Capitalism Always Wins, The Socialist policies inspiring Democratic hopefuls are proof that capitalism flourishes—even in the most desolate, Socialist corners of the world.

The policy proposals coming out of the Democratic primaries hearken back to the utopian mantra of socialism: the needs of individuals can be determined and fulfilled by society at large.

In the heart of the socialist world, life is sustained not by the paternalistic state but by pure, unfettered capitalism.

Democratic hopeful Elizabeth Warren recently argued that Americans have a “social contract” that obliges them to take a “hunk” of our hard-earned wealth and “pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

And of course, who can forget the Democratic Socialist poster child, Bernie Sanders? Sanders went as far as to revel in Chinese breadlines that were borne of destitute poverty: “It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is because people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries, people don’t line up for food. The rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

Much of the Democrats’ ideologies echo those of Hugo Chavez—one of the most notorious Socialists of contemporary times. Chavez’s policies created a modern nation full of “millionaires”; indeed, the Venezuelan Bolivar is so heavily inflated, the government had to hack a few zeroes off to control their “immense wealth.”

Meanwhile, Venezuelans are leaving the country in droves, armed with accounts from the supposed utopian life they are fleeing. What the rest of the world is coming to learn from these harrowing experiences of centralized, universal policies is that capitalism finds a way.

In the heart of the socialist world, life is sustained not by the paternalistic state but by pure, unfettered capitalism.

Oil Fields in Venezuela

Oil fields.


Elected in 1998, Hugo Chavez implemented his grand socialist vision in 2000 through anti-poverty initiatives called the “Bolivarian Missions.” Chavez sought to provide educational services, free health clinics, and other forms of state-funded support.

Year after year, under Chavez’s socialist regime, the national reserves depleted, and Venezuelans began to starve.

What started out as small-scale endeavors quickly snowballed into dozens of unilaterally implemented government-run social programs, ranging from universal healthcare to education and culture programming. Chavez bypassed the legislature, putting in place policies that effectively established complete societal control—and he used the country’s vast natural resources to fund his scheme.

As global oil prices steadily increased during the early aughts, reaching over $30 a barrel in 2003, Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, became one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Chavez took full advantage of this. Venezuelan’s robust oil industry, which had been nationalized in the mid-1970s, became the fuel for his “utopian dream.” In 2002, using a general strike as a justification, Chavez swiftly replaced 19,000 employees of state-owned natural gas and oil companies with new employees loyal to his regime.

Starting in 2006, under the pretense of wealth redistribution, Chavez nationalized other key industries, such as cement, communications, electricity, steel, and several sectors of food production. In other words, all of the essentials a modern society needs.

Unfortunately, with complete governmental control over society, Venezuelanimports began to decline at an annualized rate of -22% from 2012 to 2017. It wasn’t long before the stockpiles started to shrink. Year after year, under Chavez’s socialist regime, the national reserves depleted, and Venezuelans began to starve.

Empty shelves in a Venezuelan grocery

Empty shelves in a Venezuelan grocery.


In 2019, with a food shortage dramatically effecting the entire country, the government is trying hard to maintain its ideological narrative, enacting campaigns to encourage local communities grow their own food. This has done little: nothing has been done to solve the issue of mass starvation.

Both the variety and quality of the food distributed continuously decrease. The milk is questionable—at the best of times.

As the Venezuelan state grew closer to its ideological comrade, China, they took a page out of the Red State’s book. In 2018, the state introduced the Fatherland ID, a new citizen card that uses QR codes to enact tighter surveillance and control over the population. Not only does it contain all personal information about the cardholder, but it is also now the system through which welfare checks and distributions are handed out.

For those who can afford to purchase goods, each citizen is assigned an ID number which determines the day of the week that they can shop for groceries. The idea is to give stores a chance to resupply, but production is so low that supplies remain scarce. Certain items are prescribed price freezes by the state, but there are tight restrictions on the quantity of food that can be accessed with your ID card, which makes flexibility impossible when a family’s need fluctuates.

For the destitute, food distributions come in the form of ‘CLAP’ boxes, crates of food that are passed out in an attempt to satisfy local supply and demand. Both the variety and quality of the food distributed continuously decrease. The milk is questionable—at the best of times.

The breadlines are also very real. From toilet paper to food, acquiring any basic necessity requires waiting in line for hours, just for a single item. And when you finally get to the front of that line, there is no guarantee that what you lined up for will be there waiting for you.

Creative use of the Venezuelan Bolivar

Creative use of the worthless Venezuelan Bolivar.


