Beauracratic Vs. Authritarian Rule Essay, Research Paper
Throughout the twentieth century, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile have each experienced a period of bureaucratic-authoritarian rule and repression. There are many theories and ideas as to why these countries went through these periods. The dependency theory is one of these.
Almost all political problems have a common root: the economy. The dependency theory places blame for the political problems of these countries on external factors. Argentina, Brazil, and Chile are what can be considered the “have-nots.” The “have-nots” rely on agricultural and natural exports. Argentina and Chile rely on grains and livestock while Brazil relies on coffee, corn, and sugarcane. While these are high demand products, they are also fairly cheap. The “have-nots” rely on what are called the “haves.” The “haves” are the more industrialized countries, such as the United States and Japan, and rely on the export of more expensive manufactured goods. The price of manufactured goods climbs in greater increments than agricultural goods. This results in the “have-nots” exporting more, while they are unable to afford to import the same amount. This makes countries like Argentina, Chile, and Brazil have to borrow money. These countries then end up incurring extremely large debts to foreign creditors. This is where the bureaucratic-authoritarian rule comes in to play. As the foreign debt grows, the public sector becomes very dissatisfied with the way the economy is being handled. It is at this point that a leader emerges from the military ranks. This leader then overthrows the current government. This is done with complete support of the public, which has been won over by promises of a brighter future. In all three of these countries this pattern was very closely followed.
As time goes by, little changes in the economy of the country and the promises of “grandeza” become more and more distant. The public sector is once again very dissatisfied with its government. Rumors and ideas begin to float and circulate throughout the cities and towns. They are rumors of a new leader, a new government, perhaps democracy, perhaps communism. The current government, fearing a loss of power must take action, quickly. Repression seems to be the only way. Key figures of the new revolution soon began to disappear, newspaper reporters spreading the ideas are threatened, and activists are killed. Poor economics is to blame for the military rule and repression of these countries.
Human rights violations are almost never tolerable or excusable. Even given the needs, politically and economically, of the countries, most of the instances are inexcusable. The only human rights abuses that could in some ways be construed as needed are those that were used to control uprisings of communist thoughts. If these uprisings were not controlled, the world would possibly be a much different place. From the United States’ perspective, these acts of repression were very necessary. Without them, it is very possible that communism may have taken root in Latin America in these three very large countries. In the height of the cold war, with Russia and Cuba already communist, any more communist countries in close proximity to the U.S. could be a major threat. What would have happened then? With such a large communist threat so close, the United States might not even be the United States if it weren’t for a few Human Rights violations. However, in any other case, human rights abuses are intolerable. There is no reason to frighten a society that only wants to make thinks better for themselves.
If I were a citizen of any of these countries today I am not sure of how I would want the former oppressive rulers to be treated. I would definitely not want them treated as noble figures that served their countries well. However, I also do not believe that these rulers deserve to be punished severely for their actions. While I do not like to take a position on a subject that places me in the middle, I feel as though I have to on this topic. These former rulers are definitely not worthy of noble treatment. While they did serve their country to the best of their ability in the way they thought best, they had major flaws; the most important being the obvious and blatant violations of human rights. Any
Leader who forces his people to keep what they believe to themselves through mental or physical torture should be punished.
On the other hand however, I am not sure they should be punished either. In many cases, as stated earlier, these abuses were necessary to prevent the spread of communism. I guess it is all a matter of point-of-view. If you were a communist, you would feel as though the repression of other communists was a horrible crime against humanity and would want the former rulers punished. However, if you support a democratic system, then you would feel as though the former rulers helped to defend what you believe. I am in support of a democratic system, and if I were living in one of these countries, I would not want the former rulers punished. They only did what they had to do in order to prevent the spread of communism. The former rulers would not be treated as nobles, or for lack of a better expression, “anything special.” I realize that all of these abuses were not intended to stop communism. In many cases, they also kept democracy from spreading. The former rulers, broke many families apart and destroyed many lives, yet they also prevented a communist stronghold on the world. I think I would simply want the former rulers to be ignored.
There are many human rights violations that are simply intolerable. They should never happen. However, when defending democracy, sometimes the line most be crossed and the rules bent. Are the former rulers to blame? Who knows? If I were in the situation, simply ignoring the former rulers would be my solution. Not punishable, for they are defenders of Democracy, yet they are horrible tyrants that repressed, killed, and frightened their people.