Venezuela: Resistance or disintegration?

Hi_Henry

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My conclusion so far is that the Maduro govt's 'crime' is that it was not brutal enough towards that segment of its own people who are constitutionally brutal. In the US, people caught (and legally tried) for committing acts of sabotage and terrorism would be either sentenced to death or sentenced to life in prison.
At time it may be just words, too loud voicing of opinion or living too close to the Constitution Life Style. Tiring subject trying to point these things out to those who find gospel truth on CNN or FOX News.
 

Joe

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One problem today though is that these schizoidals and pathologicals who think up all this stuff (because their own worldview is pathologically narrow) managed, to a degree, to "make the world in their own image". So in some ways today's world actually corresponds to these schizoidal theories - think mega-corporations, for example. But interestingly, from my experience, the richness of human life almost always manages to shine through, no matter how hard they try!
Is it possible that your reading on anti-Darwinism is making you swing a bit too far in the opposite direction, towards seeing the wonderful complexity of life etc. and extrapolating from there to the inherent goodness in people? IMO, it's not that people are inherently evil, but that they are all too easily manipulated to support evil goals. Most of them are fickle, and cannot be relied on to be consistent and 'true' to an aim, mainly because they don't really have a fixed aim that is not subject to the changes of life. Everything can be rosy in 'good times' when its easy, but when things turn bad, when the pressure mounts, it would be a mistake, IMO, to assume that most people can be relied on not fall prey to the dominant ideology, however destructive it might be.
 

luc

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Is it possible that your reading on anti-Darwinism is making you swing a bit too far in the opposite direction, towards seeing the wonderful complexity of life etc. and extrapolating from there to the inherent goodness in people? IMO, it's not that people are inherently evil, but that they are all too easily manipulated to support evil goals. Most of them are fickle, and cannot be relied on to be consistent and 'true' to an aim, mainly because they don't really have a fixed aim that is not subject to the changes of life. Everything can be rosy in 'good times' when its easy, but when things turn bad, when the pressure mounts, it would be a mistake, IMO, to assume that most people can be relied on not fall prey to the dominant ideology, however destructive it might be.
Of course! I didn't mean to imply that all is rosy with human nature. I just think it's much more rich and complex than any of these ideologies allow - both in the good and the bad direction. And what we see playing out in our world, I think, is a strong tilt towards the bad, for all the many reasons we discuss here. My point was just that these various theories and ideologies make us lose touch with our own experience and with common sense and completely warp our perception - and as you say, people easily fall prey to these things.

Perhaps my comment about "richness shining through" was a bit confusing (or confused). What I meant was that even in highly pathological environments, such as in mega-corporations let's say, where a strong ideology is "dictated", humans will still be humans, with all the good and all the bad stuff. If you dictate them an ideology that "all humans are good", they will still be scheming and lying. If you dictate them that "all humans are only maximizing their profit in capitalism", they will still be staying in that low-paying job because they have some friends there and so on. All of that doesn't make it better necessarily; it's just an observation about how completely wrong all these ideologies are in describing reality.
 

Pierre

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I'm skeptical that 'capitalism' is much of an ideology at all. (I think perhaps that marxism was basically an ideology that manufactured an ideology out of capitalism that didn't really exist.) It seems to me to be more of just the way humans tend to organize themselves economically in groups larger than a family or perhaps tribe, though there is inequality even in tribes. You don't need an ideology to produce something and sell it. And as long as there have been humans there has been disparity of wealth, influence, and every other measure. And for various reasons, including something as simple as access to rivers meeting the ocean/sea - see Thomas Sowell's books for more examples of the chance factors leading to wealth disparities between groups.
Capitalism, is called a theory to provide a gloss of scientific legitimacy to it. Like marxism, psychoanylisis or darwinism these are projections of schizoid individuals.

Capitalism stands on a bunch of "hypothesis": self-regulating markets (the invisible hand of the market), perfect economic agents (getting the same information at the same time), profit maximization (as sole goal of economic agents), balance through supply and demand (including the wealth distribution between labor and capital), etc.

