Acton Institute Powerblog

Venezuela’s socialism leads to slavery

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Because of high inflation and unemployment, Venezuela has the most miserable economy in the world. The country currently has an inflation rate of 180 percent (which is expected to increase 1,642 percent by next year) and the current unemployment rate is 17 percent, (which is expected to increase to nearly 21 percent next year).

Shortages of basic goods like food, toilet paper, and medicine has devastated a nation where more than 70 percent of the people already live in poverty. The country has become so crippled by shortages of goods and services that the socialist government has resorted to a dire solution to fix the food problem: slavery.

According to CNN, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.” The decree also says that workers would still be paid their normal salary by the government and they can’t be fired from their actual job.

Unfortunately, this is not a novel idea. Forcing lawyers and college professors to work in the fields was also a feature of Soviet-style socialism, as Robert Tracinski notes:

This is what used to be known as “universal labor conscription,” which was imposed by the Soviets in 1918, in which “all those capable of working, regardless of their regular jobs, were subject to being called upon to carry out various labor tasks”—a system pretty much identical to the Medieval institution of serfdom. The measure under which this system was imposed was called the “Declaration of the Rights of the Toiling Masses and Exploited People.” George Orwell never had to make anything up.

Advocates of socialism often forget that giving the government control over a country’s “capital” means giving the control over the labor of the citizens. That’s why no matter how benign the intention, the logical outcome of socialism is slavery.

 

 

Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future

Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future

In Becoming Europe, Samuel Gregg examines economic culture - the values and institutions that inform our economic priorities - to explain how European economic life has drifted in the direction of what Alexis de Tocqueville called "soft despotism", and the ways in which similar trends are manifesting themselves in the United States.

Visit the official website at www.becomingeurope.com

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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