Misadventures of the Popular Unity government in Chile

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By PLINIO DE ARRUDA SAMPAIO JUNIOR*

The defeat of the Chilean revolution is combined with large-scale transformations caused by the structural crisis of capital

“Whoever fights can lose, whoever doesn’t fight has already lost” (Bertold Brecht).

The tragic outcome of the Popular Unity (UP) government led by Salvador Allende constitutes a watershed in the history of Latin American societies. The destruction of the most vigorous and organized socialist movement on the continent put a damper on the reform policy that aimed to overcome the economic, social and cultural bases that perpetuated underdevelopment and external dependence in the region. The defeat of the Chilean revolution was combined with far-reaching transformations caused by the structural crisis of capital. The long cycle of post-war capitalist development came to an end and the process of business globalization, driven by large transnational corporations, began. The exhaustion of Fordism, the crisis of the Welfare State and the bankruptcy of Keynesianism inaugurated a period of permanent capital offensive against work and public policies.[I]

The new historical moment definitively compromised the possibility of a positive solution, of a democratic, republican and sovereign nature, for the process of formation of Latin American national states that had been dragging on since independence. By installing market terrorism as a reason for State, the neoliberal offensive on a global scale – which had a macabre laboratory in the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet – condemned the people of the region to the hardships of a process of neocolonial reversal that undermined the industrialization project. national, reinforced social segregation and irremediably compromised the sovereignty of national states. The crystallization of bourgeois power as a permanent counterrevolution consolidated the inextricable relationship between capital accumulation and barbarism in Latin America.

Chile is part of a whole

Put into perspective, with the privilege of half a century away, the myth of the “exceptionality” of Chilean society in the Latin American context, spread both by those who defended the revolution with “red wine and empanada” and, later, by the heralds of the counter-revolution neoliberal, dissipates in the whirlwind of historical movement.

The unshakable faith of Chilean socialists in the solidity of democratic institutions turned out to be a chimera. At the decisive hour, when the class struggle reached the boiling point, the armed forces, summoned by the bourgeoisie, followed the instructions of their counterparts in the Southern Cone with refinements of violence and cruelty. Denying their oaths of loyalty to the elected president, they tore up the Constitution without blinking and imposed state terrorism as a means of adjusting Chilean society to the imperatives of neoliberalism.

Decades later, in the early 1990s, the efforts of the leaders of the “concertation” of differentiating Chile as a paradise for big capital, destined for a unique destiny in the global order, also proved to be an unfounded pretension, useful only to rationalize the crimes of the dictatorship and justify the continuity of the economic and political model inherited from Pinochet. With the advancement of globalization, the pattern of liberal-peripheral accumulation spread to all corners, deepening Latin America's regressive specialization in the international division of labor and taking the commodification of life to a paroxysm.[ii]

In the end, Chile's particularity was reduced to the fervor with which a significant portion of society adhered, first, to the reformist project that placed the need for democratic and national revolution on the order of the day and to the superstitious belief in the ability to boost national development and social welfare through State action, and then, after the defeat of the Chilean revolution, assumed the symmetrically opposite position of unconditional adherence to the neoliberal counter-revolution and blind faith in market laws as a panacea for economic and social problems of the population.[iii]

In addition to the specificities of each social formation, the history of Latin America's incorporation into the circuit of capital accumulation on a global scale reveals that the law of uneven and combined development condemns – for better or worse – the people of the region to a common destiny. Historical epochs are linked together, synchronizing the movement of all Latin American social formations with the development of the world capitalist system.

The historical waves that conditioned the penetration of capitalism in the region are known: primitive accumulation of capital, mercantilism and colonization; industrial revolution, competitive capitalism, liberalism and national independence; expansion of the world market, monopoly capitalism, imperialism and neo-colonization; total imperialism, Keynesianism, internationalization of internal markets and dependence; structural crisis of capital, neoliberalism and neocolonial reversion. Disconnected from the whole, Chile's history loses meaning.[iv]

The Chilean revolution must be seen, therefore, as a chapter of the Latin American revolution, and this, in turn, as an act of the international revolution. Due to the high degree of organization and mobilization of workers, the strength of the parties that promoted Popular Unity, the relative stability of State institutions, the well-defined contours of the class struggle, with emphasis on the particularly acute and passionate way in which the different ideological currents, as well as the tragic outcome that buried the enormous hopes raised by the peaceful path to socialism, Chile stands out in the Latin American context as an emblematic case of the pitfalls and challenges of the workers' struggle against capitalist barbarism in societies of colonial origin trapped in the iron circuit of dependent capitalism.

