Two in a week!
December 31, 2001 5:28 AM   Subscribe

Two in a week! That must be a record or something. Nobody knows where is Argentina going, and the rioters keep making damages in the capital. Nice way to spend the New Year's eve.
posted by Flor (10 comments total)
Flor: I'm just afraid this power vacuum will bring about Peronism at its worst. Or worse. Grave economic crises, along with indifference from the democratic political elite, sometimes produce dictatorships in countries which speak Spanish or Portuguese...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:37 AM on December 31, 2001

Perhaps Falklanders are setting out hedgehogs and Belgian gates as we speak.
posted by dhartung at 8:35 AM on December 31, 2001

Miguel? It happens in countries where English is spoken, too. *wink*
posted by allaboutgeorge at 8:54 AM on December 31, 2001

> Miguel? It happens in countries where English is spoken,
> too. *wink*

Thas' right! And you only have to go back to 1653 to find an example in a major English-speaking country (namely England.) On Dec. 16th of that year
Oliver Cromwell, with the support of the army, dissolved Parliament and became a military dictator. Anybody got a more recent example in England, the U.S., Canada or Australia of a colonel, general or military junta with no pretense of electoral credentials sending the civilian government home and taking power at gunpoint?Say, what language gave us junta anyway? Just asking.
posted by jfuller at 9:33 AM on December 31, 2001

what language gave us junta anyway?
Junta is a word common to many "latin" languages, among them Spanish, Portugese, Catalan... If I'm not mistaken. I haven't found which was the one which brought it into international use because junta is such a common word and is used for all types of committees and boards (football clubs, schools, town councils...) . The dictatorship connotation is one of many meanings and what you're probably looking for is the first use in an English publication using to to mean Latin American style military dictatorship. I've come up a blank on that front.
Almost all English-speaking countries were colonies until this century (making domestic dictatorships not only difficult but also rather useless), which I suppose is your reason for only including England, US, Canada and Australia in your question. Colonialism is dictatorship, so I'm sure you didn't mean England is to be counted out (we came a lot worse out of Cromwell's rule than the English, believe me, not to mention that period till 1922).
posted by Zootoon at 10:30 AM on December 31, 2001

Zootoon, are you Irish? You sound like it anyway. Always nice to see another Irish person around.

Anyway, for those who might not be aware of Cromwell, I don't think it's too much to say that he would have been the 17th century equivalent of Slobodan Milosevic - lots of ethnic cleansing and some genocide as well.

I wouldn't say colonialism in itself is dictatorship though - most colonies would have some sort of democratic process, as opposed to being dictated to.
posted by tomcosgrave at 12:11 PM on December 31, 2001

England, the U.S., Canada or Australia These are not the only places in which English is spoken. It's not even worth engaging in a language-is-destiny argument (what language gave us junta anyway? 8uh?), but it is worth noting that all government web pages in AR can be translated into English with a click of a link., for instance. Moreover, the AR currency is set to the dollar, not the peseta. So, which would be more likely a causal link - money or language?
posted by rschram at 12:41 PM on December 31, 2001

jfuller heavy-handedly asks:

Anybody got a more recent example

Uganda? Fiji? Both offically English-speaking, I think.
posted by rodii at 1:26 PM on December 31, 2001

well look at it this way:

become president for a week, resign, and enjoy all the perks of being a former president.
posted by physics at 1:48 PM on December 31, 2001

Tom Cosgrave, Bhlian Mhaith Agat, yes I'm Irish, though living abroad. Nice to see you too! There are colonies and colonies. Though Ireland had representation in the English parliament, this was not much use to us if it didn't allow us self-determination, as the 1919 election results confirmed. For those unfamiliar with Irish history, Sinn Fein won the 1919 election by a landslide on an independence ticket and most their MPs were promptly arrested. The film Michael Collins is a fair representation (I believe) of what then happened. I will concede though that not all colonies are alike. Gibraltar and the Falklands are two examples that come to mind. My view as regards them, same as my feelings regards Ireland (NI included) is "whatever the people want".
Physics, I know people from Argentina and this was their exact answer to my question "Would you accept the post of president right now?" A few days work, resign and you're set for life. You don't even have to the time to do anything to get impeached (well...).
posted by Zootoon at 7:38 PM on December 31, 2001

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