Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 An exchange model for analyzing...
 The breakdown of an authoritarian...
 Civil-military relations in...
 The consolidation of political...
 Restricting participation
 The maintenance and expansion of...
 Institutional support through a...
 Progress through an authoritarian...
 Biographical sketch

Title: Creating support for an authoritarian regime
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098372/00001
 Material Information
Title: Creating support for an authoritarian regime the case of Brazil, 1964-1970
Physical Description: vii, 393 leaves. : illus. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Drury, Bruce Raymond, 1939-
Publication Date: 1973
Copyright Date: 1973
Subject: Armed Forces -- Political activity -- Brazil   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Brazil -- 1954-   ( lcsh )
Political Science thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Political Science -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 376-392.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098372
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000585017
oclc - 14171955
notis - ADB3649


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Table of Contents
    Title Page
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    Table of Contents
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    List of Tables
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    An exchange model for analyzing political support for conservative change
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    The breakdown of an authoritarian system
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    Civil-military relations in Brazil
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    The consolidation of political power
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    Restricting participation
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    The maintenance and expansion of political support
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    Institutional support through a regime party
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    Progress through an authoritarian regime
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    Biographical sketch
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Full Text







I would like to acknowledge Dr. Alexander Edelmann of

the University of Nebraska, who was responsible for my

interest in Brazilian politics; Dr. Alfred Hower of the

University of Florida and Dr. Richard Preto-Rodas of the

University of Illinois, who introduced me to the Portuguese

language and Brazilian culture; Dr. William Carter of the

Center for Latin American Studies of the University of

Florida for research assistance; and the United States

Department of Health, Education and Welfare for NDEA finan-

cial aid, which made the research possible.

I would like to thank the members of my committee and

especially Dr. Andres Suarez and Dr. Keith Legg for their

many valuable suggestions which contributed to the organiza-

tion and presentation of my research. Most of all my appre-

ciation to my wife, Donna, whose encouragement and whose

contribution as typist and editor cannot be measured.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . .

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . . .

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . .







SUPPORT . . . . . . . .





. ii

. iv






















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Bruce Raymond Drury

June, 1973

Chairman: Dr. Andres Suarez
Major Department: Political Science

This dissertation analyzes the ability of an author-

itarian military regime to create the requisite support

which will allow it to persist and pursue the development

goals which it defines for itself. Using Brazil as a case

study, an exchange model is applied to examine the political

resources (goods and services, information, status, author-

ity, and coercion) which are available for utilization by

the military regime to extract sector resources.

In the decade prior to the March 31, 1964, coup, Brazil

was experiencing the breakdown of an authoritarian system

due to the inability of the existing clientage networks to

control the political participation of popular groups re-

leased by social mobilization occurring within a formally

competitive system. The contradiction of a legislature and

administrative system controlled by clientelists and execu-

tive offices responsive to popular groups created a stalled

system and invited military rule.


In this context the Brazilian armed forces departed

from the traditional veto function and seized power. The

military leaders were relatively confident of their ability

to restructure the political system because many officers

had experience in civilian administrative roles, because

their expanded view of national security gave them a strong

motivation for modernizing the political and economic sys-

tems, and because they had a prescription for national

development which had been formulated in the Superior War


The military regime's efforts to use the political

marketplace to secure support are analyzed as four specific

types of policy outputs. First, the regime initially di-

rected its scarce resources (primarily coercion) toward the

consolidation of its control over the political system in

order to eliminate alternative sources for the supply of

political goods. The resource position of the regime

vis-a-vis the sectors was enhanced by the creation of a

market monopoly.

Second, the available resources were used to depolit-

icize some sectors in order to lessen the demands made upon

the system and to reduce the opportunity for overt acts of

negative support. By repressing immediate demands for

scarce commodities, a reservoir of political capital was


Third, allocations of real benefits (goods and serv-

ices, authority and status) were used to maintain the

immediate support of military factions and, to a lesser

extent, the industrial, commercial, and agricultural elites.

Symbolic allocations of goods and services, status, and

information established a base of diffuse support among

previously nonsupportive sectors. This support allowed the

regime to secure more sector goods for a given allocation of

regime resources.

Fourth, the military regime attempted to create an

institutional infrastructure for the delivery of future

specific support. In the effort to build a regime party,

the regime was required to expend present resources for

future sector resources.

The experience of the six years of military rule in

Brazil indicates that an authoritarian military regime can

create the support needed to persist and pursue its goals.

The Brazilian regime has been successful in consolidating

its control over the political marketplace, in reducing the

level of demands for scarce commodities, and in expanding

immediate, diffuse support. Although a government party has

been created, the reliability of the supporting infrastruc-

ture is questionable. The regime has not been willing or

able (because of conflicting demands made by the military

support base) to allocate the quantity of resources (spe-

cifically information and authority) needed to establish a

truly strong institution.



To many political observers in the Western world, the

armed forces are the enemies to world peace and well-being.

The armed forces of advanced nations seemingly encourage

armament races among themselves and among underdeveloped

nation-states and, thus, siphon away the capital needed for

more humane purposes. In addition, the armed forces of

developing countries are prone to interfere in politics and

seem to perpetuate a general state of instability, which is

detrimental to political, economic, and social modern-


Until the coup of March 31, 1964, the Brazilian

military had a relatively good reputation for limiting its

political activity. It had involved itself in politics,

but the involvement was generally a veto operation

designed to keep the Brazilian political process from

veering too far to the left or right. When the threat to

the equilibrium had passed, the soldiers returned the

political power to civilian authorities. The 1964 coup,

however, ended the veto function of the Brazilian military

and left it in complete control of the nation.

Brazil is not a "modern nation" (economically, polit-

ically, or socially) and, thus, fits into that broad class

of nations which are called "transitional."2 Transitional

nations--those in the process of changing from a traditional

society to a modern society--are subject to military inter-

vention since traditional norms and structures are often

destroyed before modern institutions have developed. In

this disrupted society, the army may be the only organized

element which is capable of exercising effective political

power and formulating public policy.3

1The use of the terms "armed forces," "military," "army,"
"soldiers," etc. in this paper is a mere abbreviation for
saying "the majority of the upper-echelon officers of the
armed forces." Actually there is no single consensual view-
point among Brazilian military officers; and that which is
called the "military position" is really the viewpoint of the
dominant group of officers.

2Lucian W. Pye, in his Politics, Personality and Nation
Building: Burma's Search for Identity (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1962), pp. 15-31, lists seventeen charac-
teristics which describe a transitional polity. In terms of
rank order in three key variables considered by Martin C.
Needler, Brazil's middle position among twenty Latin Ameri-
can nations would indicate a transitional status. Brazil
ranked seventh in constitutionality (a measure of stability),
eighth in life expectancy (a measure of economic develop-
ment), and fourteenth in electoral participation. See
Political Development in Latin America: Instability, Vio-
lence and Evolutionary Change (New York: Random House,
196B), p. 90. For a more extensive comparison of aspects of
modernity between Brazil and several developed nations, see
Peter Ranis, Five Latin American Nations: A Comparative
Political Study TNew York: Macmillan Co., 1971), pp. 3-46.

3Lucian W. Pye, "Armies in the Process of Political
Modernization," in The Role of the Military in Under-
developed Countries, ed. John J. Johnson (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1962), p. 84.

Transitional societies contain several competing forms

of political legitimacy. When doubt and disagreement exist

as to the legitimacy of authority, the armed forces are

allowed or forced to take an active-political role.4

Samuel Huntington calls this a "praetorian society." A

praetorian society has no legitimate institutionalized

means for resolving conflicts. Each group must use the

method which reflects its own nature and capability.5 That

is, "the wealthy bribe; students riot; workers strike; mobs

demonstrate; and the military coup."6

The above seems to be a correct, if superficial,

description of the politics of most Latin American coun-

tries. Military intervention in Latin American politics

indicates that the social and political institutions are

incapable of agreement on the legitimate exercise of

power.7 Because no class, party, or interest group has

been able to exercise legitimate power for long, there are

4Stanislav Andreski, Military Organization and Society
(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press,
1968), pp. 105-106.

5Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing
Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), pp. 78-
87 (hereinafter referred to as Political Order). For
further discussion of praetorian societies, see Amos
Perlmutter, "The Praetorian State and the Praetorian Army:
Toward a Taxonomy of Civil-Military Relations in Developing
Politics," Comparative Politics, I (April, 1969), 382-404.

6Huntington, Political Order, p. 196.

7Gino Germani and Kalman Silvert, "Estructura Social e
Intervencion Militar en America Latina," in Argentina:
Sociedad de Masas, eds. Torcuato de Tella et al. (Buenos
Aires: EUDEBA, 1965), p. 228.

recurring crises of legitimacy.8 This, in turn, is

manifested in a more general phenomenon: "The employment

of violence for political ends."9

In most nations which are now *considered modern, the

task of guiding and directing the process of development

was assumed by middle-class elements. This presupposes a

basic unity of values and direction among the segments of

the middle class. Latin America has such a general lack of

cohesion and homogeneity that there are middle classes

rather than a middle class. Widespread disagreement exists

among middle-sector groups as to the role of the state, the

type of development desired, and the urgency of the task.10

The result has been a power struggle among segments of the

middle classes, using the traditional legitimacy of the

rural oligarchy or the voting power of the urban masses as

levers.11 If either the masses or oligarchy is about to

seize power in its own name, the military is called to the


8Irving Louis Horowitz, "Political Legitimation and the
Institutionalization of Crisis in Latin America," Compara-
tive Political Studies I (April, 1968), 45-46.

9Lyle McAlister, "Changing Concepts of the Role of the
Military in Latin America," Annals, CCCLX (July, 1965), 89.

10Jose Nun, "A Latin American Phenomenon: The Middle-
Class Military Coup," in Latin America: Reform or
Revolution? eds. James Petrds and Maurice Zeitlin
(Greenwich, Connecticut: Fawcett Publications Inc., 1968),
pp. 165-169.

llIbid., pp. 175-177.


Thus, military coups can be explained in terms of

factors external to the military. First, violence is an

accepted means of resolving disputes. Second, civilians

often request military action. And, third, the political

situation which invites a coup is often engineered delib-

erately or incidentally by societal groups through strikes,

riots, economic troubles, or warnings against a communist


The political crises.of Brazil in the past forty years

are related to the failure of the political parties--and

especially the middle-class parties--to agree upon national

issues or to aggregate the interests of the different

sectors of society.13 Add to this a haphazard system of

economic organization which distributes income inequitably

and a partially politicized mass public which is often

ignored by the political system, and the sum is a recurring

crisis. In short, Brazil has become a praetorian society

because "groups have been mobilized into politics without

becoming socialized by politics."14 Labor unions, peasant

leagues, and demagogic politicians have brought mass groups

to an awareness of politics, but the political system has

12Martin C. Needler, "Political Development and Military
Intervention in Latin America," American Political Science
Review, LX (September, 1966), 618.

13Robert Dervel Evans, "The Brazilian Revolution of 1964:
Political Surgery Without Anaesthetics," International
Affairs (London), XLIV (April, 1968), 269.
14Huntington, Political Order, p. 83.

not allowed for their orderly participation. To preserve

this system, which favors established and affluent groups

(including the military), the armed forces have often been

called upon to maintain order and the status quo.

Following the 1964 cocp, the Brazilian armed forces

retained control of the government in an attempt to create a

more stable and effective political system. This effort,

according to Huntington, will probably fail because "the

complexity of social forces may preclude the construction of

political institutions under middle-class military leader-

ship."15 Huntington assumes that political groups in Brazil

and other nations in the middle stages of political develop-

ment are too varied, organized, and autonomous to allow the

generals to keep the discretionary power needed to solve

political problems. It is the purpose of this paper to test

the obverse of Huntington's thesis. Formally presented, the

hypothesis is as follows:

In a praetorian society having a moderate level of
social mobilization, an authoritarian military regime
may persist and have success in achieving its economic
and political goals if the regime makes judicious use
of the political resources at its disposal.

The hypothesis assumes that Brazil is a praetorian

society in which social mobilization is incomplete, and the

mobilized groups lack autonomy. These assumptions will be

analyzed in Chapters II and III. It is further assumed that

15bid. p. 261.

the goals of the regime must be defined by the particular

society as interpreted by each regime, with the immediate

goal being the creation of sufficient support to allow the

regime to persist and pursue its long-range goals. The

analytical model used to test the hypothesis recognizes the

contribution of earlier political development theorists and

attempts to synthesize their efforts by avoiding normative

considerations. A brief summary of the evolution of

political development theory will illustrate the need for

such a synthesis.

Political scientists have regarded political develop-

ment as a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. Lucian Pye

listed ten different, but overlapping, meanings of the

concept;16 while Robert A. Packenham found five different

16Lucian W. Pye, Aspects of Political Development
(Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1966), pp. 33-45. Political
development has been defined as: the ability of the politi-
cal system to confront the challenges of state-building,
nation-building, participation, and distribution, Gabriel
A. Almond and G. Bingham Powell, Jr., Comparative Politics:
A Developmental Approach (Boston: Little, Brown and Co.,
1966), p. 35; the degree of democracy, Phillip Cutright,
"National Political Development: Measurement and Analysis,"
American Sociological Review, XXVIII (April, 1963), 253-264;
nation-building and political participation in consonance
with social mobilization, Karl Deutsch, "Social Mobilization
and Political Development," American Political Science
Review, LV (September, 1961), 69-105; the development of
administrative structure, Fred Riggs, Administration in
Developing Countries: The Theory of Prismatic Society
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964), p. 423; the stages of
growth, A. F. K. Organski, The Stages of Political Develop-
ment (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965), p. 7; as political
institutionalization, Samuel P. Huntington, "Political
Development and Political Decay," World Politics, XVII
(April, 1965), 393 (hereinafter referred to as"Political
Development"); the ability to solve the problems of
authority, equality, and political participation, Dankwart
Rustow, A World of Nations: Problems of Political

methodological approaches for the analysis of political

development.17 These approaches have expanded the under-

standing of the conditions for problems of political change,

but they have left "the quest for political development"18

an unachieved goal for political scientists.

Aside from the problem caused by the lack of a common

definition for political development, the earlier scholar-

ship can be criticized for three other problems. First,

excessive emphasis was placed upon the input side of the

equation. This led to the treatment of political change as

a dependent variable affected by such exogenous factors as

political culture, economic development, social mobilization,

and literacy rates.19 By characterizing political develop-

ment as a function of some social or economic dimension

operating in conjunction with a particular historical

sequence, the effect of political leaders and output

structures has been obscured.20

Modernization (Washington, D. C.: The Brookings Institute,
1967), p. 127.

17"Approaches to the Study of Political Development,"
World Politics, XVII (October, 1964), 108-120.
18John D. Montgomery, "The Quest for Political Develop-
ment," Comparative Politics, I (January, 1969), 285-295.

19Phillip H. Melanson and Lauriston R. King, "Theories in
Comparative Politics: A Critical Appraisal," Comparative
Political Studies, IV (July, 1971), 217-222.

20Joseph LaPalombara, "Macrotheories and Microapplica-
tions in Comparative Politics: A Widening Chasm,"
Comparative Politics, I (October, 1968), 73. See also
Robert T. Holt and John E. Turner, The Political Basis of
Economic Development: An Exploration in Comparative

Second is the problem of treating political change as a

unilinear progression toward some ill-defined goal. Soci-

eties were seen as moving in a continuum from "tradition" to

"transition" to "modern."21 Deviations from this continuum

are ignored except by some of the more sophisticated

scholars, who still view "the pathologies or breakdowns of

modernization" or "political decay" as aberrations from the

pattern of stable development.22 Given the incidence of

instability in developing nations, those with stable

patterns of political change may be the actual deviant


The third major problem is the teleology toward an

ethnocentric view of Western representative democracy as the

Political Analysis (Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1966), for a
criticism of economic determinism and persuasive argument
for the political determinism of economic development.

