Ukraine, Venezuela, and why it’s Sad but Totally Unsurprising
By RU Twisted
As the world watches with awe, riots in both the Ukraine and Venezuela this past week have cost numerous lives, millions of dollars in damage, and shown a near chaos-like state in these countries. Protesters clashing with police in both places continue to result in a rising body count as things get more and more sideways.
These are tragic events to be sure. Police snipers shooting civilians in Kiev and military personnel in the streets of Caracas should give everyone pause for concern and make us all realize how relatively safe our lives are here in America. It is incredibly sad to see these events unfold.
But it should be in no way surprising to anyone. Though this may sound crass, it is a cold, hard reality that these events should have been seen coming years ago.
Let’s start with the Ukraine. The varied demographics of the country—many of whom see themselves as “European” while a great number of others identify as “Russian” and even some as both—make for a somewhat volatile dynamic to begin with. Many believe the differences between these groups are too deep-seated for there to be any real reconciliation.
The recent election of a president whom identifies as a Russian has only added fuel to this fire as many believe that he will hand the Ukraine back to the country it gained its independence from in 1991. That independence has been eroding ever since and the perceived Russian influence may have just been the final straw in what was already inevitable.
Consider that ethnic and nationality differences pale in comparison to the economic repression faced by the Ukrainian people. Despite having a wealth of resources in a geographically large country, the Ukraine’s GDP equals that of the state of Utah and ranks as one of the lowest in terms of economic freedom in the entire world.
Similarly, the violence in Venezuela has followed a laundry list of economic and civil liberty abuses by the government there. Under the guise of “democracy,” now-deceased President Hugo Chavez for years used the ignorance of several world leaders and popular media to obscure the fact that his was an incredibly oppressive regime in any area even remotely related to personal freedom. This has not changed since his passing.
Both countries enjoy remarkable natural resources and are similarly micromanaged by tremendous levels of bureaucracy and central planning. And it is for this reason that these events are completely unsurprising.
Please don’t misunderstand me—I find it tragic and sad to see violence erupt in cases like these. But I find it most disturbing that we as a race seem to never learn from these examples and take them as the lessons that they should be.
This is where expansion of the state leads. This is where socialism ends up, and no one should be caught off guard when it plays out in real time on live television.
Time and again throughout history we chronicle the progression of states as they gain more and more control of their people and every time the result is the same. We look in horror at the tremendous abuses of human rights and the oppression of people by regimes that obfuscate their inner workings all in the name of progress.
The media response to events such as these is either surprise out of sheer ignorance or relative silence as the narrative refuses to comply with the agenda previously embraced. The former shows demonstrative stupidity while the latter is an egregious display of ideologically motivated journalism.
Events in Venezuela are a prime example of a mainstream media that has turned a blind eye to the realities of the government Chavez helped create. Multi-million dollar news sources blatantly ignore the events there as it may contradict the decades-long fawning by Hollywood “elites” like Sean Penn and Oliver Stone.
Perhaps that is why the protests and violence in the Ukraine have received more coverage—no blockbuster celebrities have ever endorsed the government there or offered apologies for their leadership. This is probably not due to a disagreement with agenda but rather an ignorance regarding Eastern European politics.
Again, the sadness here is not lessened due to a lack of surprise on behalf of educated people. In fact, it is made all the greater because of the large number of influential people who refuse to learn from the multitude of lessons history has provided. Those who hold prominent positions in both government and media alike cry foul at the violence occurring in places that ironically reflect the logical conclusions of similar policies they regularly advocate for.
Revolutions, protests, civil unrest, or whatever name these events are given continue to occur in places with histories of government excess, lack of transparency, and economic repression. An expansive state restricts the freedoms of its people and the world views it as “shocking” when those same people collectively stand together and say “enough.”
As the state—any state—gains power, those under it lose freedom. This has always been the case and always will be. Pay attention to these events as they unfold and compare them with even the basics of historical study and this will easily be seen.
May we be a people who see it before it progresses to the level of violence.