Photo: benelliget.blogspot.com

For as long as chavismo has been in power, people in the opposition have been denouncing its “totalitarianism.” The word, I suppose, sounds to people like a broad synonym of “dictatorship,” though maybe stronger. People who really, really hated chavismo called it “totalitarian” without much thought about what they were actually saying. I beseeched them to stop.

Why?

Because survivors of the 20th century totalitarian catastrophes wouldn’t recognize their experience in the two-bit tropical autocracy Hugo Chávez built. Talk to a Russian mother marched off to a gulag for 20 years’ hard labor after her second grader denounced her to a schoolteacher for rolling her eyes at something Stalin had said on the radio, and the idea that Venezuela was experiencing “the same thing” would seem baffling and false to her, like a left-wing Spaniard sounds to us when he says life under Rajoy was just as bad for him as life under Maduro is for us.

I’d say a survivor of the Khmer Rouge’s S21 Prison would find our claims equally absurd, but that would be deceptive — there were virtually no survivors at S21. The order was to torture everyone to death.

The scale of the crimes committed by totalitarian dictatorships should make it clear that the word doesn’t mean “dictatorship, only more so.” It’s something different, and far more monstrous. Totalitarianism is, thank the Lord, rare. It’s only happened a few times in human history. Dictators are common. True totalitarians are rare.

Totalitarianism is, thank the Lord, rare. It’s only happened a few times in human history. Dictators are common. True totalitarians are rare.

Totalitarian regimes do something normal dictators don’t try, because they don’t need it: they try to destroy every human bond, except for each individual’s bond with the state. In a totalitarian regime, you can’t have friends or intimates, you can’t have loyalty to your city or your baseball club or your family or, in fact, anyone other than The Leader. These regimes give themselves a mad, seemingly impossible goal: achieving total control of each individual from the inside. That is, their goal is not only to control your outward words and actions, but the deepest recesses of your soul. That’s the “total,” incidentally, it’s the one Hannah Arendt was getting at when she coined the word.

How do totalitarian regimes achieve this monstrous goal? There are a number of mechanisms, but the most important one is The Purge.

Purge, again, is a word that’s often abused. It means more than just “a series of arrests.” It means a series of arrests carried out for the purpose of getting those arrested to give up the names of the next set of targets. As an understanding of this dynamic spreads through the group being targeted, the conviction spreads that every social connection is dangerous because anyone you come into contact will be under extreme pressure to give you up if they themselves are arrested.

Arendt, as usual, puts this more clearly than I could hope to. The goal of ensuring nobody in the Soviet Union could have any kind of bond with anyone else, she writes, “was achieved by the skillful use of repeated purges.”

In order to destroy all social and family ties, the purges are conducted in such a way as to threaten with the same fate the defendant and all his ordinary relations, from mere acquaintances up to his closest friends and relatives. The consequence of the simple and ingenious device of “guilt by association” is that as soon as a man is accused, his former friends are transformed immediately into his bitterest enemies; in order to save their own skins, they volunteer information and rush in with denunciations to corroborate the nonexistent evidence against him; this obviously is the only way to prove their own trustworthiness. Retrospectively, they will try to prove that their acquaintance or friendship with the accused was only a pretext for spying on him and revealing him as a saboteur, a Trotskyite, a foreign spy, or a Fascist.

His former friends are transformed immediately into his bitterest enemies; in order to save their own skins, they volunteer information and rush in with denunciations to corroborate the nonexistent evidence against him.

Merit being “gauged by the number of your denunciations of close comrades,” it is obvious that the most elementary caution demands that one avoid all intimate contacts, if possible—not in order to prevent discovery of one’s secret thoughts, but rather to eliminate, in the almost certain case of future trouble, all persons who might have not only an ordinary cheap interest in your denunciation but an irresistible need to bring about your ruin simply because they are in danger of their own lives. In the last analysis, it has been through the development of this device to its farthest and most fantastic extremes that Bolshevik rulers have succeeded in creating an atomized and individualized society the like of which we have never seen before and which events or catastrophes alone would hardly have brought about.

It’s this passage that has been bouncing around my mind, as I read about the repeated waves of arrests Maduro’s Military Counterintelligence has been pursuing inside the Armed Forces. DGCIM prisons are, by all accounts, now bursting at the seams, with each new wave of arrests bringing interrogations that are then the occasion for new arrests and new interrogations, in a never-ending cycle. In other words, what we’re seeing inside the Armed Forces has all the hallmarks of a purge, a real purge — a totalitarian purge aimed at ensuring nobody inside the institution can form any kind of bond with anyone else, that all bonds of trust are only and exclusively with the state itself.

The purge is, at this point, confined to the Armed Forces only. It’s not a foregone conclusion that it will spill those boundaries and that similar tactics will begin to be used in the civilian world. But you’d be on thin ice betting against it. For the first time since 1999, I think we can say, without the fear of overstatement, that actual totalitarianism is a feature of the Venezuelan regime, at least with regard to its military.

To me, this is by far the single most worrying feature of a national reality positively overrun with worrying features.

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97 COMMENTS

  1. Quico, you’ve been doing this treadmill longer than I have and I respect you for it. However, I think your previous attempts to encourage us to stop using it were badly misguided. And I say this as someone who has tried to be a serious student of totalitarianism- and despotism in general (including less stringient “authoritarianism”) and who knew much of what you described here already.

    I think it very safe to say that Chavismo is totalitarian. Has been for a long, long time. After all, its chief ideological supports- Castro Cuba and the Soviet Union- were deeply emblematic cases of it (with Bolivar toeing the line awkwardly between democracy and dictatorship) The basic concepts of Chavismo were not merely about overthrowing the government and putting Hugo and Co on top (at least in theory). It was about utterly overturning the Government, Society, Economics, and more altogether and forging “21st Century Socialism.”

    And if you know the Marxist-Leninist definition of “Socialism” (Ie: A Proletarian Vanguard managing the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” and commanding absolute power in order to rearrainge society in order to pave the way for the classles society) the meaning is utterly totalitarian.

    Now, to be sure, you might point to how fat Hugo’s daughter managed to get umpteen millions of dollars ever so “coincidentally”, and the I Scratch Your Back You Scratch Mine pattern of bribery that would be recognizable in any “tin pot”, relatively apolitical dictatorship ranging from Baroque Spain to the PRI.

    But the thing is, similar levels of corruption, betrayal of the revolutionary ideal, etc. are still present in undeniable totalitarian dictatorships like North Korea or the Soviet Union (the latter of which saw a famous mutiny during the Brezhnev years to try and spark a NEW communist Revolution to overthrow Brezhnev and co).

    But even in its debased form, the metaphysics matter.

