I want to shout in the streets, "Remember Allende"
Bambouche 1,484 Posts
edited September 2007 in Strut Central
Those of you in New York should remember September eleventh by attending the Anthology Film Archives showing of Salvador Allende[/b]. First, because the day deserves quiet. Second, September 11, 1973, Allende committed suicide as his presidential estate was being bombed. His suicide "note," a national radio broadcast to his countrymen: Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. The movie is sufficient as far as movies go. Nothing really brilliant, nothing all that terrible. The beauty of it, though, is it's firsthandedness. Patricio Guzm??n is not shy about telling you what he thinks. I respect that. The film also serves as a great source for footage largely lost to history. People, really old people, talking about things they saw. This is good, as far as oral history goes. Especially given the unique ability of history to reveal the construction of truths. The movie, as well as Freedom of Information Act requests, shows how instrumental the United States was in the death of Allende. Not to mention Ren?? Schneider. It's troubling to see just how little is left of a man who lived his life so publicly. His family buried a photo album through the years of Pinochet dictatorship. It is dug up in the film. A sort of palimpsest of the time that has passed. History is flexible, and has many hands. Nixon knew this better than most.There is also footage of Allende addressing the United Nations, offering this prophecy beyond the outworks of his presentiments:We are faced by a direct confrontation between the large transnationalcorporations and the states. The corporations are interfering in thefundamental political, economic and military decisions of the states.The corporations are global organizations that do not depend on any stateand whose activities are not controlled by, nor are they accountable toany parliament or any other institution representative of the collectiveinterest. In short, all the world political structure is beingundermined. The dealer's don't have a country. The place where they maybe does not constitute any kind of link; the only thing they areinterested in is where they make profits. This is not something I say;these are Jefferson's words.To those of you who are not in New York:Have you had a chance to see this film? Have you thoughts on Chile, or Allende, or Wal-Mart or United Fruit or other transnational corporations? Let this get lively, or just use this thread as a reason to bump this if you haven't in a while:How much more evidence do the citizens needthat the election was rigged with trickery and greed?And, if this is so, and who we got didn't winlet's do the whole Goddam election over again!The obvious key to the whole charadewould be to run down all the games that they played:Remember Dita Beard and ITT, the slaughter of Atticathe C.I.A. in Chile knowing nothing about Allende at this time... in the past. It follows a pattern if you dig what I mean.[/b]And, with nothing but a crushed heart, sleep well Sweeney family.All my love,~B
i would love to see that film.
desaparecidos all across south america shouldnt be forgotten
my man allende went down with the ship, stuck in La Moneda with a rifle in his hand as forces he had to have seen coming collapsed in on him.
World's first popularly elected socialist head of state. Ushered in an unprecedented civic renaissance in Chile. also ushered in pinochet.
allende's name has been spoken with reverence in my household since i was a kid (seriously). thanks for the thoughts and the vigilance
A palimpsest is a manuscript page, whether from scroll or book that has been written on, scraped off, and used again.
I wish our country would start to understand this. Instead the supreme court has given corporations the same rights as citizens. The congress has given corporations more rights than citizens.
In just the last few years the right to file bankruptcy has been all but eliminated for individuals but corporations right to file bankruptcy has not been limited. Corporations file bankruptcy more often and default on more debt than individuals ever did. Right here in Portland a corporation owned by the 3rd richest man in the world filed bankruptcy to avoid paying money owed to small business and to force the city to renegotiate a contract.
In just the last few years the right sue when harmed has been sharply limited for individuals. Corporations rights to sue were not effected. Corporations clog the courts with many more lawsuits (and more frivolous ones) than individuals. Right now the Scott Lawn Fertilizer people are suing a guy who makes fertilizer from worm shit. Not because he is doing anything wrong, just to keep him from gaining a market share. Scott knows that a small start up can't afford to go to court against them. Even if the worm shit guy wins the cost of fighting the suit will break him. http://www.suedbyscotts.com/
Not the first popularly elected socialist. Israel has always been a socialist country so David Ben-Gurion (sp?)predates him. All of Western Europe is also socialist. Maybe the first in the Latin America, but wasn't Castro popularly elected?