‘Black markets’ carry a negative connotation due to their association with illegal goods. But, by definition, every transaction which is not documented and processed by the socialist government is illegal. The bolivar Venezuela had a 1,698,488% inflation rate in 2018, which led to farmers bypassing the government and going to the cities to sell or barter directly with consumers. To bypass governmental choke-hold on economic transactions, black markets have become a daily part of Venezuelans’ lives.

“With a malfunctioning public system that’s broken and corrupt to its core … people have come up with unique and elaborate ways to establish a parallel black market of its own.”

I spoke with Kaleb Caruso, a Venezuelan dissident, about the black market economy. Caruso said that “with a malfunctioning public system that’s broken and corrupt to its core … people have come up with unique and elaborate ways to establish a parallel black market of its own.”

Venezuela’s black market has two primary sources of goods: theft and exchange through unsanctioned markets.

Even as foreign imports continue to shrink, the costly private courier services that bring in life-saving medication and highly desired goods are subject to frequent pillaging. What is lost in transit is often thought of as ‘a service fee.’

Communities have organized distribution systems that bypass the state to receive supplies. These logistics networks often feature foreigners residing in Venezuela. Although the transactions are not sanctioned by their home states, foreign embassies and consulates play a considerable role in helping keep the influx of foreign imports alive.

Consumers and black market proprietors connect through social media. Using services like Facebook, a direct message to the right person can give you access to hard-to-find goods.

Because it is not subject to state scrutiny, prices are unregulated. This isn’t to say that products come cheap; there is a price to pay for subverting the ultra-authoritarian state. But what it does mean is that almost anything can be found that can’t be obtained through state-sanctioned means.

In other words, the only thing keeping Venezuela going is pure capitalism.

Venezuelan Protests

Venezuelan protests in 2017.


“The government has had a love-hate relationship with the black market. It has cracked down hard at times, but at the same time, it’s left alone because it helps alleviate the state’s own deficiencies and mishandling of the economy, the latter being a normal part of their relationship nowadays,” says Caruso.

Democratic hopefuls want to design their policies around Socialism—but pay little mind to the human suffering these policies can and have enacted worldwide.

Caruso has been documenting the value of the Bolivar and reporting on currency fluctuations from inside Venezuela. In 2017, he was featured in Fortune Magazine, where he broke the story onWorld of Warcraft in-game currency being worth more than the Bolivar, and Venezuelan efforts to earn a livable wage playing video games. Caruso frequently condemns the war of attrition the state is waging against its citizens. People are dying from the food and medicine shortages induced by poor central planning.

“A former colleague of my mother had to steal human serum albumin from a cold storage, concealing it in her purse and hoping that the National Guard soldiers wouldn’t ask questions.” Kaleb recalls, as his mother, who was one of Venezuela’s experts on pain and palliative care, suffered a long and grueling battle with cancer and passed away in 2018.

“Yes, it was a felony … but when your loved ones are suffering and you feel powerless to act, when you turn on the television and see the Socialist regime insist that everything is a lie and that there is no health crisis in spite of what you’ve seen and gone through over the years, that’s when you suspend your moral beliefs, your social inhibitions, and you become empowered by despair to do anything and everything so that maybe, the person you admire and love the most gets to smile once more.”

Democratic hopefuls want to design their policies around Socialism—but pay little mind to the human suffering these policies can and have enacted worldwide. And if the example of Venezuela shows us anything, it’s that capitalism, no matter the extent to which it is suffocated by central planning, finds a way.

Socialism, Atheism, and Abortion:

Some say abortion is a “health care” option for pregnant women.  Others say it is the forced separation of soul and body of an unborn human being.  In the U.S., the debate about whether abortion is good or bad for our society has become white-hot, with blue-state legislatures passing pro-abortion laws and red states laws opposing abortion.  The gap between pro-abortion Democrats and anti-abortion Republicans has been widening every year since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion is legal in all states.  The Democratic Party now uses “support of abortion” as a no-exception litmus test to be passed by any politician wishing to join the party.  The divide between political parties on the issue is now so wide that it is preventing rational debate on nearly all legislative issues, whether abortion-related or not.

To understand the growing enmity between political parties on this issue requires a deeper look into the origins of abortion in modern society.  The widespread practice and acceptance of abortion is a 20th-century phenomenon, but its philosophical basis is a direct outgrowth of a 19th-century philosophy about human nature called Scientific Socialism.