    A state- an ideology- founded on Marxist principles is predicated on the idea that Nothing is outside the purview of “The People”, and that “The People” are represented by a vanguard of a part of the Revolutionary Classes. Which gives Douchebag McBribey the ability to poke his nose into anywhere he is willing to try, from the church to the family to wherever (see: the excellent “The Lives of Others”, where a corrupt East German hack frames a state funded artist as a dissident and orders him surveyed in order to extract carnal favors from his girlfriend).

    And finally, it seems like you seem to step aside when you phrase it like this.

    “Because survivors of the 20th century totalitarian catastrophes wouldn’t recognize their experience in the two-bit tropical autocracy Hugo Chávez built. Talk to a Russian mother marched off to a gulag for 20 years’ hard labor after her second grader denounced her to a schoolteacher for rolling her eyes at something Stalin had said on the radio, and the idea that Venezuela was experiencing “the same thing” would seem baffling and false to her, like a left-wing Spaniard sounds to us when he says life under Rajoy was just as bad for him as life under Maduro is for us. ”

    The problem is that this seems to define Totalitarianism by the number of dead and writhing bodies it causes.

    This isn’t so. Some totalitarian states- particularly most of the Warsaw Pact Satellites- had much, Much lower death tolls than-say- the bog standard Authoritarians of the Guangxi Clinque or Suharto and sukarno. Fascist Italy- of my own parents’ legacy- had a lower death tole than the Kwantung Army.

    Now, what’s different?

    Not the fact that the State is necessarily using its power over all aspects of society to mass produce corpses at every oppertunity,but that it HAS that power. And COULD turn it on at any given second.

    • I think I am with Quico on this one. The purges occurring in the military have qualitative difference to the regime’s repression to date. The repression up till now has been a random hit-or-miss sort of thing for the average citizen. You could protest, complain, and disparage the regime and your chances of actually being punished, while non-zero, were not that great.

      This is a more systematic and calculated reign of terror. It deserves to be distinguished from what we have seen up till now.

      • @Roy Interesting, and thanks. Admittedly I don’t have the kind of on the ground knowledge Qucio, most CC writers, or MRubio or Canucklehead have. So I’ll defer to you.

        But I think the point remains: Chavismo was a totalitarian ideology from its inception, even if the government form it took might not have lived up (or down) to its pretenses or the usual, iconic horror stories of totalitarianism.

    • “And if you know the Marxist-Leninist definition of ‘Socialism’ (Ie: A Proletarian Vanguard managing the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ and commanding absolute power in order to rearrainge society in order to pave the way for the classles society) the meaning is utterly totalitarian.”

      Funny* that Toro never mentioned socialism or marxism; he rarely does. No leftist wants to admit that every form of marxism creates totalitarianism and dictatorship by design (and they hate the empirical evidence) and it offers no exit, also by design.

      • @Davy Jones

        I agree with everything up to the last bit, as someone who has spent too much time studying Marxism.

        Though I am inclined to give Quico slack; while I disagree with him on much he is a fighter, and I do think a robust, strong democratic left is important for freedom.

        But….

        “and it offers no exit, also by design.”

        Actually, this isn’t true.

        Marx and Engels didn’t even get that far. They designed the idea of a “Dictatoship of the Proletariat” that would make tyrannical inroads into all aspects of society, that is true. And very much by design.

        But they didn’t intend it to last indefinitely. Thing is, they didn’t even *design* that far ahead, explaining exactly how this dictatorship of the Proletariat.

        They didn’t design any emergency escape hatched, and they didn’t even design an intended exit to “classless utopia” on the other side, not out of malice or a desire for 1984 style stuff, but because they were just too *damn lazy* to project that far. With Marx washing his hands of the matter by saying that he didn’t want to try and give cooking instructions to the chiefs of the future (in spite of the entire Marxist Dialectic being based on having the exact knowledge of the future). Maybe because they just believed Socialism would so warp human nature that it would render attempts to predict it by those before the transition futile. But that runs up against the whole “Marxist Dialectic can tell history” thing.

        YMMV, but I almost- almost- find this worse. That the entire “scientific” thing didn’t get that far.

        • Thank you for detailing some of their despicable history — leftists (like Toro) refuse to do so.

          “But….
          ‘and it offers no exit, also by design.’
          Actually, this isn’t true.
          Marx and Engels didn’t even get that far…
          But they didn’t intend it to last indefinitely.”

          We know them (and their intent) by their works.

          Elitism inherently becomes self-perpetuating. Advocating the creation of an empowered elite class is mutually exclusive of a classless society — or any other exit. I’d be naive to assume Marx/Engels didn’t realize that, but history records that all their followers absolutely knew they were creating a perpetual elite class. Remember that the phrase “perpetual revolution” pertained to the elite phase (the only phase) of practical marxism.

  2. Turtles—I think your last paragraph proves the point Francisco is making. Be it because those in power are just not that “sick and twisted” (my precise psychology term), do not feel threatened or have some marginal amount of self confidence. They have not taken that next step on a level that few in history have.

    • No worries, I understood who you meant.

      And I agree with the point Quico is making, particularly now. I do however think that the Chavista experiment should have been identified as totalitarian by him long before, not necessarily because of the messianic carnage but because of the ideological and philosophical underpinnings.

    • Yeah, Quico is on point this time.

      I think it would be good to take a look at Solzhenitsyn and the Gulag Archipalego in that it was not that the usual leftist excuse that “communism is fine and it was that evil Stalin who f*#ked this all up”. No this was the logical conclusion of communism, which began with Lenin and was a piece of shit from day one…Obviously, this can snap at any day and totalitarianism can spread throughout the entire social body. There are enough complicit pathetic douchebags who live in fear and would be perfect commies.

      See Maduro with all his Stalinesque fashion, well obvious these c*&ts are COMMUNIST TOTALITARIANS

      Man, would love to hear from Judy Lynn about now

      BTW check out Jordan Peterson-besides slamming postmodernism/marxism/feminism/identity politics, he talks a lot about the psychology of totalitarianism. Especially the Solzhenitsyn.

      • He’s not on point this time either.

        He’s been judging whether chavismo is totalitarian by early and mid 20th century standards. Chavismo is tightening the screws in the military because they can get away with it. They can’t do the same with the general public because it’s the 21st century and everybody has a camera and a Twitter account, not because they don’t want to.

        Socialism, at its core, is always totalitarian because you can’t convince people to abide by its crap indefinitely. Socialist enterprises must always coerce people into its schemes. At first, they will lure you into it by offering goodies or, better yet, offering to fuck those that are better than you. Then, when the money runs out or there’s nobody better than you left, they’ll round you up like a scrapyard dog. Nowadays they won’t send you to a Gulag, but they will put every obstacle they can if you are among the pesky ones that insist on being free.

