Nothing's more bat-brained or dishonest than a British leftist. And John McDonnell, one of the most arrogant, fanatical - and powerful -of them, is out showing it.
"I think in Venezuela they took a wrong turn, a not particularly effective path, not a socialist path.
The admitted Marxist and top Labour Party leader said this at Davos, no less, staying in a $1,400 a night hotel room, claiming that Venezuela collapsed not because it was a socialist hellhole, but because it wasn't socialist enough.
By his logic, then the even-less-socialist U.S. should be in even worse shape.
Actually, his argument is one that's been done before among Marxists, as when Bill Ayers, asked about the bombs he set to make a socialist revolution, replied that he wasn't ashamed of setting off bombs, he thought he actually hadn't "done enough." Tom Wolfe has noted that socialists calling for revolution, when asked about the failures of socialism, reply "oh, but ours will be a real socialism."
But at Davos, McDonnell knew he wasn't among stupid people, and that was why his take was far more sophisticated and snakelike - and could quite likely be repeated by other leftists as time goes on. Which is why it needs to be nipped in the bud. According to the Sun, McDonnell explained:
Speaking to business leaders and world leaders in the Swiss ski resort today, Mr McDonnell bizarrely claimed: "It’s not that the issue is socialism vs capitalism.
"In terms of what happened in Venezuela, they took a wrong turn."
He went on: "All the objectives of Chavez, in terms of tackling inequality, investing in education, developing people’s skills, would have been successful if they had mobilised the oil resources to actually invest in the long term and work with private sectors as well."
Copying President Trump, he cited Norway as an example, this time of a country that could evade the problems brought on by an oil boom by saving for a rainy day, as that country has done.
It's baloney. Socialists have always denounced savings - the other word for it is 'capital' - over spending. They've always spent like there was no tomorrow. As the example of Fidel Castro attests, they don't believe in paying bills. Defaulting on debt (which is reverse savings) is as socialist as guava pie. Socialism has always been about treating the here and now as if there were no past and no future. So they spend, spend, spend, and the international left, until it all went to hell in Caracas, was very quick to defend Chavez's social spending as 'poverty reduction' or even "investment" using a capitalist term.
Hugo Chavez managed over a course of 15 years to squander more than one trillion dollars in oil earnings based on high oil prices and expectations that they would rise forever. They didn't. The country is bankrupt now and doesn't even have ten billion in reserves to carry them over.
As economist Francisco Rodriguez has pointed out, Chavez didn't even spend socially as the left and he himself had claimed. Even the propaganda was a lie. In the decade before Chavez was dictator, 1990-1998, Venezuela's social spending amounted to a little more than 31% of GDP. During the Chavez years, it amounted to a bit more than 29%.
What Chavez spent Venezuela's oil bonanza on was military hardware, influence-buying abroad, including foreign elections, and expanding the vast state bureaucracy. Corruption took a humongous toll. And as for Venezuela's people, supposedly helped by all that socialism, it's: "We loot or we die of hunger."
Now McDonnell is claiming that Venezuela should have saved some of its money for a rainy day and worked with the private sector.
Back in Chavez's heyday, working with the private sector was expropriating hundreds of businesses, and setting up state businesses run on political considerations, all of which crashed down into failure. That was the vaunted ''investment" socialists such as McDonnell were touting at the time.
It's all a disgusting picture, and now leftists such as McDonnell are trying to extricate themselves from it by claiming they favored the Norwegian model all along.
What we are looking at here is not just the horrific failure of socialism in Venezuela but now the blazing bright success of President Trump's newly revitalized America, built not on commodity booms but on creating value and freeing the private sector to be itself and produce things of value.
McDonnell will never understand this. But his lies need to be called out and debunked as often as possible before the millennials start believing him.