The Drug of Subversion: Anti-Communism and Youth in the Time of the Dictatorship

Antonio Mauricio Freitas Brito About the author


Supported by the use of repressive collections, this article explores anti-communist representations spread by the security and information comunity, which associated the use of drugs with a strategy of the international communist movement to corrupt youth during the dictatorship. This accusation was linked to an anti-communist conspiracy tradition updated by the Cold War and by youth protests that took place in the 1960s/1970s, which was impacted by the transnational repressive modality of the war on drugs developed by the United States. These elements converged with prohibition arguments that considered drugs the phantom of evil linked to the destruction of the family and to moral-sexual debauchery. For this reason, some key documents on communist drug addiction in Brazil shaped this perception. Parallel to the anti-communist panic, the repetition of the argument was not based on evidence. These fractions inflated the red danger by instrumentalizing it to demarcate political positions throughout the military dictatorship.

Anti-Communism; dictatorship; youth; drugs; prohibition

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