Opinion

The Book that Can Save Venezuela and Cuba

Venezuela is falling apart. People are losing weight because they can’t find enough to eat. There is $10 billion in the treasury. That sounds like a lot of money, but these days $10 billion does not go very far.

The nation is on the verge of collapse. No amount of government intervention will save it, economic or otherwise. The problem is deeper than not having enough money. The problem is its economic policies, the mindset of the people, and its top-down iron fist rule. Oil was masking the problems when Hugo Chavez was alive and pushing his Communist Utopia.

When the price of oil dropped, the harsh reality of failed Communist economic policies began to fester as they always do.

Venezuela needs a dose of the free market. Get the government out of the way. Let people own themselves, their labor, profits, and failures. They need to read Henry Hazlitt’s Time Will Run Back. It’s a novel on the failure of Communism and how to revive the spirit and mindset of the people, the economy, and the nation:

Time Will Run Back is set in a completely communist world under the yoke of an almighty world government. Any trace of capitalism has been erased from history and the state’s hegemony over the individual is complete. Facing serious health issues, Stalenin, the Dictator of Wonderworld, calls on his son, Peter Uldanov, heir to the dictatorship. Peter, who had been raised by his mother who opposed Communism, is aware of the inadequacies of central planning. In his attempt to confront these problems, and with the support and advice of one sympathetic Politburo member, Peter succeeds in reintroducing free-market capitalism.

“Being anti-totalitarian, Hazlitt’s novel shares some striking similarities with Orwell’s 1984. In both books, for instance, a new language — Newspeak in 1984, Marxanto in Time Will Run Back — was created by the State. But despite those apparent similarities, both books approach the problem in a fundamentally different manner. Whereas 1984 deals with the moral and intellectual bankruptcy under totalitarianism, Hazlitt tackles the fundamental economic problem necessarily implied in any totalitarian regime: the impossibility of allocating resources without a system of market prices.

“Hazlitt’s book is, in fact, an economics treatise disguised as a novel. Almost every chapter is approaching a particular theme under the format of Socratic dialogs. Building upon Ludwig von Mises’s works in economic science, Hazlitt explains difficult aspects of economic theory with confidence. While Mises offered his “very special thanks” for Hazlitt’s “kindness in reading the manuscript” of Human Action, Hazlitt felt indebted enough to Ludwig von Mises so as to dedicate Time Will Run Back to him. This novel is therefore particularly well adapted for undergraduate students who want to learn sound economics, for individuals who, although vaguely familiar with Austrian economics, want to further their knowledge on the matter, and for fellow Austrian travelers who seek some entertaining reading. Time Will Run Back can also be a well-suited reading in a Political Economy class.”

Read the entire review here.

There’s a free PDF version available.

I don’t know if it has been translated into Spanish. If it hasn’t, someone needs to do it.

Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson would also be good as well as Gary North’s Christian Economics in One Lesson and David Chilton’s Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators.

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