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catallaxy in technical exile

Open forum 28/10/06

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Written by Admin

October 28, 2006 at 7:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

174 Responses

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  1. Greg Mankiw has been pushing the idea of a Pigou Club. Members are those people who believe the government can ‘fix’ externalities by taxation. Recently Mankiw has been pushing the idea of higher gas taxes. In a recent post, Mankiw addresses the anti-Pigouvians. He has four categories:

    “1. You deny the existence of these externalities as a type of market failure. Perhaps you think you live in a Coasian fantasy world where people bargain without transaction costs to reach efficient allocations. …
    2. You recognize the externalities but you don’t think the government should try to respond to them. You are such a believer in small government that you are willing to live with inferior economic outcomes, such as pollution and congestion.
    3. You recognize the externalities, think the government should try to correct them, but think the current low taxes we put on gasoline are sufficient. …
    4. You recognize the externalities but think the government should try to correct the market failure through regulations … or through market-based solutions that do not raise government revenue. …”

    Some Commentators added more categories.
    “5. You recognize the externalities but remember that Coasian analysis is based on reciprocal spillovers. Instead of taxing the negative externalities, one could subsidize the reciprocal positive externalities. (I made a similar argument over at Andrew Norton’s place last week).
    6. Given the complexity of the world and the impossibility of one central actor ever accumulating enough information to truly understand it, how can we ever calculate the correct level of a Pigouvian tax?”

    Mankiw is a very smart guy (although being a New Keynesian he is the ideological enemy of Austrians), and many report a nice guy. But he just can’t help himself. Items 1 and 2 aren’t just strawmen, they are insults. Item 3 is patronising. But let’s see what else Mankiw has had to say on Pigouvian taxes in the WSJ, ‘Every time I am stuck in traffic, I wish my fellow motorists would drive less, perhaps by living closer to where they work or by taking public transport.’ Yep, a higher tax would make the roads safe for Professor Mankiw. Anyway, there are six good reasons (and to my mind not even mutually exclusive) – all of them fatal to Pigou – why we shouldn’t increase taxation.

    We always need to ask the question – why is giving even more money to the government going to make the world a better place?

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 10:06 am

  2. You can be reducing the size of government but at the same time evolving the make-up of your taxes.

    We don’t want to use these externalities as an excuse for more depredation or as a way of putting off the further clarification of property rights.

    If we are stuck with Defense-plus-(lets say) 5% of GDP as a budget then it seems no great harm to put the tax on things that are bad and/or limited in supply.

    Its like congestion taxes. Ultimately if it reduces both congestion and other taxes well its a winner.

    But then we don’t want it to get in the way of finding a way to privatise the roads…. even if under some regulation.

    So we get the facsimile of the free-market prices up first and then we work on a caveated sale.

    But people get silly with this. They start wanting taxes on CO2 release. Which would be a disaster until we are weaned off oil.

    (Tax-substitution towards oil might not be so bad. The externality is those crackers who sponsor jihad)

    And CO2 isn’t an externality. Rather its a positive good.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 10:19 am

  3. Simply redefining the tax base as carbon or road usage or whatever isn’t Pigouvian. The irrational belief that markets do not fully capture the costs or benefits are particular activities and then using taxation or subsidy to correct the market price is Pigouvian.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 10:24 am

  4. Right.

    I suspect there are some worthwhile medium-term applications.

    But it has to be done in the context that we are dealing with an entity that is institutionally a massive blood-sucking-thief.

    You’d want other tax and spending cuts up front before you’d accept a new tax.

    Congestion taxes aren’t correcting or mitigating the market. They are trying to copy the market and mitigate the effects of the socialist provision of infrastructure.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 10:35 am

  5. ‘You’d want other tax and spending cuts up front before you’d accept a new tax.’

    Absolutely.

    ‘They are trying to copy the market ‘

    Yes. But unlike orgasms, market prices can’t be faked. (waited a long time to use that line).

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 10:43 am

  6. Right.

    But to me it would still be advisable getting your smoothly-charged congestion-taxes in operation as you were readying for the sell-off of the roads.

    Its going too far to say that the Pigou deal is IRRATIONAL. Because it had to be proved wrong by Coase.

    And in practise its going to at least appear to hold up in the medium term since there is so much accumulated market distortion set up by decades of less-then-perfect governmental behaviour in the past.

    One has to show where the inadequately defined property rights and government-created distortion of the past has screwed things up in the here and now to convince folks that the Coase analysis is more valid then what it replaced.

    And after all if CO2 really was a terrible thing then that would be a valid externality.

    But the fact is its a good thing.

    However one might come across as being rigidly ideological if one took the Coase triumph too far.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 11:10 am

  7. Sinclair, you’re just being silly.

    Congestion pricing doesn’t have to be a form of revenue raising. In fact the whole point of it is to alter people’s behaviour. If it does this as it is supposed to do, it doesn’t raise much revenue in net.

    It is in fact a Coasean instrument. It allows people with a high willingness to pay to use the roads at a particular time to do so. The whole point is to coordinate individual decision making to allow optimal use of roads. What is the market price that congestion pricing is supposed to ‘fake’? The market price is what a rational profit maximising road operator would set anyway i.e.congestion pricing. That it goes to the government rather than to a private operatior may be be of some relevance but surely you’re not saying that just because governments are more likely to stuff things up that therefore everything operated by governments should be irrationally priced?

    This is a bit like libertarians getting a bee in their bonnet over speed limits.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 11:22 am

  8. “The market price is what a rational profit maximising road operator would set anyway i.e.congestion pricing.”

    Hmmmmm.

    I don’t know about that.

    A rational operater would charge even when there isn’t full congestion.

    Which wouldn’t be the best overall use of the accumulated socialist investment in the roads.

    And we can tax enough to get rid of the congestion and thats what we should do. But its true you can’t fake it. You can just do your best to estimate whats the best way to handle things.

    We ought not get that congestion tax happening and think that our job is done.

    We still have to get the caveated and regulated sell-off…. And then work to refine and eventually remove the regulations.

    One ought to be always at least pointing in the anarcho-capitalist direction even if you never expect to get there.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 11:33 am

  9. ‘The market price is what a rational profit maximising road operator would set anyway i.e.congestion pricing.’

    Is it? I often see queues at the movies and Hungry Jacks. Those guys don’t raise their prices, even though the existence of a queue suggests (to economists) that they should.

    The more important point, I think, is that externalities (if they exist at all) are not economics bads that should be avoided, or reduced, at any cost. Externalities are a bye-product of some other desireable good.

    I think what annoys me is the pure arrogance of, say, Mankiw’s argument. He is not alone. The argument goes something like this: ‘the government should price those others, less worthy, out of the market, so I can can drive on an ‘uncongested’ road to work, or pleasure’. The roads of Moscow were uncongested for the politiburo. Also when government prices individuals out of the labour market we jump up and down.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 11:42 am

  10. “‘the government should price those others, less worthy, out of the market, so I can can drive on an ‘uncongested’ road to work, or pleasure’.”

    But there is where your ecessive zealotry is blinding you.

    Of course congestion charges ought to get rid of the predictable congestion.

    So of course their oughto be congestion taxes.

    It comes about not through market failure but through the fact that the roads are provided socialistically.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 11:54 am

  11. My understanding is that he’s just willing to pay more for his road use, Sinc. Not that he’s trying to price others out of the market.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 11:55 am

  12. Yeah he is trying to price them out of the market.

    So as to end the Soviet-like queues of cars at peak-time.

    Sinclairs mixed it up as to what is Soviet and what is not.

    Its sickening this road congestion. We are Australians after all. We ought not be subject to road-space shortage like toothless Soviet housewives waiting for pots and pans or flared Jeans.

    And there is massive real estate tied up in these roads. The irony is that they are massively over-supplied and over-funded. Yet totally inadequate at peak-time when the price of usage is free but ought not be.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 12:00 pm

  13. GMB’s point is an interesting one that is rarely taken up. The almost universal response to road congestion is to increase supply. It is sad that even economists rarely raise the possibility of demand-side measures, and in particular of a congestion tax. It may be true that driving a given vehicle has a measureable impact on road quality and in that case, a, perhaps, per mile price reflecting that cost ought to be levied. Such a price would of course reduce demand for road use, though not likely by much. In particular, I suspect it would very much remain the case that expanding available road capacity (the supply-side response) sufficient to prevent congestion at peak hours would cost much more than the benefits generated. The alternative of implementing congestion pricing seems pretty hard to dispute (though I suspect carefully thinking about these matters might also lead one to consider nonprice measures as well).

    Also as per GMB, a congestion tax actually would allow a reduction in much more inefficient taxes thereby not only making road supply & use more efficient, but reducing the dead weight loss of taxes.

    I don’t buy Andrew’s comment about lines at movies. The theatre owner would undoubtedly raise prices or expand capacity (depending what was thought to increase profit more) or see entry by a third party, if he routinely found his shows were over sold (a different issue to queuing to buy tickets).

    While queuing to buy tickets is not perfectly efficient, cinemas actually do have ways that allow people to avoid those costs, including on-line booking. The fact that queues are observed probably means the costs of more complex queue-free prices or nonprice responses do not justify the benefits. Notice in particular the theatre owner is particularly well-placed to internalise the externality in a way that road users do not (but the government does), so presumably doesn’t do so because it is not efficient to do so).

    A similar analysis applies to Hungry Jack’s.

    Still, I sympathise with Andrew on Mankiw’s attitude. It is, unfortunately, very easy to be unpleasant when blogging or commenting on blogs. In fact, I felt somewhat uncomfortable with my own post on the flu, which I decided just before falling asleep probably was a little patronising.

