Leopoldo + Petraeus + Harvard = Insanity.

This video’s basic pitch?

Leopoldo López went to Harvard, a place where the CIA trains its agents. There, he supposedly met David Petraus, who invaded Iraq. He gave some speeches calling for Maduro to leave the Presidency. He is Thor Halvorssen’s cousin.

Ergo … he is a coup monger, solely responsible for the 43 deaths that occurred in last year’s protests. Add a dash of ominous The-Omen-style music, and … voliá, you have justified your salary.

It’s all so simple in crazy, state-owned VTV world, no? (Sorry, video is in Spanish)

If where you went to school determines your status inside the CIA, then I’m clean. I went to Michigan, just like this guy.

(HT: Daniel)

65 thoughts on “Leopoldo + Petraeus + Harvard = Insanity.

  1. So are people in Vzla still believing the “US is about to invade Vzla” line? A little while back I was very surprised to hear Efecto Cocuyo mention that people in Petare seemed to actually believe that nonsense.


    • I literally heard this while waiting for a taxi, when people were discussing vzla/usa relations:

      ” Maduro is lucky that Obama is the president, because he is a democrat, if it were a republican then they would have invaded us by now”


  2. Couldnt a better more convincing case be made the Maduro is a stooge , an agent of the Cuban secret service , doing all he can to make Venezuela a subordinate province of Castros Cuba , putting the interest of Castros Cuba before those of a free sovereign Venezuela . In his youth didnt he spend time in Cuba ieing trained as some kind of infiltrator ? why dont they refer to it rather than all that foolishness about harvard beign a CIA recruitment centre .??


    • It’s obviously gross propaganda fron Corruptzuela’s dictatorship, where there’s no freedom of speech, no other sources of objective information unless you are educated, own a laptop and internet service. What did you expect?


  3. And come on Juan. Didn’t Gerald Ford go to Michigan? You know full well Nixon’s pardoner was in full control of the CIA! He may have even had Allende killed! You have blood in your hands Mr Nagel!


    • But unlike most Venezuelans, you did get an education. So your Kareem encounter doesn’t make you an Islamic terrorist on this blog. In Venezuela, you could be.


  4. OMG! OMG!

    Jorge Arreaza, core Chavista after having slept with Chávez’ daughter, went with a scholarship of the IV Republic to the University of Cambridge, where countless, countless members of GCHQ also studied.
    Ex (but there are so many): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifford_Cocks

    You all know how close the British GCHQ is to the NSA and all the USA military and espionage system.

    And why is the bodyguard of Rodríguez Torres, the one who actually murdered a couple of people on the first day of protests, working now mostly as a security-liaison guy to keep an eye on the LATIFUNDIOS the Rodriguez-Torres family has in Apure?


  5. I have seen U.S. conspiracy theorists work with a lot less than that.

    But, here is the difference… In a normal country, the usual smattering of fringe conspiracy theorists make some news and stir things up, but they don’t run the country.


    • In a half-educated country like the USA, none of this laughable crap would fly.. Maybe 1% would believe it, even if the dictators also had media monopolies.

      In Europe? or Chile? 1/2% of the population would believe this crap..

      In Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Corruptzuela: ” Si, chamo, parese que eze Leopoldo, el bulguesito que esta preso, eze fue y que p’a Halval, un intituto alla en gringolandia, chamo, y se reunio con la CIA, loco, y con Obama, p’a invadil la patria.. que bolas ese traidol”


  6. “It’s all so simple in crazy, state-owned VTV world, no?”

    Only in a terribly under-educated country.

    This kind of grotesque, absurd, illogical, preposterous, ridiculous propaganda only can fly among the extremely naive, astonishingly ignorant and profoundly uneducated.

    To proclaim that a jailed opposition leader, that almost every nation now wants to see free, is a covert CIA agent, plotting to invade Venezuela only because he attended one of the best schools on the planet…

    Sorry, but this is why we are where we are. Believe it or not, Millions and Millonas of ignorant Venezuelans buy this crap!! Not because they are stupid, retarded, brain-washed in concentration camps, no. Lack of basic education.

    I wont get tired of saying it: anything related to Corruptzuela, anything you can’t seem to understand about this country, go back to the perennial common denominators: Ignorance – Corruption.

    If you add Oil to that equation: you get Corruptzuela, about to be invaded by the Yankee Empire in 2015,
    where you don’t have the right to your own money, or a chicken or soap.

    What happened? Very simple. An under-educated, inept bunch of Gluttonous Thieves grabbed the power, mostly elected and tricked by one of their own, slightly more educated, charismatic, super avispao.. an unfortunate “triumph of democracy” to be blunt, where an average bus driver is president, and the educated ones, who should be leading the country are in prison or overseas.


    • Geez…again your utterly simplistic views show the same social resentment or worse than many Chavistas have.

      Germany had the best educated population on Earth in 1933. Russia actually doesn’t do that bad in education compared to many other countries that are progressing more now.

      The point is that as long as Venezuelans like you are not much better than the “bus driver” (actually, Maduro never was a bus driver, he did no work),
      as long as those privileged think they are much better than the rogues now in power and don’t see Venezuela was and is an utterly feudal country with feudal system, we are not going to progress much.

