn it blue, then that’s it. Look forward to several decades of progressive socialist democrat presidents, possibly left of Alex Ocasio-Cortez.

              I orpopose a constitutional amendment as a legal means of curtailing them. Outside of that, or using force against them, what does everyone here think will work? Just shitting on my idea doesn’t help. The problem is still there.

              1. This rant is the kind of bullshit that makes me actually think you are really a Russian Troll trying to break apart this country from within. Nothing you just vomited from your brain even makes sense to sane, rational people. FUCK. OFF. Go start your fucking retard militia elsewhere.

                1. How would you know? You are not a sane rational person. Just another progtard who can’t get anywhere in life feeding off those of us who are productive, because you’re a weak, talentless parasite. The idea that I could somehow take that rent seeking, parasitical, thieving system from you is infuriating.

                  You would probably starve to death if you ever had to survive on your own merit.

              2. You’re also probably too fucking stupid to realize that you could possibly be arrested for the shit you are saying under incitement of imminent lawless action.

                1. Yes, proposing a constitutional amendment is an act of violence, at least to a Marxist traitor, asuch as yourself.

                  1. It’s still using force under threat of violence to achieve your goal. The fact that you are too stupid to understand this fundamental ideal is why I find you so annoying.

                    1. You’re also probably too fucking stupid to realize that you could possibly be arrested for the shit you are saying under incitement of imminent lawless action.

                      Preet Bharara has apparently started up an account here.

                    2. If only I could get Shitload to admit he was planning to rape, and then cook and eat his proggie enemies, I’m sure I could get him then.

                    3. …but he’d probably prefer to put them through DA CHIPPPAAAAHHHH.

                    4. I’m sure your efforts will be as successful as Preet’s were.

                    5. “It’s still using force under threat of violence to achieve your goal.”

                      Which is the end result of every law ever proposed. Better go prosecute The founding fathers, every legislator who introduced, or voted to pass a law, and anyone who proposed or voted to pass an initiative.

                      Dumbass.

      2. “End government run schools, taxpayer subsidized propaganda outlets, and maximize freedoms under the Constitution.

        Socialism would be exposed daily for what it is and kids would not be brainwashed to be pro-Socialism on a massive scale.

        The Free Market of free speech actually kills Socialism all on its own.”

        I completely agree. Except it isn’t working out that way since the progs have gone a long way towards rigging the system. We have many crooked federal judges who regularly make bogus rulings which are legally ridiculous on their face. Yet this is now common. Of our two national parties, one is increasingly controlled by radical, openly socialist congresspeople that have little use for our constitution. The other is weak and feckless, doing little to nothing to rollback the efforts of the other party. Merely serving as a temporary reprieve from their agenda should they hold the majority.

        In the last election, the two choices the democrats had for their party ticket were the most corrupt candidate in US history, or an outright socialist, who idolized the Soviet Union. So much so, that he even honeymooned there in 1988.

        1. Continued……

          This is how far we’ve fallen. And the republicans? Outside of Trump and a few others, most of the potential candidates are worthless at best. As far as the LP goes, it sounds like a Weld is the likely candidate their, so essentially progressive lite.

          We are in deep trouble, and if people here are seeing ME as the problem, we’ll, you all really need to take a hard look at the influences in your life. The worst thing I would ever do is shoot all the commies and go home, hopefully to be left alone. Which is what I presume everyone else here wants too.

          1. +100

          2. I’ve been trying all day to draw out reasons to disagree with your conclusion from all the libertopians today, and I’ve gotten zero good responses. Until someone can explain to me why we should just sit back and allow this nonsense to go on, I wholeheartedly agree with you

            1. I don’t even like my own idea that much, but I don’t see anything other than something like this, or really getting our hands dirty.

              At least for me, it’s preferable to a Marxist regime. I didn’t serve in the military and work all my life to see this country turn into some Soviet/Venezuelan/Chinese style regime. I would rather risk being a total bastard or a savage than let it slip away.

              Really hoping to spark some honest discussion here everyone. Throw those ideas out.

              1. So why don’t you guys buy the http://www.retardmilitia.com website on godaddy and fuck off over there?

                1. Why don’t you go drink some Drano? At least that would be constructive. From our perspective.

                  1. …because you speak for everyone in the Reason commentary?

                    1. Ppmost reasonable people would be happier in a world without your presence.

                      Best The for you really. Your commentary is going nowhere.