    On selling the roads, two key issues will arise. First, possibly the resulting monopoly prices would be more efficient than free roads, but it is not at all obvious government ownership with congestion taxes would not be better than private monopolies. Second, creating private road monopolists would be political suicide, as well as a commitment that would probably be reversed rather quickly. I think congestion taxes are more likely.

    Kodjo

    October 28, 2006 at 12:55 pm

  14. I’ll second what Kodjo says on being unpleasant while blogging. Because I have a background in the MSM, I have to work hard to avoid writing 800 word boiler-plate ‘perspectives’ pieces.

    It’s easy to snark in that sort of medium, and then mistake snarking for humour. It’s not until someone makes a comment along the lines of ‘saw your piece in the paper yesterday, you got your knickers in a twist, didn’t you?’ that the snarking comes clear.

    On the roads issue, I was living in London when Red Ken’s congestion charge came in. It made a huge difference to getting around London, and also meant that when you really needed to travel to the City by car, you could. I must say this is one way of dealing with externalities than makes a lot of sense.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 1:04 pm

  15. Sinclair
    Your ideology and your dubious adherence to Austrianisms is blinding you to basic microeconomics.
    The point is that there is a bargaining failure and that whoever owns the roads is in a position to make everyone better off by setting prices.

    Assume

    1) 3 pm is the most popular time for using roads.

    2) road users A to Z

    3) A is a big shot CEO who needs to use the road at 3 pm every day to get from some point to the other and that all alternatives are inferior to his using the road. The opportunity cost of his not using the roads and not having them as uncongested as possible at 3 pm is very high.

    4) the opportunity cost of B to Z of not using the roads at 3 pm is very low. They would be almost as well off using the roads at 4 pm

    5) with zero transaction costs, A could get out of his car at 3 pm, flag down B to Z and pay them $x to use the roads at some other time every day.

    So what happens if instead the road owner sets a congestion price and it becomes more relatively expensive to use the roads at 3 pm?

    The outcome is going to be roughly the same in terms of who uses the roads. But there is a big saving on all these bargaining and transaction costs. The main difference is that instead of A paying off B to Z, B to Z just decide to avoid paying the higher congestion fee at 3 pm and switch to another time. They ‘pay’ by not using the roads at 3 pm. A pays for the right to use the road at 3 pm.

    The main difference between the two outcomes is a DISTRIBUTIONAL issue. Now as an economist concerned with efficiency rather than a sociaist, this should mean bugger all to you.

    What’s in it for the road operator?

    1) minimising congestion means maximising road use and therefore maximising its custom/subscriber base
    2) price discrimination allows the road user to maximise profits

    This is still efficient (even monopoly is efficient as long as the monopolist can engage in near perfect price discrimination) because people with the highest willingness to pay for road use at x pm get to use the roads relatively unhampered at x pm etc. People self-select based on WILLINGNESS TO PAY instead of having to bargain with each other or instead of self-selecting based on their being the most willing to bear the cost of sitting in traffic (an in-kind price is ALWAYS less efficient than an explicit price).

    If you are concerned with distribution, you can address that in other ways without buggering up road use. Your alternative i.e. no congestion fee is to SOCIALISE the costs of road congestion – you want everyone to be equally unhappily stuck in traffic.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 1:05 pm

  16. Well you want the congestion taxes first….

    Then the caveated, regulated sell-off…

    Then you keep trying to reduce and refine the rules.

    Then you have the final sell-off to get rid of the caveats.

    But you don’t want to sell things off so that you get monopolists in the first place.

    You’d want to sell it off on a semi-Georgist basis.

    So that people were paying a yearly tax on their section of road that rose with the rise in its surrounding real estate prices.

    It might be many decades before things develop so as to allow a total free-hold situation.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 1:07 pm

  17. “On the roads issue, I was living in London when Red Ken’s congestion charge came in. It made a huge difference to getting around London, and also meant that when you really needed to travel to the City by car, you could. I must say this is one way of dealing with externalities than makes a lot of sense.”

    Well he did good to get the process started.

    But then he left it at that with a clunky daily charge.

    So he’s just reducing the traffic into town in total and causing great stress for some of the businessmen in London.

    But if he had instead kept working to refine his charging he could have been charging through the nose at peak-times and giving people a break at other times.

    Which would actually INCREASE the use people could get out of the roads.

    So its one cheer for getting the idea started.

    But one can see he’s not really for the free enterprise cause if he just stops there.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 1:14 pm

  18. Jason, I understand the microeconomics of it. Roads, at present, are not private assets. (I have no problem with new private toll roads.) They are public assets. To the extent we have the rule of law and equality before the law, the government should be indifferent to the ‘big shot’s’ status as a big shot. The government, however, is concerned about distributional issues and when making policy should take that into acount. (Afterall slavery is very efficient, yet we don’t advocate it). Although, I’m happy to agree we shouldn’t take it too far.

    Kodjo, I’m not sure what the US debate is like, but economists here often call for a congestion tax. Government (of both persuations) tend to be wary of the notion, suspecting them to be electoral poison.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 1:22 pm

  19. Here’s one for libertarians to cheer. Justice for a coup-leading, anti-democratic, militaristic, pro-cabal supporter of state terrorism and extra-legal transnational murder of dissidents. Right?

    A judge has ordered the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for torture, murder and kidnapping in the early years of his regime, from 1973 to 1990.
    Judge Alejandro Solis ordered the arrest of Mr Pinochet for 36 cases of kidnapping, one of homicide and for 23 cases of torture at the Villa Grimaldi, a political detention centre run by his secret police where thousands of people were tortured between 1974 and 1977.

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 1:26 pm

  20. Sinclair, the point is that your objections to pricing as such are disingenous. Anything that leads to rationing is a price.

    Without congestion pricing, you are effectively forced to pay for road use in terms of the opportunity cost of your time (i.e. your willingness to sit in traffic). It’s irrational. It’s like paying for your groceries by displaying saintliness instead of taking money out of your wallet.

    It’s also productively inefficient as well as allocatively inefficient because the people with the lowest opportunity cost of time may be the people who end up using the roads the most. So if you think of the road system as an intermediate good (i.e. capital, which it is) this is not making good use of labour-capital combinations.

    Congestion fees make all this fungible.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 1:29 pm

  21. Ahem, that’s alleged coup-leading, anti-democratic, etc.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 1:29 pm

  22. ‘you are effectively forced to pay for road use in terms of the opportunity cost of your time’

    Yes. This is a price everyone can pay. and by choosing to sit in the traffic they have voluntarily chosen to pay. Bear in mind, there is very little preventing ‘big shot’ from catching public transport, or hiring a helicopter.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 1:34 pm

  23. Yeah, yeah, OK, alleged orderer of tortures, kidnappings and murders. There’s nothing alleged about his leadership of the 1973 coup or his opposition to democracy.
    You’re right—it’s best to stay on the right side of ‘defamation law’ around here these days.

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 1:35 pm

  24. Why are you wearing a communist hat when talking about infrastructure, Sinclair? These are capital goods you are talking about. If anything pricing is just as important here if not more.

    The ‘big shot’ was just part of my verbal model for explaining the loss of efficiency. Don’t get hung up over it.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 1:38 pm

  25. On a serious note, I thought immunity from prosecution was one of the conditions set out before the transition to democracy.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 1:38 pm

  26. Liam
    Point Sinclair in the direction of your beret supplier.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 1:39 pm

  27. ‘Why are you wearing a communist hat when talking about infrastructure, Sinclair?’

    I think the scope for expost oppourtunism is very high here. if the government has to pay a high price before implementing tolls and the like, it makes them less willing to engage in oppourtunism expost, and creates incentives to get the infrastructure right up front.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 1:42 pm

  28. LOL. Mrs D has forbidden berets.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 1:42 pm

  29. It’s not the brand of the one I wear, but if I had to get a replacement I’d order one of the ‘superlujo/superluxury’ berets from here:
    http://www.boinaselosegui.com/
    It’s coming up to summer, they’re hardly ideal hot-weather headgear. One of these days I’m going to get myself a Panama straw hat for the 30° plus days.

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 1:45 pm

  30. “Afterall slavery is very efficient, yet we don’t advocate it”

    No its not. Its horribly inefficient.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 2:03 pm

  31. You are really being idiotic about this
    Sinclair.

    Extemely Myopic.

    They are not consulted when it comes to paying for the roads.

    Whereas if its user-pays thats the choice. Thats where there decision to use them at the peak times can pay for the funding of the roads including the implied interest on the real-estate costs.

    And its a choice that brings us closer to where we can de-socialise the roads.

    Incredible. That you would know that the free enterprise cost can’t be simulated perfectly. But then you decide that the price in peak-time should therefore be zero for a scarce good.

    Makes no sense at all and just perpetuates the market distortion and the socialism of it.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 2:10 pm

  32. Who do you think was worse laime, Pinochet or allende. I’ll take my pick.

    Pinochet took over the country and eventually let it move to deomcracy.

    The turd, Allende, took over the country and then tried to turn himself into a castro lookalike tkaing his orders from Moscow.

    Did Pinochet’s regime kill people? Sure they did, desperate times calls for desperate measures. Did the left attempt to kill people? Ask the survivors of Castros regime whether he was a fair minded leftist creep?

    So don’t try and feed us this crap.

    I’d take Pinochet over Allende anytime.

    jc

    October 28, 2006 at 2:13 pm

  33. “Why are you wearing a communist hat when talking about infrastructure, Sinclair?”

    Where’s your anarcho-capitalist hat gone?

    You keep it in the closet only for the topic of money?

    When actually you are just fine with our super-regulated fiat setup.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 2:13 pm

  34. I don’t know enough about Pinochet or Allende to comment on their respective regimes. One thing I have noticed is how the number of people allegedly killed by Pinochet keeps getting revised downwards. I don’t like the look of that. Either someone lied in the first place, or a bunch of very nasty revisionists have been at the historical record.

