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Monday, June 04, 2007

Just Among Friends

The recent to-do around here about definitions got me thinking about "social justice." If Wade Connerly were to use the term, I'd know he was advocating a color-blind society. When a lefty uses it, I check my wallet.

The great humanist Hugo Chavez is currently distributing some social justice in Venezuela, initiating yet another round of Latin American land reform. He's also building socially just housing:

Bella Vista is one of 12 “communal towns” that Mr. Chávez plans to build this year. It has neat rows of identical three-bedroom homes for 83 families, a reading room, a radio station, a building with free high-speed Internet service, a school and a plaza with a bust of Simón Bolívar, Venezuela’s national hero.

With financing from state banks, the cooperative plants crops like manioc, corn and beans, which officials in Caracas say are better suited to soils here than sugar cane. By burning the cane during land seizures, the squatters prepare the land for other crops and give owners less incentive to fight for control. The state and federal government holds Bella Vista as an example of the ideological fervor Mr. Chávez is trying to instill in the countryside.

Lisbeth Colmenares, 22, was radiant as she showed a visitor her new home here, where she and her family live rent-free.

“Before Chávez, the government would have been happy to let us starve,” said Ms. Colmenares, holding her 6-month-old daughter, Luzelis. “We’ll never let what we have now be taken from us.”

Until those without such pretty houses come knocking at your door demanding their social justice. So it goes, Señora Colmenares, round and round. Why should you have two shoes when I have none?


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