Coup d’Etat

As part of my background reading about Brazil, I have learned a great deal from the recently published book by Lilia Schwartz and Heloisa Starling, Brazil: A Biography, published by Allen Lane earlier this year.   One of the chapters I found particularly interesting was the one on the 1964 coup d’etat which led to over twenty years of military dictatorship.   Much of it was planned and organised by a privately funded thinktank called the Research and Social Studies Institute, which engaged in subversive propaganda against the democratically elected government in order to support the free flow of international capital, with the help of generous funding from big business and the CIA.   The incoming government had access to information on the ideas and political beliefs of 400,000 Brazilians, assembled by the Situation Analysis Group, a sub-department of the Research and Social Studies Institute, which gave the government the tool to repress opposition.   One does not wish to be melodramatic, but there are familiar elements in this narrative:  the existence of privately funded right-wing think tanks influencing public debate and trying to curb public broadcasting;  illegal influence over a democratic referendum;  the assembly of massive amounts of data about voting intention;  and the involvement of a foreign government influencing the domestic political debate.   Maybe this is irrelevant, but it gave me a faint frisson as I read about it.


8 thoughts on “Coup d’Etat

  1. edward chaney says:

    Whilst refraining from referencing George Soros, here instead is George Galloway being interviewed by the BBC in the run-up to the referendum when, you seem to suggest, ‘foreign powers’ were fooling an ignorant British public into voting Brexit. Not much evidence of ‘privately funded right-wing think tanks influencing public debate and trying to curb public broadcasting’ in this clip. Even Boy George has a job getting a word in, having been conned by Aunty BBC into coming in to be tarred by association with oh so nasty Nigel Farage. And on the subject of nasty Nige, have the Remainians not noticed what’s happening throughout the rest of the EU and in particular the emergence of politicians both far ‘nastier’ and far closer to obtaining political power than our Nige (I speak as a half-Dutch person who lived in Italy for seven years and married in Paris, though it’s true i haven’t visited Hungary or Poland or indeed Germany recently)…

  2. edward chaney says:

    I think Soros’s are more influential cos left-liberals more likely to take notice of so-called ‘think tanks’; and having made a fortune at our expense over the European Exchange Rate Mechanism crisis in 1992 he is now funding the campaign for a second referendum… In the unlikely event he succeeds i believe we will be close to a civil war situation.. As for Trumpy expressing views on brexit don’t you remember Obama expressing his? xe

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