Those "hypothesis" have been proved wrong again and again, when the "hypothesis" on which a "theory" stands are so obviously wrong, it is not a theory anymore, it is an ideology, i.e. a set of beliefs.

Not only capitalism is an economic ideology but it is also a sociopolitical ideology because it asserts very specific motivation to individuals and model of society.

From this perspective, darwinism and capitalism are very similar. They are both fundamentally based on predation. Darwinism is to biology, what capitalism is to economy. Both enforce a purely materialistic and individualistic vision of the world where people are exclusively driven by selfishness/greed and where 'nature' rewards those traits (survival of the fittest/success of the greediest).

The main virtue of capitalism was to deconstruct the insanity of marxism and vice versa. Like any good schizoidal ideology, they are very good at debunking competing ideologies but very poor at spotting their own inconsistencies.
 
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angelburst29

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According to this article, the US has been manipulating Venezuela's political climate since the early 1950's.

US ‘Regime Changes’: The Historical Record

Venezuela: Results and Perspectives 1950-2019

During the post WWII decade, the US, working through the CIA and the Pentagon, brought to power authoritarian client regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, Peru, Chile, Guatemala, Brazil and several other countries.

In the case of Venezuela, the US backed a near decade long military dictatorship (Perez Jimenez ) roughly between 1951-58. The dictatorship was overthrown in 1958 and replaced by a left-center coalition during a brief interim period. Subsequently, the US reshuffled its policy, and embraced and promoted center-right regimes led by social and christian democrats which alternated rule for nearly forty years.

In the 1990’s US client regimes riddled with corruption and facing a deepening socio-economic crises were voted out of power and replaced by the independent, anti-imperialist government led by President Chavez.

The free and democratic election of President Chavez withstood and defeated several US led ‘regime changes’ over the following two decades.

Following the election of President Maduro, under US direction,Washington mounted the political machinery for a new regime change. Washington launched, in full throttle, a coup by the winter of 2019.

The record of US intervention in Venezuela is mixed: a middle term military coup lasted less than a decade; US directed electoral regimes were in power for forty years; its replacement by an elected anti-imperialist populist government has been in power for nearly 20 years. A virulent US directed coup is underfoot today.


The Venezuela experience with ‘regime change’ speaks to US capacity to consummate long-term control if it can reshuffle its power base from a military dictatorship into an electoral regime, financed through the pillage of oil, backed by a reliable military and ‘legitimated’ by alternating client political parties which accept submission to Washington.

US client regimes are ruled by oligarchic elites, with little entrepreneurial capacity, living off of state rents (oil revenues).

Tied closely to the US, the ruling elites are unable to secure popular loyalty. Client regimes depend on the military strength of the Pentagon —but that is also their weakness.
 

angelburst29

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The plot continues to unfold on schedule it seems. The Lima Group is also in lock-step with imperial U.S. goals for a coup de ta in Venezuela.

Lima Group's Declaration on Venezuela
Background activities on Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Peru’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Luna, who are behind The Lima Group creating this Venezuelan Coup. Freeland is close friends with Victoria Nuland and some of the same actors who organized the Ukraine Coup are behind this one.

"On 26 October 2017, Peru’s Gestion TV reported that Luna was the co-Chair of the meeting of the Lima Group in Toronto, which Freeland chaired, and that (as translated into English here) “Luna added that the objective of the meeting of the Group of Lima ‘is to create a propitious situation’ so that the regime of Nicolás Maduro ‘feels obligated to negotiate' not only an exit to the crisis, ‘but also an exit to his own regime’.” This gang were going to make Maduro an offer that he couldn’t refuse."

How Chrystia Freeland Organized Donald Trump’s Coup in Venezuela

In mid-December, Guaido quietly traveled to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to brief officials on the opposition’s strategy of mass demonstrations to coincide with Maduro’s expected swearing-in for a second term on Jan. 10 in the face of widespread international condemnation, according to exiled former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, an ally.

