All A Twitter: Chavez Hires 200 People To Tweet For Him

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has hired 200 people to help him tweet as part of his account “chavezcandanga,” which has more than 237,000 followers. He has much to tweet about as inflation has now reached 30 percent in the country, which Chavez blames on the “bourgeoisie.”

Chavez’s twitter account is now slightly larger than his rival Globovision, the only critical TV channel remaining in the country after Chavez’s crackdown on journalists and free speech.

For the twitter story, click here.

The 30.4 percent inflation rate is now the highest in Latin America and, in his signature style, Chavez is now blaming the hidden hand of the United States and the wealthy and punishing no punitive measures: “We need to stop this right now. The bourgeoisie do not listen to appeals to their conscience. Let’s act with a firm hand.” Totalitarian tweets in 140 characters or less.

For the full story, click here.

126 thoughts on “All A Twitter: Chavez Hires 200 People To Tweet For Him”

  1. Mike S:

    “but the reality is that some humans crave power and many people want to be led rather than think.”

    And that is the problem in a nutshell. And I would further add that some people want to be taken care of and that desire is used by politicians to gain power over people as well.

    We really do deserve the politicians we elect. When a people don’t think and want to be taken care of “we” get the government they deserve.

    Please dont conclude that I dont think that some people do indeed need to be taken care of due to mental or physical disabilities that make them unable to fend for themselves.

  2. Mike S:

    “As those who know me here that doesn’t mean I think we should give up fighing the good fight, we should fight it to our last breath. However, we must know the true dynamic we are up against in order to combat it effectively.”


    Sagacious as always, Mike.

  3. Much has intervened since I last wrote thqat has precluded my taking art in this fascinating and enjoyable discussion, since the
    sturm und drang toned down. Unfortunately, I’m precluded from fully engaging. However, I would like to present my point of view, which takes the issue down to its minimal form.

    The human problem is that we still organize our society pyramidally in a manner similar to the great apes. What some may call sociopathy, or just plain old lust for powe, propels certain types of people to grab control of blocs of other humans. Since we are a species that has language and media and supposed “deep thinkers” these leader types need rationalizations for their actions in controlling the masses. You may have economic theory and political theory used as cover, or motivation, but the reality is that some humans crave power and many people want to be led rather than think. This to me is what drives nations and humanity. Resolve that problem and then we could talk about the best ways to organize things.

    As those who know me here that doesn’t mean I think we should give up fighing the good fight, we should fight it to our last breath. However, we must know the true dynamic we are up against in order to combat it effectively.

  4. Byron,

    And what Slarti said about personal versus public policy.

  5. Byron,

    Never heard of him – I guess great minds just think alike… 😉

  6. Byron,

    As a personal policy that’s fine, but when you use that assumption to set public policy you end up with a couple greedy bastards gaming the system and screwing everyone else.

  7. Slarti:

    throwing down a little Deming? I went to his seminar in Philadelphia in 1991 and have read a couple of his books. It was great and I got a book signed by him as well. He was a brilliant man, he emanated brilliance he was so smart, his life force even at around 90 was incredible, off the charts.

  8. Buddha:

    I take the opposite tack, I assume all men to be good until proven otherwise. I have met very few black hearted bastards in my life. But then I also assume that all men/women will in any situation put their own interests above mine and I accept it as a given. Back to my rational self interest assertion.

    So maybe I am not so very different from your grandfather, except in the spin, on this topic.

  9. Buddha,

    The numbers are just parameters and as such they are always negotiable. And my general policy is to assume the worst in general and give individuals every opportunity to prove me wrong. 😉

  10. Offshore natural gas platform sinks off Venezuela

    President Hugo Chavez announced the sinking on Twitter early Thursday, saying: “To my sorrow, I inform you that the Aban Pearl gas platform sank moments ago. The good news is that 95 workers are safe.”

    Read more:

  11. Byron,

    What Slarti said. We might disagree on specific numbers in implementation but we are in concurrence on what would constitute a workable mechanism.

    You don’t need to be reminded I think Marx was wrong and why.

    And that last paragraph describes not only you to a tee, but contrasts a primary way in which most people think versus the way attorneys (and at least one scientist) think about human nature in general. Because of the nature of the job (complex and adversarial), you always have to plan on the other guy being as vile and devious as possible and as such what would appear to be (and sometimes is) cynicism is actually a good tactical decision. Or as my grandfather used to say, “Assume the worst about a man until you know better. That way when you find genuinely good people it’s a pleasant surprise, but you’ll never be surprised by black-hearted bastards.”

