Analysis August 2017 –Hurricane Harvey, EROL Venezuela, and North Korea (Part 2)
So continuing to review current events – let’s turn to Venezuela. Although oil-rich with actually the largest proven reserves in the world, the country is in near complete chaos with a break down in power delivery, distribution of food and goods, critical shortages of medicine and the rise of armed factions in open rebellion against the government.
Now I don’t want to get too political and start ranting about the terrible outcomes of a government run economy (aka socialism or communism which I think is kind of code for totalitarianism) but the bottom line is that the government’s attempts to control the economy are failing at nearly all levels. Price controls have resulted in black marketing which contributes to shortages and hyper-inflation. Worthless money discourages businesses from operating which increase unemployment just when the economy needs more people earning money. Critical services can’t get supplies or can’t pay staff and then social order breaks down. It is like a snowball rolling down the hill getting larger and faster until the inevitable crash…. Venezuela is pretty close to that crash.
This is not unprecedented, we have seen whole countries devolve into chaos before. Think Sarevejo from April 1992 to February 1996. For four years the people inside the city were cut off from the rest of the world. Google “One Year in Hell” and you will see a great article from a survivor of the seige. You can also look at “Surviving the Economic Collapse” by Fernando "Ferfal" Aguirre (available on Amazon) about the crisis in Argentina in 2001-2002 caused by… wait for it! A corrupt totalitarian government. Ok, ok – no more political diatribes.
As we see in Venezuela, hunger makes people do things they normally wouldn’t consider or even things that they would normally be ashamed of. Beneath a thin veneer of civilization, the savage beast within lives. Unleashed, many people will become the wolf. And sheepdogs to protect the public may be rare commodities but there will always be victims. To an extent, it will become survival of the fittest. That means strong men will rule and weaker men will be ruled.
As an aside, while I have a lot of respect for law enforcement officers, at some point if the government is not functioning, law enforcement officers are going to cease to provide protection to the public. Sad but true. They will be under the same stress that the rest of us will be facing, but they are cloaked in the mantle of authority. In many cases, they are fathers, sons, neighbors just like you and me but to keep their job and their salary however meager it might be, they may have to do things they shouldn’t (they may be acting under orders) or they may not act when you would think they should. If the police fail to keep civil order or just become the enforcers of unjust rule, you will see some elements start to rebel against the government as they are seeing in Venezuela. Note that justice is a perception so one person can believe that something is unjust and they start acting on their own beliefs while others disagree. The point is, when people stop using the courts to achieve outcomes, when police do not or cannot enforce the rules, the rule of law has broken down and the mob rule has begun.
When the police are not effective or not operating, you need to recognize that while the Rule of Law is not in operation, the rules of the jungle will be. You can expect groups to operate openly flaunting the law or actively breaking it. “Protection” may be a racket in the mafia, but you are going to need some of it somewhere.
We are no where near what is going on Venezuela where the government is losing control (some might argue they have already lost control). But we have had incidents like Ferguson where the rule of law was effectively suspended for a short period. If you want to imaging what would happen if the rule of law fails for a longer period of time – look to Venezuela, Argentina, and Sarevejo.
And as you reflect on Venezuela and the tragic things that are happening there, you need to take note of some specific things. It is not a question of “could it happen here?” It is really a question of “what if it happens here?” And that is what Prepping all about- it is your insurance policy if insurance companies are no longer providing coverage. You have to take care of you and your own.
I would like to emphasize if you see events unfolding in your area like they are in Venezuela: If they are country-wide or regional: if you can, get outta there! If you can spare you and your family the horrors of living through this type of event, you should. It is not just the physical danger and the suffering, these are events that will leave permanent emotional scars. Unfortunately, you might not get the chance, you might get caught up in it and you won’t be able to get out of the affected area. And frankly, that is going to suck.
What is the solution for Venezuela? It might be international intervention, it might be revolution. But at least at this time the conditions are limited to inside the country (as horrible as that is to say) and there is hope that external factors could help resolve the situation.
So let’s proceed to the last events of August 2017 that I think Preppers should ruminate in their minds – North Korea.
De Oppresso Liber