        It’s been the same scheme over and over again by all the flavours of Marxism/Socialism, no matter if they fight each other pretending to be different (Communism vs Fascism/Nazism). They are all the same, just different gangs fighting for the same clientele.

  3. My wife’s family is split apart, because half are still loyal to Chavismo. So split, in fact, that many left the country.

    Doesn’t that fit into your definition of Totalitarian?

    That those loyal to Chavismo are willing to starve? Like loyal Nazis doing their duty, abandoning all thoughts of self-worth, and killing children?

    In fact, the Chavistas are worse. At least the Nazis were well-fed.

    • @Ira “My wife’s family is split apart, because half are still loyal to Chavismo. So split, in fact, that many left the country.

      Doesn’t that fit into your definition of Totalitarian?”

      I would say No.

      If only because totalitarianism is not the only ideological force that can split a family. I mean, several families were torn apart by things like the American Civil War and the Irish Revolution. But one can not effectively call the Union, Confederacy, Britain, or Sinn Fein totalitarian.

      I would say Chavismo is totalitarian, and is dividing families like yours because it is totalitarian. But it is not totalitarian because it splits families.

      My two cents

  4. Another great explanatory piece by Francisco , the kind I so enjoy , the regime has some totalitarian features , in its attempt to control the life of individuals so they become pure stooges of the regime and abandon all other dimensions of a normal life , but by and large whatever its totalitarian pretentions its too chaotic , inept and confused to really achieve anything like a full totalitarian control over peoples lives . The ideology might aspire to such aim , but the flesh is weak and there are deeply rooted cultural dispositions that make us poor material for the fabrication of fully totalitarian mentalities ……., its like the kind of catholicism that has prospered in Venezuela , much more relaxed and casual than in other places, nothing like the one you might find in other more rigurously pious catholic countries !! Can you imagine for example Castro or Lenin joining the Sai baba hindustani cult , or the kind of absolutely bourgeois affluent life style of the enchufados in a truly totalitarian communist state …..?

    • Yes, Bill Bass, you are on the mark as usual.

      I would add to your case, Venezuela has NOT been through a bloody war or revolution as was the case in the former Soviet Union and Cuba. That makes a big difference. War organizes an entire society within a hierarchical structure, and Russia went through the two bloodiest wars in human history and tens of millions paid the ultimate price.

      In Venezeula chaos is the rule of the day, and it has always been this way. The question is if there are enough ideologues (hard Chavistas, communist colectivos, hezbolah) who can enforce their totalitarian version of society onto the rest of us. I hope our own “laid back” disorganized society will inhibit totalitarianism, but the jury is still out…

      I think Maduro and clan cannot govern, they are in far too deep, and they have shot themselves in the foot (and no hay antibioticos)…Stalin benefited from an economic boom post WWII and had a disciplined industrious society united behind a war effort that involved EVERYBODY!!!! This is not the case in Venezuela.

    • Agreed about the majority of the security apparatus. However, Quico is referring to the purges taking place in the military. These are are being organized by the Cubans. At present, the regime does not have confidence in the loyalty of the FANB. These purges are designed to establish “total” control of the military.

  5. This is not to defend Chavismo in anyway but the distinction should be made. Yes, a hate law was recently enacted by an illegitimate body but up to this point it’s actual enforcement has been relatively rare. The AN is still allowed to convene (mostly), announce investigations into the regime practices and question/deny the legitimacy of elections. Opposition members travel outside the country to denounce the regime and return.

    Seems to me if we look at this through the prism of Isaiah Berlin’s positive vs negative construct, the regime is most destructive of people’s lives in a manner similar to that of negative freedom or inaction of the State. Which is to say that is because of the regime ardent insistence on keeping the economic policies entact that is causing the most harm not because of their full on application of repression or positive action (freedom).

    • @waltz An interesting idea, but I am not sure I agree on the overall.

      “This is not to defend Chavismo in anyway but the distinction should be made.”

      I agree.

      ” Yes, a hate law was recently enacted by an illegitimate body but up to this point it’s actual enforcement has been relatively rare. ”

      I remember that law. It was a self-contradictory dumpster fire that was illegitimate on its face because it criminalized prejudice against political movements, but yet did not think Fascism was one.

      But I would argue this is not necessarily a point against the label of Chavismo and the current government as totalitarian. Indeed I’d lean the other way: after all, totalitarian states do not have the rule of law. The governing party can and will mold, shape, invent, and ignore the law as is convenient. We see this with things like Stalin’s purge of his closest associates’ wives in sptie of it being illegal even in the dismal shape of Communist legality. Selective, abusive enforcement of the laws is a hallmark.

      And given how the “hate law” is self-criminalizing, it could be nothing But self-criminalizing.

      “The AN is still allowed to convene (mostly), announce investigations into the regime practices and question/deny the legitimacy of elections. Opposition members travel outside the country to denounce the regime and return.”

      Indeed, and I would say these are much, Much stronger points against the regime being totalitarian. Though as you point out, they have selectively enforced that and are if anything beginning to crack down on it further. I get the feeling this is closer t being the gradual sinking of the talons in, gradually narowing the scope for legitimate political action until there is none outside the party (in the same way that the Bolsheviks did not immediately disband the SRs). But I confess this is a much weaker claim.

      “Seems to me if we look at this through the prism of Isaiah Berlin’s positive vs negative construct, the regime is most destructive of people’s lives in a manner similar to that of negative freedom or inaction of the State. Which is to say that is because of the regime ardent insistence on keeping the economic policies entact that is causing the most harm not because of their full on application of repression or positive action (freedom).”

      This raises the issue of: How do we define the inaction of the state? Is it truly cases where the state has had no effect, or where the inaction is a cautiously created effect?

      Put it this way. Not doing something is, of course, inaction. This can extend to the decision to not deliver any food whatsoever to villages “blacklisted”- whether officially or unofficially- in the regime”s rationng system. Something that would not exist without the prior action of the state, but which it can also selectively act or not act within the framework of.

      This was a large chunk of how the Holodomor happened( Not all ,but a lot). Stalin and his administration not acting after making the population reliant on the action (and allowance) of said admin for their food supplies. Now is this really an example of the state being destructive through negative action?

      I’d argue no.

      I think to really get the full scope of the regime’s culpability and its nature,we’d need to ask ourselves: “What would Venezuela be like without Chavismo?” What would its laws, its social order, its social organizations, and its economy look like? And how did that ideology and its regime shape it?

      On this front I’ll defer to people with actual in country knowledge. But the impression I get is that most of the damage in country was caused BY the actions of the regime. Even the damage done by its (on the surface) inaction, like the Collectivo militias running riot. After all, these organizations would have never been the size or power they are now without the regime’s sponsorship. It “fed” them, turned them loose, and did not reign them in.

