Friday, October 19, 2012

Now what? The society we have

Now that we have gone through all the electoral analysis that was needed, it is time to measure the consequences for Venezuela of Sunday 7 result. What country are we left with? What can the opposition do? What are chavismo next steps? What if...? What about...?

I think we may as well start with the social consequence for the country since we will all suffer from that.

Beyond fraud stories and campaign hits and misses, the reality is that Chavez won because the system of dependency he created between the state and the poor worked for him. All evidence points to that. For example we have the tale of officials abusing the gullibility of people by giving them a key and telling them that that key will open the door of their future home, but if they voted for Chavez.  That the home will be shoddy, that they would never be the real owners, that they could not sell, it, rent it, pass it on to whomever they wanted, is not something that people in need can consider objectively. But at least these people have an excuse of sorts. Those that have none in my book are those who accepted cash for vote. And yet part of the Chavez victory was based on that, and will in the future.

Once we face the harsh fact that Chavez victory may be "legal", but certainly not legitimate, we must face even more unpleasant facts that follow.

People who voted for Chavez live in the same country that I live. Henceforth they also suffer from high crime, water and electricity shortages, deficient public services, deficient health care, food shortages, high inflation  lack of real jobs, etc, etc... In fact I probably suffer less from these ills than they do, or at least my means allow me to tolerate the situation better. Yet, I voted against Chavez and they voted for him. The implication is staggering: people have decided that the system is OK. That they may have been forced to do so is irrelevant, they did it in the end and are thus guilty of their misery, at least in part.

And yet, this is not all. When Chavez won his reelection, all the sins he committed since 2006 have been validated. It is not that he was forgiven, he never asked for forgiveness, he even went as far as saying that all these ills did not matter because the only thing that mattered was for him to remain in office. It is just that all his actions and crimes have been proven irrelevant for his voters.  In other words, all that Chavez did, from enabling laws to allowing Venezuela to become a narco state is now "legal" because validated through the vote.

What does this tell us about our society?

The style of the last 6 years of Chavez has been marked by a vulgar and violent language, by threats, by narco activities, by unjust expropriations, most without compensation, by segregation, by atrocious judicial system, etc, etc, etc... in short: by criminal activities. The degradation of our society has been for all to see, beyond any material consideration that we may contemplate. And yet 8 million of Venezuelans have said clearly, on October 7, that they do not care. We are in front of one of the biggest selfish acts in our history, a society crafted by chavismo, a society that does not care where it benefits come from, as long as they come. This goes beyond entitlement.

And yet, this is the society that both sides inherit and will have to do with.


  1. The situation for scientists and people like you who oppose the system is quite similar to the situation of dhimmis in Islamic countries, especially elite dhimmis, described by Bat Ye'or and Mark Durie. The study of dhimmitude is the study of the effects of totalitarianism on large populations over many centuries. Reading it makes you realize that dhimmitude exists in Cuba, in North Korea etc. It is not a religious institution but an ideological one whose purpose is to kill the soul of the dhimmis that suffer it. The danger for you is that

    1. You will become a cog in this system that is designed to ultimately destroy the dhimmis. The role of the dhimmi elite is to preserve culture and provide services and exploitative taxes while the state extracts wealth (from new conquests, from the USSR, from oil) to finance the unrelenting and ever more severe oppression of the dhimmis.

    2. You will be dehumanized in this system. The basic components of the dhimmi syndrome lie in the combined psychological effects of vulnerability and humiliation. Reduced in extreme cases to a precarious survival, evaluated in monetary terms, the dhimmi perceives himself and accepts himself as a dehumanized being. Dhimmis exude gratitude for being tolerated even as their numbers disappear.

    Below I transcribe the commentary on the death of the soul of the dhimmi by Tafsir al-Bahr al-Madid fi Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Magid of Ibn Ajibah, who Wikipedia describes as an "18th-century Moroccan saint in the Darqawa Sufi Islamic lineage."
    [the dhimmi] is commanded to put his soul, good fortune and desires to death. Above all he should kill the love of life, leadership and honour… [He] is to invert the longings of his soul, he is to load it down more heavily than it can bear until it is completely submissive. Thereafter nothing will be unbearable for him. He will be indifferent to subjugation or might. Poverty and wealth will be the same to him; praise and insult will be the same; preventing and yielding will be the same; lost and found will be the same. Then, when all things are the same, it [the soul] will be submissive and yield willingly what it should give.

    Note that for the first four centuries after the institution of dhimmitude in North Africa and the Middle East, dhimmis were in the majority, even as their proportion decreased under unrelenting hardship for centuries. Why their superior numbers made no difference is proof of the effectiveness of the dhimmitude system.

    Prepare to get out of dhimmitude before it strands you.

  2. El que no sabe es como el que no ve.

  3. I wouldn't necessarily call it patron-clientelism, but in a sense, Venezuela is a vertically oriented society. Voting for Chavez comes not out of the civic virtue of doing what's best for the entire country; rather supporting the Chavistas is much more a personal, selfish vote used to get political and economic benefits like access to the housing you speak of and, more importantly, patronage. Since these benefits are selective and only go to those who support Chavez enjoy them rather than the entire country, society loses its egalitarian character and any ability to govern justly disappears.

    Anyhow, I'm about to write a piece about the possible pardon of Alberto Fujimori in Peru on my own blog, which you might find interesting.

  4. Daniel,

    How would you describe the general mood in Venezuela right now?



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