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Venezuela welcomes its new dictator.


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#1 AaronCW

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 02:12 AM


Hugo Chavez, Socialist president of Venezuela, is attempting to win rule by decree for a 'limited' period of time, and nationalisation of most services such as power and communication;

http://news.bbc.co.u...cas/6277379.stm

The implications of this are quite obvious. The idea that rule by decree could be granted for a limited period is absurd, and Chavez' dictatorial ambitions are fully transparent. I sincerely hope that all citizens of Venezuela who value freedom and individual rights flee while they still can. I personally am taking pains to boycott any of Chavez'-owned gas companies, including Citgo and Clarks (there probably are numerous others).

I believe that the US should cut all ties to Venezuela, including any foreign aid, and institute a ban on importation of Venezuelan goods. As of the day that Chavez is granted such powers, Venezuela can no longer be considered a free country. In this case, the UN should reject Venezuela as a member, as it should with any other non-free countries.

This is the unavoidable result of any country that falls for the trap of Socialism, or a mixed economy; it is only a matter of time. The US is clearly heading in this direction with the dangerously far left policies of the Democrats.

Edited by rasputin, 03 December 2007 - 10:23 PM.

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#2 AaronCW

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 06:56 AM

It is popular today to be a proponent and defender of democracy, as the Bush administration has done, and is common in the media.

This should clearly demonstrate that democracy, or decision by popular vote, is of value only in the context of constitutional government in which the individual's rights cannot be erased by rulers' edicts or popular vote.

Update: Chavez has now effectively banned any media opposing his political rule.

#3 eternaltraveler

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 07:01 AM

we can't boycot venezula, we are dependant on their oil

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#4 Mind

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 07:47 AM

A lot of people on the U.S. complain that President Bush is a dictator or worse. I have seen bumper stickers that say "Bush is evil", "Bush is Hitler", "Bush is Satan". Well, if he is a dictator, he is NOTHING compared to Chavez. I saw the mayor of Caracas on TV the other day talking about free elections and resisting Chavez's takeover of the country. No doubt he will soon either be dead or in prison....just like dissidents in Cuba. Socialism is flypaper for tyrants.
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#5 advancedatheist

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 02:59 PM

Regarding Chavez's nationalization of Venezuela's oil, nobody in the U.S. seems bothered by the fact that we import oil from Mexico's state-owned Pemex, which has delivered the goods since 1938:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PEMEX

Chavez's other initiatives in defiance of American elite notions of democracy, free markets and globalization don't particularly bother me, either. The proliferation of competing political systems will tend to impede efforts to impose a uniform ban on radical life extension therapies and other human enchancements. We need leaders like Chavez willing to create enclaves free from the meddling of the people who want to enforce their arbitrary standard of morality on the whole planet.

#6 advancedatheist

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:04 PM

A lot of people on the U.S. complain that President Bush is a dictator or worse. I have seen bumper stickers that say "Bush is evil", "Bush is Hitler", "Bush is Satan". Well, if he is a dictator, he is NOTHING compared to Chavez.


Really? How many people in other countries has Chavez killed?

#7 biknut

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:07 PM

A lot of people on the U.S. complain that President Bush is a dictator or worse. I have seen bumper stickers that say "Bush is evil", "Bush is Hitler", "Bush is Satan". Well, if he is a dictator, he is NOTHING compared to Chavez.


Really? How many people in other countries has Chavez killed?



What difference does it make what country they're in?

#8 advancedatheist

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:10 PM

BTW, if Chavez abolishes democracy in Venezuela, declares himself king and plans to pass his realm onto his descendants, wouldn't the Hoppean libertarians approve of that?

#9 advancedatheist

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:13 PM

A lot of people on the U.S. complain that President Bush is a dictator or worse. I have seen bumper stickers that say "Bush is evil", "Bush is Hitler", "Bush is Satan". Well, if he is a dictator, he is NOTHING compared to Chavez.


Really? How many people in other countries has Chavez killed?



What difference does it make what country they're in?


