Totalitarians Are All The Same

Two political flashpoints have erupted in the last few days. The first is in the Ukraine, where the President launched a violent assault on protesters, resulting in at least 26 people being killed and probably over a thousand injured. A truce might be coming into place. The second, to one’s surprise, is Venezuela, where Chavez’s heirs are arresting opposition leaders, beating protesters and silencing the press. Tonight there are reports of murder in the streets.

In the Ukraine, the protests are because the President has been cozying up to Russia and distancing himself from the EU, which most of the people vehemently oppose, having long memories of brutal Russian oppression. He has also, in the last few weeks, been desperately trying to silence the protests against his policies. In Venezuela, the issues are deeper:

Inflation has rocketed to more than 55 per cent, there are widespread blackouts and the staples of life are increasingly scarce. This, despite the fact that Venezuela is the most oil-rich country in the world. Crime is so rife in the big cities that many vulnerable Venezuelans are reluctant even to venture outside anymore. The murder rate in Caracas is 122 per 100,000 residents – higher even than Baghdad (as a Cuban friend of mine quipped last year, at least proper dictators like Fidel Castro keep the streets safe).

The response by the authorities to the protests has merely highlighted once again the government’s unwillingness to tolerate dissent. Leopoldo Lopez, a former mayor and one of the protest organisers, has had an arrest warrant issued against him and videos have emerged of students being pistol whipped and kicked by armed policeman. As if taking its cue straight from the Soviet playbook, the government has blamed a “fascist upsuge” for the violence and “saboteurs” for the disintegration of the economy.

(You really should read that last link, where James Bloodworth takes his fellows liberals to task for refusing to acknowledge that goatfuck that was and is Chavezism.)

The striking thing about these brutal crackdowns is that they are being implemented by democratically-elected leaders. It’s a stark reminder that democracy, by itself, is no guaranteed protection against tyranny and oppression. As I have said many times, the most important part of a democracy is what happens between the elections. We’re being reminded of that now in the Ukraine and Venezuela.

Oppressors like to paint themselves in various colors — fascism, communism, socialism, etc. Some of them even paint themselves as defenders of democracy. But in the end, no matter what hair-brained philosophy they cling to, they are the same color: blood red.

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  1. Nexus

    Does anyone find it ironic and amusing the left blames the CIA?
    They are in essence accusing Obama of trying to overthrow a left wing government in the name of corporate oil profits.
    Ironies abound…

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  2. AlexInCT

    In Venezuela, the issues are deeper

    The problems in South America are not limited to just Venezuela and the socialists running that freak show, Hal. In Brazil, which will be hosting the World Cup, they are rioting too. The Western media has linked the trouble to the World Cup, but the fact remains that the problem is economic contraction due to stupid socialist polices. Then you have Argentina, another socialist hell hole, where policies similar to those advocated by US collectivists and pretend economists, have destroyed the economy. And then there is Bolivia, another shithole where socialists have caused far more harm than any good that came about from their policy (usually by accident).

    Contrast that with the nations in South America that have actually moved away from the socialist bullshit model, for example, Chile, and you get a clear picture of where those of us living in countries run by “social justice” morons instead of “free enterprise” are heading for. And no, we have no Western democracy that isn’t plagued by crony capitalism and a government machine intent on corrupting the economic model through the use of force to pick winners and losers. But we can keep pretending the “social justice” types mean well and just have not had a fair run. Or that we have not had the right “social justice” types in charge yet.

    The fact that every social justice experiment ends up like the one in Venezuela, sooner than later, seems to escape the “social justice” advocates. Break government’s hold on economic freedom, especially the hold of the “social justice” types, and you might stand a chance at economic success. Keep sucking Keynesian or collectivist dick, and do not be surprised when they ass rape you in return.

    Collectivism sucks.

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  3. Hal_10000 *

    I was in Chile many times during the 90’s, when i as a grad student. It’s a remarkable country and the people are serious about their freedom. But I know you must be lying about argentina. Paul Krugman assured it us that it’s economy was doing great!

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