Lets go back, lets go way back. Our form of democracy was heavily influenced by the Iroquois. Long before we came to this country they were practicing representative democracy. I would say the were more communist than socialist; to each according to need, from each according to ability.
As beautifully surreal as it was odd. Somoeone shed some light.
Meanwhile, those who dominate opinion on all levels have found no better defense than pretending that those others don't exist. It follows a pattern if you dig what I mean.
There's a pattern. (Which reminds me... Dan, you--as well as Tony's parents--would make for great juxtaposition during that parking lot footage in Instrument with all the dudes blabbering on about slamdancing, combatted only by one women who said, "I heard about the benefit on NPR, so I brought my kids down to check it out." "There's a pattern." (Which also reminds me, Jay-Z rhyming about shoes over a Fugazi loop should be added to that Dischord v. Nike thread))
Gotta go, got bricks to throw
there are too many people that still don't know the name (or the u.s./c.i.a. involvement against him and other positive latin american people's movements ), which is why as a teacher, i need to make sure it's there.
its hard to untangle movement and political history. take the blackpanther party and sds. infiltrated at all organizational levels to the point where the intentions of those proposing actions/leading the way are anybody's guess...
Main points being: 1) Allende only got 1/3 of the vote in the 1970 election because the major parties splits so he didn???t have a mandate from the public to rule. His party only got 50% of the workers??? vote as well. 2) Allende was a democratic socialist who wanted gradual change from the top down. When he got elected a lot of workers, peasants and unions wanted socialism NOW and started taking over factories and land, forcing the government to act much more faster than they had wanted or planned, forcing the government to nationalize things they didn???t want to, 3) These actions challenged the state that Allende headed because he was suppose to enforce the law, but ended up backing illegal take-overs, none of which he liked, 4) What to do led to a split in Allende???s coalition, 5) The take overs pissed off the middle and upper classes, 6) In turn the economy started falling apart (with the U.S. helping with a trade and credit embargo), 7) Society fractured in the process with the middle disappearing and people pretty much lining up on the Right or Left, 8) The Right blocked Allende in Congress and encouraged a military coup (along with the U.S.), 9) Allende himself ended up leaning on the military for stability but when the head of the army was assassinated the Rightist element took over and that was the end of it.
There was no way Allende was going to stay in power with his own supporters acting spontaneously and forcing him to do things he didn???t want, especially because he didn???t have the political base to push through things in government and maintain power in the face of the chaos that ensued. I think the Right, upper class, middle class and military would have moved against him even if the U.S. didn???t support a coup.
Working Class Political Participation During Salvador Allende???s Chile[/b]
In 1970, Salvador Allende became the first socialist president of Chile, and the first Marxist-Leninist to be democratically elected to office in the Western Hemisphere. Allende???s victory set off a wave of interest and hostility at his attempt at socialism through peaceful, democratic means. At the base of Allende???s support were Chile???s industrial workers which had organized and propelled him into office. In 1986, Peter Winn authored a book, Weavers of Revolution: The Yarur Workers and Chile???s Road to Socialism, discussing how workers at the Yarur factory, Chile???s largest textile business, had participated in Allende???s rise to power, and his eventual downfall. Using Weavers of Revolution as a case study, an analysis will be made of the workers??? role in Chilean politics during the early-1970s and what their successes and failures were in Salvador Allende???s experiment in democratic socialism.
IV. ALLENDE???s ELECTORAL VICTORY[/b]
A. The Setting
Chile???s 1970 presidential election saw the Left coalesce and the Right split, opening the way for Salvador Allende to become the Western Hemisphere???s first socialist president. The Right, which had supported the Christian Democrat (PDC) Frei in 1964, decided to run their own candidate, Jorge Allesandri, who had been president in 1958, due to a dispute with the PDC over the course of reform. The PDC nominated Radomiro Tomic from its leftist wing of the party, while the newly formed Parti Unidad Popular (Popular Unity Party) (PUP), made up of the Socialist and Communist parties, ran Salvador Allende, for his fourth attempt at the presidency. With the split in the traditional coalition between the PDC and the Right, Allende and his PUP saw an opening in Chile???s political system to finally gain victory in a presidential election. Allende???s 1970 campaign was bolstered by a growing middle class which was more open to the Left after President Frei had failed to come through with all of his promises of reform, and an increase in grass-roots peasant and worker organizations, which had always leaned to the Left.
