Sunday, February 1

How do crappy regimes manage to stay in power for decades?

Conservatives have a widely-held belief that any economic or political system built on lies and bad principles--socialism, communism, progressivism and similar--must eventually fail economically.  They then conclude that the failed regime will be overthrown or voted out and a better system will take over.

Unfortunately history seems to show that this doesn't happen.  For example, the former Soviet Union failed economically, yet Putin's Russia is still totally committed to communism.  Castro's Cuba is a disaster--the government has set a standard wage of $20 a WEEK--but no one has overthrown the regime, nor are there any indications that this might happen.

North Korea has been starving its citizens for decades, while top party officials drink top-shelf scotch and ride in limos, but no one is seeing revolution.

I think I've figured out why bad regimes stay in power even though logic says the people should shoot the bastards and hang their corpses by their feet:  It's a combination of propaganda, government control of education and short memories.

People only "know"--or think they know--things from one of three sources:  For about 90 percent of all people it's either personal experience, or something they read or heard.  A small percentage of people start from religious or philosophical principles and deduce things they "know" must follow, but this is rare.

Problem is, unless you keep a diary it's really hard to remember political or economic events that happened more than a couple of years ago.  Thus Democrats who signed a letter claiming Saddam Hussein was developing WMDs could brazenly, hypocritically do an about-face three years later and claim they never believed that, and that anyone who did was a moron.  And unless you had a copy of the letter, who would know the truth?

This of course is just one of countless examples of politicians lying their ass off, knowing that virtually no one can prove it.

If memory is too short and cluttered to be much help, one could hope the huge cadre of state-paid, state-controlled teachers could teach "real" history and keep the truth alive.  Unfortunately most state teachers are unionized, and their view of history is thoroughly biased against democracy, free markets, individual freedom and basically every founding American value.  I always ask my college students questions about history--and they know virtually nothing.  And these are bright kids, many headed for med-school.

The last channel for what we "know" is things we read or hear.  That's essentially what the media decides to publish or broadcast.  There's also a small component of hearsay from other laymen.  Of course in a totalitarian state the media says only what the leader wants.  It lies like a rug to advance whatever story the leader wants to push.  In countries like Cuba, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the like, there is no independent media.

The same is true here in the U.S:  The media uniformly advance the liberal/Democrat/"progressive" agenda.  One of the most powerful tools the media has is the power to ignore stories, and to avoid asking Democrats tough or embarrassing questions.

The takeaway from all this is that without an independent media or honest teachers, almost no one has any idea what the hell happened more than a couple of months ago.  This in turn allows politicians to lie brazenly.   We're talking lies on the scale of "Man has never walked on the moon," or "The USSR and East Germany were *forced* to build the Berlin Wall to keep thousands of spies from West Germany from infiltrating the East."

Or "If Cuba has had problems it's all because of the U.S. blockade, now 50 years old, has prevented the Cuban people from trading with the rest of the world."

Or "Capitalism exploits the poor."  Or "You didn't build that."  Or "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.  Period." 

Or "Anyone who makes it into the U.S. should be given citizenship."

Or "I never knew Mr. Gruber.  I'm sure he didn't really say 'The bill passed because the American people are stupid.'  That doesn't seem like something anyone would actually say."

Or "The only people who criticize the president are racists."

Or "Laws that force people to show photo ID to vote are racist, and the only people who want such laws are racist Republicans trying to suppress the black vote."

Or "We need to re-distribute wealth from the rich to the 99 percent."

Or "We need to ensure that all races are represented in all professions in proportion to their percentage of the population.  After all, that's simple fairness."

You've heard all these before, from Democrats.   And yet if by some wild chance they should ever be questioned in front of a camera, they'll usually deny saying anything of the sort.

And thanks to the Lying Media, they get away with it.

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