It doesn't matter to me if my neighbor slaps around his own wife. If he goes around picking fights with other people, however, then I want him stopped.
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#10 AaronCW

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:31 PM

we can't boycot venezula, we are dependant on their oil


Chavez is even more dependent on us buying his oil. I agree that this presents a difficulty, and that other sources of oil often come from equally unpleasant nations. But I would be surprised if it were truly impossible.

Chavez's other initiatives in defiance of American elite notions of democracy, free markets and globalization don't particularly bother me, either. The proliferation of competing political systems will tend to impede efforts to impose a uniform ban on radical life extension therapies and other human enchancements. We need leaders like Chavez willing to create enclaves free from the meddling of the people who want to enforce their arbitrary standard of morality on the whole planet.


There is nothing free about what Chavez wants to create.

In addition, the only condition under which life extension technologies will be developed is a free market. The US does not stand for an arbitrary standard of morality; it was founded upon the concept of universal individual rights and freedom from government interference in the economy and the private lives of citizens (there has been an unsettling trend in the opposite direction overn the last century, but this has not affected the integrity of our Constitution). If the US, or any free country, imposes a ban on life extension technology it would be in direct conflict with the principles of the US constitution.

We need Chavez like we needed every previous icon of Socialism, including Castro, Hitler, and Stalin.

#11 advancedatheist

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:42 PM

There is nothing free about what Chavez wants to create.


I bet you'd change your mind about Chavez if he allows the practice of cloning and stem cell therapies in his country in defiance of an attempted global ban.

I'd also bet you have stuff in your home made in China, a still ostensibly communist country with a horrible human rights record.

Actually Chavez would do well to promote Venezuela as a medical outsourcing destination for Americans in search of cheaper healthcare, as a recent article in Tech Central Station recommends for Latin American countries in general, assuming that the law changes to make Medicare portable:

http://www.tcsdaily....aspx?id=112806F

#12 Mind

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:50 PM

BTW, if Chavez abolishes democracy in Venezuela, declares himself king and plans to pass his realm onto his descendants, wouldn't the Hoppean libertarians approve of that?


I don't follow your point here. It doesn't seem to make much sense.

I do know that Castro is estimated to be the 2nd richest leader in the world (~900 million). While ordinary Cubans have to eeek out a meager existence, Castro gets super rich. The same thing will happen in Venezuela if Chavez is not stopped. He is already spreading the meme that being poor is virtuous (of course that does not apply to him). Funny how the socialist tyrant Chavez is using the ol' monotheistic religious angle of keeping people poor and under control, while he gets rich....just like the Popes and Bishops in medieval Europe.
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#13 biknut

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 04:42 PM

It doesn't matter to me if my neighbor slaps around his own wife. If he goes around picking fights with other people, however, then I want him stopped.


Then you should love Bush because that's exactly what he's doing. He's taking on the most cowardly, sneaky, and dangerous fighters in the world.

#14 Lazarus Long

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 04:45 PM

(Mind)
I do know that Castro is estimated to be the 2nd richest leader in the world (~900 million). While ordinary Cubans have to eeek out a meager existence, Castro gets super rich. The same thing will happen in Venezuela if Chavez is not stopped. He is already spreading the meme that being poor is virtuous (of course that does not apply to him). Funny how the socialist tyrant Chavez is using the ol' monotheistic religious angle of keeping people poor and under control, while he gets rich....just like the Popes and Bishops in medieval Europe.


First I guess a hundred million just ain't worth what it used to be because we have actors worth more than Castro. As for his net worth I wonder who inherits that when all the medical help money can buy both at home and abroad can't seem to help him through diverticulitis?

Second name one oil wealthy third world nation that has benefited from that wealth? Nigeria has now been officially turned into a basket case and the only nations that have really put any of the wealth at all back into their own nations have been the socialist ones like Mexico, or maybe dictatorships like Indonesia and monarchies like the United Arab Emirates.

Third, Venezuela has had a great divide between even the middle and lower classes and many of them are simply tired at the promises of piss down, oh sorry I mean trickle down wealth that has been promised to them since European colonists came and began seizing native resources.