The fall of Salvador Allende

The defeat of the Chilean revolution was accomplished on September 11, 1973, when, with the palace of La Moneda in flames, the population learned of the death of their fellow president.[v] The fate of Salvador Allende's government, however, had already been defined previously, when the “revolution from above”, led by Popular Unity, strictly within order and law, was overrun by the “revolution from below”, driven by the self-organized initiative of rural and urban workers, the poor population of the outskirts and indigenous people mapuches from southern Chile.[vi]

The actions to occupy large estates, idle urban land and factories, which began spontaneously in the late 1960s, as a reaction to the fraudulent promises of Eduardo Frei's “revolution with freedom”, gained overwhelming momentum after Salvador Allende's victory in 1970. In the mid 1972, when the Popular Unity government was already on the defensive, determined to slow down the reform process, the formation of territorial industrial cordons organized by workers, outside traditional union structures, with the aim of accelerating the socialization of factories , deepened the disconnect between the two processes. The revolutionary methods of popular power in full expansion undermined the premises of the radical reformism of the Popular Unity government.[vii]

The fear of the Chilean plutocracy that the leap in quality in the organization and mobilization of workers could impart rhythms and intensities to social transformations that went beyond the boundaries of bourgeois institutionality led to the polarization of the class struggle to go beyond the limits of the social pact that supported democracy of the elites that lasted – not without important setbacks – for almost four decades.[viii] The Chilean road to socialism was facing its moment of truth. The political dispute moved from party negotiations and parliamentary halls to direct and open confrontation in the streets.

The civil war, with its own laws for exterminating the enemy, was definitively and irreversibly installed as the logic for resolving the political crisis that polarized society. The clash between the antagonistic classes came to fruition, without any legal barrier that could contain the violence of brute force in the inevitable reckoning between revolution and counter-revolution. Pressed by the urgency to avoid the autonomy of popular power, the bourgeoisie was unified around the inescapable need to resort to a coup d'état as the only means of stopping the advance of the revolution.[ix]

The controversy over the causes of the defeat

By explaining the theory and practice that guided Popular Unity, the debate on the causes of the defeat of the Chilean path to socialism acquires decisive importance for the reorganization of the workers' struggle against capitalist barbarism in all parts of the globe. Under the political and ideological impact of the military coup, interpretations were fundamentally polarized around the tactical reasons that guided the Popular Unity policy and the actions of the Allende government.

The moderate wing of Popular Unity, led by Salvador Allende, with the support of the Communist Party, the Radical Party and MAPU-Gazmuri, attributed the collapse to a problem of political engineering. Without questioning the architecture of the peaceful path to socialism, these sectors attributed the fall of the government to the mistakes of the Popular Unity itself. Political responsibility was placed on the shoulders of leftists. The “excessive” radicalization of reforms would have strained the political system beyond what is permitted by the correlation of forces, internal and external, and caused unnecessary economic imbalances, with disastrous consequences on the daily lives of the population and on the country’s degree of vulnerability in the face of pressure. of imperialism.

The sectarianism of sectors of Popular Unity would have blocked the possibility of an agreement with the Christian Democratic Party. Verbal terrorism would have childishly fomented panic among the middle classes and the bourgeoisie, intensifying political animosities. The fratricidal war between the Popular Unity parties would have undermined the government's unity of action and its ability to respond to the challenges of the economic and political situation with the agility and flexibility required by the situation.

Finally, the inability of the Popular Unity to subordinate the mobilizations that sprouted spontaneously from below to the demands of the parliamentary negotiation process, many with the support of more radicalized sectors of the Popular Unity itself, would have compromised the quintessence of the transition strategy to the socialism with “red wine and empanada” – the need to adapt the pace and intensity of reforms to the balance of forces in parliament.[X]

Without contesting the programmatic foundations that supported the Chilean path to socialism, the radical wing of Popular Unity, composed of the leadership of the Socialist Party, the Christian Left and MAPU-Garretón, made the opposite assessment. Responsibility for the defeat was attributed to the moderate sectors of the coalition. The fundamental problem of Popular Unity would not have been that it pushed social transformations beyond what democratic institutions could support, but that it fell far short of what would be necessary for the demands of a revolutionary situation that polarized the class struggle between irreconcilable poles.