    I’ve interviewed David Irving. He’s the sort of man capable of turning statistics into putty, and it gives me the creeps.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 2:21 pm

  35. I’m glad we’re on the same side on this, Graeme 🙂

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 2:53 pm

  36. Yeah but you have not expressed the desire to take it that further step.

    It becomes clear under Reismans system.

    A factor in Reismans definition of what capital is is that its got to be reproduceable with the revenue you make from spending on it.

    Investment is spending for the purpose of making more money.

    So its an absolute no-no that we ought be perpetuating a situation where you have to keep stealing to maintain your infrastructure.

    Now it is hard to see how things like sewer systems and rail and road can be privatised but it will get easier and easier the longer that we have the best pricing we can get in operation.

    If the roads have to pay for their implied real-estate interest cost as well as their maintenance……. or at least if you have a schedule developed where they have to pay more and more each year until they reach that level……

    And if they are in private hands where people have real confidence in their property rights though they be somewhat regulated….

    Then we can get these real innovations.

    We can get innovations in safety. Innovations in multi-level roads at the busiest parts of the city to avoid congestion and reduce the real-estate-based charges……… Innovations in driverless vehicles to deliver goods to the factories IN THE RIGHT ORDER to practice Just-In-Time-Management.

    And the pity of it all is that we aren’t racing towards this full steam ahead. Because no-one else is doing this.

    We can get the drop on the whole lot of them.

    And it will change everything.

    It will change city layout.

    The population distribution of people throughout the country.

    And if you have the right pricing for long enough it will set up the system in such a way as to make it more and more amenable to anarcho-capitalist solutions.

    But we don’t talk about getting the pricing right and then just leaving off there.

    What are we.

    Communists?

    We can do better then that.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 3:15 pm

  37. ‘Where’s your anarcho-capitalist hat gone?’

    Me, or Jason?

    Pinochet saved Chile from communism – that has to count for something.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 4:04 pm

  38. I was talking to Jason.

    You can’t just get to some facsimile of private pricing for road-use and then stop there.

    I’m really just hassling him for his ridiculous behaviour on the money thread.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 4:18 pm

  39. I never got to read the thread of doom – i had given it some thought, but with the crash and all it’s all academic now.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 4:23 pm

  40. Its a funny subject.

    I find that there is always more information coming in that reverses everything I thought I knew previously.

    And I blame it on something very strange about puny humans.

    They go quite mad when the subject is money.

    The turn into lunatics and any previous understanding of methodology goes out the window.

    But its important that we get it right.

    Since it appears that it affects all aspects of our society.

    Right down to our crime rate, the future of real wages, the likelihood of going to war, how well we can perform in war when we get there. The distribution of wealth and so on.

    People are much too flippant about this (you included). They seem to think that if we get some broad level of counterfeiting right, on the national level, that everything is just fine and dandy.

    But why should this be?

    We see in all other areas that the sabotage, or lack of clarity, in property rights can cause grave unintentional consequences.

    Rather then not applying for money creation IT APPEARS TO APPLY IN SPADES.

    The issue of by what grounds money ought to be created appears to be THE MOST and not the least important thing to get clarified in terms of property rights.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 4:44 pm

  41. “Pinochet saved Chile from communism”

    Yeah, cos Allende was just Mao Mark II, Lenin’s lick-spittle and Ho’s ho.

    Very nuanced, Sinclair.

    fatfingers

    October 28, 2006 at 5:03 pm

  42. communism isn’t a nuanced ideology – communists kill people. With a utilitarian hat on, all we need to do is weigh up how many people would die under a communist regime and how many did die under Pinochet. We can never know the answer, but I reckon the Chileans did better with Pinochet than they would have with Allende. Just an opinion – and I’m not a utilitarian.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 5:06 pm

  43. ‘People are much too flippant about this (you included).’

    It’s just a blog – we’re not changing the world here.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 5:07 pm

  44. “‘People are much too flippant about this (you included).’
    It’s just a blog – we’re not changing the world here.”

    Jeepers fella.

    You must be a lonely lonely man if you are hanging out here for the company.

    You got no friends Sinclair?

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 5:10 pm

  45. Don’t be so mean, Birdy.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 5:11 pm

  46. “Yeah, cos Allende was just Mao Mark II, Lenin’s lick-spittle and Ho’s ho.”

    Dude.

    Allende was a horrid fascist.

    I think taking out Schneider was a crime. And that the coup was premature. But that doesn’t mean that Allende was any sort of OK guy.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 5:14 pm

  47. Well Jason. We ought to be attempting to change the world.

    Listen to the news sometime. The world needs changing.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 5:15 pm

  48. ‘You got no friends Sinclair? ‘

    Hell, I’ve got two friends. You and Jason. Now I know you abuse me and all, but deep down inside we’re all mates (sniff).

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 5:15 pm

  49. Yep, that’s the kind of libertarianism I know and despise. Show you the barest hint of the red flag and you go weak-as-piss at the knees, supporting military coups d’etat, kidnappings and executions in the interests of freedom—market freedom, anyway.

    desperate times calls for desperate measures

    Thus saith the objective supporter of state terrorism, JC.
    The kind of government Allende might have led is irrelevant: he was elected by Chileans and overthrown by the military.

    Skepticlawyer, peruse for yourself some of the primary sources held by George Washington University’ National Security Archive.

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 7:02 pm

  50. [errata]: there’s a missing / in that blockquote.

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 7:03 pm

  51. Seems all clear to me, Liam, although Jason may have fixed it.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 7:12 pm

  52. Pinochet was a butcher, no doubt about it. A commie coming close to power does not justify preemptive killing. If there really was some sort of emergency situation as some Pinochet apologists claimed, insurgents could have just been put in prison to cool off until the crisis was over.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 7:18 pm

  53. I take that view too Jason.

    But I think we have to go a little bit easy on Kissinger and those guys. Because we appeared to be losing the fight against the commies every step of the way. And things were in dire straights until Reagan emerged to show us how to take all these bastards down at once, in a relatively humane way, and make it look easy.

    I mean once you’ve won you think its all OK and groovy and then you can afford to look at these various moral failures with a jaundiced eye.

    But it must have seemed to Pinochet and those guys that there country was going down the poo-hole in an avalaunce of bad craziness.

    And it must have seemed to Nixon like he really couldn’t afford to lose more ground with these socialists.

    Pinochet has to be judged fairly low down in the criminal stakes.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 7:27 pm

  54. I’ve just spent the last hour reading stuff on Chile, Pinochet, the ‘Miracle of Chile’, the ‘Chicago Boys’ etc.

    He reminds me of Spain’s Franco, the way he put democracy in cold storage but let it out again once the economy had recovered. That said, it’s pretty clear that Allende was a tosser, but not dangerous.

    I’m a firm believer that people deserve the governments they elect, and if they elect an incompetent tosser, it ill behooves someone else who thinks he knows better to come along and ‘fix’ things without the peoples’ consent. This only becomes an option if said tosser becomes a threat to neighboring states.

    Pinochet is just such a fixer, and for all that he may have ushered in an economic boom, he deserves to have the book thrown at him for that.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 8:22 pm

  55. Allende was selected by the congress and he was sppointed with conditions. He was not voted in by the people, laime. A plebiscite chose him when there was no clear winner. The leftist little creep broke those condtions and began imposing his own romantic notion of a totalitarian state.

    Sure Pinochet wasn’t a good guy. So what? Does that give Allende the right to do what he wants.

    That’s the trouble with hard leftists they bring out the worst in people .

    jc

    October 28, 2006 at 8:22 pm

  56. We can’t be too picky with our mates.

    Pinochet helped the British out when they had to sort a few things out in the Falkland Islands.

    We don’t have the choice of being too severe with dictators that hold up their committments with out allies.

    If we can essentially forgive Gadaffi we ought not be letting down Pinochet by hounding the old guy or too much abusing his memory.

    The English-Speaking world is not difficult to get along with. And we’d better keep it that way.

    We ought not mess with characters that don’t mess to much with us. It gives out a very bad signal.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 8:43 pm

  57. Skepticlawyer, Franco didn’t let democracy ‘out’ until many years after he died, and it had to survive quite a few abortive little coups before it gained a toehold. The boom of the 1970s in Spain was very much against his policy recommendations, led by a pro-European Community vanguardist lot of Falangista technocrats. Franco’s own economic policy was very much of the autarky ‘fuck the world, shoot the Reds’ school. They’re in no way comparable, except in the small matters of common language and Cold War support of the CIA.
    As to endangering neighbouring States, Pinochet’s intelligence service DINA were implicated in lots of trans-national kidnappings and assasinations—including one carbombing in Washington DC. Rogue terrorist states don’t come any clearer defined.

    Careful with your facts, JC. Allende’s Unidad Popular won the largest minority of the votes. Appointment by the Congreso was the only way any President could have been appointed. In comparison, Pinochet won the support of the Army and the silence of the desaparecidos. What would Allende have wanted? We’ll never know.

    Sure Pinochet wasn’t a good guy. So what?

    Some libertarian you are.

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 8:45 pm

  58. “As to endangering neighbouring States, Pinochet’s intelligence service DINA were implicated in lots of trans-national kidnappings and assasinations—including one carbombing in Washington DC. Rogue terrorist states don’t come any clearer defined.”

    Sounds like horse-shit commie-propaganda to me.

    So lets see the evidence for this JIVE Liam.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 8:49 pm

  59. Liam is right about the appointment. From what I’ve just read, Chile has a ‘run-off’ system. Even the current incumbent (elected in a genuinely free and fair election) took power that way. Allende won fair and square, and if he buggered the country, there was only one legitimate response: vote him out. Last time I looked, this didn’t involve firebombing the houses of parliament (one of the stunts Pinochet’s merry men used to pry Allende out of power).