Fourth, Chavez was elected (as was the Hamas BTW) by a clear majority. This may be unacceptable to nations like ours that claim to support democracy so long as those we favor are elected but it really is a fact. You see the large majority of people feel that community hospitals, schools and roads into poorer neighborhoods are the first clear examples they are seeing of the promised shared oil wealth. If Chavez is the dictator then what we are seeing is a tyranny of the majority.

Fifth, I for one certainly don't approve of how Chavez has responded to the domestic media opposition to his administration but also they really were complicit in the attempted overthrow he withstood when even the US supported it. I guess I can at least understand his hostility; I wonder how our government would respond to a media conglomerate that is strongly suspected of collusion in an unsuccessful coup?

The promises of the *free market* simply have not been experienced by all too many in the third world and emerging technologies and the masses of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, AND Venezuela don't want to wait any more generations to benefit from what amounts to a resource held in common by the people.

I suggest a reading of Hernado de Soto are in order because his explanations of the difficulties being experienced by these economies and their distrust of promises that have not been delivered on perhaps could illuminate this discussion. His analysis of the importance of the underground economy is actually critical to this discussion.

BTW, he is no socialist and does not approve of what is happening but he at least has a both a historic and a modern economist's understanding of the forces at work.
http://en.wikipedia....oto_(economist)

#15 advancedatheist

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 08:25 PM

I don't follow your point here. It doesn't seem to make much sense.


Hans-Hermann Hoppe, as I understand him, argues that from a libertarian perspective, monarchies prove friendlier to the free market than democracies because the monarch has an investment in his realm that he wants to pass in good shape onto his heirs. This gives him a lower time preference and the incentive not to sabotage the forces of production in his own country as he governs it. I don't know how empirically defensible this sounds, given the experience of real monarchies.

Hoppe then argues that democratically elected politicians have high time preferences because they don't own their polities and they'll leave office eventually, so they tend to fill their pockets now via corruption and reward their followers from the proceeds of taxation and wealth confiscations, as we've seen in Chavez. (I don't defend the guy; I just think in the scheme of things he currently looks more like a minor nuisance than the next Stalin.)

So what if Chavez gets it into his head to declare himself the new king of Venezuela, and the world recognizes his title to reign and rule? (This has happened in Latin American countries before.) According to the Hoppean analysis, Chavez would probably change his behavior to keep Venezuela relatively economically free and worth passing onto his children when he dies. This would provide an empirical test of a major libertarian theorist's political theory.

#16 JMorgan

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:13 PM

Ahh, I'm glad Chavez-bashing has replaced Bush-bashing as the Politcs thread of the week. This one's far more entertaining. ;)

#17 Mind

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:44 PM

Hoppe argues that a monarchy may be slightly better than a democracy with temporary leaders. However, he doesn't advocate either one (as you suggested earlier). Nor do libertarians - ESPECIALLY anarcho-libertarians like Hoppe.

I'll take human rights and a constitutional republic, or even a social democracy (like Germany) anyday over a dictatorship. Even if he (Chavez) is a super-nice peace-loving guy like Laz is trying to portray, you never know when or how you will draw the ire of a benevolent dictator. When you do....its all over. No rights. No trial. You're just dead.

#18 xanadu

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 10:33 PM

By all standards I can see, Bush is far worse than Chavez ever thought of being. A good question was asked, how many people has Chavez killed? Bush has killed many thousands already on his orders. Saddam was executed for killing a few hundred. How many countries has Chavez invaded? I hear talk about Chavez making himself a king. Bush has already done that. He is fighting a war now in Iraq totally on his own initiative, a war that the majority of the public wants stopped and that our senators and reps want stopped but Bush will not stop. He has not only not stopped, he is calling up and sending in more troops. Are those the actions of a democratic leader or of a dictator or king? Besides that, the rationale he used to con people into going along with the invasion turned out to be nothing but lies and forgeries.