In addition to possible sectarianism that could have made negotiations with center parties difficult, the inevitable quarrels that involve every political dispute and the inevitable exaggerations in any process of social transformation, the fatal mistake of the Allende government would have been its unshakable faith in the solidity of democratic institutions. Trapped by an ingrained parliamentary cretinism, Popular Unity would not have had the necessary flexibility to abandon a tactic that proved to be absolutely unfeasible nor the indispensable boldness to improvise the defense of the government through extra-institutional means – the only alternative that could have given some chance of victory to the popular forces.

The inability to merge the “revolution from below” with “the revolution from above” and to organize a preventive insurrection that would stop the coup offensive would have been the cardinal sin that would explain the calamitous outcome of the Chilean road to socialism. The Allende government's distrust in relation to the expansion of “popular power”, due to the fear that the revolutionary storm could overwhelm the institutions and constitute itself as a parallel power, would have fractured the revolutionary movement at the moment when the counter-revolution was unifying. The obsessive insistence on an institutional solution to the political crisis, when the evidence that the bourgeoisie and imperialism were openly conspiring for a coup d'état was glaring, left popular forces completely powerless to face the counter-revolution.[xi]

Despite the virulence of the defeat suffered, the parties that made up Popular Unity did not question the program and historical interpretation that underpinned the peaceful path to socialism.[xii] Among moderates and radicals, the common sense prevailed that, in general terms, the theory of the Chilean revolution was correct. The prevailing spirit was summarized in a concise manner by Sergio Bitar, Salvador Allende's former Minister of Mining: “to state that the failure of the experience lived in Chile was already predetermined, due to the impossibility of following the institutional path, takes away all the interest of analysis, in addition to being inaccurate. It also does not explain either the electoral victory or the three years of government. Our initial statement is that the coup d'état in Chile was not predetermined and, therefore, the outcome was not inevitable. Furthermore: at the beginning the conditions were favorable to implement the Popular Unity program in its general terms. When it began, the process was undoubtedly viable.”.[xiii]

Even recognizing important gaps in the program, such as, for example, the mistaken reading about the nature of the Chilean State and the absence of a concrete reflection on the role of violence in the revolution, and admitting the absolute unpreparedness of the Popular Unit to face the counter-revolutionary offensive that overwhelmed workers and left-wing organizations, Carlos Altamirano called for the gradual path to socialism to be agreed upon without further consideration. In his interpretation of the reasons for failure, he states: “Until the advent of the Popular Government in 1970, the problem of access routes to power seemed to have a more adjective character. The safe and constant development of popular movement within the framework of a liberal institutionality, apparently broad and flexible, tended to make a deep discussion of the topic irrelevant and academic".[xiv]

Inadequacy of means and ends

The critical assessment of the Chilean path to socialism remains, however, incomplete. The myth of the peaceful transition to socialism, within the institutions of the bourgeois State, persists without question by the main political forces inherited from Popular Unity. The enigma of defeat has not been deciphered. Transformed into a hero of the country, with the right to a statue in a public square in front of the palace where he was immolated, Salvador Allende was converted into a national hero. An unlikely hero. His legalism under any circumstances is claimed and praised by the establishment as an example to be followed, while his radicalism remains an anathema that cannot emerge from the shadows.[xv]

Even though the tragic outcome of the peaceful path to socialism was directly conditioned by the actions and omissions of social classes, social movements, political parties and flesh-and-blood leaders who fought each other on the concrete terrain of the war in Chile, with emphasis on impotence of popular forces in the face of the conspiratorial action of North American imperialism and the feloniousness of the armed forces led by General Pinochet, the defeat of the Chilean revolution cannot be reduced to the tactical problems that conditioned the action of the Allende government nor to the mere lack of a military device to combat the coup d'état.

Put into perspective, the tragedy of the Chilean revolution originated many decades before Salvador Allende came to power, when the political and trade union organizations of the socialist left were inextricably entangling the workers' program, method, strategy and instruments of struggle. to bourgeois institutionality, restricting the horizon of the socialist movement to the framework of parliamentarism and the common sense of public opinion.[xvi] In the absence of a historical interpretation based on the contradictions that drove the transition from the colonial Chile of yesterday to the Chilean nation of tomorrow, the program of Popular Unity he underestimated the difficulties and overestimated the possibilities of the Chilean revolution.