    7. You give the government the power, but they will define the terms. 2 + 2 = 5.

      1. Looks like the math used to say SS and Medicare are not financially failing.

    8. This is why I want a constitutional amendment criminalizing the practice and advocation of Marxism in America

      So I guess we found the Right’s version of “hate speech” then.

      1. Yes. One person on a random blog defines the right. You’re a fucking idiot Jeff. You literally have multiple posters you define as in the right confronting the original posters idea. You’re a fucking idiot.

        1. To clarify, I don’t envision being the one to define such an amendment. This would obviously happen at a convention of the states, and involve the input and criticism of at least hundreds of people. As it should.

          I have no desire to unilaterally dictate terms like that to the masses, even if I had the option.

            1. You’re projecting again, you commie bastard.

              Real humans are talking here, so fuck off.

      2. Actually we just found what jeffy would call a ‘serious proposal’ if it came from his friends on the left.

        1. A leftist version of this would be terrifying. The correct way to do something like this would be to restrict government from taking measures designed to restrict our inalienable rights or to organize for that purpose.

          In other words, it would never be illegal to say you thought Marx and his pals were totes cool, but it might be a problem if you tried to pass hate speech codes, or seize private property.

          It isn’t slavery to criminalize someone else from slaving.

          1. …if only there was some binding document that outlined our inalienable rights and restricted other people and government from infringing on them. It would also be great if it protected free speech and private property. hmmmm….I got nothin….

      3. We have the constitution that prevents the installation of Marxism. Defend the constitution.

        1. That’s hard to do with all the crooked activist judges and govt. officials who just do what they want without consequence.

          Republicans ran the table for two years. In that time there a been a laughably obvious witch-hunt against the president and not a single prominent democrat has been investigated for their crimes. Especially the Clintons.

    9. Please, no. Fighting totalitarianism by granting the government the power to censor certain viewpoints (even deranged ones) shows a basic trust in government that is amazingly unjustified. Give the State the power to prosecute “Marxists” and within a decade the Progressive Left will be prosecuting Republicans for advocating Marxism. They are simply that dishonest.

      1. They already call the Right “Nazis”, despite the Nazis being literally the antithesis of individualism and free markets.

      2. They already call the Right “Nazis”, despite the Nazis being literally the antithesis of individualism and free markets.

    10. Yea, isn’t too hard to realize you’ll eventually find the government adding all the dissenters to the government added to the list of socialists for persecution while the ruling regime nationalizes the economy and calls it kitten economics.

    11. “Sadly, a lot of Venezuelans are going to have to die to stop the evil that is socialism. ”

      Tens of millions already died at the hands of socialism in the 20th Century.

      The mountain of corpses won’t stop the evil. The mountain of corpses is not a means, it is an end.

      “Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”

      1. The whole purpose of my proposal is to start a discussion about actually doing something constructive to stop the progs before America turns into Venezuela. So I threw an idea in the table. A lot of folks are focused on excoriating me over said idea. Their time would be better spent proposing better alternatives.

        If libertarians here see me as equivalent to the progressive threat, then their thinking is deeply flawed. I’m not interested in running anyone’s lives. However, I have no problem crushing progressives for seeking to run mine.

        These two things are not the same.

  2. Uh, it’s not a “warning” when that’s what they want anyway.

    1. It’s like no one here has read 1984. This is the design, it’s not a failure.

      1. I read 1984. CA and other democrat strongholds are starting to resemble that society more and more everyday.

        1. And stupid fucking people on the left think the country is turning into the Handjob Maiden’s Tale or whatever the fuck it’s called. How about living in the real world instead of a fictional one.

          1. I am, you’re not. Now fuck off, m’kay?

        2. The Inner Party is the postmodernist theocracy.

  3. La noticia falsa es el enemigo del pueblo. Triste!

    1. As? dice el programa Nacionalsocialista de 1920 en su punto 23.

  4. Gosh, what a surprise! But my internationalsocialist acquaintances all assure me their motives are altruistic and they are simply trying to provide for their peeps. So… when can we have more Tucille articles?

    1. Hank, instead of being a cryptic dick, maybe you have some constructive ideas on how to thwart the progressives. I honestly didn’t expect my idea to be popular, but I hoped it might get some people to throw some alternatives out for discussion.

      1. How about win elections you fucking retard?

        1. We do. Them your pals use their crooked judges and embedded govt. employees to endlessly circumvent the rule of law. So now we’re ata point where so,e constructive action has to be taken to deal with your kind.