      That strikes me as action, even if it is partially through selective inaction.

      Likewise the Imposition of said dysfunctional economic policies and the steadfast refusal to change them. And so on.

      That takes a special kind of screwed up.

      “Normal” authoritarian despots like Santa Ana could not have given the slightest fig about whether or not there were local bandits extorting this or that civilian, or if the crops failed in places like Guadalajara. It took a regime with totalitarian aspirations to not only cared, but *adjust things so that these problems would be locked in.*

      Anyway, that’s my gut feeling. But I certainly would not mistake you for a defender of Chavismo.

      Regards!

      • Starting with “paragraph” 10.

        “cautiously created effect”. I am of the impression that Chavez was an arrogant demagogue with little direction, adapting and improvising as his “mood” allowed. His lone goal to surrounded by yes men and hearing the roar of his fans. This made him easily manipulated by the Cubans.

        So my contention would be that he was unable/unwilling to see the outcome of his policies, never have to take note of the consequences and never adjust. In this sense the “ardent insistence” of continuing those policies is indeed, I would argue, an apt comparison to Berlin’ negative action (freedom).

        Try to respond further later, can only type so much on the phone.

  6. Quico’s point, it could be worse and there is reason to believe it may get worse is well taken and it is a pleasure to read the thoughtful on-topic responses without the digressions. Two thoughts about Quico’s words. First, his view about the the extent of the repression in the military is the first time I have read that it is so widespread. Previously I had thought it was more limited. Second, his concern that totaltarianism is in the offing is consistent with reporting in a recent article in The Atlantic. There the argument is that Maduro et al are forced to maintain power because there is no safe haven. It makes the interesting point that Cuba is not a haven because losing Venezuela and its oil would be devastating to Communism in Cuba so that its leaders would insist on Maduro falling on his sword in Venezuela. I think Quico’s points are well taken.

        • I think they had one too many episodes of TDS versus anti-TDS. I give the CC blog managers credit for not having a thin skin. Can you imagine the fun if Aporrea or “Venezuela Analysis” allowed comments!?

          • I remember when Venezuelanalysis HAD comments.

            They really did, and that didn’t last too long!

        • Comments sections generally attract gangs of insane older white men and paid propagandists and mischief makers, once they are discovered by a wider audience, like this one. Those comments detract from the hard work of the authors by following good work with a shit show of ignoramuses, and they can be a liability if they are not properly monitored.

          Given the choice of showcasing freakish conspiracy theorists, bigotry, misogyny, extreme political causes, the drunk, the delusional, the sociopathic, the narcissistic and the obsessive compulsive (or all of that in one package), and alienating contributors whose preference is not to willingly submit to being insulted by anonymous people, – given that option- or hoping people will not need to comment, just appreciate the work, and perhaps share and discuss it with those around them, as in the Olden Days of print and conversation- some places opt for the latter, rather than the former.

          • @Canucklehead

            “Comments sections generally attract gangs of insane older white men and paid propagandists and mischief makers, once they are discovered by a wider audience, like this one.”

            Insane older white men, you say? Mischief makers? Paid propagandists?

            I don’t know about you, but all three of those descriptions sound like they fit…

            Joseph Goebbels of Der Angriff.

            Walter Duranty of the NYT (and Stalin’s board).

            Most of the people who were in CNN’s Baghdad Bureau under Saddam Hussein.

            Stalin, Lenin, and Bukharin, when they created Iskra, Pravada, and a number of others (and frankly both before and After the act of creation).

            And of course Ben Rhodes, who abused the trust of the journalists who came to them and mocked it for that.

            That’s a funny thing, it’s almost like the VERY same attack you launch about comments sections can be charged against “robust”, “established” newspapers and other news organizations.

            Why it’s almost as propagandists, mischief makers, and the insane among their ranks are attracted to some mediums of interaction no matter what, because they serve similar purposes! Whether they be the Editor’s Board of the Times or the comments section of an indie blog.

            But you apparently don’t think about that.

            Because your hubris and unwarranted sense of superiority corrode you.

            You think you are better than us because you read “respectable” “professional” sources. But this is belied by your incompetence in debate and your reliance on the old logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority.

            The irony is that for someone who lauds established mediums of media so, you don’t seem to know that much about it.

            “Those comments detract from the hard work of the authors by following good work with a shit show of ignoramuses, and they can be a liability if they are not properly monitored. ”

            I agree.

            But the thing is: comments can improve the work, by detracting from the $hit show of inane, biased, paid propagandists who have a letterhead.

            Can you imagine what things would be like if Der Angriff had a comments section that Jews and Roma could post freely on?

            Can you imagine for a minute how much easier it would be to work for Chinese freedom if Xinhua and their ilk had a comments policy that did not toe the party line?

            Ah, but you don’t seem to have CONSIDERED that.

            Because apparnetly in your elitist, snooty view iti s always and only a one way street.

            “Given the choice of showcasing freakish conspiracy theorists, bigotry, misogyny, extreme political causes, the drunk, the delusional, the sociopathic, the narcissistic and the obsessive compulsive (or all of that in one package), and alienating contributors whose preference is not to willingly submit to being insulted by anonymous people, ”

            Imagine how poor Print Journalism would be if Emile Zola- that titan of the intellectual left and pioneer of modern journalism- had let these things dissuade him at the height of the Dreyfuss Affair!

            And the thing is, Dreyfuss faced those people more often than not IN THE FLESH, where the anonymous crowds baying were in eye sight and walking distance.

            Much safer than this.

            The truth is, free discourse is an integral part of human advancement and human freedom. Unfortunately, that freedom by definition extends to the freedom to misuse and abuse that freedom.

            That does not mean it should be stifled.

            If you do not understand this, than your stated appreciation for “professional, independent journalism” is empty posturing that can be completely discarded.

            ” given that option- or hoping people will not need to comment, just appreciate the work, and perhaps share and discuss it with those around them, as in the Olden Days of print and conversation- some places opt for the latter, rather than the former.”

            Again, you say this.

            But apparently you have No F*CKING IDEA what the “olden days of Print and conversation” were really, Really like.

            You don’t know your Zola.

            You don’t know your Muckrakers.

            You haven’t studied the gutter press of Golden Age Amsterdam or “The City” of London,ofTom Paine or Murrow or old Libel Laws.

            I don’t know what you think on the matter and I’m almost past caring, but I will say it again:

            What Zola had to put up with in a single, immortalized walk during the “olden days of print and conversation” trumps (if you will excuse the pun) everything most bloggers or contemporary journalists will have to put up with in their entire lives.