      Venezuela won’t evolve unless all Venezuelans realise the countr has ALWAYS, ALWAYS been lead by people with a feudal mentality…whether they had the education of Maduro or the formal education you had.


      • Comparing Germany after the first War, the deep depression, a Unique phenomenon to Venezuela is ridiculous.

        Again, lack of education is OBVIOUSLY at the root everything that’s happening in Corruptzuela now. This blog thread is only one of countless examples.


  7. I feel we use the term education too broadly , it does make a difference but perhaps not as much difference as one might think , there are lots of people who attend an educational facility mainly to learn how to do a particular job but otherwise put little or no time in educating their character or capacity to analitically and intellegently view and understand much of what important in human life . They have an education but are functionally intellectual illiterates , they do very little reading , skim through some purportedly deep ideas but really dont understand things except in a rather sketchy and anecdotal way. They have a very poor and unsystematic grasp of the world they inhabit .

    The most important education doesnt take place in academia , but at home , where much of our character is formed , or in our workplace if we are lucky enought to become acquainted with professional challenges that force you to grow not just professionally but intellectually , or during the quiet times when one curiosity makes us explore and reflect on topics beyond the superficial made do explanations that fill our social enviroment. Again and again I meet professionals who have the mentality of grown up children , who cannot handle concepts but only buzz words !!

    The kind of conspiracy theories the regime tries to sell are so rudimentary and rough hewn that only the simplest of minds can ever give any credence to . To believe that you not only have to lack even the most sketchy of educations, you have to be slightly dumb. either naturally dumb or idiotized by the picturesque narratives of primitive political discourses


    • Yes, well said indeed. Unfortunately, people in Latin America tend to see formal education as some sort of magical pill that would solve all our problems. But the truth is that most of the times an idiot at college will just become a college-educated idiot.

      See this video, for example:


      • I am leaning towards Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. Why? Because it will be fun to watch the reactions in certain Latin-American countries, when us yanks elect our first Cuban-American president. Hehe.


        • I’m afraid that by the time the US presidential election come, we won’t have that many Bolivarian president around anymore.


        • For Corruptzuela, the best would be Rubio. He’s already destroyed Masburro with his comments, and is not afraid to speak his mind about Corruptzuela, or even Cuba, btw.


      • You realize those type of videos spend all day attempting to interview people, and then edit together the minute or two of people sounding like total morons, right?

        I’ve seen those made in many countries aimed at all sorts of political parties/sides/etc.

        In general, however, I would say that in most ‘educated’ countries most people just vote for their party and subconsciously accept partisan versions of reality. And there are others who are even less sophisticated than that!


    • “To believe that you not only have to lack even the most sketchy of educations, you have to be slightly dumb. either naturally dumb or idiotized by the picturesque narratives of primitive political discourses”

      And how many people in Vzla do you think have “believed that”, plus many, many other unreal, preposterous things this regime keeps selling for 16 years? Millions..

      I generally agree with your observations about education, though. The point remains that Chavista “education” is not a real, profound, objective one, that teaches people how to think, and critically analyse various scenarios, worldwide, for themselves.

      With Chavez’s Bullshyt “education”, and “socialist misiones”, actually about 2 million people, they say, learned how to read/write, which turned Corruptzuela into an ‘alphabetized’ country at about 95%. But as you suggest, that’s nothing. Even when you listen to many “universitarios” in Vzla for 5 mins, you realize how poorly educated they really are.

      That, of course, is the kind of education I’m talking about. What you have in civilized, “developed”, nations, Europe, the USA, Canada, Chile, even Costa Rica and Colombia.

      That’s what Vzla obviously lacks, pus the family values, of course. It starts with better education, to promote a better society with stronger family values, ethics, etc.

      And I reiterate, that’s the main, underlying reason Vzla is where it is; they elected and supported Chavismo BECAUSE they know no better, they are incredibly naive, as you can see by the Millions who, in 2015, still believe UNREAL propaganda like the ridiculous video above.

      If, for example, the Chilean or even Russian governments publicized such an aberrant video on U-Tube, they would be overthrown the next day for lying to the people, and disrespecting the most basic intelligence of the nation.


      • I meant the first video, about Leopoldo being with the CIA because he went to Harvard, so he was planning on Invading Vzla..

        The second video does show that somewhat “educated” people can be incredibly ignorant too, in any country. You can’t fix stupid. Do note however, that these videos are often a Compilation of extensive Street interviews, where young, nervous people are cought off guard, and say dumb things.

        They tape hundreds of interviews with tricky, dumb questions to begin with, and make to video choosing the dumbest, of the dumbest replies of all. In this case, done deliberately against Clinton, it seems, or for one of the many TV shows about Humor.

        Most Americans have slightly more informed polical views, and certainly would never believe that Leopoldo is gonna invade Vzla with the CIA after they killed Chavez with cancer by injection..


      • Floyd I ve no idea how many people seriously believe that going to harvard made LL into a CIA agent secretly bent on preparing the ground for a US military invasion . I would have thought that a minority of Chavista die hards would believe it , but maybe there are more than I think , do you have any data ??