21For example, see Organski, Stages of Political Develop-
ment; and Gino Germani, "Stages of Modernization in Latin
America," Studies in Comparative International Development,
V (1969-1970), 164-l68. Germani, pp. 171-172, also makes
politics the dependent variable by hypothesizing that Latin
American political systems will be stablized by expansion of
the urban middle class, by massive internal migration, and
by increased social mobility.

22See S. N. Eisenstadt, "Breakdowns of Modernization,"
Economic Development and Cultural Change, XII (July, 1964),
345-367; and Huntington, political l Development," pp. 392-

23Roger W. Benjamin, "The Dimensions of the Political
Development Process," in Patterns of Political Development:
Japan, India, Israel, eds. Roger W. Benjamin et al. (New
York: David McKay Co., 1972), p. 16.

epitome of a politically developed polity.24 The same type

of political system that either fostered, or resulted from,

the slow and steady economic growth in the "developed"

nations of today was assumed to be also appropriate for the

"developing" nations that are experiencing a telescoped

process of social and economic change. In the teleological

construct, every contingency was viewed as a step toward the

ethnocentric and normative goal.

Other scholars have regarded political development as

an independent variable or at least an intervening

variable.25 Political development becomes the "will and

capacity" of the political system to transform the societal

imbalances which arise because of the modernization revolu-

tion26 or the "institutional framework capable of continuous

absorption of change."27 Political development can be

reduced then to the "will and capacity" of the political

authorities to cope with the structural changes and new

24Montgomery, p. 289. For a more detailed criticism of
this propensity, see Gabriel A. Almond, "Political Develop-
ment: Analytical and Normative Perspectives," Comparative
Political Studies, I (January, 1969), 457-460.

25See Robert A. Packenham, "Political Development
Research," in Approaches to the Study of Political Science,
eds. Michael Haas and Henry S. Kariel 7ccranton: Chandler
Publishing Co., 1970), pp. 173-179.
26Manfred Halpern, "Toward Further Modernization of the
Study of Nations," World Politics, XVII (October, 1964),
27S. N. Eisenstadt, "Modernization and Conditions of
Sustained Growth," World Politics, XVI (July, 1964), 583.

demands which are generated by the modernization process28

or the "institutional framework for solving an ever-widening

range of social problems."29

A leading exponent of this definition of development is

Samuel P. Huntington.30 Huntington faults most theorists

for overlooking the distinction between political modern-

ization (i.e., political development) defined as movement

from a traditional to a modern polity (thus, involving

rationalization of authority, differentiation of structure,

and expansion of political participation) and political

modernization defined as the political aspects and effects

of social, cultural, and economic modernization.31 The

former is the theoretical end-result of modernization, while

the latter is the general result of modernization not

presided over by stable political institutions.

For Huntington, the level of political development of a

society, in large part, depends on the strength and scope of

its political institutions. The existence of political

institutions which are capable of making decisions for the

common good distinguishes a politically developed nation

28Halpern, "Toward Further Modernization of the Study of
Nations," p. 177.
29Alfred Diamant, "Political Development: Approaches to
Theory and Strategy," in Approaches to Development: Poli-
tics, Administration and Change, eds. John D. Montgomery
and William J. Siffin 7 ew York: McGraw-Hill, 1966), p. 16.

30Huntington's formulation first appeared in "Political
Development." The following comments are based on a
revision of that essay in Huntington's Political Order.

31political Order, pp. 34-35.

from an undeveloped one.32 Institutionalization is the

process by which organizations and procedures acquire value

and stability and is measured by the adaptability, com-

plexity, autonomy, and coherence of the organizations and

procedures as opposed to rigidity, simplicity, subordina-

tion, and disunity.33

Huntington's key concept is that political institu-

tionalization must anticipate, or at least keep pace with,

the effects of social, economic, and cultural modernization.

This is not dissimilar to the propositions of Easton (the

persistence of the system involves its ability to respond to
changes in demands and stresses in support); of Deutsch

(the system must be able to absorb and process more and more

information);35 and of Almond (the system must acquire new

capabilities in order to respond to a new range of prob-

lems); but Huntington puts far more emphasis on the need

for the political community to create the needed institu-


32Ibid., pp. 24-32.

33Ibid., pp. 12-22.

David Easton, A Systems Analysis of Political Life (New
York: John Wiley and Sons, 1965), pp. 17-19 (hereinafter
referred to as Systems Analysis).

35Karl Deutsch, The Nerves of Government: Models of
Political Communication and Control (New York: The Free
Press, 1963), pp. 139-140.

Gabriel A. Almond, "Political Systems and Political
Change," The American Behavioral Scientist, VI (June, 1963),

Although Huntington stresses the positive activities of

a political elite more than do Easton, Deutsch, or Almond,

he seems more pessimistic about the chances of success

(perhaps because he is more cognizant of the possibility of

political decay). "Revolutions are rare. Reform, perhaps,

is even rarer . ," and he adds, even more difficult.37

Institutionalization is a long process, probably requiring

at least two generations before the institution is valued

for its own sake and "develops a life of its own quite apart

from the specific functions it may perform at any given

time."38 In Political Order in Changing Societies,

Huntington emphasizes institutions and concludes that Len-

inism, or something akin to it, is the only hope for modern-

izing nations since it provides the proper combination of

control, organization, and mobilization.

By implicitly defining political development as the

institutionalization of a Leninist-type party, Huntington

also succumbs to the problem of teleology. If the Leninist

party is the only vehicle for effective modernization in

this era of urgency, political development has only one

variable, and most underdeveloped nations can be dismissed

for lacking the critical determinant. It is necessary to

understand institutional deficiencies, but rather than

dismiss those nations with deficiencies, it would be more

37Huntington, Political Order, pp. 344-345.

3Ibid., p. 15.

valuable to understand how those defective institutions

attempt to cope with change, however inadequate those

efforts are. Huntington does not prove conclusively that an

institutionalized single-party system is always successful,

nor is he able to dismiss completely the oligarchical

leadership responsible for political development in Japan

and some European states.

By extracting the normative content from political

development theory, the analysis focuses on political change

(i.e., the process by which a particular regime pursues the

ends which it defines for itself and the nation). To avoid

the accusation of Machiavellianism, one can assume that

every regime has a goal orientation which involves some

mixture of Rustow's key developmental requirements of

identity, authority, and participation.39 If we further

assume that it is the prerogative of the regime and the

polity to choose the order of and the relationship among

such goals, we can avoid the normative question of the

rectitude of the goal orientation and concentrate on the

prerequisites for expanding the range of choice as to the

content of the goals and the means available for achieving


Samuel Huntington has suggested that the rate, scope,

and direction of change in the political culture, structure,

groups, leadership, and policies be analyzed to expose the

39Rustow, p. 127.

effects of change on these components in terms of patterns

of stability and instability.40 To some extent, Chalmers

Johnson used this type of analysis in his study of a

"disequilibrated social system,"41 but unfortunately he

directed his attention toward societies with such extreme

disequilibrium that insurrectionaryy change" (revolution) is

the only alternative to continued instability. Because the

analysis is concerned with the prerequisites for political

change promoted by an existing regime, insurrectionary

change, "which serves only the end of change itself,"42 is

not of immediate interest since it involves such extremes in

scope, rate, and direction. More important is that which

Johnson characterizes as "conservative change" (gradual,

structural change that avoids violence)43 since it avoids

the extreme costs of revolution.4

The assumption that a political regime will prefer

conservative change directs attention to the analysis of the

40"The Change to Change: Modernization, Development, and
Politics," Comparative Politics, III (April, 1971), 316-319.
41Revolutionary Change (Boston: Little, Brown and Co.,
1966), pp. 59-87.
42Ibid., p. 58.


44It is apparent that most political leaders (and perhaps
an even larger proportion of citizens) consider revolution
too high a price to pay for a generally unknown outcome in
spite of Barrington Moore's reluctant conclusion that "the
costs of moderation have been at least as atrocious as those
of revolution, perhaps a great deal more." Social Origins
of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Mak-
ing of the Modern World (Boston: Beacon Press, 19b-), p. 505.

prerequisites for the regime's pursuit of such change. Of

concern, then, is the type of environment that will allow the

regime to retain authority while coping with change and,

more importantly, the type of policies that alter the

regime's relationship with the environment and, thus, give

the regime a wider range of choice. The range of choice is

a function of the political power of the regime and is

closely related to support or the absence of negative

support.45 The range of choice is increased by the effi-

.cient use of political resources in a way that will both

increase the regime's power and expand its resources (i.e.,

to increase its support and the means available for gener-

ating more support).

"The new political economy" outlined by Warren F.

Ilchman and Norman Thomas Uphoff provides a convenient model

for analyzing political support.4 Ilchman and Uphoff are

interested in the means by which a statesman can expand the

45Easton posits support as "the major summary variable
linking a system to its environment," Systems Analysis,
p. 156. The environment is composed of those intrasocietal
factors which are external to the political system but
impinge upon it and the extra-societal (international)
factors which affect the political system, pp. 21-22.

4The Political Economy of Change (Berkeley and Los
Angeles: University .of California Press, 1969), pp. 26-48.
This book is particularly useful because it analyzes
political exchange at the regime level. For more universal
explications of the exchange process, see Peter M. Blau,
Exchange and Power in Social Life (New York: John Wiley and
Sons, 196457 and R. L. Curry, Jr. and L. L. Wade, A Theory
of Political Exchange: Economic Reasoning in Political
Analysis (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968).

productivity of politics through judicious use of the

political resources at his disposal. Thus, they are con-

cerned with how a regime can maintain and increase its

support and power while pursuing the change which it has

defined as its goal.

To the architects of this model, there is a political

marketplace which has many similarities to the economic

marketplace. Political actors (the regime, interest groups,

and institutional groups) have demands and supports which

are traded in the political marketplace. The regime offers

"economic goods and services, authority, status, informa-

tion, and coercion."47 Nonregime groups offer "economic

goods and services, status, legitimacy, information and

violence."48 The key to "the new political economy" is

the means by which the regime manipulates the exchange

47Ilchman and Uphoff, p. 32. In a similar analysis,
Charles W. Anderson has pointed out that there are four
basic tools which the State can use to make an impact on
society. Among political attributes the State has a
monopoly of legitimate force and is the focus of authority
and legitimacy for the society. As an economic agent, the
State can generate resources through taxation, borrowing,
and production, and it can expend these resources for the
public good. See "Comparative Policy Analysis: The Design
of Measures," Comparative Politics, IV (October, 1971),

48Ilchman and Uphoff, pp. 32-33. It would seem more
logical to say "goods and services" without limiting
services to those of an economic nature. One of the major
services which a government can offer is stability and
order. Stability and social peace benefit established
economic interests obviously, but other groups such as
bureaucrats, soldiers, and members of the liberal profes-
sions may also benefit in a manner that is not purely

system in order to maximize its resources and to expand its

range of choice in the pursuit of its goals. The analysis

is directed to the output side of the system to ascertain

the policies which are needed to alter the resources of

nonregime sectors and to alter the operation and development

of the political system itself.49

In the economic model of the political system, output

is of extreme importance because it is the means by which

the regime manipulates its resources to ensure compliance in

the environment or to increase its resources vis-a-vis the

environment.50 In this bargaining process, the regime can

use its control over goods and services, status, informa-

tion, coercion, and authority to elicit from the environment

goods and services, status, information, violence (or no vio-

lence), and legitimacy in the form of allegiance and sup-

port.51 Of these various commodities, "the most important

and versatile of all political currencies is support"52

because support is the basis for the legitimacy that can

allow greater economy in the use of other resources.

49LaPalombara, pp. 59-60, argues that too little atten-
tion has been paid to the output side of the political
system. For a study of the effects of output upon the
political system, see Giovanni Sartori, "Political Develop-
ment and Political Engineering," Public Policy, XVII (1968),
261-298. Sartori presents a persuasive argument for the use
of electoral systems to "engineer" a party system for the
channelization of mass behavior, pp. 273-288.
50Ilchman and Uphoff, pp. 118-120; and Blau, pp. 118-125.

51Ilchman and Uphoff, pp. 58-80.

52Ibid., p. 78. Italics in the original.

Despite the importance given support, Ilchman and

Uphoff do not provide a workable definition or description

of the concept. They treat support as being distinct from

other forms of political currency, but the distinction is

not clear. In reality, the term seems to describe most of

the environmental resources of the quid pro quo bargaining

system. By responding to regime outputs with goods and

services (taxes and productivity), status and prestige (for

regime officials), information, refusal to use violence or

threats of violence, and legitimacy (compliance and patri-

otism), the nonregime groups are providing support for the


For the purpose of analysis, political support is

defined as the overt actions or supportive attitudes of

regime-associated groups (bureaucrats, politicians, military

factions), environmental groups clientagee networks,

interest associations), and individuals that give legitimacy

to the authoritative decisions of the regime and, thus,

allow the regime a more economical expenditure of political

goods toward achievement of the defined goals. Overt

actions include the payment of taxes, positive participation

in the economic system, the willingness to vote for public

officials and otherwise support the political system,

compliance with laws and other social norms, attention to

governmental information, and deference to the symbols of

53See Easton, Systems Analysis, pp. 159-164.

authority.54 Political support is not necessarily conscious

and deliberate. As diffuse support, it may involve a set of

attitudes which would cause the individual to respond in an

overtly supportive manner in a situation where the regime or

the system was under threat.55

The more crucial areas of the analysis are the scope of

support and the means by which the regime can manipulate its

scarce resources to increase support in those nonregime

sectors which have a relative abundance of resources.

Economical pursuit of regime goals dictates the use of

regime goods and services to reward supporting groups, to

create new sources of support, and to form new resources.

The judicious allocation of status (i.e., deference and

esteem) will maintain or increase support, while avoiding

the deflation of this very scarce resource.56 Information

may also be used to increase support, but,like status, it

must be carefully husbanded to avoid deflation. The alloca-

tion of force is often inversely related to support, but

coercion may be used against some sectors to increase sup-

port in other sectors or to discourage manifestations of

negative support. Low-level and discriminate coercion may

be used effectively to maintain stability and, thus, may be

54Almond and Powell, pp. 26-27; and Easton, Systems
Analysis, pp. 159-160.

55Easton, Systems Analysis, pp. 160-161.

56Ilchman and Uphoff, pp. 60-67. The problems of defla-
tion and inflation of resource value are treated in pp. 136-

a positive factor in generating support.57 Finally, the

regime must judiciously allocate authority and influence

when necessary to secure the support of political groups

that have significant resources. By granting a political

group limited authority or influence over some policy area,

the regime may enhance its own authority in other areas.58

Thus far, there has been no attempt to define the goals

of the regime other than to assume that the regime seeks to

cope with the problems of national identity, political

authority, and citizen participation in a generalized

mahner. Ilchman and Uphoff theorize that every regime will

attempt to cope with social and economic change, to induce

social and economic change, to stay in authority in the

present, to stay in authority in the future, and to build

political and administrative infrastructure.59 Assuming the

validity of this vaguely defined goal orientation, political

support becomes the immediate goal, the fulfillment of which

will allow the pursuit of futuristic goals.

With political support as the central point of the

analysis, the exchange model can then focus on the currency

57Gregory B. Markus and Betty A. Nesvold have found that
low-level coercion ranging from the use of curfew to the
arrest and imprisonment of a few significant people gener-
ally resulted in little instability, while moderate coer-
cion leads to intense instability. Extreme coercion lowers
the level of instability but requires extreme expenditures
of political resources. See "Governmental Coerciveness and
Political Instability: An Exploratory Study of Cross-
National Patterns," Comparative Political Studies, V (July,
1972), 237-242.

58Ilchman and Uphoff, pp. 81-86.

