The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Hugo Chavez, Looter

Posted on | March 6, 2013 | 43 Comments

Weird that the New York Times would publish this:

The legacy of his 14-year “socialist revolution” is apparent across Venezuela: the decay, dysfunction and blight that afflict the economy and every state institution.
The endless debate about whether Mr. Chávez was a dictator or democrat — he was in fact a hybrid, an elected autocrat — distracted attention, at home and abroad, from the more prosaic issue of competence. Mr. Chávez was a brilliant politician and a disastrous ruler. He leaves Venezuela a ruin, and his death plunges its roughly 30 million citizens into profound uncertainty. . . .
The once mighty factories of Ciudad Guayana, an industrial hub by the Orinoco River that M.I.T. and Harvard architects planned in the 1960s, are rusting and wheezing, some shut, others at half-capacity. . . .
Underinvestment and ineptitude hit hydropower stations and the electricity grid, causing weekly blackouts that continue to darken cities, fry electrical equipment, silence machinery and require de facto rationing. . . .
Reckless money printing and fiscal policies triggered soaring inflation, so much so that the currency, the bolívar, lost 90 percent of its value since Mr. Chávez took office, and was devalued five times over a decade. In another delusion, the currency had been renamed “el bolívar fuerte,” the strong bolívar — an Orwellian touch.
Harassment of privately owned farms and chaotic administration of state-backed agricultural cooperatives hit food production, compelling extensive imports, which stacked up so fast thousands of tons rotted at the ports. Mr. Chávez called it “food sovereignty.”
Politicization and neglect crippled the state-run oil company PDVSA’s core task — drilling — so that production slumped. “It’s a pity no one took 20 minutes to explain macroeconomics to him with a pen and paper,” Baldo Sanso, a senior executive told me.

Read the whole thing. The Irish writer, Rory Carroll, is actually a man of the Left and seems to view Chavez’s failures as idiosyncratic and personal, rather than a necessary correllate of the dictator’s Marxist ideology. The belief that rich people are inherently evil, and poor people inherently virtuous, so that “social justice” requires that private wealth be expropriated in the name of “the people” — this is a harmful idea, a very bad idea.

Good people do not cherish such bad ideas. Good men do not become Marxist dictators. The entirety of Chavez’s vicious character could have been known to anyone who bothered to read a single chapter — “Why the Worst Get on Top” — of Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom.

But why bother to read that much? You could summarize what Chavez so predictably did to Venezuela with a single word that Ayn Rand used to describe the left-wing politicians in Atlas Shrugged: “looters.”

Chavez was a looter, a bandit, a vandal incapable of building anything except a movement that destroyed everything.

We could say the same of others, much closer to home.



43 Responses to “Hugo Chavez, Looter”

  1. Fausta
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Hugo Chavez, Looter #TCOT

  2. JENin140
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Hugo Chavez, Looter #TCOT

  3. Dan Collins
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    Chavez so loved the poor that he created a bunch more of them.

  4. WJJ Hoge
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:33 am

    The problem with trying to come up with a snappy Orwell quote for Chavez is choosing between “Animal Farm” and “Nineteen Eighty Four.”

  5. Mike G.
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    The son of a bitch is dead. The media needs to move on. He was no hero, just another tin pot dictator who enriched himself and his family on the backs of the people who wrongly elected him.

    You’d think Chavez was a reincarnation of ol’ Joe Stalin or something.

  6. Aube Rouge
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    Certainly, the democrat faction in this country seeks to impose a tyranny of ignorance, impelled by TV, enforced by mob rule, and couched as “democracy”.

  7. Neo
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    The “People’s Socialist,” who amassed a personal fortune of $2 billion … WTF ?

  8. Neo
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    “I work with unwed mothers … helping them get their start.”

  9. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:53 am
  10. Dan Collins
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    Dan Collins liked this on Facebook.

  11. McGehee, a.k.a. Scribe of Slog
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:58 am

    I’m just glad Iran and Venezuela weren’t able to start a world war before he died.

    Not that Adolfadinnerjacket wouldn’t go it alone…

  12. bigfire
    March 6th, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    small potato. He hasn’t destroy his country as much as his personal hero Bob Mugabee. Of course, ole Bob have more time and a more distinct sets of enemies (the White Afrikaners) nearby.

  13. Esau's Message
    March 6th, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    Does anyone doubt that within four years of leaving the White House, Obama will have amassed a personal fortune in excess of $1 billion? Again, WTF?

  14. mom
    March 6th, 2013 @ 11:11 am

    We need a few hundred politicians to die from cancer here in the USA.

