Lecture#6-Democratic Break down and Military Dictatorships
i) Break down and Populist democracy
ii) Brazil: Setting the Trend
iii) Chile: Tu Allende Tragedy
iv) Will the Military Return to Power?
1) Break down and Populist Democracy
PopulismTrade unions, peasants demanding inclusion into economic and political system.
Growing radicals in the 1960s and the Cuban Revolution. (1930s-1960s)
The democratically elected presidents fell to military coups and these regimes had a particular
characteristic that was similar to one another:
Characteristics of Military Regimes of 1960s and 1970s
Blamed the poor state of their countries on their politicians (blamed corruption and
incompetence on politicians)
And saw them as a better alternative, they wanted to run country directly, banned
media/parties, and took an administrative role. (run the country better)
These institutions were quite distinct as they worked with business class, protest against
Places emphasis on loyalty, authority and stability.
Military leaders at the time prioritized national security and were preoccupied with internal
o CIA worked with them, Latin American officers were trained in the School of Americas.
CIA provided technology and knowledge of surveillance etc…
o The school of Americas was an American institution used for training military officers.
(located at Georgia)
On military technique
Manuals on effective torture and repressing groups.
Taught sophisticated torture techniques: pain barrier etc…
o The Western Hemisphere institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC)
Systematic use of repression against civilians including widespread use of torture, assassinations
o In Chile, a thousand of supporters were kidnapped and disappeared.
o Argentina had a lot of people killed, thrown from helicopters to the sea.
Big theoretical concept: Bureaucratic Authoritarianism
o Esp. in South America and more well off country
o It is a form of institutional, technocratic, military rule that seeks to curtail popular
mobilization and is built on a political coalition and policy orientation that entails
strong ties to transnational capital.
Brazil, Argentina, Chile (economically advanced countries adopted this)
o Counteracts against Modernization theory-
o The more advanced the countries are, the Latin American countries became MORE
dictatorial instead of more democratic
Guillermo O’Donnell (author of Bureaucratic Authoritarianism) o Maintain elite domination, Transitional corporations over economy
o popular sectors excluded from decision making through repression
o Often forged in alliance with multinational corporations
Cheap loans from international sources, invest in flashy projects like
infrastructure to modernize countries.
2) The Breakdown of Populist Democracies
Factors leading to Democratic Breakdown:
Breakdown of consensus among political elites
o For democracy to function ,leaders must compromise and following the riles of the
game But these leaders in LA did not follow these two rules in ISI policies.
o Moderate leaders of the left, were much more revolutionary after cuba in 1960s.
Moderate on the right felt pressure on extreme right that was fearful of cuan case.
o Extreme left and right pressuring politicians stuck in the middle and they all look to the
military for them to help them sqush the other side.
Abuse of authority by incumbent governments
Abuse democratic process by a disloyal opposition
o Not all opposition to democratic government are loyal. Several democratically elected
groups were challenged by guerilla groups.
o Leftist government such as Guatamla had opposition to overthrown it
o In chila, it was 1973 where the opposition goes to extreme for a military coup.
Polorization of social class.
o Class enemies: elites vs. Populisit/ worker class
o Urban unrest: all of this frightens capitalist class
Frustration with the pace of change through constitutional/democratic procedures.
o Esp. when you are a leftist government, you are caught in between two groups: those
who want to speed up revolution (radical left/right) and opposition ntha t wants to stop
the rate of change for revolution.
o Risk alienating loyal opposition (whether they spped or slow down their revolution)
o Either way, the other side, would look at the outside factor such as military to stop this