        Some things perhaps that might make the number higher than a reasonable person would expect :
        1. average IQ numbers are very low ( 84) , if you take out the 25% better read, informed and educated part of the population ( predominantly non chavistas) , what do you thing the average IQ of the remaining population is likely to be . hazard a guess??
        2. The level of primary and secondary education has fallen precipitously from what it used to be , there are kids coming out of primary and secondary schooling who are almost illiterates . Moreover that have an almost primitive notion of the world they live in even if they can sometimes include some show off words into their vocabulary .
        3. The are many who have been culturally conditioned to believe not in what is most convincing logically or intellectualy but in what is most novel simplistic and melodramatic, specially where such beliefs entertain their emotions . This susceptibility to novel , super simplified and melodramatic beliefs is increased by past contact with Chavista discourses. Chavismo softens their brains as much as it enthralls their emotions.

        What I find most credible is that most ordinary people dont really think much about these things , for the most part pay them very fleeting cursory attention if at all , might repeat what they hear without spending much time thinking about it. That there are many other things which occupy their minds and which have nothing to do with thoughts of US invasions and the like.


        • It’s not just the laughable US Invasion, or that Lopez is a CIA agent.

          This type of complete aberration happens every week, everywhere, for over 16 years! A large chunk of Vzla’s uneducated population constantly believes such unbelievable stories, and even still believes in Chavez and the regime!

          They believe in the “coup attempts” against Masburro, if not, that the Imperio id after Vzla, if not that, they certainly believe the Escasez is CAUSED by the Imperio Gringo, the Guerra Economica crap, etc. The examples are endless.

          Any populace a little bit more educated would never have believe so many aberrant, blatant, obvious, enormous lies for almost 2 decades, enduring such precipitous degradation, deprivation and disintegration everywhere, crime, murders, ” no hay leche, se murio porque no habia medicina”, anything!

          It takes a LOT of Ignorance to believe as many obvious lies and endure so much for so long.

          I don’t see how anyone can say the general, appalling lack of minimal education is not the root of Corruptzuela’s problems. Then, of course, comes corruption, which is the only other big explanation as to why so many people put up with so many evident lies and decadence: they might not all be THAT ignorant and THAT uneducated, but they put up with it because they are bribed, greased and on the Dictatorship’s payroll, directly or indirectly.

          As I always say, for the sake of simplicity, of course: Under-education + Oil = Corruption = Disaster = Corruptzuela. And that’s because “el pueblo” is now in charge. A bus driver.


          • About IQ.. I don’t believe much in those “measurements” for ‘intelligence’. Intelligence to me is a lot more complex that what such numbers could indicate. It can’t be defined, there are many types of “smarts”, can’t be easily measured. Some people can be great with numbers, others with words, and then be very dumb about certain things or situations. We can be dumb at certain things, smart about others. Some know many facts but have very little “common sense”, the least common of all senses..

            And to generalize and define an entire’s populace’s IQ is even more complicated and erroneous. Suffice it to say that Venezuelans are no more intelligent at birth than, say, Chileans or Uruguayans or the Swiss. They might be a little less well-fed, less vitamins to grow brain cells with.. but no, it’s about basic Education and the Environment, the parents/communities.

            If you tell a Portuguese sardine fisherman that the Spanish armada is about to invade them, and have an imperialistic “Economic War” against Portugal, he might believe you for a second. But today, most Portuguese people around him would laugh and kick the liars out.

            Well, the average Portuguese fisherman probably doesn’t have a higher “IQ” (whatever that is) than a Margariteno in Pampatar. But the Margariteno, Obrero o Campesinos from Venezuela has never heard of Portugal, and barely of some far away country called Europe.


            • “If you tell a Portuguese sardine fisherman that the Spanish armada is about to invade them, and have an imperialistic “Economic War” against Portugal, he might believe you for a second. But today, most Portuguese people around him would laugh and kick the liars out.”

              I agree, but imagine a scenario in which not only the president of Portugal is saying that the Spanish Armada is about to invade Portugal, but also all the official apparatus as well as the “hegemonic media” reinforcing the same insanity. Then we would be playing a whole different ball game, right? And that’s what is really happening in Venezuela, as someone said: the crazy are running the madhouse. If the same thing were happening in Portugal, I really doubt that this fisherman of yours would be able to distinguish the truth from the sea of lies.

              During the Salazar years, which were really not that long ago, when Portugal was much poorer than Venezuela and hundreds of thousands of Portuguese immigrants flocked to Venezuela, the Portuguese government was much more paranoid than the current Venezuelan one, and the masses would simply trust anything thrown at them.

              The issue is that Venezuela still has one Salazar ruling the country in 2015, a mad man called Maduro. And Portugal has democratic institutions strong enough to never allow a new Salazar from ascending to power again.


              • With the internet and other information communication means today, (much faster than horse messengers and slow paper letters) even the poor/uneducated get some access to alternative opinions and true worldwide information. Much has changes since the days of the Nazis or Salazar or early Cuba in the 50’s: it was a lot easier to completely control all media. Now with planes, cars everywhere, thousands of papers, Cellphones everywhere, the information is available.

                Big difference.

                That’s why places like China or even fanatical, religious areas like Iran or Egypt are much more difficult to “control” today.

                But you have to have a minimum of education to be able to discern and think for yourself, among all that information, closer and closer to anyone’s fingertips.