    I meant comparable in rhetoric, Liam, with regard to Franco. It’s clear that Pinochet knew nothing of economics and gave the Chicago Boys pretty much carte clanche; unusually for a fascist he wasn’t into autarky. Franco, Hitler and Mussolini were, to varying degrees. This is probably because all three thought they ‘knew better’.

    Mind you at least Franco had the brains to stay out of WWII.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 8:56 pm

  60. actually there are some who argue that Franco secretly did his bit for the war effort AGAINST Hitler

    http://hitlerstoppedbyfranco.com/franco_jews.htm

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 9:01 pm

  61. No worries, Graeme.
    Orlando Letelier was assassinated by carbombing on the 21st September 1976 in downtown Washington DC. The man who ordered the killing, Manuel Contreras Sepúlveda, was later indicted by a US Grand Jury for the terrorist act.
    Here’s GWU’s file on the assassination.
    Here’s the New York Times’ article on the CIA’s declassified files.

    Actually, Skepticlawyer, Spanish troops in Francoist Spain were permitted to ‘volunteer’ for service in German units on the Eastern Front. Judith Keene at the University of Sydney has done quite a bit of work on people who served in the Spanish Civil War on both sides, and on Spaniards who later served elsewhere.

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 9:10 pm

  62. I wouldn’t think you could classify either Franco or Pinochet as fascists.

    They lack the marxist background.

    More just old-fashioned military dictators.

    Like Cromwell or someone. More just throwbacks.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:10 pm

  63. He could have made Gibraltar look like Singapore, too, but chose not to. Interesting. Mind you, he’d just come off the back of the Spanish Civil War, which took out something like 10% of Spain’s population.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 9:11 pm

  64. Are you serious, Graeme? Do you know anything at all about the Spanish Civil War?

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 9:14 pm

  65. But he also rescued Jews, if Jason’s link is right, a bloody sight more than the French (including their resistance) managed to do.

    And allowing people to volunteer to serve the fascist cause if they feel like it is rather different to entering the war on the Axis side and walking over the top of Gibraltar. That would have turned the Med into a fascist lake.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 9:15 pm

  66. I actually agree with Graeme on this. Franco was sort of a Catholic traditionalist and military man rather than a Fascist. See that link I put out – there were even some reports suggesting he had Jewish ancestry himself.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 9:16 pm

  67. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Franco

    Lacking any strong ideology, Franco initially sought support from National syndicalism (nacionalsindicalismo) and the Roman Catholic Church (nacionalcatolicismo). His coalition-ruling single party, the Movimiento Nacional, was so heterogeneous as to barely qualify as a party at all, and was certainly not an ideological monolith like the Fascio di Combattimento (Fascist Party of Italy) or the ruling block of Antonio Salazar in Portugal. His Spanish State was chiefly a conservative—even traditionalist—rightist regime, with emphasis on order and stability, rather than a definite political vision.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 9:19 pm

  68. Right Liam.

    The New York Times are of course full of shit. But that outfit calling themselves the National Security Archive seem on the level.

    Any more crimes like this that are being sheeted off to the General?

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:19 pm

  69. SL
    I blogged about some book I read on this ages ago. Even the Italian Fascists rescued more Jews than the bloody Frogs.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 9:22 pm

  70. “Are you serious, Graeme? Do you know anything at all about the Spanish Civil War?”

    Yes I am serious. And yes I do know a little about the Spanish Civil War.

    He beat up the commies who were being backed by Stalin but whats your point exactly?

    My argument is that he wasn’t a fascist. That he was more like a pre-Marxist-pre-Twentieth-Century strongman.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:23 pm

  71. Well, sorry Jason and Graeme, you’re quite wrong. Franco’s Falange Española succeeded in leadership the 1933-1936 dictatorship of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, which was kicked out in elections. Look him up.
    They were both fascist, anti-Marxist, and anti-democrat. That Franco was a Catholic traditionalist was simply the feature of Spanish right-wing politics at the time, and the price the Fascists had to pay for the support of the Carlists.

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 9:25 pm

  72. That invasion in 1941 into the Soviet Union was a massive multi-national affair.

    And you can’t really be faulting the people who got involved in that.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:26 pm

  73. here’s the book

    http://www.foreignaffairs.org/19910301fabook6632/jonathan-steinberg/all-or-nothing-the-axis-and-the-holocaust-1941-43.html

    A riveting book: the principal question is how and why the Italian authorities during the Second World War protected the Jews in their zones of occupation, resisting the demands of their German allies. On the basis of archives and interviews, Steinberg, an Anglo-American historian, meticulously reconstructs a quiet Italian “conspiracy” but asks the deeper question as to why the authorities of one country would have behaved with surreptitious humanity while those in others engaged in compliant callousness. A major contribution also to an understanding of World War II, especially in regard to the warring parts of Yugoslavia and the horrendous brutality of the Croatians. Steinberg’s tentative answers derive from his insight into Italian and German history and from his analysis of the structure and spirit of the fascist regimes. A masterpiece, modest in scope but deep in reflectiveness; by its restraint and wisdom it stands out among Holocaust studies.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 9:27 pm

  74. “Well, sorry Jason and Graeme, you’re quite wrong. Franco’s Falange Española succeeded in leadership the 1933-1936 dictatorship of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, which was kicked out in elections. Look him up.”

    You are full of shit.

    What am I wrong about?

    I said that Franco ought not be classified a fascist since he lacks the marxist background.

    You haven’t provided a stitch of evidence against this.

    Are you fucking dumb or something?

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:28 pm

  75. Fuck me, after that comment #72 of Graeme’s I’m not sure I want to be involved in this thread anymore.
    See you all on other stoushes.

    Liam

    October 28, 2006 at 9:28 pm

  76. I know about Italy – lived there for a year. Lots of fascist deputies had orders from high up (some even said from il duce himself) not to enforce the bulk of the anti-semitic laws. Italian Jews like Primo Levi were deported by the Germans once Italy dropped out of the war.

    Mind you, if the Italians decide that they are not going to enforce or follow a particular law, nothing happens. The Italian people have perfected the art of non-compliance.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 9:30 pm

  77. Graeme
    what the fuck does Operation Barbarossa have to do with anything we’re discussing here? and what on earth are you talking about?

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 9:32 pm

  78. I think you’ve scared Liam away, Graeme. That was mean. And we were having an interesting chat, too.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 9:34 pm

  79. Yeah well once they’ve been shown to be full of shit they just run away.

    But he did give me some good information on the General. And that National Intelligence Archive site looks like a pretty useful place for good info.

    See how these leftists are always in denial as to the marxist influence on the fascists.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:40 pm

  80. I didn’t bring up the invasion of the Soviet Union Jason?

    Why are you on MY case about that?

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:41 pm

  81. Graeme
    Liam got scared off because your comment no 72 sounded like it’s saying ‘you can’t really be faulting the people who got involved in that.’ (i.e. Operation Barbarosa). So you better clarify that ‘cos he’ll now go around thinking you were for Operation Barabarosa and what happened there.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 9:44 pm

  82. Somehow I’m not sure how we got from Pinochet to Franco. I went and did a decent whack of reading (some of it in Spanish, in which I’m far from fluent) just so I could join in, and then we get onto Franco.

    Blogthreads. Bugger.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 9:44 pm

  83. Ahhh, yes.

    The Eastern Front was a clear case of the Devil meets Beelzebub, and I don’t think it’s wise to go around taking sides in that particular conflict. NKVD. Totenkopf. Einsatzgruppen. Gulags.

    Ring any bells?

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 9:47 pm

  84. Well for fucks sakes.

    As if the non-Germans knew about Hitlers plans to turn it into a war of extermination.

    If thats what Liam is on about then he really is an idiot.

    No he wouldn’t be as stupid as that. The fact is he got to a point of no argument where he was found to have argued like a complete idiot….

    Then he found an excuse and staged a walkout like a fucking leftist Pratt.

    Even the regular German soldiers didn’t know about the people who followed them and then slaughtered every man woman and child.

    So hows some volunteer Spaniard going to know about that.

    Admit that Liam is being a fucking idiot-Pratt.

    Of course he’s going to be a bit sensitive about people invading his beloved Soviet Union.

    Thats understood. But he ought to keep that emotional side of things to himself.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:49 pm

  85. Right, so you are distinguishing between the regular army and the SS knuckle draggers. I guess there is some support for that distinction and in any case it’s a question of fact rather than values and Liam was overreacting.

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 9:52 pm

  86. Liam brought up the eastern front in post #61.

    SL – the point is that some strongmen like Franco, Pinochet, and whathisface from Portugal were traditional old-fashioned dictators – who had a habit of killing communists. Now, nobodies perfect, but they had, at least, redeeming feature. The Portuguese did a fine job supporting the US airlift during the Yom Kippur war – when our European friends did stuff-all (when they weren’t providing finance and moral support to the aggressors).

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 28, 2006 at 9:52 pm

  87. No idiot.

    Stop making excuses for Liam.

    This was a massive multinational undertaking.

    Stalin was the worlds greatest criminal.

    He had invaded his neighbours.

    He had (along with Hitler) started World War II.

    Others were concerned about him.

    How can you fault the non-Germans who volunteered to fight the communists?

    They knew NOTHING about Hitlers activities.

    The history of this last few minutes is that Liam couldn’t find any evidence for his contention that Pinochet and Franco ought to be classified as fascists and the fucking Pratt found a ridiculous excuse and staged a walk-out.

    You ought to be running him down for his lameness.