59Ibid., pp. 33-36.

used by the regime to elicit the supporting actions and

attitudes of regime and nonregime groups and individuals.

By analyzing the experience of the military of Brazil, the

hypothesis (an authoritarian military regime can persist and

succeed in achieving its goals through judicious use of its

political resources) will be tested. The succession of

military-dominated governments which have ruled Brazil since

April, 1964,have attempted to maintain support through

careful expenditure of the resources available.

Specifically, four corollaries to the original hy-

pothesis are posited.

COROLLARY 1: The resource position of the regime vis-
a-vis the sectors is greatly enhanced by the creation
of a regime monopoly over the political marketplace.

The Brazilian military regime initially directed its scarce

resources toward the consolidation of its control over the

political system in an effort to eliminate alternative

sources for the supply of political goods.

COROLLARY 2: A reservoir of political capital can be
created for later use by repressing immediate demands
for scarce commodities.

The Brazilian regime used its available resources (coercion

and information) to depoliticize some sectors in order to

lessen the demands made upon the system and to reduce the

opportunity for overt acts of negative support.

COROLLARY 3: Short-term support can be secured by real
allocations of resources to regime-associated groups
and symbolic allocations to environmental sectors.

The military regime in Brazil used allocations of real

benefits (goods and services, authority, and status) to

maintain the immediate support of military factions. Sym-

bolic allocations of goods, services, prestige, and status

were used to establish a base of diffuse support among

previously nonsupportive sectors.

COROLLARY 4: Future, specific support by an institu-
tionalized group requires extensive expenditures of
present resources.

Recognizing the necessity of creating an infrastructure for

the delivery of specific support in the future, the Brazil-

ian regime was confronted with the need to allocate re-

sources for uncertain future benefits.

These four corollaries to the hypothesis will be

analyzed in conjunction with four basic types of policy

outputs used by the Brazilian military to create political

capital and to use the accumulated capital to expand support

for the regime. It is first necessary, however, to review

the nature of the political system inherited by the Brazil-

ian armed forces and to analyze the role performed by the

military in that system.



The Brazilian political systemin official terms,

has changed from a constitutional monarchy (established by

the-Constitution of 1824), to a representative democracy

(established by the 1891 Constitution), to a corporate state

(established by the 1937 Constitution), and back to a

representative democracy (through the 1946 Constitution).

If we ignore the formal nomenclature, however, it becomes

apparent that the changes in formal structure have not

resulted in much more than a gradual evolution from a semi-

feudal monarchy to what Phillipe C. Schmitter has called an

authoritarian system.1

Schmitter contends that the political system of Brazil

conforms, with some exceptions, to the authoritarian model

used by Juan Linz to describe the Franco government of

Spain.2 By Linz' definition:

Interest Conflict and Political Change in Brazil (Stan-
ford: Stanford University Press, 1971), pp. 376-386.

For the original model, see Juan J. Linz, "An Authori-
tarian Regime: Spain" in Mass Politics: Studies in Political
Sociology, eds. Erik Allardt and Stein Rokkan (New York: The
Free Press, 1970), pp. 251-283.


Authoritarian regimes are political systems with
limited, not responsible political pluralism; without
elaborate and guiding ideologies (but with distinctive
mentalities); without intensive nor extensive political
mobilization (except some points in their development);
and in which a leader (or occasionally a small group)
exercises power within formally ill-defined limits but
actually quite predictable ones.3

According to Schmitter, the Brazilian system correlates

quite well with the authoritarian model. There is evidence

of political pluralism in Brazil, but the organized groups

have generally been co-opted and controlled by the State.

Schmitter found extensive elite heterogeneity in Brazil and

also much autonomy of the State apparatus vis-'a-vis politi-

cal groups.4 The Brazilian system is also characterized by

the absence of a guiding ideology and by the coexistence of

several principles of legitimacy. The two points of devia-

tion which Schmitter found are that Brazilian politics

witnessed fairly widespread political mobilization and that

there was a plurality of leadership groups (parties).5

3Ibid., p. 255.
Schmitter, pp. 376-386. Schmitter has derived seven
basic characteristics from the four points contained in the
Linz definition.

5Ibid., pp. 380-383. The existence of a single party
does not seem to be critical to the Linz model. It is
useful for recruitment and socialization, but in reality the
party is only one more group competing for status and access
in the system of limited pluralism (see Linz, pp. 264-266).
Other authorities have given the party a far more important
role in authoritarian systems. See for instance the em-
phasis on one-party systems in the various essays contained
in Authoritarian Politics in Modern Society: The Dynamics
of Established One-Party Systems, eds. Samuel P. Huntington
and Clement H. Moore (New York: Basic Books, 1970).

Schmitter's use of the Linz model is instructive, but

it does not illuminate the cultural base for the authori-

tarian system nor does it explain why the system in Brazil

was breaking down in the decade before 1964. The breakdown

of the authoritarian system seems to be related to the

failure of the clientage networks to prevent or control the

emergence of new political actors. Several features of the

Linz model--the heterogeneous elite, limited pluralism,

limited and governmentally controlled mobilization, the

discrete use of coercion, co-optation, and corruption--seem

to describe a "clientelist polity."6 Political clientelism,

which Legg defines as a system of "more or less personalized,

affective and reciprocal relationshipss, involving actors

or sets of actors commanding unequal or unlike resources and

mutually beneficial transactions,"7 clearly encompasses the

phenomena known as Transformismo or Giolittismo in Italy,

Caciquismo in Spain, Coronelismo in Brazil, and a similar

6Keith Legg, "Regime Change and Public Policy in a
Clientelist Polity: The Case of Greece and Italy," (paper
presented at the 1972 annual meeting of the American Polit-
ical Science Association, Washington, D. C., September 5-9,

7Ibid., p. 4. Clientelistic politics fits easily into
the exchange model since there is an exchange of political
goods between the patron and client, although the affective
nature of the relationship may skew the exchange somewhat.
In reality, however, the patron is a "political entre-
preneur" providing both collective and private goods to his
clients in exchange for a "profit" of some kind. For a
theoretical discussion of political entrepreneurship, see
Norran Frohlich et al., Political Leadership and Collective
Goods (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971T.

Greek variant. This rural bossism, confronted by demands

for reform from incipient modernizing movements, lost

control of the governmental machinery to truly authoritarian

regimes (Mussolini in Italy, Metaxas in Greece, Primo de

Rivera in Spain, and Vargas in Brazil). In spite of the

fact that existence of rural clientelism was used as a

rationale for the seizure of the State machinery, political

clientelism was not eradicated. Indeed it still exists in

Spain, Italy, Greece, and Brazil in a form which has become

adapted, at least in part, to an urban, industrial setting.

There is some evidence that clientelism may be able to

survive within a democratic regime such as Italy, but the

overthrow of formally democratic governments in Greece(1967)

and Brazil (1964) in concert with the persistence of the

Franco regime in Spain seem to suggest that authoritarian

regimes are more compatible with clientelistic politics. As

Schmitter contends, pluralist democracy was more apparent

than real in Brazil before 1964, with a democratic consti-

tutional framework lending an air of legitimacy to an author-

itarian system. The creation of the democratic framework

following the overthrow of the openly authoritarian Estado

N8vo provided emerging popular groups with a means of cir-

cumventing the clientelist system as they competed with

established political actors for the allocation of political

goods. The democratic electoral system allowed the par-

tially mobilized masses to adopt for themselves national

patrons, in the form of populistic politicians, who promised

them psychic and material satisfaction. The ascendance of

these national patrons--Vargas, Kubitschek, Quadros,

Goulart--short-circuited the clientage networks which had

been the basic means of control for the authoritarian sys-


Clientelism in Brazil has been facilitated by the

somewhat unique historical experience of the nation, The

absence of violence in the achievement of both independent

and republican status, the presence of an undeveloped

frontier and the absence of a strong external threat reduced

the need for extensive mobilization.8 This lack of profound

crises encouraged the development of a process of accommoda-

tion to and preemptive co-optation of new political groups

and thus allowed the nation to avoid the development of

serious cleavages which could have sustained autonomous


The historical base of Brazilian clientelism was the

patrimonial nature of colonial Brazilian society. With

roots in the patriarchal society of the distant Islamic past

of Portugal, patrimonialism became the cultural base for the

Coronelismo and Caciquismo of contemporary Brazil.9 Until

gold was discovered in the eighteenth century, Brazil was

Robert T. Daland, "Development Administration and the
Brazilian Political System," The Western Political Quar-
terly, XXI (June, 1968), 327-328.

9Aprfgio Ribeiro, "0 Pensamento Islamico no Dereito e nos
Costumes Politicos do Brasil," Revista Brasileira de Estudos
Politicos (hereinafter referred to as RBEP), I (July, 1957),

never of major interest to the Portuguese crown, and royal

control was generally limited to port areas. Thus, the

dispersed settlements were organized around the social and

economic power of the dominant family of the settlement.

The family, then, and not the State or any commercial enter-

prise was the productive unit, the source of protection, and

the dispenser of economic and social values; and the deci-

sions of the family were made by its patriarch.10

The patriarchal clan was more than just the consan-

guineous family. According to Oliveira Vianna, the patri-

archal clan contained both a feudal clan--a hierarchical

arrangement including the family, servants, slaves, wage

laborers, and even independent farmers and merchantsll--and

the parental clan--a horizontal amalgam of all those tied by

blood, adoption, copaternity, or marriage to the core

family.12 Given the nature of Portuguese colonial rule,

never as organized or as strict as the Spanish rule expe-

rienced by the other areas of the New World,13 the

10Gilberto Freyre, The Masters and the Slaves, trans.
Harriet de Onis (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967), p. 31;
and Oliveira Vianna, Instituig5es Politicas Brasileiras,
Vol. I (2 vols.; Rio de Janeiro: Josd Olympio, 1949),
pp. 209-210. Oliveira Vianna contends that the prestige of
the feudal clan was dependent not just upon the power of the
patriarch to control the local situation but also upon his
ability to lead aggressive forays against neighboring and
distant settlements, pp. 220-222.

11Vianna, pp. 211-213.

12Ibid., pp. 237-239.

13For a comparison of Portuguese and Spanish colonial
rule, see Eulalia Maria Lahmeyer Lobo, Processo Administra-
tivo Ibero-Americano: Aspectos Socio-Econemicos--Periodo

patriarchal clan suffered little challenge to its local


With the discovery of gold in the eighteenth century,

the Portuguese crown began an effort to centralize adminis-

trative control over Brazil, but this was limited to fiscal

controls5 and had little effect upon the economically

autonomous rural latifundia. When the seat of the Portu-

guese Empire was moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1808, a more

concerted attempt at centralization was made, but this proc-

ess was halted by the establishment of an independent Bra-

zilian monarchy in 1822.

In place of the attempt to establish a system of strict

fiscal controls of a tributary nature, the new Brazilian

monarchy turned its attention to achieving national unity.

A national administrative system was set up, but its

Colonial (Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca do Exercito, 1962),
pp. 549-559.
Although one is tempted to use the term "feudal" to
describe the relationship between patriarch and client, the
lack of formal authority and total allegiance rule out the
term. A better term is that of traditionalistic patrimo-
nialism as defined by Ren6 Lemarchand and Keith Legg, "po-
litical Clientelism and Development: A Preliminary Anal-
ysis," Comparative Politics, IV (January, 1972), 166-168.
Lemarchand and Legg describe traditionalistic paternalism as
a less-than-formal but wholly ubiquitous patron-client
relationship which is replicated by state structures. For
an extensive discussion of the Brazilian form of patrimo-
nialism, see Raimundo Faoro, Os Donos de Poder (Porto
Alegre: Editora Globo, 1958).

15Mario Wagner Vieira da Cunha, O Sistema Administrativo
Brasileiro: 1930-1950 (Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Nacional
de Estudos Pedagogicos, Ministerio de Educacao e Cultura,
1963), p. 13.

activity seldom extended beyond the major cities. According

to Vieira da Cunha:

The administration really reached limited functional
sectors and limited territorial areas. The rest was
left to the local clans. None of these (the clans]
requested action by the government, nor did the govern-
ment intend to create an organization--either judicial,
political, or religious, or of services--that would
contest the power of the rural patriarchs.1

Patrimonialism endured during the Empire and became

even more important politically under the decentralized

political system of the First Republic (1889-1930). It is

during this period that authoritarian paternalism, generally

known as coronelismo, operated in its most virulent form on

a national political level. The term coronel is an honorary

one, like doutor, and was derived from the practice--dating

from 1831 to the extinction of the National Guard--of desig-

nating the leading political and economic figure (the patri-

arch of the local clan) of the municipio as commander of the

local militia regiment. The social, economic, and political

power which earned the man the official appointment as

coronel continued to ascribe the title to the local holder

of such power long after the post was abolished.17 Nunes

Leal states the coronelismo operates primarily in

the municipios of the interior, which is equivalent to
saying the rural municipios or predominantly rural

16Ibid., p. 32.

17Victor Nunes Leal, Coronelismo, Enxada e Voto: 0
Municipio e o Regime Representativo no Brasil (Rio de
Janeiro: Revista Forense, 1948), pp. 7-10.

ones; its vitality is inversely proportional to the
development of urban activities, such as commerce and
industry. Consequently, isolation is an important
factor in the formation and maintenance of the phenom-

With the fall of the Empire, an exaggerated federal

system--copied from the United States but superimposed over

a more traditional society--was established, and this gave

enormous financial and administrative power to state govern-

ments to the detriment of both the national and municipal

governments.19 Authoritarian state governments with dem-

ocratic trappings were formed around oligarchies which

generally incorporated the most powerful coroneis of the

state. With the state government controlling a prepon-

derance of the financial resources, the local coronel, as

the client of the state government, was expected to deliver

the political support of his clients in exchange for local

privileges and financial support.

The Constitution of 1891 had provided for decentralized

administration at the municipal level, but the state oli-

garchies, through their control of the financial resources,

were able to control municipal administration effectively.20

In spite of state control, there were many types of polit-

ical goods (control of the police, nominations for govern-

ment jobs, personal prestige, and the opportunity to get a

18Ibid., pp. 181-182.

19Vieira da Cunha, pp. 34-35.

20Ibid., p. 36.

share of the far more remunerative patronage of the state

government) which made the municipal power position attrac-

tive. Since the patriarchal clans of the colony and the

Empire were largely divorced from politics and their hegem-

ony did not always correspond to municipal boundaries, the

new administrative powers of the municipio many times in-

volved the struggle between two clans (i.e., two coroneis).

