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IW 03

Chile

CHILE

The political situation and Podemos

Demonstration in Chile

The binomial electoral system in Chile, which allows candidates with a minority of votes to be elected from a list, has established two majority blocks (Agreement for Democracy and Alliance for Chile) which administer the “model” politically, socially and economically, ironing out any creases and modifying it to make the capital dictatorship of labor more efficient. A “political consensus” has been developed due to the relative tie of forces in Parliament between these two blocks of party forces.

The Concertación (Agreement), during these 16 years of government with three different Presidents, has proved without doubt that center leftism rules with imperialism. The slow process of gaining consciousness among the working class after almost 40 years of defeats is reflected by the increase in protests which are still partial, sectorial, and lack unification; in the loss of confidence in the Agreement; in the attrition of the bloc in government and the appearance of cracks inside these conglomerates.

In this election year (the president is elected, all the deputies are replaced as well as half of all the senators), the left is grouped in the “Podemos” (“Together We Can”) coalition. This front is one more of the many set up by the CP with the rest of the left, which is atomized in small groups like the MIR, Christian Left and groups of the SP. The only new aspect of Together We Can is that it comes about in the context of an erosion of the blocs in the government and in Parliament.

In the National Assembly for Democracy and National Sovereignty where integral groups of Together We Can participated, the CP imposed its candidate for president (Tomas Hirsch of the Humanist Party), the program, and reserved for itself the most important of all, the candidates for senators and deputies. “The Programmatic Platform for a just, solidarity, sovereign and democratic Chile” illustrates the democratoid content of Together We Can: “In Chile, in Latin America and in the whole world, a small percentage of the population possesses vast wealth…. These minorities have systematically taken hold of political and economic power as well as technology. This process which devastates sovereignty and national independence finds its maximum expression in the form of free trade treaties (FTA), or more specifically in the intention of imposing the Free Trade Area of the Americas.(FTAA).”(1)

Not a word about capitalism, monopolies and the predominance of finance capital, all of which are central characteristics of the decomposition of the capitalist system during its phase of imperialism. Not a word is mentioned about unifying the working class in the struggle for their main and historic objectives. The current struggles of the people are not a step towards a fair and democratic Chile in solidarity but rather a desperate defense of minimal survival conditions.

“A national policy on copper requires the regulation of its production to avoid global over production and a fall in its price; charging at least 10% compensation for the value of any high quality copper extracted and the collection of tax revenue from the 19 transnational companies in our country today, while at the same time marching towards their re-nationalization; creating incentives for smelting and refining in Chile, expanding and strengthening Codelco and transferring 10% of the sale of copper to the Armed Forces to the National Budget.”[2]

The anti-imperialism of the PC only goes as far as collecting taxes, it is less than a bourgeois nationalist program because it defends the international price of copper produced by the monopolies inside Chile and outside of the country as well.

In opposition to this new tendency of the PC, to create a front, Together We Can, which would be the start of a popular front, at a moment that the masses and the Chilean people are slowly starting to take up the struggle once again in pursuit of national and social liberation, the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (Revolutionary Workers Party), the Chilean section of the Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International, denounces and declares:

1º) That the origins and the roots of poverty among the workers and the masses are not to be found in a so-called “neo-liberalism” created by a sick mind in the intellectual hub of imperialism, but rather in the world capitalist crisis which has deepened as a result of the fall in the rate of profit, and which will lead humanity towards new catastrophes, wars and revolutions.

2º) That the depth of the crisis of imperialism is made manifest in Latin America and Europe in its need to co-opt the left, including the “radical” and national left, in order to defend bourgeois power from the assault of the masses.

3º) That liberation from capital's exploitation of labor and national liberation is only possible in Chile, Latin America and the world via socialism understood as a workers and peasants government, built upon the destruction of the bourgeois state, sustained by the organs of popular power.

4º)That only direct mobilization for the minimum demands of the people, together with transitional demands, will allow the workers to rise up as a legitimate actor in Chilean society. To vote for the Alianza por Chile (Alliance for Chile) or for the Concertación (Accord) is to vote for even more slavery.

5º) That those who call themselves followers of revolutionary Marxism and find themselves being a part, via the Bloc for Socialism, of Together We Can, should stop fooling their militants and sectors of influence, and should join in once and for all the construction of a revolutionary party which struggles for the political independence of the working class and all salaried employees.

6º) We are for the expropriation without compensation of copper and all our mineral resources under the control of the workers and all salaried employees. In this way, we are for the expropriation without compensation and under workers control of all the energy and oil industries from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego. Long live the struggle of the Bolivian people for their natural and energy resources!

7º) No to the alliance of the pro-capitalist Lagos government with US imperialism. No to Chilean troops in Haiti! For the socialist unity in Latin America!

* Chilean section of the CRFI

By Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (*)

[1]-[2] Revista Pluma y Pincel Nº 185, junio, 2005.