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Securing SexMorality and Repression in the Making of Cold War Brazil$
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Benjamin A. Cowan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627502

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627502.001.0001

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Drugs, Anarchism, and Eroticism

Drugs, Anarchism, and Eroticism

Moral Technocracy and the Military Regime

(p.111) 4 Drugs, Anarchism, and Eroticism
Securing Sex

Benjamin A. Cowan

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter Four traces the doctrinalization of moral countersubversion—a key step in operationalizing moral panic. In high-level forums on security and development, specific anxieties—about youthful behavior, global decadence, new media technology, and women in the workplace—became categorical pillars of national security strategy. Drawing on the records of students, professors, administrators, and government experts, I excavate the development of such strategy at the Escola Superior de Guerra. The most prestigious of Brazilian military think-tanks, the ESG enjoyed an international reputation and epitomized Atlantic militaries’ attempts to combine Cold War technocracy and counterinsurgency. Here, at the heart—or perhaps the brain—of security planning, what I call a “moral technocracy” legitimated the conceptual slippage of “degeneracy” into “subversion” and the rationalization of bio-, psycho-, and sociological narratives of national viability. Thanks to this moral technocracy, pseudo-scientific and governmental authority made the sexuality and morality of middle-class young people (a demographic fraught with anxiety for authoritarian developmentalists) a central Cold War battleground. This process, insistent on certain conflations that may seem unlikely, occurred via a species of intellectual myopia: a closed-circuit repetition and re-citation of ideas.

Keywords:   Escola Superior de Guerra (ESG), General Antônio Carlos da Silva Muricy, Youth, Media, Women, Gender, Censorship, Alfredo Buzaid, Moral Technocracy, Dictatorship

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