Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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January 25, 2006
Democracy: How deep is your love?

I saw an article on the 1992 autogolpe in Peru suggesting that, under certain conditions, to get a population in the (post)modern world to go along with the destruction (/suspension) of (elements of) democracy is not so hard.

I post the scariest (to me) bit here in the hopes that I will go back to the article, and try to find the time to learn more about the conditions under which this happened, what happened next, and to think about why.

Fujimori's autogolpe actually raised the hopes of many Peruvians, who approved of his dissolving Congress and the courts, which were widely seen as corrupt and detached from the people.

According to a poll by the Lima-based Datum, only 16 percent opposed Fujimori's decision to modify the constitution, only 12 percent objected to his closing Congress, and only 2 percent faulted his intention to reorganize the judiciary, popularly known as the "Palace of Injustice."

In the view of 85 percent, Fujimori would "structure a more efficient legislature," and 84 percent believed he would make the judiciary more honest.

In the opinion of 75 percent, he would solve the economic crisis, and more than 50 percent believed he would defeat terrorism.

An Apoyo poll taken at the end of April 1992 gave Fujimori a record 82 percent level of support.

The sectors of society that were most vocal in supporting the autogolpe were the military, local businesspeople and exporters, and the urban middle and lower classes.

Those sectors most opposed were the former parliamentarians, the political class, intellectuals, and sections of the media.