If you’ve spent any time on Twitter recently, you’ve probably noticed there’s a hot new trend among socialists. Lots of people have been posting photos of empty supermarket shelves and suggesting this proves capitalism is no better than socialism.
But but but but there would be shortages in a socialist economy pic.twitter.com/vnYEFUaIVq
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) March 14, 2020
Them: “Socialism? Please, I’ll take my variety and abundance any day. You can have your empty shelves and breadlines.”
— Read Blood in my Eye by George Jackson (@comradealexia) March 16, 2020
Here’s the editor of HuffPost:
As I said, under even the slightest stress, capitalism looks exactly like what Republicans say socialism looks. pic.twitter.com/1JkpAM56b6
— Santiago Mayer (@santiagomayer_) March 15, 2020
— james hardon (@thequeenizded) March 13, 2020
I could go on. Suffice it to say, there’s a fair amount of this out there, i.e. socialists eager to dance on the grave of capitalism. Of course, to anyone with a functioning brain, this is remotely the same as what has been happening in Venezuela for the past five years. For one thing, this is a global pandemic not a slight stress.
A lot of commies are in my timeline claiming the shortages at grocery stores is evidence that capitalism has failed. A better thesis is that we’re in the middle of a pandemic.
— Eli Lake (@EliLake) March 16, 2020
I don’t think the socialists are making the winning point they think they are. The fact that store shelves in a capitalist country during a global pandemic look a bit like store shelves in a socialist country any day of the week doesn’t seem like a recommendation for socialism. But the really big difference is that store shelves in America will be restocked within a couple of days. In fact, many of them already are:
Maybe if people started posting pictures of all the times they encountered Supermarket shelves stocked and not many shoppers it would help quell the panic?
Remember, social media is not real life.
You're only going to see the extremes.
This is Coles in Rhodes right now. pic.twitter.com/YG4FxQSeE8
— Carrick Ryan (@realCarrickRyan) March 16, 2020
No lines and fully stocked shelves at Foodland Market on Orchard pic.twitter.com/XAflgtVmjl
— Mike Sharp (@Sharp208) March 14, 2020
— cassandra lavalle (@casslavalle) March 16, 2020
Good news! It’s just like any Sunday grocery trip. No madness, & everyone’s super nice to each other. Also, be nice to the #HEB employees, they’re working HARD to keep these shelves stocked. @HEB #coronapocalypse pic.twitter.com/uDLG32aJAY
— Victoria Maranan (@VictoriaMaranan) March 15, 2020
This is important because it is not at all like what happened in Venezuela. Stores there were not fully stocked a day or two later. In fact, starting four years ago, people began waiting for hours in long lines outside of grocery stores in the hope that when they finally got inside something would be available. Many people began spending many hours per week going from store to store trying to put together enough staples to feed themselves and their families. But that didn’t work for long.
By 2016, starving children were frequently fainting in school. Around this time smuggling food was said to be a better business than smuggling drugs. But it wasn’t just food that had run short. Hospitals had little medicine to offer patients.
By February of 2017, the Miami Times reported desperate Venezuelans were resorting to eating, “dogs, cats, donkeys, horses and pigeons.” Some even began eating pink flamingos. By the end of 2017, some Venezuelans had resorted to eating animals stolen from the zoo. Needless to say, we’re not at that point in America. But that hasn’t stopped socialists from trying to capitalize on the crisis.
Today the Intercept, which is a reliably pro-Bernie Sanders outlet, published a video featuring Naomi Klein titled “Coronavirus Capitalism — and How to Beat It.” This clip basically boils down to a last-ditch attempt to save the Sanders campaign from oblivion by pushing the need for the Green New Deal in response to the coronavirus.
It’s not very convincing. Klein railed against plans to bail out industries like air travel. “Instead of rescuing the dirty industries of the last century, we should be boosting the clean ones that will lead us into safety in the coming century,” she said. What exactly is the alternative to air travel powered by fossile fuels? Oh, right, there isn’t one, except maybe sailboats. And by the way, how many flights has Naomi Klein been on in the past year? More than I have I’m sure.
Klein also complained that the virus has demolished the economy for gig workers but actually that was being demolished before most people had heard of coronavirus. A new law (AB5) passed by Democrats in California is responsible for that disaster.
Klein said there aren’t comparable bailouts for workers, but Congress just passed a bipartisan bill aimed at providing paid leave to workers at small companies who become ill or need to care for someone who is ill. Further such assistance is likely to follow.
As this clip demonstrates, for socialists capitalism is always the real enemy.