24 November 2019 ~ 26 Comentarios


By Carlos Alberto Montaner

Now it is Colombia’s turn. It happened before in Mexico and Chile. Vandals have destroyed a great part of Santiago de Chile. They went mercilessly against the public transport system. More than two dozen stations were burned to the ground. These actions directly affect the poorest workers and the companies in which they work. They cannot arrive on time to their jobs. It is true that states often clean the rubble quickly, but the outrage against vandals takes a long time to dissipate. Much more than the smoke of the fires.

Indirectly, vandals harm the whole society. The damages inflicted on the public sector mean less services than those already budgeted. Fewer school cafeterias. Less health and education. Less resources for retirees. Less parks and recreation. Less investment. Fewer jobs. Less growth. Perhaps, more taxes to mitigate the damage. There is not a single positive aspect in vandalism, given that society usually takes these attitudes into account at the time of elections. The suicidal leftist parties that sponsor the excesses–leftists like Petro–and the rulers who do not firmly face the vandals, usually pay a high price at the polls.

Interestingly, the original vandals were part of Germanic tribes that entered Iberia at the beginning of the 5th century and left their genetic mark in Galicia and Andalusia. The blue or green-eyed tall, blond and good-looking Spaniards come from that remote lineage. The Vandals’ reputation of destroyers emerged much later. It originated after the sacking of Rome in 455, but it was not until the thirteenth century that ecclesiastical writings coined the sinister equivalence between looters and vandals. However, those vandals, the original ones, acted outside their territory. They didn’t think of destroying their own environment.

Why do these new vandals do it? Obviously, because they like to burn and destroy what does not belong to them. There is something hypnotic and attractive in the fire. That is why pyromania is a universal phenomenon. Its origin may be political, but the ones that implement it are usually young people who enjoy the adrenaline rush running through their bodies. They are slaves of the neurotransmitters that control our behavior, as the Spanish anthropologist José Antonio Jáuregui explained very well. Especially when we know that the brain does not mature until approximately 25 years of age.

How can we deal with these destructive citizens? In my opinion, with severity and fairness. Maybe modifying the penal codes. It is not enough to ask grandmothers to punish their vandal grandchildren, as requested by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). The society, represented by the State, must do so. How? Perhaps taking the guilty ones before severe courts. If they are minors, making the families pay the expenses of the destruction carried out by these rascals. I think that some Asian peoples have that kind of measures, and they must be imitated.

I remember the case of a Spanish businessman who, upset by the graffiti left on the front wall of his business by a street “artist,” found out where the subject lived, went to his house and painted it with cans of indelible paint. The graffiti artist learned the lesson and never again harmed the premises of the avenger. Incidentally, the annoyed family had to pay hundreds of euros to repaint their home.

It is very important that these reforms of sentences and punishments be carried out. This would avoid, among other anomalies, the rattle of sabers that usually has a very bad ending. Either the criminal law reforms are made by sensible politicians, or they are forcibly made by generals with the initial approval of societies. Then comes the time to cry, but the origin is in the vandals and in the passivity of the governments that tolerate them.

26 Responses to “Vandals”

  1. Victor 25 November 2019 at 6:20 am Permalink

    Buen aporte CAM, ¡Saludos!

    Sobran las siglas AMLO si no iban a ser usadas posteriormente.

  2. manuel 25 November 2019 at 9:55 am Permalink

    en este parrafo CAM:

    “I remember the case of a Spanish businessman who, upset by the graffiti left on the front wall of his business by a street “artist,” found out where the subject lived, went to his house and painted it with cans of indelible paint. The graffiti artist learned the lesson and never again harmed the premises of the avenger. Incidentally, the annoyed family had to pay hundreds of euros to repaint their home.”

