In Venezuela, people go hungry. It’s the revolution. No matter that the country is potentially the richest in the world. The same happened in 1921 in the newly born Soviet Union. One million Russians starved to death. Lenin was overjoyed. “The revolution and I are like that, madam.” Farmers were forbidden to trade and the Red Army confiscated their products, even the seeds.
It happened in China. Twenty million people died. In that country, pain is also multitudinous. It happened in Cambodia and North Korea, where some desperate people resorted to cannibalism. It always happens. In Cuba, 60,000 people lost their sight or the mobility in their lower limbs because of the peripheral neuritis caused by malnutrition after Soviet subsidies came to an end.
Castro shrieked against “the blockade.” A health minister who warned what was happening was fired. The revolution also means keeping one’s mouth shut. It wasn’t the embargo. It was the revolution. It’s always the revolution. Amartya Sen of Bengal was given the Nobel prize in economics for demonstrating that famine is caused by state interference. Any of the victims of communism could have explained that to the Swedes with the same clarity, without the need to hold a doctorate from Cambridge.
Why do the communists do this? Are they sadists? Are they stupid and do they make the same mistakes over and again? Not at all. They are revolutionaries intent on creating a new world, using Karl Marx’s recipes.
Didn’t Karl Marx assert that the ruling oligarchy and the model of State were the consequence of the capitalist rule of property? Didn’t he insist that, if a communist vanguard were to seize the means of production in the name of the proletariat, a new society would rise, ruled by new men imbued by a new morality?
It’s a question of priorities. Communist revolutionaries don’t care if people live better or if the factories produce more. That’s petty-bourgeois nonsense, typical of the liberal democracies that bring together the treasonous social-democrats, the Christian democrats and other minor species engaged in the babble of pseudo-social justice.
The two essential tasks of communist revolutionaries are, first, to demolish the power structure of “the old regime” and replace it with their own people; second, to seize the productive apparatus, ruin the companies they’re unable to manage, and nationalize the rest to deprive the old capitalist oligarchs of their resources.
These are the two activities where the communist revolutionaries demonstrate whether they have triumphed or failed. That’s the benchmark. Lenin and Stalin triumphed, at least for several decades. Mao and the Castro brothers triumphed. Chávez triumphed … so far.
What does it matter to Maduro if skeletal children faint from hunger in the schools or if sick people die for lack of medicine? His definition of success has nothing to do with Venezuelans’ nourishment or health, but with what people in his feverish and delirious little world pompously call “the consolidation of the revolutionary process.”
That explains the leniency in the face of the egregious theft of public funds or the complicity with drug trafficking. Help yourselves. Marx also provided the perfect alibi: they’re in the phase of primary accumulation of capital. At this stage in the regime change, like sloughing off their skin, all is fair.
There’s plenty of time to reestablish honesty and hope that the five-year central plans will bring something resembling prosperity. Right now, it’s a matter of enriching the key revolutionaries: the Cabello brothers and their nephews, the docile generals, the Bolibourgeois, that is, the revolutionaries in the service of the cause. They must have their pockets full in order to be useful.
Do you understand now why the communist revolutionaries repeat the same scheme of governance over and again? They’re not wrong. Making a mess is part of building the new State.
Do you understand why the Castro brothers are counseling Maduro to imitate the unproductive Cuban model and why he obeys them like a faithful dog? What matters to the Chavists is to hold on to power and replace the government élite with its own.
Do Colombians understand what “Timoshenko” means when he promises to revolutionize Colombia when he rises to power? Or Pablo Iglesias in Spain when he says that he will use in his country the same recipe that he recommended to the Venezuelans? They are consistently destructive.
Revolution is that. Exactly that. No more, no less.
Published on Sunday August 7th, 2016 by El Blog de Montaner