Lack of Self-Awareness Watch

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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar Ken says:

    He might not be a dictator. But he engages in dictator-related program activities.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Surely all of us agree that there are some views that need not countenance disagreement and those who do not share the views ought be punished!

    Well, those of us who ought not be punished believe that, anyway.Report

  3. Avatar Zach says:

    I’m one of those who thinks Chavez and Ahmadinejad more likely than not represent the preference of the majority of their country (or at least they’re preferred over whatever the likely alternative is), for better or worse. I don’t think the dictator label is accurate in either case … there’s no need to invent hyperbole to point out real suppression of dissent. Penn’s reaction is insane, though. Maybe complaining about being called a dictator is the equivalent in radical governance to race baiting American conservatives being called racists.

    I wonder how long it’d take to find a Sean Penn quote calling GW Bush a dictator?Report

    • Avatar Chris Dierkes in reply to Zach says:

      Chavez I think yes. Ahmadi no (he lost an election).Report

      • Avatar Katherine in reply to Chris Dierkes says:

        I would agree.

        Maybe complaining about being called a dictator is the equivalent in radical governance to race baiting American conservatives being called racists.

        As a leftist, I think it’s about fear. With the invasion of Iraq, the US government set a precedent that it is appropriate for America to invade nations in order to remove dictators. Thus, because Chavez is a “dictator” (ie: someone elected with a large majority in elections observered and described as legit by international organization, but whom we don’t like) the US has the right and obligation to invade Venezuela as soon as Romney or Palin wins in 2012.

        Thus, for people who are freaked out by the trend of US political opinion and who don’t want to see Venezuela invaded, “dictator” is a dangerous word.Report

    • Avatar lukas in reply to Zach says:

      I’m one of those who thinks Chavez and Ahmadinejad more likely than not represent the preference of the majority of their country (or at least they’re preferred over whatever the likely alternative is), for better or worse. I don’t think the dictator label is accurate in either case … there’s no need to invent hyperbole to point out real suppression of dissent.

      Well, the Godwin on this one writes itself… Surely a dictator is a dictator even if he enjoys majority support (or tacit acquiescence for that matter)? I’ve always thought of dictatorship as characterized more by the extent to which government power is centralized and unchecked, rather than popular support or absence thereof.

      Chávez can take a walk through downtown Caracas and expropriate historical buildings on a whim (Seriously, you have to see it to believe it. He walks from building to building with the mayor, gets a 20 second description of each and then for some of them goes “exprópriese”, “have it expropriated”). He can single-handedly devalue the currency and impose price controls. TV stations have to broadcast his speeches or they will be shut down.

      Ahmadinejad, whatever his faults or the faults of the Islamic Republic may be (and there are many), is much less powerful. The constitution of Iran contains a dizzying array of checks and balances.Report

  4. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    Mr. Penn is a very disturbed individual who is very impressed with himself. Like most Hollywood clowns something of an intellectual deviant.Report

  5. Avatar Dave PV says:

    Hollywood clowns are more interested in their own reflection–and your reflection in the reflection admiring their reflection. Rarely do these people have anything of value to impart or add to the realms of political, economic, philosophical discourse in the first place, let alone anything approaching deviancy. Indeed, to give someone of obviously poor analytical skills without a self-limiting impulse the advantage of being an ‘intellectual deviant’ is giving that person too much of anything. He’s a pretty good actor, in some films. Best play: ignore the clown.Report

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