If Chavez has muzzled the media that's a bad thing but Bush seems to have the media here under his control directly or indirectly. Ever heard about the corporate consolidation of the media? It's not really clear that Bush won the elections, either of them, fair and square. There is a great deal of controversy over the role of Diebold and electronic voting machines which have already been demonstrated to be easy to hack. There is considerable evidence that the vote was stolen but you will hear little to nothing about it in our supposedly free press. I wonder why that is?

I don't think Chavez is any sort of good leader but he is better than what we've got.

#19 JMorgan

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 12:05 AM

Ugh, I wish I didn't bring it up. Can we keep the Bush stuff on the other thread?

#20 william7

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 12:35 AM

Funny how the socialist tyrant Chavez is using the ol' monotheistic religious angle of keeping people poor and under control, while he gets rich....just like the Popes and Bishops in medieval Europe.


Excellent point. For egalitarian societies to really work everybody has to participate on the same level. All wealth and labor must be shared equally. Nobody should be able to claim a superior position in the community above the others. This is what Jesus taught and the early Christian Church practiced. Matthew 19:21-29; 23:11; Luke 6:20; 9:46-48; Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35; 1 Timothy 6:6-10.

This is what happens when atheist Marxism is the ideology instead of a Christian community according to the Biblical ideal.

#21 lunarsolarpower

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 12:46 AM

For egalitarian societies to really work everybody has to participate on the same level. All wealth and labor must be shared equally. Nobody should be able to claim a superior position in the community above the others.


Just curious, if no one has a superior position in the community above others, who keeps the whole thing going? Who is the "decider?" If there isn't one how does the system vary from anarchy?

I don't even know if I can see this working on the level of a commune. Who pays the taxes? Normally we try to set up our societies and institutions to couple responsiblity to power although this often goes awry. A paper was recently written on the four forms of organization: tribes, hierarchical institutions, markets, and networks by a Rand Corporation researcher. The best systems are going to use a blend of all four types of organization.

#22 william7

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 02:50 AM

Just curious, if no one has a superior position in the community above others, who keeps the whole thing going? Who is the "decider?" If there isn't one how does the system vary from anarchy?

Notice the principles of The Federation of Egalitarian Communities where it says:

"4. Uses a form of decision making in which members have an equal opportunity to participate, either through consensus, direct vote, or right of appeal or overrule."

It's my belief that experimental communal societies will function much better if their fundamental ideology is putting God's law and Christ's teachings into practice to the fullest extent possible. Democratic decision making would function a lot smoother because the people would be of one heart and one mind on the fundamentals. Acts 4:32.

I don't even know if I can see this working on the level of a commune. Who pays the taxes? Normally we try to set up our societies and institutions to couple responsiblity to power although this often goes awry. A paper was recently written on the four forms of organization: tribes, hierarchical institutions, markets, and networks by a Rand Corporation researcher. The best systems are going to use a blend of all four types of organization.

This is only one opinion by a conservative think tank. Their views are always slanted in favor of the capitalist ruling class in our society.

There are organizations that are engaged in research to improve the functioning of communal societies. See, for example, http://www.ic.org/icsa/about.html. Communal societies are not yet perfect and need to be worked on like anything else. They, however, hold the better promise for solving world problems than anyother system that's been proposed.

#23 AaronCW

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 11:02 PM

There is nothing free about what Chavez wants to create.


I bet you'd change your mind about Chavez if he allows the practice of cloning and stem cell therapies in his country in defiance of an attempted global ban.

I'd also bet you have stuff in your home made in China, a still ostensibly communist country with a horrible human rights record.

Actually Chavez would do well to promote Venezuela as a medical outsourcing destination for Americans in search of cheaper healthcare, as a recent article in Tech Central Station recommends for Latin American countries in general, assuming that the law changes to make Medicare portable:

http://www.tcsdaily....aspx?id=112806F


Absolutely not. There are plenty of admiral things that the Democrats promote, like equal rights, protection of women's rights/health, and gay marriage, but that does not allow me to ignore the fact that they are quietly pulling the rug out from under us by replacing/confusing the concepts of political rights and 'economic rights', and thereby posing the greatest possible threat to the future of the US.

