Portrait of the Eurocrat as a young revolutionary

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who was just reelected to a second term, is about as establishment as you get, a staunch defender of free trade and open markets.  But in the mid-1970s, soon after Portugal’s transition to democracy, Barroso was a committed member of the Maoist Reorganising Movement of the Proletariat Party. Here ...

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who was just reelected to a second term, is about as establishment as you get, a staunch defender of free trade and open markets. 

But in the mid-1970s, soon after Portugal's transition to democracy, Barroso was a committed member of the Maoist Reorganising Movement of the Proletariat Party. Here he is at a meeting of leftwing students in 1976, laying into Portugal's bourgeois education system in a somewhat confusing statement:

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, who was just reelected to a second term, is about as establishment as you get, a staunch defender of free trade and open markets. 

But in the mid-1970s, soon after Portugal’s transition to democracy, Barroso was a committed member of the Maoist Reorganising Movement of the Proletariat Party. Here he is at a meeting of leftwing students in 1976, laying into Portugal’s bourgeois education system in a somewhat confusing statement:

Barroso switched to the mainstream Social Democratic Party in 1980, going on to become Portugal’s Prime Minister two decades later. 

Barroso has clearly come a long way since those days, though I would imagine that the mastery of bullshit jargon and obfuscation that he apparently acquired as a young Maoist must serve him well in Brussels. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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