            • I dont disagree with your take in understanding natural intelligence as multidimensional so that you cant really have a single number stand for the many things it involves , also that raw natural intelligence is perhpaps more widely spread out than we normally think , but the way people use their natural intelligences more profitably or less profitably, with greater or less adeptness or skill depending on cultural factors is something which I don think exists. In short that natural intelligence in people develop to different degrees depending on many factors including cultural ones . IQ’s are therefore proxies for other stuff which make people within a tribe group or nation have a better honed intelligence than others. When I write about these things I have to simplify stuff to simply evoke a more complex idea I cannot articulate in the short space one has . Medically its been proven that kids who are malnourished or who have bad parenting dont develop in the same way than kids that are better nourished or enjoy the stimulation that good parenting can give. There was a study done in Venezuela for many years as part of an international project and having talked to some of the people who participated in it they determined examining thousand of little kids for dozens of years first a climb then a steady deterioration linked to the kind of parenting and nourishment they were recieving (both go together) . It appears that kids brain when they are young need much better nutrition when they are growing up than adults . kids brains consume a much larger percentage of the bodys energies than adult or adolescents brains . Venezuelas story is a worrisome one . My daughter who spend some time attending underpriviledged children in a barrio was shocked at how neglected many of the kids where making them very illnes prone , specially when the mothers were young . also shocked at how young mothers werent able to understand even the simplest instructions no matter how plain and simple the langugage used to talk to them . their intelligence appeared to have been compromisedby their upbringing . Neglectful parenting in Venezuela is endemic specially among the poorest and it has consequences !! So take the IQ reference not so literally but as representing many other things that affect not peoples natural intellligence but their intellectual perfomance when confronted with the challenge of judging or understanding things they have never been equiped or trained to properly understand and judge. I do believe that intelligence is no simply an individual thing but a collective quality , that there are groups or organizations that are or act smarter than others because of historical cultural or other empirical factors . I doubt that as a society we are among the most priviledged in this respect.


              • Sure, Vzla’s “collective IQ” may not be the highest; poor nutrition and bad parenting do not help. But the bottom line remains that if Adecos/Copeyanos had made a better, concerted effort to Educate the bulk of Venezuelans better, and sure, help building stronger families and a healthier society, our country would not be where it is.

                In short, as Uslar Pietri put it when it mattered, if Vzla had “sembrado el petroleo”, with emphasis on the Human capital, Education (plus agriculture, other industries..) we would not have fallen for the blatant lies of Chavismo. Most people would not believe all that crap for so long.

                Here’s proof:

                Who were the ones that voted for Chavismo in the first place? Mostly the poor, uneducated. Some educated, middle-upper class too, in the beginning fell for it, but quickly woke up, changed their minds (and left the country when they could).

                To this day, those who somehow still have good memories for Chavez, (a beast, a Criminal and a Thug) are the poor, uneducated. And ALL of those still supporting Masburrismo are the poor/uneducated or the deeply enchufados. What a coincidence, huh? The deciding factors, always: lack of education and its ugly cousin, corruption.

                It would be very hard to find a dozen well educated, honest people who still support this putrid, awful regime. Correct?? Extremely hard to find reasonably well-educated Venezuelans, of ANY IQ, who still buy the impossible Masburrista Lies about “economic warfares or imperios”, regardless of media control. Either they are bribed and corrupt to the bone marrow, or they left the country for safety, or they are the few left fighting against the OBVIOUS dictatorship best they can.

                You see the point?


  8. Education and intelligence are not the same, I think we all know that.
    Maduro’s government has failed because they are corrupt and dishonest criminals. They are following a system that many countries tried and know that they failed.
    Those students already know Hilary’s experience in world affairs, they know what they are getting. All of that is at the back of their minds so all they say now is that she is also a woman. They surely would not say that if an unknown woman was running for president.


    • good point on the last statement.
      Also, to give students the benefit of the doubt … I can say that in my early 20’s, my intellect was not altogether superior. To hone it took life and work experience + pro-level training — something akin to what Bill Blass has suggested.
      Certainly by my late 20’s, I knew enough not to propose an economic platform for a country without nailing its quantitative aspects, nor to propose that Chávez died of injectable cancer without providing forensic proof. That intellectual or character formation counted on an already established home education that was reality based. As such, I was never prone to fantasizing or manipulating facts simply to gain attention, to pretending to be what I wasn’t, or to having what I didn’t — character deviations that can continue throughout one’s life.


      • “good point on the last statement.”

        Sorry, but it’s not a good point. Scroll the video to the minute 1:42, for example, and listen carefully to what the woman says. She disproves completely Alej’s point. That woman, like most of the others, don’t know anything about Hillary. And they are not ashamed to confirm that.

        But hell, as Groucho Marx would say in a situation like that: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?” hehe.


        • Marc, in that infantile video of reference, the interviewer comes across as a total jackass. So does Hillary Clinton, whose selected bytes and cheesecake moments are used for infotainment. Or should that be paid poli-tainment, commissioned by the campaign HQ for HC?

          Perhaps you should ask yourself that latter question before condemning the student interviewees.

          At no time does the young woman in question ask the jackass interviewer who might be HC. Therefore, one can assume that the young student is familiar with the name.

          Otherwise, it’s unfortunate that this silly video of 8 student interviewees is being used to extrapolate on the views of most (undergraduate) students(*), who are a reflection of their home life, given their lack of experience.

