another major political intervention--or, perhaps, in conjunction with it--appears to be "protection" of the development of the national patrimony. Hence, the formal maintenance of the unrestricted development pattern that has persisted in the Amazon region promises to continue to be dominated by "the military bureaucracy and its special cadres,"111 and key aspects of the military dictatorship may continue to persist there. Moreover, these nationalistic and authoritarian activities will likely be used to reinforce wider claims of a broad-based military mission.112
If the democratization process in Brazil is unable to challenge the size and assumed missions of the Brazilian military, if it remains unable to deal rationally and effectively with a huge, expensive, and politically interventionist organization, then this failure will represent a severe blow to the future economic and political well-being of the country. An observer in the early part of this century noted, "The army has its vast and elevated field of action and, if it is kept there independent, surrounded by great respect and prestige, it will be a guarantee of peace and order; if it camps, however, on the ground of negotiations and civil posts, we will have in it the ferment of disorder, the dangerous element of reaction, and of revolt."113
Are military organizations immortal? In a situation in which there is little objective rationale for a massive military organization, relatively low popular support, and virtually no resources to support it, its organizational future ultimately becomes a measure of democracy.