          The best thing you can do is abandon your leftist beliefs, and turn against anyone who doesn’t. Failing that, just leave America. Go to one of those worker’s paradises you love so much, amd don’t come back.

          1. So….in your opinion, the political/cultural fabric of our country is incrementally being corrupted by politically left marxists that have now infiltrated every branch of government. This makes any legal recourse nearly impossible, yet you somehow think it could be possible to replace/alter the first amendment to the constitution to allow persecution of these very people? Really all your delusions lead to taking up arms against those phantoms that plague your deluded mind and that is the only thing you are advocating. Good luck. And you call me the one who lives in a fictional world.

            1. So….in your opinion, the political/cultural fabric of our country is incrementally being corrupted by politically left marxists that have now infiltrated every branch of government. This makes any legal recourse nearly impossible

              Looks like you’ve identified the root of the problem–any institution that doesn’t actively reject leftism will be inevitably corrupted and appropriated by it.

              Is violent reaction always necessary? No, we could wait about 50 years for the support of another global superpower and the institutional rot of the state to lead to something different, like Poland. But most libertarians find the Poles’ nationalistic ferver to be icky.

              1. You could make the exact same argument against nationalists, right-wingers, commies, moslims, catholics, leprechauns, witches or any other group that threaten your own ideology. There have been just as many people killed from right-wing extremism as left-wing extremism. The left doesn’t have a monopoly. Using violence to protect yourself against the monsters in your head has a tendency of making you the monster, but yea go ahead and join the retard militia if you must. Also not familiar with whatever Polish analogy you are making.

                1. “There have been just as many people killed from right-wing extremism as left-wing extremism.”

                  Tally them up.

                  100 million murdered by Commies.

                2. You could make the exact same argument against nationalists, right-wingers, commies, moslims, catholics, leprechauns, witches or any other group that threaten your own ideology.

                  You’re desperately grasping here.

                  Also not familiar with whatever Polish analogy you are making.

                  Reading books that are more complex than stories about teenage wizards might help your understanding.

                  1. “Reading books that are more complex than stories about teenage wizards might help your understanding.”

                    I guess it’s easier to say that than whatever the fuck you were trying to say with an analogy.

                3. McJizz, everything you just said is bullshit, other than “You”. There is no equivalence. You and your friends want to run everyone’s lives. You’re slavers. Me and my friends want to be left alone, but are willing to stop you from implementing your slaver ways.

              2. The fundamental moral mistake of the Right, for a century, is mistaking complicity in one way rules as supporting the rules, instead of betraying them

                One way ceasefire is surrender
                One way rule of law is subjection
                One way civility is subservience

                The Right loses and loses again because they’ve refused to fight back *in kind*, with relentless in group preference and out group attack.

                1. “Tally them up.

                  100 million murdered by Commies.”

                  For sure the communists and socialists have killed millions upon millions of people. But I suppose this is the part where you claim Saddam, Assad, Pinochet, Hitler, Mussolini, etc were all actually lefties. All it takes for massive catastrophes/collapses is enough people whining hard enough about how unfairly they’ve been treated, believing it and start shooting or seizing power. Historically it hasn’t really mattered which tribe you belong to.

                2. “The Right loses and loses again because they’ve refused to fight back *in kind*, with relentless in group preference and out group attack.”

                  Thank you. That is a large part of the basis for my proposed constitutional amendment.

  5. Venezuela’s socialist regime has been tightening the screws on journalists and critics for years, using law, regulation, and pure brute force to silence anybody who might oppose or merely embarrass rulers.

    Has the government tried tweeting about them?

    1. +1, Twitter ridicule

  6. …socialism is popular again?more popular than capitalism among Democrats, according to Gallup (although it’s not clear that the government’s dominance of the means of education has correctly taught Americans the definition of “socialism”).

    (Or its guaranteed outcomes.)

  7. You don’t need 23 choices of news.

    I state run “news” outlet is all you need.

  8. But remember, it’s the First Tweets that are the biggest threat The Media has ever faced.

    1. No no no. It’s random college students getting outraged over tacky Halloween costumes. THEY are the real threats to the Republic!

      1. I don’t think most of the media has complained about college students getting outraged over Halloween costumes.

      2. Considering those same college students tend to get jobs in governments and non-profits that work to limit the “personal liberty” you’re always going on about, you’re exactly right.

        1. You’re exactly right. Random college students are the *real* threat. Not the most powerful man on the planet sending deranged tweets.