Most Americans think of “socialism” as a movement in the ’20s and ’30s that attracted immigrant Italian, German, and Irish blue-collar workers — mostly Catholic — seeking better working conditions and higher wages.  Socialism in America was championed by men like Norman Thomas, a Presbyterian minister and pacifist.  In 1928, Thomas became president of the Socialist Party of America (SPA).  Under Thomas, the SPA adopted, in addition to workers’ rights, civil rights and integration as causes.  Thomas was a founder of the National Civil Liberties Union, the predecessor of the ACLU.  However, with declining membership support, the SPA ceased operations in December 1977.  By then, its causes had already been largely adopted by the national Democratic Party.

But the brand of socialism pushing for no-limits abortion in the U.S. is not the socialism our fathers and grandfathers knew.  This socialism is the more virulent strain that has controlled life in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (now the Russian Federation) since 1920 and in the People’s Republic of China since its formation in 1949 by Mao Zedong.  This is the socialism conceived by Feuerbach, Engels, and Marx and implemented by Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.  It is now creeping into the U.S. political system through the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.  This wing’s persistent advocacy has succeeded in coercing the party’s national leaders and elected representatives to join in openly promoting no-limits abortion in our country.

For 1,500 years, from the 4th-century writings of Saint Augustine that codified the Christian faith until the socialist theories of the 19th-century German philosophers, religion and philosophy were inseparably intertwined.  In 1841, Ludwig Feuerbach, Christian-born philosopher and anthropologist, published “The Essence of Christianity,” in which he postulated that religion had no role to play in the understanding of reality and should not be a part of any philosophical study of human nature.  For Feuerbach, a convert to atheism, religion imposed a restraining and debilitating fear in the minds of men, and its influence should be eradicated from society if humankind is to progress.

Karl Marx, a contemporary of Feuerbach, advanced the idea that religion places an unnatural inhibition on society.  In the introduction to his 1843 “A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” Marx wrote that “religion is the opium of the people.”  He argued that religion is a “social authority” imposed by the ruling class on the working masses to keep them under control.  This thesis was the foundation of all of Marx’s political and economic theories that followed.  Seduced by the concept that religious beliefs are detrimental to human progress, Marx, the grandson of a rabbi, turned away from Judaism to atheism.  “Atheistic Marxism” and “Scientific Socialism,” the titles later given to Marx’s theories, proposed that future societies could survive and develop to their full potential only if their masses were emancipated from religion.  These new liberated societies would have no churches or religious orders or societies and would permit no mention of God or religion in their schools.

Friedrich Engels was born in Prussia to a middle-class Protestant family.  In his twenties, through association with radical activists at political “clubs,” he became a militant atheist.  Engels, a skilled writer, soon gained recognition among young German liberals as a persuasive anti-religion philosopher.  In 1844, Marx saw several articles by Engels that articulated the very principals of socialism that Marx was advocating.  After numerous written exchanges, Engels met Marx in 1845.  The two immediately formed a partnership to develop, promote, and implement plans for their new political vision: Atheistic Marxism.

Born in Simbirsk, Russia in 1870 to Christian parents, Vladimir Lenin turned to atheism upon the death of his father in 1886.  In 1887, Lenin decided to study law, and during his university years, he joined a political club that was advocating Marxism for Russia.  Lenin became enamored of the Marx-Engels theories and immediately began to develop plans for their promotion and implementation.  His first target was Russian farm workers.  In 1903 he published an article titled “Letter to Rural Peasants” espousing the benefits of the new society for farm workers:

We want to achieve a new and better order of society: in this new and better society there must be neither rich nor poor; all will have to work. This new and better society is called a socialist society. The teachings about this society are called ‘socialism’.

After the successful 1917 Russian revolution, Lenin became the first premier of the United Soviet Socialist Republics and quickly implemented his version of Marxist socialism.  One of his first acts was to eliminate all religion in Russia and begin the conversion of the population to atheism.  And in 1920, abortion was approved by the new government.  Thus, under Lenin, Russia became the first country in history to sanction atheism and abortion as government imperatives.  All of the Soviet socialist countries followed suit, as did China under Mao in 1949.

The common thread that unites the social engineers and the implementers who followed is atheism.  The state-supported practice that has become socialism’s identifying mark is abortion.  For those who promote and operate the abortion industry, with no belief in God or in an afterlife, accepting the notion that abortion does no harm to anyone is understandably easy.  There have been over 1.5 billion abortions worldwide since 1980.  So an ironic flaw of this atheistic scheme has emerged: the socialist emancipation of mankind from God is facilitating part of mankind’s own destruction.

The growing divide between national political parties certainly is about abortion.  But it is also about the Democratic Party’s attempt to integrate Scientific Socialism of which abortion is emblematic into our political system. Neither this strain of socialism nor abortion is compatible with the beliefs and practices of our free enterprise system — a system based on trust in God.