Power & Market

50 years of Democratic Marxism and the Illusion of “Liberty”


“One nice day in 1974 Europe woke up and heard that an army revolt was taking place in Portugal and that a large number of career officers turned out to be Marxists of all colors and stripes. We rubbed our eyes: officers in smart uniforms, coming from ‘nice, even noble families, and apparently a bit frivolous, falling prey to Marxism – a despicable XIX century pseudo religion, bankrupt, morally discredited as a murderous political philosophy responsible for pouring out rivers of blood… The leftist officers brought Portugal to the brink of a Red Tyranny.”

- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. P. 416, The Intelligent American’s Guide to Europe

The 50th anniversary of the coup that removed Marcello Caetano from power on the afternoon of April 25, 1974, supposedly ushering an end to Corporatism, is two months away from being commemorated. Annually parroted as “Freedom Day,” Portugal finds itself in complete disarray five decades later. The police are striking, threatening to boycott the March 10 elections; a serious lack of doctors and teachers prevails in a public system dominated by leftist indoctrination. An exodus of its brightest and promising who flee the gnaws of exorbitant taxation and rising crime rates; nationalized enterprises such as the railway company exhibit signs of backwardness, along with overcrowding of trains, with the list of failures being almost infinite. Economic busts are habitually associated with this regime of crony capitalism.

Those that believe that April 25 symbolizes liberty are 100 percent wrong and ultimately ignorant of history, politics, and economics. Were Antonio de Oliveira Salazar and Marcelo Caetano, the previous leaders of the Estado Novo/New State ebullient about liberalism? No, they deserve to be discredited just as much, erroneously labeled as right-wing authoritarians by their “detractors,” although corporatism is synonymous with syndicalism and trade unionism, paraded as inalienable rights by dinosauric Bolsheviks holding decayed Carnations.

But the Carnation Revolution brought the worst of the worst in people. There is not a single Portuguese individual more evil than the Muscovite henchman Álvaro Cunhal, no General more idiotic than António Spinola, no politician more rapacious than Mário Soares. Between 1974 and 1976, 70 percent of the economy was nationalized, with civil war looming in the background. Meanwhile, both the Socialists and the Communists, alongside members of the Armed Forces Movements responsible for the initial revolt, handed over Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau to National Liberation Movements allied with the Soviet Union. Decades later and Portugal (the poorest country in Western Europe) still subsidizes these one-party states through educational and healthcare programs meant to alleviate poverty.

These men would set the precedence for Portugal’s present-day decadence, but Portugal must end this perpetual cycle of endemic poverty. The 18th century dealt us the brute hand of the progressive, totalitarian democrat known as Marquis of Pombal, the 19th century was rife with debt and civil conflict, the 20th century a threesome between Jacobin anti-Catholicism, corporatism, and Marxism. Today, we have all three in one political system.

Portugal stands on the precipice of falling into tyranny. If the governing Socialist Party wins the upcoming elections on March 10th with the Trotskyist Pedro Nuno Santos at the helm, either alone or in a coalition with the Communist Party and the Left Bloc, liberty will die with a thunderous applause from the masses and communism will enslave 10 million people except for party and political elites. The iron fist of Lenin exercised through terror, death, and repression.

Remember my fellow readers and advocates of freedom, there is no such thing as “moderate” socialism; all forms of socialism – synonymous with the public state – lead to encroachments on our individual and property rights. Through socialism there is cultural decline; through socialism everybody is equally miserable (to paraphrase Alexis de Tocqueville); through socialism we witness the destruction of human personality and the monolithic reconstruction of a termite state.

But we are not insects, we refuse to adorn the costumes of abject servility. Freedom is a guiding principle of human respect, anathema to the rigid, puritanical controls of the state. Human courage perseveres through the coldest of lights and the free market has prevailed and will continue to prevail until the end of time.

Reject all forms of Communism, Nazism and Fascism, throw away the dogmas of Keynes and reject the precepts of Democracy and Revolution. Embrace the teachings of the Salamanca School – who collaborated with the University of Coimbra – of Ludwig Von Mises and Murray Rothbard. Long live Portugal, the Portuguese and anybody else under the oppressive yoke of an ever-aggrandizing public state. We deserve a free, unregulated market without harassment from the state.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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