The use of Reason and reasonable argumentation, the reclaiming of the idea of Progress and the struggle against dogma. In this post-modern world, reinventing Enlightenment is of the utmost importance.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

European revolutions

On the 25 of April 1974 in a small country half forgotten in the western tip of Europe a military coup took place exactly 32 years ago. Known as the Carnation Revolution, it overthrown a paternalistic dictatorship that had ruled the country for more than 40 years. The Carnation Revolution brought Democracy to Portugal and signalled times of change for the whole of Europe.

A few months later, in July 1974, in Greece, a military dictatorship was brought to an end and democracy was introduced in the country that many consider to be the cradle of western civilization.

In 1978, Portugal neighbouring country, Spain, also got rid of a dictatorship (although not in the revolutionary fashion). When we look at the History of the Iberian Peninsula over the last 400 years, the fates of both nations have been almost parallel: when some major shift happens in one of these countries it is bound to have strong repercussions in the other.

Today, it is relatively easy to say that the Carnation Revolution was a somewhat ordinary event, in the sense that if it that failed another would have followed swiftly, given that the dictatorial regime was by then completely inefficient and corrupt.

Some 12 years ago I had an informal conversation with Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, (photo) the captain who organized the coup and director of operations in that faithful 25 of April. Among other things, Otelo told me that it had been “an exemplary revolutionary action, because there weren’t any casualties”. He was clearly proud of that, and personally I think the Carnation Revolution is one of the most beautiful and poetic revolutionary moments ever to take place.


Blogger Goncaluskas said...

Or like a cynical friend of mine said: we were lucky to have the army on the side of the insurgents. had it been the other way around I am sure it would not have been so bloodless.

Nonetheless it is remarkable in the sense that is is probably the only bloodless revolution in history

5:38 AM

Blogger Goncaluskas said...

He looks a bit like George Clooney...

5:48 AM

Blogger George Clooney said...

Yeah, he does. And that gives me an idea...

6:50 AM

Blogger sonia r. said...

Boa semana Pacman.

7:49 PM

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