Some citizens forget to fulfill their duties as citizens, sometimes forgetting what their ancestors went through as they struggle to overthrow a dictatorship. While some ancestors that lived through a dictatorship regime only remember the very few good things the dictator did for the society, which only the elites got to benefit from, but forget the dark horrific side. This is one of the main problems that the society of Portuguese faced as there were subject to a dictatorship that lasted from the 1920s to the 1970s, which dramatically affected the country’s economy, education, and religion that play a big role in shaping its society.
The concept of a new state might bring happiness for many with the feeling of opportunities and guidance as everything around is changing dramatically due to globalization or other events, just like it happened in Portugal with the Estado Novo that António de Oliveira Salazar form.
The Ditadura Nacional and Estado Novo are recognized as the Second Portuguese Republic.
The Estado Novo was the concept that conservative President António de Oliveira Salazar inspired by his authoritarian ideologies, from 1932 to 1968 when he fell ill and was replaced by Marcelo Caetano. With this been said this paper will mainly focus on the approach of Salazar used to bring the so-called Estado Novo, with explicit recalibration of the state’s philosophical orientation and reforms of branches using texts, films, and music. The most well-known text that was used by Salazar dictatorship to control and conserve its society was “A Lição de Salazar”, or as it is translated in English ‘The Lesson of Salazar’ these series edited in 1938.
These series were used to mark Salazar’s ten years in office, and it was distributed by all primary schools from the country, Portugal. These posters were part of a strategy to inculcate values of the New State or as it is called in Portugal “Estado Novo.” The main point of the series was to glorify the work done until then by the dictator, from the economic-financial field to public works. For many years these posters were used as a way to convey an idea central: the superiority of a strong and authoritarian state over the liberal regimes. Salazar project the state’s philosophical orientation through “The Lesson of Salazar” book series, as the following imagines showed:
This was done by emphasizing the importance the Estado Novo had done to create a country of progression. This was done by showing the 1st Republic, as disorganized in economic and financial compared to the Estado Nove that was organized in the improvement of roads, communication, construction of ports, planning and promoting social progress (Bártolo, 2014). The 1st Republic was financial disorganization, which has resulted in a permanent deficit in public accounts which, in turn, was accompanied by high inflation, that lead to a large rise in the cost of living. The lack of organization was motivated by the constant invitation addressed to Salazar by the military dictatorship, to occupy the Finance portfolio. Its financial policy, controlling all the expenses of the various ministries with an iron hand, increasing taxes and cutting back on public spending, and balances public accounts, giving him the nickname the ‘Salvador da Pátria.’ These were shown in this book series by showing two images, one smaller (the before) and superimposed (the after) on the opposing corner. The initials of Salazar were printed with black S bigger than the other letters highlighting his name.
“The Lesson of Salazar” served as a reinforce of how organized society was compared to the world that was surrounded it, including the 1st Republic of Portugal, since it showed past and present. It was like saying you can live in this society where there is no chaos that democracy brings under its liberation of thoughts. As Bártolo comments: All this information, even if slightly enhanced, was the result of a State endeavour to recover and haul the nation to the same level of progress reached by the so-called developed countries (something deficiently tried to archive since the establishment of the liberal regime in the 19th c.)…This effort was permanently announced, as the government main concern was to validate its recent arrival to power by presenting itself as the regime that finally was able to save the nation from previous harmful socio-political circumstances (decades of liberal and democratic ephemeral chaotic governments) that had dramatically wreaked the feeble Portuguese economy.
By comparing the past to what was then, present, Salazar recalibrated the state’s philosophical orientation that they didn’t need democracy state to be like the developed nations. All people of Portugal needed was a man of power to lead Portugal thought the right direction and reform its economical errors. In the Estado Novo ideology, the democracy was what had created the chaos and people gone crazy trying to express their ideas and belief. Therefore, it needed this philosophical orientation to return calm and organization for the people. The seventh page of this poster strikes the most of all since it projects the values and guidance according to Salazar view of what a family should be and composed as. This page was as the role model of what should happen domestically interior of a home.
The seventh page, as the image shows an open door and window, it is possible to realize it is a modest-story house with direct access to the outside. The colors are warm and yellowish sunlight, creating a happy ambiance moment as the father arrives from the work and is warmly welcomed by the family. The family, of course, is composed of the wife, who is running the house chores, the boy who seems to be shining his boot, and a little girl who is playing with dolls. The philosophical ideology of Estado Novo that desired moral trinity God, Fatherland and Family, is the fundamental thoughts portrait in this image. It is abiding by Catholicism, been obedient nationalism, and the traditional family morals. The scene portrays a sense of hierarchy, the divine light coming from the universe (God creator) to the man and his family, showing them as primordial social unity. In other words, the family is shown as a social nucleus that is the center of the village, keeping the country and nation together. Setting an example of what the country’s society family should be, a nuclear family where the man supposed to provide for the family, a sense of nature and primary element of the constitutional.