  12. Buddha,

    You should add an option I once heard on the phone menu of a German investment bank – “If you would like to hear a duck quack, press #5”. (True story)

  13. Byron,

    If I were a shareholder of a big company, I would vote to tie all executive salaries to a multiple of the average worker’s wages (and cap it at 20x or less) and stipulate that all bonuses were to be paid in company stock that had to be held for a minimum of 10 years (if the stock went down over 10 years then no one deserves a bonus and tying the executives to the long-term stock price just makes sense to me). I’m all about getting the incentives right.

    As far as Marx goes I think he had interesting ideas but he made some serious mistakes (and everyone who’s tried to implement his theories has compounded those mistakes with terrible consequences).

    I think your ideas make the mistake of assuming that everyone is as virtuous as you are – I’m for assuming that everyone is a selfish bastard, getting rid of hidden subsidies (costs not being paid by the party profiting from them) and strengthening shareholder’s rights enormously.

  14. LT,

    And as to victory, I’ll define the shape of my victories as I set their metrics. “Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.” – Sun Tzu. Discussion, argument, satire, persuasion, provocation, calming . . . I have many tools for many jobs and I’ll do the work myself.

    If you didn’t want an argument, you shouldn’t have stepped into the middle of one. It is a precept of Aikido that the best way to avoid trouble is not to be there when it starts. Arguments are an adversarial process. There is either victory, defeat or stalemate. As argument and discussion are both tools from the set labeled “Dialectics: Socratic Method”, I’ll use my tools as I see fit.

    As to your opine on my ignorance of the record? That would also be your assumption and an opinion based upon limited sample space.

    If discussion is your preferred method, that isn’t an issue and as Slarti said welcome to the salon.

    Although you should know your approval or understanding of my modus operandi is not required, the limiting of assumptions would be appreciated.

    As to the 50/100 year mark? As a technical point you are correct, the time line is longer than stated. However, when dealing with propaganda, knowledge of the audience is important. This includes knowledge about their frames of reference. Is the average person in our audience more likely to have seen 100 year old flyers or articles in their exposure to propaganda or are the more likely to have a frame of reference that beings in the age of electronic mass media starting roughly about the time Hollywood was really churning out the anti-Communist (and ergo anti-socialist) propaganda like the 1962 movie “Zotz!”? ( Or the steady diet of jingoist silliness like “Rambo” and “Top Gun”?

    You argue your way and I’ll argue mine.

    Or we could discuss this later.

    To select a less adversarial stance, please press #1.
    For continued argument, please press #2.
    For contradiction, please press #3.
    Para el español, por favor oprima el cuatro.
    For an operator, please press zero.

  15. Labour Theory:

    Are you a Marxist? I have read the Manifesto with historical references, the history was actually more interesting than the Manifesto itself.

    I came away thinking that Marx was not responding to a capitalist system but to a residual feudal system and the aristocratic mindset of Germany in the 1840’s. What are your thoughts on this statement?

    Had Marx been born in the US he probably would not have written the Manifesto and Das Kapital would actually be a positive treatise on the nature and form of capitalism.

    I think it was the stratification of society caused by the aristocracy, the hereditary right to shit on your neighbor if he was from a lower station in life. Granted some rich people here in the US think they are royalty but some don’t and do not forget where they came from and how hard it is to make money, at least copious amounts.

    Marx says in the Manifesto that someone has to help the workers, how is that any different from what we have now?

    Personally, if I had a big company I would take 50% of the profits and distribute them to my employees. An employee wont work as hard as someone who owns a piece of the success. I actually don’t understand why companies which are private don’t do that. What is wrong with a secretary making 150k per year if the company is successful? How much money does a company owner need?

    As a small business guy I can only make so much without the help of other people. My personal philosophy would be to share a % of the difference I can make on my own and what I can make as part of a team. I think if more companies would think like that, socialism and communism would not be as attractive and they would be unnecessary.

    Lottakatz is or tends to the socialist perspective yet we agreed on having the employees buy a car company and run it. The board chose not to do that, probably didn’t want to have the guy on the line at their country club the following year.

