Friday, June 08, 2018

Ah, Paradise

The Romans finally found that their socialist policies of economic control required physical control of the workers who found it in their interest to avoid working in their fields (tip to Pajamas Media):

It was probably to check this costly mobility, to ensure a proper flow of food to armies and cities, and of taxes to the state, that Diocletian resorted to measures that, in effect, established serfdom in fields, factories, and guilds. Having made the landowner responsible through tax quotas in kind for the productivity of his tenants, the government ruled that a tenant must remain on his land till his arrears of debt or tithes should be paid.

We do not know the date of this historic decree; but in 332, a law of Constantine assumed and confirmed it, and made the tenant adscriptitius, “bound in writing,” to the soil he tilled; he could not leave it without the consent of the owner; and when it was sold, he and his household were sold with it. He made no protest that has come down to us; perhaps the law was presented to him as a guarantee of security, as in Germany today. In this and other ways, agriculture passed in the 3rd century from slavery through freedom to serfdom and entered the Middle Ages.

One wonders if forbidding people from leaving Venezuela is the next step that Maduro will attempt to save his socialist paradise that he is building:

This collapsing socialist state is suffering one of the most dramatic outflows of human talent in modern history, with Aquiles Nazoa offering a glimpse into what happens when a nation begins to empty out. Vast gaps in Venezuela’s labor market are causing a breakdown in daily life, and robbing this nation of its future. The exodus is broad and deep — an outflow of doctors, engineers, oil workers, bus drivers and electricians.

And teachers. ...

During the first five months of the year, roughly 400,000 Venezuelans have fled the country, following 1.8 million who left over the last two years, according to the Central University of Venezuela. Yet even those numbers may not fully capture the scope of the exodus. Aid workers dealing with the crisis in bordering nations say an average of 4,600 Venezuelans a day have been leaving since Jan. 1 — putting the outflow during this year alone at nearly 700,000.

Or would motivating his people to remain by creating an enemy be possible at this late stage of flight?

And perhaps the Romans could have run their racket a little longer if they'd claimed their policies were motivated by how much they "cared" for people rather than supporting the state government and security apparatus.