Unmentionable Nations

Venezuela has been delicately discussed in the news in recent weeks. Zero Hedge has far more coverage than other outlets combined. Why? It is fresh chum for those who oppose communists. Venezuela under Chavez was lavished with praise. It also enjoyed a commodity bull supercycle. Now that the socialism is hitting expected road markers as the oil bull ends, oil investment died off due to mismanagement and government spending keeps going, Venezuela profiles are sparse. It kills the narrative.

This profile of Venezuela in The Atlantic is a window into the death of a country by socialism. This unraveling is carefully couched by the writer as socialism is only mentioned twice and only as Chavez’s brand. A perfect molding of the failure is in this paragraph:

The real culprit is chavismo, the ruling philosophy named for Chavez and carried forward by Maduro, and its truly breathtaking propensity for mismanagement (the government plowed state money arbitrarily into foolish investments); institutional destruction (as Chavez and then Maduro became more authoritarian and crippled the country’s democratic institutions); nonsense policy-making (like price and currency controls); and plain thievery (as corruption has proliferated among unaccountable officials and their friends and families).

This focuses the energy on Chavez and his brand. Chavez was the cancer. This lines up with The New York Times op-ed on the need for Maduro to embrace democracy. The Times even allowed Maduro op-ed space of his own (most likely ghostwritten) to tout all the positives of Chavez and the party. Read his op-ed to see just for how many progressive talking points Maduro marks, and how we now know exactly how full of lies they were.

This is also the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. This is the only defense because laced throughout the article is fact after fact of government intervention and socialist policies that caused the destruction of Venezuela. Hyperinflation is tossed around multiple times, and that does not happen without a government fueling the fire.

This Atlantic article states that problems started before now, but just in 2013, other American writers were calling Chavez’s work an economic miracle. If the cracks were apparent then, why were they not mentioned? Looking even further back in time, one can see that Venezuela’s miracle was a return to GDP per capita numbers it enjoyed over 40 years ago. No writer could mention the problems Venezuela faced and its middling performance while riding the oil bull because to do so would break ranks with the Left’s stance. Chavez’s policies are no different than Bernie Sanders’ pitch. This is why protesting Venezuelans and the disastrous policies they enacted cannot be mentioned.

Venezuela is not alone. Nations spread throughout the American empire serve a purpose for domestic reasons. They are discarded the moment the purpose is served. If one watched movies about modern South Africa, one would think the rainbow nation was coming together and moving on from evil, icky apartheid. Roughly 70% of South Africans polled at year end 2015 think the nation is heading for a collapse. Rolling power outages only ended in South Africa because economic activity has declined. South Africa has seen its fortunes worsen, even as the commodity bull supercycle roared. This is a long decline, but one the American media will tap dance around.

Why? It is bad governance and corruption. Of course, the political institutions were working fine up until apartheid ended. South Africa was discarded by the Left because the mission of destroying a vestige of white colonial rule was complete. No one needs to see the consequences. The Left won. Forget how the substitution of white administrators and politicians for African bureaucrats has resulted in the decline of a functioning nation. As in The Wizard of Oz, pay no attention to the color of the man behind the curtain. South Africa and the refutation of the idea that all humans are fungible must not be mentioned.

South Africa is a particularly interesting case because we have another unmentionable nation as a guide for it: Zimbabwe. As Moldbug once wrote, Zimbabwe was Rhodesia, a country that used to exist. South Africa has better natural resources and a higher starting point, but its descent tracks along Zimbabwe’s, albeit with a twenty year delay. Zimbabwe gets press for hyperinflation and Mugabe being a dictator, but no one examines why it is a mess when it was formerly a food exporter. No one questions why the West sacrificed Rhodesia to the Gods of decolonization, democracy, and diversity. Zimbabwe sans apartheid is the exact change in governance that South Africa is experiencing.

There are others on this list of unmentionable countries. They all share the common trait of revealing reality and refuting progressive lies. Netflix may have thirty Holocaust documentaries for you to watch, but search hard anywhere for a documentary on Pol Pot’s Cambodian killing fields that Harvard endorsed. How much does anyone hear about Haiti in the years between coups or the natural disasters that kill hundreds of thousands? These nations must all be memory-holed for the narrative. These nations must only be recalled or pulled out of the tool-shed when politically useful at the moment for feeding a domestic narrative.

Venezuela’s decline will continue. It will continue to receive carefully pruned coverage by Western media. No lessons will be learned because the lessons to be learned destroy the progressive house of cards. The misery of the human condition for millions that directly refutes progressive beliefs must not be mentioned. Besides, that wasn’t true socialism, anyway. That was not true communism. It just has not been implemented correctly. Fret not, your progressive overlords can do it better.

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  1. Laguna Beach Fogey May 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    We’re all Rhodesians now.

  2. And for certain sure no one mentions the San people supporting apartheid (were used as a food source by other tribes before the Dutch showed up), the Harkis of Algeria, etc. Even the filthy racists had some pretty vibrant support, could it be that what it’s about is never what it’s about?

