Is Dictatorship Coming?They think so in Latin America. They have seen this pattern before, with Peron and Castro, Chavez and others.
The emergence of misrule, corruption and economic stagnation in Latin American nations follows a particular sequence or progression. Now the sequence was unfolding in the United States. "It starts with a cult of personality," the Cuban explained. "One man declares himself the jefe, the caudillo, the big leader."Does the man with no agenda other than "Hope" and "Change" withstand the charge of attempting to establish a cult of personality? Do his overreaching grand statements, like his announcement that "We" will back the warranties of General Motors, made by the "Jefe" with no benefit of law or authorization, reveal him as a lawless leader who recognizes few if any limits on his power?
"After the cult of personality," the Colombian explained, "what comes next is nationalization." Fidel had nationalized the Cuban sugar mills, Chavez the Banco de Venezuela, Morales the Bolivian oil and gas industries.
Obama? He may not have been issuing sweeping diktats. But as the American had to admit, he had already presided over a vast expansion of the federal stake in banks, in the automobile industry and in the mortgage markets. And in his address before Congress, he had proposed a new federal presence in health care, an industry that accounts for a full one-seventh of the economy.
"The last step?" asked the Cuban. "Censorship. It won't be obvious at first--they're always too smart for that. But it will come."
"Never," replied the American. "We have the First Amendment."
"And soon enough," the Cuban said, smiling sadly, "you will also have the Fairness Doctrine."
I leave it for you to decide for the present. Will he become a dictator or an oligarch? The future will reveal all. Meanwhile you can munch on the rest of this.
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