    But you are perverse when it comes to these things.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:56 pm

  88. Sorry about that Jason.

    I misread your last post. You are always instinctively side against me so I’m on a hair trigger.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 9:57 pm

  89. It was a bit hard to ignore, Graeme. In Ukraine, White Russia and the Baltic States, the German (Romanian, Hungarian, Croatian, Vichy French, Spanish volunteer) troops typically arrived to find the local population carving up (often literally) Communist Party officials and Jews. If they weren’t doing it to the Jews, the opportunity to loot at will and a bottle of vodka usually induced them to do so. This is extensively documented, and was widely photographed at the time.

    Some Wehrmacht – and even SS – commanders who retained a shred of humanity complained about what they described as ‘execution tourism’. This involved entire villages and towns turning up to watch, the, ahem, show. It was clearly not just fascinating the way a train wreck is fascinating, either. Herbert Selle, commander of Pioneer Regiment 604 described the population of the Ukrainian town of Zhitomyr ‘sitting on rooftops and platforms watching the show’. He took photographs.

    Franz Stahlecker, head of Einsatzgruppe A, in a contemporary report described Lithuanian auxiliaries beating Jews to death in the main square. ‘Each time a victim was beaten to death, they [watching civilians] started to clap’. Parents held their toddlers up so they could watch. And so on. This too was photographed. Hundreds of pictures have surfaced, because there were so many people watching who just happened to have their box brownies with them.

    It’s worth wading through the German to read Die Schoene Zeiten (Fischer-Verlag 1988). Even if you only look at the pictures.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 10:11 pm

  90. Terrible stuff.

    But in terms of Franco’s policy, and in terms of the initial volunteers… How could anyone have known in advance.

    I still maintain that Liam is being a Pratt and you don’t want to read too much into his performance.

    Sounds like you are giving him a case after the fact skeptic.

    He wouldn’t have thought of all that.

    Its still an after-the-fact damnation by association of the volunteers or the policy of letting the volunteers go. Of making no attempt to stop them.

    GMB

    October 28, 2006 at 10:18 pm

  91. Yes that’s true but I think it’s not inconsistent with Graeme’s distinction and his point that not all the volunteers would have shared in these exterminationist plans and that the Spanish ones were probably mostly motivated by anti-communism.

    Another interesting tangent on all this is that of course the traditional Wermacht were not necessarily sympathetic to Hitlerism though they of course did end up ‘following orders’

    http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/righit.html

    Jason Soon

    October 28, 2006 at 10:18 pm

  92. And also remember that quite a few of the SS knuckle-draggers were frontline combat units. They were not, ahem, exactly going to stop the locals from doing this. There are records of Hungarian Axis troops stopping massacres in the Ukraine, to which the local response was often to go to the next village and see if its occupiers were Romanian or Croatian – considered better even than the Germans because they would pay in hard currency, rather than just the ‘profit’ from looting.

    skepticlawyer

    October 28, 2006 at 10:20 pm

  93. These Pinochet and Franco cases are rather difficult for all the opponents of leftism. Because by western standards they are criminals and should be treated as such. But by the standards of the 20th century and communist and Nazi butchers they are angels. Moreover, at least in the case of Pinochet this was perceived as a useful tool in the fight against communism.

    The solution to this dillemma is to recognise that in the long term torture and brutal oppression was counter-productive to the western cause.

    Boris

    October 28, 2006 at 11:11 pm

  94. Missed all this. Laime is trying create the impression that Allende was a saint. When he was the fuc king devil as far as Chile goes. Allende was about to turn that country into another Cuba with the help of cuban goon squads. Moscow thought it had it made with Allende in power.

    The military correctly read this to mean that it was a take over of the country by a hard left grouping and decided to do what was best for th country… take out Allende.

    Unfortunately the military is taught to one things when it meets resistence. It knows how to kill.

    Let’s now kid ourselves about the brutality of the left in south america.

    I’m glad Pinoceet took over . At least with him there was a chance for the country to turn itself into the most well to do in all of south america.

    Good

    Laime, don’t fucking sneer at me because i thought the best choice was Pinochet over allende. Alllende was a commie prick who was going to turn the place into another leftist hellhole like cuba.
    If castro got in a bullet in his head 30 years ago the country would have been much better off as most people would agree. Same with St. Allende.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 12:58 am

  95. jc, I respectfully disagree. Castro got in power by overthrowing a legitimate goverment (although also oppressive). Allende was a legitimate leader elected through a democratic process.

    However it is not even the coup that Pinochet is blamed for, but human rights abuses during his rule. In my view these cannot be justified, and in the long term did more hard than good to opponents of the left.

    Boris

    October 29, 2006 at 2:44 am

  96. Yikes. Note to self. Stay off the Open Forums.

    Since I posted comments here prior to the descent, I feel compelled to say:

    Nothing can justify the military overthrow of an elected government that in no way could be said to have behaved tyrannously; nothing can justify torturing and murdering thousands of civilians and imprisoning many more for their beliefs; nothing can justify curtailing the rights of the bulk of adults from voting & expressing their opinions by peaceful means. Nothing.

    Kodjo

    October 29, 2006 at 5:03 am

  97. “These Pinochet and Franco cases are rather difficult for all the opponents of leftism. Because by western standards they are criminals and should be treated as such. But by the standards of the 20th century and communist and Nazi butchers they are angels.”

    Precisely. They weren’t marxist utopian eschatologists like the fascists and communists. And neither or them attacked us directly.

    Franco got rid of the communists from Spain. Thats a damn good thing.

    If a democracy goes so far as to bring communists into leadership then its a God thats failed. Its not our homeland. Its that of the two Generals. And its not our judgement call to make whether the situation can from there be retrieved from the ballot box.

    They afterall didn’t have as much of an established tradition as a relatively open society as the English-Speaking world.

    You know if it happened to Swizterland, that they all went mad and voted in communists, there is a pretty good chance that you could leave these guys in charge for one or two years and see how much damage they’ve done and then make a move.

    And if it happened in Australia in the 1950’s same thing.

    But marxists taking over is no joke.

    Look what those commies Milosevic-and-wife did to Yugoslavia when they won power through the elections over there.

    I can’t recapture the world of 1970’s South America to know whether the General made a good decision. I certainly am still sickened by the treatment of general Schneider.

    But no marxist has any business running for elections in the first place.

    They have no right to. They are cuckoo-baby democrats. They don’t believe in elections and they gain votes in bad faith.

    That goes for Hitler, Allende or any other marxists who seek power in that way.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 5:10 am

  98. Jeepers.

    I’ve just been reading about Allende.

    I don’t want to be put in the position of defending the General too much but by Allah. What was Allende thinking?

    He just seems to have gone on this massive looting campaign. Sounds like suicide through socialism. Stealing flat out. Just looting looting looting and inflation up to 500%.

    What on earth did he THINK was going to happen?

    I think he did know. He went out fighting with a rifle in his hands.

    The General just seems to have had lists of all the serious marxists and killed them all in short order.

    (I’m only going off a couple of internet sites so others would know more about this).

    One thing the butchers under Pinochet can’t be faulted for is there effectiveness.

    Its seems you kill the utopian eschatologists and stop the inflation and other forms of thieving and everything is well sorted after that.

    The most successful nation in South America.

    Let this be a lesson to all you commies out there.

    We tolerate you DESPITE the damage you do and your continual moves to harm this country and our alliances.

    Don’t push it.

    Lest the General become a hero and an example of the only practical way to survive in an increasingly difficult world.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 6:39 am

  99. That’s very nice Kodjo – two smallish points. Communist government by definition is tyranny, and by definition liberatrians oppose tyranny. Second point, I can think of situations betond Chile where military overthrow has lead to improvement in people’s lives, for example Algeria, and Pakistan. Military government in those countries has lead to better (although much improvement can still occur) conditions for women – especially if they are not subject to ‘traditional’ practices as they would have been under democracy.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 29, 2006 at 7:40 am

  100. Kodjo’s point is well taken – I’d prefer to debate outlandish views on externality, than show off the bloodlust of killing commies. Not that commies aren’t themselves a negative externality …

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 29, 2006 at 7:41 am

  101. Notice that in your country. Serious reform couldn’t happen while the communists were a big force.

    Soon as the cold war is won Mandela is out of prison contesting a one man one vote election.

    You know we in Australia here, with the whole continent to ourselves, can afford to be a little bit flippant about these people. We can afford to look askance at those who fight them.

    Well I think mostly looking somewhat askance is in order. But a little bit of understanding as to what these people face might be also worthy of taking on board.

    We are talking about people coming to power who are more loyal to the bloodthirsty Soviets then they are to you. That think of you as THE MASSES… and that are determined to enslave you and wreck your country.

    If you KNOW this and you can SEE this what are you going to do?

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 9:53 am

  102. ‘Serious reform couldn’t happen while the communists were a big force.’

    Political reform couldn’t happen while communism was a serious force – yes. Economic reform could and did. South African governments, past and present, have had a relativily free hand in economic policy. Largely because their key constituency has little interest in economics. So while labour market issues are politically contentious, other economic issues are not. Government has been able to make snap decisions about economics that would be contentious here. Also, the ANC government installed a Finance Minister (Treasurer) who was very smart and very pragmatic. (Some of his underlings were contemporaries of mine at university and it was surprising how those bolshie Marxists reinvented themselves overnight into the ‘mainstream’).

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 29, 2006 at 10:30 am

  103. It’d be interesting to get your perspective on this Sinc, but how likely is it that South Africa will finish up going down the Zimbabwe route? The country has its problems but seems to be working well enough, although that said, there are an awful lot of talented South Africans – of all backgrounds – over here.

    skepticlawyer

    October 29, 2006 at 10:50 am

  104. Talent is mobile. Life is easy in Australia (if you’re not lazy) and the pay is good. So there is likely to be many talented individuals here.

