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For years I have rallied against socialism as a cancer that rots away at culture, productivity, drive, motivation, and to some extent even human decency. It crushes hopes and dreams and breeds mostly only misery.
Albeit a shared misery, all on mostly equal terms. Because that is really the aim of socialism. To supposedly level the playing field. The aim is often times noble. It stems from a basic concept of people helping people together, and it seeks to make life better.
The truth is that it never does, and every single socialist regime has failed to accomplish its goal through the annals of history, and people suffer as a result of it.
Part of the problem is purely an economic reality. Even socialism requires money. But money comes from things produced in society. Money comes from a strong culture of a work ethic, a drive to succeed to better your life, and motivation to keep on going to get ahead.
When the reward is no longer there to succeed, no one tries anymore. And slowly but surely the pool of money derived from productivity and success begins to dry up. As the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher famously once said, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
She never said what follows, but the underlying philosophy is a simple one. You can never get ahead in this world if everyone is poor together, which is what socialism ultimately results in happening.
It may not seem like a fair world to some when a few have it all, and some have a bit more, and another group has practically nothing. But at the end of the day the few provide an answer. The possibility. The opportunity. And in societies where capitalism is more prevalent, or variations of it, at least one thing remains true.
Many poor people have the opportunity to succeed.
In other words, unlike socialism, there is a clearer path toward a way out. Granted, it is not an easy path. But that's what produces the strong work ethic in people, and the drive to succeed, and the motivation and incentive to produce things to have at least the opportunity.
In a capitalistic society the mantra becomes, "Work hard and you can make a better life for yourself." In other words, hard work pays off. In a society built on socialism hard work is not as handsomely rewarded, and your rewards are limited to what the government ultimately decides you deserve.
And again, when there is no real reward for hard work and success, people simply don't do it. This is part of the rot of culture and drive and motivation that is whittled away at. It whittles away at what binds a society, makes it whole, and drives people to accomplish things.
In other words, I feel her pain. But at the same time I admire her tenacity despite the odds against her, living in a country once remarkably successful and productive, where people could achieve their dreams and desires, and could enjoy a payoff later in life for what they were able to contribute along the way. Her story is a stark example of how socialism whittles away at culture, drive, and motivation, until society is effectively ruined by it, and the work ethic is slowly but surely diminished from working hard, to just doing what you have to in order to survive.
In her story, her grandfather lived in a very different country than her father did. And today she lives in a different country than her father and grandfather did. The culture had been changed by socialism and the reality of it.
In her grandfather's country, hard work had a payoff. He taught his son about that payoff, and he in turn offered that same lesson to his daughter. But by the time the daughter had a chance to put that lesson to work, she quickly realized that the lesson, at least in her country, the country that became the one she lives in now, was no longer true.
But I did say that I admire her tenacity, because at the same time she has made some decisions to spite the odds against her. The reality is that the socialism that she lives under now simply makes that a harder goal despite her tenacity.
Most people in socialist societies don't even try to make a better life for themselves, or to stack any odds in their favor, because once socialism takes root, it permeates the mindset of most people.
And the government's confines economically make it nearly impossible anyway.
This is simply the way it is and I am powerless to overcome it. So, I will just go about the status quo as it is.
I pick on Venezuela a lot of the time when I talk about the ills of socialism, because it really is one of the most recent examples of how it can destroy a nation. In the 1970's it was a country that was perhaps one of the most prosperous nations in Latin America. That all changed when Hugo Chavez became the president in around 1999, and in just 20 some odd years the country has become impoverished and suffers massive inflation, and much human sufferage. All of it a result of socialist views and governing.
Venezuela is now as poor as it has ever been, and the hopes and dreams and strong culture of a remarkable populace has now been reduced to ashes, with most of its people struggling just to survive, in a world where opportunity is limited, and where power is centralized.
In capitalistic societies we rail against the 1% who have it all, and bargain for the 99% who don't get to share in the riches. As we do this we fail to recognize that in socialist societies the ratio is quite different. There it is the .01% who have it all, and have all of the power and rewards, and it is the remaining 99.99% who suffer the fallout and ultimately starve.
I wish all the best for my friend in Venezuela that she can beat the odds and overcome the hurdles. And I hope that she is an example of a new culture which restores the old culture. I hope that she is a product of a few people who can change the status quo and spite the odds and make Venezuela a great and prosperous country again.
I hope that Venezuela can provide a valuable lesson to the world what happens when you take away the freedom to succeed, and what happens when you restore it.
Only time will tell, of course.
Because at the end of the day even in a capitalistic society not everyone will reap the rewards. But the big difference is that at least one has the opportunity if they want it, and they work hard for it.
At the end of the day my hope is that people like @rebeysa85 is not alone in her plight to tell socialism to go and take a flying leap.