December 17, 2006 1 Comment
I’m fine with the right-wing claim that the Left is thoroughly hypocritical on the question of Pinochet.
I’m even fine with the consequentialist claim that Pinochet’s criminal actions averted a greater catastrophe.
But to fail to condemn his crimes is thoroughly illiberal and to actually defend them is anti-libertarian.
Skye Stewart, commenting at blog.Mises, did us a service in posting these 2 block quotes:
The Institute featured many articles on Bush’s SS ‘privatization’ proposal that I enjoyed reading. Let’s not forget Pinochet’s similar fascist economic proposals. As well his ‘war on terror’:
Have conservatives taken America in the direction of the Pinochet regime that they hailed and celebrated for so long? How can anyone doubt it? Torture; indefinite detentions; murders; sex abuse; “renditions”; indefinite detentions; military tribunals; and denial of habeas corpus, due process of law, trial by jury, and judicial supremacy. And just as they did during the Pinochet regime, U.S. conservatives are looking the other way while all this is going on — even claiming it’s necessary, all the while hailing and celebrating Bush’s “free-enterprise” policies.
President Bush is claiming the same power that Pinochet claimed — the power to arrest, torture, and kill “terrorists,” not just inside the country, but all over the world. It was, in fact, Pinochet, not Bush, who first developed the concept that the entire world was a battlefield in the “war on terrorism.” This is what motivated Pinochet to send DINA agents (one of whom perceived himself to be a James Bond) to Europe and the United States to assassinate “terrorists.”
– Jacob Hornberger,
“Augusto Pinochet and the Conservative Threat to America”
“The American right today has managed to be solidly anti-leftist while adopting an ideology — even without knowing it or being entirely conscious of the change — that is also frighteningly anti-liberty. This reality turns out to be very difficult for libertarians to understand or accept. For a long time, we’ve tended to see the primary threat to liberty as coming from the left, from the socialists who sought to control the economy from the center. But we must also remember that the sweep of history shows that there are two main dangers to liberty, one that comes from the left and the other that comes from the right. Europe and Latin America have long faced the latter threat, but its reality is only now hitting us fully.
What is the most pressing and urgent threat to freedom that we face in our time? It is not from the left. If anything, the left has been solid on civil liberties and has been crucial in drawing attention to the lies and abuses of the Bush administration. No, today, the clear and present danger to freedom comes from the right side of the ideological spectrum, those people who are pleased to preserve most of free enterprise but favor top-down management of society, culture, family, and school, and seek to use a messianic and belligerent nationalism to impose their vision of politics on the world.
All I can add is my bafflement at the consistent hypocrisy of many on the Right who are 100% anti-collectivist in their explicit rhetoric, and then 100% collectivist in their defense of the state‘s theoretical monopoly on force and its actual use of violence.