    1. Can you please give a source for your statement that the San people were used as food? I would like to research that.

  3. The case of Venezuela is special because no more than 10 years ago people wouldn’t shut up about it being a model for “socialism in the 21st century”. People like Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Oliver Stone praised Hugo Chávez for his economic reforms, now they are ignoring. In a few years they will say that Bolivarianism was actually a right-wing populist and nationalist movement and that’s why we should reject Donald Trump and the European far-right.

    Of course, some people will remember. I will certainly not forget how the entire Brazilian intelligentsia and creative class told us to emulate Venezuela, and criticized the centrists in Congress and the anti-government media that prevented their “turn to the left” (and ultimately deposed the government).

    Which reminds me, Brazil is another “unmentionable nation”, isn’t it? You would expect that a government change in the country that will host the Summer Olympics would receive more attention, but how could they spin “Marxist government which almost ruined the country is overthrow by a centre-right Congress which apoints a 100% white male cabinet to clean up the mess left by feminists and progressives”?

    1. Interesting note on Brazil. You are Brazilian I take it? I have noticed that there seem to be a lot of Brazilian NRxers and other dissident right types. Have you noticed this as well? Do you have an explanation for it?

      1. There is a quite popular Brazilian right-wing philosopher called Olavo de Carvalho whose work is compatible with much of neoreactionary theory.

        Most Brazilian dissident right types are influenced by him.

  4. You’ve touched on something very interesting here: the way the Cathedral, which is located primarily in the continental United States, uses far-off countries as political cudgels, destroys them in the process, and then totally forgets about them. Funny how that works.

    In other words, the battlefield is the USA, the rest of the world is just a potential tool to clobber your domestic opponents over the head with.

  5. Edward Bridle May 23, 2016 at 12:18 am

    “the substitution of white administrators and politicians for African bureaucrats” – I think you might have meant that the other way around.

  6. Old dog, old tricks. The New York Times talking about Venezuela in 2013 might as well be the New York Times talking about the USSR in 1933. Same thing: it’s an economic miracle, it’s immune to the problems that plague capitalist nations, the people are happy, rumors of incompetence and brutality are just the lies of detractors. The Times still hasn’t given back the Pulitzer Prize that Walter Duranty won while in their employ for covering up Stalin’s policy failures and crimes against humanity. And yes, they have a long habit of throwing away people who are no longer of any use to them. Just ask the white working class in America.

    Remember that the leftist press rarely says anything that is outright untrue (a few Durantys aside). That would make it easy for someone to catch them lying. Mostly, they simply do it by deciding what is and isn’t news – what will get in front of the eyes of the voters, and what won’t. Information that backs up the narrative will get pushed; everything else will be a non-story – either never presented at all, or, if it’s too big an event for that, swept under the rug as soon as possible, never to be mentioned again. Why was the Catholic Church pedophilia scandal good for ten years worth of newspaper headlines, while Rotherham gets nothing but whispers from anyone but far-right websites? We all know why. And is it a lie? of course it is. Anything that intentionally causes someone else to come way with an incorrect perception of reality is a lie, even if every individual piece of information presented while doing so is technically true.

    1. What you’re saying squares perfectly with good, in the sense of proficient, propaganda theory. A lot of people think of “The Big Lie”, but the selective emphasis of truth is an idea with just as much history in propaganda. It has been used by everyone from Goebbels to US psyops manuals (in publicly verifiable sources, this isn’t a conspiracy theory).

      I’m so glad you brought this point up because thinking of people as infinitely fool-able or “easy to manipulate” really belies the fact that those whose business it is to fool the public are actually really effective because they follow a profession with very specific guidelines. The media has been burning through its credibility as it’s gotten sloppier with the guidelines; they’ve pushed the envelope too far.

    2. Australia’s ABC news and television media exactly… as well as the Australian and UK Guardian to the ‘T’… not a single alternative journo or presenter/guest that has opposing views to the narrative…

  7. Zero Hedge has far more coverage than other outlets combined. Why? It is fresh chum for those who oppose communists. Venezuela under Chavez was lavished with praise. It also enjoyed a commodity bull supercycle. Now that the socialism is hitting expected road markers as the oil bull ends, oil investment died off due to mismanagement and government spending keeps going, Venezuela profiles are sparse. It kills the narrative.

    Zerohedge is negative about everything though. China is Communist and they seem to be doing OK relative to South America and much of the Middle East. IMHO it has more to do with low IQs, more than anything. These are crappy countries (Brazil, Turkey, VZ, etc) that score in the 80’s, resulting in chronic inflation, poor management , and corruption. They are not smart enough to ween themselves from foreign credit and commodities.

    1. Although it must be said that China has communism “with Chinese characteristics”, AKA they do whatever they think best and to hell with ideology.

    2. A fairly big difference between China’s brand of communism, Venezuela’s Socio-Marxism and many of the likes of Turkey now harking back to the days of the Islamic Caliphate…

  8. Hello.

    Soon you will be able to add Sweden to your list of unmentionables. As a minority people, the swedes are causing themself to become removed by virtually uncontrolled immigration combined with taxes bordering on total socialism and unions so strong that the biggest party in the Riksdag (the parliament) is the political branch of the main union: Landsorganisationen (National Union). Sweden has a unique form of soft totalitarianism, without the expected militancy. Instead soft pressure is applied to dissenters and dissidents, leaving them out of work and socially ostracized. The economy is artificially good-looking. For example: the official figures for unemployment are around 7% to 8%, but this are doctored due to a manifold of special pleading jobs and creative book-keeping; the actual number is about 17%.