The two pretenders, then, would engage in what was often

open warfare to see who would be the client of the patron

state government and would thus deliver elector support in

exchange for the financial largess that would make him the

patron for local clients in the municipio.21

The means of the coronel's electoral support were his

votos de cabresto (halter votes). The votes were halter

votes because many of the voters in the municipio worked for

the coronel or members of his clan; because even if a man

owned a small piece of land, his livelihood was so precar-

ious that he must have, at some time, help from the coronel;

because the coronel might transport, feed, and buy shoes for

the voter on election day; because the coronel, in a setting

of weak public power, had the ability to exercise extra-

legally many of the functions of the State and, thus, to

bestow benefits; and because the coronel was owed a high

21Joseph L. Love, "Political Participation in Brazil,
1889-1969," Luzo-Brazilian Review, VII (December, 1970),
10-11; and Michel Debrun, O Fato Politico (Rio de Janeiro:
Fundagao Getulio Vargas, 1962), p. 111.

level of paternal deference, either out of love, fear, or a

combination of both.22

The coronel's relationship with his clients was largely

paternal. Yet he was not above fraud and violence. In the

First Republic, voting fraud was used extensively by both

the coroneis and the state administrations to assure the

electoral success of the oligarchies.23 Violence was a

prevalent feature of coronelismo although it was generally

used only when other means were more uncertain or ineffi-

cient in guaranteeing the desired outcome.24

Following the 1930 Revolution, the authoritarian con-

trol of the state oligarchies was replaced by an authori-

tarian national government, and the patron-client system of

the rural coroneis was succeeded, in part, by a new system

of dyadic relationships established by the state and local

representatives of the national government. The old system

was not totally superseded, however, since the coroneis lost

only their political power. They were able to maintain

control over such private goods as status and wealth and

22Nunes Leal, pp. 18-25. For an example of how the
coronel "delivers the votes" of his clients, see Leslie
Lipson, "Government in Contemporary Brazil," The Canadian
Journal of Economics and Political Science, XXII (May,
1956), 197.
23Jean Blondel, As Condigoes da Vida Politica no Estado
da Paraiba, trans. Alcintara Nogueira (Rio de Janeiro:
FundaEAo Getulio Vargas, 1957), p. 18 (hereinafter referred
to as As CondigQes).
24Nunes Leal, p. 29.

thereby preserved a base for regaining control over politi-

cal goods when the climate was more favorable.25

When Brazil returned to representative government in

1945, the coroneis once again were able to operate in the

political marketplace, but social, economic, and political

change, manifested in the rapid growth of industrialization

and urbanization, along with a rapid expansion of federal

bureaucratic agencies and the use of a proportional repre-

sentation system, had changed the situation and limited the

political importance of coronelismo. In rural areas the

system was able to regain some of its former strength, how-

ever. Bonifacio Fortes could write as late as 1964 that in

Sergipe there was still a "politics of oligarchy" tending

toward a "politics of populism" in certain industrialized

areas.26 The coronel simply picked up the banner of a

political party and transformed the local fiefdom into a

local branch of a national party.27 Although the change

extended the power of the national government and the

challenges from newly emerging groups seriously weakened the

power of the coronel (a factor which often forced rival

coroners to put aside their traditional feuds in order to

form a coalition to meet the new political threat),

coronelismo is still a factor of politics in modern Brazil,

25Waldemar Ladosky, "Evolujao das InstituigSes Politicas
em Minas Gerais," RBEP, No. 14 (July, 1962), 87.
26"Sergipe: Democracia de Poucos," RBEP, No. 16 (Janu-
ary, 1964), 127-128.

even in nominally urban areas.28 The continued presence of

coronelismo, even in an attenuated form, has provided the

military regime a means of controlling the participation of

the rural masses, but it has also presented a problem for

the creation of broad-based rural party organizations.

Industrialization and urbanization, in conjunction with

the proportional representation system and the growth of the

bureaucracy, reduced the significance of traditionalistic

patrimonialism and gave rise to a form of clientelism which

Lemarchand and Legg call modernizing patrimonialism.29 With

the restoration of representative politics in Brazil after

1945, altered political context made new groups available

for opportunistic politicians to use for electoral support.30

This brought to the fore a more conditioned and informal,

yet still affective, pattern of political relationships.31

28See Jose' Murflio de Carvalho, "Barbacena: A Familia, a
Polftica, e uma Hip6tese," RBEP, No. 20 (January, 1966),
168-173; and Luis Silva, "Implicagoes Politicas do Desenvol-
vimento Industrial de Barroso," RBEP, No. 9 (July, 1960),

29pp. 166-168. This variant is distinguished from tradi-
tionalistic patrimonialism by more extensive but still
limited social mobilization, by more segmented and shifting
dependency relationships, by a more diversified base of
patronage, and by a state system superimposed over the
clientage network.

30Plinio Cabral, Politica Sem Cartola (Rio de Janeiro:
Grafica Record Edit6ra, 1967), pp. aB-9, blames the Estado
NSvo for the political ills of contemporary Brazil. By
eliminating politics as a vocation, young idealistic aspir-
ants went to other fields, and only the cynical and oppor-
tunistic old guard remained.

31Nathaniel H. Leff, Economic Policy-Making and Develop-
ment in Brazil, 1947-1964 (New York: John Wiley and Sons,

The new clientelistic politicians represented interest

groups, bureaucratic cliques, families, and regional groups

in a quid pro quo fashion, and avoided any permanent alli-

ances or commitment which would dilute the loyalty of the

personalistic leader to his group and his position.32

Afonso Arinos de Melo Franco contends that the dominance of

the rural coronel was broken (the rural coronel was not

eliminated, however) by the appearance of urban coroneis.

These counterparts of the electoral patriarchs of the inte-

rior profited from the low cultural level of the new urban

masses (i.e., their indifference for programs and their

confidence in individuals instead of ideas).33

The result of the personalistic and pragmatic nature of

clientelistic politics was that the parties which existed

between 1945 and 1965, with minor exceptions, had little

ideological originality.34 Only the Integralistas, the

1968), p. 118. For two theoretical discussions concerning
the nature of clientelism in Brazil, see Paulo Singer, "A
Politica das Classes Dominantes" in Politica e Revolucao
Social no Brasil, eds. Oct6vio lanni et al. (Rio de Janeiro:
Editra Civilizaggo Brasileira, 1965), pp. 72-78; and Pessoa
de Morais, Sociologia da Revolucao Brasileira: Analise e
Interpretagao do Brasil de Hoje (Rio de Janeiro: EditOra
Leitura, 1965), pp. 10T-107.

32Robert T. Daland, Brazilian Planning: Development
Politics and Administration (Chapel Hill: University of
North Carolina Press, 1967), p. 197 (hereinafter referred to
as Brazilian Planning).

33Hist8ria e Teoria do Partido Politico no Direito
Constitucional Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro: Revista Forense,
1948), pp. 99-100 (hereinafter referred to as Hist6ria e

4Luis Navarro de Britto, "A Representap o Proporcional,"
RBEP, No. 19 (July, 1965), 239.

Communists, and the Partido Liberal (a small party which

constantly fought to establish a parliamentary system) had

conscious and consistent programs. All others revolved

around men, not ideas.35 The voter voted for a man (or the

legend of a man, as in the case of Vargas), never for a

party or a program. The vote was then transformed into a
vote for a party. Parties were the instruments of polit-

ical brokers, and the chefe politico (political boss) could

"change parties with the same ease as one changes his


The chefe politico belonged to a political party be-

cause the electoral system made affiliation with a national

party mandatory, but the nature of the personalistic fol-

lowing of the chefe and the abundance of parties (as many as

thirteen existed at times during the 1945-1965 period)

allowed the chefe to make alliances and change allegiance

with ease. Even though the situation which caused Jo o

Neves da Fontoura to comment in 1930 that in Brazil "anyone

can start a political party, like opening a shop"38 no

35Paulo de Figueiredo, "Partidos, Congresso, Democracia,"
Revista de Informa.ko Legislativa (Senado Federal), III
(October/December, 1966), 105.

36Wilson Martins, "Parana: Uma Cognita," RBEP, No. 8
(April, 1960), 230-231.
Abelardo F. Montenegro, "Tentativa de Interpretapao das
EleiSoes de 1958 no Ceard," RBEP, No. 8 (April, 1960), 40
See also Bonifacio Fortes, "Contribqpo a Hist6ria Politica
de Sergipe (1933-1958)," RBEP, No. 8 (April, 1960), 87.
38Quoted by Josaphat Marinho, "Institucionalizagpo e
Estatuto dos Partidos Politicos," Revista de Informaaao
Legislative (Senado Federal), III (March, 1966), 4

longer existed, until 1965 it was still just as easy to

establish a local branch of one of the national parties.

Jean Blondel has stated that in Paraiba, as in most

states, one could substitute party labels such as PSD and

UDN with x and y and the study would be the same. One

might have been more correct to use labels such as "the

party of chefe x" and "the party of chefe _." An extreme,

but illustrative, example is provided by the 1962 municipal

elections of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. In the shuffle

for positions on the ballot to elect twenty-one representa-

tives to the municipal council, there were no fewer than

forty-eight changes of party affiliation among the thirteen

parties participating in the election.40

In Brazil "the political battle is preeminently a

struggle for access to power rather than for ideology,

policy, or the protection of a particular interest."41

The chefe politico is a professional, and only when he has

access to those who make political decisions, can he de-

liver the goods to his clients and, thus, maintain or im-

prove his position. He maintains his access to the power

structure and his clientele by promises (often avoiding

pp. 154-155.
40Anis Jose Leao, "Comportamento de Eleitorado de
Belo Horizonte nas Eleipoes de 1962," RBEP, No. 16 (January,
1964), 300-301.
Daland, Brazilian Planning, p. 207.

delivery),42 and he is also quite adept at moving to better

his position. He will use miraculous solutions, scapegoats,

and affective programs to increase his clientele. If there

is a vacancy in the political spectrum, the politician will

move to that position (rhetorically) in an effort to in-

crease his clientele and thus enhance his bargaining posi-

tion vis-a-vis the decision-makers.43

The chefe politico or the coronel of the rural area,

and generally the chefe of an urban area as well, tends to

be rather conservative and short-sighted in his dealings

with his clients. His general policy is to "discourage any

fundamental changes in the economic and social organization

of the community but at the same time 'do something' to

combat local misery."4 This may include the distribution

of money and food during a drought or the installation of a

fresh water system or a medical clinic in the urban center.

He opposes land distribution, better schooling, specialized

skill training, and the development of local organizations

to plan for irrigation or better schools. Public works--

dams, roads, etc.--are favored because they give temporary

42Cabral, pp. 14-17. See also Singer, pp. 74-77; and
Edilson Portela Santos, "Evolugao da Vida Politica no
Municipio de Picos, Piauf," RBEP, No. 10 (January, 1961),

43Vladimir Reisky de Dubnic, Political Trends in Brazil
(Washington, D. C.: Public Affairs Press, 1968), pp. 5-6.

44Beldon H. Paulson, "Local Political Patterns in North-
east Brazil: A Community Case Study," (mimeographed pam-
phlet from the College of Agriculture, University of Wis-
consin, August, 1964), pp. 51-52.

employment, are tangible and physically impressive, and also

can be used to benefit special individuals.45

At election time the chefe politico must "get out the

vote" either for himself or for his candidate. In rural

areas the lack of political consciousness on the part of the

rural worker often leads him to question the need to vote.

The distance to the polls, the loss of a work day, and the

uncertainty of the act are overcome with the help of the

chefe, who serves as the intermediary between the voter and

the outside world.

In some cases, delivering the vote might require the

use of electoral fraud to ensure the success of the desired

candidates. The methods, too numerous to be described

completely, include: voting illiterates and dead people;

irregular composition of the voting table so as to admit

friends and exclude enemies; voting in two electoral dis-

tricts; voting under two or more names; and escorting the

voter to the booth, giving specific instructions on how to
vote.7 Since every voter must be registered, fraud is


46Blondel, pp. 58-60. As communications improved, the
popularity of well-known politicians often overshadowed
the efforts of the chefes to mobilize voters. See Jose'
Bernardo Felix de Sousa, "As Eleipoes Goianas," RBEP,
No. 16 (January, 1964), 285; and Nelson de Souza Sampaio,
"As Eleipoes Bahianas de 1962," RBEP, No. 16 (January,
1964), 168-169.

4Blondel, pp. 98-100; and Amilcar Alves Tupiassu, "As
Eleipoes Paranaenses de 1962," RBEP, No. 16 (January, 1964),

often as prevalent during registration as it is during the

election. The chefe "helps" the citizen register just as he

helps him vote--by transporting potential voters to the

registration office, by filling out the required form so the

citizen has only to sign his name, and often by teaching the

citizen how to sign his name.48

Aspiring candidates often purchase support of a chefe

politico, and the chefe, in turn, needs money to hold the

support of his followers. Sometimes voters are paid spe-

cifically to vote for certain candidates. In other cases,

the chefe might hand out money, food, or other items to his

supporters to indicate his good will, which, of course,

could be repaid with a vote for the chefe's candidate, but

the quid pro quo is not specifically mentioned. Election

may cost a candidate or his sponsors as much as five times

the amount the successful office-seeker will be paid of-

ficially during his mandate.49

The chefe politico maintains numerous contacts within

the state and national political structures in order to

satisfy the wants of his clients. Although the state and

national bureaucracies have been the dominant contact point

48Literacy is a prerequisite for voting. Jean Blondel,
As Condicoes, pp. 74-82, found that in Paraiba the 1950
census showed only 290,559 literate citizens fifteen years
of age or older, yet there were 346,141 registered voters
(supposedly literate and twenty-one or over).

490swaldo Trigueiro, "A Crise do Sistema Eleitoral
Brasileiro," RBEP, III (July, 1959), 103. See also Abelardo
F. Montenegro, s Eleig6es Cearenses de 1962," RBEP, No. 16
(January, 1964), 88-89.

of the clientelistic politicians, the legislative politician

often serves as the intermediary between the bureaucrat and

the local patron.50 In other words, the legislator often is

the patron for a number of local chefe politico clients who

need access to the bureaucracy. Thus, in the representative

system established after 1945, the major concern of the

chefe politico was to get either himself or his own patron


The political base of operations for the chefe

politico is and has been the municfpio, just as it was for

the coronel, but as Brazilian society became more mobilized

and differentiated after World War II, it became succeed-

ingly more difficult for one patron to maintain total hegem-

ony over all the clients in his municfpio.51 Much of this

difficulty related to the reforms which followed the 1930

Revolution. As a reaction to the oligarchical authoritar-

ianism of coronelismo, these structural reforms facilitated

the evolution toward a system of modernizing patrimonialism,

but they also opened the way for the mobilization that would

weaken the clientage base of the authoritarian system.

50Schmitter, pp. 257-272. Schmitter states that the
legislatures are only a secondary point of contact for
interest group leaders, presumably because of the weak role
played by legislatures in the decision-making function.
Individual legislators, however, commonly provide access to
administrative decision-makers.

51Barbosa Lima Sobrinho, Sistemas Eleitorais e Partidos
Polfticos (Rio de Janeiro: Fundaiao Getdlio Vargas, 1956),
p. 65.

In the Third Republic,52 one could still find rural

municipios where most of the people were apolitical even if

they were literate and had voted, but situations such as

that in Dores do Indaia, Minas Gerais--where the family of

the Baron of Indaia had ruled from 1880 to 1945 with only

four years out of power53--were rapidly fading. Immediately

after the electoral and party reforms of 1945, two-way

struggles between rival clans (but now wearing the labels of

national political parties) were quite common, but even as

coronelismo fought to regain its old position vis-a-vis the

state government,54 the bipartite contests were changed to

multipartite struggles. The power of the dual oligarchies

steadily deteriorated because of the growth of functional

organizations and social differentiation brought on by

industrialization and urbanization and because of the use

52Thomas Leonardos, As Vesperas da Quinta Republica:
Sugestoes para o Presidencialismo Brasileiro (Rio de
Janeiro: Empresa Grafica "0 Cruzeiro," no date), pp. 11-12,
provides a useful breakdown for contemporary Brazilian
history. His "Republics": First Republic: November, 1889
to October, 1930; Second Republic: July, 1934 to November,
1937; Third Republic: September, 1946 to September, 1961;
Fourth Republic: September, 1961 to January, 1963; Fifth
Republic: January, 1963 to March, 1964.
530rlando M. Carvalho, "Os Partidos Politicos em Minas
Gerais," RBEP, I (July, 1957), 102-103.

