Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Political science text

Political Science Text

Congress provided a democratic legitimacy to these acts by immediately passing a general amnesty law. For many, it appeared that the moment of the Argentinazo, of the great national insurrection, had arrived. Others more cautiously took note of the removal of Galimberti ordered by Peron, after the Peronist Youth leader had threatened to form “popular militias.” These and other assessment- because virtually anything was possible that May 25th- all hinged on the designs, secret but undoubtedly brilliant, of Peron, regarded as the nation’s savior.

This phenomenon, utterly unique, of Peron’s being simultaneously many things for many people, was due to the heterogeneity of the Peronist movements and Peron’s decision and skill in not dispensing with any of its many parts. Furthermore, as Jose Luis Romero wrote, Peron’s symbolic figure, one and many at the same time, ended up replacing the real historical personality. For all, Peron expressed a general sentiment of a nationalist and popular kind, in reaction to the recent experience of denationalization and privilege. For some- die-hard Peronist trade union leaders and politicians-these sentiments were incarnated in the historic leader who, as in 1945, would bring back the old prosperity, distributed by a munificent welfare state. For others- the younger ones of every political stripe-Peron was the Third World revolutionary leader who would lead the country to liberation, national or social, animating his people’s potential

In contrast, others, heirs to the movement’s venerable anti-Communism, saw in Peron someone who would cut off the head of the hydra of social subversion with all the energy necessary, all the more dangerous and deserving of extermination for having usurped Peronism’s traditional banners. For many others- sectors of the middle or upper class, those who were perhaps the most recent discoverers of his virtues- Peron was the pacifier, the leader bereft of personal ambitions, the “herbivorous lion”, as he was called, who would put the interest of Argentina before those of Peronism and would be capable of harnessing society’s conflicts, attaining a rebuilding process, and setting the country on the path of the economic growth, in pursuit of Argentina’s status as a “great power”. The surprising phenomenon of 1973, the marvel of Peron’s charisma, was its capacity to reconcile so many unsatisfied longings, incompatible but all personified and legitimized in the old leader who was returning to the country. On March 1, 1973, the country voted massively against the military and authoritarian power and believed that neither one was ever coming back. It did not vote for any one of these options contained in the winning ticket, but for social, political and also military space in which were supposed to be settled.

1973: A Balance

For its protagonists, the roots of these violent conflicts were to be found in a volatile economy, with its succession o fits and starts, unfulfilled promises, and accumulated frustrations. Nevertheless, from a broader perspectives- undoubtedly an advantage of hindsight and enhanced by subsequent calamities still not imagined in 1973- the economy performed adequately, a performance that lasted until 1975, and did not justify the apocalyptic prognosis, though neither did it that of the “great power” Argentina.

What most notable was the growth of the agriculture sector in the pampa zone that beginning in the early 1960s and lasting until the early 1980s, reversed the long stagnation and the previous slump. In these prosperous years, the world found itself in conditions to turn at least a part of its needs for food into effective demand and new markets for Argentina grains and oils, particularly in the socialist countries- compensating for the failure of their own agriculture- which were either enjoying the benefits of high oil prices or beginning their industrial growth.

The pampa’s agriculture zone was substantially transformed, as were diverse modern economic islands in the traditional interior, such as the fruit-growing Rio Negro valley. The state promoted change in diverse ways- credit and subsidies for investments and the systematic actions of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) - although it did not change its traditional policy of transferring resources into the urban economy, which continued with just a few modifications in its methods. What proved decisive were the effects of the economy’s general modernization. The local manufacturing of tractors and combine-harvesters, and also of silos and others storage installations, completed the mechanization of agriculture tasks and the substantial changes in storage and transportation methods.

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