oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - Dispositivo retórico del Argentino

Volume 4, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



This chapter examines some central aspects of the discursive formation associated with the National Reorganization Process (PRN) - the latest and bloodiest military dictatorship in Argentina, (1976-1983) - which emerged as an explicit criticism of the 'disorder' attributed to the last Peronist government (1973-1976) and developed a reading of the "dirty war" against "subersion'. We focus on one speech by Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera - a leader of the Military Junta - delivered on 2 November 1976 at the Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA): as a rhetorical apparatus it enabled a strategic construction of military ethos, while antagonistically performing the difference of 'subversion'. It played with "scenographies" - 'mythical recount', 'metaphysical essay', 'military speech' - in legitimizing an ethos for the PRN and in defining its adversary or Other as abject. However this authoritarian discourse created the conditions for its own demise and for the emergence of other discourses (during the transition to democracy) that would discredit finally its grammar of a "dirty war" and its reading of the recent past.

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