  16. Labor Theory,

    Byron’s ever more open mind is a result of his intellectual integrity and months of work building mutual respect between Byron, Buddha, many of the other regular posters on this site and myself (plus a thread hijacked by a nearly endless discussion about 9/11). I would advise taking a little more time to get the ‘lay of the land’ around here before you start tossing around analyses of who changed who’s mind and the quality of any ‘victories’ that have been achieved. That said, you clearly have some interesting ideas and are a welcome addition to this discussion and this site. As I, too, am tired (and in the middle of an all-nighter preparing for a Friday AM meeting) I wont post any more tonight, but I have some thoughts about what you’ve said that I’ll get into later…


    I know you’re not for privatizing profits and socializing losses, but that’s the system we’ve got now, so the question is how to fix it. I’ll give you a more thorough answer later, too.

  17. Buddha,

    Touché. Yes, I am basing my assumptions on a limited sample. I don’t know your overall strategy, I only know your tactics from this one thread. As for your having brought Byron around on this one based on subsequent comments, I believe your “victory”–as much as it was yours–was a pyrrhic one. He still thinks capital needs labor more than vice-versa. As long as this holds true for him, he will also hold it to be true that capital is entitled to its position of privilege. He still needs a reason to like socialism–and not just any reason but one to which he can relate. Tomorrow (because tonight I’m tired as hell), I’ll offer him one. Of course, logic and persuasive speech being your forte, not mine…well, I may not persuade him but I’ll try all the same.

    By the way, on the subject of a limited sample: I’m sure Byron’s ever-more-open mind is all your doing. (Excellent job!) I’m sure it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that everywhere he looks he sees yet another story of global capitalism’s ongoing implosion. People are open to a lot of things right now, unfortunately most of the ideas they’re opening up to are really fucking scary as opposed to hopeful.

    On that note: we don’t yet have fascism. These exchanges won’t be happening after fascism has matured–at least not out in the open, because when the transition is complete people who say the kind of things we are saying will start disappearing. For sure, we’re close to the edge, at least as regards the impunity of your chosen ‘bad actors’, public and private (Cheney, the telecoms, Blackwater, etc.). However, your suggestion that under normal capitalist conditions “companies like BP wouldn’t be running manifestly unsafe drilling operations” or that it took the Citizens United decision for corporations to “have stolen our legal system via lobbyist graft” betrays an ignorance of the record. Industrial accidents have a history as long as industrial capital and more often than not, these accidents are the result of profit-maximizing negligence. Maybe read up on the Pemburton Mill collapse and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, a couple of the older and more grisly preventable disasters. The fact that businesses have for over a century continued to risk other people’s lives (typically their own workers), preferring the fines to the fixes and the fact that governments over that same time-span have never seen fit to levy a fine that would cause businesses to choose life over profits–and have in fact deregulated over the last forty years–tells me that Citizens United merely represents a codification of the status quo. The legal system has always been for sale. Now it’s official.

    At any rate, I’d like you to notice that Byron chose to engage the substance of my post rather than go off on some stupid tangent rooted in well over 100 years of propaganda (not 50). It’s an excellent starting point for a discussion. Discussion, not “victory”. Unless one or both of you are multi-millionaires, I want no victory over either of you. You are my natural allies. I’m sure you’re an excellent litigator but this is not a courtroom.

  18. Slarti:

    “No, systems are naturally regulated by feedback loops – when negative feedback is removed the system becomes unstable and when it’s replaced by positive feedback the system oscillates out of control.”

    I am not for privatizing profits and socializing losses, if you screw up it should come out of your pocket not mine. I think we are both in agreement on that point.

    How do you break the link between cost and profit? Aren’t you kind of stuck with selling something for enough to recoup your expenses and then some extra to pay for your effort and money? You cant charge whatever you want, you have to price to the market.

    Maybe I don’t understand your concept of breaking the linkage between cost and profit. Unless you are saying if I cut corners I can make more money. That usually doesn’t work to well, at least in my experience. Reality tends to rear it’s ugly head and bite you in the ass.

    I’ll leave pollution out of this one and use engineers instead. An analogy would be cutting corners on the type of steel used in a building. Lets say the plans call for Gr. 50 and I use Gr. 36 because it is cheaper, I am taking a risk that my building will have problems in the future in the event of a high wind event. But I put an extra 2 million in my pocket. The “linkage” is broken the minute a high wind event occurs, I have lost much more than the 2 million I made. I am probably going to jail.

    I need to think about this some more. I am really not sure how an unregulated market doesn’t perform this function. But I will admit that an unregulated market would require people to be extremely well informed to prevent being taken advantage of. But they get taken advantage of now even with our regulated market.

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