Monday, December 03, 2007

Dictatorial SOBs: Good News, Bad News

The merely annoying one loses. The truly dangerous one makes sure he wins.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

The problem is the ratcheting effect of "unity" movements. You can vote anything in, but only once. The ratchet only cranks up, and doesn't back down.

What troubles me, as a friend of democracy, is that Chavez' power grab took place where stable government has never been a fact of life, and it's fortunate that it only came down to a 51-49 thing.

When the fragile 51-49 "consensus" inevitably eroded, a coup or civil war would have been inevitable anyway.

But in Russia, which has a history of stable governments albeit authoritarian---whether czarist or Leninist/Stalinist---Putin enjoyed more than push-and-shove. He was easily a 60-40 choice, based on what I've read about polls over the years that far preceded this election.

Russians prefer stability to progress or even freedom, and I for one don't blame them, in view of their shitty history. They've tried both.

The cases of Messrs. Putin and Chavez, altho comparable on the surface, have little context in common. I wish there were an object lesson here, but there ain't.

The perennial tension between order and liberty remains unresolved.

2:04 AM  

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