>In a message dated 7/22/01 1:46:44 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
>> I think the explanation is to be found in the political strength the
>> army accumulated during the 50 years that they kept taking over the
>> government once and again, every time they didn't like the way
>> the democratic governments were acting.
>I don't like that explanation; the army ruled a long time in Spain but
>quickly became quite well-behaved there.
I'm not well acquainted with the Spanish transition to democracy, but
I can imagine the fact that a personalistic stable regime ruled
that long time without interruptions has to make quite the difference.
Argentina's military kept going in and out of government very often,
mainly according to the panic attacks of the oligarchy backing them
up regarding the possibility that Peronists would get away with the
government or influence the democratic policies too much. The military
lacked a figure of the likes of Franco, and in fact was prone to a lot
of internal political struggle (and even occasional armed uprisings
from one sector against another). I probably chose the wrong words,
instead of political strength (which of course it had), I should have
said the military was still a strong party during the first years
of democracy post-Process due to their political contacts, knowledge
and manipulation abilities. Dealing with very strong populist political
parties during many years demanded of them a lot of cunning, besides
the obvious use of force. Their contacts, cunning and manipulation
abilities were essential to secure them the amnesty for their killings
during the new democracy years. Their political power was quickly
emptied after that, as the budget cuts, the lack of pending issues,
and the shift of the backing oligarchy towards financial pressure
methods instead of appealing to the army left them without much to
>> In spite of the discredit,
>> they managed to leave government in 83 with a big part of that strenght
>> intact (the backing up of the local landlords and their oligopolies
>> never weakened, as for them all the killings were all right).
>Again, I'm not sure what's different between
>Argentina and a variety of other Latin countries.
>Would you say the difference is that in, say,
>Spain or Portugal the landlords and oligopolists
>no longer supported the old fascists? If so,
>what's different about Argentina? The guerilla
I'm sure a good deal of the landlord/oligarchy class were and are still
deeply indebted to the military for cleaning up not only the guerillas
but also a lot of political undesirables, and hence they eagerly supported
them during the early years of democracy. However, they were way more
thankful for the huge economical benefits reaped during Process governments.
It is still to be figured out how much of Argetina's huge new foreign debt
during the dictatorship is simply due to straightforward transfer of
oligarchy's private debts, and loans from the state banking system to
them and their companies.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:54 MDT