    My sister lives in the UK and tells me that all her friends are from the southern hemisphere. In London you can pick up free newspapers aimed just at South Africans, Australians, and New Zealanders. So the ad-revenue must the good.

    Crime in South Africa is a huge problem – and this is the Apartheid legacy. Politically there was a constitutional transfer of power following a general election. On the ground, however, an entire generation of individuals had received little education (‘liberation before education’ was the cry) and have few prospects. So-called ‘Bantu’ education was of an appalling standard to begin with. The rule of law had completely collapsed and respect for authority had collapsed too. Teachers and policemen were seen as part of the oppressive regime to be overthrown. The casual brutality of revolution has a degrading effect on people and society. The collapse of civil society manifests itself in crime.

    Restoring those insitutions (the civilising instutions of society) will take time and effort and money. I don’t know if South Africa will end up like Zimbabwe. I don’t think so.

    Sinclair Davidson

    October 29, 2006 at 11:12 am

  105. Laime

    There were three candidates in the Chilean election. Allende won by about 2% of the vote 36% to 34% (and 28% the 3rd candidate).

    Allende hardly had the support to convert the country to a marxist state and he most probably would never have won a majority in a runoff.

    Pinochet’s regime was accused of killing 2100 leftists. This is hardly the industrlial numbers that the other marxists in China and Cambodia achieved.

    This is also a much smaller number that Castra’s savagery with his gulags etc. has given us.

    As a said, desperate times call for desperate measures and it was a good thing in the end that allende was gotten rid of.

    As I said, your like all the other lefties in your pathetic attempt to cannonize a creep like allende while keeping mum about the other marxists who have actually killed great numbers of people. You’re a disgrace.

    It’s people like me who have the moral right to criticise pinochet, not you and the rest of your leftist hoard who ignore the milllions and millions dead for the casue of marxism.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 11:51 am

  106. Yeah thats a point isn’t it JC.

    These people who want to go after the General…. A loyal ally of our own most important allies…..

    They aren’t coming from a very righteous point of view, most of them, are they.

    I don’t include skeptic in this. But I mean the leftists focusing on him, somehow putting him to the front of the list.

    Look at the King of Jordans dad. Slaughtered 40,000 Palestinians in a single incident.

    Look at Suharto for Petes sakes. How much slaughter did he get into?

    And there is Paul Keating calling him uncle and sitting at his knee.

    With that absolute frenzy of stealing that Allende was engaging in things could only go one of two ways. He would have had to establish a level of terror the likes of which we see in non-democratic marxist states….

    Or alternatively he was going to be ousted.

    And he went out with a rifle in his hands.

    Now I feel entitled to criticise the American supposed involvement in the Schneider incident. Because he appears to have been a good bloke just doing his job.

    But like JC says. Its a little bit much for leftists to be singling this particular ally out for special criticism.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 12:44 pm

  107. Nick Gruen has put up a great post about his dad. Go here.

    skepticlawyer

    October 29, 2006 at 2:56 pm

  108. JC,

    As appalling as Allende was incompetent is probably a better word he wasn’t setting up a Marxist state. no enabling laws or similar to that effect to install him as the great leader.
    Chile was a democracy after all.

    One of the problems in a democracy is that you sometimes elect a person/party that are incompetent.
    Unfortunately one has to wait to vote them out

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 29, 2006 at 3:49 pm

  109. It wasn’t just, Homer. he was invinting the commie goonsquad in the country. Inflation was running at 500% and the place was breaking down.

    I’m not into coups but i understand why this happened.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 4:08 pm

  110. what goonsquad JC?

    I agree 500% is a big problem however it is still no excuse to assisante the leader and perform a coup

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 29, 2006 at 4:11 pm

  111. It was good that he was gone, Homer.

    Goonsquad refers to the sovs and his cuban/ castro buddies he was inviting over.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 4:18 pm

  112. Fancy that.
    The Munnchkin just banned me from his site. I guess he like to shit in othr peoples home but no his own. What creep.

    I hope a tree hits him on the head , the racist, pathetic hypocritical creep.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 4:24 pm

  113. JC,

    I do think anything will debate that Allende was incompetent or a political moron however you are inferring he was attempting to bring in troops from red countries to set up a dictatorship and that is ludicrous

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 29, 2006 at 4:25 pm

  114. No, not all.

    Castro was his buddy from whom he was seeking help. It was just a bigger stupider version of Whitlam.

    During whitlam’s time the country was almost at crisis point towards the end.

    If he tried not to leave office when sacked, like his buddy Keating suggested he ought to have done, i would not have had a problem seeing the fat fuck thrown in jail.

    Allende was walking all over the constitution and agreements he made. Another example of a leftist unable to keep his word.

    Chile was better off without him.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 4:34 pm

  115. sorry JC ,

    but mere incompetence or even a poor select of friends does not mean you can overturn an elected Government.

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 29, 2006 at 4:40 pm

  116. Homer

    If a policeman turned up to my home and told me thet we should leave the house because belonged to the state, i would flaten him. If I had the chance.I would take a few with me if they thought ttey could that.

    Allende was trying this shit on with corporations by nationalizing large and small firms. Let me correct that. He was expropriating them.

    If a government thinks it can serve itself to legit property they no longer have righful authority as far as I am concerned.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 4:53 pm

  117. JC,

    We both agree nationalising any corporations is not only stupid but very bad for the economy however any country is entitled to introduce said stupid policy.

    It still no excuse for a coup or killing people

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 29, 2006 at 4:58 pm

  118. I agree with Homer. As long as due process was followed I don’t see how you can use violence against the elected government,

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 5:00 pm

  119. Homer

    We are talking about nationalizing. We’re talking about theft….stealing property without compensation. This was what allende was doing amongst other things. Any authority that steals peoples property loses any…. any legitimacy.

    I was clear with that point, so don’t coinfuse nationalization with expropiation.

    Runnig an inflation rate of 500% should also be considered outright theft and enough to get thrown out of office.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 5:04 pm

  120. His “due proces” was presidential decrees, Jason. He was stealing assets through presidential decree and bypassing the congress.

    Recall. He wasn’t directly elected by the people. He was appointed by holding 36% of the vote.

    So. Let me get this straight, jason. You would support expropiation if it followed the letter of the law ( not the case in Allende”s Chile).

    So I guess the Nazis action in gassing the jews was ok as long as it followed due process. Stalin mass murder through starvation was ok too, because it followed due process.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 5:10 pm

  121. Gassing the Jews is different from expropriating property. You have to draw the line somewhere for the threshold for armed insurgency to be justifiable. Otherwise are you going to overthrow the government everytime it raises taxes?

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 5:14 pm

  122. This is the old law student in me speaking but you would want to exhaust all constitutional challenges if you think the government is overstepping its boundaries before you even think of resorting to violence.

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 5:21 pm

  123. Before Jews from western countries were gassed, the SS would formally revoke their nationality (whatever it was) so that no state could agitate on their behalf under the old ‘protected persons’ principle of international law.

    Any amount of dodginess can be made to look legit by following ‘due process’, something positivists like HLA Hart and Lon Fuller (before the latter turned into a weird natural lawyer hybrid) grappled with continuously.

    skepticlawyer

    October 29, 2006 at 5:22 pm

  124. That said, Allende was elected under a legit first past the post followed by a runoff system. He was an incompetent twit, but nothing he did justified a revolution/coup.

    skepticlawyer

    October 29, 2006 at 5:23 pm

  125. No. Raising taxes is legit and has constitutional and legal history all over the world.

    Expropiation of assets ( not income) is a different story where there is a history of compensation.

    Please….. someone coming to your small business and telling you that yoru assets are no longer yours and that you have no legal right to them any longer is not the same as the government saying corporate taxes are going form 30% to 50%.

    It is stealing, but it is not asset expropriation.

    My example still holds. Due process has to have established legitimacy. You’re asking for trouble if you can’t see the difference.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 5:24 pm

  126. For fucks sake…. are we this brain dead in OZ where we think mass expropriation of assets is a legit action of governmet that should not attract violent oppostion. Do you guys just bend over and let the old priest have his way with you ( metaphorically speaking of course)?

    Allende was stealing peoples property. He was not just a twit, he was also a thieving piece of shit who thought his prez decrees would be enough to steal people’s property without support from the citizens.l.

    With that sort of attitude, i am suprised the rating agenicies haven’t allowed for higher politica risk here. as one wrong move and we end up electing a thief. I see Homer was fine with latham.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 5:34 pm

  127. I’m suprised you guys call yourseleves libertarian when you have this much trust in due process to allow mass confiscation without public reaction.

    The correct thing to do when this is threatened is to rise up or convince the military to get rid of a government that is attempting to steal property on a massive scale.

    Listen to yourselves. Your hatred of Pinochet forces all of you to support Robert Mugabe’s actions in Z.

    This is disgraceful. I would expect this of Homer because there is not statism he doesn’t like, et to Brutus. Even you guys!!!

    Pinochet acted well in getting rid of the creep, Allende. Don’t let fucking leftist blowhards liars talk you all into thinking otherwise. They are tyring to cannonize the piece of shit. I hope he rots in hell for what he did along side Stalin and the rest of the cohort. He can have the baby seat in hell, but he ain’t going to heaven.

    Always follow this rule when it comes to leftists. Never fall for this cannonizing bullshit from the left. They have no saints… more like devils.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 5:46 pm

  128. JC lemme repeat what I said:
    “You would want to exhaust all constitutional challenges if you think the government is overstepping its boundaries before you even think of resorting to violence.”

    Now what in this do you disagree with?

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 5:48 pm

  129. “As appalling as Allende was incompetent is probably a better word he wasn’t setting up a Marxist state. no enabling laws or similar to that effect to install him as the great leader.
    Chile was a democracy after all.”

    Dude.

    He was doing a mighty find impersonation of it.

