Mutatis Mutandis

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Recognize It
Recognize It

Before the Hate had proceeded for thirty seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half the people in the room. The self-satisfied sheep-like face on the screen, and the terrifying power of the American army behind it, were too much to be borne: besides, the sight or even the thought of Capriles produced fear and anger automatically.

But what was strange was that although Capriles was hated and despised by everybody, although every day and a thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, ridiculed, held up to the general gaze for the pitiful rubbish that they were–in spite of all this, his influence never seemed to grow less. Always there were fresh dupes waiting to be seduced by him. A day never passed when spies and saboteurs acting under his directions were not unmasked by the SEBIN. He was the commander of a vast shadowy army, an underground network of conspirators dedicated to the overthrow of the State…

In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen. The little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish. Even O’Brien’s heavy face was flushed. He was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a wave. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out ‘Swine! Swine! Swine!’ and suddenly she picked up a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the screen. It struck Capriles’s nose and bounced off; the voice continued inexorably. In a lucid moment Winston found that he was shouting with the others and kicking his heel violently against the rung of his chair. The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.

And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp. Thus, at one moment Winston’s hatred was not turned against Capriles at all, but, on the contrary, against Maduro, the PSUV, and the SEBIN; and at such moments his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies. And yet the very next instant he was at one with the people about him, and all that was said of Capriles seemed to him to be true. At those moments his secret loathing of Chávez changed into adoration, and Chavez seemed to tower up, an invincible, fearless protector, standing like a rock against the hordes of Asia, and Capriles, in spite of his isolation, his helplessness, and the doubt that hung about his very existence, seemed like some sinister enchanter, capable by the mere power of his voice of wrecking the structure of civilization.

1 COMMENT

  1. “No one believes more firmly than Comrade Maduro that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”

  2. “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution, one makes a revolution in order to establish the dictatorship”.

  3. What I find scary is that at every point you hear (and perhaps think) “hasta allá no llegan”, no way it could get that bad, and then they move another step closer to “allá”. Rinse and repeat, who knows until when. The thing about asymptotes is that you can be sure to never get there, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get worse and worse.

    • Everybody is helping them, including this forum! How? Because they use democracy’s virtues for their benefit. They prostitute everything.
      This forum’s liberty to criticize the MUD and Capriles is used to weak the whole.
      Am I advocating a fanatic mind set in the opposition? Yes!
      Paraphrasing, of all people, Che Guevara when he said: “Con ellos no se puede transigir ni un tantico asi!” while he was pointing to a quarter of his thumb’s finger nail.
      This is a fight to death! Don’t be mistaken about that!

      • Pilar,
        Are you living in Venezuela or in comfortable Europe/North America? (I am living in comfortable Europe). If you are living in Venezuela: are you living somewhere else outside Chacao-Baruta-Hatillo-Northern Valencia?

        Who are “they”? The “50%” (or probably less) who voted for Maduro? Or the 30% of the population who are “hard chavistas”? (for the moment) Or the Boligarchs and the military?

        I don’t want to become like a Miami Cuban of the old generation. That has brought nothing. New strategies are needed. “Fight to death”? What do you mean? Are you going to “fight to death”? How? From Paris or Miami?

        • It is not a matter of where I am living because human nature is the same everywhere. In all countries there is a segment of the population that would want to live for free, and these are the ones used by “they”: Lenin, Castro, Chavez, Maduro et al to install their dictatorship that eventually is repudiated by all who helped them at the beginning.
          You should have paid attention to the Miami Cubans that warned Venezuela about Chavez, but the intellectuals, like you?, did not pay attention.
          No, we are not going to fight them to death, we do not have the means but be sure “they” will fight us to death.
          “El sol quema con la misma luz conque alumbra. El sol tiene manchas. Los agradecidos ven la luz. Los desagradecidos ven las manchas”, Jose Marti.
          I find some of the critics to Capriles and MUD in this forum rather petty and petulant.
          And, believe or not, you are helping “them”.

          • Pilar, it does matter when you say you are going to fight chavismo to death from the US and you are risking nothing. It’s really a joke. What are the implications for you?
            Be concrete, please. Don’t bullshit us with “you are contributing to Chavistas, I am fighting”.
            How on Earth are you fighting? By writing in English here? By drinking tea in Miami?