Playing a key role behind the scenes was Lima Group member Canada, whose Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to Guaido [9 January 2019] the night before Maduro’s swearing-in ceremony [on 10 January 2019] to offer her government’s support should he confront the socialist leader [Maduro], the Canadian official said.

To leave Venezuela, he sneaked across the lawless border with Colombia, so as not to raise suspicions among immigration officials who sometimes harass opposition figures at the airport and bar them from traveling abroad, said a different anti-government leader, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss security arrangements.
 
I dunno, I take exception to the viewpoint of that article, you can see it and comments (by me) afterwards on SOTT:


The developed world left tends to think they (via their counterpart enemies) have this white man's burden power over the total history of Ibero-America when actually (outside of direct military intervention which seems to effectively decrease with distance from the US mainland) the CIA and such "helped" but not caused much of this history. Help is not the same as they did it.

Just making a distinction.
 

fabric

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IMO, it's not that people are inherently evil, but that they are all too easily manipulated to support evil goals. Most of them are fickle, and cannot be relied on to be consistent and 'true' to an aim, mainly because they don't really have a fixed aim that is not subject to the changes of life.
That has been may observation as well. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” as the saying goes. We see time and time again how people end up doing horrible things with the intent to do good. The larger the scale the more catastrophic the results. And why are people so fickle? I think Gurdjieff sums it up best when he says:

“Man is a machine, but a very peculiar machine. He is a machine which, in right circumstances, and with right treatment, can know that he is a machine, and having fully realized this, he may find the ways to cease to be a machine.

First of all, what man must know is that he is not one; he is many. He has not one permanent and unchangeable “I” or Ego. He is always different. One moment he is one, another moment he is another, the third moment he is a third, and so on, almost without end.”
However as things are, very few are afforded that opportunity, and the default state for many is that where all these different states are taken as their own but they are really produced by external influences. Perfect for ideologies to take hold and for one to be sucked into them.


Alejo said:
I’d say neighboring countries have also been led to believe that it is ALL Maduro’s fault, which isn’t the case.
Yes, it makes me think of the Left blaming everything on Trump. He’s not great (although entertaining) and from what I’ve seen so far I don’t think he is all that cunning as some make him out to be but a lot of the problems are ones he inherited from previous administrations as well as deep state agendas that have been ongoing for years since they got rid of Kennedy.

With Venezuela you have these various elements all combining slowly into the degradation of living conditions that we are seeing today. The combinations of bad policy, external interference and poor leadership tend to result in disaster. Though it can be a long drawn out process I don’t think socialism alone can account for all of it.

In a similar vein we are seeing the same thing in the US, also a long drawn out process and with ‘capitalism’ at the helm as opposed to ‘socialism’. It’s death by a thousand cuts. We don’t have state imposed food pricing for example but when corporate lobbies are paying the big bucks to get their way there may not be all that much difference between the two. Even something like Trump’s trade war seems to hurt Americans more than helping (eg, raising prices of everyday items, small farmer filing bankruptcy) and those falling into poverty keep growing each year.

So the US is heading in similar direction. Even though there are two different ideologies at the helm, we arrive at the same result. The common denominator always seems to be that of ponerological influences corrupting whatever is guiding them.
 

Joe

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I dunno, I take exception to the viewpoint of that article, you can see it and comments (by me) afterwards on SOTT:


The developed world left tends to think they (via their counterpart enemies) have this white man's burden power over the total history of Ibero-America when actually (outside of direct military intervention which seems to effectively decrease with distance from the US mainland) the CIA and such "helped" but not caused much of this history. Help is not the same as they did it.

Just making a distinction.
You should try to understand that articles posted on Sott.net are meant to provoke thinking and discussion. Your tone in the comments on that article on Sott suggest you do not understand that.
 

Niall

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Considerations of Left vs Right are almost useless when it comes to analyzing geopolitics. What may hold true within the US, for example, does not hold true outside of it.