    I’ve heard HItchens say it was the country with the greatest democratic tradition in South America…. But is that really saying much.

    I mean if it was in New Zealand or Australia in earlier decades… And we didn’t have Castro hanging around and the Soviets trying to get a leg in…

    Well maybe we could have afforded to wait a year or two longer then what the General did. But lets not be taking too much of a comfortable position on this.

    Contrary to popular opinion democracies, until they have quite a long track record, are more and not less unstable then most other forms of society.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 5:56 pm

  130. If pinochet was the enormous thug the left poortray as why did he allow his tropps to kill in retailsize compared to the wholesale/ industrial slaughter from the left. He was n power for years yet only 2100 people were killed during his time. This the road US road toll on a few long weekends during he summer.

    let me guess what happened.He only only got rid of the the leftists who would have posed the most trouble by attempting to destabilize the regime. Bad shit, but that’s what the military does in an emoergency. It kills the oposign force.

    These are chickenfeed stats compared to industrial sized killings the left has managed over the past century.

    Don’t get taken in Pinochet was a hrd guy looking after the country during hard times.

    I’ve seem some of you support the actions of the Young Turks, yet they were responsible for the death of 1/2 of the Armenian population. Get a friggin grop here.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 5:57 pm

  131. “His “due proces” was presidential decrees, Jason. He was stealing assets through presidential decree and bypassing the congress.”

    That really is madness isn’t it.

    I mean imagine doing that. And rendering 500% inflation.

    He must have known what was going to happen to him. This is pretty good evidence that he really did intend to establish a communist dictatorship and didn’t get the terror set up in time.

    By the way. You guys did know that like other marxists of the twentieth century this gentleman was approving of eugenics.

    A real nazi this guy.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 6:03 pm

  132. “By the way. You guys did know that like other marxists of the twentieth century this gentleman was approving of eugenics”

    Nope, this is the first time I’ve heard of this JIVE Graeme. Some evidence please.

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 6:06 pm

  133. I think I first heard that on Your ABC…

    But I’ll do a bit of a search on it.

    I think Trotsky had some interest in this sort of thing as well.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 6:13 pm

  134. Trotsky? You mean the real Trotsky right? Not our redheaded friend.

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 6:15 pm

  135. Yes the one that died with a pick-axe in his head.

    Lefties are natural racists. But since WWII they have been trying to distance themselves from the national socialists. This is all breaking down now.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,356461,00.html

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 6:23 pm

  136. Interesting ideas by a guy lecturing at Princeton.

    Unfortunately they’ve given their ideas a rather unfortunate name. They are calling it “libertarian paternalism”.

    But one ought not be predjudiced against the ideas simply because of a phrase. It really seems to be about getting the default position right. Or the starting point right. And the idea that this might effect outcomes.

    It sounds like something that might be important in transition to a freer society.

    http://www.princeton.edu/WebMedia/lectures/

    Its Cass Sunstein. October 5 2006.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 6:47 pm

  137. “he argued that homosexuality is an illness curable by implanting testicle tissue into the abdomen. ”

    This should win Allende a few more suppoprters down Oxford Street.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 6:54 pm

  138. From GB’s link:
    “Allende served as health minister in that administration and promoted a law on the forced sterilization of the mentally ill. ”

    Don’t you just love a kindness and soft touch of a leftist. It moves people to tears.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 6:59 pm

  139. From GMB’s link:

    At one point, Farias was a great admirer of Allende. In fact, he fled Chile just after the 1973 military coup out of fear he would be prosecuted. In exile, he started despising the playful and in many ways euphemistic romanticism of the revolution. Farias is a scholar, but is also skilful at shaping his arguments to reach — and convince — the general public.

    An example can be seen in his book: He writes that the new revelations about Allende give more meaning to Allende’s refusal to turn Nazi criminal Walter Rauff over to Germany in 1972, after Rauff had found refuge in Chile. Even attempts by the Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal to intervene with the president failed at the time. In a letter, Allende responded that the president was not allowed to get involved in judicial matters. Formally speaking, Allende was right. Chile’s Supreme Court had previously ruled that Rauff — who had been a senior official in the SS and headed the development of portable death chambers — could not be handed over because the statute of limitations on his case had expired.

    I may have to backtrack on Allende IF this turns out to be right. That said, Farias is a good scholar – he was the bloke who blew Heidegger’s cover.

    skepticlawyer

    October 29, 2006 at 7:10 pm

  140. Notice that when it comes to handing over nazis he’s a constitutional purist…. And that would be OK too if he were INDEED a constitutional purist and not just using it as an excuse.

    But then at the same time he’s just charging about stealing stuff and without congressional approval.

    So he’s stealing off his own people, violating his own legal system in order to do so, stealing off a superpower……. and this all in South America where they have a history of carrying leaders out of the ruling Palace in a box.

    I mean it doesn’t get the General totally off the hook but the guy was basically on his knees begging not to die in his bed.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 7:19 pm

  141. JC,

    My memory has it that Alende’s platform hadnationalisation in it.
    This wasn’t a radical idea at the time.

    Mitterand in 82 did it as well.

    I don’t agree with it but again it aint no reason for a coup.

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 29, 2006 at 7:19 pm

  142. “Mitterand in 82 did it as well.”

    What did Mitterand nationalise…. What a bastard hey?

    “I don’t agree with it but again it aint no reason for a coup.”

    Of course its a CONTRIBUTING reason for a coup. Particularly if he’s so desperate to steal off people that he’s violating his own laws to do it.

    If you can’t have redress under law then what?

    Are you trying to micronise the case for a coup?

    That is take each constituent part of it… pretend that was THE ONE AND ONLY CAUSE and then say that thats not sufficient.

    I don’t think there is any trouble about the coup side of things. Its the killing of marxists after the coup that is troubling. Its most troubling BECAUSE IT WORKED.

    The thought that all you have to do is line up the utopian eschatologists with a bit of smarts and courage and KILL THEM ALL and then you will have peace is a most troubling, disturbing idea if indeed it is true.

    Because it puts up a utilitarian justification for butchery.

    But I don’t think the actual coup itself we should trouble our heads about at all.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 7:27 pm

  143. Graeme
    With all your crowing about killing your political opponents you’re the one sounding like a Utopian Eschatologist.

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 7:30 pm

  144. So Birdy believes any Party that has nationalisation in its platform and when it wins power actually implements it is deserving of a coup!

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 29, 2006 at 7:30 pm

  145. The sterilizing the disabled and mentally ill argument Allende floated in his thesis is a bit harder to link to his actions as president, but Rauff is a different matter.

    FFS the guy designed gas chambers. He was one Nazi worth hauling off to Israel and sticking in a glass booth, if only to establish the chain of command between Hitler and leading perpetrators of the Holocaust.

    No, it doesn’t excuse Pinochet, but it, does, ahem, provide some context.

    skepticlawyer

    October 29, 2006 at 7:32 pm

  146. Mitterand
    amongst other things he nationlaized the banks. However the prick also paid out the money to the shareholders.

    This is a lower grade of theft, Homer, but it is not the stealing Alende went for… at least not as bad.

    Nice to see you support Robert Mugabe, Homer.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 7:35 pm

  147. Fuck Homer, you can be difficult.

    UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATIONALIZATION AND EXPROPRIATION.
    There’s a fucking difference , for christs sake.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 7:37 pm

  148. “Graeme
    With all your crowing about killing your political opponents you’re the one sounding like a Utopian Eschatologist.”

    I dispute that. But what I’m pointing out is that it is troubling because it worked. So its a throwback to how they had to deal with the communists in the Middle Ages.

    I advocate eternal vigilance and verbal abuse against people like Tim Lambert and other commie-witch-hunters so we never find things so far gone that such a choice would seem tempting.

    “So Birdy believes any Party that has nationalisation in its platform and when it wins power actually implements it is deserving of a coup!”

    Oh for sure it DESERVES a coup. There is no doubt about that. But whether a third party is right in STAGING the coup is another matter.

    But if they actually BREAK THEIR OWN LAWS in this stealing well it puts things much closer to where staging a coup is the responsible move………

    Remembering it is not Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand or Australia we are talking about.

    But yeah. Anyone who practices nationalisation DESERVES the coup. But this on its own wouldn’t necessarily constittute sufficient justification for a coup. Deserving as the recipients of that coup might be.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 7:39 pm

  149. Et tu Jase. you’re also a supporter of Robert Mugabe’s actions of stealing peoperty from the rightful owners.

    You know what a real libertarian does. He damn well fights for his property and he supports those who do as well….. No matter if it is ITT’s Harold Geneen or the little guy with the welding business down the road.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 7:40 pm

  150. JC
    FFS there are RULES for settling political disputes. that’s what liberal democracy is all about. There is some point at which armed resistance becomes necessary – I’d say when the government starts arbitrarily killing its citizens (isnt that what Pinochet did?). But you can’t encourage people to start staging coups everytime they disagree with policy. As I said on the Gandhi post, yes ultimately violent resistance can’t be ruled out if things get really bad. But first you use the courts. You take the government to court if you have. You exhaust all the constitutional options first.

    Otherwise you’re gonna be encouraging people like the Indy media types to assassinate John Howard everytime he cuts taxes or something.

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 7:47 pm

  151. JC,

    don’t dissemble.
    all I have ever said is that it ain’t no excuse for a bloody coup.

    Allende could have never done anything if people hadn’t voted for him.
    You don’t like him then vote him out. don’t like his policies then organise protests but don’t go and rationize killing people to change an elected Government no matter had damned incompetent they are.

    You are in African territory then.

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 29, 2006 at 7:50 pm

  152. But look what this guy did.

    He’s running inflation at 500%. He’s stealing stuff both inside and outside the law.