            “You should have paid attention to the Miami Cubans that warned Venezuela about Chavez, but the intellectuals, like you?, did not pay attention.”
            That is pathetic. As usual from the people, you use the word “intellectual” to refer to people who ask you for specifics.
            I never supported Chavismo and I can tell you I have been active to the point of going to Venezuela to defend the Firmazo in places you would never have the ovaries to get into and I have, like a lot of other people, done a lot of lobbying and blogging about conditions in Venezuela. So: what about you?
            What are you doing?
            Please, don’t talk about “fight” if you don’t have the cojones to do it yourself but just feel excited about uttering those words

          • You are misquoting me; I never say to fight the maduristas with force. A “fight to death” and a “fanatic set of mind” in the opposition mean to me that when we use our time to criticize Capriles we are helping the enemy. And the choice to fight to death, literally, is not yours, it is theirs: they will kill you if necessary for their cause.
            “Intellectuals” to me means people that see the “manchas en el sol” rather than it’s light.
            What is pathetic is the criticism of Capriles in this forum.
            How many of those who do it have their faces in posters inciting the populace to kill them?
            Capriles has “cojones”. Those who criticize him have “lenguas”.
            As for me, I am not doing much but more than those that pontificate about the shortcomings of Capriles.

          • “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

            I don’t wan’t the oppo to become just like Chavism but pushing another messiah. I also don’t want to have both sides dehumanizing each other. I want a democratically minded oppostion to do the ground work required to get elected AND be proclaimed winners.

            Plus, we already tried incensing zealotry, back when we had RCTV (the regular one!), Venevision, Televen, Globovision, CMT, CNB radio, Union Radio, etc. It didn’t work. It put off around half of the country into the Ni-ni zone. Plus, now we lack the muscle (media exposure) to pull it off. We’ve been recovering from that strategy since Rosales lost, I think.

            I dare say that lack of internal criticism and accountability has done the opposition more harm than good. For all the talk about how staying too long in power is undesirable, Julio Borges has been National Coordinator of PJ since 2000, Ramos Allup has been Secretary General of AD since 2000. For all the talk about transparency I’ve yet to see MUD denounce someone in their own ranks for corruption. For all the talk about electoral fairness, the MUD electoral commission of the primaries failed to properly answer any of the challenges filed by pre-candidates. And so on and so forth.

            And finally… Waht’s up with this fight to death without force? Do you mean that the opposition should put itself at risk of death unilaterally? Or do you propose they die tweeting and sending anti-maduristas BB pin messages?

          • excuse me Pilar but I find valid the question “where do you live?”, would you please anwer that?, say continent or country, not you specific address.

          • It would be crazy and suicidal to shoot it out with militias armed with AK’s. This government will end when they start shooting at each other. I’m not sure what happens after that, but it won’t be pretty. This will occur when and if there is nothing left to steal.
            Que trajedia!

          • @J. Navarro
            Exactly! And then people say anarchists are out of touch with reality. The only rational approach to voting for the oppo, or really, for voting alltogether, is being acutely aware that one is always choosing the least of two evils. The incentives that the political game subjects people to are so inherently perverse that one has to be delusional to be *positively for* a particular candidate or another. And it’s in extremely polarized situations like Venezuela’s when it’s most important to rememeber what the whole fight-for-controlling-the-state is really all about, lest the Orwellian diablo takes possesion of ourselves as much as those we perceive as in need of exorcism.

        • Kepler, chose your words wisely. I have met many of the old diehards. You have no idea what they went through. And you suggest we should all become like the “new” Cuban Democrats a.k.a. Joe Garcia? I also personally know the former chief of mission James Cason. A very good friend. Met him in Venezuela back in the 70s. You have no idea. Blame the old Cuban guard, yeah right.

  4. These posters are not instruments of persuasion, but mandalas meant for a minority of extremists who need to whip up their hatred to a froth before taking violent action.

  5. Ironic, isn’t it, that the regime that brought regular blackouts, food shortages and a ridiculous increase of violence accuses the opposition it wants to take away the light, food and peace.