Canada's Trudeau govt, for example: 'far-left', right? In terms of its embrace of multi-culturalism, mass migration, 'free trade', 'humanitarian intervention', etc.

Now try squaring that with the fact that this far-left government has been instrumental in destabilizing Venezuela's 'far-left' government, which is also onboard with LGBT-stuff and social justice.

You can't, not without considering the architecture of 'the rules-based international order', Pax Americana since 1945, and even the deeper Anglo-Saxon-dominated (or 'influenced', if 'dominated' is too strong a word) 'West' before and since.

It's good that we consider, as we do in inter-personal relations, that it always takes two to tango, but when criticizing the Venezuelan leadership for its predicament, we should beware the temptation to blame the victim. As in some rape trials where the court judge goes, "but she dressed so provocatively..." or, "well, she did look at least 18."
 
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Hello H2O

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...

Canada's Trudeau govt, for example: 'far-left', right? In terms of its embrace of multi-culturalism, mass migration, 'free trade', 'humanitarian intervention', etc.

Now try squaring that with the fact that this far-left government has been instrumental in destabilizing Venezuela's 'far-left' government, which is also onboard with LGBT-stuff and social justice.

...
Not only that, but look at their support of far right, Nazi or neo Nazi regimes like that in Ukraine. You would think that would be the antithesis of their far Left beliefs.

The riddle of these paradoxes can be can be untangled by understanding that what they say, and what they do are totally different things. And underlying it all is the fact that countries like Canada are pawns or vassals to US or EU power. They must go along no matter how farcical it may seem.
 

Approaching Infinity

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Capitalism, is called a theory to provide a gloss of scientific legitimacy to it. Like marxism, psychoanylisis or darwinism these are projections of schizoid individuals.

Capitalism stands on a bunch of "hypothesis": self-regulating markets (the invisible hand of the market), perfect economic agents (getting the same information at the same time), profit maximization (as sole goal of economic agents), balance through supply and demand (including the wealth distribution between labor and capital), etc.
Points taken regarding the schizoidal nature of the capitalist theories, especially in their ideas about human nature. But here's the point I was trying to make, which I still think applies. The first capitalist theories were attempts to describe something that already existed. Like you point out, they are theories. Let's call the something they were seeking to understand "A". The theories can be called capitalisms ("B"). Then there are the effects produced by someone or some group using the theory to guide their actions ("C").

My main point was that A already existed, regardless of the truth of B, or even the existence of B. People didn't start using the term capitalism until the mid-19th century, but they used it to describe something that already existed, something which wasn't influenced by any 'capitalist' theories or ideologies. And the roots of the "A" that they were describing went back for centuries, and millennia before that in some form or another (e.g. early Islam instituted some proto-'capitalist' economic policies, and wage-labor existed to some extent for a long time before the merchant/urban workshops of the 1500s).

The first "capitalisms" were simple definitions: (from Wiki):
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon used the term "capitalist" in his first work, What is Property? (1840), to refer to the owners of capital. Benjamin Disraeli used the term "capitalist" in his 1845 work Sybil.[25]

The initial usage of the term "capitalism" in its modern sense has been attributed to Louis Blanc in 1850 ("What I call 'capitalism' that is to say the appropriation of capital by some to the exclusion of others") and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1861 ("Economic and social regime in which capital, the source of income, does not generally belong to those who make it work through their labour").[23]:237 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels referred to the "capitalistic system"[30][31] and to the "capitalist mode of production" in Capital (1867).
Just look at these Quora answers for "Is capitalism an economic system or an ideology?"
  • "It is whichever way you want it to be."
  • "I prefer to distinguish between capitalism and free market."
  • "Capitalism really is neither an economic system nor an ideology. It is a word socialists invented to describe their supposed antithesis, but oddly enough their opponents embraced the word. However, those who embraced the word never came to an agreement about what it means."
  • "‘Capitalism’, the word was invented by a Communist, Blanc, in 1848."
  • "Capitalism is a politcal socio econiomic system based on the ownership of private property and distribution of private property."
  • "An ideology. Capitalism is the natural outgrowth of primates having the technology to collect and leverage things."
Naturally, some of these answers are dumb, and probably all are biased in one direction or another (many of the writers are economists, after all). But these are the questions that I'm interested in:

How much of what is commonly blamed on capitalism (typically by marxists and others on the left) is actually just "A"? And how much of "A" is just the way that humans tend to organize themselves economically? How many of the 'problems of capitalism' are actually just problems of inequality that arise everywhere, no matter what? What exactly are the results of "C", i.e. products of capitalist theory over and above "A"? How many people are actually influenced by "B" - besides 'professional' economists?
 

