Chávez & Perón

Carmen makes an important observation in her comment on my essay below, "Chávez & the chavistas." The parallels between Hugo Chávez's "Movimiento de la V República" (MVR) and Juan Domingo Perón's "Justicialismo" are striking, including the complicated problem each movement has created for intellectuals on the left (me included). Each movement is a mix of progressive and authoritarian-militaristic impulses.

By the way, I also have a book on Argentina, where I attempt to comprehend Perón's relationship to his movement; did Perón create Peronism, or was it the other way around? I hope to come back to this subject. Meanwhile, if you're interested, check out The Land and People of Argentina. Though written for young readers, it may also be a handy starting point for intelligent adults to understand that country's politics. (Photo of Perón is from the Instituto de Formación y Capacitación Política "GRAL. JUAN DOMINGO PERON", who are true believers.)


Carmen Ruggero said...

Perón knew how to read and manipulate the public. He was a man of strong charisma, intelligent, strong, and at the same time appeared to be one with whom one could feel at ease. Precisely the qualities you attribute to Chávez. He drew the public to himself; he was liked and accepted. He did much in terms of social reform, like instituting the labor movement, and fair wages. I think Peronismo came out of mutual concent; the masses felt in need of him and never knew they were being seduced into acceptance of a totalitarian regime.

RD Larson said...

Sounds much like our current president -- he's down-home, folksie, makes like he's a farmer and a regular guy, while at the same time is manipulating (or is manipulated) toward his own goal. We should be afraid and no one should be silent. Jimmy Carter had such insight on Larry King. People with a single goal can not lead a democracy.