    Maybe a similar campaign, only with Maduro, Cabello and, say, one of the Castro brothers would hit a nerve? Especially if you put the statements in past tense. Ah, sweet dreams …

  6. That is totally f*** up. And so retro, as in 1800s. Strikes me as just another shot in the foot for chavismo, at least insofar as their international standing is concerned widespread knowledge of this ain’t gonna help them none. Not surprised it’s an “anonymous” job.

    Anyone know how to get one of those posters? Great decoration for a college dorm room…

  7. I wonder if in todays era of intense and ultra sophisticated media saturation most ordinary people can really get all flustered and excited about the message given in a poster !! as RN put it , its not a vehicle of persuasion , a smiling face of Maduro or Capriles on a poster isnt going to convince anyone (not already convinced) about the merits of their politics or persons. Nor is it likely to make people passionate about what the poster suggests or proposes . Im always surprised about how much money and effort is put in papering the streets with endelssly repeated political posters. You have to be pretty dumb and primitive to become swayed by what a poster says. Its the dumbest kind of propaganda. you can admire it as communicational art or find its message agreeable because it reflects your already existing opinions , but is effect on the mind is actually very weak and uninspiring . The poster commented in this blog is interesting because of what it reveals of the mind those that had it made. mindless people who think people are so dumb and credulous that they are going to be impacted by the way it attacks certain public figures , like painting a moustache on a picture of their faces. how childish can you get.!! but otherwise its just an example how human beings like to manufacture things almost inmmediately bound for the trash can !!

    • Do you think people are now more sophisticated now than when they stopped being hunter-gatherers?
      Heinrich Böll had a nice story in Ansichten eines Clowns. The protagonist was examining the posters of the different parties and he started to philosophize about the depth of election posters such as
      “SPD is the party” or “VOTE CDU” in post-WW2 Germany.

      • Before seeing the first poster of a candidate the average person will have been exposed to many many different media images of him/her (tv, radio, papers etc) and or to its name associated with a particular political movement , The poster hence will lack any element of surprise and its appeal compared to that offered by other vehicles of propaganda will be minimal . Boll is man of rich overblown literary imagination and will preferentially use the oddest object to show off his virtuosity in extracting from such odd or abject object a text endowed with literary interest .

    • I had the same opinion, but have since changed it. The purpose is not to convince anyone, but twofold – the first one is to attract attention. Seeing a lovely (or not so lovely) poster of a candidate won’t make you vote for them, but it may prompt you to take an interest in them, see them give a speech, inquire about their ideas and whatnot. Unlike the poster, those can convince you.

      The second purpose is subconscious. You may vote for the candidate with the loveliest poster not because the poster convinced you that person is a good candidate, but rather because you feel good about him/her/it. Even if you don’t know why you’re still more likely to vote for them, which is all they need.

      The first one works mostly with educated and/or intelligent people who are also interested in the message, the second works for everybody (not everybody else, but everybody).

      • This is so primitive it doesn’t even look like a political poster. It looks like an ad for a movie. Which makes me think it appeals to children. I agree with Bill Bass – the BULK of the chavista public is child-like in their political leanings, their response is emotional, and the leadership exploits that to the full.

        • Political propaganda has taken too many habits from commercial publicity, for my taste. Using that as reference, the quality of the poster reminds me of matacalor commercials, and venezuelan shoes commercials.

      • I’ve yet to meet anyone (or know of anyone) who would say ‘ I will vote for so and so because of this nice poster carrying his image/name’. Certainly the candidates endlessly repeated image and name ( on tv , on the radio , on the press, on thousand of repeated posters ) will make the candidate more familiar which may work in his favour . But there are so many competing posters that people become desensitized to them and simply ignore their existence. (as probably happens to many tv advertisements) . Nice posters are for collecting and the rest for the trash can .

        • There was a study done once that showed that people who claim to “ignore” commercial advertising are actually more affected by it than those that actually pay attention to it.

          • I don’t have a link. I think I recall reading this over twenty five years ago. I believe the phenomenon has been studied pretty heavily, so I don’t have cause to doubt it.

            Sorry, I don’t recognize your link. Some TV show, I have never heard of.