54Nunes Leal, pp. 29-30. These electoral battles, often
violent, were interesting in that, even after the local
clans had adopted national party labels, old nicknames were
still used. Thus, one would read of the atos (ducks)
versus the perus (turkeys); the besouros (beetles) versus
the maribondos (wasps); and the luzeiros (the illustrious
ones) versus the escureiros (the obscure ones). See
Carvalho, "Os Partidos Politicos em Minas Gerais," p. 102.

of the proportional representation system. More and more

municipios shifted from one-party-dominant systems to situa-

tions in which three or more parties competed and no single

party was able to gain a majority.55

Although the electoral reforms that led to the decline

of coronelismo were not without their faults, they were a

vast improvement over the oligarchical system of the First

Republic which Oswald Aranha in 1929 described as

an inheritance of slavery, without law, without free-
dom, without responsibility, without inspection; but
with spoils, bribes, violence and fraud, not giving
satisfaction to either the winner or the loser It is
a comedy presided over by arbitrary power....56

The constitution of the Third Republic established the

secret ballot, a system of electoral inspection and judicial

control, and a proportional-representation system that gave

unequal representation to the smaller, less populous states

and, thus, sought to avoid the exesses of federal control

practices by Vargas during the Estado Nivo. In the Camara

dos Deputados (Chamber of Deputies), seats were apportioned

on a minimum ratio of one seat for each 150,000 inhabitants

of the state, with a minimum representation of seven dep-

uties per state and one per territory. For each deputy

above twenty, 250,000 inhabitants were required.57

55See, for example, Carvalho, "Os Partidos Politicos em
Minas Gerais," pp. 110-111; and Nelson de Sousa Sampaio,
"Eleices Bahianas," p. 144.

56Quoted by Helio Silva, 1926--A Grande Marcha (Rio de
Janeiro: Edit8ra Civilizaago Brasileira, 1965), p. 316.

57Article 58 of 1946 Constitution.

The system resulted in gross inequalities and the

negation of the principle of proportional representation as

a true reflection of the relevant shades of public opinion.

For example, in 1962 one vote for a federal deputy in the

state of Acre had the same value as twenty-five votes in

Sgo Paulo since the electoral quotient (the total number of

valid votes divided by the number of seats) was 2,077 in

Acre, while in Sgo Paulo it was 53,544.58 Thus, while the

P.R. system has worked to break the absolute hegemony of the

coroneis, it gave superrepresentation to the very areas most

susceptible to coronelismo.

Many Brazilian political analysts fault the P.R. sys-

tem as the cause of the excesses of personalism, demagogu-

ery, and corruption. According to those scholars, the

electoral laws, not cultural factors or ideologies, were the

cause of the fragmentation and crystallization of parties

into individualized groups.59 The accusation is apparently

correct since the P.R. system fostered an expansion of

clientelism to a level which exceeded the ability of the

system to allocate rewards and, thus, to maintain control

over the partially mobilized clients.

The electoral laws encouraged a proliferation of candi-

dates as well as a proliferation of parties. Each party

58Luis Navarro de Britto, "A Representapao Proporcional,"
pp. 242-243.

59Afonso Arinos de Melo Franco, "Os Partidos Politicos
Nacionais," Revista Forense, CLVII (January/February, 1955),
12-13. See also Oswaldo Trigueiro, "A Crise do Sistema
Eleitoral Brasileiro," pp. 103-107.

wanted to get proven vote-getters on its list, but it would

also accept as many candidates as possible in order to

increase the vote total and also to collect more registra-

tion fees. This was especially prevalent in local elections

since candidates tended to favor the contests where the

electoral quotient was lower. In such elections the votes

controlled by only one chefe politico might be sufficient
for election. In Bahia for the P.R. elections of 1950

through 1962, the average number of candidates for federal

deputy seats was only 2.48 as compared to an average of 5.40

candidates per seat in the state legislative assembly. For

the seats on the municipal council of the state capital, the

average was 13.4.61

The Electoral Code of 1950 provided that only those

parties or alliances which achieved the electoral quotient

could participate in the distribution of seats. This

factor encouraged the use of party alliances in contests

where the electoral quotient was high, such as federal

deputy elections.62 In this type of situation, a small

party would lose its votes if it did not ally itself with

60See Alves Tupiassu, "As Elei -es Paranaenses de 1962,"
pp. 36-40.
61Nelson de Sousa Sampaio, "Bahia," in Comportamento
Eleitoral no Brasil, eds. Themistocles Cavalcanti and Reisky
Dubnic (Rio de Janeiro: Funda;go Getilio Vargas, 1964),
pp. 9-12.
62See Lima Sobrinho, Sistemas Eleitorais e Partidos
Politicos, p. 99; and Sousa Sampaio, "Bahia,7 pp. 17-18.

another party or parties, thereby achieving the quotient.

In state assembly contests, and especially in elections for

municipal councils, alliances were less common.

The necessity of getting elected forced the clien-

telistic politician to use whatever means possible, and the

P.R. system reinforced the natural tendency to rely on his

personal organization rather than on the party. Each can-

didate had to compete with all other candidates, including

those of his own party list since the total vote for the

candidates of the party stipulated the number of seats the

party was allotted, and the candidate's position on the list

of votes received by the party determined whether or not he

would get one of those seats. Thus, it did not matter

which party the candidate chose to run with63 unless the

candidate wished to be carried into office on the coattails

or residual votes of a proven vote-getter.

A proven vote-getter might abandon his original party

to establish the local branch of another national party so

that he could use his personal strength to elect as many of

his cronies as possible. As a result, the electoral laws

not only made the parties irrelevant on a programatic basis,

they also encouraged the proliferation of parties. For

example, in the state legislative assembly of Bahia, the

seventy seats were divided among six parties in 1947, seven

630swaldo Trigueiro states that in most cases the party
is merely a place "to hang the hat." "A Crise do Sistema
Eleitoral Brasileiro," p. 107.

in 1951, nine in 1955, and ten in 1959. In the municipal

council of the capital, Salvador, the eighteen seats were

held by five parties in 1948, seven in 1951, eight in 1955,

and nine in 1959--each party in 1959 having two seats.64

These alliances did not, however, result in anything

more than momentary, pragmatic groupings. There was seldom

any unity in alliances from state to state or from election

to election. In the 1962 federal deputy elections, there

were thirty-two alliances, but in not a single electoral

entity (states, territories, and the Federal District) was

an alliance composed of the same parties that formed twenty-

six alliances which participated in the 1958 election.65

Party fragmentation was encouraged by the proportional-

representation system that was established in Brazil, but,

in large measure, a more important factor has been the non-

programatic nature of clientelistic politics. Brazil,

during the Empire, borrowed from Great Britain the concept

of "liberal" and "conservative" political parties, but this

had little effect except to provide a new weapon, one with

an external appearance of legitimacy, in the arsenal of the

local oligarchies for the maintenance of their own power.66

64Sousa Sampaio, "EleiZes Bahianas," pp. 142-143.

65Pompeu de Sousa, "EleigZes de 62: Decomposigio
Partidaria e Caminhos da Reforma," RBEP, No. 16 (January,
1964), 10-11.
66Debrun, p. 111. For a description of party politics
during the reign of Pedro II, see Am6rico Brasiliense de
Almeida e Melo, Os Programas dos Partidos e o Segundo
Imp6rio (Sao Paulo: Edit6ra Seckler, 187a).

The artificiality of imperial party politics was ended in

1873 with the founding of the Republican Party, a party

which departed from the tweedledum and tweedledee nature of

the traditional parties because of its program advocating

positivism and the abolition of the monarchy.67 Success

spoiled the Republican Party, however, and in the absence of

a strong national party organization (and a strong national

government as well), it became an alliance of state oli-

garchies.68 Each state had its own Republican Party with

the Partido Republicano Mineiro (PRM, Minas Gerais) and the

Partido Republicano Paulista (PRP, Sao Paulo) joining to

dominate national politics. The exaggerated federalism of

both governmental and party structure in the First Republic

prompted Gilberto Amado, at the time of the 1930 Revolution,

to write:

If Brazil is not able to form militant parties that can
articulate the country from north to south, gearing the
ruling wills one with another in a common feeling of
positive ideas or points of view concerning education,
culture and national civilization, the political life
will continue to operate, no matter whatever electoral
system is adopted, by a fragmented empiricism, anar-
chical and incurable, that will not provide means of
easing the crises, solving them always by revolts,
general disorder, revolutions. 9

Following the 1930 Revolution, two national parties--

Agao Integralista Brasileira, a fascist party organized by

67Melo Franco, Hist3ria e Teoria, pp. 54-57.

Ibid., pp. 65-68.

6Eleipao e Representapao (2nd ed.; Rio de Janeiro:
Irmgos Pongetti, 1946), p. 175.

Plinio Salgado, and Alianga Nacional Libertador, a leftist

party advocating labor and agrarian reforms--were estab-

lished, but most of the parties that participated in the

1934 Constituent Assembly were very.much state oriented.70

With the advent of the corporatist Estado NOvo in 1937, all

political parties were dissolved and partisan politics

remained dormant until 1945 when Vargas, recognizing the

defeat of fascism, issued Decree-Law Number 7,586, which

provided for proportional-representation elections for

federal and state deputies and required candidates to run

under national party banners.

The major parties that were organized in 1945 and 1946

were basically groups of clientelists drawn together by

similar orientations to Getulio Vargas. The Partido Social

Democratico (PSD) was the party of intransigent officialdom.

Like the Republican Parties of the First Republic, the PSD

was rural or semi-rural and conservative, and its organizers

were the chefes who had been associated with the Estado Ndvo

as state and municipal officials.71 The Partido Trabalhista

Brasileiro (PTB) was the urban wing of the clientelists

attached to Vargas. The PTB was the party of the labor

union pelego, the political broker who served as mediator

70J. A. Pinto do Carmo, Diretrizes Partidarias: UDN-PRD-
Irmaos Pongetti, 1972), pp. 26-2E.

71See Thomas E. Skidmore, Politics in Brazil, 1930-1964:
An Experiment in Democracy (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1967), p. 56; and Melo Franco, Hist6ria e Teoria,
pp. 101-102.

between the workers, on the one hand, and the employers and

the government, on the other.72

Although the two parties generally represented quite

dissimilar constituencies--the PSD representing the lati-

fundistas and some industrialists, the PTB representing

urban labor--their close affinity to Vargas provided a basis

for occasional cooperation. The Uniao Democratico Nacional

(UDN), the third major party, was also unified by its mem-

bers' relationship with Vargas, although in a negative

manner. The UDN was a collection of the "outs"--rural

chefes and latifundistas in its conservative wing and urban

professionals and intellectuals in its liberal wing. All

were unified by their common dislike for Vargas.73

The PSD, UDN, and PTB shared the arena with many small

parties. Most of these small parties were derived from

local dissidence, revolts against the tyranny of party

chiefs, and fights of a personalistic nature in the struggle
of ambition in search for political power. Some parties

were only the following of the men who led them, such as the

Partido Social Progressista (PSP) of Ademar de Barros and

72Reisky de Dubnic, Political Trends in Brazil, pp. 52-
53; and HIlio Jaguaribe, "A RenTncia do Presidente Quadros e
a Crise Politica Brasileira," Revista Brasileira de Ciencias
Socials, I (November, 1961), 296-298. Melo Franco, Historia
e Teoria, pp. 105-106, calls the PTB the party of the urban

73Blondel, As Condi.S'es, p. 31; and Melo Franco,
Historia e Teoria, pp. 102-104.

74Lima Sobrinho, Sistemas Eleitorais e Partidos Pol-
ticos, p. 73.

the Partido Republicano (PR) of Artur Bernardes. Others--

the Partido de Representapao Popular (the neo-fascist

integralismo), the Partido Socialista Brasileiro (social-

ism), and the Partido Libertador (parliamentarism)--had

genuine ideological positions.75

The parties of the Third Republic were seriously

hampered because they were primarily state organizations

although they were national by law and were regulated by a

national electoral court. Themistocles Brandao Cavalcanti

cites three reasons for this. First, traditional tendencies

prompted politics to return, after the Estado Novo recess,

to the same patterns practiced during the First Republic.

Second, the coincidence of electoral areas with the geo-

graphic confines of the states gave each party a need to

have a state organization corresponding to the state polit-

ical structure. And, third, the doctrinal problem of fed-

eralism dictated that the federal system of parties be a

union of state parties without real requirements for federal

organization except during presidential elections.76

75For the programs and statutes of the fourteen parties
that existed in 1948, see J. A. Pinto de Carmo. For an
analysis of party structures, see Phyllis Jane Peterson,
Brazilian Political Parties: Formation, Organization, and
Leadership, 1945-1959 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of
Michigan, 19652. Reisky de Dubnic in Political Trends in
Brazil, pp. 93-101, discusses the role of the various
parties in the critical years preceding the March, 1964,
6"Sistemas Partidarios," Carta Mensual do Conselho
Tecnico da Confederavao Nacional do Comercio, IV (September,
1958), 3d-39.

Any association of at least ten thousand voters (the

figure was later changed to fifty thousand) that went

through the legal channels was, by law, considered a na-

tional political party. With little national unity or

organization, the parties were devoid of all but very

general ideological and class factors. Thus, the system was

incapable of reflecting the different tendencies of the

national electorate.77 Because politicians changed parties

with ease and new parties were formed, the voters found more

continuity with personalities than with the transient party


Although the PSD, PTB, and UDN were consistently the

major parties, party fragmentation became more pronounced

with each succeeding year. In 1947 eight states had a

majority party in the state legislative assembly, but in

1951 and 1955 only one state had a majority party.78 This

fragmentation was also demonstrated by the increased use of

alliances in federal deputy elections. For example, in 1958

the parties as units elected 191 deputies, and party alli-

ances elected 135 deputies out of a total of 326. In 1962

the parties elected 216 deputies, while alliances elected

193 of the total of 409 (the increase in the total of seats

is due to population increase). Moreover, only nineteen

deputies were elected outright in 1962 by parties other than

77Luis Navarro Britto, p. 241.

8Sousa Sampaio, "Bahia," p. 46.

PSD, UDN, and PTB.79 Table I shows the increase in aggre-

gate vote in federal deputy elections for alliances in

comparison with the vote totals for the three leading




Year Alliances PSD UDN PTB

1945 2,531,974 1,575,375 603,500
1950 1,552,636 2,068,405 1,301,489 1,262,000
1954 2,496,501 2,136,220 1,318,101 1,447,784
1958 4,140,655 2,296,640 1,644,314 1,830,621
1962 5,855,692 2,225,693 1,604,743 1,722,546

*Source of data, TSE, Dados Estatisticos, Sexto Volume,

The ad hoc nature of the alliances made also demon-

strates the absence of ideological considerations. Of the

deputies seated in the federal chamber in 1963, almost 90

percent (367 of 409) belonged to five parties--PSD, 122;

PTB, 109; UDN, 94; PSP, 22; PDC, 20. A total of 163 of

those 367 deputies were elected by alliances. Applying

general characterizations used by many Brazilian political

analysts, the PSD and the UDN are conservative, the PDC

(Partido Democratico Cristao) is a centrist party, and the

79Data from Estados Unidos do Brasil, Tribunal Superior
Eleitoral (TSE), Dados Estatisticos, Quarto Volume: Elei-
FSes Federals, Estaduais, Realizadas no Brasil em 1958 e em
Confronto com Anteriores (Brasilia: Departamento de Imprensa
Nacional, 1961); and Estados Unidos do Brasil, TSE, Dados
Estatisticos, Sexto Volume, 1962 (Brasilia: Departamento de
Imprensa Nacional, 1964).

PTB and PSP are populist parties. The incidences of partic-

ipation in alliances by these characterizations is as


Conservative---Conservative 3
Conservative---Centrist 9
Conservative---Populist 11
Populist-------Centrist 3
Populist-------Populist 4

Corresponding figures for the same parties in the 1959

federal chamber are:

Conservative---Conservative 3
Conservative---Centrist 4
Conservative---Populist 18
Populist-------Centrist 3
Populist-------Populist 2

The growing use of such Machiavellian alliances had the

effect of further reducing the already fragile party cohe-

sion, making it more and more difficult for executive offi-

cials to establish stable legislative coalitions with which

to enact their programs. Because of the lower electoral

quotients, such alliances were used less often in the

elections for state deputies and municipal councilmen, but

in those bodies party fragmentation made stable coalitions

equally difficult. Party representation in the Sao Paulo

legislative assembly is shown in Table II. In other states

the situation was not as extreme, but it was a problem


80Sources of data: Dados Estatisticos 1958 and 1962.



