Click to enlarge for greater detail…
Lately, I have seen lots of posts from right-wingers using the economic collapse of Venezuela as absolute proof that socialism is a total failure. Granted, Venezuela is suffering because it did not diversify its economy during the boom years. The government relied, instead, on the shaky premise that the oil boom would last forever. This, however, is not an indictment of socialism. When you point out to these people that socialism is doing just fine in most European countries, especially Denmark, they respond with anger, denial, and promises that Denmark along with the rest of Europe is on the verge of collapse. Pure speculation.
I usually counter with an assertion that since it is okay for you to use Venezuela as an example of the “failure of socialism” is it not fair for me to use…say Somalia…as an indictment of the failure of capitalism? More denials accompanied by insults and personal attacks.
Going back to the 1990s in the pre-Google era one of the biggest lies of the right regarding a single payer health care centered around the Swedish example. I listened to Rush Limbaugh during the Hillary Care debate. Many of his callers subscribed to and repeated this notion: “If the Swedish system is so great how come they have such a high suicide rate?” The implication was that the Swedish people no longer had an incentive to compete and improve themselves and, therefore, were depressed and anxious to leave this world.
What these critics failed to understand was that the reason Sweden has such a high “suicide” rate is that, since 1942, they have allowed terminal patients to end their own lives rather than experience their last months suffering and in extreme pain. A simple, logical explanation that no one expressed. It is doubtful that any knowledgeable caller would have even been allowed on the tightly controlled Rush Limbaugh show to shoot down this erroneous notion.
Such is the nature of propaganda.
I heard this comment repeatedly and did not know how to respond. Back in the days before Google, one would have to go to a big library with lots of resources to research and/or refute such specious and erroneous claims. Nowadays, a few clicks and you have the information necessary.