Chavez Sets Himself Up As Dictator-For-Life

Yesterday, the Venezuelan people hammered the last nail into the coffin that now holds their democracy by voting away term limits for the presidency.  The world may call Hugo Chavez “President of Venezuela”, but freedom lovers know what he really is: just another dictator.  Just another dictator that has used the poor to his advantage and fooled them into thinking that he can give them everything they need when he has really just enslaved them.  Chavez has bet everything on the high oil prices, but since they have fallen his economy is quickly unraveling and just as socialism always fails, his plans will fail as well because he will not be able to maintain the socialized policies he has created.  The people will then wake up and it will be to late just like it was for the Cubans who put such faith in Castro.

Times Online reports that the “opposition leaders…[warned] that the charismatic populist, who already holds sway over the courts, the electoral council and the National Assembly, was now virtually unstoppable. Last night they claimed that Mr Chávez’s use of state resources to mobilise supporters, and the pressure on two million public employees to vote with the Government, had skewed the results.”    It also reported that, “The President has said that he needs to stay in power until at least 2019 to complete his Bolivarian Revolution, a process whereby the State has taken control of the country’s vast oil wealth, expropriated private land-holdings and businesses and instituted a programme of social reforms. First elected in 1998, he has on occasions suggested that he might hold on to power until 2049, when he will be 95.”

Chavez has vowed to speed up the construction of true socialism.  I hope Americans are paying attention because this same thing could be on the horizon for us.  Especially watch for presidential term limits to be voted away and for the new socialist programs coming our way via the stimulus.  The true revolution is for liberty, not slavery!

One response to “Chavez Sets Himself Up As Dictator-For-Life

  1. I was provided a link to this page by a friend. I decided to blog about it. I hope you publish my comments:

    I was recently provided a link that was supposed to “prove” to me that Venezuela was now a Communist dictatorship under Hugo Chavez. The link was to a website called (somewhat ironically) Freedom’s Wings. By the first line I was laughing. By the time I had finished the article I was concerned… not about the political situation in Venezuela, but that anyone could actually take the drivel I was reading seriously.

    You see, I’m the kind of person that likes to think that the German people knew the Nazi party propaganda was just that. That they looked beyond the spoon fed propaganda and said to themselves “I don’t believe this.”

    However, I think now that I am probably wrong.

    I am also more convinced than ever before that Critical Thinking should be a compulsory subject at school. As I read this article I began to wonder “Do the people who read this understand the difference between a fact and an inference? Do they known the difference between evidence and supposition? Do they know what a syllogistic fallacy is? Would they understand a socratic argument if it hit them in the face?” The answer would definitely have to be no.

    In order to understand what a fallacy is, one must understand what an argument is. Very briefly, an argument consists of one or more premises and one conclusion. A premise is a statement (a sentence that is either true or false) that is offered in support of the claim being made, which is the conclusion (which is also a sentence that is either true or false).

    There are two main types of arguments: deductive and inductive. A deductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide complete support for the conclusion. An inductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide some degree of support for the conclusion. If the premises actually provide the required degree of support for the conclusion, then the argument is a good one. A good deductive argument is known as a valid argument and is such that if all its premises are true, then its conclusion must be true. If all the argument is valid and actually has all true premises, then it is known as a sound argument. If it is invalid or has one or more false premises, it will be unsound. A good inductive argument is known as a strong (or “cogent”) inductive argument. It is such that if the premises are true, the conclusion is likely to be true.

    I offer here a critque of the web page I visited from a purely Critical Thinking perspective. I make no attempt to judge the politics involved, just the use logical fallacies and the complete lack of any underlying cohesion that would normally be required when presenting a polemic.

    Original web page: https://freedomswings.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/chavez-sets-himself-up-as-dictator-for-life/

    Yesterday, the Venezuelan people hammered the last nail into the coffin that now holds their democracy

    The first clue that you are reading propaganda is that they start with the conclusion first. They also tend to use emotionally loaded language full of imagery. Note also the irony here – it isn’t a military junta or coup detat that is removing democracy, it is the people. This makes this statement an oxymoron.

    by voting away term limits for the presidency.

    Very few democracies have term limits for any offices. The existence/non-existence of a term limit is not the defining feature of a democracy. The US 22nd ammendment limit office terms for the President (only) was passed in 1947. Does this mean the US wasn’t a democracy before then?

    The world may call Hugo Chavez “President of Venezuela”, but freedom lovers know what he really is: just another dictator.

    This part covers many syllogistic fallacies, however I’ll keep to four. Firstly, it’s an incomplete comparison. There is simply no way of taking the two statements here and forming a logical construct between the two. Secondly, it’s conclusion entered as evidence. The previously stated (but unsubstantiated) conclusion is now entered as evidence. Thirdly, it’s a false dichotomy drawing a distinction between “the world” and “freedom lovers”. The assumption is that these are two separate an non-intersecting sets where everyone is a member of one or the other. For example:

    “Do you support America? Or are you a terrorist?”

