Freedom: What Drives Mavericks


Freedom doesn’t just disappear overnight. The loss of freedom is gradual and subtle, with those seeking to seize your freedom lulling the general public into complacency and compliance. Those in charge start normalizing the loss of freedom as necessary for the greater good.

Just look at the government – national and local – responses to COVID. In instances of the government seizing power and restricting freedom, there’s a clear pattern in all these cases. First, they’ll take your freedom to speak; then they’ll take your freedom to own property by making it government property; and at some point, they’ll take your right to own a business by nationalizing all industries. They’ll tell you capitalism is the enemy and root of all problems.

If you want to see the results of a country devolving into socialism, Venezuela is the most recent and stark example. In the 1950s, Venezuela was the fourth wealthiest country in the world. Today, Venezuela is poorer than before the 1920s, its infrastructure is deteriorating, and its economy has been shrinking since the turn of the century. Hyperinflation (out-of-control price increases) has left the currency worthless and made it almost impossible for Venezuelans to afford necessities. Millions have fled the country’s inhospitable conditions. Socialism: A Case Study on Venezuela, (2019).

In what was once Latin America’s richest nation, over 75% of Venezuelans live in extreme poverty. How did it get here? It got here because late President Hugo Chavez waged war on capitalism and was determined to transform Venezuela into a Marxist utopia where the state would look after the needs of the people, raise the quality of life, erase inequality, and limit private enterprise to a minor role in the economy. Instead of a Utopia where nobody goes hungry, the only ones evading hunger these days are the policymakers at the top.

Here’s how Chavez waged war on capitalism and the results of that war.

These are the three main policies he implemented since 1999 that led to the current crisis:

  • Widespread nationalization of private industry;
  • Currency and price controls; and
  • The fiscally irresponsible expansion of welfare programs.

One of Chavez’s first actions was to start nationalizing the agriculture sector. From 1999 to 2016, his regime robbed more than 6 million hectares of land from its rightful owners. Nationalization destroyed production because, as I have learned throughout my life, the government is not good at running anything. After all, workers have no financial or career incentives to perform since it’s often a matter of who you know rather than what you do that determines your promotion within a government-run enterprise.

After agriculture, the regime nationalized electricity, water, oil, banks, supermarkets, construction, and other crucial sectors. And in all these sectors, the government increased payrolls. It gave away products cheaply, resulting in days-long countrywide blackouts, frequent water service interruptions, falling oil production, and bankrupting government enterprises.

Venezuela used the same blueprint used by nearly every other Marxist regime that has ever come to power and destroyed economies in their wake.

Don’t you think it can happen in our country? Think again.

The government is already in bed with the mainstream and social media to limit certain points of view. That’s Step #1. Our free speech is being threatened. The next threat will be to property and capitalism.

Last week (March 7), in the latest case of government overreach, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit to block JetBlue Airways Corp’s purchase of Spirit Airlines. The companies seek to join forces to pursue growth and manage costs at a time when U.S. carriers are struggling to boost capacity because of shortages of pilots and aircraft. They are also facing higher costs following a run-up in fuel and labor bills – due in no small part to government policies.

Analysts said the lawsuit against the JetBlue-Spirit deal was widely expected because of the Biden administration’s crackdown on large deals between publicly listed companies. The deal would only put the combined company in the top four American carriers. This move by the government to block the merger has nothing to do with its “concern for consumers.” Instead, it’s another case of the government flexing its muscles and suppressing capitalism and freedom.

For mavericks and free thinkers throughout history, capitalism has always been the key to escaping cultural, industrial, and government control. Everyone wants you to be a compliant worker bee. For those who have been willing to think outside the box and refused to tow the company line, capitalism and entrepreneurship has always been the key to freedom – the freedom to chart your path and do what you want to do when you want to do it, and with the people, you want to be with. Capitalism is the enemy of those seeking to seize and consolidate political power.

Don’t let government lull you, your family, or your friends into complacency and compliance. It starts slow and subtle, but before you know it, we’ll be in Venezuela’s shoes.

So I advise everyone to rage against complacency, tradition, and norms. The government, the education system, and Corporate America all want you to toe the line and not rock the boat.

Be a maverick. Do everything they don’t want you to do. Exercise your property and free enterprise rights. Flex your capitalism muscles. Start a company if you still need to start your own company, partner with an expert, or invest in private companies that give you a say in the use and direction of your capital. Just don’t give up or give in.