Entries Tagged as 'Socialism'

The Coming Liberal Argument

December 19th, 2011 at 12:00 am 51 Comments

Here is a real effect Occupy Wall Street is having on the liberal left. They will start to blame the current bad economy explicitly on income inequality.

Here is Heather Boushey writing at the Center for American Progress:

Take, malady for example, buy the housing bubble of the 2000s. It was facilitated in no small part by exotic mortgages that were sliced and diced and sold to investors who pushed home prices to hitherto unknown heights. And when it popped, millions of American families—through no fault of their own except the decision to buy a home—were left with mortgages greater than the value of their homes. High rates of foreclosure still plague our economy.

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How Left-Wing is Obama?

David Frum September 25th, 2011 at 11:07 pm 111 Comments

America is engaged in a dual-track conversation about the President’s core beliefs. Conservatives by and large express conviction that he is a fervent radical, certainly a socialist, perhaps a Marxist – even (in the telling of the old Glenn Beck TV show) a Maoist!

Self-described leftists, on the other hand, write things like this:

If activists on the left want to alter this reality, they will have to figure out how to redefine the old ideal of economic justice for the age of the Internet and relentless geographic mobility. During the last election, many hoped that the organizing around Barack Obama’s presidential campaign would do just that. Yet, since taking office, Mr. Obama has only rarely made an effort to move the public conversation in that direction.

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Chavez Distracts from Venezuela’s Real Problems

July 8th, 2011 at 2:48 pm 13 Comments

In 1975, Gabriel García Márquez wrote The Autumn of the Patriarch.  This book mocked the dictatorships that were common in Latin America during the 1960’s and 1970’s.  In his desperate attempt to cling to power, the patriarch would create plots and fake enemies, surround himself in a tight inner circle of cronies, and order atrocities against all those who even thought of replacing him.  When I read this book many years ago, I thought that the patriarch’s behavior was merely inspired by the history of Cuba. I was wrong. Hugo Chavez’s recent illness, the secrecy around it, the intrigue about who will be the successor, and his brother claiming that he will take arms to continue the Bolivarian revolution are all worthy of being episodes of the Autumn of the Patriarch.

Many of my Venezuelan friends, who are not Chavistas, are convinced that the illness is just a distraction from what is happening in Venezuela.   They say that the illness will drive attention away from the fact that Venezuela is one of the most dangerous places on earth, that there is an ongoing electricity crisis, that the prison system has collapsed, and that the country is only outperforming Haiti (which, unfortunately, is not a very high bar).  Whether the illness is real or not, what is happening in the country should be the fiction, as opposed to the reality.

The uncertainty that Chavez’s illness has brought to Venezuela and its future is what the regime is really about.  It is about Chavez and his cronies, not about Venezuela.  It is about clinging to power, not about solving the country’s problems.  The socialism of the 21st century is collapsing just like the socialism of the 20th century did. The rest of Latin America’s leaders have a responsibility to their people to not follow Chavez’s recipe and to not turn their countries into chapters in a novel from the 70’s.