Hue & cry

There are such things as politics, even though I don’t like them. Yet we are involved whether we like them or not, if only to defend ourselves against those who (like Satan, for example) are playing politics in every watchful moment.

Venezuela is important, even to the English-speaking world, where opposition parties in both Britain (Labour) and the United States (Democrats) are proposing to replace the current “Brexitism” and “Trumpism,” respectively, with something like the Venezuelan revolution. They advocate appropriation from the rich, the regulation of everything that moves, and stomping the ideological jackboot in every uncooperative face.

Polls I’ve seen present their winning case. About four in five Americans, and probably more in other countries, say “soak the rich.” The overwhelming majority earn enough to get by, and the minority of incapables are over-served with public assistance programmes. Debt is a critical problem, both privately, and publicly, where debt service is now the largest category of spending in most national budgets, and growing remorselessly. But the public have no interest in bookkeeping — the Millennial Generation leaves counting to computers — and are quickly bored with policy prescriptions unless there is something advertised for them. Most would now prefer bill-free medicine; and the young want tuition-free education. Recklessly irresponsible “liberal” politicians are glad to promise such things, knowing that the media won’t ask hard questions, but are entirely focused on smearing their opponents.

The rich and visible have always been unpopular, and a target for malignant and stupid people. Humans being what they are, the hatred is often deserved. But the essentially criminal idea, that we could all be better off if we just took what belonged to those smarter or better connected than ourselves, and spread it around “democratically,” has been with us through all recorded ages.

Envy, rightly marked in Christendom as a grievous deadly sin, works with the mob, and owing to advances in technology a mob can now be formed electronically, on an unprecedented scale. I look to our mundane future with a mixture of pessimism and optimism. The pessimism is for what I can immediately foresee. The optimism is for what comes after.

For God made man with a heart that is also capable of good. This tends to emerge in the most trying circumstances. To the outrage of liberals and progressives, agencies as diverse as those of USA, of various countries in Latin America, and of Venezuelan refugees, have organized aid projects to bring food and medicine to those still imprisoned by the Caracas regime. They are meant to replace the hand-outs that Chavez and Maduro used to buy votes, but which are no longer available since they crashed the economy (recently among the wealthiest in this world, thanks to oil). Without weapons, it may be possible to bring down that regime, as it was a generation ago to bring down the Berlin Wall. I pray Godspeed to all those who work towards the destruction of the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela.

But there is alas no reliable method on Earth by which Power can be held in check, once evil men have won an election. In a civilized polity, they would be compelled to balance each budget; to build reserves instead of debts; would be prevented by custom and constitutional instruments from engaging in extra-legal activities (i.e. those not directly sanctioned by specific legislative acts, nor administered transparently). By increments we have “progressed” beyond limits to statism understood in the past. (I have always opposed socialism, not because it is inefficient — though it leads invariably to farce — but because it is evil.)

Here nature is on our side, in the form of national catastrophes. Only after the triumphant response to those, do things start getting worse again.