B. The Victory
The division in the governing coalition split the Right and Center???s electorate leading to a fractured vote between the three parties. The September, 1970 presidential election resulted in an almost three way draw between the Nationalist Party, the Christian Democrats (PDC), and the Parti Unidad Popular (PUP). In the end, the PUP won a slim plurality with 36.3% of the vote, the National Party coming in second with 34.9%, and the PDC finishing last with 27.8%. Many commentators, such as Peter Winn, have attributed the 1970 PUP victory to strong worker and peasant support for Allende, and a general shift in the population towards reform with 64% of the electorate voting for the PUP and PDC. However, the 1970 election can also be seen as a continuation of the sectarian divisions within the lower strata of the Chilean populace. 64% of the populace might have voted for reform, but not for socialism or revolution as the PUP was advocating. During the presidential election, the reformist, not revolutionary, PDC retained its 50% of the working class vote, while the rest went to the PUP. Thus, it cannot be said that Allende enjoyed overwhelming proletarian support, nor that the PUP had a mandate from the people in general as it only enjoyed a little over a third of the overall vote tally.
C. The Program
The continued divisions between the Nationalist Party and the Christian Democrats allowed Allende to gain the presidency in 1970 and put forth his plan for the future of the country. Allende was an avowed Marxist and a committed parliamentarian. Through his long political history in Chilean politics, Allende came to believe that socialism could be created in Chile in the long-run through a controlled and directed peaceful revolution from above. During his first month in office, Allende promised to immediately raise the standard of living for workers by increasing their wages, thereby increasing consumption, giving the economy a needed short-term boost, and bolstering his support for the upcoming 1971 Congressional elections. In the long-term, Allende wanted to increase private investment to develop the economy and build the capital base and mode of production needed for socialism. Despite Allende???s best laid plans, his promises of socialist transformation set in motion actions could neither be controlled nor foreseen.
V. ALLENDE???S EXPERIMENT IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM[/b]
A. Initial Actions and the Response at Yarur
After wranglings with the Right and the United States, both of which opposed Allende???s electoral victory, Allende assumed the office of the presidency. Allende???s first action was to raise the workers salaries as he had promised during his campaign. Allende???s promises and actions in turn, inspired the young workers at Yarur. Taken with the victory of a socialist to the presidency, the new generation of laborers began to challenge the authority of the Yarur???s. First, the blue collar workers organized, followed by the white collar employees. The Yarurs were also aware of the change in the Chilean political landscape with Allende???s victory and finally capitulated to the workers??? demands for two independent unions, one blue collar, the other white collar, despite attempts to hamper and intimidate them. Enamored with their victory, the new union leaders began covertly planning the take-over of the Yarur factory with tacit support from sectors within Allende???s government, in what they saw as a fulfillment of Allende???s promise to gain control of the ???commanding heights??? of Chile???s economy, and placing them ???at the service of the people??? through nationalization. As Winn put it in his book, Yarur represented the old, traditional rightist Chile which Allende was attempting to transform. Thus, the labor struggle there became a na tional issue and would set the stage or subsequent worker action throughout the nation.
B. Short-Term Approval: 1971 Congressional Election
As Allende had planned, his increase in worker wages had given the economy a short-term boost, and industries were running at full steam. As the second part of Allende???s scheme, the up turn in the economy and his redistributive policies gave the PUP a victory in the 1971 congressional elections, with the PUP receiving 50% of the vote. The 1971 election was a short-term gain for Allende and his program, but his party failed to obtain any larger, sustainable support. The victory, however, gave Allende a false sense of long-term support for his plans, and was seen by many in the Parti Unidad Popular as a go ahead for radicalization and nationalization of the country???s leading industries. These beliefs would increase the unintended results that had already begun to be unleashed with Allende???s 1970 election.
After the 1971 election, the workers at Yarur moved ahead with their program to have their factory nationalized by the government. With support from some within the Parti Unidad Popular???s more radical wing, the Yarur union began a walk-out and boycott of Yarur. With Yarur being Chile???s largest textile industry, national attention already focused upon the workers??? actions, and a boycott in progress, the Allende government was forced to action. Following its promise to create a socialized sector of the economy, the government nationalized the Yarur factory, a first by the Allende government. The events at Yarur set off a wave of similar actions as the government began nationalizing factories and land across the country which began being seized by workers and peasants.