Windmill knight

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I wanted to comment on that sorry excuse for a human being called Juan Guaidó, who recently made this declaration to the media:

Question: Would you use your prerogatives as speaker of the National Assembly and acting president to authorise the intervention of foreign military forces?

"We will do everything possible, once again, this is obviously a very, very controversial subject, but making use of our sovereignty and, within our jurisdictions, we will do what is necessary."
When you are a public figure and supposedly represent a large segment of your country, and somebody asks you if you'd be ok with a military intervention of a foreign power of your own country, and you don't reply with a definite NO - then you are nothing short of a traitor. I mean, the scene is so absurd it just blows my mind. "How about invading your country?" "Hmm, well, yeah maybe, why not!" So, according to Guaidó, if necessary, he is ready to make use of Venezuelan sovereignty to destroy Venezuelan sovereignty. And this is the guy who is going to help Venezuela transition to democracy??

Now, you would think that for someone to accept a foreign power invading your own country, the only possible excuse would be that another foreign power has already invaded, is occupying your country and you have no way of fighting back. Or that your country's leader is absolutely despised by your people, he has made life so extremely intolerable and cruel, yet the people can't help themselves and need someone from outside.

However, it is clear that the majority of Venezuelans are still with Maduro, even if they are not the most vocal ones. And, contrary to what some of those vocal ones say on social media, Venezuela is nowhere nearly as bad as other countries in the world, such as Syria, Yemen or Libya. I just came across a video of a couple of girls walking down Caracas and commenting on the local situation and they seem to have a very good grasp of what's going on. They say that indeed there is an economic crisis and the situation is difficult, but it is nowhere near a 'humanitarian crisis', and indeed, judging by the scenes of everyday life on the street, it seems remarkably calm and normal, considering how western media describes it. The girls call Guaidó's government a 'Disney government'. :) Unfortunately it's only in Spanish, but at least you get a feel for the scenes on the ground. The FB channel I took it from has other similar videos of people walking to parks, restaurants or popular neighborhoods - there's no civil war nor people dying of starvation.

I realize that videos can be edited or may show just a very small sample of a country, but my only point here is that Venezuela is not in such a dire situation that a frikin' invasion would be asked for by its own people!! IF Maduro's government was so tyrannical and dictatorial that an invasion would be needed, then Guaidó would not be able to ask for it front of the international media! Even the colonel caught red-handed in a coup attempt was totally against a US intervention (posted earlier on this thread).

All of this just to say that Guaidó is a despicable worm.
 

Windmill knight

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A couple items of interest. Max Blumenthal goes to Caracas and finds this:


This other source, in Spanish, says that 57% of Venezuelans consider Maduro the legitimate president, while 32% think it's Guaidó. Results are from local pollster Hinterlaces. I thought the figure was quite high for Guaidó, considering that 3 weeks ago a different poll showed that 80% of Venezuelans did not know the guy at all!

You may remember that Mike Pompeo accused Venezuela of blocking a bridge between Venezuela and Colombia in order to prevent humanitarian aid from coming in - a claim repeated all over the media. It turns out it's fake news (surprise!). According to a picture on google maps, the bridge has been blocked for at least a year and a half, apparently by Colombia. According to Wikipedia, the bridge was actually never opened since it was built due to a dispute between the two countries. Full details here:


This guy reporting from the ground basically tells the same story:


He adds that the 'humanitarian aid' consists of 2 shipping containers, while for a single state in the region there are normally 40 such containers, so it's all for show.
 