Party 1954 1958 1962

PDC 4 11 12
PSD 11 7 7
PSP 17 16 13
PSB 4 6 2
PTB 8 6 12
PTN 7 10 11
UDN 7 9 11
PL 1 2 0
PRP 3 5 7
PR 7 7 12
PRT 3 6 9
PST 3 6 10
MTR 0 0 8

*From Oliveiros S. Ferreira, "A Crise de Poder do
'Sistema' e as Eleip6es Paulistas de 1962," RBEP, No. 16
(January, 1964), 223-224.

Party fragmentation was also less extreme in Congress,

but the rural, conservative bias of that institution made

difficult the passage of progressive legislation. As shown

in Table III, the PTB steadily increased its strength at the

expense of the rural clientelists (the PSD). The PTB never

enjoyed sufficient strength however, even in alliance with

some of the leftist small parties, to wrest control of

Congress from the rural politicians.

Party fragmention also had an adverse effect upon the

majority elections in that it prevented the actual use of

parties in those elections. Since no party was strong

enough to draw a majority of the votes, alliances were

required. The alliance had to choose a common candidate,

who, in order to be acceptable to all, had to be an obscure

mediocrity or a clever adventurer who would have to make

compromises and promises that might limit his effectiveness
in office. After the election the alliance would be

dissolved and the successful candidate left without the

solid base of party support necessary to fulfill the cam-

paign promises.



Year PSD UDN PTB Others Total Seats

1945 53% 27% 8% 12% 286
1950 37% 27% 17% 19% 304
1954 35% 23% 17% 25% 326
1958 35% 21% 20% 24% 326
1962 30% 23% 27% 20% 409

*Source: Glaucio Ary Dillon Soares, "A N8va Industriali-
zapao e o Sistema Politico do Brasil," Dados, II/III (1967),
48-49; and TSE, Dados Estatisticos, 1962. Party strength in
the Senate was quite similar.

The electoral reforms not only encouraged a new type of

clientelism, they also made the masses the source of legit-
imacy,82 but this new means of legitimacy did not result in

81Melo Franco, "Os Partidos Politicos Nacionais," p. 13.
See also Jo o de Scantimburgo, A Crise da Republica Presi-
dencial: Do Marechal Deodoro ao Marechal Castelo Branco
(Sao Paulo: Livraria Pioneira Editdra, 1969), pp. 270-272.
Party alliances in majority elections of the Third Republic
were actually very similar to the oligarchic alliances of
the First Republic.
See Octavio Ianni, Crisis in Brazil, trans. Phyllis B.
Eveleth (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970), pp. 51-
52; Francisco Weffort, "State and Mass in Brazil," in Masses
in Latin America, ed. Irving Louis Horowitz (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1970), p. 190; and Celso Furtado,
Diagnosis of the Brazilian Crisis, trans. Suzette Macedo

popular allocation of the scarce resources. Local govern-

mental units were still in the hands of the dominant eco-

nomic interests of the area, andyon the state and federal

levels, the middle sectors had been.given only a segment of

control since they were still economically dependent upon

the agricultural export sector.83 Politics was a compromise

between these competing sectors, and the chefe politico was

the means by which mass support was channeled to the area of

compromise, but since the chefe served the dominant economic

interests while controlling his supporters through his

personalistic relationship, few benefits and services flowed

back to the people. Frank Bonilla quotes Brazilian ob-

servers as saying in 1961 that "neither parties nor people"

can control the senators or deputies who are ultimately

responsive only to organized economic interests.84

With the chefe politico being able to control legis-

lative elections for the dominant economic interests through

his personalistic and somewhat paternal relationship with

his support group, a certain amount of frustration on the

part of the popular sector became apparent. The reform

legislation of the Estado N&vo directed the focus of many

voters, especially the urban voters of the newly

(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press,
1965), p. 67.

83Weffort, p. 188.

84"A National Ideology for Development," in Expectant
Peoples: Nationalism and Development, ed. K. H. Silvert
(New York: Random House, 1963), p. 255.

industrialized areas, beyond the local coronel or chefe

politico. The voter now looked to the State, the national

government, to take the lead in improving the condition of

the citizens.85 New tendencies then began to appear in the

political spectrum, some with ideological overtones, but

most characterized by demagogic populism,86 and because of

electoral reforms of the Vargas period, the masses were now

able to make their influence felt, at least in executive


Industrialization had not kept pace with urbaniza-

tion,87 and the result was a large group of unemployed or

marginally employed voters who were especially susceptible

to demagogic appeals. Since the parties and legislative

politics were under the control of the chefes, the en-

trenched officials, and the dominant economic interests88

85Marvin Harris, Town and Country in Brazil (New York:
Columbia University Press, 1956), p. 103.

86For a breakdown on the variations of these new tend-
encies, see Francisco Ferreira de Castro, Modernizagao e
Democracia: 0 Desafio Brasileiro (Brasilia: Ebrasa, 1969),
pp. 108-109; and Pessoa de Morals, pp. 118-134. Populism is
the term used by Brazilians for this form of mass appeal and
is defined by Helio Jaguaribe as a more-or-less direct, non-
traditional relationship between leader and masses based
upon the charisma of the leader and the hope of the masses
for immediate gratification of their social and economic
expectations when the leader achieves substantive political
power. See Problemas do Desenvolvimento Latino Americano:
Estudos de Politica (Rio de Janeiro: Editbra Civilizagao
Brasileira, 1967), p. 168.

87In the 1950-1960 decade industrial employment increased
28 percent while the urban population increased by 54 per-
cent. See Glaucio Soares, pp. 46-47. Some of this dis-
parity has been absorbed by the service sector, however.

88Pessoa de Morals, p. 224.

(all totally unrepresentative of the interests of the ma-

jority of voters),89 the voters turned to the one area where

they had some freedom from the political bosses, the majori-

tarian executive offices.90

In the proportional representation legislative elec-

tions, Brazilians voted for friends, friends of friends, a

goat (Pernambuco), a rhinoceros (Sao Paulo), and cast blank

ballots because voting was required and because they often

perceived the whole process of representation as a farce or

a game. But, according to Goffredo Telles Junior, they

would turn around and sincerely and passionately vote their

preference for president because he was really the "chief of

the nation."91 Presidential politics, and to a lesser

extent gubernatorial and mayoral politics as well, became

the outlet for the voters' frustration. The anomaly of a

president responsive to popular appeals and legislative and

bureaucratic structures responsive to clientelistic politi-

cal brokers led to the breakdown of the authoritarian

regime. The extent of political mobilization exceeded the

ability of the chefes to control that mobilization. The

890ne observer cynically remarked that parties are so
"representative" in their class composition that the PTB,
the party of the labor unions, accepts even workers in its
ranks. Vladimir Reisky de Dubnic, "A Crise do Sistema
Partidario Brasileiro," Revista de Direito Publico e Ciencia
Polftica, V (September/December, 1962), p. 82.

90Nelson de Sousa Sampaio, "Eleipses Baianas," RBEP,
No. 8 (April, 1960), 136-137.

91"Lineamento de uma Democracia Autenteca para o Brasil,"
Revista da Facultade de Direito (Sao Paulo), LVIII (1963),

new groups competed for political goods in a manner that

violated the exchange system of the clientage networks.

As political leadership became more and more frag-

mented, the authoritarian system based on clientelism became

successively more obstructed as voters divided their loyalty

between the local patrons and regional or national popu-

lists. The decline of the clientage networks was sufficient

to allow the election of populists to majoritarian offices

but, at the same time, insufficient to allow continued

support for the elected leaders. President Vargas, elected

as "the father of the poor people" in 1950, initially di-

vided his attention between his popular clients and the

clientelists of the system; but,as he progressively turned

to the popular groups for support, these popular forces

could not sustain him when he was challenged by the estab-

lished political actors. In anticipation of a coup d'1tat,

he committed suicide.

President Juscelino Kubitschek, elected in 1955 by a

PTB-PSD coalition, was able to complete his term by a

delicate balancing act which allowed him to avoid alienating

the clientelists while, at the same time, controlling the

emerging popular groups. Because of fortuitous economic

conditions during the first three years of his administra-

tion, he was able to satisfy the industrial, agricultural,

and military elites through a policy of developmental

nationalism and to satisfy urban workers through generous
wage settlements.9

Kubitschek was able to satisfy both the clientelists

and the popular groups because of his lifelong experience

with clientelistic politics and because the nation's finan-

cial situation allowed him to buy off the opposition. By

1959 the economic situation had deteriorated (in large

measure due to Kubitschek's free-spending policy) and as a

result, his successor, Jfnio Quadros, did not have the

resources to distribute, nor did he have the experience

with the clientage networks. Using the UDN party as a label

of convenience, he was elected president in 1960 as an anti-

system candidate whose promises of reform, efficiency, and

responsiveness drew widespread middle- and lower-class

support. Once in office, however, he found his proposals

for land reform, antitrust action, and limitation on profit

remission obstructed by the system politicians,93 and, in

frustration, he resigned the presidency.

Jo `o Goulart, the political heir of Vargas and the

official successor to Quadros, had been elected vice-

president in both 1955 and 1960 on the PSD-PTB ticket but

was so feared by military leaders and PSD and UDN politi-

cians that he was only allowed to assume the presidency

Skidmore, pp. 166-170.

93Mario Victor, Cinco Anos que Abalaram o Brasil (Janio
Quadros ao Marechal Castelo Bran-co) (Rio de Janeiro: Editbra
CivilizapAo Brasileira, 1965), pp. 90-138. The rather
enigmatic personality of Quadros also limited his ability to
attract legislative support.

under a hastily legislated parliamentary system. Goulart

successfully campaigned for defeat of that innovation, and

as a result of a national plebiscite in January, 1963, he

assumed full power with a return to the presidential system.

He then turned to demagoguery in an effort to organize

popular action with which to force the system politicians to

accept his proposed reforms. This act led both PSD and UDN

leaders to encourage action by the military. The contra-

diction between the conservative bias of the parties and the

legislative system, on the one hand, and the popular bias of

the presidential system, on the other hand, completely

stalled the political process and.invited, if not required,

intervention by the armed forces.

Brazil, from 1950 through March, 1964, experienced the

problems of a competitive, democratic structure imposed upon

an authoritarian system. As the emerging popular groups and

the populistic politicians successively challenged the

system, the clientage networks were progressively less able

to maintain control. Competition had been quite limited

prior to the 1930 Revolution. Between 1930 and 1937, com-

petition began to expand, only to be closed off again during

the Estado N3vo period. As competition gradually began to

expand again after 1946, the inherent contradiction between

clientage-based authoritarianism and populism resulted in

the failure of the latter to assume control. It was then up

to the armed forces to rebuild the political system on what

was left of the authoritarian base.



From 1961 to 1964, Brazil experienced what the exchange

model calls "hyper-inflation."l Party fragmentation and

increased mobilization expanded the number of patrons bid-

ding for authority allocations. The failure of the clien-

telists to provide political goods for their clients caused

frustrated sectors to look to populistic demagogues as new

patrons. These new patrons submitted their bids for au-

thority and, thus, further inflated the quantity of demands.

Concurrently the decreasing legitimacy of the Goulart gov-

ernment deflated authority and inhibited the ability of the

regime to respond to demands. The situation of hyper-

inflation invited intervention by the armed forces.

The role of interventor or arbiter is not a new one for

the Brazilian armed forces. With the fall of the Brazilian

monarchy, the armed forces assumed the "moderating power"

held by the monarch2 and intervened openly in Brazilian

Illchman and Uphoff, pp. 140-144.

john J. Johnson, The Military and Society in Latin
America (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 196T7,


politics on six occasions between the end of the Empire and

1964. In addition to these instances of overt intervention,

when conflicts among political groups created crises in the

authoritarian system, the Brazilian military often exerted

covert pressure in defense of institutional interests.

In spite of its political activity, the Brazilian

armed forces have been considered, by Latin American stand-

ards, to be generally legalistic and restrained, acting only

in crisis situations and refusing to violate public opinion

or legal norms for the profit of the military.3 The coup

which occurred in 1964, however, began a period of inter-

vention that was to be neither restrained nor legal. In

1964, according to Arnold Wald, the generals were again

forced to act:

Analyzing the military interventions in the political
life of the country, we must recognize that they were
less the specific will of the armed forces than the
existence of a political system which could not find
adequate solutions for the impasses, thus determining,
as a last resort, a military decision to impede the
complete dissolution of the political and administra-
tive process.

The hyper-inflation which was obstructing the authoritarian

system prior to March 31, 1964, was apparently perceived by

p. 196. The "moderating power" was taken as the unofficial
right or duty to be the ultimate judge of political dis-

3Fernando Pedreira, Mar o 31: Civis e Militares no Pro-
cesso da Crise Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro: Jose Alvaro,
1964), pp. 3T-40; and John Johnson, pp. 224-231.

Desenvolvimento, Revolugao e Democracia (Rio de Janeiro:
EditSra Fundo de Cultura, 1966), pp. 41-42.

the military leaders to be a problem which could not be

solved by the traditional moderating power. The generals

grudgingly decided that the political system would have to

be rebuilt during an extended period of military rule.

Prolonged intervention, then, would require the soldiers to

create a support base that would extend beyond the barracks.

In a praetorian society such as Brazil, widespread

support is not necessary for the mere overthrow of the

existing government. First of all, the armed forces with

their discipline, organization, and firepower are well-

equipped for the task of seizing power.5 Secondly, the

heterogeneity of elite groups and the several coexisting

forms of legitimacy in an authoritarian polity ensure the

armed forces of some civilian support, especially in a

crisis situation. Such societies have many "power con-

tenders," each of which has its own legitimate means of

demonstrating its power capability.6 With no single uni-

versally accepted means of resolving conflicts, one or more

power contenders may support a military solution.7

5For a discussion of the interventionist capabilities of
the military in developing nations, see Morris Janowitz, The
Military in the Political Development of New Nations: An
Essay in Comparative Sociology (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1964), pp. 31-40 (hereinafter referred to as
Political Development); and S. E. Finer, The Man on Horse-
back: The Role of the Military in Politics (New York:
Praeger, 1962), p. .

See Charles W. Anderson, Politics and Economic Change in
Latin America: The Governing of Restless Nations (Princeton:
Van Nostrand, 1967), pp. 93-101.

7Huntington, Political Order, pp. 194-198; Andreski,
pp. 105-106; Janowitz, Political Development, p. 29; and
McAlister, p. 89.


The responsiveness of the armed forces to the en-

treaties of civilian groups seems to increase as the mili-

tary becomes more modern and professional. The career

military officer is both a professional soldier and a public

servant. The professional role dictates an obedience to the

political regime (and thus no political activity), but at

the same time, the role gives the officer access to the

means of violence. The servant role requires the officer to

protect the "national interest" and, thus, may allow the of-

ficer to judge the political output of the regime.9 The

addition of the servant role may decrease the aloofness of

the heroic soldier and make him more aware of the effects of

public policy to the point that he may wish to intervene in

order to repair a disrupted political system.10

Professionalism in the military has expanded to include

the necessity for an awareness of the effect of domestic

policy upon national security. The Cuban Revolution and the

fear of communist opportunism in situations of political

8Samuel P. Huntington in The Soldier and the State: The
Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1957), p. 84, argues that military
professionalism will facilitate civilian control and thus
inhibit military intervention. Finer, p. 24, argues the

9Kenneth Fidel, "Military Organization and Conspiracy in
Turkey," Studies in Comparative International Development,
VI (1970-1971), pp. 24-25. See also Morris Janowitz, "The
Armed Forces and Society in Western Europe," European
Journal of Sociology, VI (August, 1965), pp. 233-237.