Allende had been opposed to the Yarur take-over, and was greatly angered by the support it had gained from sectors within his own government. Allende was further unhappy with the subsequent nationalizations which the government was forced to undertake. Allende???s opposition and the continued worker and peasant moves brought to the surface contradictions which had long existed within the Left.
C. Contradictions in the Left: Revolution From the Bottom Up
Most of the Left, Allende included, were committed to the parliamentary system and achieving socialism through Chile???s existing institutions and laws. The worker and peasant actions, which were sweeping the country, were not part of this faction of the Left???s plan. The land and factory take-overs were spontaneous and uncontrolled, what Winn termed an example of revolution from the bottom up. Allende had originally envisions an increase in worker and peasant support for his government and socialist plan, but not in the form that it was taking. The PUP had obviously underestimated their control over the masses, and found that their support could not be turned on and off like a faucet. The increase in worker activities not only added to divisions within the ruling PUP, but also to sectarian divisions within the larger society.
Most of Chile???s unions were divided along party lines. At Yarur, for example, the white collar union was behind the PDC, while the blue collar union supported the PUP. Party control over unions, however, was weak. Little coordination or consultation existed in Chile between unions and the parties they supported. Thus, Allende, and the other political parties, could not count on, nor organize, the unions effectively for a strong and consistent base of support.
Little more than a year into office, Allende was facing increasing difficulties with his road to socialism. Workers and peasants had taken Allende???s promises to heart, and began carrying them out on their own, leading the government in a revolution from the bottom up. Their actions, however, were not met with approval by Allende and the moderate faction of the PUP, which insisted upon close control over the political proess. A means of control though, was hard to find, as increased popular activity had also contributed to the growing divisions within the country and highlighted the loose alliance between political parties and unions which were nominally under their influence. By 1972, the actions of the working class came to challenge the country???s institutions which threatened the legitimacy of the state which Allende headed. Allende had proclaimed the rule of law, yet he was forced to use loopholes to nationalize businesses and land which had been illegally seized by workers and peasants in the first place. The stage was being set for the ensuing chaos and the military coup it engendered.
VI. CRISIS AND COUP[/b]
A. The Course of the Socialist Experiment
The increasing disputes over the course of Allende???s socialist experiment led to increasing divisions with the Parti Unidad Popular itself. The radical wing of the PUP, the Socialists and United Popular Action Movement (MAPU), advocated increased radicalization and support of grass roots organizations which were seizing land and factories. The moderates, on the other hand, led by Allende and the Communists, were or reasserting government authority over the course of reform and forging an alliance with the PDC and the middle class to forge socialism for the long-term. As Allende told the Yarur union when they were planning their take-over, ???Successful revolutionary processes are directed by a firm guiding hand, consciously deliberately ??? not by chance. ??? The masses can not go beyond their leaders, because the leaders had an obligation to direct the process and not leave it to be directed by the masses.???
B. Allende???s Response
In the increasing chaos that was sweeping the country with worker boycotts, take-overs, strikes, a U.S. trade and credit embargo, and increasing opposition from the Right, Allende chose to forge ahead with his plan to create an alliance with the middle class and PDC in the interest of stability, rather than support the PUP???s radical faction. Allende???s decision meant asserting government control over the masses to stop land and factory seizures which were alienating the middle class. Allende???s actions, however, proved to be too late.
The Christian Democratic Party (PDC) of Chile was deeply rooted in the tradition of reform. However, they were only supportive of capitalist reforms, not democratic socialism as Allende envisioned. Representing the petty bourgeoisie, the PDC also became estranged from Allende???s policies as they came to threaten the middle class livelihood with nationalizations affecting all sizes of businesses, small and large, throughout the country. The PDC also wished to maintain its role as a lively opposition rather than force an alliance with the PUP. Thus, Allende???s attempt to reach out to the PDC for support came too late, given the spontaneous actions of the lower classes, and his long-term plan of socialism.