    SE ENCIERRA todo lo que sucede en el mundo y eternizado en un famoso cuento cubano> dos negros se encuentran una lampara, sale el genio, tienen que ponerse de acuerdo en un solo deseo; con envidiable camaraderia y respeto se ponen de acuero: pidamosle que nos vuelva la pies de la raza blanca; desaparece el genio y queda un jabon; se van corriendo con gran desespero a usar el jabon: lo lanzan con gran camaraderia para ver quien se bana con el primero y le toca ir primero al que pidio que cayera de canto; el de plano espera con los ojos desorbitados y el otro le dice con gran camaraderia “tranquilo hermano ya le toca”; comienza a banarse el de canto y ve como la piel se le va poniendo blanca “MIRA ESTO CHICO! SOY BLANCO!” el de plano le dice “cono apurece hermano!” el de canto “MIRA ESTO QUE BELLEZA! QUE RICURA”; el de plano “cono apurece hermano que se va a acabar! dele suave!”; el de canto molesto le grita con voz ya de blanco: “ah estese tranquilo NEGRO E MIERDA!”

    • manuel 25 November 2019 at 9:58 am Permalink

      NO SE SI ES cubano, PERO CREO HABERSELO ESCUCHADO AL comendiante cubano Guillermo Alvarez Guedes; ignoro de donde este lo saco

    • manuel 25 November 2019 at 10:48 am Permalink

      otro dicho, muy dicho por mi madre: una cosa piensa el cantinero y otra, lo opuesto, el borracho; asi es el mundo: una cosa piensa el que la tiene facil pa robar, y otra al que le estan robando; etc etc

      • manuel 25 November 2019 at 10:54 am Permalink

        una cosa el trillonario y otra el despojado que no tiene ni agua ni nada nutritivo que dar a sus crios

  3. manuel 25 November 2019 at 11:41 am Permalink

    a proposito de la Batalla de Cuatro Caminos.

    que proponen los sesudos?


    “Nuestras autoridades deberán reforzar el apoyo a este establecimiento con fuerzas del orden en esta etapa inicial de reapertura.

    Nuestro pueblo deberá combatir enérgicamente todo acto de indisciplina espontánea o provocada, porque en su fuerza y combatividad radica la fuerza misma de la Revolución.

    Que el sábado de Cuatro Caminos sea sólo un mal episodio y no una práctica repetida. El combate por la decencia y los mejores valores sociales tiene que ser divisa irrenunciable de nuestro actuar diario.”

    NO TIENEN OTRA COSA QUE PROPONER, NO LES ES POSIBLE, en un sistema configurado para la violencia, desque naces: violencia y pudricion; solo es valido contraponer a esa violencia, cuando se encamina en el sentido no deseado por los que la han fomentado por mas de 70 anos en nuestro pais, es contraponer MAS VIOLENCIA: al decir de su lider ideologico Raul Castro: ” el que a hierro mata, a hierro muere” lindo no? que otra cosa si no es el “internacionalismo proletario” si no Imperialismo y violencia; que es si no el sistema fascista que impera en los paises bajo su tutela y sus iguales asiaticos? que son las escuelas, y demas instituciones en Cuba y sus paises colonizados?


    • manuel 25 November 2019 at 12:11 pm Permalink

      se la pasaron sembrando vientos en medio mundo y en sus instituciones por doquier y ahora se quejan de estas tempestades 🙂

      • manuel 25 November 2019 at 12:12 pm Permalink

        querian fieras, quieren fieras; procuren que un dia esas fieras no se articulen y vayan a morderle la mano a sus amos

        • manuel 25 November 2019 at 12:14 pm Permalink

          recuerden que gracias a una de sus politicas de control, hoy hay orientales en toda Cuba; especie muy peligrosa, esos orientales (5 provincias mas al este de Cuba: guantanamo, santiago, holguin, granma, tunas)

          • manuel 25 November 2019 at 12:36 pm Permalink

            …y, una vez que se haya sido oriental, se es oriental toda la vida; y… como se reproducen esos orientales: podran arrancar gran cantidad de flores, pero “no podran detener la primavera” …y los millares de polens

  4. manuel 25 November 2019 at 11:56 am Permalink

    Víctor López
    25 November 2019 at 6:15 am

    Once again, that dreadful nightmare with La Habana (Havana city, Cuba’s capital), Cuba and Montaner’s blog assaulted me.

    When I saw the blog partners I couldn’t believe it !!! The tour guide who took us to the room and then stayed at the door (bell), explained it to me: “they are in their true moral and literary stature. ”I was horrified !!!

