Annals of historical name-changing

1971-Stamps-Maps3 (1)The new Chavista governor of Mérida Alexis Ramírez has decided to roll up his sleeves and do some serious work, with the help of the State Legislature (controlled by the PSUV).

Is this about solving the never-ending problem of trash recollection? No.

It is about building a necessary new road for the state? Nanay.

Or it’s about fighting a surging health emergency? Nope. So, what’s the rush for?

The big priority is an inmediate reform of the State’s constitution to change Mérida’s name, or at least its official denomination to “Bolivarian State”.

For the record, Mr. Ramírez proposed in 2010 (he was President of the Legislative Council back then) to drop the name Mérida for Cuica, in honor of the ancient indigenous group that lived there before the Spanish came along. Looks that he won’t go that far.

But, it looks like their Zulian counterparts think this is just a swell idea.

16 thoughts on “Annals of historical name-changing

  1. So now we know what the chavistas governors were elected for… (epic facepalm)… this whole thing started when we let them to change the constitution in the first place. They tend to think that by making cosmetic changes all the problems will be solved at once, just like making some sort of spell will make all the problems go away.

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  2. “to change Mérida’s name, or at least its official denomination to ‘Bolivarian State'”

    Right… it was very clever of you to minimize the difference between changing the name from “Mérida state” to “Bolivarian state”, on the one hand, and changing the name from “the state of Mérida” to the “Bolivarian state of Mérida”, on the other. Both are equally absurd (sarcasm)!

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    • What’s absurd, my short-sighted friend, is to be debating the proper way to present a Merideñan name change in view of the state of the state. Might as well be debating the spelling of the local morgue’s name.

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    • Actually, it was grammatically correct as written. There was no mention of “Mérida state”…as you wrote and GEHA specified that it was the denomination of the state…which would be, in either language, a change from State/Estado to Bolivarian State/Estado Bolivariano. Mérida isn’t going away; rather it is the name, not necessarily the denomination.

      Why nitpick something that is correct? At least you are correct that the change is absurd.

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  3. The Wizard of Oz syndrome afflicts people who wanting to achieve big and important things (so as to feel big and important themselves) and who being incapable of any such achievement engage in showy frivolous symbolic acts , that give then the grand illusion of having achieved something important . In the Wizard of Oz film we have a strawman that feels smart because he recieves an academic diploma , a Cowardly Lion who feels brave because he recieves a medal for valour and a Tin Man who feels endowed with a heart because he wears a heart shaped ticking watch in his chest , Incompetent people when bursting with conceit engage in this kind of delusional displacement gestures to feel competent and powerful , thus they trick their silly minds into feeling that by engaging in some kind of showy farcical gesture they actually show themselves to be great and powerful . Sadly Mr Chavez and many of his leading followers appear to be afflicted with this Syndrome . Mr Ramirez proposal to change the name of Merida State is just the latest demonstration of the above .

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  4. It could all turn very Monty Pythonesque with ALL states renaming themselves as “Bolivar State”, and whilst we are at it, why not change the name ofnthe country to Bolivia or Bolivar? The irony is that the (original) name belongs to a small town in Spain (the original imperio!)….http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari&q=la+puebla+de+bolivar&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0xd4e2ec0e611ae4d:0x404f58273cbc870,Ziortza-Bolibar,+Bizkaia,+Spain&gl=uk&sa=X&ei=kXILUbjeLo2N0wWm-oDoDw&ved=0CDEQ8gEwAA

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  5. I forgot to mention that some people rather unkindly refer to the Wizard of Oz syndrome not as a Syndrome but as a FOLLY!!. This kind of bizarre behaviour in any event is just one of several manifestations of a trait of primitive minds called ‘magic thinking’ which consists of the delusion that by changing or tampering with the outward representation of something you change its substance , you alter its fundamental reality , We are all familiar with the use made of Voodo Dolls to harm the person who those dolls represent. Clever demagogues sometime make use of this delusional trait of primitive minds to trick them into believing that they are doing great things for ‘their people’ when they are actually doing nothing . It is said that one of Mao Tse Tungs most succesful tricks to convince his followers that he was very busy doing great things for them was to constantly announce or launch grand sounding plans or changes which never accomplished anything but which left the impression that he was a great revolutionary demiurge improving their lives . in the words of those students of his leadership style who pointed out this trick of his , Mao substituted lots of sheer empty symbolic activity for achievement. Another trick of Maos was to coin simple catchy slogans , epithets , tags to subtly change his followers perception of reality , hey !!these things sounds familiar !! dont they kind of remind you of someone?

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  6. The need to change names comes to Venezuela through the experiences of the Chinese Communist Party. “Rectification of names” is a doctrine of Confucius’ Analects, wherein he explains that once names are corrected to reflect the essence of the thing described, people begin to conform their behaviour to the implications of the new terms. Liu Chao Chi , the original “imperialist agent, scab, and traitor” gave rise to the “escoria” of Cuba and the similar, repeated insults directed against middle class Venezuelans today. No Venezuelan state can carry the name of anyone associated with such an officially-degraded group.

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  7. Mr House , we are in your debt for explaining to us Confucius view on the advantages of naming things in a way that reveal their true essence. Maybe the opposition should make more use of this practice in talking about the regime . However there are two things which differentiate the Confucian practice from the one followed by the regimes leaders , first that the regimes supremos narcicistically sadistically enjoy the insulting and humiliating tagging of their opponents much the same way that a brutal bully enjoys beating up some one weaker than themselves , second , the tagging does nothing to reveal the true nature of what is tagged , rather the opposite, it falsifies what it tags so as to suit the delusional conceits that feed their bullying egoes.

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    • I think the regime follows the Chinese Communist practice, not the Confucian. Here’s what wiki says about Liu Shao Chi: “After his arrest in 1967 Liu was beaten regularly at public denunciation meetings. He was denied medicine for his diabetes (by then a long-term illness) and for pneumonia (which he developed after his arrest). Liu was eventually given treatment only when Jiang Qing feared he would die; she desired that Liu be kept alive to serve as a “living target” during the Ninth Party Congress in 1969.
      At the Congress, Liu was denounced as a traitor and an enemy agent. Zhou Enlai read the Party verdict that Liu was “a criminal traitor, enemy agent, and scab in the service of the imperialists, modern revisionists [Russians], and the Kuomintang reactionaries”. Liu’s conditions did not improve after he was denounced in the Congress, and he died soon afterward.” Denunciation of enemies is also famously depicted in “1984”, in which “daily hate sessions” are created to force the masses to denounce enemies of the people.

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      • Mr House, thank you for your clarification , I suspect that in many cases the practice of cruelty , the use of brutality in speech and deed give certain people a magnified sense of empowerement and thus an enhanced sense of their own self importance . Moreover that this primitive feral form of narcicism is often accompanied by the tendency to assumme pompous, highly belligerent , histrionically righteous delusions to bring to fever pitch their own sense of indignant moral superiority . These two entwined narcicistic passions can then be used to feed the violent militancy of the ideological or religious sectarian . The followers of Mao and those of Mr Chavez share a taste for Absolute Power , for Violence , for using one and the other to denigrate the dignity of their opponents and to maim and destroy their lives. Of course Mao was much more brutal than our Culture can allow Mr Chavez to be . But you are right in seeing the latter as disciple of the former in this regard.

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  8. Wonder what this new constitution sez? Also, it brings up the question of what cities will soon want to change their name to CD. Chavez?

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