          • Or to put it more simply Turtler, I find that what cannuck does is quite similar to what liberals are famous for doing, accusing those around them of doing exactly what they themselves do.

          • @MRubio “Or to put it more simply Turtler, I find that what cannuck does is quite similar to what liberals are famous for doing, accusing those around them of doing exactly what they themselves do.”

            Eh, I’d say depends on the liberal. I probably qualify as (and partially identify as) a Classical Liberal, for one (or a “Conservative, Market Liberal”).

            And even beyond that, well…Zola was certainly more to the left than I am. And Orwell moreso than him. And yet both were men of great courage and honesty.

            I have my caveats with them, of course. But they wouldn’t have fallen into this kind of indefensible “Established Journalism as Cargo Cult” nonsense.

          • I’m sorry Turtler. It is unreadable. But you illustrate my point. The other thing that news organizations provide are experienced editors. They help people get their point across effectively. Some may call that blind adherence to authority. Others might call editors an effective tool to help communicate information.

          • “I’m sorry Turtler. It is unreadable.”

            No, it’s not.

            You may not want to read it, but it is quite readable. As demonstrated by how it was read by many others. And you found it possible enough to read (re: the Holodomor in another thread).

            You might not WANT to read it, but that doesn’t make it unreadable.

            “But you illustrate my point. ”

            Not as much as you do mine.

            “The other thing that news organizations provide are experienced editors.”

            In theory.

            And in theory, 21st century socialism works.

            Many experienced news organizations still do. But if you bothered examining them with the critical eye you give to everyone else, you’d notice:

            A: Experience does not mean quality.

            and

            B:Standards have been dropping for a LONG Time. This was what Rhodes meant when he mocked the news staff as “literally” knowing nothing.

            This leads to c0ck-ups like this. Often incredibly basic.

            https://i1.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-02-at-12.47.14-PM.png?w=546

            “They help people get their point across effectively. Some may call that blind adherence to authority. Others might call editors an effective tool to help communicate information.”

            Firstly: A good editor-writer relationship should not be blind adherence to authority. It should be a collaboration between the two sides.

            And secondly: “effectiveness” in “getting a point across” is not a substitute for ACCURACY.

            A megaphone is an effective tool at getting your point across, but that doesn’t mean what you shout through it is true. It doesn’t even mean it is worth hearing.

            Likewise with that infograph. It gets the point across very well. It even has some genuine merit. But it is undercut by a stupid error that apparently skipped past all the “experienced editors” but not through the collective intelligence of the internet’s $hitposters.

            That’s the mistake you make, Canucklehead.

            You assume that having more and higher gloss tools automatically means an organization will use them Better and More Honestly.

            NEITHER is true.

          • The Atlantic blocked a comment of mine for having the effrontery to include two links in my comment. Apparently The Atlantic has a problem with well-documented statements. (Two links because the comment had to do with oil and with Norway’s economy.)

            At the time, The Atlantic used Disqus for its commenting software. Knowing how the idiot Disqus commenting software works, I resubmitted the comment, written slightly differently and with only one link. That usually works with Disqus. That got blocked, also.

            When I later tried to comment on other threads, I found out The Atlantic had blocked me entirely.

            My comment had nothing whatsoever to do with, in Canucklehead’s words, “freakish conspiracy theorists, bigotry, misogyny, extreme political causes, the drunk, the delusional, the sociopathic, the narcissistic and the obsessive compulsive.” It was a well-documented comment on Norway’s economy. (Unless you consider it “obsessive compulsive” to document statements one makes. 🙂 )

            On two occasions I was able to communicate with blog writers(not The Atlantic) regarding comments of mine that Disqus had blocked. In both instances, the blog writers, upon reviewing my comment, told me they had no idea why my comment was blocked, as my comment was well-written and pertinent to the thread topic. One blog writer informed me she was very frustrated with Disqus.

            The Atlantic used commenting software that has proven to be rather dysfunctional. As such, I have no sympathy whatsoever with The Atlantic’s decision to close off comments, given that The Atlantic blocked my well-documented comment on the Norwegian economy, and proceeded to block me entirely.

      • I liked your article on Atlantic. It showed up on my cell phone feed a few days ago since they have tagged me with “Venezuela”. I was surprised you had not posted the same article on your blog, or at least linked to it.

  7. This is a purge too:
    Venezuela is actually as dangerous as the planet of the Engineers in Prometheus 2.
    All tropical countries are like that. Read Horacio Quiroga. He knew.
    That means Tropical Stalin can kill off millions of people without a stain of blood on his hands by just building a database:
    A database that lists who has lost access to the spaceship/station and thus must remain outside with just their space suits and single oxygen tank, in a planet where flesh devouring alien life-forms are crouched behind blade of grass.
    Now the tanks of millions of people are running out of oxygen, but somehow Tropical Stalin is not so bad, because his hands are clean, because there was no purge?
    That database has been the purge from day one.

  8. This supports a pie-in-the-sky possibility for the sixth republic: no armed forces or national guard, similar to Costa Rica. Now that we don’t need to defend against other countries we don’t need an Army, Navy or Air Force, and since we don’t need to guard against organized insurgent threats within our own borders, we don’t need a national guard. As crazy as it sounds, the elimination of these irredeemably corrupted institutions is starting to sound like a good idea.

    • @Pilkunnussija It’s an IDEA, and if men were angels (or at least in a favorable enough situation as Costa Rica were in) I think it would be worth considering. But then if men were angels no government would be needed, as Tom Jefferson is said to have detailed.

      Costa Rica and Haiti’s demilitarization happened under very auspicious and almost unknown-in-history circumstances. After some civil disruption that was relatively unbloody and did not leave this deep, brutal legacy of resentment, in a VERY safe part of the world in a very safe part of history under the defacto and increasingly dejure protection of my fellow Gringos due to Mr. Monroe’s Doctrine and the British Navy.

      And even then that’s contingent on not having enough existential threats from etiehr inside Something that is all but guarenteed NOT to happen. HEck, even after Pepe took over Costa Rica and disbanded the army he still faced an invasion from the Somozoas that could’ve overthrown him without US support, and Haiti is of course deeply corrupt even if it is getting better.

      No, I think Venezuela is just too important to do completely without means of defense.

      But I do figure some kind of “[email protected]”/DeChavisification process is needed after. Maybe to the point of putting a torch to these institutions, burning them to the ground, and rebuilding them. Sort of like what happened between the Wehrmacht’s surrender and the rise of a Federal Bundsheer in Germany.

      And given the ravages of the Collectivo gangs?

      I’ve written it before. I will write it again. I get the feeling that freedom and peace will have to be won with a metaphorical “strong sword arm.”

      I Pray to Almighty God that ‘m wrong.

