Cheering For A Venezuelan Coup

In the comments to Doug’s last post, and in the comments on Reddit, people seem shocked that Doug would advocate a military coup to overthrow Chavez.

They’re shocked, of course, because a site called the Liberty Papers would suggest that a military coup to overthrow a quasi-democratically elected president. The key, of course, is that they equate liberty and democracy. Only they’re not equal. Chavez’ propensity to nationalize sectors of his economy and his desire to destroy personal wealth through monetary inflation make him a distinct threat to liberty. To me, it doesn’t matter if he was democratically elected or not.

You see, there are two definitions of democracy. One is the correct definition, and that is rule through elections. However, that definition is not in common parlance. The second definition is a state where many of the levers of power are controlled through a democratic manner, in a state which also protects individual rights through the rule of law. The first definition leads, quite commonly, to tyranny. The second definition is generally a pretty liberty-friendly society.

You see, here at The Liberty Papers, we have little love for democracy for democracy’s sake. We are interested in outcomes which support liberty. The first definition of democracy doesn’t usually do so, as Chavez and Venezuela are pointing out. The second definition of democracy usually does support liberty, but Chavez has been ruling by decree, not by law, nationalizing the economy, and destroying the currency, so Venezuela doesn’t meet the second definition.

Whether Chavez was elected democratically or not, he is acting as a dictator in ways to fundamentally destroy the liberties of the people of Venezuela. Thus, it is my position that he should be removed from power, for the good of the Venezuelan people. Now, I’m not advocating that this be something the United States get involved with. After all, while Chavez is a loudmouth, he doesn’t threaten the United States. However, should he be overthrown from within by forces who will restore the liberties of the Venezuelan people, I’ll be raising my glass in support.

UPDATE: It appears that commenter “lifeofliberty” is willing to allow anyone who is democratically elected to do whatever they like. I would assume, then, that he supports President Bush choosing what portions of laws he will or will not enforce through “signing statements”? I would assume he wouldn’t have a problem with our Congress giving him near-dictatorial power for 18 months? I would assume he’s in favor of domestic wiretapping, and the suspension of habeas corpus, and Guantanamo bay? Because even though Bush was democratically elected, I find those things deplorable and think they are anti-liberty. I guess “lifeofliberty” believes that because “the people” voted for Bush, all these things are just fine?