"Practically speaking, the totalitarian ruler proceeds like a man who persistently insults another man until everybody knows that the latter is his enemy, so that he can, with some plausibility, go and kill him in self-defense."
-Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism
[I’m re-reading this now, and while chavismo is much closer to Arendt’s idea of dictatorship than to her much more radical understanding of totalitarianism – a term she reserved for what Stalin and Hitler did after they had crushed any semblance of organized opposition – some of her quotes about the latter definitely spark that flash of recognition…]
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.Donate