Seeking solutions that were not inscribed in reality, the popular government fell far short of what was required by historical challenges. The generous experience of the Chilean revolution led by Salvador Allende demonstrated in the worst possible way that the harmonious transition to socialism with red wine and empanada was an unattainable romantic project.

By rejecting in advance the possibility of civil war as an inexorable outcome of the polarization of the class struggle, Popular Unity was completely powerless to face the counter-revolution. Against the predicate that violence is the midwife of history, against the lessons given by the tragic experience of the Paris Commune, ignoring the examples of the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution and the Cuban Revolution, disregarding the recurring massacres of popular rebellions in history of Chile and abstracting from the particularly violent characteristics of the imperialism of its time, the Chilean path to socialism imagined that it would be possible for an underdeveloped social formation, of colonial origin, to pass unscathed through the trial by fire of a democratic and national revolution, with a strongly anti-capitalist content. , in the middle of the Cold War, in the backyard of the United States, disjointed from an international socialist movement, with the Soviet Union already in an advanced state of entropy.

The limit of the praxis that guided the Chilean path to socialism is evident in the denial of the strategic role of parallel power as the only means of overcoming the bourgeois State and guaranteeing the conquest of power by the subaltern classes. The unshakable faith in the possibility of leading the process of social transformation based on established institutions is evident in the Popular Unity's conception that the self-organized popular power should subordinate itself to the Allende government's reasons of state. In this, moderates and radicals coincided.

Popular Unity could not give up absolute control over the reins of the change process. The leaders could not be run over by the insurgent masses. To the workers at the Yarur factory, taken over by employees in April 1971, Salvador Allende explained his difficulty in accepting the relatively spontaneous character of the great historical turning points: “The successful (revolutionary) processes are happening with a strong direction, in the lot. The masses could not surpass the leaders, because they had the obligation to direct and did not want to direct themselves for the masses.”[xvii]

Carlos Altamirano’s formulation is essentially the same: “But if double power exhibits full legitimacy in Russia in 1917, it is because state power, in absolute terms, was an instrument of the bourgeoisie. (…) This was certainly not the case in Chile. Seeing the Popular Government as an enemy, dispensing with the idea that this was the main power of the working class and the peasantry, was an error, and an inexcusable subjectivism".[xviii]

In a complete reversal of the sense of determination that should preside over the revolutionary method, the resolution of the masses who rose up against bourgeois power could not override the political calculations that condition parliamentary negotiations. In the wake of the imperatives of the transition to socialism with red wine and empanada, popular power – an embryo of revolutionary government – ​​was prevented from gaining autonomy and fulfilling its desire.

The Popular Unity program failed not only due to the inadequacy of the necessary relationship between means and ends, but also due to the definition of objectives that were far beyond the field of possibilities. The main goals of economic policy, for example, were unachievable.

Unrelated to a radical change in the productive structure – a process that requires a long period of maturation –, without the imposition of a draconian rationing system, the bold wage increase policy would not be able to avoid an accelerated shortage crisis.[xx] For unavoidable material reasons, related to the low development of productive forces, the fight against social segregation and income concentration is incompatible with the continuity of the consumption pattern based on copying the lifestyles and consumption patterns of central economies.[xx]

A consistent income distribution policy would, therefore, require a drastic lowering of the traditional standard of living of the middle and upper classes, a phenomenon underestimated in the Popular Unity program, which had as one of its assumptions the possibility of a relatively harmonious transition from underdevelopment to national development, a necessary condition to count on the support of a portion of the middle classes – a fundamental political premise of the Chilean path to socialism.[xxx]

The project of achieving economic autonomy by deepening industrialization through import substitution, with measures to nationalize national wealth and nationalize the means of production, went against the trends of the international division of labor. It had no chance of becoming reality. No matter how good the effort to avoid macroeconomic imbalances, the sudden increase in society's consumption capacity could not fail to result, as in fact it did, in the accelerated disorganization of the economic system.

