In a response to a recent post on the need for us to pray for the poor people of Venezuela, one poster suggested the problems weren’t socialism, but over-dependence on one export–oil. And since the price of oil has dropped so dramatically, that has caused the problems. While that is a superficial reason, one has to look at deeper reasons as to why they were overly dependent upon oil, and we also must examine why the oil industry in Venezuela was so dilapidated–after all, the other major oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia have far less natural resource alternatives than does Venezuela, and they aren’t starving. Why is it that Venezuela has so many problems when the other members of OPEC aren’t? They are being hurt by the low price of oil, but nothing like the unfolding disaster that is Venezuela. So I encourage a quick read of Steve Horowitz’ post on this over at the Foundation for Economic Education. He’s just shootin’ fish in barrels. The most important part from my perspective, in discussing the proponents of those that try to defend socialism as applied throughout the world:
they are guilty of a severe intellectual error that has real moral consequences. Though they may not have intended the humanitarian disaster that we now see, they do bear responsibility for not being aware of the long-standing criticisms of socialism that have given us reasons to expect such a disaster.