At the same time, the image of what a family should be, found on page 7 creates a rejection of the thought of individualism There is no such thing as a man coming from work and just find an empty home with no wife and children or the other way around a woman been single and working. There is no such space for someone at the age of the characters in the poster to be thinking of themselves or time alone, they supposed to fallow the hierarchy system of the government. The system where God (creator) is above all, fallow the particular (family). And in between this line would be the government and their role to contribute the guidance in of what a family is composed of. Therefore, there was no space for an individual to come up and set his own individually thoughts of what a family should be.
In the poster of page 7, God is perceived in a way as a devotional ensemble over the chest of drawers, and the Fatherland on the castle’s waving flag seen through the window and the son’s Mocidade Portuguesa official uniform (Bártolo, 2014 ). Mocidade Portuguesa was a Portuguese youth organization created by Estado Novo in 1936 (‘A MOCIDADE PORTUGUESA’). By choosing Family as fulcrum value, Salazar was portraying the dictatorship citizen primeval duty: uncritical obedience. Respect and obedience that all should maintain to their superiors: God on the divine domain, and on the earthly world- the fatherland- its leader, the dictator. In a way, “obedience” was been portrait as a gift coming from God, and it was used in a way to follow its earthly leader too. Without this “obedience” it was like nothing could be possible on the aspects of social life and human civilization.
Salazar regime did reform the branches of society and military. As seen the video people were so cheerful that had provided repair to the Portugal moments and castes (“PORTUGUESE FASCIST PROPAGANDA (WITH TRANSLATION).”). He restored what other rules before him had forgotten, from old-age churches to monasteries. This made people happy and feel they had someone that would take care of them. In a way, it served to maintain identity and common values. And as the video also points out it served to reinforce the nationality identity, which made people respect and feel pride for their country’s military service. But not just that, it also, gives a sense of humanity to the military forces. As it shows a military man giving a kiss to what appears to be his offspring. This reforms the concept that man doesn’t show much love to their children as women. It shows affection and caring to keep the family strong and safe.
Many saw this reforms as a way of the guidance’s through the destruction that the world was living through during this era with the world wars. There are many comments like this regarding the way Salazar rule and stayed neutral through the WWII, like the following: No doubt that President Salazar was a great Statesman. He was not a ‘dictator’ but the head of a strong regime which had to face the disastrous economic consequences of the fall of the Portuguese monarchy, then the approaches of WWII during which this wise man managed to keep Portugal in a strict neutrality, so avoiding to his country the fallouts of a bloody war. Salazar is to be praised among the best Statesmen in the long and glorious history of Portugal. May the Portuguese people always remember with gratitude this wise and astute leader (“PORTUGUESE FASCIST PROPAGANDA (WITH TRANSLATION).”).
This comment clearly states the power that Salazar had through his regime that it penetrated through the people’s mind. It shows the recalibration of the state’s philosophical orientation and reforms of branches since Portugal acted as a state that would be neutral and not united with the rest of Europe against the fascism and power of Germany. In the concept of philosophical orientation, it showed Salazar’s beliefs that Portugal needed not to be like the rest of Europe during this time that was promoting democracy and freedom of beliefs. Instead tried to stay conserved and dominant its identity compared to neighbor countries trying to promote what was seen radical at that time, freedom of individuality. At the same time reforming the county from the fall of monarchy it had just suffered from the previous century. Even though it wasn’t a reform, but an oppression of individuality and freedom.
At the same time there was this reform of the military, as they got a new uniform, new equipment, new weapons, and new strategies, all under the Salazar regime (‘PORTUGUESE FASCIST PROPAGANDA (WITH TRANSLATION)’). This in a way gave the men a feeling that they were renewing their power just like the other European nation, even though they were not part of the war. But at the list they knew they could defend themselves against anyone that didn’t respect their neutrality during the war. As a citizen of a nation, regardless of history, humans should fulfill their duties as citizens, because not everyone has the equal opportunity to express whom they want to guide them as their leader.
But most importantly, to consider what their ancestors went through as they struggle to overthrow a dictatorship or a leader that wasn’t fit for the role. While some ancestors that lived through a dictatorship regime only remember the very few good things the dictator did for the society, which only the elites got to benefit from. Humans should also not forget the dark horrific side of the leader. This is one of the main problems the society of Portuguese faced as they were subject to a dictatorship that lasted from the 1920s to the 1970s, which dramatically affected the country’s economy, education, and religion. All of these played a role in shaping its society. The concept of a new state might bring happiness for many with the feeling of opportunities and guidance as everything around is changing dramatically due to globalization or other events. Yes, there might be good changes, but for certain things can go the opposite way.
The Estado Novo was the concept that conservative President António de Oliveira Salazar inspired by his authoritarian ideologies, from 1932 to 1968 when he fell ill and was replaced by Marcelo Caetano. With this been said this paper will mainly focus on the approach of Salazar used to bring the so-called Estado Novo, with explicit recalibration of the state’s philosophical orientation and reforms of branches using texts, films, and music. (Adler, 2018). In the end, humans should always follow their happiness as long it doesn’t deprive someone else’s happiness. They should always stay in harmony and stand for what they believe and help those in need to have a better society and friendly world.