As long as humanity's technological and financial heritage remains monopolized by imperialist powers and large transnational corporations, the freedom of underdeveloped economies to boost national development is extremely limited. The maximum that countries in the weak link of capitalism can aspire to is to regain control over the purposes that guide the incorporation of technical progress and to socialize among the population the standards of material and cultural life that are accessible to them, taking into account the degree development of its productive forces and the possibility of accessing technologies from developed centers – an issue that ultimately depends on the ability to circumvent imperialism’s retaliations.[xxiii]

Socialism, understood as a process of transition from capitalism to communism, was far beyond the horizon of possibilities of Chilean society. The leap from underdevelopment to development, inspired by European social democracy, was also not within the reach of capitalist societies of colonial origin, whose bourgeoisies live off the super-exploitation of work.

The objective and subjective bases that conditioned the class struggle left Chilean society faced with two effective alternatives: the solution that overcomes the dilemmas of the formation of contemporary Chilean society – the democratic and anti-imperialist revolution controlled by a workers' government with the task to eradicate social segregation and achieve national sovereignty; and the reactionary solution – the neoliberal counter-revolution based on the alliance between plutocracy and imperialism with the mission of bringing to a paroxysm the exploitation of labor, the plundering of natural wealth, the drawbacks of the modernization of consumption patterns and the commodification of all dimensions of life. 

The counterrevolution and need for revolution

Salvador Allende's efforts to avoid the sacrifices of the civil war were of no use. As Popular Unity did not destroy the bourgeois State, the bourgeois State destroyed Popular Unity. The humanitarian cost of the coup d'état led by Pinochet was devastating. The peaceful transition to socialism ended in carnage.

The bourgeoisie learned the lessons of the Battle of Chile and did everything in its power to consolidate the economic, social, political and ideological bases of the reactionary counter-revolution. He took advantage of Pinochet's years of terror to bring the neoliberal capitalist revolution to paroxysm, mercilessly massacre political opponents, destroy workers' political and social organizations and instill faith in the end of history in the population's imagination.[xxiii]

In the transition from the State of exception to the State of law, the military regime managed to institutionalize the pattern of liberal-peripheral accumulation and, with the collaboration of opposition forces, an important portion of which were made up of former Popular Unity cadres recently converted to the creed. neoliberal, managed to give a democratic veneer to a pattern of domination that was hermetic to the participation of subaltern classes. “Controlled democracy” functions as a restricted political circuit, monopolized by the plutocracy, completely averse to the mobilization of social conflict as a legitimate way of achieving collective rights.[xxv]

Exploitation, domination and alienation became cursed subjects, which should be avoided by statesmen. Everything was done to avoid the opening of democratic gaps that could put the fight for structural changes, against and within the order, back on the national agenda. The Chilean revolution was banned from public debate. Politics has been reduced to mere administration of the neoliberal order.[xxiv]

The neoliberal counterrevolution stifled the demands of the popular movement and stifled social protest, but it did not eliminate social and political contradictions that drive the Chilean revolution. The pattern of liberal-peripheral accumulation imposed by the military dictatorship and deepened by the civilian governments that followed it aggravated and intensified social antagonism. Five decades of neoliberalism have turned Chilean society into a powder keg. Repressed by State violence, the historical need for revolution continued to advance spontaneously and silently, without a defined direction, in the bowels of society.

The hostility against the status quo accumulated in the tectonic plates that support social life, manifested itself recurrently. The chronic feeling of social malaise in popular neighborhoods and the recurrent protests and social revolts against the progressive deterioration of the population's living conditions were evidence of the precariousness of social peace.

Finally, in October 2019, triggered by a protest by high school students against the increase in subway fares, in an unprecedented process in the history of Chile, the popular rebellion returned to the streets with the fury of a volcanic eruption. The massive demonstrations seemed to indicate that Allende's prediction would finally become reality, opening up “the great avenues along which free men would pass to build a better society”. In an open state of civil disobedience, with slogans against the economic model and the political model, the “Social click” reinstated the historical need for the Chilean revolution as the only means of stopping the advance of capitalist barbarism.[xxv]

With the peculiarities that gave the Chilean social protest a particularly epic character, openly challenging the established power, the unfolding of “Social click” basically followed the same pattern as the cycle of similar rebellions that, since the June Days of 2013 in Brazil, have spread across almost all Latin American countries. After an unlikely beginning, provoked by a minor social conflict, social protest became widespread in a seemingly unstoppable meteoric rise, until the wave of protests reached a peak and went into reflux, regressing after a while into social lethargy.