10George Andrew Kourvetaris, "Professional Self-Images
and Political Perspectives in the Greek Military," American
Sociological Review, XXXVI (December, 1971), 1053-1054.

crisis have caused the armed forces of developing nations to

extend the concept of security to encompass all aspects of

social and political life.11 A perceived fear of a ccmmu-

nist take-over encouraged the Brazilian generals to act in

1964. A similar fear of communist success prompted the

Greek colonels to take power in 1967. Fear of an antici-

pated consolidation of popular groups into an unmanageable

political force pressed the Peruvian army into action in

1968.12 Economic chaos brought military intervention into

Ghanaian politics in 1966 and 1971.13 Political chaos and

corruption were used to justify the military coup of Janu-

ary, 1966, in Nigeria.14

11William Gutteridge, Military Institutions and Power in
New States (New York: Praeger, 1965), p. 133; and Alfred
Stepan, The Military in Politics: Changing Patterns in
Brazil (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971),
p. 173. See also Edward Felt, The Armed Bureaucrats:
Military-Administrative Regimes and Political Development
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973), pp. 6-8.

1See Kourvetaris, p. 1054; and Julio Cotler, "Political
Crisis and Military Populism in Peru," Studies in Compara-
tive International Development, VI (1970-19717, 101-102.

13Claude E. Welch, "Praetorianism in Commonwealth West
Africa," The Journal of Modern African Studies, X (July,
1972), 212-21 4.
14Ibid., pp. 216-217. See also A. R. Luckham, "Institu-
tional Transfer and Breakdown in a New Nation: The Nigerian
Military," Administrative Science Quarterly, XVI (December,
1971), 402-403. The July, 1966,coup in Nigeria arose prima-
rily from ethnic considerations, a nonprofessional factor,
but one which can obviously generate support in the civilian
sector of society. For a discussion of this politization of
!primordial ties," see Aristide R. Zolberg, "The Structure
of Political Conflict in the New States of Tropical Africa,"
American Political Science Review, LXII (March, 1968), 73-
74, 80-83.

Professionalism may also prompt soldiers to intervene

in defense of institutional interests, which the soldiers

relate to their national security function. The armies of

the new African states have, in some instances, intervened

because of job competition or defense budget considera-

tions.15 In many of the praetorian societies of Latin

America, civilian regimes have been able to buy military

support by granting salary increases, budget increases, and

fringe benefits. Economic problems and progressive social

legislation, however, quite often threatened to dilute the

privileges of the military officers and weaken the military

capability of the armed forces and, thus, encouraged mili-

tary intervention.16 It is significant that the proportion

of the national budget allocated to the Brazilian armed

forces dropped six percentage points in the two years prior

to the 1954 attempted coup d'6tat and dropped to an all-time

low in 1964.17 Intervention based on the protection of

15See Welch, pp. 220-221; J. M. Lee, African Armies and
Civil Order (New York: Praeger, 1969), pp. 89-97; and
Michael F. Lofchie, "The Uganda Coup," Journal of Modern
African Studies, X (May, 1972), 30-31.
16Needler, p. 618; and Ross K. Baker, A Study of Military
Status and Status Deprivation in Three Latin American Armies
(Washington: Center for Research in Social Systems, 1967),
pp. 7-8.

17The defense budget decreased from 32.5 percent in 1952
to 26.5 percent in 1954 and then rose to 29 percent in 1957.
From there it decreased steadily to a low of 14 percent in
1964 and then jumped to 20.9 percent in 1965 and 25 percent
in 1967. Statistics derived from A Economia Brasileira e
Sus Perspectivas, Vol. 8 (Rio de Janeiro: APEC Editora,
1969). Another institutional factor which encouraged the
Brazilian generals to act in 1964 was a series of mutinies.

institutional or personal interests does not, of course,

elicit much support from civilian groups, but institutional

interests may provide the level of military cohesion that

will allow the armed forces to intervene in a crisis situa-


Armies can overthrow governments because armies have a

near monopoly over the means of violence. Support is neces-

sary for a coup d'etat, but the threat of violence is the

critical factor. Armies are crisis organizations, and,for

this reason, they are generally successful in attempts to

overthrow governments because a coup is similar to the type

of crisis activity for which armies train.18 This crisis

orientation that facilitates intervention by the military,

however, is the very factor that mitigates against rule by

the military. Janowitz contends that military officers lack

the leadership skills required for bargaining and political

communications and are, thus, doomed to failure as rulers

because they will never compromise.19 On the other hand,

there is much evidence to indicate that the military can

serve as a modernizing force able to develop a national

consciousness, to incorporate modern practices and tech-

nology, and to foster social and economic reforms.20

8According to Felt, pp. 121-122, the 1967 coup in Greece
followed a NATO contingency plan.

19Janowitz, Political Development, p. 28.

20See Pye, "Armies in the Process of Political Moderni-
zation"; Manfred Halpern, "Middle Eastern Armies and the New
Middle Class," in The Role of the Military in Underdeveloped
States, ed. John J. Johnson7Princeton: Princeton University

The relationship is simplified by Huntington as a func-

tion of the level of social development of the society. "In

the world of oligarchy, the soldier is a radical; in the

middle-class world he is a participant and arbiter; as the

mass society looms on the horizon he becomes the conserva-

tive defender of the existing order."21 The middle-class

orientation of military intervention and rule is a result of

the armed forces' desire to create or preserve a political

context which is more open and rational than that of an oli-

garchical system and which does not threaten military status

as a result of the social reforms of a mass democracy.22

Thus, in the case of all developing nations except

those with oligarchical systems, Huntington puts the mili-

tary in an essentially negative role and seems to conclude

that political change can be accomplished only by external

intervention or a social revolution. Conservative change,

as described by Chalmers Johnson, is highly unlikely. In

particular, Huntington contends that most Latin American

societies (and by extrapolation probably most South Asian

Press, 1962); Daniel Lerner and Richard D. Robinson, "Swords
and Ploughshares: The Turkish Army as a Modernizing Force,"
World Politics, XIII (October, 1960), 19-44; and John
Johnson, pp. 244-267.
Political Order, p. 221. Huntington here seems to
accept the thesis of Jose Nun that the middle classes of
such nations are caught in a squeeze between rising popular
forces and the traditional elite and that only with the
support of the most modern middle-class organization, the
military, can their position be maintained. See Nun,
pp. 145-185.

22See Huntington, Political Order, p. 224; and Finer,
p. 47.

societies as well) are too advanced "to be susceptible to

salvation by military reform" because he sees little possi-

bility that the armed forces of such nations can become

effective political brokers.23

In spite of the argument against a solution by military

reform, the armed forces are in power in many transitional

states of Latin America, Asia, and Africa; and there is

little evidence to suggest that they will voluntarily fade

from the political picture or that other social groups will

be able to dislodge them forcibly.24 If the armed forces

cannot be pushed out of the political arena in states that

are in the middle stages of political modernization (for

example South Korea or Greece), then perhaps Huntington has

oversimplified the situation by stating that the soldiers

could not be effective rulers in such situations.25

Huntington's generalization seems to be dependent upon the

assumption that societies in the middle stages of develop-

ment have well-developed and autonomous interest organizations

23Political Order, pp. 228-229. The inability of mili-
tary leaders to handle complex political problems is also
brought out by Edwin Lieuwen, "Militarism and Politics in
Latin America," in The Role of the Military in Underde-
veloped Countries, ed. John J. Johnson (Princeton: Princeton.
University Press, 1962), p. 155; and Horowitz, "Political
Legitimization and the Institutionalization of Crisis in
Latin America," p. 64.

24McAlister, pp. 141-142.

25Huntington's contention that soldiers are radicals in
societies in the early stages of political modernization
appears to be an oversimplification also. See Robert M.
Price, "Military Officers and Political Leadership: The
Ghanaian Case," Comparative Politics, III (April, 1971),

that will thwart the efforts of middle-class military

leadership to effect political change.

The assumption of autonomy is questionable. In the

development of the Western European states, religious,

cultural, or class phenomena were the prime movers in the

creation of political parties and their parallel interest

organizations.26 In societies where such profound cleavages

do not exist, interest organizations, especially those with

a mass membership, have been slow in developing unless some

factor not directly related to politics, such as an economic

or social benefit, was present.27 In developing nations,

reformist regimes that seek to establish bases of support or

to emulate the more politically developed nations often

sponsor and subsidize the formation of mass-based interest

organizations. In this manner both the peasant and labor

"sectors" were created in Mexico and have largely remained

captives of the regime since their creation.28 Similarly

in the urban slums of Venezuela, political mobilization has

generally been initiated by outsiders--political party

26See Seymour M. Lipset and Stein Rokkan (eds), "Cleavage
Structures, Party Systems, and Voter Alignments: An Intro-
duction," in Party Systems and Voter Alignments: Cross-
National Perspectives (New York: Free Press, 1967), pp. 52-
See Mancur Olson, Jr., The Logic of Collective Action:
Public Goods and the Theory of Groups (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1965), pp. 132-159.
28Pablo Gonzalez Casanova, Democracy in Mexico, trans.
Danielle Salti (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970),
pp. 14-17.

workers, labor union leaders, and especially people con-

nected with government agencies.29

Where popular urban and agrarian groups are mobilized

for political action (i.e., politicized) by personalistic

leaders or representatives of other political organizations,

the popular organizations generally lack autonomy or, to use

Huntington's terminology, they have not become institutions.

Thus, it seems possible that a military regime could depo-

liticize these groups by removing or co-opting the leader-

ship while middle-class groups or the soldiers themselves

are developing stable institutions for protracted political


Another assumption which apparently causes scholars to

doubt the ability of the military to effect reform is that

military officers are thought to have little experience in

entrepreneurial or brokerage roles. Where the boundaries of

the military organization are integral (i.e., relations with

the outside environment are under strict control of the

command hierarchy), the assumption often is correct, but the

boundaries appear to be fragmented in many developing na-

tions allowing military men extensive interaction with

29Talton F. Ray, The Politics of the Barrios of Venezuela
(Berkeley:and Los Angeles: University of California Press,
1969), pp. 81-83.

30Depolitization has received little attention by social
science scholars. Daniel Goldrich mentions its possibility
in his essay "Toward the Comparative Study of Politicization
in Latin America," in Contemporary Cultures and Societies of
Latin America, eds. Dwight B. Heath and Richard N. Adams
(New York: Random House, 1965), pp. 362-363.

civilian groups.31 Boundary fragmentation tends to increase

as the soldiers become more cognizant of the effect of

political and economic policies upon national security.

Moreover, where the fragmented boundaries have allowed

military officers on active duty to perform roles ordinarily

reserved for civilians--nonmilitary bureaucratic tasks,

management of economic enterprises, teaching, nonmilitary

construction management, etc.--the entrepreneurial experi-

ence apparently enhances the ability of the military leaders

to provide solutions to the mobilization-institutionaliza-

tion gap. Especially when the military does not have a

strong partisan position, an entrepreneurial military

regime may have "success in establishing order and security,

the repression of insurgent minorities, the drive for the

foundation of new economic enterprises, the elimination of

traditional political parties and the establishment of new

political frameworks . ."32 Military governments, by

redirecting investments, by limiting consumption, and/or by

frustrating redistribution of wealth, have been remarkably

successful in achieving high rates of economic develop-


31A. R. Luckham, "A Comparative Typology of Civil-
Military Relations," Government and Opposition, VI (Winter,
1971), 17-18, 27-33.
32Moshe Lissak, "Modernization and Role Expansion of the
Military in Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis,"
Comparative Studies in Society and History, IX (April,
1967), 254-255. -

33Irving Louis Horowitz, "The Military as a Subculture,"
in Protagonists of Change: Subcultures in Development and
Revolution, ed. Abdul A. Said (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-
Hall, 1971), pp. 44-47.

The contention that a military regime in an advanced

developing nation must mobilize mass participation in order

to maintain power34 can also be countered by stating that

the military needs only to control or co-opt the relevant

political forces of the society. It is logical to argue

that,if military leaders have extensive political contacts

and experiences, the calculations which convince the leaders

that a military take-over is feasible "may include the

assumptions or experiences that masses in a particular

country are neutral, negligible, or easily manipulable."35

Certainly the acquisition of managerial skills by the "mili-

tary manager"36 and the political awareness of the profes-

sional national security manager gives the military officer

the confidence ihat he can use the political resources at

his disposal to secure sufficient support.37

Furthermore, it may be reasonably easy for the military

rulers to elicit at least the passive support of strategic

groups. The reformist doctrine of the new type of military

ruler may be sufficiently attractive to some groups to

counter their dislike for coercion and control.38 If the

34Huntington, Political Order, p. 241; and Janowitz,
Political Development, p. 29.

35Ann Ruth Wilner, "Perspectives on Military Elites as
Rulers and Wielders of Power," Journal of Comparative Ad-
ministration, II (November, 1970), 268.

36Janowitz, Political Development, pp. 40-42.

37Kourvetaris, pp. 1055-1056.

8For a discussion of the appeal of the new doctrinaire
military rulers, see Jose Enrique Miguens, "The New Latin
American Military Coup," Studies in Comparative International

military government produces policy, it will also earn the

support of the civilian bureaucracy for as Feit states:

"Bureaucrats of all kinds will accept rulers who rule,

whether good or evil, for not to do so would threaten the

very principle [discipline on which organizations rest."39

The coup d'etat of March 31, 1964, in Brazil marked the

end of the arbiter role for the Brazilian armed forces and

the beginning of a new role as ruler. Contrary to the

pessimistic prognosis of Huntington, the prospects for

continued military governance in Brazil seem to be good.

First of all, interest associations have not been able to

match the influence of clientelistic politicians. Interest

associations do exist in Brazil, but the primary means of

securing the desired governmental action is through the

clientage system.40 This situation insulates the government

from group pressures--and, thus, gives the government

greater freedom for policy innovations--since political

goods are allocated on an individual basis rather than on a

sector basis. The government has more discretionary options

in dispensing rewards because value allocations are treated

Development, VI (1970-1971), 8-11. In Peru middle-class
attitudes toward the military were mixed positive and nega-
tive, while the urban lower class supports the authority and
reformism of the military. To the rural Indian, the sol-
diers are disliked as just another symbol of hated author-
ity. See Luigi R. Einaudi, The Peruvian Military: A Sum-
mary Political Analysis (Santa Monica, California: The RAND
Corporation, RM-6042-PR, May, 1969), pp. 8-10.

39Feit, p. 11.
40Leff, pp. 118-131.

as rewards or favors and not as a service which is owed to

the client.4

The patron-client relationship also gives the govern-

ment a means of controlling incipient opposition elements.

Since the patron's position depends upon his ability to

deliver collective goods to his clients, the government may

block the patron's access to the administrative structure,

thereby weakening his control over his supporters. Where an

institutionalized interest association would search for a

new point of access (perhaps within an organized opposition

group), in a clientage system the clients search for a new


The interest associations that do function should

present little difficulty for a Brazilian military govern-

ment. The associations which might logically oppose a

military regime have enjoyed little autonomy. Urban labor

in Brazil was brought into the political arena by the cor-

poratist government of Getulio Vargas, and it has not been

able to break out of that control.42 Urban labor syndicates

are controlled by pelegos--clientelists who play the role of

labor advocates but generally serve the government.43 Rural

workers' syndicates also have a potential for strong

41James C. Scott, Comparative Political Corruption
(Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1972, 1972), pp. 14-15.

42Melo Franco, Hist3ria e Teoria, pp. 99-100; and
Weffort, pp. 390-391.