          In sum, it’s useless to make a negative blanket statement on all students (*), when their intellect has not yet fully formed, and when those who are supposedly better educated and have more experience reveal both intellectual and character flaws that need a much closer look.

          (*) Marc dixit: “That woman, like most of the others, don’t know anything about Hillary. And they are not ashamed to confirm that.”


      • syd: “I knew enough not to propose an economic platform for a country without nailing its quantitative aspects”

        LOL. Coming from one who can’t find a flaw in one, and doesn’t even have an alternative… You exemplify what Bill “Blass” (sic) (ironic, too), was talking about.


  9. An irony about this Harvard= Enabler of the Right Wing Evil Empire narrative is that from the point of view of many on the right in the US, Harvard is the poster child of sneering holier than thou “progressive” dogma crammed down the hoi polloi’s unwilling throats. And part of progressive dogma is disengagement of the US from the rest of the world, given that the Evil Empire can only mess up the rest of the world. Haavaad gets it coming and going.


  10. I once read a story about how the reform bill ( apportioning MP’s on the basis of the population of each shire rather than on the basis of historical tradition) was adopted in England .Parlaiment wanted it , most people wanted it but the House of Lord opposed it because it would take from them the power to pick the MPs from places where they were influential although they had very small populations . The PM at the time was the duke of Wellington known popularly as the Duke and he sided with the lords because he could not see a way out of the institutional stalemate . Then a Taylor from Cheapside had an idea , he placed plackards in some thoroughfares in London with the legend ‘To stop the Duke go for Gold’ , what he was suggesting was for people to go to the Bank of England and exercise the never used right to exchange their paper notes for phisical gold as a means of creating a crisis which would force the Duke to take political action to push the reform through , the next days throngs of people were massing arround the Bank of England asking for their gold , the crisis became unbearable and the Duke decided that something had to be done after all , he went to the king and convinced him that if the Lords where so obdurate he should designate so many new lords as needed to make them change their minds, the king agreed but before the idea was put in practice the lords relented and allowed part of the reform to be ennacted .

    The story although basically true may be adorned with some exagerations and inaccuracies but what struck me was the way the simple and almost criptic message ‘to stop the Duke go for gold’ was understood by thousand of people so that they interpreted the message in a way that allowed for great pressure to be put on the Duke to allow some measure of reform . That spoke to me a lot about the average intelligence of the English people in those days ( early XIX century) . Yes definitely I do think that the individual intelligence of people is sometimes reflected in the collective intelligence of people within a group or society ,


    • Nice story. But what strikes me as more important than theories about “collective intelligence” is the fact that usually in England and Europe and in most countries the Leaders, Dukes, or Ministros, or Presidents or Kings, were from the Elite layers of society: Better Educated, and often the smarter types.

      Unfortunately, true “democracy”is a fallacy that does not work. You need the wisest Shaman, the well-to-do “elders” in a Tribe to lead that tribe, not the average indians. (Even Evo Morales is a bit of a “Shaman” these days, and look where Bolivia is.. sorry, could not resist the joke)

      You need the Aristocrats, Burgueses, Elite, whatever you want to call them, in power. Not the average bus driver as President. They will steal, and be unfair, but not that much!

      Or, you get Corruptzuela’s disaster.. “Todos los hombres nacen iguales, pero unos son mas iguales que otros” dicen por ahi.


  11. Floyd whatever truth there is in what you say ( and frankly there is not much I can say to rebut you) you are flaunting your disbelief in ideas that are very near to sacred in our times. equality and democracy are the most revered idols of our age and to speak of their limitations is to invite getting burned at the stake if not bodily , in the effigy that represents you intellectually .

    I too am burdened by a belief in the need for elites or proto elites to assist the popular leaders in their quest for a form of governance that makes for the greatest lasting welfare for the greatest number and a modicum of freedom to let people carry on with their own lives with the least hindrance .

    There are many ideas that can be tried to combine the demolatry that all freedom loving men are currently infatuated with and a measure of participation of meritocratic elites in the running of society . Perhaps some other times we could discuss them , but I suspect that even now many countries practice forms of democracy where elites are allowed to play some role in the way societies are run.

    Some years ago a noted US constitutional scholar was invited to Venezuela to lecture on the importance of the rule of law . He was interviewed by the Venezuelan press and one of the questions posed to him had to do with the subject of direct democracy which some US states (Californias Referendum System) are attempting to implement , his inmmediate answer was to very clearly disavow the merits of the idea , and instead suggested that one of the great things about the US system was that after people had their elections and chosen their govt leaders , each side allowed a group of their most knowledgeable people to meet in relative privacy to work out what had to be done to advance an agenda which sattisfied the needs of the country . I know this system is now much broken down by the polarization of american politics , but the basic ideas that solving collective problems could only be done behind closed doors by people who understood the challlenges and problems better than the elected officials, has indeed helped the US in the past to make great strides in foming the great nation that the US is recognized to be.

    The US and other developed countries have gone a long way towards creating elite institutions that function at least partially on a meritocratic system and which do the heavy task of maintaining a rational balance in the life of their societies .