Even if Allende had proven successful, Chile???s workers proved uncontrollable. Throughout 1972 strikes and take-overs increased in intensity. In 1972 there were 3,300 strikes, up from 204 in 1959, a sixteen-fold increase. During the same period, the socialized sector of the economy had grown far faster than the government had planned. By early-1973, 250 firms had been socialized, accounting for 80% of industrial production and 50% of GNP. By mid-1973 another 250 firms were added. Given the strikes, seizures, the inexperience of the PUP officials that came to run the socialized sector, and the internal and external opposition to Allende???s government, the economy came to a stand still. In the end, Allende opted for the military for stability, having failed to gain the PDC???s support, a move that would prove fateful.
C. Coalescing on the Right
As divisions and difficulties arose within Allende???s government, Chile???s Right began coalescing its forces. The continued nationalization and collapse of the economy led to political polarization of Chile an society. The PDC began slowly loosing its influence, eventually giving way to the Right. The middle class too, alienated by the government and workers??? actions, moved to the right, as the Center disappeared from Chilean politics. With this new found support, the Right successfully blocked Allende???s initiatives in Congress, where the PUP was still a minority party, and in the judiciary, but could not defeat him through the existing democratic process. Given the growing chaos throughout the country, the Right increasingly looked towards a military coup to restore order and oust Allende.
D. The Outcome
The 1973 election highlighted the deepening divisions within the country. No party gained in the vote, and the political process became deadlocked between right and left. The outcome was a military coup. On September 11, 1973, Chile???s military seized power in a coup everyone knew was coming. Allende was killed in the battle over the presidential palace, and the army moved to crush all popular organizations which had flourished during the PUP government???s period in office in an attempt to demobilize the population. Allende???s experiment in peaceful, democratic socialism, and the Yarur workers dream of a state run business to overcome their repressive working conditions, were destroyed.
Allende???s government and socialist experiment were fraught with contradictions from the beginning. First, his economic plan was flawed. Allende wanted to raise workers??? wages in the short-term to add to his support and boost the economy, but in the long-run, wanted increased private investment to develop. Governments cannot emphasize increased consumption and investment at the same time since spending and investing are two separate and contradictory activities. Allende could also not hope to mobilize the working class and maintain business support. Business is always put off by increased worker activity and union organizing since labor is the largest cost in production, and keeping wages low is the major means of gaining profit. Thus, Allende could not hope to accomplish his economic goals given his plan.
Allende???s PUP was also never successful at increasing its overall popularity with the Chilean electorate. During the 1970 and 1973 elections, the Parti Unidad Popular did not gain any votes, rather it maintained its base support of 50% of the working and peasant classes. Throughout Allende???s term in office, this meant that the PUP never held a majority in the Congress, severely hampering Allende???s efforts to forge socialism using the country???s existing parliamentary system. Peter Winn in his book, and other commentators, have failed to take note of this fact. Rather, they tend to claim that Allende had the full support of the majority of Chile???s workers and peasants, when in fact, they were evenly divided between the PUP and the Christian Democrats.
Adding to Winn???s misperceptions of Chile during the early-1970s is his use of the Yarur factory to represent the overall situation throughout the country. The Yarur factory and its workers were the first to become radicalized in the country, the first to boycott, and was the first to be nationalized. Other workers did not act so enthusiastically for the Allende government, nor for worker control over their factories. According to some, the actual worker participation in the socialized businesses was weak. Absenteeism, for example, was up after the take-overs occurred. At Yarur, absenteeism went from 6% to 14% after nationalization. Winn even makes note of these contradictions and differences in the working class, but goes on to comment that despite these, all of the workers at Yarur were for revolutionary transformation. Something that seems hard to believe given his own observations.
In the end, Winn, believes that Allende should have gone with the workers and revolution, rather than the middle class, PDC, and eventually, the military. It remains to be proven that the working class could have been counted on, however. As many writers on Chile have noted, the working class within the country was never homogenous, nor wholly behind the PUP. As noted before, 50% of the working class consistently voted for the PUP, while the rest supported the PDC. The PUP was itself divided between moderate and radical factions, each with their own constituency within the proletariat. As Marx and Lenin even came to realize, when the working class becomes mobilized, it does not always move in a revolutionary Marxist direction. Rather, the lower class tends to act pragmatically for their own immediate economic benefit. Many workers at Yarur, and across the country, who supported Allende, acted thus, with little to no idea of the socialist vision nor plan which Allende believed in. As Winn points out, there were many workers at Yarur who had joined the union opportunistically after Allende???s 1970s victory rather then out of any deep seated conviction in socialism. Given these facts, it does not appear that Allende could have come to rely on the proletariat for a consistent base of support for revolution, even if he had wanted to.