By all standards I can see, Bush is far worse than Chavez ever thought of being. A good question was asked, how many people has Chavez killed? Bush has killed many thousands already on his orders. Saddam was executed for killing a few hundred. How many countries has Chavez invaded? I hear talk about Chavez making himself a king. Bush has already done that. He is fighting a war now in Iraq totally on his own initiative, a war that the majority of the public wants stopped and that our senators and reps want stopped but Bush will not stop. He has not only not stopped, he is calling up and sending in more troops. Are those the actions of a democratic leader or of a dictator or king? Besides that, the rationale he used to con people into going along with the invasion turned out to be nothing but lies and forgeries.

If Chavez has muzzled the media that's a bad thing but Bush seems to have the media here under his control directly or indirectly. Ever heard about the corporate consolidation of the media? It's not really clear that Bush won the elections, either of them, fair and square. There is a great deal of controversy over the role of Diebold and electronic voting machines which have already been demonstrated to be easy to hack. There is considerable evidence that the vote was stolen but you will hear little to nothing about it in our supposedly free press. I wonder why that is?

I don't think Chavez is any sort of good leader but he is better than what we've got.


I'm sorry, Xanadu, but I find this absurd. Bush is quite a bastard, and I don't support his social/faith-based initiatives or the war in Iraq, but regardless of that he could not make himself king regardless of what he does. A country usually does not vote itself or grant itself into dictatorship unless faced with a terrible economic or security crises, and I have seen no evidence that Bush ever attempted to do this. Bushes adventure in Iraq is almost expired, and Congress will bring an end to it themselves if necessary, along with his Patriot Act . Our system of checks and balances is still very much intact. Also, Bush is not comparible to Hussein (who has only convicted for killing a few hundred, but was well known to be responsible for 1000's others). Bush may be a con man, but he is not, and will never be, a dictator.

#24 AaronCW

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:13 AM

Hello Lazarus,

I limiting my response to your post to what I see as relevant to this topic;

Third, Venezuela has had a great divide between even the middle and lower classes and many of them are simply tired at the promises of piss down, oh sorry I mean trickle down wealth that has been promised to them since European colonists came and began seizing native resources.


I have read the link to de Soto which you provided, and it does provide good insight to why it has been difficult for third world countries to establish Capitalism. It also allows us to see why it is that an entire nation of people would spend their lives waiting for ‘promises’ to be fulfilled. It makes it quite obvious that what Venezuela needs is a Constitutional democracy which supports private ownership. The oil wealth of that country will only benefit the majority when it is owned privately and can directly stimulate the economy. However, whether private ownership of oil resources will stimulate the economy or not, it is not the place of a government to assume ownership of anything, only to be the custodian of that property.

Fourth, Chavez was elected (as was the Hamas BTW) by a clear majority.  This may be unacceptable to nations like ours that claim to support democracy so long as those we favor are elected but it really is a fact.  You see the large majority of people  feel that community hospitals, schools and roads into poorer neighborhoods are the first clear examples they are seeing of the promised shared oil wealth.  If Chavez is the dictator then what we are seeing is a tyranny of the majority.


This is true, if Chavez does gain the power he desires, than the vast majority of Venezuelans will have no one but their own naïve selves. On the other hand, it is an injustice to any percentage of people that did not vote for it (and I am aware that it is a considerable percentage). A person’s life cannot be subject to popular vote.

Fifth, I for one certainly don't approve of how Chavez has responded to the domestic media opposition to his administration but also they really were complicit in the attempted overthrow he withstood when even the US supported it.  I guess I can at least understand his hostility; I wonder how our government would respond to a media conglomerate that is strongly suspected of collusion in an unsuccessful coup?


Given the current climate in the US, and the Bush administration’s attitude toward free speech, not very kindly. However, being complicit is very different than playing an active role.

The promises of the *free market* simply have not been experienced by all too many in the third world and emerging technologies and the masses of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, AND Venezuela don't want to wait any more generations to benefit from what amounts to a resource held in common by the people.


