If Venezuela’s situation wasn’t so tragic, if there wasn’t so much pain for the people, we’d have to laugh. This happens every time. We’ve been chronicling the demise of socialismo and its crony nature in Caracas for a good while. Toilet paper, soap, beer (beer!) have been in short supply in Chavez’s Bolivarian revolutionary state for quite a long time now.
Socialism always seems to end like this. As it is an economic regime which is fundamentally based on lies, with restricted prices and insider deals for the nomeklatura, it is destined to fail from the beginning. The speed of failure appears to be in direct proportion to the degree to which prices are restricted. Factor also how much fear a given regime can instill in the population and one has the basic equation for socialist economic demise.
Shortages, queues, black markets, and official theft. And blaming the CIA. Yes, Venezuela has truly achieved socialism.
But what I never understood is this: Why toilet paper? How hard is it to make toilet paper? I can understand a socialist economy having trouble producing decent cars or computers. But toilet paper? Pantyhose? And soap? And matches?
Sure, it’s been said that if you tried communism in the Sahara, you’d get a shortage of sand. Still, a shortage of paper seems like a real achievement.