The Chilean Road to Socialism

Dale L. Johnson is Associate Professor of Sociology, and Sociology Department Chairman, at Livingston College, Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey. Johnson has traveled to Chile a number of times since his residence there in 1964-65 to undertake research for his doctoral dissertation, "Industry and Industrialists in Chile" (Stanford University, 1967). He is coauthor with James D. Cockcroft and Andre Gunder Frank of another Doubleday Anchor Book, Dependence and Underdevelopment: Latin America's Political Economy (1972).





Anchor Books
Anchor Press/Doubleday
Garden City, New York

A Suni Paz, compañera, ciudadana del Tercer Mundo


Introduction: The Chilean Road to Socialism

PART I: Underdevelopment and Imperialism: A View from the United States

1. Multinational Corporations and Chile
The Multinationals, by James Cockcroft, Henry Frundt, and Dale Johnson
Chile's Nationalization of Copper, by Chile Research Group

2. U. S. Policy in the Making: Chile, to Accommodate or Crush
The Low Profile Swings a Big Stick, by David Eisenhower with Dale L. Johnson
The New Cold War in Latin America: The U.S. Press and Chile, by John C. Pollock with David Eisenhower

3. The Coincidence of Internal and External Counter revolutionary Forces
Chile and the Forces of Counterrevolution, by Dale Johnson

PART II: Underdevelopment and Dependence: A View from Chile

4. Copper, Chile's Wages of Toil
The Copper Cueca, by Evaristo López Almuna
The Decisions on Chile's Resources Are Made in New York, by Chile Copper Corporation
Natural Resources and Development, by Fidel Castro

5. The United States Presence in Chile
Wall Street Behind the Plot Against Chile, by Observatory
The Hidden Invasion, by José Cayuela
Food Program for Chile Will Be Ended
U.S. Gives Chile Credit for Military Purchases
Yankee Television Control, by Máximo Humbert
U.S.A. Manipulated the Mobile Group, by P.D.G.

6. The Search for National Independence
Economic Development Program of the Popular Unity
The Government and the Workers Take Control of Ford Motor Company
Popular Government's International Policy Objectives
Pablo Neruda Speaks on Chile's Debt Renegotiati
Socialist Countries Offer Their Technology and Open Their Markets

PART III: Popular Unity: Program, Ideology, and Political Allies

7. Popular Unity: Direction and Leadership
Chile Begins Its March Toward Socialism, by Salvador Allende
A South American Mao Emerges in Chile, by Fulvio Hurtado R.
The Forty Measures

8. The Popular Unity Coalition
The Political Position of the Socialist Party
Let Us Work Without Rest to Win the Battle of Production
Radicalism Is Not and Cannot Be Marxist

9. Christian Left and Revolutionary Left
Socialism and Communitarism, by Pedro Felipe Ramírez
The Christian Democrats and Their Ideological Crisis, by Rava
A New lnstitutionality, by Pedro Felipe Ramírez
Blow After Blow: Until Final Victory, by Julio Huasi

PART IV: Class Structure and Politics

10. Classes and Social Strata
Analysis of the Classes in Chilean Society, by MAPU

11. The Working Class: Principal Social Basis of Marxist Politics
The Working Class and Chilean Socialism, by James Petras

12. New Social Forces: Peasants and Marginals
Peasants Denounce the Intrigues of a Mummy Landowner
Araucanians Promote Civil War
Political Significance of Neighborhood Committees in the Settlements of Santiago, by Franz Vanderschueren

13. Equivocal Forces: The Middle Strata and Women
Radicalism and Bourgeois Sectors, by Salvador Allende
Fidel Castro on Women and Revolution

PART V: Institutional Forces

14. The Church
The Christians and the Triumph of the Popular Unity, by Arturo Navarro Ceardi

15. The Military
The Chilean Armed Forces: The Role of the Military in the Popular Unity Government, by Robinson Rojas

16. Education
Three Patterns for University Reform, by Thomás A. Vasconi

PART VI: The Opposition

17. The Reaction
Fidel Castro on Chilean Fascism and Revolution

18. Christian Democracy
The MIR Answers Frei, by the Secretariat of the Revolutionary Left Movement
The MIR Attack on the Communist Party, by Roberto Pinto