  15. Neo
    March 6th, 2013 @ 11:13 am

    I’ve proposed a 50% tax on royalties from speeches and writings by present and former federal government employees, elected and unelected, about their time in government.

    There comes a point when you just have to stop taking.

  16. WJJ Hoge
    March 6th, 2013 @ 11:35 am

    Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, and Courtney Love are all feeling the loss.

  17. aliswell
    March 6th, 2013 @ 11:36 am

    I like the meteor hitting DC idea. If only….

  18. Finrod Felagund
    March 6th, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. We can only hope the Venezuelan people get a better leader that doesn’t abuse and victimize them.

  19. Esau's Message
    March 6th, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    Didn’t you steal that from Glenn Reynolds?

  20. Chavez aftermath | Fausta's Blog
    March 6th, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    […] Hugo Chavez, Looter […]

  21. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 6th, 2013 @ 12:22 pm
  22. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 6th, 2013 @ 12:23 pm
  23. mom
    March 6th, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

    I would settle for them all getting radiation poisoning, and being turned into a pile of stinking goo. Better yet, we should arrest every single Democrat and Republican, send them to concentration camps and work them to death. lol

  24. Mike G.
    March 6th, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

    Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of Stalin’s death. Chavez was 58…just sayin’.

  25. rmnixondeceased
    March 6th, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

    Meanwhile, Hugo and Spiro engaged in a bitch-slap fest over who would get the bottom bunk … Hugo lost and is now Spiro’s bitch …

  26. Roxeanne de Luca
    March 6th, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    Chavez was very, very wealthy. You’ll note that all of the “help the poor!” Marxists really want to put themselves on the top of the heap, not even out the pile.

  27. Hugo Chavez Dies…Finally | The Camp Of The Saints
    March 6th, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

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  28. K-Bob
    March 6th, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

    No. A LOT of us have been saying that.

    I’d propose a law saying they can’t speak on foreign soil for any form of compensation. If they want to fly their own carcass to some country and spout off, let them hire their own bodyguards and pay their own entourage’s way out-of-pocket.

  29. K-Bob
    March 6th, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

    Man, that sure reminds me of someone.

  30. matthew w
    March 6th, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

    I for one am not happy that Hugo is dead.

    I was hoping that his cancer would linger on for years and become more painful by the minute.

    Some people deserve that

  31. JeffS
    March 6th, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

    Chavez was not a “brilliant politician”. A “brilliant politician” would not have led his nation into economic decay and chaos.

    Chavez was a thug in the Venezuelan military, and leveraged the corruption within the Venezuelan government into supporting his bid for dictatorship. He led an attempted coup, and was not above using violence while abusing the voting process.

    Thug. Despot. Dictator. Communist. Murderer. Bully. Thief. Anything but “brilliant”.

  32. gvanderleun
    March 6th, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

    Chavez: Drive him fast to his tomb.

  33. Hugo Chavez A Bad Manager? | The Lonely Conservative
    March 6th, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    […] rather than ideology. Sure, he was incompetent, but the real problem is like Stacy said, he was a looter, plain and […]

  34. Wombat_socho
    March 6th, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

    Yeah, that’s just hilarious. Enjoy your ban.

  35. Wombat_socho
    March 6th, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

    Two years of cancer treatment in a Cuban hospital is close enough for me.

  36. Christy Waters
    March 6th, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

    If the hypocrisy of Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover and others of their ilk had a stench, it would smell worse than Chavez’ armpit. It’s so easy to espouse the Marxist philosophy from the safety and freedom of the U.S., when you don’t have to live like the average Venezuelan. These worthless warm carcasses don’t consider themselves part of the evil rich, and they certainly don’t volunteer to expropriate their own wealth to the poor. And if you suggested that they jump off the gravy ride that is the United States to go live in their Marxist fantasyland, you’d be called everything but a child of God.

    But what does it say about someone who decries this country for being so wicked, yet even though they have the freedom to leave, they choose to stay? They’re more evil than the country they condemn.

  37. ReaganiteRepublican
    March 6th, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

    Even if you wanted to say he had good intentions -which only idiots believe- the guy was a joke of an executive and a particularly clueless economist. Add to that his quadrupling of the Venezuelan homicide rate and you have epic Bolivarian FAIL

  38. maybetoday777
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

    just another Roman Catholic killer rotting in hell. Nothing new here.

  39. maybetoday777
    March 6th, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

    of course, Judas Iscariot was worried about the poor too.

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    March 8th, 2013 @ 1:34 am

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