  9. if we get the time I think we should (or better yet our “true believer” friend or the uneducated) to read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn “The Gulag Archipelago”- it takes quite a while to read. But that’s the best description of how Stalin set up his totaltarianism” state (USSR) – over 60 million people were “purged” under his evil eye. Al Least the most Mad Ernie and his associates can do about 30 million

  10. THIS (read below) is the result of tropical totalitarianism
    By Antonio Sánchez García
    Las babas del diablo, Evio Di Marzo in memoriam:
    Se han roto todos los diques espirituales que mantenían la cohesión identitaria de nuestra sociedad y parecemos una jauría de acorralados animales salvajes cuyos instintos de supervivencia han sido trastornados, convirtiendo a nuestros semejantes en miembros de una jauría y a todos nuestros adversarios en mortales enemigos
    http://www.noticierodigital.com/2018/06/antonio-sanchez-garcia-las-babas-del-diablo-evio-di-marzo-in-memoriam/

    Read it all: Garcia is telling the truth. Venezuelans have no links to one another as humans.

  11. Very simply: history does not repeat itself but we can use it to identify similar, sometimes persistent patterns and try to figure out how to stop them.

    I really recommend you to watch this video with a panel of historians talking talking about communism and other forms of totalitarian or proto totalitarian ideologies
    One of the guys talking there is Robert Service. You might also find a video of his talking about the 100 years of Leninism.

    https://youtu.be/ebBBPJ59KS8

    Bear in mind: noawadays we might find a new phenomenom: a China that is politically as communist and represive as ever but aggresively capitalist and able ultimately to finance Russia, which at the same time will try to intervene more in Spanish America, particularly now that the USA is in such a mess.

    I do not think totalitarism will spread through all shifts of society.
    You will able to have something like in China now and that will be enough for the mafias from China through Cuba to Moscow to cling to power.

    Please, at least watch the second half of that video.

    • Kepler,

      Thanks. It seems you get it.

      I know Communist evil more than anyone on this site. (I’m an old guy, just don’t remind me.)

      Hard to even write about it, but as I think you might understand, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Obama vs Trump vs Hillary vs Bush. It has everything to do with evil vs good.

      Yeah, evil. Cabello, Aissami, Maduro himself. They will kill, and they have killed and they will kill, and they are used to people shitting themselves before they are shot; they are used to blowing brains out so that it makes a bloody fing mess. They are used to having starving minions clean up the blood and the shit. I would like to apologize for being graphic, but my god, my god.

      Kepler, as you seem to know, this is what we are dealing with. Evil incarnate. Evil inchoate. Wolves at our throats.

      I might have said too much, but maybe it should be said. Castro, Chavez and leftist Latino politics is the nightmare you pray to wake up from. I know.

      And I am just one man that survived.

      Jots.

      Peace my brother

        • My nephew, US military officer, is all fd up now. He was involved with some operation about Boko Haram. I talked to him He can’t stop throwing up. I can’t stop throwing up. Let’s work together, please? You, none of you, know.

      • agree 100% that the leaders are evil incarnate. but the followers too share in it. I have seen at least two videos on the web of overturned lorries in Venezuela showing scores of looters going for the goods while overstepping driver who looks dead or dying. –not the slightest pity, guilt or shame, just greed

        by the way the looters did not look bony starved, not at all…

        • Those are the same brand of criminals that came from the slums, herded by the marxist castrocuban agents to burn Caracas to the ground during the february 27.

    • Thanks for link kepler, love discussion at 32 minutes where they tear apart Trotsky. I know Trotsky spent time in Mexico and there is actually a museum to Trotsky there… Great panel.

  12. The Chavista leadership is scared because the fiction of no accountability is starting to backfire re the decisions about crimes against humanity, pending Red Notices from INTERPOL (meaning no travel to those marked as such), frozen assets, and banks holding billions of outstanding loans who will sooner than later press for acceleration (pay it all right now) and the Chavistas will be outta road. Period. Maintaining power is now not just a matter of squeezing the last ingot from the cash cow, but keeping their personal liberty. Without totalitarianism and purges, especially within the power structure itself (military), Chavismo is doomed – and not just in Venezuela, but in the world it has mocked and and who’s injunctions it has long branded as “meddling.” I suspect the Chavista’s will soon know the meaning of the word.

    Quico’s article here and his previous one in The Atlantic make clear the present state of affairs per Maduro (no place to run) and Chavismo. The points raised are debatable only to those in full flight of reality. Soon, the denials and spin coming out of Miraflores per the actual state of affairs in Venezuela will be seen as what they are: insane lies. Once reality is accepted (as described), the question becomes: Since Chavismo will never give up voluntarily, as it means accountability at the least, and jail at worst, what were the specific conditions that routed other totalitarian regimes in Russia, Cambodia, etc.

    If those conditions can be made clear, perhaps the world can hasten the process.

  13. Tell this to the families of the extrajudicially killed. Take the thousands murdered and extrapolate with USSR under Stalin and get back

  14. The purge of military personnel if too ideologically pure in inspiration might boomerang later as a the development of a military movement that might want to purge the regime from its corrupt practices and leaders , which would lead to the toppling of Maduro and his current circle of power and the installation of a more rigidly jacobin circle of leaders . that would be even more dangerous for Maduro than a more selective purge where only those suspected of harbouring non loyal attachments are shaken down the tree of military command ……..!! what they want is people who can be counted upon to be personally loyal to the current regime leaders or lacking in any ambition/motivation to want to replace them, precisely because the regime ideological face is more rethorical than dogmatic or doctrinaire and mixed up with other elements which smack of the venal and opportunistic , it is important that the purge seek to produce not just ideological loyalty but loyalty to what the regime actually is behind its ideological mask.

  15. I can’t help but think that these purges have had had a tremendous effect on the military in terms of morale, military readiness, etc. Surely their operational capacity has been greatly diminished. Good news if an intervention were to eventually take place. Probably token resistance is all that could be expected from such a decimated military.

    • “Surely their operational capacity has been greatly diminished.”

      I think it’s safe to assume that when a guy’s suvival and freedom depend on how keenly he gauges the intentions of those immediately around him, his operational capacity as a soldier will be greatly diminished.

      There’s been lots of chatter on social media here about purges in the military. I mentioned the other day that the number of announced high-level military arrests has been noteworthy and, as always, there’s almost a lot going on below the surface that we don’t know about.

      Everything, inflation, lack of food, a total collapse of a functioning economy, and now this, all point to an end game developing. Wish I knew how long it will drag out.

