Wednesday, June 06, 2007


[posted by Callimachus]

What Chavez learned from Castro, is that socialist totalitarianism goes much, much farther than it has any right to if you wrap it in nationalism.

Good old-fashioned unprogressive nationalism. And no gift is greater than the eternal image of the big bad Yankee bully to the north. You can take away all sorts of freedoms and opportunities from your people, you can aggrandize power and control in your own hands, and if you tell your people what you're really doing -- what they're really doing -- is rubbing America in shit, they'll love you. Enough of them will fall for it every time.

You can always count on confirmation from the world media and the usual gang of American useful idiots. And ham-handed Washington policies that seem to confirm your cheap little charade. It's got to be pretty heady stuff, to keep so many people from noticing or minding that their economy is headed back to the Dark Ages and their political culture is devolving into Franco's Spain.

The Soviets, bless their calcified ideological hearts, never got that. They really tried to transcend nationalism and couch their propaganda in class struggle terms. Of course, in their polyglot empire, a strict nationalist approach would have backfired.

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