A dictator is dead. Lee Doren, whom I hadn’t heard of until today, sums it up nicely here:
I’ve been to Venezuela twice, and I can tell you that it is no workers paradise. Yes, the land is breathtaking. And taking is what Hugo did and his fellow thugs do.
I arrived at work today to a repeating adverse weather announcement on the PA system exhorting everyone in the building to take cover in designated safe (presumably, but probably not truly weatherproof) area. I was about to get on the elevator and some random guy came up and said something like, “elevators aren’t safe…you not taking that seriously?” [pointing up, referring to the announcement] It’s not that I wasn’t taking it seriously, as I hesitated and didn’t get on, anyhow. My point in bringing it up is to highlight presumed authority. This guy held *no* authority within the building. He truly was random. And my sense was, “who the heck are you to me?” Among humans, there is a frightening willingness to obey ‘orders’, even from those who have no legitimate authority. In truth, no human has legitimate authority to rule over another. We only delegate certain powers that are revocable.
It’s worth restating what I wrote 2 1/2 years ago on the anniversary of the attacks by 19 adherents to an evil ideology:
We wound up running into an unexpected checkpoint, and while the leader of our group was outside the bus explaining what our purpose was, one of Hugo’s thugs got on board and stood at the head of the bus. He, very, very, slowly, scanned ever single passenger on the bus with his eyes and had a smile on his face that, although almost imperceptible, seemed to me to be rather gleeful. I believe he was gleeful that he is in a position of power to intimidate every civilian he encounters. I remember thinking to myself, “give me a break, you two-bit thug.” I don’t remember whether or not this Hugobot was even armed. It’s likely that he was, given the thugocracy we were in.
A short time after we arrived back in the states, I told this story, (including my thoughts during the experience), to a liberty-loving relative of mine and he rather seriously said, “Yeah, but if anybody was suspicious looking or defiant in any way, he would have just killed him.”
I’ve considered that caution since he said it, and the conclusion I’ve come to is, “So? I will not be intimidated.” In Hugoland, I’m sure I would have been killed had I acted too snotty or maybe made the shape of a gun with my finger and pointed it at him. And every situation requires its own analysis regarding when to resist, talk back, or comply. It was simply wise, and rather non-intrusive to comply in that situation and location. I’m am not interested in fighting that battle for Venezulans. My battle is here.
The world is a better place with one less tyrant. But all tyrants need some sort of popular support to thrive. Take away consent and you take away legitimacy and contribute to the eventual demise of the tyrant. Choose for yourself how will defy. Should our government continue down it’s current path (that’s been ongoing for at least 100 years, regardless of the party in control) I will choose the time, place, and nature of my defiance. But defy I will.
Stay Dangerous, My Friends.