Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What happens when your country becomes third world?

Argentina used to be a nice place. Then the usual: populist revolts and strong leaders. Hope and change.


This isn’t as easy to understand for people that come from places where things do work.
How can I explain this?
It’s all a big fat lie, ok?
This government ( and the ones we had for the last 20 years and beyond, both democratic and dictatorships) are so corrupt, it all disappears in a labyrinth of corruption and bureaucracy.
People in other countries are used to seeing people that don’t work form a line once a month and get paid unemployment or coupons.
That doesn’t happen here.
They talk, do a lot of talking, but the population never sees any of it.
For example, our gov. received 250 MILLION USD by the BID to get the terribly polluted “Riachuelo” river cleaned, a problem that is constantly causing deaths and chronic diseases to those of us that live in the south suburbs of Bs As.
Thank God I’m not that close, but those that live closer to it suffer all kind of problems, specially increased the infant death a lot.
Money disappeared. The population now has to pay for the loan, but the river? Never got cleaned at all.
They announce incentive and support to promote national small and medium industry?
My wife owns one such medium industry.
All they get from the government is corrupt inspectors and tax inspectors that threaten to cause trouble if you don’t pay them bribes.
You have everything in order, pay all your taxes?
Ok, one they you go to the bank and find that a tax inspector froze your account, due to some “suspicious” things he supposedly found.
When you confront such inspector he claims it was all a mistake.. but unfortunately your have to “tip” him a bit, if you want your account released sooner than say … 6 months give or take.
So if your business can survive that long without it’s account, that’s all good.. if not you have to pay this scumbag.
Where do you go? The authorities? They ARE the authorities.
How about real poor people?
Same kind of corruption going on.
The 300 bucks poor unemployed families are supposed to receive. Only get distributed among those that go to the protests, conferences and rallys supporting the current political power.
If not, you don’t get nothing.

FerFAL


This is what happens when the masses revolt: they create chaos, and strong leaders step in -- usually, self-serving strong leaders. The masses find themselves oppressed again, but this time, they've eliminated the power of those who could politically offset the oligarchs/tyrants in control.


And democracy
comes into power when the poor are the victors, killing some and
exiling some, and giving equal shares in the government to all the
rest.

{ snip }

Tyranny springs from
democracy much as democracy springs from oligarchy. Both arise from
excess; the one from excess of wealth, the other from excess of
freedom. ‘The great natural good of life,’ says the
democrat, ‘is freedom.’ And this exclusive love of
freedom and regardlessness of everything else, is the cause of the
change from democracy to tyranny. The State demands the strong wine
of freedom, and unless her rulers give her a plentiful draught,
punishes and insults them; equality and fraternity of governors and
governed is the approved principle. Anarchy is the law, not of the
State only, but of private houses, and extends even to the animals.
Father and son, citizen and foreigner, teacher and pupil, old and
young, are all on a level; fathers and teachers fear their sons and
pupils, and the wisdom of the young man is a match for the elder,
and the old imitate the jaunty manners of the young because they
are afraid of being thought morose. Slaves are on a level with
their masters and mistresses, and there is no difference between
men and women. Nay, the very animals in a democratic State have a
freedom which is unknown in other places. The she-dogs are as good
as their she-mistresses, and horses and asses march along with
dignity and run their noses against anybody who comes in their way.
‘That has often been my experience.’ At last the
citizens become so sensitive that they cannot endure the yoke of
laws, written or unwritten; they would have no man call himself
their master. Such is the glorious beginning of things out of which
tyranny springs. ‘Glorious, indeed; but what is to
follow?’ The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; for
there is a law of contraries; the excess of freedom passes into the
excess of slavery, and the greater the freedom the greater the
slavery. You will remember that in the oligarchy were found two
classes—rogues and paupers, whom we compared to drones with
and without stings. These two classes are to the State what phlegm
and bile are to the human body; and the State-physician, or
legislator, must get rid of them, just as the bee-master keeps the
drones out of the hive. Now in a democracy, too, there are drones,
but they are more numerous and more dangerous than in the
oligarchy; there they are inert and unpractised, here they are full
of life and animation; and the keener sort speak and act, while the
others buzz about the bema and prevent their opponents from being
heard. And there is another class in democratic States, of
respectable, thriving individuals, who can be squeezed when the
drones have need of their possessions; there is moreover a third
class, who are the labourers and the artisans, and they make up the
mass of the people. When the people meet, they are omnipotent, but
they cannot be brought together unless they are attracted by a
little honey; and the rich are made to supply the honey, of which
the demagogues keep the greater part themselves, giving a taste
only to the mob. Their victims attempt to resist; they are driven
mad by the stings of the drones, and so become downright oligarchs
in self-defence. Then follow informations and convictions for
treason. The people have some protector whom they nurse into
greatness, and from this root the tree of tyranny springs. The
nature of the change is indicated in the old fable of the temple of
Zeus Lycaeus, which tells how he who tastes human flesh mixed up
with the flesh of other victims will turn into a wolf. Even so the
protector, who tastes human blood, and slays some and exiles others
with or without law, who hints at abolition of debts and division
of lands, must either perish or become a wolf—that is, a
tyrant.

The Republic by Plato

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