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Americans warned about utopian 'magic think'

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Hugo Chavez swept into the Venezuelan presidency in 1998 on a socialist platform, promising to eradicate poverty and end corruption.


But what happened to the country after Chavez took office?


Venezuela’s inflation rate climbed to nearly 200 percent. Kidnappings, murders and other violent crimes skyrocketed. Government corruption became more widespread. Opposition leaders were arrested. The country became less free.


It was Chavez’s far-left central planning philosophy that ruined Venezuela, according to William J. Murray.


“This was the Latin American nation with the largest middle class in all of Latin America,” Murray told WND. “And this economy, which was oil-rich, was destroyed by this concept.”


Hugo Chavez was a utopian, according to Murray. He believed his socialist government could bring about a perfect system that would meet all Venezuelans’ needs. However, his centrally planned economy didn’t pan out. Murray noted electricity is free in Venezuela, but rationed.


“How can you possibly control how much somebody uses of something if the product is totally free?” Murray asked rhetorically. He added the Venezuelan government fixed gas prices at only a few cents a gallon, far below the market value of gasoline.


Because his utopian society was not functioning properly on its own, Chavez turned to repression to try and make it work. Murray said reality never lives up to fantasy for utopian rulers.


“Many of these systems originally came into existence where it was, ‘We’re going to be able to have this equality,'” he said. “But the reality is eventually, in order to try to get it to work, they had to use brute force.”


Murray wrote about the long history of utopian thought in his new book, “Utopian Road to Hell: Enslaving America and the World with Central Planning.” He said his book could not be more timely.


“‘Utopian Road to Hell,’ my latest book, is a book that, in this particular election year, every single person that intends to go vote should read,” he declared. “Because they have to understand exactly what utopian thought is and how that utopian thought has crept into our society to the point of there being an actual opportunity, an actual chance, for someone led by that kind of magic thought to become the president of the United States.”


Murray has firsthand experience with utopian thought. His mother, famed atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, was a Marxist who thought the Soviet Union was utopia.


In fact, she tried unsuccessfully to defect to the Soviet Union in 1960 with her two children. Nevertheless, she raised William in a Marxist-atheist household, which William wrote about in his first book, “My Life Without God.”


In the late 1980s, Murray traveled to the Soviet Union while it was on its last legs. He saw that Communism had bankrupted the country: there were unpaved roads, malfunctioning stoplights and shortages of consumer goods. Russians had enough money, but because the government had fixed prices below market value, the supply of goods was not enough to meet the demand.


Because of his upbringing, Murray believes he understands utopianism even better than many of the people he encountered in the Soviet Union.


“I really understand the magic think that goes into making this work,” he affirmed. “You have to have a very vivid imagination in order to do this.”


Utopianism has crept into America, according to Murray. He noted Bernie Sanders, one of the two Democratic candidates for president, wants to make college tuition free and debt free. But Murray senses Sanders, like many utopians before him, doesn’t understand the wants and needs of the people he wishes to rule.


“You know, there are people that really want to be carpenters, Bernie,” Murray chided. “They really don’t want a degree in political science so they can work at the 7-Eleven. They would really like to learn their trade.”


He said utopianism was evident in America in the 1970s and ’80s as well. At that time, industry in Detroit was dying while industry in Houston was thriving. There were plenty of jobs available in Houston, but the U.S. government paid people to stay in Detroit and be unemployed. The government believed it should take care of Detroiters rather than let them relocate and seek employment for themselves.


Murray stressed utopianism did not suddenly appear in the 20th century. In fact, he said it goes all the way back to ancient Greece, where Plato fantasized about an ordered society where there was no need for competition or money.


Ancient Sparta actually put utopian ideas into practice, abolishing money as well as the concept of individual liberty in favor of an all-powerful state that could take care of everyone. Children were taken from their parents at a young age and raised to be warriors for the state. Murray noted this calls to mind the title of Hillary Clinton’s book, “It Takes a Village.”


But collectivist utopian societies are hard to sustain, according to Murray, because they cut against human nature. Nowhere is this more evident than in the famous Marxist slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”


Murray said it is complete folly to believe human beings will be willing to put everything they earn into a giant pot and only take out what they need to survive.


“This is not humanity,” Murray said. “This is not the animal kingdom. Tell the alpha wolf that’s brought down the kill that he’s going to give everybody else in the pack an equal amount of the meat off the deer. What, are you nuts? The alpha’s going to get what he wants, then his mate’s going to get what she wants, and then the others, depending on their size and strength, are going to get what’s left.


“That is the reality of the animal kingdom. It’s the reality of humanity, and all of these plans to be able to furnish an unending supply to everyone, whether it is medicine or food or transportation, and that somehow this can be given to every single person regardless of cost – it can only be defined as magic think.”


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