    Fourthly (and similarly) it is a fallacy know as the no true Scotsman fallacy. If Ian claims that all Scotsman are brave, and you provide a counter example of a Scotsman who is clearly a coward, Ian might respond, “Well, then, he’s no true Scotsman”.

    There is also an implied appeal to authourity. Freedom lovers “know”, whilst the world just “calls”.

    Gee, I could spend hours on that bit alone.

    Just another dictator that has used the poor to his advantage and fooled them into thinking that he can give them everything they need when he has really just enslaved them.

    This is known as facts not entered into evidence. It is simply rhetoric. The poor have been “forced”, “fooled” and “enslaved”, however no substantion has been provided.

    Chavez has bet everything on the high oil prices, but since they have fallen his economy is quickly unraveling

    This could known as post hoc ergo propter hoc (After the event, therefore because of the event). For example:

    – the sun rose
    – the shed fell down
    – therefore the sun knocked the shed down

    Unmentioned (but inferred) is the fact that Venezuela’s economy has shrunk since 2008 by 2.9% and they are experiencing double digit inflation. However, most world economies also shrank during this time period (including the US) due to the GFC.

    and just as socialism always fails,

    Conclusion entered as evidence and Statement contrary to observed evidence

    Socialism has not been defined. I assume the authour is equating Socialism with Communism. That’s about as accurate as equating Capitalism with Fascism. If the authour chooses to ignore the Social democracies of Sweden, Denmark, Finland and The Netherlands, then the last time I looked China, Cuba and North Korea were still around. However, Chavez is non-Marxist, so that comparison is not at all valid.

    his plans will fail as well because he will not be able to maintain the socialized policies he has created.

    This an example of begging the question. This is a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true. For example:

    “If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law”

    The people will then wake up

    Assumption that the people aren’t awake. If they were then they wouldn’t have been “fooled” and “enslaved”.

    and it will be to late just like it was for the Cubans who put such faith in Castro.

    This is a biased sample Cuba is being compared with Venezuela, however the two samples are not alike. A better comparison would be to compare Venzuela with Chile under Allende. The problem with that comparison is the US financed the coup detat that overthrew the elected government of Chile, executed Allende and replaced him with a real dictator – Augusto Pinochet.

    I did say something about not politicising this, didn’t I? Oh well…

    Times Online reports that the “opposition leaders…[warned] that the charismatic populist, who already holds sway over the courts, the electoral council and the National Assembly, was now virtually unstoppable.

    Well, this is hardly surprising. That’s what an opposition is for – to say things like this. It is therefore a negative conclusion from an affirmative premise. If Chavez was a dictator, there would be no opposition to speak against him.

    This is also non-sequitur. In other words, “it does not follow”. If you are the democratically elected President then naturally you will naturally hold sway over other bodies of power that contain members of your political party.

    Last night they claimed that Mr Chávez’s use of state resources to mobilise supporters, and the pressure on two million public employees to vote with the Government, had skewed the results.”

    Is this in any way similar to Colin Powel putting pressure on military personnel to vote for Bush? Did that “skew” the results in the US elections?

    However, this is a valid syllogistic statement. What I have done here is to use reversal of the invective to demonstrate that although valid, the statement has less appeal when reversed.

    It also reported that, “The President has said that he needs to stay in power until at least 2019 to complete his Bolivarian Revolution, a process whereby the State has taken control of the country’s vast oil wealth, expropriated private land-holdings and businesses and instituted a programme of social reforms. First elected in 1998, he has on occasions suggested that he might hold on to power until 2049, when he will be 95.”

    What’s missing here is the assumption that he will always be re-elected. The rest is rhetoric from the opposition – and must be viewed in that context.

    Chavez has vowed to speed up the construction of true socialism. I hope Americans are paying attention because this same thing could be on the horizon for us. Especially watch for presidential term limits to be voted away and for the new socialist programs coming our way via the stimulus. The true revolution is for liberty, not slavery!

    Here we have the whole world of logical fallacies rolled into one.

    Sippery slope argumentation.

    Tautology

    Reductio ad absurdum

    Non-sequitur

    False Continuum

    Appeal to Fear

    In summary, this is the “Reds under the bed” argument rehashed all over again. To summarise the entire argument in all its fallaciousness:
    Chavez is a dictator because he can now hold several terms of office without restriction
    Chavez is Socialist, which is something like Communist, so he must be a Communist
    Castro is a Communist
    Chavez is therefore like Castro
    This could happen to America!
    I’d really like to say that in a country that embraces liberty, democracy and freedom of speech like the USA, that no one would be fooled by such empty rhetoric as this.

    I’d like to, but alas, I cannot.

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