This post practically writes itself

Mascando-el-agua Chronicles

Yesterday, many of us did a double take when we read the latest toxic public announcement by Hugo Chávez’s economic czar, Jorge Giordani.

Giordani publicly announced that Venezuelans should stop expecting to get things for free. He cited the example of the gas subsidy, calling it “absurd.”

When you blog for a long time, you realize there are easy posts to write, and there are ones that are not so easy. A post discussing such a position is one of the easy ones.

One could write a decent post highlighting the absurdity of criticizing the very policies the government has spent fourteen years promoting. One could also highlight the contradiction of a government that gives away appliances as means of survival, and then criticizing the attitudes this very thing engenders.

But really, none of these posts would be that interesting. These are slam dunks. Is there anyone sane out there who can read these statements by Giordani and not scratch their heads?

With their radical disdain for logic, chavistas have completely destroyed Venezuela’s public sphere. You see, the public sphere is worth having whenever there are two sides that have more or less rational, internally consistent points of view. Their differing worldviews can then be contrasted in the public sphere, even vehemently, and democracy can fourish.

But in this case, Giordani is acting, well, senile.

It’s not simply a matter of saying “oh, finally Mr. Giordani is seeing the light.” It’s the internal contradiction of criticizing a gas subsidy your government spends billions of dollars implementing. It’s the insanity of slamming Venezuelans for expecting “gifts” while at the same time saying that the exchange control (a gift that benefits the rich) is here to stay.

I mean, when the other side is completely bonkers, what’s the point of arguing? That, I think, is what’s making it so difficult to continue blogging about Venezuela.

The crazy ones won, they are the majority, and there is not much more to say I guess.

11 thoughts on “This post practically writes itself

  1. I was waiting to use the bathroom yesterday and had nothing better to do but check out this Ted Talk. Now I know that Ted Talks are largely designed for wheat grass eating, navel gazing, yoga practicing, self-improvement obsessed north americans with little connection with reality, but this one struck me as interesting and uncharacteristically Ted Talk bleak, on the subject of democracy. It has nothing to do with this post which is, as you say, self evident and a slam dunk- it looks like they are going to throw Giordani under the bus because he is the old guy and therefore second most likely to die soon anyway – but it picks up on your larger question about the constituent elements of democracy, one of which, according to this guy, is the ability of politicians to modify (in good faith, not like what you report here) their positions.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/ivan_krastev_can_democracy_exist_without_trust.html

  2. Well this is no senile behaviour, this is a well orchestrated Chavez paquetazo. 8 million voters just bent over voluntarily for it. By the way, where the hell is the commander?

  3. Went to Aporrea to read what my fellow chavistas had to say about it. Not even a word… A lot about Gaza, though

    • Sadly, as other smarter people before me have pointed out, the Chavez administration is too dumb to actually wholeheartedly embrace neo-liberalism. They will implement the spending cut side of a neo-liberal shock treatment program, but fail to do any of the things which unlocks job growth or gains in efficiency (simplifying business regulations, allowing competition in sectors monopolized by the government).

      It’s idiotic and predictable. At the same time social programs are cut back and eliminated which people depend on, they will have no where to turn for lower priced goods and employment in export oriented industries. He’s following the same path of Greece, which at least has the excuse of trying to uphold a currency union.

      • So, in our attempt to become Cuba, we are becoming Greece instead. The saddest part is that nobody is calling things by its name. At least not the politicians. They are too busy telling pleasantries to people instead of making them face the bitter truth.

        They should be all pointing their fingers at Giordani and calling him out as the clown he is. I mean, everybody knows that you have to rise the price of the gas and services, but that should have happened years ago. Like that old saying goes: “sin leal, no hay lopa”. How is it possible that the so-called finance expert Giordani was incapable of realizing that simple fact? Bien dice el refran: Lo que natura no da, Salamanca no presta…

  4. Shouldn’t we be celebrating that they are finally talking about ending or reducing the gas subsidy? Or at least give this guy the benefit of the doubt, a la perestroika?

    • But spending cuts which are enacted so even more money can be spent on weapons, and wasteful pet projects are not a positive reform. It would be great if it were cut back and replaced by a public bus system but that wont happen.

  5. “Giordani publicly announced that Venezuelans should stop expecting to get things for free. He cited the example of the gas subsidy, calling it “absurd.””

    Can I write F*ck 8000 times? Take it that I did.

    Now, this guy is one of the important pieces of the most demagogic and “rentista” government in our whole history as a nation, which probably did bust in the last decade all the records of the CAP – Luis Herrera Campins decade.

    That has degraded Venezuelans’ outlook on reality and priorities from outrageous to surreal and obscene. It does not have zilch to do with Socialism, this Venezuelan mentality. I respect serious Socialists though I don’t think they are right. They at least know there’s a First and Second Law of Thermodynamics, and that money does not grow on trees or at least would lose its exchange value if it did, and that if you want “free hospital” because you want universal healthcare, you have to build and pay for “free hospital”, all of you, always. We Venezuelans have an enormous source of energy (or of wealth, oil!), but behave like we have, and what’s worse, believe! that we have Free, Infinite Energy. And use it for HANDOUTS and PARTY!!! F**k yeah!

    Now he comes, after throwing the house out the window in the last election and promising everyone the Moon and the Stars with this? I would want to know what HE thinks he is doing…

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