    • You make good points, Bill:

      “you are flaunting your disbelief in ideas that are very near to sacred in our times. equality and democracy are the most revered idols of our age and to speak of their limitations is to invite getting burned at the stake if not bodily , in the effigy that represents you intellectually .”

      Well, I’m used to it. Always been a “free thinker”, often swimming against the tide. There are simply too many obvious lies still floating out there. “Democracy” is one of them of course. Governments are hardly ever “by the people, for the people”. And they shouldn’t be, for because we are different. Of many talents and separate capacities. Especially today, when the entire world is fusing together, all races and nationalities, the leaders should be the best. You can’t have the best baker or best mechanics working in Legislation..

      Equality is also a pathological lie. We are not “equal” even to our twin brother, if we have one. We are different at birth, some are athletes some are thinkers some are a mix. Rulers back in the day have coined that lie, especially in the USA. Ask a genius like Franklin, and his other gifted Mason friends, if he Really though all men were created equal.. Furthermore, our education and nurturing further defines us as Different, in many ways, fortunately. It’s the birth of politics.. you make the crowd feel important and proud, well represented. Then you dominate and do whatever you want. Rulers always like to use Religion, of course, to solidify their powers as “elected” by God.. but that’s another story.

      Sure, being obviously different, we need to work together., as you suggest. ” I suspect that even now many countries practice forms of democracy where elites are allowed to play some role in the way societies are run.” The problem is that role often isn’t prominent enough: When you have uneducated, non-elite, dumb leaders in power, like our bus driver Masburro and the Diosdado clan, they will not allow many “elite” people around them. At that point the apple is already completely rotten: they are there to steal and indulge in Power trips. Caligula times.

      These “pueblo” leaders, average Joes in undeducated societies will not listen to Uslar Pietri or even the Leopoldo Lopez’s our more advanced Venezuelan society produced. No. They would be criticized or contradicted, outsmarted, out-classed. They much prefer surrounding themselves by even less educated thugs, people they can control, and usually Bribe. That’s what happened in Corruptzuela: the Elite was kicked out. To them “ideology” is a dying old murderer, a maniac called Castro. And, paradoxically, Bolivar.. what an irony.. : it doesn’t get more “Burguesito, Sifrino, Capitalista than Bolivar, from the richest Venezuelan family at the time..

      So you have the blind leading the poor, uneducated, controlled masses, with the Elite and middle-upper classes virtually elimated. Open Buffet, all you can steal.. Disaster.

      “The US and other developed countries have gone a long way towards creating elite institutions that function at least partially on a meritocratic system and which do the heavy task of maintaining a rational balance in the life of their societies ”

      Yes. And that’s one of the things that makes the country work. But even here in the USA, we are still in Pre-Historic ages.. Politicians are still liars, drunk with power. Fortunately they tend to be relatively well educated.. Still, too much bureaucracy, powerful Economic interests still rule, disguised by the political marionettes they’ve elected. Money rules. The USA and Europe don’t really care about Africa or Syrian genocides this month, or Vzla’s ordeal.. It’s all a charade.


    • For meritocracy you first need to give equal basic opportunities to individuals.

      At the end of the day, even the most conservative Texan from the Texan elite has a more social set of mind than the so-called educated former elite or the current leaders of Venezuela.

      Venezuelans who keep talking about “letting the educated elite rule” are not much better than Chavistas.
      Both groups are utterly feudal.
      They might say they want meritocracy but what they really want is for their clan to keep power. For meritocracy to work you first need to create equal basic conditions.


  12. Interesting discussion about Intelligence and Education. Firstly, I think that a large part of “intelligence” is genetically inherited. The correlations between standard IQ test scores and general success in life are incontrovertible. Also, various “twins raised apart” studies have shown that even radically different childhood nutrition and environments resulted in similar IQs. One generalized conclusion was that the genetic contribution to overall intelligence is about 60 – 80% while the early nutrition (including prenatal) and education contributed the remaining 20 – 40%. It was also noted that IQ becomes fixed by the age of five years old. No amount of state education is going to improve national IQ scores. This is up to the parents. However, I would note that even with these figures, improvements in early childhood nutrition and education could significantly close the IQ gap between Latin America and that of North America and Europe.


  13. There is also an interesting negative correlation between IQ and religiosity in most of the world, the major exception being Africa. Uruguay, which is famously non-religious, has the highest average IQ in Latin America at 97.

    I suppose that if you can bring yourself to believe that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery, then believing that Leopoldo Lopez is an agent of the CIA based upon the “evidence” in this video should not be a stretch.


    • “IQ” measurements, in my humble opinion, should be revised this century.. too much emphasis on math and other tradition beliefs.

      The very definition of “Intelligence” is up for grabs. It’s more like a subjective opinion. Some of the known “geniuses” today with the highest IQ seem, in some ways, very dumb to me. That should curb their “IQ” results..


      • And yes, Religion usually indicates conformism, and quite often could be related to intellectual limitations. I mean, we complain that Venezuelans still believe that the Yankees are about to invade with Leopoldo as leader of the CIA.. how about the millions who still believe they are getting 72 Virgins in Heaven if they blow themselves up and kill innocent children, or the Christians/Jews who still believe some guy Jesus turned water into wine and plenty of fish, helped by Noeh and his arc, who carefully collected all of the animals in pairs and hauled them on a boat to safety.

