Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Pinochet is dead - the interests and attitudes that created him unfortunately live on

Celebration in Santiago, Chile, 10th September 2006

Augusto Pinochet, former dictator of Chile has evaded justice for the last tme, dying yesterday. Many relatives of the disappeared and murdered, those who were tortured and those forced into long exile are celebrating, others are angry that Pinochet never faced a proper investigation and prosecution of his crimes. Amongst those mourning the dictator will be the former evil leaderene herself, Margaret Thatcher, and the followers of the "Chicago Boys" and other pioneers of vicious neo-liberalism who were given free reign for their experiments in Chile.

The response in the British media shows much of that media in its' true political colours. Whilst crying crocodile tears for Pinochet's victims, the classic response, even in the so-called left-liberal independent is to laud the economic experiment that Pinochet ushered in on the back of mass repression, torture and murder as "setting a good example" which Thatcher et al followed. Scratch a so-called liberal... The public weasel words of these representatives of the so-called enlightened wing of capital give us an idea that many of them share a secret admiration for some of Pinochet's other methods (given away by their admiration for the "toughness" of Tony Blair and John Reid) This is to say nothing of the private thoughts and intentions of the true movers and shakers in Britain and other "advanced" Western economies - the political, military, security, industrial and financial elites. The leopard does not change its' spots and do we really think that the current Western ruling class would behave any differently to Pinochet if faced with any real threat to their power and privilege? Do we think that they are really morally and spiritually a world away from the ruling class of say, Columbia? No, they are just currently more secure....

Dictatorships are not anomalies springing from the chance ascendancy of "bad men", they are specific responses by elements of the ruling class and their dependents to perceived threats. With this in mind, the left across the world should take a very close look at the lessons of September 11th 1973, and what it reveals about the nature of the class enemy and what they were prepared to do right at the inception of their current ruling ideology. The response of the left at the time, in Chile and elsewhere is also of importance, showing positive ways to organise and respond, but also the dead ends of wrongly drawn lessons leading to armed elitism or social democratic capitulation/liquidation. Along these lines is a post to Indymedia reflecting on the Chilean events of 33 years ago.

The threat of fascism, dictatorship and war are not aberrations of the capitalist system, they are an ever present threat found deep in the marrow of societies where power is concentrated in elites, and ready to be turned to as alternative strategies of the ruling elites whenever real threats emerge or other approaches fail to deliver their desired economic outcomes.

Various comment across the blogosphere on this, including from Marc Cooper, a journalist who worked as a translator for Allende.

Selected other comment from Louise at Stroppyblog, the SPGB aligned Inveresk Street Ingrate, top green blogger Paul Kingsnorth, and last but not least, the inimitable Lenin's Tomb who comments that Pinochet is "Not dead enough!"

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At 9:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post. A good friend of mine's grandmother had to flee here to the United States from the horrors of Pinochet. Victor Jara (the Chilean folksinger/artist/activist/allkindsofothershit who was beaten, tortured, and murdered during the coming to power of the '73 coup forces) wrote this shortly before the coup when asked what love meant to him:
"Love of my home, my wife and my children.

Love for the earth that helps me live.

Love for education and of work.

Love of others who work for the common good.

Love of justice as the instrument that provides equilibrium for human dignity.

Love of peace in order to enjoy once life.

Love of freedom, but not the freedom acquired at the expense of others’ freedom, but rather the freedom of all.

Love of freedom to live and exist, for the existence of my children, in my home, in my town, my city, among neighbouring people.

Love for freedom in the environment in which we are required to forge our destiny.

Love of freedom without yokes: nor ours nor foreign."


At 7:32 am, Blogger USpace said...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
admire brutal dictators

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
don't kill the poor dictator

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
mourn evil tyrants...


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