  16. t
    DOUG LINDAMOOD
    Sun 6/3/2018, 18:27
    MRubio: re President Trump: I tried to reply to one of your comments yesterday but this contraption has decided
    to march to its own drummer. Therefore I’ll just place it on CC and trust you will get a chance to view it.
    I, and almost all other readers, value your priceless insights. It’s simply amazing…I gather you are a a redneck from below the Magnolia Curtain who eats insects from the water, i.e., crayfish etc., and yet you are an exemplary provider, caretaker and caregiver. What you do and where you do it takes unique amounts of courage, dedication and demonstrates deep and abiding love for your family. Even though you partake of that dubious Cajun cuisine.

    Regarding our president. I don’t know Donald Trump. I would be safe in saying none of the folks contributing to CC actually know the president. I’ve been privileged to work for many presidents. Simplest way to describe my associations with the presidents is that I was a highly paid errand boy. However, I do know someone whose opinion I value and he has had business dealings with Trump for several decades. When I asked him about the president he had this to say: 1) Biggest mistake people make when dealing with Donald Trump is they underestimate him. 2) The president is a pragmatist, emotionally he is neither liberal nor conservative.
    3) His greatest strength is problem solving. 4) His incredible successes in the business world is partly due to his unique ability to take advantage of his opponents emotions. To wit, his artistry is to misdirect the attention of others. Perfect example is his universally vilified use of Twitter. Those who would do him harm, his enemies (amongst them at least one Canadian on CC) are rabidly frothing at the mouth with rage over his Twitter comments. While the media and all other nattering nabobs of negativism are climbing walls about something so fatuous as Twitter comments, he goes about the real business of being President of the United States. So far his administration’s accomplishments have been enormous. Just two outstanding examples. Unemployment amongst African-Americans is the lowest it has ever been. Unemployment for women is the lowest it has been since 1953. He is about to take part in a meeting in Singapore that his administration has been working on for over a year. Just a day after his placing tariffs on aluminum and steel several corporations made immediate announcements of spending billions to reopen operations in Appalachia and my boyhood home the Mesabi range in northern Minnesota, two areas are at the very bottom of the prosperity ladder. Tariffs are not embargoes
    tariffs are only a tax. In spite of Trudeau’s whining, and the misguided rantings on CC, the ice-heads to our north will continue to receive America’s largess. Ninety percent of the Canadian population lives within 10 miles of the US border so they can be near the money breast where they have suckled since the cowards fleeing the Revolutionary war fled north. From Benedict Arnold to draft dodgers, and it’s said that Australia suffered by being settled by prisoners. Now that I think of it I wonder if Canada ever will try to be an independent country. They are still the Queen’s subjects and have her picture all over their money. As far as giving advice and advancing freedom Canada has a great track record. They can draw on their experiences in dealing with the Quebec sovereignty movement. Ah, Free Quebec, if you want to know where Maduro’s CNE got their model for rigged elections/referendums check what happened in Quebec as recently as 1995.

    Again, thank-you and all the others in Venezuela who give us an insight into the environment in the trenches.

    • Holy crow. I think you DO know Donald Trump sir, and you are just being modest.

      But I understand you’re not addressing me on your Contraption.

      • “But I understand you’re not addressing me on your Contraption.”

        A long time ago, that would be one of the things that “make you go hmm.”

        Come on C-head, why are you acting like a wannabe leftist journalist? NYT isn’t going to pick you up…but don’t feel bad. You can write! Really.

    • Ouch!! I like having the queens face on our money, means we can go anywhere, no visa necessary in most cases. Besides we don’t need a massive army you guys have enough nukes to blow us all up 7 times. We’re just peace keepers eh!

    • His incredible successes in the business world…

      He is a monster, and he is in charge of the United States of America. There is intelligence and there is mafia shrewdness, and we, we Americans, have the latter.

      We are blind. We are ignorant. We actually believe in the Bible but not long ago we were great. (Yes, I said the Bible.) Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, we were America then. The world looked up to us.

      Now we have this disgrace. TRUMP. I am glad I am an old man…I won’t much longer see my beautiful nation destroyed.

      Tears, not mine of course.

    • ASA058

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you appreciate my observations of day-to-day life here. While I realize my experiences here are very limited because I have given up traveling around the country as I once did, I’m sure that what I see is repeated on a daily basis throughout Venezuela, at least in the small towns. I’d like to experience more of the country, but it’s just too dangerous to travel now. If we can’t make it home for 3PM from a short roadtrip, we don’t make the trip.

      On other topics, we Cajuns are definitely not rednecks. North and South Louisiana might as well be two different states in different parts of the country because our religion, accents, cuisine, and heritage are like night and day.

      And we never eat crayfish…….they’re crawfish, or Cajun Lobsters as I call them. God I miss home cooking. As I’ve said before, even at its best, Venezuela was a gastronomic wasteland.

      Take care and thanks again.

      On Trump we agree. I supported Obama when he was elected and hoped he’d accomplish half the campaign claims he made believing the country would be better for it. He left me sorely disappointed.

      • @MRubio…are you saying nobody knows how to make boudin or andouille down there? I bet there is no zydeco either…..screw it I’m not going then! Lol

        • Tom, I commend you for spelling boudin correctly.

          I stopped at a country store in E. Texas years ago on my way back to Lafayette from Houston. They were advertising “hot boudain” links. I told the young lady it was spelled boudin, not boudain. She gave me a strange look as I asked for a link. After tasting it, I apologized and told her they were right, they were selling boudain. LOL

          Andouille sausage, boudin, crackings aka heart attack-in-a-bag, tasso, stuffed crabs, stuffed shrimp, fried flounder and on and on and on and on and on.

          If you’re flying through some day on I-10, get off at the Scott exit and head north a quarter mile to the Best Stop…..boudin and cracklings. If you have time for lunch, I recommend a plate lunch at Dwyer’s Cafe. Pork roast and gravy over rice, eggplant dressing, greenbean casserole, dinner rolls and iced tea. If you can do dinner, Riverside Inn won’t disappoint. The flounder is, well, out of this world. Seafood platter is a sure hit as well.

          God I miss eating.

          • I will remember that recommendation…I travel through Louisiana often to visit oil and gas customers. I think Scott is very near Lafayette if memory serves. Seems like I gain a couple pounds every time I go through there but jeez that food is GOOD! Good food and good people.

          • Scott, where the West begins!! LOL

            Yeah, Scott’s smashed up against Lafayette…..just to the west. Who do you call on down there and what kind of services? In another life I performed reservoir fluid (PVT) studies there on the Gulf coast and eventually for much of the rest of the world’s oilfields.

          • @MRubio…I call mostly on gas compression companies and some producers as well. Our equipment is used for remote monitoring of equipment. It let’s the compression company know their compressor just went down,suction pressures, dizcharge pressures etc. For oil producers we monitor pretty much everything on site. Wellheads, valved flowlines, tank batteries (fluid levels), pumps, flow meters, etc. Customers can monitor data and send commands remotely from smartphone, laptop,etc.

