Changing Labels

Rhetoric versus action

Part II

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all those others that have been tried.”  Winston Churchill.

After the fall of the Soviet Union Fidel Castro could no longer support revolutions around the continent and the guerrilla movements lost ground. But Hugo Chavez, who worshipped at Castro’s feet, came to the aid of Fidel and the guerrillas that had been at the edge of extinction. Venezuelan oil gave him plenty of money to share with the Cuban dictator and to promote rebels around the continent, giving them weapons, intelligence and sometimes shelter. The poor of Venezuela supported his corrupt regime, and even after his death Venezuela is still a communist dictatorship under Nicolas Maduro, Hugo’s heir. A bad idea was given new life, and a new face. That is how we got demagoguery mixed with abysmal ignorance.

Now for the good news: Socialism, with some aspects borrowed from free market economies, thrives in Europe and has produced periods of prosperity in Brazil and Chile. But those countries owe more to diligent politicos who have no time for the empty rhetoric that was fed to the masses in the past. Nobody outside North Korea will tolerate 3 hour speeches to sing the glories of the leader. Our time is done with the ideas of the past, and the only form of government that provides opportunities for all is the free market economy.

The battle now is to make corporations listen to the people, and become more conscious of the environment and more responsible for helping to shape solutions to poverty, illness, and illiteracy. New companies like Google, Apple, and Starbucks are more socially aware and are helping to institute real change implementing novel ideas. Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates is changing the world with his foundation. More recently the CEO of Gravity Payments, a Seattle, Washington company, decided to change the lives of 120 employees by making 70,000 the minimum yearly salary.  He took a huge pay cut reducing his 1 million dollar salary. That is a conscience seeking equality without the bombastic rhetoric of Fidel Castro. Actions speak louder than words. That is the future.


Fernando Mendez