    “Yes,” he said to me “they are Bacu, Cuban, José Luis, Manuel, Julián … – also Julián ??? -” Yes too “,” write and copy poetry in public toilets … “I didn’t want to listen anymore, I ran away in terror, trying to get as far away from it as possible.

    For that incomprehensible dialectic that pursues my life, I just received an email from my guide in Havana. “There were cameras,” says the email. Here I share them. I’ve tried to understand the meaning of all this, but I can’t find an answer.

    Perhaps some of you, my dear blog partners, can help me understand it?


    • manuel 25 November 2019 at 12:18 pm Permalink

      aquel que no domina su mente, esta condenado a ser dominado por ella y por cuanta otra mente se le antoje hacer uso de semejante dislate

    • manuel 25 November 2019 at 12:28 pm Permalink

      those who do not dominate their minds, are condemned to be dominated by it, the most powerful matter ever, the human brain, and similarly be dominated by whatever other mind would like to make use of such regrettable human beings

  5. Victor 25 November 2019 at 12:02 pm Permalink

    Que ha pasao hoy que este blog esta tan activo?


    “Pensar no puede ser lujo”

    • Victor 25 November 2019 at 12:04 pm Permalink

      desgraciadamente tengo poco tiempo, pero ya volvere por aca

    • manuel 25 November 2019 at 12:33 pm Permalink

      it often happens

  6. manuel 25 November 2019 at 12:20 pm Permalink

    25 November 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Victor Lopez, the Cuban ‘Revolution’, at least, shows that young people are very manipulable and in their dreams to “SAVE people and goods” they are able to do the opposite, thinking that in the end they will better reach their goal. If to reach an end it is necessary to destroy a building (full of people), destroy it and it does not matter that many people die, if in the end more will be saved. That is what they put in the head of these young people who have not yet defined their lives.

    As Winston Churchill defined it well: “he who is not left-wing at the age of 20 has no heart, but he who remains at 40 still does not have a brain.” Regards.

  7. Manuel 25 November 2019 at 2:30 pm Permalink

    vicente 22 November 2019 at 11:03 am Permalink

    que chevere es ser anticomunista si vives en Coconut Drive y en Key Bicayne,mamando del trabajo excedente,de la plusvalia,de trabajo muerto.

    Manuel 22 November 2019 at 1:22 pm Permalink

    Que chevere ser Comunista viviendo
    De esquilmar a pobres y ricos
    Viviendo como maharajah mientras
    El país se hunde en el lógico
    Resultante estiércol

  8. Manuel 25 November 2019 at 2:34 pm Permalink

    sazonaron al util vicente:

    vicente 24 November 2019 at 11:02 am Permalink

    si hay protestas en Colombia,la culpa es de los Castro si hay protestas en Chile,la culpa es de los Castro si hay protestas en Bolivia la culpa es de los Castro,si mañana hay un terremoto en Japon,la culpa es de los Castro FUCK OFF

    Victor 25 November 2019 at 6:40 am Permalink

    Castrismo andaba distraído revolviendo a su gente, se le metieron por detrás y le removieron al Evo. Este es el cuento.
    No se pinte de inteligente que ud está a la altura de los útiles para ese imperio cuya capital reside en la Habana.

    vicente 25 November 2019 at 8:54 am Permalink

    lo de Bolivia puede acabar en guerra civil,usted tranquilo desde Coconut Drive.

    manuel 25 November 2019 at 9:37 am Permalink

    vicente, ud esta para obedecer no para pensar
    deje de hacer el ridiculo

  9. manuel 25 November 2019 at 2:43 pm Permalink

    “Aumenta ola de represión en Cuba
    Reportan aumento de la represión en Cuba en vísperas del tercer aniversario de la muerte de Fidel Castro. Y tal parece que ahora son las mujeres activistas pacíficas de Derechos Humanos quienes han estado en la mira de los represores. A la peridista
    Luz Escobar se le ha impedido salir de su casa sin que medie orden judicial, mientras que la reportera Camila Acosta ha sido citada por la policía en La Habana. Por su parte también ha sido detenido el artista visual Luis Manuel Otero, mientras que al opositor
    Guillermo Fariñas lo han amenazado con ir a la cárcel si no abandona Cuba”

