Seeking Alternate Perspectives on Cold War 'rightist' governments

Nov 2018
105
Idaho
Practically all of the modern exposition on the Junta in El Salvador, the civil war in Honduras, the Chilean supreme court decision to install Pinochet, etc. are given from the perspectives of Marxist, fellow-travellers or Western European/American left-liberals and social democrats. I am interested in finding English-language material on so-called 'rightist' regimes of the Cold War period, from the perspective of their supporters/defenders as well as examination of why they took the decisions they did without axe-grinding and demonization thrown on top of it. Propaganda produced by these governments/forces would be one example, though these tend to be of limited depth as propaganda is usually aimed at the witless and rarely verges into deep thoughts, even if it happens to be true propaganda.

I am sure there was plenty of stuff produced in the USA or directed toward it in the lifetime of these regimes, but they are scattered through newspapers, trade journals, policy magazines and television interviews - most of which is not available online, and is hard to search for effectively even if it is. I have tried finding more recent publications giving descriptions, histories and/or defenses of these regimes (broadly styled 'anti-Communist', though literal Marxist revolutionary parties were not the majority of their opponents) but almost all of it is just a has of liberal-internationalist pap and communist rants. Now I have read good stuff by liberal internationalists (Carroll Quigley) and Marxists (Gabriel Kolko), but in the main most of the articles and books on this I have seen are written with the same standards as party political screeds - I often suspect that the objective is not to explain a historical situation but to use history as a weapon against their current political opponents (i.e. we must denounce Leninism so we can compare Lenin to Obama), it simply is not useful or interesting to someone who's not a wonk or a party hack. I also question the veracity of many of their sources (i.e. the United Nations, various 'democracy watch' type organizations) who, in my non-consensus view, have as much and possibly more intellectual baggage and bias than the Bolsheviks or the Fascists. Ideally I would like to read an account of these governments, parties and the civil strife they were involved in by someone who could care less whether everyone involved got killed - a scientific account of events which takes account of the beliefs of the people involved without concerning itself with who was right, or wrong, if anyone. Failing that I'd like to read something from the other side, at least, or someone simply trying to get the record straight on what the concerns of the "right wing" forces were other than "they were all racists who hate poor people", which is about as far as your typical 4th International 'historian' can get into the motives and mind of his opponents without potentially undermining his own ideological fixations.

I have primarily in mind Guatemala, South Korea, the Phillipines, El Salvador, Argentina and Chile; however pretty much anyone accused of being installed by the American CIA would be of interest to me.

Examples
Stanley Payne's A History of Fascism and Paul Gottfried's Fascism: Career of a Concept are two prime examples of what I am looking for, albeit in an interwar context: a detailed, documented treatment of the beliefs, backgrounds, activities and tensions in Fascist and pseudo-Fascist movements and how they relate to other radical/revolutionary movements at the time, in the past and today. Good intellectual history dealing with anything political, let alone something as triggering as fascism, is hard to come by and these two books are basically superior to every other treatment out there (and I've read a a dozen or more). I would love to have a similar treatment on Latin American, South Korean, etc. governments along these lines. Of course Fascism was more overtly ideological than ARENA or Peronism, but there is still an interesting tale to be told about who supported what faction, when, and why, etc. within these coalitions, paramilitary forces, etc.

One of my favorite authors (Cordwainer Smith/Paul Lineberger) was a propagandist for the Chiang Kai-Shek/KMT government, and his father was as well. His The China of Chiang K'ai-Shek is very much propaganda. It has rose-tinted (especially in retrospect) but gives an excellent idea of what the KMT wanted to present itself as to an American anti-Communist audience, and contains a lot of interesting details and rhetoric that can give insight onto how the regime saw itself.

Another example would be James Kurth's 2012 H. L. Mencken Club talk 'An Appreciation of Francisco Franco'.