I am not sure why you would make this conjecture and then follow it with the link to de Soto’s wikipedia page in which he not only explains why many third world countries struggle with achieving Capitalism, he stresses the importance of private ownership of property so that these countries can transcend their current condition and achieve the levels of prosperity seen in the US and Japan.

#25 Lazarus Long

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 05:44 PM

I don't have much time at the moment but I promise to try and get back to this later Rasputin.

(rasputin)

QUOTE (Lazarus Long)

The promises of the *free market* simply have not been experienced by all too many in the third world and emerging technologies and the masses of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, AND Venezuela don't want to wait any more generations to benefit from what amounts to a resource held in common by the people.


I am not sure why you would make this conjecture and then follow it with the link to de Soto’s wikipedia page in which he not only explains why many third world countries struggle with achieving Capitalism, he stresses the importance of private ownership of property so that these countries can transcend their current condition and achieve the levels of prosperity seen in the US and Japan.


De Soto is a highly articulate and astute academician that has literally studied this issue from the inside out practically all his life, however he is the minority. There is a vast difference between the *common* perception/beliefs and his opinion.

There is a large price to pay still in Latin America for al the abuses of colonialism and the idea that socialism is preferable to laissez fare capitalism is widely held because it is seen as more reliable an opponent to far more exploitive and destructive aspects of neo-feudal post colonialism, as the moder version of allegedly free market capitalism is perceived to represent.

The majority of people in Latin America represent a far more disenfranchised poorer class thna we in the US have experienced since reconstruction and they are not sympathetic to *promises* that for them appear like more mythology rather than proven economic theory.

I happen to respect De Soto a lot but it is important to also understand the distinction between abstract analysis and popular pragmatics.

There is frankly a lot more to this issue than has been presented in a somewhat two dimensional manner in this thread so far. Trying to have this discussion without addressing those aspects; like cultural, racial and ethnic conflicts, historic trends and issues, relational economics in the global society of today, and the requirements of emergent technologies to an educated middle class, and the damaging influence of US geopolitical and economic manipulations over the last century is futile IMHO.

BTW, there is strong evidence that at least some of the principle media moguls were complicit in the attempted overthrow though it is strongly circumstantial not demonstrative proof that I have seen. However Chavez has certainly responded even more leniently than Putin has in this respect and I suggest a reading of what is going on in Russia as we speak is even more relevant to the issue and should be interesting given your chosen screen name.

In fact the response to the excesses privatization during the 90's around the world and the critical strategic importance of oil in global geopolitics has given new legitimacy and incentive for governmental control of oil wealth in many nations including the US.

We are seeing this already in a reversal of privatization trends in many large oil producing nations. Part of the problem is that oil is not a free market comodity now, nor has it really ever been one, so the incentive for government to seize control of it as due to its strategic importance is heightened.

Also the dirt poor of Latin America see oil as a wealth of the commons that belongs to the people not to private interests and BTW most if not all Latin American countries have a constitutional democracies now.

BTW, I am still waiting for an example of a nation where oil alone has helped an emerging nation and more importantly I will add; improved their democratic structure?

#26 xanadu

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 06:39 PM

I'm sorry, Xanadu, but I find this absurd. Bush is quite a bastard, and I don't support his social/faith-based initiatives or the war in Iraq, but regardless of that he could not make himself king regardless of what he does. A country usually does not vote itself or grant itself into dictatorship unless faced with a terrible economic or security crises, and I have seen no evidence that Bush ever attempted to do this. Bushes adventure in Iraq is almost expired, and Congress will bring an end to it themselves if necessary, along with his Patriot Act . Our system of checks and balances is still very much intact. Also, Bush is not comparible to Hussein (who has only convicted for killing a few hundred, but was well known to be responsible for 1000's others). Bush may be a con man, but he is not, and will never be, a dictator.