          1. They’ll be doing damage long after Trump is gone, so thanks for acknowledging that I’m right.

          2. Ah. When Jeff things tweets are akin to assault. You’re a fucking idiot Jeff.

          3. How dare you limit speech… unless it’s someone I don’t like, right, jeffy?

      3. Those random college students practice economic terrorism and have gotten those who disagreed fired. Trump has gotten nobody fired. Then again, you’ve already admitted you don’t believe in the NAP and are a authoritarian asshole.

    2. Trump’s tweets or FDR’s fireside chats. Can’t for the life of me tell the difference.

  9. But Venezuela isn’t real socialism! You know, like Bernie and Alexandria want! And they aren’t true Scotsmen either!

    1. Oops didn’t get that tag closed.

      1. You’re it!

  10. Venezuela would be a great object lesson if they accepted that that is the result of what they want, but they won’t. This is because the socialism advocates do not really have a good idea of what they want, other than not capitalism (which they do not really understand either). They rather have an aspiration that the economic system should take care of the necessities of life without the requirement of them making a contribution to the economy that anyone else considers useful.

    1. the socialism advocates do not really have a good idea of what they want,

      Sure they do. They want the power to rob their neighbors.

      -jcr

      1. Yes, that is true. What I mean is they do not have a thought out ideological reason to justify why anyone should allow them to .

        1. Many of them do, actually. They have rationalized the notion that any and all inadequacy in their lives is due to an oppression that needs to be undone.

          An intellectual titan like Thomas Sowell can spend all day explaining that their inequality of outcome is due to their own behavior, but they’ll forever retort that bigotry is what made them behave worse.

          It’s an unfalsifiable premise. Exactly the sort of rationalization that an oppressor needs.

  11. How can baseball-loving countries like Cuba and Venezuela go socialist? Oh, the humanity.

    1. Baseball is a great meme for socialism.
      You got teams of nine players on the field, and eight of them just stand there and watch one of them work his ass off. It is only when that one worker makes a mistake that anyone else has to perform. And yet they all get paid a bazillion bucks each.

      1. The last sentence broke your metaphor.

  12. By the way, this is how a government actually goes about crushing press freedoms, not going on stream of consciousness twitter posts suggesting that libel laws need to be stiffened.

    1. There is a world of difference between suggesting that our libel laws (which have a number of loopholes that one could drive a truck through) need tightening and actual censorship.

  13. God it’s so awful there. Blackwater should mount a rescue operation as a charity PR move.

    1. I think they had to rebrand after a minor whoopsie-daisy in Baghdad. I think they’re now called Super Cuddle Force, or something along those lines.

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  15. Summary of every Reason article mentioning Socialism:

    “Socialism Bad like Venezuela and Nazis”

    1. The truth is usually much simpler than exploiters like to admit.

    2. “Summary of every Reason article mentioning Socialism:
      “Socialism Bad like Venezuela and Nazis””

      When the dimbulbs persist, it’s wise to keep repeating the lesson.

  16. For starry-eyed socialists, crushing dissent is a feature.

  17. Well this is what socialists governments do when they drive their country in to insolvency and the people turn against them. Hopefully the people will wise up and overthrow the masters. Even more wise up and not let their government ever do this again.

    1. “Hopefully the people will wise up and overthrow the masters.”
      Highly unlikely.

      “Even more wise up and not let their government ever do this again.”
      On the contrary, we now have creeping socialism here.

      If those poor Venezuelans were to escape their hellhole of a country and make their way to U.S., they’d probably vote Democrat. And if not them, their kids. It’s a dead end.

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  19. Another stupid false equivalency article. “Socialism” IS NOT “Democratic Socialism”.

    Look it up, ffs.

  20. Important points in here about the private sector being able to employ people. A vibrant private sector is an important protection against excessive government powers in many ways, employment, resources to get around tryanical laws, transportation possibilities, private communication networks, computer resources. If you want to watch a movie that shows how it all goes wrong watch the Czech movie Burning Bush on Amazon.

  21. “That wasn’t true socialism”

  22. And no mention of course about how the nomenklatura lives very, very nicely. Nor any information on how many billionaires at the top of the socialist food chain have been created on the backs of the common folk during their suffering. Last I heard Chavez died with billions in off shore accounts and his daughter is a billionaire as well, and military and other high government officials have Swiss bank accounts too, no doubt. The “socialist” leaders have raped the economy, but naturally, that’s only because they got greedy and didn’t do real socialism correctly.

    The new batch of Commies will do it right this time, says Ocasio-Cortez, who already has her mansion picked out.

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