    He’s stealing stuff off a superpower. And this is South America for Petes sakes.

    Whats a fella got to do to get ousted by a coup these days?

    This gentleman must have had nine lives even to make it through the first two years of this behaviour.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 7:51 pm

  153. Yep, Jc is a dissembler ( …. take him out the back and shoot him ….)

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 7:52 pm

  154. Wikki entry.

    Not bad for Wkiit this time.

    On August 22, 1973 the Christian Democrats and the National Party members of the Chamber of Deputies passed, by 81 to 47 votes, a resolution entitled “Declaration of the Breakdown of Chile’s Democracy”, which called upon the military to “put an immediate end” to what they described as “breach[es of] the Constitution… with the goal of redirecting government activity toward the path of Law and ensuring the constitutional order of our Nation and the essential underpinnings of democratic coexistence among Chileans.”

    The resolution declared that the Allende government was seeking “…to conquer absolute power with the obvious purpose of subjecting all citizens to the strictest political and economic control by the state… [with] the goal of establishing a totalitarian system,” and claimed that it had made “violations of the Constitution” into “a permanent system of conduct.” Many of the charges came down to disregarding the separation of powers and arrogating the prerogatives of both the legislature and judiciary within the executive.

    Among other particulars, the regime was accused of:

    ruling by decree, thus thwarting the normal system of adopting legislation
    refusing to enforce judicial decisions against its own partisans and “not carrying out sentences and judicial resolutions that contravene its objectives”
    ignoring the decrees of the independent General Comptroller’s Office
    various offenses related to the media, including usurping control of the National Television Network and “applying … economic pressure against those media organizations that are not unconditional supporters of the government…”
    allowing its supporters to assemble even when armed, while preventing legal assembly by its opponents
    “…supporting more than 1,500 illegal ‘takings’ of farms…”
    illegal repression of the El Teniente strike
    illegally limiting emigration
    The resolution finally condemned the “creation and development of government-protected armed groups which… are headed towards a confrontation with the Armed Forces.” Allende’s efforts to re-organize the military and police, which he could not trust in their current forms, were characterized as “notorious attempts to use the Armed and Police Forces for partisan ends, destroy their institutional hierarchy, and politically infiltrate their ranks.”

    Although this call for “redirecting government activity toward the path of Law and ensuring the constitutional order of our Nation and the essential underpinnings of democratic coexistence” was invoked to justify the September 11 coup, in retrospect that was clearly not the agenda of the coup.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 7:52 pm

  155. Gawd, its a riot.

    History is interesting but today is pressingly relevant – private property must be protected by the state, its one of their few legitimate functions.

    rog

    October 29, 2006 at 7:53 pm

  156. “all I have ever said is that it ain’t no excuse for a bloody coup.”

    Well then you are wrong. And your doing the micronising trick again.

    Clearly it is a very good CONTRIBUTING reason (whats this “excuse” dishonesty. Communists are destroying your country. Thats the hypothetical we are talking about here.) for a coup.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 7:54 pm

  157. So the congress basically said Allende was doing things that were unstitutional.

    And you guys have the temerity to suggest he was badly treated.

    He also had castro do a 4 week visit during these times.

    Nice people you support Homer.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 7:55 pm

  158. Yes Rog and if the state is in fact attempting to steel it, you are morally right to take the law in your own hands.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 7:56 pm

  159. Well its all there in the wiki entry isn’t it.

    Its not the coup that we ought to even think twice about.

    Its the earlier American role in the move against Schneider.

    And its the post-Coup killing.

    The coup was perfectly legitimate and more then called for or so it seems.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 7:57 pm

  160. OK I’ll backtrack slightly given that Wiki link

    1) It looks like a lot of constitutional options were used. In that case if the coup could have been kept as bloodless as possible and then elections swiftly called once things had settled down, I accept that by Latin American standards it might be no different from the GG sacking Whitlam although this obviously wasn’t an option for them.

    2) but that wasn’t what happened was it? All this resulting slaughter and years of dictatorship went well beyond what may have been needed to deal with a constitutional crisis.

    Pinochet is still a criminal though he may have been a useful ally.

    Jason Soon

    October 29, 2006 at 8:03 pm

  161. “refusing to enforce judicial decisions against its own partisans…”

    Man. This is so out of line its incredible.

    Imagine that. Some thugs show up at your business with guns and things. So you walk off and take it up legally. The judge rules in your favour but the communists in charge let them off. So they get to keep your property. And you are wishing you would have taken them on when you had the chance and not taken it up legally.

    When things get this far its already too late to prevent the killing.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 8:06 pm

  162. “allowing its supporters to assemble even when armed, while preventing legal assembly by its opponents
    “…supporting more than 1,500 illegal ‘takings’ of farms…”

    I’m sorry you lefties out there that think we would leave things that long.

    But you are not getting away with it.

    So you could have shot it out when the thugs come to take your farm. But instead you do the right thing and then the government supports the looters?

    Sorry fellas.

    Now that we’ve had a good look at what really happening you are not getting me to let you pretend you could ever get that far without violence.

    The coup itself.

    Not even open to question.

    The after-coup killing?

    This is another matter. But its not the Australian situation that we are talking about even there.

    GMB

    October 29, 2006 at 8:12 pm

  163. GMB is right – there’s no such thing as a “legitimate” Marxist election victory. Marxists win votes on bad faith – they should all be immediately shot upon “winning” office.

    The problem with this thread is that some people have gotten this stupid idea into their heads that theft and aggression are somehow made “legitimate” because it has a degree of separation via the ballot box. What they fail to understand is that democratic elections are no more legitimate than me and GMB simply ganging up on JC and stealing his wallet. It’s the same principle writ large.

    There is no moral justification for stealing somebody’s wallet because you and a mate can outnumber them – equally there is no moral justification for stealing somebody’s wealth simply because you can teach everyone else to put a piece of paper into a box. It’s unjustified coercion.

    The same goes for those worthless low-IQ/low-self-esteem losers (who probably make up the majority of the population in many countries, admittedly) who imagine that their contemptible superstitions somehow imply that others have a “spiritual” imperative to forfeit their liberties – these people are cockroaches, vermin, scum, who must be stripped of their rights, disenfranchised completely, and expelled from modern civilisation.

    Steve Edwards

    October 29, 2006 at 8:24 pm

  164. “The coup was perfectly legitimate and more then called for or so it seems.”

    Allende’s election was illegitimate – you simply can’t run on a platform of criminality and expect to have any sort of “mandate”.

    Steve Edwards

    October 29, 2006 at 8:38 pm

  165. I have now written a main blog post on this topic.

    skepticlawyer

    October 29, 2006 at 8:49 pm

  166. Cambria, you sad grease-monkey, stop spamming my site. I’m getting bored having to delete your posts.

    A blog is private property- I thought librarians respected private property.

    Grow up and get a life.

    melaleuca

    October 29, 2006 at 11:14 pm

  167. Munn, you fat useless tree hugger. you stole my identity, write racist comments and then show concern about property rights.

    I’ll respect your wish only when you aplogise , you useless tree hugger. I’ll stop when you aplogise for identity theft and making racist comments. Otherwise I’ll continue posting at your site knowing it annoys the shit out of you.

    Apologise now, douchebag.

    jc

    October 29, 2006 at 11:49 pm

  168. OI!!!

    I have been muscled out of the Allende (communist usurper) and Pinochet (national hero) thread……..

    Each time I go to make a comment I get redirected to:

    http://www.latin-focus.com/latinfocus/countries/latam/latgdppc.htm

    This happened to me before on the LDP thread.

    It only seems to affect my computer.

    GMB

    October 30, 2006 at 2:12 pm

  169. I have no idea why it’s happening to you, Graeme. You’re a Mac user aren’t you? maybe the software doesn’t like you.

    Jason Soon

    October 30, 2006 at 2:14 pm

  170. But the link I get directed to. Someone put the link there. Someone who was trying to show that Mexico had overtaken Chile as the richest per capita country in Latin America.

    That link was part of the argument. So one just has to figure out how comes this link is there imbedded in all these subsequent posts.

    GMB

    October 30, 2006 at 2:36 pm

  171. fixed, Graeme.

    that’s weird, how come everyone else can still comment? maybe the commies have been hijacking your computer:-)

    Jason Soon

    October 30, 2006 at 2:41 pm

  172. That thought had not escaped my radar.

    GMB

    October 30, 2006 at 3:03 pm

  173. when you look at the hard time Munn gives leftwrites you gotta cut him some slack. Maybe he really is in deep cover.

    http://www.leftwrites.net/2006/10/30/australian-press-freedom-rank/#comment-9297

    Jason Soon

    October 30, 2006 at 4:18 pm

  174. “Mr Keating also attacked modern architects, accusing them of “knowing nothing about colour”, and outdoor advertising firms, “a creeping cancer”. ”

    Keating is catching Hamiltonia. A mental illness that makes you hate new things and people having a good time.

    Mr. Gaudy clocks shouldn’t be judging other people’s choice when it comes to color. Gold colored clocks . yuk.

    “”Knocking these guys back should be a national sport. Kicking them in the bum should be a national sport,” he said. ”

    Hate and talk of violence is not far way when it comes to the ex Pm. is it?

    “Mr Keating urged his audience of local government representatives to insist on height restrictions, that certain building materials be used for aesthetic reasons and that development be kept away from beachfronts.”

    Oh yes. let’s not experiment with new materials, lets keep building in red brick. He is a building materials expert now.

    The reason we have demand for high rise close to the water is becasue people like to live cose to the shore. Living by the shore brings happiness to people. Highrise is the creation of artificial land as it gives more the chance to experience living in an area of high demand.

    He simply wants the very very rich to be able to afford it. The snob.

    JC.

    November 5, 2006 at 11:41 pm


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