        • Ricardo, Best Stop is in Scott, Dwyer’s Cafe is on Jefferson Street in downtown Lafayette and Riverside is south of the airport off Hwy 90.

  17. MRubio
    I hope you see this. I tried calling another 6 or 8 times.
    If you can give Crystal’s mother my e-mail and have her e-mail me, it will make getting things to Crystal quicker and easier.
    The protein supplement went to Caracas by air Friday. The synthetic vitamin D should be in Miami for shipment this week. The probiotic is included in a larger shipment of things for you and Vicky’s circle.
    I am hoping if I can get the contact for the US doctor involved in Crystals care, I may be able to have him fax prescriptions to a Miami pharmacy. From there I will get them to Maria for shipment.
    We need to find a better way to communicate. My daughters send text messages to my e-mail and when I answer them, they receive it as a text. Can you send a text to my Yahoo e-mail? If it goes through, I will have the gateway in your address and it should allow me to answer.
    If you can open yahoo messenger (they also have a phone app) that is another option. I sent you an invite but it will probably be in your e-mail that you can’t access. Message me if you can download the app.
    FYI, I am involved in water projects in South Sudan. Communication between there and the US is a piece of cake compared to what you are experiencing.
    Socialism at its best.

  18. Again, going back to the Gulag Archipalego, but the Gulags only worked because they were run by complicit inmates. Same in the concentration camps (read “Mans Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl) where the “capos” were Jewish inmates who ratted on other Jews and enforced discipline in turn for favors by the Nazis.

    Key here, is that it is not a top-down that makes totalitarianism effective. It is that it is BOTH top-down and bottom-up.

    Here is a video by Jordan Peterson on Totalitarianism. He says we should NOT think of Totalitarianism as where we have these “innocent people” and their oppressors with omnipresent power above them…and “that all catastrophes are cascading from the top-down.” Rather “it is more like a holographic structure where the tyranny exists at all levels. It exists within the family, it exists within the mid level organizations [and on all the way up to the top].”

    So in understanding Totalitarianism it is not so much as understanding the purge itself, but how well Totalitarianism is spread throughout the entire social body.

    In Venezuela everything is chaotic and 83% of the people know this government is bullshit. Only a war could “divide and then eventutally unite” and this is the thing that scares me the most. I really think these hard core communists, hezbolah and the ideologues in general want to create a Syria type situation in Venezuela. Not that it will necessarily happen. But some “cornered rats” might want to take the country literally down in flames because it is part of a larger geopolitical struggle meant to destabilize the USA and NATO. It is always the ideologues we need to be afraid of.

    Nevertheless, in order to counteract Totalitarianism we need to address this at the level of the individual because as Jordan Peterson notes ( a clinical psychologist): “it is ordinary people who participate in these [horrific events] and that is a very terrible thought”.

    If you actually live in Venezuela, this is what we need to be looking out for. Obsessing over the news and knowing what they Tyrants in CCS are up to is one thing, but spotting the complicit c&%ts within our own community is a far more important task. Hopefully we can educate others before they go down that same path into the abyss and demoralize the hardliners within our own communities.

    How a Totalitarian State is Actually Formed

    • Thanks, Guacharaca, you get it. It sucks to live through an evil time like this. I believe we are staring at our own Bronze Age collapse.

    • Guacha, Jordan Peterson is the man!. Most Venezuelans should hear about what he says. I pretty much agree with him in everything except his nutritional advice 🙂
      There is a Q&A Video on Youtube where he mentions the Chavizta regime as a clear example of Totalitarian/Authoritarian regime.

  19. venezuelans –looking rather well fed…
    loot lorries while ignoring dying drivers in dire need help

    4 cases from the internet:

    1. http://www.el-nacional.com/videos/sucesos/saquearon-camion-volcado-mientras-conductor-estaba-muerto_84581
    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QeqrRAU9Q0
    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB1ZDmbzHH8
    4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXggyu7zD-s

    in the last case the driver died from asphyxia.
    would have lived had someone given a hoot, but not venezuelans

    totaliltarianism = evil spread throughout the population

  20. It’s a tyranny.

    Also, with the recent demonstration of sending tons of humanitarian help to Cuba (Medicines, food and several other frst-need supplies) and their systematic way of murdering the fuck of dissenters who speak too much in the streets, one might also complement the name with the “GENOCIDAL” adjetive.

    In fact, chavismo could be considered a GENOCIDAL TYRANNY.

  21. Honestly, these labels, definitions and comparisons have confused more than clarify the situation even helped to minimize it since it started. It really doesn’t matter if the Maduro-Castro regime is Totalitarian or not, or how similar is to the Cuban or the Stalin regime or how Communist or Socialist it is. Is it a Kleptocracy, a Narco State, a Cuban invasion, a Failed State or all the above?

    Chavismo is Chavismo, a total disaster for all to see and experience, in a pure pragmatic sense it is a horror for Venezuelans and the rest of the world and totally incompatible with Democracy, Freedom, Prosperity and Human Rights principles. Therefore it needs to be exterminated as soon as possible if we want to progress as a civilization.

    Do we need more justifications or labels?

    • Absolutely. This philosohical/definitional discussion has been literally exhilarating, but the task at hand is to exterminate, and Trump (Pompeo/et al.) is the right man for the job.

    • “Do we need more justifications or labels?”
      Unfortunately, I believe that we do. Political labels are battle flags for the ideological, the intellectually lazy and the stupid. A large number of armchair socialists outside Venezuela felt an obligation to support and defend Chavismo upto 2014, despite all of the evidence of its economic failure, political apartheid, murderous social failure, human rights abuses and criminal corruption, solely because it described itself as socialist and thumbed its nose at the USA, the Great Satan for diehard leftwingers. This support has dropped off considerably over the last few years. I don’t believe that this has happened because criminality, repression and corruption increased – ideological supporters can always find justifications and excuses for such things. What changed was that the description of Maduro as a dictator became very widespread and very credible. The logic was not rocket science. Socialist = good. Dictator = bad. I notice that recently when the left-wing press describes Maduro as “socialist” it is very often put into inverted commas. Evidently, he is no longer a true socialist, just another dictator. Yes, the labels are important today and for future historians.

  22. leftist cognitive dissonance at its finest. Always arguing semantics to bullshit their way out of admitting is their ideology that is the root of all this shit , period, as simple as that. Socialists are way worse than fascists and somehow their apologism is still kosher because double standards much.

    • You are left them are right hour’s debate at the table, you sit on a table gobble food, and explain to engineers that don’t from wall street to feed the world, you can make money of money, to try make a better life for all ove us, you are scared their isn’t enough to go around, ???

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