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  1. 06 Jul '09 00:05
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article717720.ece

    From The Sunday Times May 14, 2006

    Thank you, my foolish friends in the West

    Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is only the latest dictator-in-waiting to bask in adulation from western 'progressives', says Ian Buruma

    When the Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas managed to escape to the US in 1980, after years of persecution by the Cuban government for being openly homosexual and a dissident, he said: “The difference between the communist and capitalist systems is that, although both give you a kick in the ass, in the communist system you have to applaud, while in the capitalist system you can scream. And I came here to scream.”
    One of the most vexing things for artists and intellectuals who live under the compulsion to applaud dictators is the spectacle of colleagues from more open societies applauding of their own free will. It adds a peculiarly nasty insult to injury.

    Stalin was applauded by Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Mao was visited by a constant stream of worshippers from the West, some of whose names can still produce winces of disgust in China. Castro has basked for years in the adulation of such literary stars as Jose Saramago and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Even Pol Pot found favour among several well-known journalists and academics.

    Last year a number of journalists, writers and showbiz figures, including Harold Pinter, Nadine Gordimer, Harry Belafonte and Tariq Ali, signed a letter claiming that in Cuba “there has not been a single case of disappearance, torture or extra-judicial execution since 1959 . . .”

    Arenas was arrested in 1973 for “ideological deviation”. He was tortured and locked up in prison cells filled with floodwater and excrement, and threatened with death if he didn’t renounce his own writing. Imagine what it must be like to be treated like this and then read about your fellow writers in the West standing up for your oppressors.

    None of this is news, and would hardly be worth dredging up if the same thing were not happening once more. Hugo Chavez, the elected strongman of Venezuela, is the latest object of adulation by western “progressives” who return from jaunts in Caracas with stars in their eyes.

    ...

    Chavez is the Latin American version of a new type of authoritarianism (Thailand’s Thaksin Shinawatra is the Asian version), built on a mixture of showbusiness, intimidation, paranoia, huge wealth, and public handouts to the poor. The ideal is democracy by referendum, stripped of messy party politics or independent courts.

    ...
  2. 06 Jul '09 08:43
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article717720.ece

    From The Sunday Times May 14, 2006

    Thank you, my foolish friends in the West

    Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is only the latest dictator-in-waiting to bask in adulation from western 'progressives', says Ian Buruma

    When the Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas managed to escape to the US in 1980, after ...[text shortened]... al is democracy by referendum, stripped of messy party politics or independent courts.

    ...
    So would this be No1maurader, FMF, KazetNagorra, Kmax, and others... if they were famous, talented, or intellectuals?

    LOL... just kidding, I'm sure they couldn't really support this madman, Hugo Chavez, much less brutal Communist dictator and oppressor Fidel Castro.
  3. 06 Jul '09 16:55
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    So would this be No1maurader, FMF, KazetNagorra, Kmax, and others... if they were famous, talented, or intellectuals?

    LOL... just kidding, I'm sure they couldn't really support this madman, Hugo Chavez, much less brutal Communist dictator and oppressor Fidel Castro.
    Im sure most of them do, especially no1moron.
  4. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    07 Jul '09 04:42
    Hugo Chavez isn't a dictator. He was elected.

    Now, let's have a wee look at that there patriot act of yours...
  5. 07 Jul '09 09:06
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    Im sure most of them do, especially no1moron.
    An amazinglhy difficult task that they choose to justify... much like shavixsmir seeking to justify Commmunism in this day and age. Even FMF won't do that... anymore.
  6. 07 Jul '09 16:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Hugo Chavez isn't a dictator. He was elected.

    Now, let's have a wee look at that there patriot act of yours...
    Hugo Chavez isn't a dictator. He was elected.

    so was hitler. and like hitler, chavez slowly gained more power by changing the rules.
  7. 07 Jul '09 18:03
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    So would this be No1maurader, FMF, KazetNagorra, Kmax, and others... if they were famous, talented, or intellectuals?

    LOL... just kidding, I'm sure they couldn't really support this madman, Hugo Chavez, much less brutal Communist dictator and oppressor Fidel Castro.
    Yes, if you would have read some of my posts on this topic you would have known I don't support them.
  8. 08 Jul '09 09:58
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Yes, if you would have read some of my posts on this topic you would have known I don't support them.
    It was a joke with some elements of truth from the fery common defense of socialist government policies from throughout these forums by many posters... including yourself on occasion.

    Admittedly it would be going to far to call you a defender of those specific socialists.

    You and several others seem to prefer mild socialism and social democracies.
  9. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    09 Jul '09 02:43 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    I'm sure they couldn't really support this madman, Hugo Chavez, much less brutal Communist dictator and oppressor Fidel Castro.
    I'm sure I would not give anyone my unqualified support. But, by the same token I would not offer unqualified disaproval of a person or regime either.

