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El Salvador Levers of Power

            The levers of power, Habit, Consensus, Coercion, Symbol, and Myth, are devices that governments used to maintain control over the masses. There are many examples of the levers of power seen in the movie, Salvador. In the film, some of the levers of power are seen and used more often than others, like coercion.
             Habit is where citizens obey the law and generally don't do anything wrong. Stealing is an example since the majority of people do not do it because it is wrong. An example of Habit in Salvador is when all the Salvadorians are going to church, for it is tradition to go there in El Salvador. Examples of the lever of power Consensus in the film are more subtle. Consensus is an agreement or acceptance with the government's laws. An example from the film is when the Americans at the U.S. Embassy find out Ronald Reagan is president. They accept him as president since he was elected in by the majority of votes. .
             A Major lever of power seen in Salvador is coercion which uses force and fear to influence the masses. A good example in the movie of coercion is when the people are lying down in the town square and the military is asking for their sedula. One boy did not have his sedual so he was executed on the spot in front of everyone. Another example of coercion is people "disappearing" suddenly for speaking out against the government. Coercion is used most in the film and there are more examples but disappearances and executions are seen the most as examples in Salvador.
             The next lever of power is Symbol. Symbol uses national emblems to produce feelings of pride and nationalism from the masses. A simple example is the United States flag of Uncle Sam. In Salvador, one example is Major Max cutting a watermelon on the TV to show what communists are like. He explains that communists are "Democratic Green" on the outside but "Moscow Red" on the inside to show that the communists are the bad guys.

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