        In my humble opinion, all religions are flawed and borderline stupid. Some more than others. The ‘religion’, or philosophy, with the “Highest IQ” has to be Buddhism.. so it was butchered, and misinterpreted through the years, as all the other theologies.


    • Sometimes people develop very subtle relationships with the religion they were brough up with , Im reminded of George Santayanas highly aesthetized view of the Catholic religion, one that perhaps finds best expression in sonnet 138 of Shakespeares sonnets to a Dark Lady:

      “When my love swears she is made of truth
      I do believe her though I know she lies ……
      Therefore I lie with her and she with me
      and in our faults by lies we flattered be ”

      Sheer nonsense of course.!!


      • In this political context, religion has always served as 2 things: Opium for the People, and to justify Wars, dominance, power and personal enrichment of the self-anointed “God chosen”. Every civilization, for centuries, same thing.

        Today it’s finally getting a bit better, except for the Islamic radicals.. but they do the same. That’s why Chavismo utilizes Christianity and evoque Jesusito y la Virgen ALL the time. As if the Gods approved Masburro. And of course, they’ve also used “semi-gods”, like Chavez or Bolivar, after death. Heros and Religion, to gain power, stay in power, and justify all of the ineptitude and/or atrocities.


  14. Intelligence is a difficult topic because culturally its a very misunderstood term . The first thing to understand is that there is no one single intelligence but many different kind of ‘intelligences’ , which asses peoples variable capacity for the mathematical, for the use of reasoning skills , for verbal expression, for understanding and handling spatial arrangements etc etc. Some people are superlative intelligent in one intellectual dimension and not so much in others . These intelligences do exist but its not always easy to asses them with precision or reliability. So IQ tests must not be read as absolutelly perfect measurement of all the intelletual faculties men can posses , but a rough indicative index of how intellectually competent a person can be when their various intellectual faculties are measured using the (imperfect but not useless) methods which are now in vogue.

    One important distinction one must make is between a persons raw natural intellectual capacity and their intellectual performance .i.e their capacity to use their natural capacity to attain better or worse results in the performance of some intellectual task or activity. There are very smart people who can be outperformed intellectually by people who are not as intellectually gifted . That happens because people beside their natural intellectual capacity are also endowed with an intellectual temperament or personality which allows them to make more optimal use of their natural intelligence . for example some peoples minds are quick, agile , imaginative, curious , steadfast in a way that smarter people mind arent always . The idea came to me on reading Oliver Wendells Holmes Jr description of FDR as a second rate mind with the temperament of a genius.!! What makes some men outstanding is often not the level of their raw natural intellectual capacity but the way they can use their more limited intellectual gifts in ways that are more profitable and advantageous . i.e to attain a better performance.

    If you give a man great cards to play with and another person a set of cards which arent as good it maybe the second person wins the game, not because the cards he was given were the best but because he was able to make better use of the cards he had . Same thing with intellectual capacity and intellectual performance and the gift of intellectual temperament which is unequally distributed among different minds. regardless of their natural brilliance.

    As usual I have an anecdote to illustrate the above, as a young man I studied at a large US military academy , the boy with the highest academic scores was a tall black corpulent pudgy faced fellow . One day it was decided to have IQ tests conducted on all the students . We all expected our dark skinned star to come out with one of the highest IQ scores , to our surprise his IQ levels were very average , instead there was this slouchy thin sallow skinned pimpled face young man at the bottom of the class who turned out to be a near genius. So natural intelligence isnt always accompanied by high intellectual performance , unless you have the right intellectual temperament to use the term employed by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

    I find the topic tempting to discuss so I might come back with more comments , I ask for your anticipated indulgence in dwelling so long on this one topic.





    • Right. Since I am lazy and not too bright, others say: “Intelligence has been defined in many different ways such as in terms of one’s capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, creativity and problem solving. It can also be more generally described as the ability to perceive and/or retain knowledge or information and apply it to itself or other instances of knowledge or information creating referable understanding models of any size, density, or complexity, due to any conscious or subconscious imposed will or instruction to do so.”

      Therein begin the problems of pretending to know what “intelligence” is. And measure it with numbers. You enclose a vast idea in the cages that are words, and then, on top of that, you switch tables according to some arbitrary system created looong ago, and put a number to it!

      If you decide to evaulate “the Latin verb intelligere, to comprehend or perceive. A form of this verb, intellectus, became the medieval technical term for understanding, and a translation for the Greek philosophical term nous. This term was however strongly linked to the metaphysical and cosmological theories of teleological scholasticism,”, you’re already in deep water.

      Memory and Math are often associated with today’s concept.. The “idiot savants” themselves refute such allegations. We often mistake memory, method and hard work for talent or genius.

      Problem solving or material “success”can be another fallacy, when foolishly attempting to measure “intellect”. Especially related to modern, artificial problems to solve. A lack of motivation can be enough not to solve them, or if the gifted persons are too occupied with more interesting issues..

      In fact, one could argue that a more pristine form of “intelligence” in the sense of Perception and Comprehension abilities would actually be to shut down the convoluted, polluted minds we have as much as possible, and engage in quiet Meditation instead. Now to me, those who achieve higher levels of spiritual calmness and pure perception, those are the smartest !