    As Sweden is the flagship of open borders-multiculturalism (more like multicultureracism) its failure as a state will be blamed on everuthing but the import of close to two million africans, arabs and afghans, not to mention numerous ex-jugoslavs and romanian gypsies. This to a nation of around 7,5 million swedes. The rate of reported crime alone has risen 240% (based on crimes reported per 100k inhabitants) since 1975 when mass-immigration and multiculturalism was made law.

    Be very careful America. It might be that Trump is not the president you want, but he might be what you need, or must settle for, given what Sanders and ‘Billary’ will do.

    Don’t look to Sweden for answers unless the question is what not to do.

    Comradely greetings,
    Rikard, schoolteacher

    1. Thanks for the Swedish perspective, Rikard. Though I would add that Sweden is not soon going to be unmentionable, but already is.

    2. And just months later it seems Sweden and the rest tied to the EU are even worse off with not respite… on top of their woes Sweden is now the rape capital of Europe and second in the world thanks to Islamic immigrants and their disdain for Western culture.

      We are about 5 years behind the breathing case study that is the EU… and only because we have a huge ocean between us and the Middle East…

      We already have enclaves, aspects of Sharia law, incessant pandering to the minority, pay Halal taxes on almost every shopping item, Muslim crime gangs ruling the outer suburbs/gun/drug trade and have prisons full of now radical Islamist criminals!

      All this and the Muslim population is only 2.5% of the country (albeit like Britain our major cities have far bigger percentages). I shudder to think what’s coming as our left seems to be growing at an extreme pace with Socio-Marxism being pushed everywhere to the younger generations, unions growing increasingly stronger and the more conservative generations now an aging population…

  9. Weimerican Ex-pat May 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    This reminds me of another thing Moldbug wrote about how the central ideas of progressives borne in the US spread out to the surrounding world where they are embraced even more fervently (Europe, S. America..) whereas the US always remains resistant in some way to its own bullshit.

    It is not surprising that the most pernicious of these ideas (marxism, communism) are then thus the first to fall where they most took root. These events are hopefully the first major cracks in the edifice. We’ve seen the wave of progressive politicians worldwide sweep post-Obama, but it may be another 10 years before we see post-Trump politicians begin to fix everything.. assuming US hegemony continues.

    1. Considering what’s happening now, it wouldn’t even take 10 years for that to happen. The real question is if it happens peacefully or forcefully. The window for the former to be viable is closing fast.

  10. Arthur Marian July 5, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Guys – OK, OK, so the left is “yuck” and only Neoreaction will work. Only it won’t, at least for some time yet. Why? Let’s turn this around. Why have left ideologies been so successful in gathering adherents for the past few hundred years, appealing to all classes, peoples, and nations to a greater or lesser degree? Simply, because they offered the vision of a better future to ALL. However jejune or idiotic that seems, this appeal to the basic Human instinct, to “do good” to all men, is the deepest reason why leftism had a grip on the heart, and was the first modern political ideology that had global reach. The morality implied in the message didn’t, of course prevent the impoverishment of a society, the shootings of a few million here and the death by starvation of a few million there, but, hey! It was all for the greater good, and things would turn out to be really, really fine.

    Does the Right have a message that can reach to the core of mankind – to all men? Does it have a profound moral message that can excite, incite and inspire? Does it have global reach? If not, it is doomed to fail. My perception is that outside of the US, historical memory in most societies is very long – frequently going beyond a thousand years. and I include all of Europe in this. Most people are proud of their ancestors, and have forgiven, but not forgotten their sins. The ideas proposed in these pages have all been experienced, and have been rejected, by force or by reason.

    To say leftism is “bad” and should be rejected is not enough, nor to say things should return to the way they were, because that’s, er, “good”. How do you convince Humanity?

    Any ideas?

    1. Once the left have run out of their ‘useful idiot’ status to Islam they’ll no longer be fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with each other against patriots/nationalists (which is what’s happening in every Western country right now) they’ll be in for a huge awakening. But it could be too late.

      You’re correct for the most about about the ‘lure’ of the left (to all but Islam)… but you’ve missed one important factor that is our Western education systems have been ‘dumbed down’ so much to free thought with the pushing of Socio/Marxism at every single level. White/Colonialist/Majority (insert whatever term) is already ingrained at so many levels to be ‘wrong’ whilst every minority has been so pandered to that their victimhood is prevalent at their core and those that what to ‘save’ them. Despite the fact that minorities currently have more rights than the majority in most Western countries from America to Australia…

      But I digress… it’s going to take a rude awakening nothing else… we’re already seeing in Germany/Sweden/Belgium that even rape victims are still sympathetic to their attackers and feminists/women’s rights activists/the LBGTI community are in huge denial…

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