Pierre

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AI said:
The first "capitalisms" were simple definitions: (from Wiki):

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon used the term "capitalist" in his first work, What is Property? (1840), to refer to the owners of capital. Benjamin Disraeli used the term "capitalist" in his 1845 work Sybil.[25]

The initial usage of the term "capitalism" in its modern sense has been attributed to Louis Blanc in 1850 ("What I call 'capitalism' that is to say the appropriation of capital by some to the exclusion of others") and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1861 ("Economic and social regime in which capital, the source of income, does not generally belong to those who make it work through their labour").[23]:237 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels referred to the "capitalistic system"[30][31] and to the "capitalist mode of production" in Capital (1867).
Indeed, Blanc and others made an anthropological observation, they noticed that a minority of non-productive individuals (Jewish ones according to Proudhon) were extracting wealth from others' labor.

Beyond the mere observation, Proudhon conducted a social and ethical analysis of those behaviors and qualified them as "theft" and "slavery".

He called this deviant behavior "capitalism". It was almost two centuries ago, in the context of a very Catholic France, where material gain was discouraged, greed was considered as a capital sin, and productive activities, when properly conducted, were considered as a way of serving the common good and earning a place in heaven. Pricing, profits and wages had to be fair since they were established between individuals who were all brothers, the children of God.

Proudhon had deconstructed the pathological behavior of a small non-productive elite, the "capitalists". Before Marx, and in a more balanced way, he even proposed a different economic model, which recognizes private property but directly correlates it with the effective labor of each individual. Marx, who had read Proudhon, denied any kind of individual property and, basically, proposed to transfer the monopoly of wealth from the capitalists to the state (and therefore the new Marxist elite: the apparatchik).

That's why capitalism and marxism are two sides of the same coin. In both cases, an elite accumulates wealth while the people just get enough to keep creating this wealth.

After Proudhon's widely acclaimed work, the capitalists were exposed. Proudhon's work inspired the 1848 revolution, which was not a manufactured revolution like 1789 (artificial increase in bread price orchestrated by what was then called 'speculators', the 'capitalist' word didn't exist yet). The 1848 workers revolution (which, by the way, is very similar to today Yellow Vest movement) was repressed in blood, about 5000 plebeians were killed by the 'republic'.

The elites couldn't allow another 1848 revolution. Countermeasures were necessary. Through massive funding and influencing, they spread narratives to justify their pathological, greedy behavior. Decades after decades, capitalistic myths were created and proselytized, like the freedom of markets, the virtues of competition, the survival of the fittest, the wealth of the elites leading to the wealth of the masses, profit as a driver of progress and prosperity. That's where the anthropological observation started to morph into an ideology.

Where are we today? Capitalism has been erected not only as a norm but as the best economic model. Open any MBA textbook, nowhere you'll find "capitalism" defined as "theft, slavery and wealth extortion".

Proudhon's definition has been replaced by an opposite definition. In the first pages of such textbooks you'll read the fundamental objective of any corporation: "to maximize shareholders' wealth". The capitalists have won, their greedy behavior has become the universal economic motto forced into our brains.

What happened to the common good, the respect of natural resources, the well-being of the employees, the joy of producing beautiful, useful or qualitative products, the satisfaction of the customers, the respect and implementation of positive value, the team spirit, the company as an integrated part of a community? Those points are mostly ignored by capitalism, if addressed they are depicted not as ends but as means to serve the one and only goal: maximizing shareholders' wealth.

In two centuries, what was rightly spotted as a criminal greed-driven behavior has become a political, social and economical ideology, a set of false and destructive beliefs hiding the truth in an attempt to impose upon the world a pathologic, materialistic, individualistic and predatory paradigm.

Nothing is new under the Sun. Haven't we seen in other places pathologic behaviors embraced by a minority being normalized then enforced through bogus ideologies? In the end, isn't it what feminism, homosexualism, postmodernism, or freudism are all about?
 
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