  15. I like the answer Thomas Edison gave when asked about intelligence:

    “Invention is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

    I would venture to say that applies to most accomplishments.


  16. The fact that people find hard to define something with precision doesnt mean that you just abandon any conceptually clean attempt at understanding it , Im afraid the words you transcribed are more verbiage than science , empirical psychologists however have done a lot of work on what intelligence is and how it works . you just have to read the literature .

    But our concern is not with intelligence in the abstract but with the role of technocratic elites in taking some role in the performance of public functions . Aristotle distinguished between Episteme which had to do with the wisdom of knowing and understading things generally and Techne which had to do with the wisdom or practical ability to do things , to make things happen , to get results outside the realm of the purely cognitive and intellectual.

    We tend to conflate abstract wisdom with practical competence but they are really two different things , we in lat am always are beholden on the shining academic figures to act as perfect administrators of public functions and it doens happen that way . An example from the Sciences Eisntein was a genius at phisics but not so good at applied mathematics , so at a certain point in the development of his theories he had to call on a professional mathematician friend to develop the matheatical models to prove his theories. !!

    The problem with having to do tasks which require a high level of professional or managerial expertise or techne (Most in todays modern world) is that neither the gifted charismatic oratorical leader nor the everymen that elects him to office normally has the competence to judge and understand the very complex questions and challenges that performing those tasks require . So you need an expert professional organization to carry out such tasks without undue interference from the power hungry leaders who want to please that ignorant electorate at any cost in order to retain their support. .

    So you face a dilemma , everyman has the sacred right to choose the higher magistrates of the land which he does based on how likeable and inspiring they are in what the say and in their capacity to keep them happy with the ditribution of cheap goodies of all sorts while the serious performnace of those tasks require people who are part of expert meritocratic organization in which popularity doesnt count for anything .

    Democracy and meritocracy dont mix that easily because the leading role is taken by the popular leader rather than by the responsible expert and their existential values are counterposed , the leader wants to get elected and remain popular so will convince himself that all he decides however irresponsibly is in the peoples best interest ( which happens to be his own political best interest) and the meritocratic /technocratic organization man who wants to ensure that for the long term he will perform his task so as to ensure the maximum welfare of the maximum number with optimal use of the govts resources and without injuring the freedoms which institutionally are guaranteed the general population .

    The conflict is there , meritocracy vs democratic populism , how do you combine the two so that the best results are obtained and people dont feel hurt that their favoured leaders are not granted total freedom to do the incompetent to please them , his followers.!!.


  17. “But our concern is not with intelligence in the abstract but with the role of technocratic elites in taking some role in the performance of public functions”

    For public functions, in a country like Corruptzuela today, you actually don’t even need that much “intelligence” of any sort. Just some basic common sense, a decent education/upbringing, and some measure of Honesty. It would be Great if our current ‘leaders” had any of that.

    Chavebruto was somewhat “educated”, for Venezuelan standards, but above all “super -vivo” and charismatic. And one of el Pueblo, spoke the same language, tendered to their longing of “belonging”, a piece of the action, at least being considered, which was the huge mistake adecos/copeyanos made for decades.

    “Meritocracy” went right out of the window the very day these lying Chavista thugs got the power. The only “merit” became being loyal to Chavez, participate in the corruption and lies. Instantly, all honest, hard-working, perhaps intellectual or educated people started getting fired.

    So no. Democracy and meritocracy don’t mix well. Especially on rich, under-educated countries. They mix like water and Oil, coincidentally..

    And, as I wrote before, the problem begins with intrinsic fallacy of “Democracy” itself. I hope we can agree that it is preferable to have your best, brightest, most “intelligent”, most educated, honest people in power. If not as President and ministers, very very close to them. Well, men are NOT born equal, and in a country like Vzla, they certainly grow up in much different conditions (environments), which enlarges such differences (education, morality, family values, etc).

    Thus, if “Democracy” were true, and it did “triumph” the people would elect one of their own most of the time, to whom they can relate to, identify with, who spoke the same language: Chabruto, welcome!

    Even in Europe or the USA, true democracy would be fatal. You don’t want the average people with the power, leading and making the decisions for all!

    On top of that, democracy is a LIE, because you have campaign Funding, Lobbying, special interests. Those are the people who have the muscle to get elected, not the bright intellectual, or the hard-working, honest, Caprilito type. Opinion is manipulated with half-truths and special favors, everywhere.

    So you have to choose between the lesser of evils. In today’s Pre-Historic world, that still is “Capitalism” with various trends toward the right or the left.. gets further complicated with Religion, in many places.

    I reiterate that disaster strikes when “democracy” sort-of works, and you end up with a bunch of average, mediocre, bleak, corrupt dudes in power, bus drivers, union vociferous zealots, military crooks, etc.

    The way back to our “Elite”, the Leopoldos, MCM’s Ledezmas, Caprilitos will be rough. There will still be lots of corruption, ineptitude and hardship, as with AD/Copey, but at least they will allow some “intellectuals”, and some forms of “meritocracy”, which dies with dictatorships, being replaced by “halabolismo” and Complicity on Grand Theft.

    The lower, uneducated classes need to be educated and integrated into the production machine. Or the same disaster can re-occur as it did in Vzla, Ecuador, Nicaragua, etc.


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