Long Live Chavez! (and by “Long” I mean …)

“I am a Marxist Leninist and I will be one until the last day of my life.” – Fidel Castro

The AP is reporting that Hugo Chavez has “won re-election” again, giving him another six years in office to continue the oppression of the Venezuelan people. Last night there were some brief reports that the challenger, Henrique Capriles, was leading in some exit polling. Then there were reports of “long lines” in some districts, which required voting hours to be extended. Hmmm.

A Reuters article notes that Chavez made good use of state media (which he “owns” as head of state) broadcasting political speeches for long stretches before the election. He also used state funds to make lavish giveaways to supporters, including homes and state-funded pensions, all the time warning that his opponent would end such programs. Wow! Let me reiterate that point. The sitting president used state funds, taxed from all the people to give money away to his supporters and warning that the opponent would not continue a policy of taking from others to give to them … so they’d better get out and vote.

OK, I know I’ve said it before, but it apparently bears repeating. If you support the use of government (which is the use of force) to procure the lives and livelihoods of others to pay your bills then you support slavery! Furthermore, it makes little difference to me if you want to procure the lives and livelihoods of others to pay your bills or to be benevolent towards someone else, someone “less fortunate” – you are a slave master nonetheless. (Pat yourself on the back all you want and call yourself “benevolent” – you ignore those you oppress and look only on those you think you have “helped”. The vanity of your self-congratulation is obscene.)

The game isn’t all that different here in America. Government employees vote overwhelmingly Democrat – hoping that Democrats will expand their pay and benefits at the expense of the rest of America. Defense contractors vote and give overwhelmingly Republican – hoping that Republicans will continue the lavish dole for the military industrial complex at the expense of other industries. Those who receive direct benefits from the government (Romney’s 47%) vote predominantly Democrat (though certainly not exclusively), hoping for more benefits or at least no loss of benefits. The list goes on and on.

The difference here in America is that we haven’t gone as far down this road as Venezuela. We haven’t been completely overrun with state-owned industry that must perpetuate the political will of its master. We are not fascists … not yet. We can still change course, though one has to admit that changing course will necessarily mean the political elites will lose some power … and they will not likely go quietly.

As for Chavez, his day is coming, as is Castro’s. Men don’t live forever, not like this anyway. Whatever power you accrue to yourself, whatever corruption you foist on mankind with “clever” words and perverse definitions of “freedom” and “justice”, the great unwind will eventually come. You will go meet your Maker, and one day all wrongs will be set right. (And, in the case of Chavez or Castro, the day is likely fairly soon as both men are ailing. Perhaps we should offer a prayer for them this morning. As we’ve discussed before, men should pray for their slave masters.)

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