43For a discussion of labor organizations in Brazil, see
Schmitter, pp. 188-194.

opposition. At the time of the 1964 coup, however, these

groups were neither intensively nor extensively organized

and, in general, they were "follower" groups--successors to

the patriarchical leader-follower arrangements of the tra-
ditional culture. Just as the government could substitute

loyal pelegos in urban labor syndicates for those whose

loyalty was questionable, the unequal nature of the leader-

follower arrangement in peasant groups also allowed the

substitution of loyal leaders, who could then consolidate

their positions through access to the administrative struc-


The only truly autonomous opposition association in

1964 was the students' organization, which proved trouble-

some, but because of the limited membership could be iso-

lated and repressed. Other interest associations such as

the employer and commercial associations enjoyed autonomy,

but they were generally in agreement with the goals of the

military regime, especially in reference to developmental

policy and the need to control the mobilization of urban and
rural workers.45 Thus, the industrial, commercial, and

agricultural elite could be expected to be co-opted by the

policies of an authoritarian military regime; urban and

4Benno Galjart, "Class and 'Following' in Rural Brazil,"
America Latina, VII (July/September, 1964), 3-4
See Luigi R. Einaudi and Alfred C. Stepan III, Latin
American Institutional Development: Changing Military
Perspectives in Peru and Brazil (Santa Monica, California:
The RAND Corporation, R-56-DOS, April, 1971), pp. 88-89.

rural workers' groups could be co-opted by a carrot-and-

stick approach of payoffs for cooperation and coercion for

noncooperation; and other groups, such as students, could be

repressed or ignored.

Another factor which should enhance the ability of the

Brazilian armed forces to control and direct the political

system is the fragmentation of institutional boundaries.

The moderator role which traditionally accrued to the mili-

tary after the fall of the monarchy is evidence of some

boundary fragmentation. In the political crises of 1930,

1945, 1954, and 1964, many civilians openly requested mili-

tary intervention to restrain or to overthrow the existing

government.46 As the crisis heated up in late 1963 and

early 1964, civilian demands for military intervention were

common and were matched by complaints coming from within the

armed forces. Middle- and senior-grade officers objected to

the effect of inflation upon their salaries, the chaotic

state of the national economy, the growing use of violence

by rural and urban popular groups, the politization of

promotions, the acceptance of open communist activity, and

the granting of amnesty to rebellious enlisted men.47

The expanded conception of national security further

fragmented military boundaries. Military officers became

aware of the political, social, and economic context of

4For examples of the editorial pleas for military
action, see Stepan, pp. 93-115.

7See Einaudi and Stepan, pp. 78-80.

national security, and some favored military action to set

up a strong government to end the recurring crises.8 The

vehicle for imparting this new awareness was the Escola

Superior de Guerra (ESG), organized-in 1949 by the "Sor-

bonne" group. 9 Generally attended by the more ambitious

and intelligent officers, the ESG imbued its students with

the necessity for a moral and economic redemption of Brazil,

which would enable the nation to take its rightful role in

the struggle of the "Christian West" against the "Communist

East."50 Students of the Superior War College heard lec-

tures from distinguished scholars and, in study groups,

formulated policy programs for dealing with security and

developmental problems.51

In addition to expanding the intellectual horizons of

military officers, the ESG experience also fostered contact

with the political and economic power structure. Stepan

reports thatby 1966, the list of ESG graduates included 599

military officers, 224 men from private industry and

48Pedreira, p. 41.
49A group of officers (including Castelo Branco) who had
studied at the French War College.

50Evans, pp. 279-280.
51Ronald M. Schneider, The Political System of Brazil:
Emergence of a "Modernizing" Authoritarian Regime, 1964-1970
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1971), pp. 245-251.
National security and national development were treated as
distinct problems, but in the context of the overall philos-
ophy of the ESG, the problems were intimately related. For
an example of the universal approach to the subject of
national security, see General Golbery do Couto e Silva,
Geopolitica do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: Livaria Jose Olympio,

commerce, 200 from the major governmental ministries, 97

from autonomous governmental agencies, 39 federal congress

men, 23 state and federal judges, and 107 professionals such

as professors, writers, economists, doctors, and clergymen.52

The contacts made during the year-long course are maintained

through an alumni association which publishes a journal and

holds periodic meetings and seminars to study new prob-


At the administrative level, military boundaries have

been fragmented since the Estado NOvo period. On one occa-

sion during the second presidency of Vargas, 25 percent of

the cabinet were military men.54 Brazilian army officers

have extensive experience in administrative roles through

service in frontier settlements, civic-action construction

projects, civic-action health and sanitary advisory pro-

grams, management of critical industrial facilities, and

participation in research and planning councils.55 The army

provides top executives for the National Steel Company,

which operates Brazil's largest steel-producing facility; the

Rio Doce Company, which is the major ore producer and ship-

per; and Petrobras, the government oil monopoly. Air Force

officers are prominent as top management officials in

52Stepan, p. 177.

53Schneider, pp. 250-251.

54Baker, p. 78.

55Max Garrett Manwaring, The Military in Brazilian poli-
tics (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 19687
pp. 90-95.

civilian factories, airlines, the weather service, and

airport administration. Naval officers are involved in

shipping concerns, port facilities, and the development of

telecommunications and nuclear energy.5 John J. Johnson

reports that, in 1961, approximately 1,100 Brazilian military

officers were on detached duty, serving in civilian posi-

tions in national, state, and local government.57 The size

of the military budget is also an indication of the scope of

activity of military officers. In 1965 the armed forces,

which comprised 0.3 percent of the population, handled a

full 3 percent of the gross national product of Brazil.58

The fragmented boundaries of the Brazilian military

should have given the officers not only experience in ad-

ministration and policy formulation but also a feel for the

necessity of maintaining political support. Furthermore,

this experience should have given the officers the confi-

dence that they could be effective administrators and po-

litical brokers at the same time. Such confidence indeed

seems to be an important factor in whether or not the armed

forces will remain in power after a coup. Einaudi and

Stepan contend that the Brazilian generals were content with

the moderator role prior to the 1960's because they had

56Ibid., pp. 95-96. See also John Johnson, pp. 211-212.

57p. 211.

58Paulo de Castro Moreira da Silva, "As Ativadades
Paralelas das Forcas Armadas," Cadernos Brasileiros, VIII
(November-December, 1966), 59.

relative confidence in the ability of civilians to rule and

because they had little confidence in their own political

capability.59 The recurring crises from 1961 to 1964 de-

stroyed the generals' confidence in civilian rule; and the

administrative experience discussed above, plus foreign and

internal military action and the acquisition of a develop-

mental doctrine, enhanced the generals' confidence in


Brazil was the only Latin American nation to send

ground combat troops to participate in World War II. After

a fitful start the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) en-

joyed great success against the German forces in Italy.

From this experience, the Brazilian armed forces acquired a

new status as the defenders of democracy and national honor

with a panoply of heroes and heroic experiences. In addition

the officers who served in the FEB developed a strong appreci-

ation for the necessity of planning, unity, and cooperation.

The FEB experience also impressed its participants--

many of whom went on to be the organizers of the ESG--with

the importance of the social, economic, and political requi-

sites for a modern army. The officers became open admirers

of the democracy and economic organization of the United

States.6 As the Cold War became the dominant factor in

international politics, the relationship between national

development and national security gained more emphasis. The

59Einaudi and Stepan, pp. 75-76.

60Stepan, pp. 242-248.

Cuban Revolution and the threat of internal war further

expanded the social and political basis for national secu-

rity. And the development of the ESG doctrine identified

the defense of the "Christian West," in general, and Brazil,

in particular, with a strong national economy and a stable

political and social structure. Thus, General Golbery warns

that "indirect Communist aggression . capitalizes on

local discontents, the frustrations of misery and hunger,

and just nationalist anxieties. . ."61 As the ESG studied

the developmental and security aspects of inflation, agrar-

ian reform, electoral and party systems, transportation, and

education, as well as internal and conventional warfare,

there began to develop a military-political prescription.

This doctrine, although not universally accepted by all

military officers, gained more acceptance as the political

crisis deepened,62 and it was apparently the existence of

the doctrine that gave the generals the requisite confidence

to retain control of the government.

The fragmentation of the armed forces' institutional

boundaries will often increase the soldiers' confidence in

their ability to govern, but it may also be detrimental to

military rule since fragmentation may "reduce the army's

cohesion, the unity of its authority, and its ability to

bargain and seek its interests as a single monopolistic

61Golbery, p. 198

62Einaudi and Stepan, pp. 83-84. Castelo Branco's close
association with the ESG was apparently one of the reasons
for his selection as the head of the first military govern-

group."63 Permeated boundaries subject the military to the

same conflicts which exist in the civilian sector. Armed

forces which have fragmented boundaries are less involved in

such conflicts (that is, they are somewhat insulated from

these conflicts), but increased awareness of politics may

result in a mirror effect within the armed forces.

Factionalism has not been an unusual phenomenon in the

Brazilian armed forces. The revolt of the Tenentes in 1922

was a result of a schism within the army between the en-

trenched generals, who backed the power of the landed oli-

garchy, and the junior-grade officers who wanted to reform

both the military and Brazilian society. The Tenente move-

ment itself had several ideological strains, but with the

1930 Revolution, the factionalism was partially resolved by

the institution of moderate reforms and the repression of

the left wing, led by Luis Carlos Prestes.64

Following World War II a new cleavage over national

development, particularly over petroleum policy, emerged.

At the one extreme were the nationalists who preferred

exploitation of resources by Brazilians only. At the other

extreme were those of the "Cruzada Democratica" (Democratic

Crusade), who favored development by the best means

6Luckham, "A Comparative Typology of Civil-Military
Relations," p. 14.

64See John D. Wirth, "Tenentismo in the Brazilian Revo-
lution of 1930," Hispanic American Historical Review, XLIV
(May, 1966), 161-179; and ose'Artur Rios, "Atualidade de
Tenentismo," Cadernos Brasileiros, VIII (November-December,
1966), 9-16.


possible.65 In between these two groups were the legalists

who generally opposed overt military involvement in politi-

cal affairs. The Cruzada Democratica forces (with backing

from many of the anti-communist legalists) soundly defeated

the nationalists in the May, 1952,Military Club election,

and in early 1954, the conservative group forced the resig-

nation of Labor Minister Goulart. In August, 1954,they were

foiled in their planned coup d'etat by President Vargas'

suicide. When Juscelino Kubitschek, a Vargas protege, was

elected president in October, 1955, the conservative faction

again plotted a golpe, but it was frustrated by a counter-

coup led by General Lott, the legalist War Minister.66

Following the 1952 Military Club election, some of the

more radical nationalists were disciplined by the army, and

during the Kubitschek regime a similar fate befell the more

active conspirators of the Democratic Crusade. This did not

resolve the factionalism, however. Communism was perceived

as the major threat, and the cleavage over how to handle

this threat remained. In 1961 following President Quadros'

65This dispute was generally fought within the confines
of the Clube Militar although there were civilian supporters
for both groups. The Cruzada Democratica was largely a
group of FEB veterans, who had less fear of "U.S. imperi-
alism" than the nationalists, primarily because of their
experience of cooperation with the U.S. during W.W. II.
For an extensive discussion of this struggle, see Nelson
Werneck Sodre, Historia Militar do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro:
Editora Civilizapao Brasileira, -968), pp. 304-355.

A good discussion of this interesting succession of
plots and counter-plots is contained in Skidmore, pp. 87-

hasty resignation, the former members of the Cruzada Demo-

cratica attempted to take power in order to prevent Vice-

President Goulart's assumption of the presidency (an event

which the rightists believed would deliver the country over

to communists). This coup was foiled by the legalists, and

Goulart was allowed to take office. The three-way strug-

gle among the anti-communist right, the legalist center, and

the nationalist left continued through 1963.

By the end of 1963, Goulart's ineffective leadership

had cost him much of his support. The few leftist officers

who continued to support him were isolated. Thus, there

was an appearance of military unity in early 1964. A vast

majority of military officers saw communism and governmental

corruption as increasingly severe threats to the security of

the nation, and they were nearly unanimous in placing the

blame on Goulart and his political allies.69 The Goulart

experiment had driven most of the legalists to the activist

camp and had isolated the leftists so that they could be

purged or slowly pushed out. Unity and cohesion were more

67He was not allowed full power, however. To allay the
fears of many conservative politicians and generals, Congress
hastily devised a parliamentary system. Goulart was granted
full power by a January, 1963 plebiscite which repealed the
parliamentary system.
Economic crisis, civil unrest, and especially Goulart's
support of enlisted men's revolts cost Goulart support of
the legalists and some leftist officers. Sodre, p. 402,
however, argues that the troop rebellions were the fault of
the example of the generals' own indiscipline demonstrated
by their illegal political activity.

69Einaudi and Stepan, p. 84.

apparent than real, however. After the March 31, 1964,

coup, a new cleavage developed. This new cleavage involved

the type of development strategy the military government

would dictate.

The major points of difference between the surviving

groups (the ESG officers and the right nationalists)7 in-

volved the following issues: the role of private foreign

capital; the means for dealing with the threat of communism;

the relationship with the United States; the length of mili-
tary rule; and the extent of political purges. This con-

flict within the military was to be the major problem for

military rule in Brazil. Yet the mere fact that this was to

be the major problem is highly significant. The officers

seldom questioned their abilityto rule; they only questioned

how to rule. Civil-military relations in Brazil had reached

a point where the officers were confident that they could

manipulate their political resources in such a way as to

maintain the requisite support for staying in power. Policy

questions would result in occasional open conflicts that

would give the civilians faint glimmers of hope, but the

resolve of the officers was to stay in power until their job

was completed. Just how they allocated political goods in

70The core of the Cruzada Democratica had split into
essentially two groups. One group, closely associated with
the ESG, espoused a tutelary democracy that would foster
economic development with the help of private domestic and
foreign capital. The other group was less interested in
democracy and development and more interested in moral
redemption and the control of communism.

71Einaudi and Stepan, p. 90.


order to stay in power and to perform the task which they

defined for themselves is, thus, a legitimate study of

political economy.



The argument against protracted rule by the military in

praetorian societies experiencing the middle stages of

modernization generally hinges upon the proposition that the

military leaders in such societies will not be able to

generate sufficient political support.1 The importance of

political support cannot be overlooked since demands coming

from both the environment and from within the political

system itself usually increase steadily if the system does

not process them in some way (i.e., either satisfy or reject

and suppress demands). Support is the energy which allows
the system to process the demands, but also the performance

capability of the system determines in large measure the

ability of the system to elicit various types of support.

In the creation of support in a praetorian society, the

prime requisite appears to be the development of a

1Huntington, Political Order, pp. 261-263.

Easton, "An Approach to the Analysis of Political Sys-
tems," p. 390.

For a discussion of the various types of political sup-
ports, see Easton, Systems Analysis, pp. 157-161, 249-266.


government, that is, a "generalized membership unit pos-

sessing (a) defined responsibilities for the maintenance of

the society of which it is a part and (b) a practical mo-

nopoly of coercive powers."4 Charles W. Anderson argues

that this is a basic problem of Latin American political

systems--that there are many "power contenders," each with

its own "power capability."5 In his prescription for rep-

resentative pluralism, however, Anderson ignores the fact

that,before representative pluralism can function, political

power must be centered in governmental institutions.

Huntington makes fundamentally the same diagnosis for

not just Latin American nations but for most developing

nations. In a politically backward society, each leader or

group pursues its own interests with the method that is most

effective for the particular actor.7 Thus, before a polit-

ical system can effectively process demands and build a

solid base of support, it must first consolidate political


David E. Apter, "A Comparative Method for the Study of
Politics," The American Journal of Sociology, LXIV (Novem-
ber, 1968), 224.

5Politics and Economic Change in Latin America: The
Governing of Restless Nations, pp. 87-114.

6Ibid., pp. 367-381.

7Political Order, pp. 30-31, 78-87.

Ibid., pp. 143-147.

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