The spontaneous actions of workers like those at Yarur, eventually did lead to Allende???s downfall. In a study of what they termed ???hypermobilization??? in Chile, two social scientists noted that mobilization was a doubled edged sword, acting both positively and negatively. In Chile, mass mobilization meant the formation of diverse, grass roots organizations which acted upon their own initiative to seize land and factories across the country. For a time, Chile witnessed true peoples??? power as the masses worked to improve their immediate conditions, and instituted democratic control over their work places. In turn, these actions alienated the middle class and PDC, which Allende had hoped to coopt to forge socialism in the long-term in Chile. The lower class??? moves added to the economy???s growing difficulties, led to political polarization, disintegration of the center, and united the Right, just as the Left???s cohesion was breaking apart, all of which contributed to the 1973 military coup. ???Hypermobilization??? truly did cut both ways in Chile.
Chile had once been the seat of democracy in the Western Hemisphere. The promises Allende made about socialist transformation released forces within Chile which could neither be controlled nor predicted. It was only in the ensuing chaos that engulfed the country, that Chile???s elite moved away from their long democratic tradition to support a coup when all parliamentary means were exhausted to halt Allende???s program and the workers??? action. In turn, the brutality and scope of the military???s take-over could not be foreseen. What Allende failed to realize was the power his words had upon the working classes??? hopes and inspirations for a better future. What the workers failed to see was that Allende was not for their spontaneous actions, their increasing demands for immediate economic improvement, nor the idea among some for immediate socialist revolution. It was the failure of the political parties, Allende himself, and the proletariat, to effectively communicate which led to Allende???s downfall. Communication between the lower and upper strata of society have always proven difficult in any country, and Chile???s proved no exception. The result, however, could not have proven more deadly.
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There's hope. The version I saw was in Spanish, but it had English subtitles while the version on the internet appears to be without subtitles.
There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.
What would capitulation achieve?
Allende was attempting a revolution without an armed conflict. He was asking, generally speaking, the bourgeois to suicide. If he'd taken control of the army and overthrown the bourgeois, the militant PUs would've been loyal to him, but he would have had to bully business in the same way. He was truly revolutionary because he had an ideal that he thought would work, peacefully, for everyone, especially those who had been largely overlooked in generations past--the workers. The rich didn't like it because it asked them to share. And rich people don't like sharing.
We'll never know. The US was pumping millions of dollars through the CIA to sabotage and propagandize against him. This campaign encouraged both the private and public sectors (the Vatican, The Christian Democratic Party, the Catholic Church, ITT, Anaconda, Kennecott) to sabotage him as well. For Cuba it was sugar, for Chile it was Copper. (If we can't break the Asian's will/ We'll bomb the dykes and starve the man!). America! The international Jekyll and Hyde. All in the interest of corporate control and Red Scare.
There's no fair assessment of the effect of Allende becaused it is marred by duplicity.
DJ Neta and I had this same conversation. She encountered similar misinformation and distrust in interviewing members of the Black Panthers. There's no real history in these situations. When these groups have been infiltrated and sabotaged, and everyone is suspicious of everyone else, a universal truth is replaced with universal doubt.
History, in these cases, is left in pieces, the result of chicanery, and will likely change with the declassification of US documents.
And what are we left with now?
Bumper stickers saying
Free the Watergate 500BUSH LIED!
Allende didn't even have control of his party, nor the workers or unions however, and only a plurality of the vote. Do you think the CIA was behind the worker and peasant takeovers of factories? Do you think the upper and middle classes were going to put up with that?
His vision of gradual democratic socialist transformation was not the one some of the workers and peasants had, and his party only got 50% of the workers vote to begin with.
And I was wrong in that ealier post. The Communists were actually pretty conservative and supported Allende, the Socialist party wanted dramatic and immediate workers' action and supported the take overs strikes and boycotts, all of which Allende was against.
