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Author Topic: Venezuelan Presidential Election 2012  (Read 14795 times)
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« Reply #150 on: October 12, 2012, 03:08:14 pm »

I don't love Pinochet, but I'm fully willing to acknowledge him the least bad of several evils in the time period when he took power, though by the time he stepped down, he no longer carried that honor.

"Least bad of several evils" is not something that describes Chavez. Obviously, Pinochet isn't a model for governance, but if we look on it from a consequentialist and counterfactual angle, we can say that for all his personal failings (which are too long to be described here), Pinochet's coup had better outcomes than the alternatives, making the world somewhat better than it otherwise would have been.

I love contrafactual History, you can imagine what you want to justify the unjustifiable. So terrible crimes are "personal failings", in a contrafactual world, I guess.
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« Reply #151 on: October 12, 2012, 08:47:03 pm »

I don't love Pinochet, but I'm fully willing to acknowledge him the least bad of several evils in the time period when he took power, ...

 Pinochet's coup had better outcomes than the alternatives,....

Also, this is probably the 8th time I've had to explained this stance.

1. This position is at variance with whatever is by now known about Chilean situation at the time. Chile was not, to the best available historical evidence, about to fall to the Soviets or whatever. Allende was not preparing a self-coup, he had just lost (and ackonowledged the loss of) a congressional election, was not allowed to run for re-election, and was not planning to change that prohibition. That there was all but no organized leftist resistance to the coup provides ample evidence that there was no leftist military organization outside the government either.  While one can plausibly argue that Pinochet and those around him were scared of things, all evidence we have at present shows that they were scared (if they were, indeed, scared) of figments of their own imagination.

2. It's not a matter of his personal failings, but of the absolute and unqualified evil and immorality of his actions as both the military commander and Head of State. He betrayed his military oath, betrayed his country, and murdered in cold blood a lot of people. While the first two could apply to Chavez's original coup (mind it: he did spend time in prison for that), the last is clearly unapplicable. From the standpoint of this particular Latin American rightist (which I am, without a doubt), there is no question that Chavez has been an infinitely less awful ruler than Pinochet. While I sharply diagree with Chavez's politics and do consider him a complete idiot, I don't doubt his good intentions. He is not a bad man - just a stupid one. Pinochet, though, was undoubtedly both stupid and evil.

3. The reason you have a hard time having your point of view accepted is not a misunderstanding (I understand it full well), but that it is a) ahistorical and b) immoral. You will not get any more understanding from me if you were to start defending Mussolini, Castro, Trujillo or any of the other tinpot dictators and "leaders" of the past century. No "ifs" or "buts" here. Any virtues of pension reforms or autobahns notwithstanding.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 09:08:16 pm by ag »Logged

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« Reply #152 on: October 13, 2012, 05:30:55 am »

I'm still befuddled by Chile. It seems pretty clear that

a) Allende was deeply unpopular in the upper and middle classes.

b) His government was not particularly effective in (it's much needed) equalisation process, largely because of that opposition.

c) Chile was increasingly paralysed by the discontent.


If the alternative hadn't been the terror of Pinochet, I could understand the right's love for him. Chile remains very very unequal, but it's also stable and developing rapidly, and the liberalisation underrgone during the 80s is partly responsible for that.

There are many, many problems associated with that liberalism just starting to come to light in the last five years, but by and large, Chile's economy is in better shape than all its neighbours.


The problem is, you can't ignore the bad bits to celebrate the mixed good. He was a despot, a murderer, and his legacy must be regarded as trash.
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