    I have a problem with the notion that my 'support' of anything makes a dot of difference anyway. Most issues are complex and as a student of history, I find there are usually compelling reasons why certain situations evolved that way. For me to offer an opinion therefore, on some caricatured version of the truth, where the options usually signal well worn left/right positions, that are either terminally predictable or overwhelmingly boring to follow, I would have to ask why it matters to hold forth and declare a choice in the matter.

    My two cents would typically be along the following lines. You have a country heavily resourced in oil, that has self determined a nationalised anti-west anti-corporate stance. When has that ever been easy to achieve on this planet in the past 100 years? What usually happens to the nation foolish enough to stand in the way of Western assimilation?

    Is it just me or do their democratically elected leaders usually disappear or removed forcibly by some military coup or junta. Is it just me or does relative peace within a resource rich nation, one which the mainstream press is happy to only pick on occasionally, ( Saudi Arabia for instance) come as the result of happy people, or rather as the result of a ruthless oppressive regime that gets full US backing?

    So the question, ultimately, is not do you support this or that example of oppression, but why dont you support examples of oppression that directly favour the West?

    And if you really need an answer to that, and cant work out for yourself how insane a proposition that is, upon which to base a debate, then I'm not sure how any response I make to 'does Chavez get your support' make for a meaningful debate.

    On the other hand a question like, "is it inevitable that for a nation like Venezuala to hold on to the control of its resources, a strong arm *socialist* like Chavez will be elected?", then we might have an interesting debate. At least a question of that nature acknowledges the difficulties a small developing nation tends to have in exercising national agency within our modern globalised world.

    But if the tabloid style question is all you are willing to discuss, then all I will offer in return is a cartooned answer. It would seem fitting and appropriate, the friendliness of your observations notwithstanding.
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    09 Jul '09 02:55
    Originally posted by kmax87
    On the other hand a question like, "is it inevitable that for a nation like Venezuala to hold on to the control of its resources, a strong arm *socialist* like Chavez will be elected?", then we might have an interesting debate. At least a question of that nature acknowledges the difficulties a small developing nation tends to have in exercising national agency within our modern globalised world.
    A post that casts shadows. Recommended!
  11. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    09 Jul '09 06:38
    Originally posted by FMF
    A post that casts shadows. Recommended!
    No doubt it will prove a thread killer (at least for a couple of days until one dimensionality will attempt to reassert its undeniable dominance over public discourse)
  12. 09 Jul '09 06:41
    Originally posted by kmax87
    I'm sure I would not give anyone my unqualified support. But, by the same token I would not offer unqualified disaproval of a person or regime either.

    I have a problem with the notion that my 'support' of anything makes a dot of difference anyway. Most issues are complex and as a student of history, I find there are usually compelling reasons why certain s ...[text shortened]... seem fitting and appropriate, the friendliness of your observations notwithstanding.
    Long on philosophizing, ruminating, and describing impressions, short on answers.

    This is the debate forum, you know, so if you have a new question to pose and debate on, by all means, let's hear the answer.

    Debating is fun for me, especially when there are such clear differences in our positions regarding the relative preferences for capitalism and opinions on leftist strongmen vs past rightist strongmen... why do you treat them so differently, Zelaya and Chavez vs Pinochet, for example.

    But you had your own question, feel free to start taking some sort of position, if you were planning on going through with your suggestion...
  13. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    09 Jul '09 07:03
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    But you had your own question, feel free to start taking some sort of position, if you were planning on going through with your suggestion...
    Okay my position is as follows, it is inevitable that for a nation like Venezuala to hold on to the control of its resources, a strong arm *socialist* like Chavez will be elected! The majority will put up with the excesses of power that he demonstrates, only as long as stays on message and maintains the ideological rage that satisfies the majority. While the masses see the West in prejudicial terms they will allow Chavez any or all power to carry out the nationalist agenda that they have bought into. This process of empowerment does not confer any sainthood to Chavez, but rather indicates that for now the masses prefer him to be the devil they know.
  14. 09 Jul '09 07:08
    Originally posted by kmax87
    Okay my position is as follows, it is inevitable that for a nation like Venezuala to hold on to the control of its resources, a strong arm *socialist* like Chavez will be elected! The majority will put up with the excesses of power that he demonstrates, only as long as stays on message and maintains the ideological rage that satisfies the majority. While the ...[text shortened]... od to Chavez, but rather indicates that for now the masses prefer him to be the devil they know.
    Plus his irresponsible spending of the nation's oil wealth on free goodies is easy, benefits them in the short run, and the long-run problems are complicated and difficult for some to understand or sit through an explanation.

    Largely I'll agree with the position that many voters are willing to vote for a strong arm socialist like chavez in part due to their emotions and ideology as well as nationalism.
  15. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    09 Jul '09 07:09
    Originally posted by kmax87
    No doubt it will prove a thread killer (at least for a couple of days until one dimensionality will attempt to reassert its undeniable dominance over public discourse)
    One dimensionality is a function of being free from doubt. And asserting ones 'freedom from doubt' still puffs out ideologues' chests and holds the consumers of politics-as-entertainment in thrall, despite all the horrendous historical cul-de-sacs it has led humanity into.