PARAGUAY: On Democracy

It is an ill omen for democracy when South American dictators discuss it. On Christmas Eve Paraguay's untutored strong man, Higinio Morinigo, delivered a 1,200-word fireside chat on democracy. "Real democracy," he said, was government which "expresses its will within social order, mutual respect, public morale." Further, the dictator did not think that political parties were necessary ingredients. Snorted La Nación, Buenos Aires' ponderous liberal daily: "Democracy without parties is inconceivable." Into the flashing Morinigo teeth it tossed Lord Bryce's well-known definition.* The blast was obviously intended as an indirect slap at Argentina's own intolerant military regime.

But dictators have...

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