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The Orthodox Nationalist: Lies and Myths About the Anti-Communists of Latin America I –TON 011619

ton 011619

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson looks at claims America supported brutal dictatorships in Latin America, the dictatorships that Brazil’s new president looks up to.

President Jair Bolsonaro has expressed admiration for Brazil's period of military rule. He's come under withering media criticism for it but unfortunately for them, he's right.  

Today's broadcast is yet another foray into historical revisionism. It is a common claim that the United States “supported brutal military dictators" in Latin America during the Cold War because they were “anti-communist.” It is repeated so often that no one, not even conservatives, challenge it.

As always with such proverbial wisdom, it's false. There's no reason to believe these military governments were particularly brutal in the context of the civil wars and guerrilla insurgencies they faced. In the first place, they came into existence because weak democracies failed to deal with the disintegration of the continent. Since both academia and journalism are leftist activist centers, their ideological assumptions distort their perceptions and reason.

The third world is a closed book to Americans. What the average educated American or Englishman believes about the world is usually a set of poorly reasoned myths. This issue is just one of many.

Military governments in Latin America engaged in the most far reaching land reform programs possible at the time. Democratically elected governments in the 20th century couldn't imitate them.

Soldiers are usually from the peasant classes and have their own sources of funding. They can go over the heads of the wealthy and serve the interests of the peasantry. The wealthy and often foreign elites must be courted by politicians in order for any election campaign to work.  Politicians don't have independent sources of funding. Therefore, capitalist elites prefer these men to unpredictable and populist soldiers.

For this reason, the US opposed military governments and sought to promote non-communist, but liberal, parties and movements in the area.  In brief, these men were national socialists in the most general sense of the term. They fought for a strong state that can run a growing economy while ensuring a fair distribution of resources.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: Lies and Myths About the Anti-Communists of Latin America I –TON 011619


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