In the end, despite the virulence of the social and political upheaval, the foundations of the State were not shaken. Counting on the lack of guidance and organization in the streets, the dominant classes bet on the exhaustion of social protest. They managed the political crisis with brutal police repression and blatant ideological manipulation, while maneuvering the levers of power to enable the recycling of the neoliberal counter-revolution.[xxviii]

The abyss between the hopes for change awakened by the vigor, forcefulness and massiveness of the popular demonstrations and the surprising inability of the subaltern classes to realize the utopias of which they are bearers highlights the absolute relevance of reflection on the character, tasks and challenges of the Chilean revolution . The transformation of street energy into an effective force capable of transforming reality requires its condensation in the form of political praxis capable of influencing the determining elements of power. To overcome the established order, the “party of the streets” is obliged to overcome fractionation, overcome the indeterminate nature of its flags and overcome the lack of organization to act as a monolithic force, with revolutionary methods that are up to the historical challenges.

The defeats of the working class are never definitive. The sacrifice of those who fell in search of a better world is never in vain. Future generations bear the existential obligation to honor and avenge them. The knowledge acquired by Chilean workers through experiences lived in the heat of struggles is the heritage of the entire international socialist movement. Taking stock of past battles and learning lessons from setbacks is the first step towards organizing future victories.

The inexhaustible fighting spirit of Chilean workers inspires everyone who fights for the construction of a society based on substantive equality. Commitment, courage, boldness to seek unknown paths, dedication and dignity – attributes that were not lacking in the generous fighters of the Chilean road to socialism – are indispensable conditions in the struggle to overcome the people's misery, but they are insufficient. Utopia detached from reality is not a good advisor for the revolution.

The illusion that the bourgeois order can be overcome within institutions established with the primary objective of ensuring their self-preservation is a square of the circle. Without a revolutionary program, workers cannot overcome the horizon of the established order. Without revolutionary parties, the subaltern classes are powerless to confront the bourgeoisies that exploit them.

* Plinio de Arruda Sampaio Jr. He is a retired professor at Unicamp's Institute of Economics and editor of the website Contrapoder. Author, among other books, of Between nation and barbarism – dilemmas of dependent capitalism (Vozes). https://amzn.to/48kRt1T

Notes


[I] For a structural interpretation of changes in the pattern of capitalist development and their implications, see Mészáros, I. Beyond Capital: Towards a Theory of Transition, London, 1995.

[ii] At a meeting of the IMF, World Bank and United States Treasury Department in 1989, the measures to liberalize the Latin American economy were systematized by economist John Williamson in a prescription that became known as the “Washington Consensus”.

[iii] The transformism of Chilean society is examined in detail in the book by Tomás Moulian, Current Chile: Anatomia de un Mito, Santiago, LOM Ediciones, 1997.

[iv] For a synthetic historical overview of the formation of the colony's Latin American economy until the mid-XNUMXth century, see Celso Furtado, The Latin American Economy, São Paulo, National Ed., 1986; and Tulio Halperin Dongui, Contemporary History of Latin America, Madrid, Editorial Alliance, 1997.

[v] The book by Ignácio Gonzáles Camus, The day Allende died, Santiago, CESOC, 1988, narrates in detail Allende's last moments on the fateful September 11, 1973.

[vi] The notions of “revolution from above” and “revolution from below” were developed by Peter Winn, The Chilean Revolution, São Paulo, Ed. UNESP, 2009.

[vii] See Peter Winn, Tejectors of the revolution: Yarur workers and the Chilean way to socialism, Santiago, LOM, 2004.

[viii] The specificity of the political pact that sustained Chilean democracy is the subject of the book by Enzo Faletto, Eduardo Ruiz y Hugo Zemelman, Historical Genesis of the Chilean Political Process, Santiago, Editora Nacional Quimantu, 1972.

[ix] Peter Winn, The Chilean Revolution, São Paulo, Ed. UNESP, 2009, chap. 6 and 7.

[X] The interpretation of the “moderates” can be found in: Sérgio Bitar, Transition, Socialism and Democracy – Chile with Allende, Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 1980; Luis Corvalán, The Government of Salvador Allende, Santiao, LOM, 2003; and Juan Garcés, Allende and the Chilean experience: the weapons of politics, Barcelona, ​​Ariel, 1976.

