Posted: 26 Oct 2013 09:13 AM PDT
In Venezuela, “happiness” will now be imposed by fiat.
The Venezuelan government has announced a new bureaucracy called the Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness
A new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness has been created by Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan president, in an attempt to coordinate all the "mission" programmes created by Hugo Chavez to alleviate poverty.
"I have decided to create this Vice ministry and I have given it this name to honour Chávez and Bolívar," Mr Maduro announced on Thursday in a televised speech made from the presidential palace. He said that the Vice ministry aimed to take care of the most "sublime, vulnerable and delicate, to those who are most loved by anyone who calls themselves a revolutionary, a Christian and Chavista."
Oil-rich Venezuela is chronically short of basic goods and medical supplies. Annual inflation is running officially at near 50 per cent and the US dollar now fetches more than seven times the official rate on the black market.
The creation of the ministry sparked widespread mirth and mocking in the streets and on social media.
In a state of hunger, shortages and hyperinflation, the Venezuelan government will force their citizenry to be “happy”. Maybe frowning, sulking or crying in public or in households will be prohibited.
In reality, the only entities who will be "happy" are the political leadership and the bureaucracy who will be spending more of other people money, and who will virtually dictate on lives of their constituencies to conform with the conceit of their leaders. “Be happy! Or else….”
Well in my view this fits Australia's Walk Free Foundation definition of “modern day slavery” which according to the Los Angeles Times, takes many forms, and is known by many names. Whether it is called human trafficking, forced labor, slavery or slavery-like practices … victims of modern slavery have their freedom denied, and are used and controlled and exploited by another person for profit, sex or the thrill of domination." (bold mine)
Happiness can never be imposed. Happiness is subjective and comes from the individual's inner self.
As the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises explained, (Liberalism p.46) [bold mine]
Whoever wants to see the world governed according to his own ideas must strive for dominion over men's minds. It is impossible, in the long run, to subject men against their will to a regime that they reject. Whoever tries to do so by force will ultimately come to grief, and the struggles provoked by his attempt will do more harm than the worst government based on the consent of the governed could ever do. Men cannot be made happy against their will
Happiness as a social policy is an example of the height of statist lunacy.
But as Mises warned Venezuela’s Happiness Ministry will eventually "grieve" or have its pretentiousness exposed.
This content provided courtesy of Prudent Investor Newsletter