"Salazarism"

Dr. Felipe de Meneses (author of 2009 book Salazar: A Political Biography), excerpt from lecture at MIT, October 30, 2012.

Salazar denied that there was such a thing as Salazarism. In fact, he actually rebukes people for using the term. I can remember, for example, a letter that he writes to the editor of Diário de Manhã, which was sort of the regime’s official newspaper in the 1930s, in which he says [something like] ‘do not run’ or ‘bring to an end this series of articles that you’re running on the subject of Salazarism. There is no such thing.’ It is actually quite curious for a dictator to have that sentiment: a denial that he’s bringing anything new or a kind of a body of doctrine.

So what I hope to have shown by the end of this talk is that the secret of the New State’s longevity rested ultimately on its ability to evolve and that this, in turn, rested on Salazar’s willingness to accept change, provided it did not challenge a relatively small number of basic tenets, first and foremost of which was his own right to govern.