  10. hazzel rojas 25 November 2019 at 2:47 pm Permalink

    adicionar el caso de Bolivia, el crecimiento de pandillas juveniles y especialmente como ocurrió en el levantamiento ciudadano pacifico sicarios del narcotrafico, si señores y tambien cubanos que vinieron bajo la etiqueta de medicos, venezolanos detenidos infiltrados en marchas violentas y tambien guerrilleros FARC, no es invento, las detenciones y expulsiones son reales, el objetivo era que hasta que el parlmento mayoritario masista rechazara la renuncia de evo,y este sea el pacificador, su objeto era hervirnos a punta de dinamita, quemar instituciones cercar ciudades y matarnos de hambre, pero no estaba en los planes de evo fugarse y ahi le salio el tiro por la culata, solo Dios sabe porque huyo lo cual dio lugar a sucesión presidencial, Dios sabe lo que hace y Bolivia penosamente ingresa a la fase de pacificación. Los bolivianos sabiamos que era ahora o nunca y dependia de nosotros no de ningun organismo internacional ni imperialismos pues estos solo estan para defender sus intereses, agradecemos a nuestro Dios, infinitamente y uds. opinadores no saben lo que es sufrir cuando esos francotiradores matan a su propia gente y despues dicen que es la policia.

  11. Manuel 25 November 2019 at 7:07 pm Permalink

    England tuvo su Periodo Especial

    “ Interest rates in 1979 reached seventeen per cent and inflation a staggering eighteen per cent. Nationalized industries were sluggish and fabulously costly to the taxpayer. British Leyland, the automotive conglomerate that included Jaguar, Triumph, and Austin Rover, was producing comically dreadful cars and had consumed about two hundred million pounds a year in government subsidies. Many of these companies approached customer satisfaction like the proprietor in the Monty Python cheese-shop sketch: “Normally, sir, yes, but today the van broke down.” Moore, in one of his footnotes, remembers trying to get a phone installed in 1981, and being told by British Telecom that it would take six months, owing to a “shortage of numbers.” As Howe, Thatcher’s first Chancellor of the Exchequer, noted in his budget speech of June, 1979, Britain’s share of world trade in 1954 had been equal to that of France and Germany combined. Now the French and German share was three times bigger than Britain’s”

