“It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.” -Ayn Rand
Hugo Chavez is dead. I purposely wanted to wait a day or two to see exactly what the media reaction would be. Not in Venezuela, but in the developed west.
The hate-capitalism set is tripping over themselves to eulogize the fallen Venezuelan president, partially out of love for his policies and partially out of a desire to be angrily contrarian. While they admire the business-gutting socialism that Chavez stood for, they really want to use him to project their own hatred for business onto their own society.
American liberal magazine The Nation saluted Chavez for taking on the “selfish and self-interested elite, the wealthy and the privileged”. Elevating the standard of living for poor people is not the goal. The poor are merely a vessel to force evil free enterprise to dance for the real self-interested elite in government.
Governments who tell you they’re all about the poor at the expense of the fat cats are classic examples of Ayn Rand’s “masters”. While the freest economies like Hong Kong and Singapore are working to expand services to their poor, the focus remains on being competitive to drive new economic growth for those poor rather than a punitive campaign.
After all, these are the same people who want a financial transactions tax to punish Wall Street as the alleged villains of the US sequester. It’s the market’s fault the government spent too much money.
While Venezuela has every right to elect whomever they want, even an asset nationalizer, I look forward to the day when we can cover Venezuela as a new Latin American hotspot for inviting business. Such a change is badly needed, as Venezuela has been allowing its oil business to slump due to lack of investment after Chavez took it over.
Panama has turned its act around in recent years, Chile is ticking all the right boxes, and the former USSR state of Georgia has made an amazingly pro-business turnaround. It doesn’t take long. Perhaps the Chavista opposition can ultimately gain ground to do so as time goes on.