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Latin America perspectives a series of information and comment about Latin America with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. These programs are recorded by station w s i u FM. Here now is Dr. Gardner. This one in which we live is a fast changing era and the word revolution once assigned sparingly to historical developments remote both in time and space. As the French Revolution the Mexican Revolution and the Russian revolution is now a household word. Because now we speak daily of the revolutions of our time. The revolution of rising expectations the development of revolution the technological revolution and on television even the revolution in deodorants and toothpaste. Grappling with the theme of national revolution. In today's world is a new book. Richard J Barnett it's intervention and revolution
in the United States in the Third World a publication of the world publishing company. First a word about the author and that subtitle of his volume Richard J. Barnett spelled B A R N E T has combined an academic interest in international politics with practical experience. Since his graduation from Harvard Law School he served in the Harvard Russian Research Center. Indeed at the Center of International Studies at Princeton he has been in days of the Kennedy administration within the State Department the United States and more recently a founder of the Institute for Policy Studies out of which this present volume comes. That subtitle remember says the United States in the third world third world is a phrase originally out of France the French journalism which applies to that part of the world which is not included in the
United States Western Europe Russian world. In other words. There is one world that is the Democratic. There is one world that is the communist. There is the third world. We oftentimes hear it as the uncommitted the underdeveloped. This is the sense of a third world third world is engaged in a great deal of revolutionary violence and that violence is not related to national security. So much so as it is to the very fact of nation making. Unlike the leaders of developed nations the enemies which revolutionary leaders see are not at the gate outside the gate and looking in threatening to come in but they are already inside their country is occupied either by a foreign colonial power or by local land large generals are self-serving politicians as they see it.
The issue is liberation not defense. The goal is a radical redistribution of political and economic power to overcome centuries of political oppression and crushing poverty. The means is seizure of political power. In many of the colonized countries of Africa and Asia leaders have come to power with revolutionary programs but have failed to dislodge the old ruling classes. Revolutions are regularly been aborted suppressed and more than once perverted by revolutionary politicians themselves. But the revolutionary idea that radical change is necessary that it is inevitable and that it can come only by seizing the machinery of the state has steadily grown. In the early years of the post-war period the primary revolutionary goal was national independence. Increasingly revolutionaries of the Third World have come to believe that neo imperialism economic
exploitation by the developed nations in collaboration with a local privileged class is as suffocating as the old fashioned colonial administration. We though contemporary revolutionary moment movements generally are compared with the power of the state they are seeking to seize. Their proliferation is a spectacular development which has decisively changed the nature of world politics a generation ago the lands of the third world were politically inert the objects of international bargaining the patient servers of the international economy. What happened there could normally be decided in European capitals or as in the case of Latin America in Washington D.C. now though by a through violence the revolutionaries are demanding and receiving attention. They have demonstrated that the basic assumption of
stability on which traditional peasant societies have rested is no longer valid. They have served notice on the comfortable that at least some of the poor peasants who make up the third world are slowly coming to believe that they may actually have the power to change the wretchedness of the lives they have known. Within the United States the word communist has been applied so liberally and so loosely to a revolutionary or radical regimes that any government risks being so characterized. If it adopts one or more of the following policies which are Department of State finds distasteful the nationalization of private industry particularly foreign owned corporations. Radical land reform autarky trade policies except insofar as our Chinese paid insistence upon following an anti-American are non aligned
foreign policy. These among others cause the official Bruhl to be lifted and indeed the castigation communists to be hurled indeed from the time of the Truman Doctrine in the late 40s on the suppression of Internet insurgent governments has been a principal goal of United States foreign policy. It has been the prime target of United States foreign aid programs. Most of the funds for which have gone for civic action teams pacification programs support for local police and above all military aid to the army. Such expenditures are designed to strengthen the hand of the recognized government to put down any challenge of revolution. Economic aid is extended to third world countries not only to buy their support on foreign policy issues but also to lubricate the process of gradual change and strengthen the forces that we consider those of
stability. In other words United States policy is to support governments that promise to revolutionize their societies from above if at all. Although it has the continued support of military dictators and reactionary regimes demonstrates this is scarcely a requirement. The thought that they are going to revolutionize the society and so we have to this very minute. Numerous groups assisting in Guatemala in Thailand and elsewhere in Latin America and Asia and Africa that find us assisting governments as they try to put down revolutionary challenges. The book banned by Barnet is about U.S. intervention in revolutionary warfare in the Third World. It attempts to trace the development of the American commitment to oppose internal violence and radical political changes. And it does so in a variety of
places. Indeed they include Greece Lebanon Vietnam the Dominican Republic Guatemala British Guiana Iran and the Congo. The biographies or stories studies of these commitments can tell us something of the purpose and meaning of what four presidents have called the quote American responsibility unquote to keep the peace. We did not choose to be the guardians at the gate. President Johnson once stated in a display of the anguish of power one of the purposes of this volume is to inquire how it happened that America has become what President Kennedy called the watchman on the walls of world freedom. As the confrontation between the United States and revolutionary movements has come into sharper focus the euphemistic rhetoric of American
responsibility defending freedom self-determination etc. has yielded to the stark idiom of a ryall politic. We are ready you know than we were a few years ago to concede that the far flung bureaucracies we dispatched to Asia Africa and Latin America are less concerned about bringing the town meeting the ballot box in the supermarket to their backward inhabitants than in making sure that they do not confiscate collectivize or chant communist slogans. The presence of a communist threat even the possibility of a communist threat as in the Dominican Republic has supplied adequate justification for a variety of interventions. There are two principal arguments advanced in support of the policy of United States intervention in civil wars and insurgencies. One is that the United States is defending freedom against totalitarianism. If this is the policy it is applied
with something less than consistency. Many of the free governments that have received either generous US military aid friendly nods from our embassies or direct military intervention on their behalf constitute a group that on the whole is exceedingly careless about civil liberties. As for most of Korea South Vietnam Iran Brazil Paraguay among others. Actually a very substantial portion of U.S. aid has gone to a series of military dictatorships located at the edge of Russia and China. A second statement or claim that the United States is acting in the interests of international community against a worldwide campaign of revolution that indeed we are preventing world war 3. This causes of course to squeeze things into familiar molds saying that mean is Hitler. The Vietnam is the Rhineland that the idea of negotiation is Munich. If the
insurgents are not stopped in Vietnam it will have to meet them in San Francisco. This is a verbal rubbish that was first set forth by a speech that President Kennedy made in his encounter with Khrushchev in Vienna and has been repeated many times since. The State Department conception of driving out bad to communist development with good Democratic capital development just doesn't hold up in terms of the latest report of the World Bank. There it is stated that most of the world is not developing that indeed it is simply getting worse. The policy is suggested by Barnet that we prepare to transform traditional societies by removing completely the idea of any military assistance encouraging the Russians and the Chinese to do so and there is reason to believe that they would at least in certain areas of the world the greatness of America has been in its contribution of political form. If we shake
off our militaristic nature perhaps we can again do something about liberating the human spirit. This is the burden of intervention and revolution by Richard J. Barnett a publication that comes to our attention today. This was another programme in the series Latin America perspectives with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program on Dr. Gardner will comment on another interesting aspect of Latin American affairs. These programs are recorded by station WFIU FM and are made available to this station by the national educational radio network.
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 30 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3544. This prog.: Intervention and Revolution
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-31-30 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:13:26
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 30 of 38,” 1969-03-25, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
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APA: Latin American perspectives II; Episode 30 of 38. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from