    Then came the iron lady…

    • Manuel 25 November 2019 at 7:12 pm Permalink

      “ Government subvention had fended off the ravages of capitalism in one important way: it had provided steady employment. Now the country’s unemployment rate rose; it hit a high of thirteen per cent in 1984, and was still seven per cent in 1990, the year of Thatcher’s ouster. Thatcher’s calculation was that widespread unemployment was an unavoidable fact of economic reform, that certain jobs would have to be the mulch that went into the revival of the general economic habitat. Apart from the profound human misery that resulted, there was an enduring political cost—much of Scotland, Wales, and the North of England remains lost to Conservatives. This was the Thatcher who maintained that there was “no such thing as society,” only individuals, “and people must look to themselves first,” a statement that Moore attempts, with little luck, to wrestle from its infamy. That unequal society tended toward ugly extremes, with great new impoverishment and great new enrichment. Still, the new order created undeniable economic expansion (an average G.D.P. growth rate of 3.2 per cent in the nineteen-eighties), and Thatcher was reëlected in 1983 and 1987, the first Prime Minister after universal suffrage, Moore notes, to win three elections.
      Alas, the atavist Thatcher was a different creature, and the atavist gradually consumed the scientist, because the scientist drank her own potion, the one marked “ideology.” The atavist had been happy to be called a “reactionary,” before she became Prime Minister. The atavist complained publicly about Britain’s being “swamped” by immigrants; never, as far as we know, used the National Health Service herself and wanted to convert it to an American-style insurance-based system; believed in capital punishment; agreed with her husband that the BBC was infested with left-wing “pinkos”; supported legislation prohibiting local government authorities from “promoting” homosexuality; refused to countenance any meaningful political progress in Northern Ireland; vehemently opposed German reunification; was virtually alone among world leaders in opposing sanctions on the South African apartheid regime; and called the A.N.C. “a typical terrorist organization.” The atavist stopped listening to her colleagues, and deeply distrusted her civil servants (particularly at the Foreign Office), whom she worked around or behind whenever she could. The atavist was the possessor of what one colleague called “a very English Englishness”: she didn’t sacrifice Scotland and Wales as part of a Conservative strategy; she hardly noticed they were there.
      Europe was the great theatre of this very English Englishness. Throughout Mrs. Thatcher’s career, Moore observes, “the story of 1940 was the myth which most dominated her imagination.” It is the Dunkirk story, and not wholly mythical: Nazis rampant in Europe, Paris vanquished, Britain alone as the last bulwark of Western civilization, while the air flashed with Spitfires and Churchill growled in the Commons. Margaret Roberts was fifteen, and Britain would never be as noble again—unless it was in 1982, when she led the country to victory over Argentina during the Falklands War, and quoted the Duke of Wellington: “There is no such thing as a little war for a great nation.” The refusal to accept Britain’s diminishment, the refusal merely to “manage the decline,” was central to Thatcher’s pugilism, and it is the reason for her Churchillian status among contemporary Conservatives.
      Yet the question that devoured her career, and remains grievously unresolved to this day, is whether Britain is a greater nation inside or outside the European Union. Remainers and assorted economic pragmatists tend to argue that the right question is whether Britain is a richer nation inside Europe or out; greatness will have to look after itself. Brexiteers reply that greatness cannot look after itself when the nation’s sovereignty is curtailed. Thatcher appears to have been one of those economic pragmatists for a brief period, when Great Britain voted by referendum to stay in the European Economic Community, in 1975, and she saw the economic possibilities of a large internal market. Soon she grew dismayed by French and German plans for greater integration, a European Central Bank and single currency, and the borderless utopia that sought to banish nationalist rivalry and bloodshed. To her, it all smacked of socialism. It deprived nations of their ability to control their own currencies and interest rates; it favored burgeoning German and French power; it operated by élite consensus and an irritating sort of mild bureaucratic snuffling.
      Some of these objections were reasonable, but it’s hard to resist the idea that the core of Thatcher’s hostility to Europe was flamingly unreasonable, almost exceeding articulate discourse. It is unreasonable to credit nuclear weapons—but not the E.U.—for keeping the peace in modern Europe, as Thatcher did. Moore, a prominent Brexiteer, herniates himself in his effort to defend his subject in this area, assuring us that Thatcher “was not, in any general sense, anti-European,” to which the reply might be: no, only in many specific senses. The first speech she gave as Party leader, in 1975, pushed against the notion that Britain had become “a poor nation whose only greatness lies in the past.” Yet a frozen allegiance to the myth of 1940 rather guarantees a nostalgia for the greatness of the past. The theme was struck repeatedly. “How dare they! We saved all their necks in the war,” she exclaimed at a European summit in 1984, apparently annoyed by the spectacle of European foreign ministers idly drinking coffee and “swapping funny stories.”
      Her deep suspicion of all things German became more vociferous once German reunification loomed. She saw greater European unity, Moore says, “not as a solution for German power, but as a cloak for it.” She had a map of Europe in her handbag, marked up with a black circle around Germany, and another, even warier circle around the German-speaking peoples of Europe. The German Chancellor Helmut Kohl reportedly joked to her at a 1990 meeting that, at the recent World Cup semifinal, the Germans had apparently beaten England “at their national game,” only to have Thatcher reply that “the English had beaten the Germans at theirs twice in the twentieth century.” But it was Kohl who accurately diagnosed the problem: “She thinks history is not just. Germany is so rich and Great Britain is struggling. They won a war but lost an empire and their economy.”
      Increasingly, her colleagues and civil servants worked around her. Officials at the Foreign Office privately noted her “Germanophobia” and her “obsessions about the European Community and Germany.” One minister, Douglas Hurd, complained that Cabinet meetings now involved three orders of business: “parliamentary affairs; home affairs; and xenophobia.” The greatest pressure was felt by Geoffrey Howe, who became her Foreign Secretary in 1983. A loyal colleague from the earliest days of her leadership and an architect of the first Thatcher economic plan, he was perhaps the last person you would have selected to spend long hours by the Prime Minister’s side, as she sliced her way through flabby world gatherings. Thickly bespectacled, deferential, gently overweight, and meek of manner, he spoke in a civil murmur, a kind of clerical stutter that unfailingly cast a sleeping spell over the entire nation. Denis Healey said that being attacked by Howe was “like being savaged by a dead sheep.” Howe was a lawyerly civil servant who had been mysteriously transferred to the front lines of partisan politics. Where Thatcher craved decision, Howe preferred deferment; where Thatcher disrupted, he convened. He favored consensus, formulas, protocols, quietly stagnant back channels.