          • The thing Roy is you get bombarded with so many adverts of every kind , selling a vast array of competing products that you ‘turn off’ or phocus your attention on something else. In time Ive developed a kind of rejection for most propaganda , specially govt propaganda, now matter how splashily served or delivered . The more splashy the more repugnant !!. I know of experiments which show how people unconsciously are induced to buy certain products simply from hearing some jingle time and again . But Im not sure that choosing a political candidate in a country so deeply polarized as our own is going to depend on any jingle or poster , that’s very hard to believe !!Selling a candidate is not like selling tooth paste !!

          • Bill,

            I know that for the readers and commenters on this blog, it is hard to comprehend. However, the truth is that most people put about as much thought into electing their leaders as they put into selecting their toothpaste.

          • As a means of eliminating the stupidity of voting for a specific candidate without understanding what they stand for, ballots should consist of multiple choice questions. Your answers would automatically pick the candidate with the most similar viewpoints. If your answers are way off without a close match, your vote is invalidated.

  8. This will never work with venezuelans. One milisecond after seing this, they ask themselves: Well, Maduro, why are you letting them? ¿No y que eres el Comandante Supremo de Las Fuerzas Armadas de la Patria? Dale pues, wuón!

  9. 1984 comes to mind, and yet? Here is a link to an interesting article about the NSA and 1984.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/07/tolkien_v_orwell_who_understood_modern_surveillance_best.html
    This article also applies to the situation in Venezuela, the government omnipresent but definitively not omniscient. The Hobbits are grinding the Bolivarian machine. Among others they have booked and purchased all planes tickets up to at least the new year and some say until next June. I know,for a change of return date I am stranded in Asia, unable to get back home. I should be very annoyed at the least. but the mere thought to know that this hidden force is gnawing at Sauron day after day is sure worth all my trouble. The economic war that Maduro denounces is real, oh yes it exists, only it is the Venezuelans who have gone to war against the regime, not the oligarchs, burgueses and so on. These have left the country a long time ago.

  10. So they go to all the trouble of vanishing the opposition from all media and now, when you do not see them anywhere, they print their faces and put them everywhere?

    Seems stupid to me…

    • Good point, no such thing as bad publicity???

      But… This is so crass, maybe it will be followed by more sinister stuff, who knows….

  11. “This forum’s liberty to criticize the MUD and Capriles is used to weak the whole.
    Am I advocating a fanatic mind set in the opposition? Yes!”

    Fascinating. It’s like you see the aporrea crowd’s “abdication of their right to think” and envy them for it.

  12. This makes me want to pummel the beasts responsible for this campaign. It is so dirty that it echoes a desperation that is terrifying, how far are they willing to go? God damn it I’m sorry, but Venezuela needs a deep, deep purge of these new political-bureaucratic classes. How can you run a government where hate against your fellow citizen is encouraged? They are recreating the Soviet persecution of Trotsky, or more accurately in this scenario, let us think of what became of Goldstein in 1984.
    I am 20 years old, and the impotence I feel not being able to do anything for my country while these ignorant, imbecile and so-called revolutionary politicians destroy it is beyond enraging. Coño de la madre, in what situation will the country be when it is my turn to inherit it? Will I be able to rebuild it alongside the fellow countrymen/women of my generation? Where does the downward spiral end? Will the damage be so severe that my grandchildren will still have to fight off one of the world’s highest violence and corruption rates? ESTOY HARTO. Revolucionarios, you have failed and when you come down, los estaré esperando en la bajadita.
    The reality is that the clock is ticking. And my generation will not forgive this. History does not forgive, neither shall we. I will delude myself into thinking that high-ranking Chavistas are reading this, only so that I can tell them that they will pay for their crimes of treason against Venezuela and all Venezuelans. Enjoy it while it lasts, for you will either sink with the ship or you will be swallowed by the sea.

  13. This poster makes a lot of sense if you think about it this way . The regime is obsessed with achieving the indefinite monopolization of absolute power which in a democracy (such as everyone in our time pays blind tribute to ) means that you must face the dreadful possibility that some day the dissenters will vote you out of power. So you must crush dissent , dash all possibilities it may have to vote you out of power.. To do this you must use every means at your disposal to criminalize dissent which in turn requires the regime to demonize dissent , to engage in an elaborate and theatrical process to vilify dissent . This poster is an histrionized effort at vilifying the three people that emvody dissent for the mayority of Venezuelans !! It is crass and a bit puerile , but so are the people within the regime which monopolize power !!

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