by Tyler Cowen
on March 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm
in Current Affairs, Religion |
What else to say, but: good riddance.
Nasty sentiment. This is what happens when clever Western intellectuals abandon any sense of Christian charity along with Christianity.
Wait, what? It is charity or Christian charity to wish Chavez on any country?
You are absolutely right. This is a more appropriate image:
You make the mistake of thinking that libertarians are Christians.
Good riddance I say as well.
I have some normal human empathy for his family members, but as others say above, “good riddance.”
It’s a shame, though, that he died in office and of natural causes.
Agreed. A pity that he did not get the exemplary Ceaucescu/Gaddafi treatment. A pity that approximately half the world’s politicians do not get it.
*A pity that he did not get the exemplary Ceaucescu/Gaddafi treatment.*
Why only half? The only good pol is a dead pol.
Basic incentives. If you kill all of them, they have no incentive to improve. But if you only kill half, you guarantee a strong incentive to be considered as less worthy of killing than half of the other politicians. Plus there’s plenty of potential upward mobility.
Many of my Venezuelan friends are crying tonight…. tears of joy.
And I wager all oil companies are having special board meetings. This must be a big opportunity.
Chavez was a disaster for his country, and as I can personally attest, a buffoon. It is for sure that his rule has driven away much of the professional class. No-one would invest in such an environment when the chance of expropriation is so high. Properly managed Venezuela could be an incredible country with its fantastic natural resources (as well as oil and gas in abundance, they have fantastic farmland, beautiful forests and mountains, glorious beaches and so on). How can they get there though from where they are today? It seems an unsolvable political problem.
Did he build a civil society, let alone a well functioning social democracy, which would have been laudable accomplishments, however much one might disagree with social democrats on the details?
No, he polarized his country — not to say damaged it — and governed not only from the Left but from the far Left. His Venezuela had friends like Cuba, that social, political and economic powerhouse, and Iran.
Substitute Chile for Venezuela and right for left, and you get a very similar picture as chile by the end of pinochets dictatorship.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because one criticizes Chavez, one must also be a Pinochet supporter.
PS — Chile must have done something right in the interim, though, because they aren’t a basketcase. What is that, and how does one export it to its neighbours?
Copper is almost as good as gold.
Further, while Pinochet was not responsible for nationalizing Chilean copper mines, he ensured they remained nationalized -
‘The nationalised Chilean mines were kept under state control after the Pinochet’s 1973 Chilean coup d’état, despite the junta’s pro-U.S. leanings and this is still the case, largely because of public sentiment and because Codelco is a major contributor to the Chilean Exchequer. Codelco pays income tax, all dividends go to the government and it also pays a 10% tax on the export value of copper products and associated byproducts according to Law 13,136.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilean_nationalization_of_copper
Interesting to see the similarities between the two, as well as the differences. Chavez has yet to be blamed for thousands of deaths, unlike Pinochet –
‘Pinochet’s regime was responsible for various human rights abuses during its reign including murder and torture of political opponents. According to a government commission report that included testimony from more than 30,000 people, Pinochet’s government killed at least 3,197 people and tortured about 29,000. Two-thirds of the cases listed in the report happened in 1973.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusto_Pinochet#Human_rights_violations
However, not being a loyal reader of this blog, I’m not sure whether a picture of the devil was posted when Pinochet died.
I’m not implying that. I’m just saying that Pinochet did pretty much the same as what you said in your first post (plus openly torturing and killing lots of people), and yet Chile managed to come out of the dictatorship pretty well.
I think that Chile was very fortunate in that the left-leaning governments following Pinochet where very moderate. I suspect sharp swings in governance ideology are not very good for economic performance.
@PA whereas oil is famously worthless.
Except Chile’s the richest nation in Latin America, and Venezuela’s the poorest. Walking around Santiago is basically like being in Denver. Walking around Caracas, well.. you won’t be walking for very long in the murder capital of the Western hemisphere.
Give me right-wing dictators any day of the week. (Hell, I think there’s scarcely anything better that could happen to the United States then giving it hook line and sinker to Lee Kuan Yew). Pinochet killed a few thousand people, the vast majority of whom were traitorous communists who openly wanted to turn Chile into a backwards Stalinist dictatorship where assuredly millions would have starved.
In the end Pinochet incurred what is an astoundingly low casualty rate, to defend his nation against what was essentially a foreign invasion by the most Soviet Union, a vastly more powerful nation. The man is a hero and deserves to be held in the highest regard.
And besides, look at who builds autobahns – it isn’t Stalinists, right?
But then, the need to defend any dictatorship is one things that separates libertarians from the other political groupings. Because seriously, no one concerned about freedom supports any dictatorship, for any reason, ever – it is one of the fundamental distinction between those who know how to follow orders, and those that don’t.
Don’t worry – maybe you are just ‘conservative,’ and are confused as to how conservative this site feels itself to be.
I’m neither libertarian, nor conservative. I’m an aristocratic reactionary monarchist. The most important things I value in a state are security, stability and responsibility. Freedom and liberty will almost flow in any long-term secure, stable and responsible state, but those objectives are admittedly of secondary importance. Freedom without stability is a hellhole like Somalia. Stability without freedom is at worst medieval Spain.
To me the best regimes in history were Frederick the Great and Louis XIV. The best governments in the world today are the very undemocratic Monaco, Liechtenstein, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong. I think the PRC will one day be the greatest country on Earth because of, not in spite of, their autocratic and hence stable and secure government.
So, no I’m not confused at all. I hate democracy, think it’s the worst thing to happen to the Western world and at its core responsible for most of the suffering in the world today and in the 20th century. I wish the Tories would have won the American Revolutionary War and the Jacobites would have never been deposed from the thrown.
