Where do socialists really want to live?

Brad Fuller does not like me saying bad things about socialism.

Re: “Capitalism must be regulated,” Letters, June 12

Brad Fuller does not like me saying bad things about socialism. Apparently socialism is perfect. He believes capitalism should be regulated. I thought it was regulated, particularly in Canada. There are all kinds of laws. What is really needed is the heavy regulation of socialism, such as a code of conduct for Socialist Social Responsibility.

Venezuela is a fascinating modern study of the birth and death of another socialist state. Mr. Fuller admires Venezuela for nationalizing the oil industry (and many other businesses) in order to provide for the nation’s people. I have heard that drivel many times before. It is usually a failure. All the profits that would have gone to the company are now supposed to go to the people.

What Venezuela now has over 20,000 murders a year, food shortages, consumer goods shortages, including toilet paper, continuing power outages, and high inflation.

Where did a lot of the money go? While most of the money would have been wasted by the usual socialist bureaucratic incompetence, the Hugo Chavez family and relatives (according to a Venezuelan news website), has accumulated 17 country estates totaling more than 100,000 acres, and liquid assets of over $550 million. In Canada we have scandals in the Senate and on Parliament Hill, but nothing on that scale.

Another fascinating aspect of Venezuela is the oil industry. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves on the planet, much of the oil being heavy crude similar to that found in Alberta. If a socialist government could not run a coffee shop, how could it possibly be expected to run a major oil company? Since 2001 the production of oil has dropped by 25 per cent, primarily because it is being run by the government and by the unions, the United Socialist Party.

They have thousands of kilometres of pipelines, and they transport oil by tankers to many countries, including Canada’s east coast, and currently 200,000 barrels a day to China. The pollution in Lake Maracaibo is terrible, much worse than anything you would find in Alberta.

David Suzuki, the NDP, the Sierra Club and Greenpeace continually trash and insult Alberta’s oil industry, but remain silent on Venezuela. Why? I am guessing that socialists do not criticize their fellow socialists, no matter how bad the pollution. It is hard to believe that the blockade-Alberta crowd could engage in such hypocrisy.

Another socialist country much admired by western socialists is Zimbabwe. The glorious socialist leader Robert Mugabe was defeated in the last election, but a campaign of terror against his own people allows him to remain in power today. This is explained by Peter Godwin in his book The Fear.  Our western socialists remain contemptuously silent about this gross criminal abuse.

Another glorious socialist state in the news lately is North Korea. I often wonder why western socialists, who hate corporations and capitalism, do not choose to leave Canada and go and live in one of those countries. If Brad Fuller and MP Alex Atamanenko were given the choice of living in the wonderful socialist state of North Korea or the bad, terrible corporate/capitalist state of South Korea, which one would they choose?

Roger Pratt

Nelson