Monday, December 11, 2006

Augusto Pinochet, RIP 1915-2006

This much reviled man was a patriot. He stopped a communist takeover of his beloved Chile, brought in free-market reforms, and left a democracy when he left. Much like Franco, he was reviled for the human rights abuses that occurred on his watch. While this is true, and I have sympathy for those who suffered under his rule, it should be noted that the Communist alternative to Pinochet would have been much worse.

People have a selective memory of authoritarian rulers: these same people of condemned Pinochet and Franco keep silent about the abuses in Cuba, Communist China, Vietnam, Nicaragua, and North Korea. This selective moral indignation has not been lost by a large segment of the Chilean population.

General Pinochet was a patriot who loved his country and left it in much better shape than when he took over. He was a controversial figure who did what he felt was necessary to keep Chile free. History will look back at General Pinochet and see him as a great, though controversial figure in the history of his nation.


Aeneas the Younger said...

Unlike you, I was politically involved during the Cold War.

Like you, I supported Dicators (to a degree) in the face of Coummnism.

Unlike you, I came to see Pinochet as a brutal militarist dictator responsible for political murders.

I find it ironic that a Canadian living in the USA uses the pen name "John Galt," and yet still has the nerve to self-identify as a conservative. (nevertheless the Ayn Rand reference, which is un-Canadian to begin with ...)

Have you EVEN heard of Sir Peregrine Maitland ?

Mitch said...

Notwithstanding the ad hominen comments, the point I was trying to make was to not absolve him of his deeds, but rather point out that there is more to him than the human rights abuses that occurred on his watch. He is a complex man because he was brutal for periods of his rule, but unlike most dictators, he left voluntarily and left his country in better shape than when he took over.

Aeneas the Younger said...

No ... he left after the plebiscite overturned his desire to serve even longer. I give him credit for the pleb however ...

Having said that, he rigged the Constitution in 1980 to set-up his eventual immunity from prosecution. A sure sign that he engaged in some nasty business.

On your brain-drain theme, I would point-out the Canada has out-performed the US on most major economic indices since 1997. If you look-up total indebtedness, you will find that your new country is a economic basket-case. On top of that, there will be a major health-care crisis in the US when the BB'ers start to retire en mass - if they can ever afford to that is.

You main beef seems to be that the Canadian marketplace is proportionally eleven times smaller than the US. Given, that we have 1/11 the population this does makes some sense. That has historically meant that Canadians do not have access to the ame level of instant gratification and reward as Americans. That does not make Canada a lesser country however. It makes Canada a different country.

So, your beef with Canada is that it is not America. Fair for you, since you have voted with your feet and become a Yank. I chose to stay. I chose to honour my ancestors. I chose the Faith of my Fathers.

I can call myslef a Canadian. You cannot anymore. You made that choice.

Are you aware of the Canadian referenced John Galt ? He opposed the Conservative administration of Sir Peregrine Maitland in Upper Canada.

Not very conservative if you ask me ...

US conservatism is classical liberalism. To import it into Canada is to import a foreign creed at worst, and a corrosive cultural force at best.

Canada was founded by people who rejected the American system. We wanted something we think is better. Mammon be damned.

Ron said...

re: "US conservatism is classical liberalism"


Oh, how I wish that were true, but it's not.