Opinion

MARKOVSKY: Venezuela’s Self-Imposed Problems Aren’t Worth American Lives

REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

Alexander Markovsky London Center for Policy Research

Welcome to Venezuela, the latest shining exemplar of the triumphant socialism.

In 2013, David Sirota summarized the prevailing sentiment of the left in his article “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle.” He wrote, “The Venezuelan leader was often marginalized as a radical. But his brand of socialism achieved real economic gains.”

It was then. Today, “real economic gains” resulted in complete collapse of the economy; hyperinflation, the blackouts, shortages of food and medicines, lack of basic services and three million of refugees. It proves what should be self-evident — democratic socialism, loved and revered by American socialists, is substantively no different from any other socialist brands.

Yet the true believers do not relinquish ideas that have been disproved repeatedly by historical precedents, and no amount of reality can shake their convictions. For them, acceptance of reality equates to a denial of faith.

It’s always the same — this time it is different; this time socialism is democratic. So, what is this mysterious democratic socialism? The defining characteristic of democratic socialism is its relation between power and legitimacy. Democratic socialists use legitimacy to gain power and then use power to validate their legitimacy. They took a page from their Bolshevik predecessors whose peculiar relation between power and legitimacy was defined by Yaakov Sverdlov, the chairman of the Bolshevik Central Executive Committee, who famously declared, “power is always legitimate because power makes laws.”

Regardless of how the socialists came to power, and despite some differences in interpretation between Christian democratic socialism, Soviet-style revolutionary socialism, social democratic socialism or any other kind of socialism, they all are branches of the same egalitarian tree that produced Marxism, Leninism, and Stalinism and share the common mantra, “fair and equitable.”

The differences are superficial. The goal of socialism is economic equality. The ultimate irony is that economic equality can only be achieved in poverty. There is no equality in wealth. In this context, socialism always works, it works as it supposed to. Venezuela is not socialism’s failure; it is actually a fulfillment.

Democratic socialism is the Marxist’s Trojan horse. It enacts socialism by installing the Hugo Chavezes of this world through the democratic process.

Whether the Venezuelans voted for socialist serfdom knowingly or not is irrelevant. In a democracy the will of the majority is supreme. Hugo Chavez was a democratically elected leader of Venezuela and enjoyed wide popular support. Nicolás Maduro is his legal successor. We have to respect the people’s will and let them have it. They deserve it. Elections have consequences. For Americans who haven’t learned much in school or suffered a memory loss and voted for Democrats in the last elections, Venezuela is a foretaste of what is yet to come.

Some hotheads in Washington are contemplating military intervention. Whatever the underlining justification for intervention may be, there is no inevitable necessity for it, neither from security nor from political considerations.

Although the United States has every reason historically and geopolitically to prevent Latin America from going socialist, the most efficient way to do so is nurture and preserve Venezuela’s socialist rule as an example for other psychopaths calling for equality and left-wing lunatics willing to vote for it. But, most importantly, from geopolitical point of view, what would be the lesson? If irresponsible voters need fear no consequence other than a return to status quo ante, would a recurrence of democratic socialism somewhere else including the US not be likely?

A military intervention may turn into another unmitigated disaster costing American lives and billions of dollars. We will undoubtedly end up morally invested in Venezuela helping to rebuilt failed nations at the expense of American taxpayers.

I do not personally regard the whole of Venezuela, even if it burns down to the ground, as worth the life of a single American marine.

The great axiom of political science is to never interfere with an enemy that is about to destroy itself.

Alexander G. Markovsky (@AlexMarkovsky) is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a conservative think hosted at King’s College, New York City, which examines national security, energy, risk-analysis and other public policy issues, He is the author of “Anatomy of a Bolshevik” and “Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It.” He is the owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services, LLC.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.