      He was also decent, capable, and well liked. Perhaps she needed him around, in an odd-couple way, as her reliable negative: find out what Geoffrey would do, and then do the opposite. Moore speculates that she despised his “unmanliness,” a shrewd surmise given her Lady Macbeth-like disdain for the slightest “wobbliness” in masculinity. She regularly rebuked him in front of his peers. At one of the Chequers seminars on the Soviet Union, she called out, “Don’t worry, Geoffrey. We know exactly what you’re going to say.” After a memorial service for her old friend Ian Gow, at which Howe had delivered the eulogy, she upbraided him in front of Gow’s grieving sons: “Why don’t you speak up, Geoffrey? You mumble.” Howe had been distressed by Thatcher’s opposition to South African sanctions—he feared that Britain would be seen as “the sole defender of apartheid”—and now he grew convinced that Thatcher was attempting to turn the Conservative Party into an anti-European tank. On November 1, 1990, she again reprimanded him in front of his colleagues; later that day, he resigned. He did not go quietly. The resignation speech he delivered at the House of Commons (declaring that Thatcher’s “perceived attitude towards Europe is running increasingly serious risks for the future of our nation”) led Tories to move against her leadership.
      Once Mrs. Thatcher’s fall had begun, the toppling was fast. But perhaps it had really started earlier—when, in October of 1989, she fell out with Commonwealth leaders on the question of South African sanctions, and said, “If it is one against forty-eight, I am very sorry for the forty-eight.” Or when her second Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, resigned a few days later, complaining that she “just doesn’t listen any more.” Or in March, 1990, when some of the worst rioting in modern British history swept through central London, as thousands of citizens protested the new poll tax. Or when inflation rates and unemployment began to rise, in the same year. And how curious that Thatcher, whose oft-repeated mantra was “Time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted,” could not or would not see this. Everyone else, it seems, was aware of what Moore nicely calls the “growing fin de régime feeling.” Parties exist to win elections. Miraculously, she had won three elections; now she imperilled the fourth: Labour was polling between sixteen and twenty-one percentage points ahead of the Conservatives. So she faced a leadership challenge and resigned, on November 28, 1990. Two years later, under her successor, John Major, the Conservatives won the election that had looked so grim for them.
      She was a violently political animal, and when the hunt was taken from her she dwindled away into a cruelly permanent winter that finally erased her only self. Her private secretary Charles Powell thought that she never had a happy day once she left power. Friends and admirers did their best, setting her up with houses and assistants—one wealthy donor sent her flowers once a week for the rest of her life. She signed up with a speakers’ bureau, formed the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, and travelled the world in the remunerative manner—as a kind of auctioned icon—that is now grimly customary among former world leaders, but was then unusual. Her politics, simmering away untended, thickened into solid reductions: she became ever more fervently opposed to E.U. membership. She defended the former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, an old ally, when, visiting Britain for medical treatment, he was placed under house arrest in compliance with a Spanish warrant. Once presciently interested in climate change—the scientist Thatcher had organized an early conference, in 1989, devoted to “Saving the Ozone Layer,” and a subsequent seminar at which she sat with the environmentalist James Lovelock—she appeared to recant it all in the book “Statecraft” (2002), a dull collection of right-wing speeches and anecdotes. The atavist now decried the issue as little more than an excuse for the promotion of “worldwide, supranational socialism.”
      Colleagues noticed her declining capacities. Giving a speech in 2000, she repeated the same joke three times. She suffered a mini-stroke at the end of 2001, and another early in 2002, temporarily losing the power of speech. Denis Thatcher, mysteriously kept alive by a stern regimen of nightly gin-and-tonics and two packs a day, died in 2003, at the age of eighty-eight. His absence caused further bewilderment: “I must go home now and get his supper,” she sometimes exclaimed. As her dementia deepened, her temperament sweetened; I saw the same change in my own mother, who followed Mrs. Thatcher in this regard, and who, born two years after her, died a year after her, in 2014. Almost mute, uncannily gentle, and patient as she had rarely been in the fullness of her life, Mrs. Thatcher would—it is one of the most poignant details in Charles Moore’s account—sit for hours in front of a certain painting at the Oxfordshire estate of a wealthy friend. The painting was a Victorian scene, titled “The Leamington Hunt—Mr Harry Bradley’s Hounds,” by John Frederick Herring. She liked counting the dogs.
      Dementia’s whittling seems crueller when the oak once stood as tall as Thatcher did. Her fiercest opponents could not be unmoved by Moore’s last pages. But a cold eye is required for her legacy, which has been calamitous. Brexit is always at the center of it, and yet almost the least of it. She split her own party, but she also split the Labour Party (with plenty of assistance from that great Thatcher admirer Tony Blair). After all, her opposition to the European Union wasn’t just about Europhobia; it had to do with her visceral Americophilia. When she flew to Washington, D.C., in 1981 to proclaim her ardor for the newly inaugurated Ronald Reagan, she was not only announcing an ideological kinship but binding her country to the larger power. “America’s successes will be our successes,” she declaimed. “Your problems will be our problems.” That promise was tragically fulfilled when Tony Blair decided to join George Bush’s invasion of Iraq—a decision that fatefully weakened Blair’s party.
      Thatcher legitimated a new kind of inequality; she protected and coddled Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing press, which returned the favor with blind support; she ignored and undermined her civil service, especially at the Foreign Office; she divided politics into a purity war of loyalists and enemies; she stopped being the leader of one nation; she “disrupted.” Alas, these are now very familiar woes, with their own familiar rhetoric. As David Cameron put it when she died, “She made our country great again.” ■

