Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Calvin Coolidge

Cleaning up some drafts for posts that were never completed I run across this one in 2008 that deserves to be completed because today, from Cúpira to Amuay, ending in a desperate cadena last night where Chavez pretended to make a "borron y cuenta nueva" (passing the buck in gringo talk) we need to think again at the notion of the State.

President Calvin Coolidge speaking on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia, Pa.:

Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people.

The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.

As such, when Chavez says that Venezuela overcame because of the strength of its institutions he is, without realizing it, recognizing that the only "institution" left in Venezuela is himself, that all turns around him and his survival.  Because if indeed Venezuela had institutions, and if its people were willing to observe the existing laws, maintenance would have been done at Amuay, cranes would not have been allowed to cross bridges, etc, etc...

If Venezuela had institutions Chavez would never had become president.

Our October choice is whether we want to keep careening in chaos as long as I think I can do as I please and get the occasional freebie from the regime, or we want once and for all take a grip of our destiny and start behaving as a people in charge of it and willing to do what it takes to reach that goal.


  1. Juan CTT7:49 PM

    "If Venezuela had institutions Chavez would never had become president..."

    That phrase is the faithful conclusion of this tragedy. I hope we can learn from this.

  2. Intriguing quote overall, and this part "the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed" is indeed significant here. Chavez has helped to destroy the institutions - the ones who are not himself - and loudly touted certain ideals as nothing more than a means to accomplish that end. In the words of the quote, the ideals have helped to sustain the government (government of the Hugo, by the Hugo, and for the Hugo) by creating institutions which did not seek to observe ideals, but rather to sustain the government.

    "It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation."

    Those words ring loud regarding a country with a Constitution that is little more than a wish list.

  3. Daniel, once again you have managed to succinctly summarize EXACTLY what "the state of the union" is in Venezuela. Kudos to you.


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