Social justice is supposedly what socialism is all about. Instead of a system that allows some to be rich and some to be poor based on how they apply themselves and what they contribute to society, democratic socialism promises to smooth things out. Socialism doesn’t allow anyone to fall by the wayside because it stresses the inherent dignity of every human being. At least that’s what it says in the brochure.

When you look at the actual track record of democratic socialism, human dignity doesn’t always turn out to be the main takeaway. Take what’s happening in Venezuela right now as an example. Millions of people have fled their homes because they can’t survive or provide for their families in a country where inflation means a month’s salary is worth a basket of eggs. Professional women who were once lawyers, nurses, etc. back home, have been forced to turn to prostitution to provide for their families. From CNN:

Mariza, a certified nurse, made the journey across the border from Venezuela to Colombia two years ago, leaving behind her mother and three children. Like most immigrants with professional careers, she expected to find a job in her own field, but when doors were repeatedly closed in her face and even a cleaning job was nowhere to be found, Mariza found herself making an impossible decision.

“To have one guy today and another person tomorrow,” she says of her fall into prostitution, is not easy, and it’s dangerous. But as a mother, “you don’t think — you do what you have to.” Mariza’s name has been changed to protect her identity, as have other names in this report…

Her entire family supported Chavez. “We always voted for Chavez,” she said, blaming both the former leader and current president for mismanagement of the country that led to this crisis.

In the past, “there was no hunger, there were no shortages, there was no separation,” Mariza said, explaining that when things were good, you left the country “for a vacation, not for necessity.”

Mariza is just one of several women featured in this story. Another is 17-year-old Erica who planned to go to school to become a veterinarian but had to give that up to feed her son. After all the promises of human dignity and a government that would provide for everyone, what these women wound up with was a nightmare. As you’ll see in the discussion that follows this report, some people blame Chavez and Maduro for that, but some realize this was ultimately their own fault for having bought into what the socialists were selling and handed power to those leaders. They chose to believe something too good to be true and this is the terrible result.

Update: There are massive protests against the socialist government again today: