"Socialism is democracy." ---Hugo Chavez
"Democracy is like the grave it perpetually cries `give, give,' and, like the grave, it never returns what it has once taken. Do not surrender to democracy that which is not yet ripe for the grave."
Bulwer Lytton, quoted in TCSDaily 10/3/07
In trying to verify the quote attributed to Chavez, I found this article:
Chavez spoke after the elections council formally declared him the winner, defeating Manuel Rosales with nearly 63 percent of the vote. Electoral officials said turnout was about 75 percent. "Those who voted for me didn't vote for me. They voted for the socialist plan, to build a profoundly different Venezuela," Chavez said, praising the Rosales camp for accepting his victory. "I want to salute the responsible opposition ... It was time they assumed the attitude of true democrats." Chavez won some 7.2 million votes out of more than 11 million cast, the results showed. "These more than 7 million votes are votes for socialism," Chavez told reporters. "Socialism is democracy. ... With capitalism, a true democracy is impossible." --SolidarityEconomy.net 12/7/06
"With capitalism, true democracy is impossible." This is true. I would also say that with a true democracy, capitalism is impossible. Protection of individual rights is impossible. Freedom is impossible. Wealth and prosperity will be severely diminished and available only to the politically connected.
Democracy, or rule by the people, or unlimited majority rule, is the same as mob rule. What sets the stage for peace and prosperity is the rule of law built upon the restraints of the individual rights to life, liberty and property. Capitalism, properly understood, is the economic system constructed upon those principles. Capitalism consists of the voluntary exchange of privately owned property. Social interactions are limited by mutual respect for the rights of others and the absence of the initiation of force. Private coercion is outlawed. Coercion by the government is limited to the protection of individual rights and constrained by equality before the law.
Recently, I wanted to provide a brief but essentially complete explanation of my reasons for believing the above. This prompted me to look up a "slide show" I had found on the net several years ago. Short. Sweet. To the point. If you haven't seen it before, check out the Capitalism.org Tour.
Hmmmm. Interesting. Chavez was right.