I hope you are correct in that Bush will be brought down to earth and that the patriot act and other abuses will be halted. I think it will take a revolution of some sort to bring it about. The democrats are NOT going to do it on their own. You can bank on that. Bush did not need to be voted dictator in order to grab the powers of a dictator. He has usurped power on his own, steadily ever since getting into office. He recently gave himself the power to open people's mail and access their financial records without a warrant. The pentagon was recently discovered doing the same things. Signing statements have no basis in law and Bush has ignored and flouted the law for years. How does that fit in with your belief in the system of checks and balances? I also doubt that congress has the backbone to really stand up to him. I predict the iraq occupation will keep on as long as Bush is in power. I would not rule out an invasion or Iran either. All he has to do is manufacture some incident and blame it on Iran. Next stop, Tehran.

#27 vortexentity

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 07:57 PM

On the subject of Chavez I would have to add that he is of mixed race and is darker than the normal Spanish descended ruling class. He is a fiery speaker who is able to push all the right buttons with the voting population. He has also spent considerable time in being accessible to his electorate the people via a regular TV talk show on state run television. This inspires his people to believe in him and that he will act for them. He inspired many to learn to read and they did, and now many can quote their constitution verbatim. Imagine the man on the street average guy that votes and knows the constitution.

The rich in Venezuela have taken the attitude of Spanish Conquistadors ruling over peasants. They made no effort for their entire history in that nation to provide a system for upward mobility as we do with public education, basic social programs, and merit based scholarships for higher learning. Chavez on the other hand is doing a micro-loan program for small businesses and handling land disputes where rich ruling class are taking land from the poor and not paying a fair price and not sharing the mineral rights. This also inspires trust from his people. They did after all march on the capital in a huge mass when he was overthrow in that coup and worked to prevent him from being spirited away by the CIA.

I am not a stateist at all and personally I do not care one wit who is at the reins of control of another country in the least. The fact is that you reap what you sow, and the rich ruling elite of Venezuela are reaping now buddy. They could have handled the management of their country in a way that would not have created a condition ripe for a Chavez type to be successful but they did. They enjoyed being the rich fat cats with little regard for their people and now they voted for a guy who is determined to take control from them on a permanent basis. They tried to sabotage his regime and the private media in that country have said the most horrible lies against him and he put up with it for a time until the coup. Now it is pay back time and those that tried to run him out are being run out.

How can anyone say it is in any way fair that the people who are of Mayan decent and rightful owners of the land have no share in the oil wealth. It is after all the Spanish descendants of the Conquistadors that own all of the wealth. This situation could only end up going the way it has. History repeats itself again and again until we learn the lessons of history.

#28 AaronCW

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 03:25 AM

It surprises me that so few people will accept that oil, like any other natural resource, is subect to private ownership. It takes considerable time and investment to locate and drill for oil, and there must be a financial incentive to do so. An oil company, or any individual, can purchase land and have the rights to whatever lies beneath it. Just because Latin America does not have a concrete cultural concept of private ownership, and individuals are cheated out of mineral rights, does not change that fact.

Also, the idea that ownership of a natural resource is somehow automatically granted to the original indigenous population has no foundation considering that the indigenous people would not even be aware that such oil existed if an enterprising prospector hadn't come along and found it. And now that the indigenous population is no longer the only people populating this given area, and the crimes in question were committed against long dead ancestors, it would be similar to the idea of restitution to grant them special privileges to oil rights.

BTW, I am still waiting for an example of a nation where oil alone has helped an emerging nation and more importantly I will add; improved their democratic structure?



I wouldn't suggest that private ownership of oil would alone bring a nation into prosperity, or establish democracy. Private ownership of oil would only help a free market economy in which all were free to participate, and private ownership were protected by law. Yes, this would take a sort of 'revolution' similar to the extent of what Chavez is attempting, but in the opposite direction. .

Xanadu, I understand your concerns about the Bush administration, but I do not share them. I fully expect the presidency to be handed over to the elected candidate in 2008.

Vortexentity, if it is the case that the rich elite in Venezuela somehow exerted political power over others in order to deprive them of their property or rights, than this is clearly a case of criminal behavior and political corruption. Beyond this, the rich, or elite (a work often used in the US in order to suggest that some sort of aristocracy exists) have no responsibilty whatever to society or other people. So long as the individual rights of all citizens are fully protected, it is the people that are responsible for the own lives.