[xi] The interpretation of the radical wing of the UP is systematized in Carlos Altamirano, Dialectic of a Defeat, Mexico, Siglo XXI, 1977.

[xii] Among the political organizations that participated in the Chilean revolution, only the Revolutionary Left Movement – ​​the MIR -, which remained on the sidelines of Popular Unity, highlighted the strategic error that meant ignoring the inexorable role of violence in history. However, by not questioning the UP's protagonism among the masses and not offering an alternative program, the MIR was unable to overcome its position as a supporting actor in the Chilean revolution. The analysis that underpinned the MIR's actions and its insistence on the inescapable need to build dual power as a condition for the victory of the socialist revolution is systematized in Rui Mauro Marini, Reformism and counterrevolution (Estudios sobre Chile), México, Ediciones Era, 1976. See also, Mário Maestri, “'Volveremos a la montaña!' – About Foquismo and the revolutionary struggle in Latin America”, in: History: Debates and Trends – v. 10, n.1, jan./jun. 2010, p. 96-121.

[xiii] Sergio Bitar, S. Transition, Socialism and Democracy, Chile with Allende, Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 1977, p. 26.

[xiv] Carlos Altamirano, Dialéctiva de una defeat, México, Siglo XXI, 1977, p. 26.

[xv] The legacy of the Popular Unity government and the significance of Salvador Allende in contemporary Chile are examined in Tomas Moulian, The Government of the Popular Unity – Para Comenzar, Editorial Palinodia, 2021.

[xvi] Julio Faúndez, Marxism and Democracy in Chile: From 1932 to the Fall of Allende, Yale University Press, 1988.

[xvii] Salvador Allende's reaction to the demand for nationalization of Yarur, the largest textile factory in Chile, took place on April 28, 1971. Peter Winn, The Chilean Revolution, São Paulo, Ed. UNESP, 2009, p. 103.

[xviii] Carlos Altamirano, Dialectic of a defeat, Mexico, Siglo XXI, 1977, p. 116.

[xx] Aníbal Pinto, “Notes on income distribution and distribution strategy”, in: Income Distribution in Latin America and Developmentment, Rio de Janeiro, Zahar, 1976.

[xx] Celso Furtado, Short Introduction to Development: Interdisciplinary Focus, São Paulo, Editora Nacional, 1981.

[xxx] As a historical figure of CEPAL, Pedro Vuskovic, former minister of economy in the Allende government, responsible for the UP economic program, was fully aware of the inseparable relationship between income distribution and development standards. However, even recognizing that a redistributive policy necessarily implies some reduction in the standard of living of the upper classes, Vuskovic believed that it would be possible to mitigate its effects by deepening industrialization through import substitution, a strategy advocated by Latin American structuralism. Its conception is systematized in: Pedro Vuskovic Bravo, “Income distribution and development options”, Cuadernos de la Realidad Nacional, nº 5, Santiago, September 1970, in: José Serra (org.), Latin America – Economic interpretation essays, Peace and Earth, 1976.

[xxiii] Plínio S. de Arruda Sampaio Júnior, Between the Nation and Barbarism: Dilemmas of Dependent Capitalism in Caio Prado Júnior, Florestan Fernandes and Celso Furtado, Petrópolis, Vozes, 1998, chap. 5 and 6.

[xxiii] For an examination of the political economy of the military dictatorship and its disastrous effects on Chilean society, see Aníbal Pinto SC, The Orthodox Economic Model and Redemocratization, Vector – Centro de Estudios Económicos y Sociales, 1982; y Joseph Collins and John Lear, Chile's Free-Market Miracle: A Second Look, Oakland, 1995.

[xxv] The notion of “controlled democracy” was elaborated by Tomás Moulian, in the book Current Chile: Anatomia de un Mito, Santiago, LOM Ediciones, 1997.

[xxiv] The profound social and cultural changes brought about by the neoliberal revolution are examined in Tomás Moulian, Current Chile: Anatomia de un Mito, Santiago, LOM Ediciones, 1997.

[xxv] For a detailed study of the Chilean social revolt, see Pierre Dardot, La memoria del futuro: Chile 2019-2022, Gedisa Editorial, 2023.

[xxviii] The social rebellion that shook Brazil in 2013 is the object of analysis in the book organized by Plínio de Arruda Sampaio Júnior, June days: The popular revolt in debate, São Paulo, ICP-Instituto Caio Prado Jr., 2014.


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