That's what I mean about a double-dealt history. In Guzm??n's documentary it was unnerving to see people (workers, farmers, politicians, communists) reflect on Allende with shame. They loved him. And they loved him to such a degree that they were shamed by the mention of his name. I can't think of any politician who I could love, much less feel shame in reflecting on their life as it relates to my degree of political involvement. Can you imagine loving Clinton or Bush or Giuliani or McCain or Obama in that way? Those people make me want to kick things.
It's obvious from the film that there are as many opinions about Allende and his policies as there are Chileans, but there is certainly a recognition--among the militants as well as the US ambassador--of his conviction. Anarchists crying in shame, railway workers reminiscing that they owed it to him to stand in front of La Moneda to prevent the military from bombing. People who were genuinely engaged in his hope for Chile.
I don't think it's as easy as "the CIA was behind the worker and peasant takeovers of factories." To spend millions and millions of dollars in a decade long campaign of misinformation will most certainly produce instability and uncertainty in people, but it will also cripple all genuine objectives. When you have to spend the majority of your time combatting bullshit, there's no time left for your genuine purpose.
Had he been free of the entanglements of the red-scared US, I'm sure he would have still suffered the wrath of the socialists as well as the rich. I can't imagine the rich would give up their privilege easily, because the rich have proven to be pretty selfish, and socialists love a good armed conflict, but we'll never know.
All that aside, the disingenuousness is what's most troubling to me, not his crazy-headed, utopian-wide-eyed, runnin'-on-empty with only 50% of the vote-vision. And what we can't beat with duplicity or treason, we choke financially, and when we still can't win we assassinate. Ren?? Schneider, for example. If a problem can be solved by simply killing the Commander-in-chief of the Chilean army, then fuck it, kill him? The US has made a habit of killing people like Schneider. What kind of democratic land of the free are we?
And how many of the books in your bibliography would stand as true and correct should the mounds of classified documents be made available to history?
I don't want it to come off like I am one of those "It's all a bunch of fucking lies, man!"-type of conspiracy theory dudes, but to live your life with the general assumption that most of what you hear is not the truth--that's some cold shit. I'd sincerely prefer a president I genuinely believed, even if his policies were riddled with shortcomings. At least I'd know it was something worth investing in. Dying for, perhaps. That won't happen here.
America is a myth.
And I don't think he was a "crazy idealist" at all. He was a pretty straight-forward democratic socialist with a pretty strong hint of Lenninst elitism of the leaders have to lead the masses, not the other way around. Hence Allende to the Yarur factory workers after they took the place over. ???Successful revolutionary processes are directed by a firm guiding hand, consciously deliberately ??? not by chance. ??? The masses can not go beyond their leaders, because the leaders had an obligation to direct the process and not leave it to be directed by the masses.???
Things were coming apart in Chile and some of it was due to his own party that was divided along ideological lines. And you said it yourself, the rich weren't going to stand for the workers and peasants taking over their stuff so Allende was stuck in the middle because he didn't want that to happen either but had no sway with the wealthy to bridge the gap between the classes. Whether the U.S. was involved or not that conflict was going to happen.
Made by Australian doco maker David Bradbury. He lives in the same area as me (Northern New south wales) and has a pretty awesome filmograpny
Other films he has made
Very commited activist and filmaker who is also active on local issues
Thanks for this.
Why did I think you lived in Portland, OR, USA?
I don't think there's much we're disagreeing about. I realize the chain and/or cause and effect history has built into it.
I'm just stuck on this one thing.
Indeed, there would have been conflict. Perhaps even armed resistance, civil war, or worse. But had the US not gotten involved, more people would be alive today. Killing people is not inconsequential. We can't assassinate one man and back another into a corner, causing him to suicide rather than capitulate, and just chalk it up to, "well, there were bound to be problems."
Forgive me if this isn't what you're implying. That's how I've read it.
The world would be a better place today had Allende lived. At least so he could answer to history for his failures. That failure is conjecture... nobody knows what could have been.
Ozzie born and bred mate...
Have lived in Japan (3years) and UK (6 months)
Have been to Portland on my travels and the USA 5-6 times (NAMM show many times)