#29 vortexentity

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 02:50 PM

rasputin, A nation that is run by the rich 10% and a huge resource that is controlled by that tiny population might bring prosperity to themselves but they chose not to share it in any significant way with the other 90% of the voting population. In a democracy that is going to lead to a Chavez type of character running on a platform of redistribution of wealth as he did quite successfully. I simply state in my opinion that it is inevitable. It has happened again and again. The democrats in the US run on a similar type of platform and are most successful when times are hard for the very large and growing lower and middle class in the US. They did not have an electoral college in Venezuela to slant the vote towards the wealthy elite so they got a true democratic outcome where the poor came out and changed the political system.

When the Spanish descended Aristocracy lost control of the presidency they went on the attack in the private media which is most of the TV in that country. They said outright slanderous things against Chavez and slanted the news to make the reality seem much different than it was. This was at a point of causing a distortion field effect on reality. They actually had one news telecast where they accused Chavez of being Castro's Gay lover. It was an outrageous climate of lies and deliberate slander against the sitting president to weaken his power. They threw every road block against him they could up to the coup. The US immediately backed the coup and said that Chavez had caused it which of course was a distortion of the truth.

I am simply not interested in who we purchase our oil from in that country and do not care who runs that country. Chavez has reason to be vengeful and dismantling the media that attacked him so viciously and taking control of the oil companies and making them state run will likely work against him in the long run because it will give his enemies all the more reason to go on the attack and have fuel to feed others to help them. It will end in a bloody conflict. The CIA will back anyone who will fight against Chavez if he takes control of the oil reserves from the private sector. The rich are still quite powerful in that country and are likely to end up bringing in assassins and mercenaries to fight against the Chavez regime. The people will still back him and this is likely to go back and forth several times before it is settled.

I have studied this in detail as well as an English speaking person with little Spanish can, mostly in the form of translated documents and sub-titled videos. My interest does not make me sympathetic to Chavez only aware of his situation. A resource rich country in our own back yard so to speak deserves watching so I am aware of them. Socialism combined with Nationalism is the platform he works from. He is part native Mayan and well spoken and accessible to his people so his popularity will likely keep him the elected president for some time. I am not sure about their term limits if any. I fully expect the CIA will work with the rich elite in that country and send some high priced assassins after him as a solution but the constitution is well known to the people and they will use it to make certain another Chavez type is elected in his place should he fall. Democracy at work.

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#30 xanadu

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 07:57 PM

Vor, I think you have some good points as does rasputin.

They said outright slanderous things against Chavez and slanted the news to make the reality seem much different than it was. This was at a point of causing a distortion field effect on reality. They actually had one news telecast where they accused Chavez of being Castro's Gay lover. It was an outrageous climate of lies and deliberate slander against the sitting president to weaken his power.


This reminds me a lot of USA media as well as most of the media in the northern hemisphere. Instead of attacking the sitting president, they spin like mad to make him look good. They suppress or downplay any facts that don't fit into their agenda. It didn't work in Venezuela but it works almost all the time. You can say but Bush's popularity is very low but the fact is that the movement to impeach him has gotten no ink and has been suppressed. What does he care if his numbers go to zero? He is still the president and we will be in Iraq as long as he is in power.

One thing I object to is the notion that wealth is "distributed". Wealth is earned, not distributed. If certain people are lazy and end up broke, they have only themselves to blame. It may be that crimes were commited by the rich in Venezuela to get their wealth and if so, the crimes should be punished and made right. Buying someone's land on speculation and then making a fortune on minerals and oil is not a crime.

Redistribution of wealth is a crackpot notion and has never worked. Even if carried out, in a few years the fools with money will be broke and the smart people will be rich again. Then what, another redistribution? The message will be that they just steal what you have in that country. That is a formula for poverty and disaster. Chavez should work on giving education and training to all, not a handout to all.




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