This work presents a theoretical conceptualisation of the emergence of social movements facing authoritarianism represented in José Ricardo Morales’ play Los culpables (1964). Notably, it relates to the rise of resistance movements and insurgent social actors facing the criminalisation of a military government controlling the state in the 20th century by paying close attention to the specific case of Chile. Moreover, it focuses on two interconnected research questions: (1) How is institutional power articulated in the manifestation of authority by an authoritarian government controlling the State?; and (2) How is the representation of authoritarian government controlling the state, resistance movements, and insurgent social actors conceptualised in José Ricardo Morales’ play Los culpables (1964)? I will analyse and problematise Morales’ critical approach to the rise of authoritarian regimes and the consequent emergence of social movements. Morales’ approach is characterised by his capacity to anticipate and discuss several social and political conflicts affecting societies around the globe in the 20th and 21st centuries. The dimensions of these topics will address the criminalisation of the state connected with several issues –such as the Chilean context in the application of the Anti-terrorism Law against the Mapuche people and the political montage against anarchists in The Bombing Case– remains a current threat operating with sophisticated methods such as the use of fake news and the control of the media and their agendas. The narrative developed by Morales in this play involves a central discussion challenging the current understanding of political activism and authoritarianism around the world.
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