Pinochet was a courageous hero to fight against the democratic-universalist-progessive oppression exported from Washington, London and Moscow in the 20th century. The world could use a lot more men like him. There’s scarcely any country on Earth today, including the USA, that wouldn’t benefit tremendously from a military coup and government.
Is that ‘conservative’ enough for you?
‘Is that ‘conservative’ enough for you?’
My only response is to inquire, just how Catholic you consider yourself to be? If at all, of course.
Not that I would want to engage in discussion with a self-described aristocratic monarchist, but for the rest:
Chile was most definitely not the richest nation in latin america when Pinochet resigned. World Bank data. Also, venezuela is most definitely not the poorest nation, and never has been.
Doug, your blather is an example of “stupid shit only westerners say”
Pinochet did not govern from the Far Right. Nor did he damage Chile.
However you miss the main point – the alternative to Pinochet was the GULAG or perhaps the Killing Fields. The alternative to Chavez was more of the same corrupt Hacienda politics Latin America has had since the Spanish were driven out. Allende was importing Cuban and East German secret policemen to help him establish his own KGB. The alternative to Chavez was and is democratic. Pinochet had no choice. Chavez is simply irresponsible.
It is deeply troubling that so many of the most entertaining world figures have died of late.
Hopefully Putin and Berlusconi will stay around for many years to come.
George W. Bush was hilarious but I don’t think we miss him…
Compared to what we have, I miss him.
A truly frightening comment. You libertarians/conservatives like to site rational choice theory about how voting doesnt matter so please don’t.
Yes, because we all know how libertarians LOVE George W Bush. They just can’t get enough of the Patriot Act.
At least with Bush, you knew what you were getting. There was a sort of intellectual honesty there – even when he was lying.
Obama is much more unpredictable and newspeakish.
See, this is the sort of comedy gold Bush inspired – ‘There was a sort of intellectual honesty there’ Since if there was one thing that Bush utterly lacked, it was an intellectual foundation – and it was his supporters who considered that a high achievement.
I don’t know, with Bush you knew that he would only ask for the diametric opposite of what was best for the citizenry. Toward the end, I knew that if Bush said, “Water is wet,” that he would be talking about glacial ice, not liquid water.
There’s a kind of honesty in such perfect dishonesty.
Now if we could only stop electing folks who believe so strongly in centralized authority… Or even make sure that the two parties don’t only choose such candidates. (I still think the turning point for the country was before the 2000 election, when the choice was Bush vs. Gore instead of McCain vs. Bradley.)
The death of Chavez certainly offers a ray of hope for Venezuela. We should temper our expectations though–they did elect him (at least some of the early elections were fair) and so might just as easily elect another buffoon.
In additon to that, Chavez spent his time in power weakening other institutions such as independant unions, a free press and an independant judiciary. The country is now less resilient than it was before he came to power.
The murder rate in Caracas has gone off the charts too.
I wonder if he’s smelling sulfur now.
I do have some hopes for Venezuela now. Columbia has been a real success story next door, and hopefully that will inspire Venezuelans with a sense that more is possible.
It will be interesting to see what happens to the governments he helped put in: Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua now that he is not there to bankroll them.
And Iran has only two friends left.
I wouldn’t put Morales in the same basket as Chavez/Castro. Bolivia has historically been a case in poorly implemented privitization efforts, so a decently run nationalization (think Nordic) might be ideal for them. Morales is much more pragmatic than Chavez. For instance, he may have soaring environmentalist rhetoric, and yet allowed the construction of a lithium extraction plant in the salt flats.
Please don’t read this as an endorsement of the cat; he’s also got his share of scandal (Jacob Ostreicher). Bottom-line though is this: Bolivian GDP has nearly tripled since he took office and he enjoys a mid-60s approval rating. He isn’t going anywhere.
Good for Bolivia. Oruro and LaPaz were fun to visit with the National Guard. Seeing the desolate, rock mountains in wisps of snow across open space from the altiplano has been the most majestic and awe-inspiring, somewhat frightening sight of my life.
The sad thing about Chavez is not that he died, but that he ever lived in the first place.
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
A very interesting person.
He was obviously quite unschooled about the difference between optimal behavior between individuals in a family, and optimal behavior between agents representing large organizations. But as a case study in how to marshal popular support from the similarly unschooled he was obviously quite successful.
Regardless of any of this, a lingering death by cancer before 60 is not a desirable way to go.
What’s the over under on how long he’s actually been dead do you think? A week? A month?
Nooooooo, who’s gonna sell cheap oil to Cuba?
“If a man can be defined by the enemies he makes, then Chavez was a saint.”
What exactly does that image show?
google says http://www.flickriver.com/photos/jopimalg/3922511954/
Cuban healthcare is not what it used to be.
Perhaps it never was what it used to be!
Whoa, so many clueless rich white people talking about what is better for Venezuela, so much brainwash happening in the “developed” world its kinda scary, good thing you guys are in decadence now.
We never left decadence, and have done quite well for it thanks! Soon spreading to a town near you.
Oh no please, we already had too much of you, your CIA, your bloodily imposed democracy in my country. Also, the chinese will be spreading sooner to a town near you. God fucking bless them for taking over the world soon enough.
I’m sorry you have a fantasy about the world being taken over by anyone, and your animus against democracy. Perhaps you are some kind of fascist?
Taking over as in becoming the world leader.
Also democracy, me bad, I meant “democracy”, you know, the one the USA helped impose in my country to overthrow an elected leftist with a coup d’etat that led to a 17 years dictatorship loved by the USA that costed thousands of lives. All in the name of democracy.
Unlike the dictatorship that was Venezuela of Chavez, you know, the one that actually won elections (13 of them, and respected the results of the one lost).
So yeah, I can see where I am the fascist, in your brainswahed minds.
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