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Because a very poor semblance of the democratic process already existed in many of the South American states, recent developments in Brazil are not wholly new to this continent. As Professor Haring points out in an interview in this morning's Crimson, the danger that the new Brazil administration is an extension of the political domain of Germany, Italy, or Japan, is slight. In fact, the absence of any definite link between President Vargas and the Integralista, or Brazilian Fascist Party, and the very fact that news dispatches declaring the new regime to be totalitarian are not censored, reenforce the impression that the Fascist scare is simply a clever smoke screen used to becloud the ruling party's real objective--continuation in office.
Of course, many of the features of the European totalitarian state are being imported to Brazil. President Vargas will rule by decree until such time as a plebiscite on the new constitution can be held; the old representative organs are being abolished; and the army and navy are being used to insure President' Vargas' authority; but these are familiar accompaniments of a South American revolution. That which gives democratic countries cause for concern is the fact that intolerance and the destruction of free thought have gained a real foothold in the American continent, the stronghold of liberalism and freedom. This is precisely the development which President Conant and others are fighting in the United States.
It has often been said that peace is more than the absence of war. The opportunity for free thinking likewise is a positive condition and, like peace, cannot simply be hoped for. The paramount necessity of cooperation between the democracies of the world in behalf of the ideals they stand for is again vividly illustrated.
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