It was bound to happen. As the failure of centrally planned economics wrecks the lives of Venezuelans and the United States places more sanctions on the country to make those miserable wretches even more miserable somebody was going to demand absolute power in the name of fixing everything. That demand was made by the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, and was granted:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been granted the power to govern by decree until 31 December.
The measure was approved by the National Assembly, where Mr Maduro has a majority.
He requested the approval of the Enabling Law after the United States issued new sanctions against Venezuelan officials.
The opposition says he is using the incident to amass power and divert attention from the economic crisis.
Mr Maduro said he needed the special powers to deal with the threat posed by the United States, which he accuses of meddling in Venezuela’s affairs.
The opposition, that is to say the members of the National Assembly who aren’t completely ignorant of history, called it. Maduro is just exploiting a horrible situation to amass power. This is the exactly same playbook used by a million despots before him and will likely continue to be successful in the foreseeable future. What can Venezuela expect? It depends on how drunk with power Maduro gets. In the best case scenario little changes and his power to rule by decree goes away at the end of the year. But the worst case, which is also the more commonly case, involved his opponents all dying and his ability to rule by decree lasting indefinitely.
I really hate to see the lives of so many people become as miserable as the Venezuelans have. But our species seems entirely unwilling to learn from the mistakes of centrally planned failures. Even when we get reminders such as Venezuela the common reaction seems to be blaming the entire mess on not enough centralized power being wielded.