  12. Manuel 25 November 2019 at 8:22 pm Permalink

    “ Economic historians say what Venezuela is experiencing now is worse than any economic crisis in a peacetime country since World War II. The U.S. during the Great Depression, Zimbabwe during its 2008–09 bout of hyperinflation, Russia and Cuba in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union—nothing has come close. There is escalating starvation, disease, crime, and mortality. GDP in 2019 has been whittled down to 1950s levels. And then there is the inflation”

    • Manuel 25 November 2019 at 8:24 pm Permalink

      Se cumple la máxima: si implantas
      Socialismo en el desierto, pronto escaseará la

      “ Venezuela now has the lowest average minimum salary in the world: just $2 a month, one-tenth the figure for impoverished Cuba. There are general shortages of almost everything, including gasoline, despite the fact that Venezuela has the largest petroleum reserves in the world. The water and electric systems are collapsing: Major national blackouts started in early 2019, with some parts of the country going dark for weeks. Telephone and internet services fail constantly, due to the electrical disruptions and a lack of system updates. Most patients who require cancer treatments or dialysis are just dying. Our former “capital of Heaven” now has no gas, no light, no food, no water, no jobs, no money, no medicine, and no hope”

  13. Manuel 25 November 2019 at 11:36 pm Permalink

    “ When it comes to doing good by intervention, this kind of linear thinking can be hard to resist. We continue, for example, to think that the way to end poverty is to transfer wealth and expertise from one place to another. Some places are rich and educated. Some places are not. Take from one and give to the other. There’s a simplicity to this thinking that appeals to our sense of moral urgency but it foolishly underestimates the complexity of the ecosystems we hope to see thrive.


    When it comes to achieving prosperity, we have learned that institutions such as property rights, the rule of law, and free markets are paramount.


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