19. The Right 377 The Erosion of Private Property

20. Violence
To Kill a General
The Murder of Pérez Zujovic: Who Should Be Blamed?
Allende Denounces Sediation

PART VII: Economic Structure and the Process of Socialization

21. The Chilean Oligarchy
The Clans of Chile, by Santiago del Campo et al.

22. Economic Policy
Basic Aspects of the Economic and Financial Policy of Chile, by Banco Central de Chile
Chile: Toward the Building of Socialism, by Pedro Vuskovic

23. Banks, Bankers, and Banking
Banking Policy, by Banco Central de Chile
The Powerful Bank of Chile: Battle or Formula?

24. Industry
Monopoly in Chile and the Participation of Workers and the State in Economic Management, by Oscar Guillermo Garretón

25. Commerce and Consumption
Conversation with the Women of Chile, by Pedro Vuskovic

26. Agriculture and Agrarian Reform
Agrarian Reform in Chile, by Solon Barraclough

27. Urbanism
The Contaminated City, by Luis Alberto Mansilla

PART VIII: Problems of Transition to Socialism

28. The Direction of Economic and Social Planning
On the Chilean Road to Socialism, by Jacques Chonchol
Political Consciousness: The Base of Production, by L.C.
Automobiles and the Chilean Road to Socialism, by David Barkin
La Cueca del Auto, by Suni Paz

29. Socialism or State Capitalism?
The Communist Party: Reform or Revolution? by Glauris Fernandez

30. Populist Reform or Mass Revolutionary Mobilization?
Our Struggle Can Only Be a Mass Struggle, by Julio Arredondo


The Chilean Road to Socialism

Latin America's most visible revolutionary, Fidel Castro, spent nearly a month in late 1971 traveling to every corner of Chile. There he was enthusiastically greeted by large crowds, warmly embraced by the continent's most restrained revolutionary, Chilean President Salvador Allende, roundly pilloried by the opposition press, and frenetically followed everywhere by journalists from throughout the world. He gave daily impassioned, learned, and lengthy speeches and talked endlessly with hundreds of Chileans from all walks of life. Those in opposition to Chilean socialism became particularly upset when he conversed at length with the Church hierarchy and military officers. Shortly before and after his visit, the United States imposed stiff sanctions against Chile. Fidel's stay was climaxed by a large and violent anti-government and anti-Castro demonstration. Just before his departure, Fidel observed, "We have come to see something extraordinary. A unique process is taking place in Chile. Something more than unique: unusual! unusual! It is a process of a change. It is a revolutionary process in which the revolutionaries are trying to carry out changes peacefully."

Since Salvador Allende, backed by 36 per cent of the popular vote and the Popular Unity coalition of Marxist and left-of-center political parties, was officially proclaimed President on November 3, 1970, Chile has been flooded by visitors from all over the world: Regis Debray, famous French strategist of guerrilla warfare for Latin America, came directly from his Bolivian prison to reflect on the varieties of revolutionary strategy [1]; political exiles from repressive Latin American regimes settle to find refuge and employment; international bankers fly in to voice concern about Chile's nationalization policies; Russian, East European, and Chinese trade delegations and political observers come to talk; sophisticated West European tourists visit to reflect on the local political culture while sipping Chile's fine wines; Italian and French Communists come to learn about la vía pacífica; North American academicians travel to write endless books, theses, and articles; U.S. revolutionaries and reformers pass through to learn firsthand how imperialism works and how changes might be brought about non-violently in another setting; multinational corporation executives return from New York to drive hard bargains or close up shop; American journalists stay to write misleading stories; and CIA agents sneak in to conspire with the local opposition to bring down the Allende regime.

Perhaps something unusual, something unique is happening in Chile! Chileans, on the other hand, while flattered by all the international attention, don't seem to consider la via chilena to socialism so very unusual. The struggle for change there has been building up for decades within a context of underdeveloped capitalism, a socioeconomic system common to more than one hundred other countries and a political system borrowed from European parliamentary models by a pre-Allende ruling class with a taste for French culture, British ideology, and American business practice. That a plurality (now nearing a majority) of Chileans want to substitute a planned economic system for free enterprise, social leveling for rigid social inequality, development for stagnation, and social justice for social injustice, while retaining their constitutional system and "pluralist" democracy, is not unique—or even unusual. It is logical. It is what Chile has been moving toward for at least thirty-four years. What does qualify as unique is that Chileans have a chance, certainly no more than that, of building a new Chile [2] without the bloodletting that has heretofore been associated with real social change.

The possibility of a new Chile cannot be fully appreciated apart from consideration of the constraints built into the situation that President Allende and the Popular Unity government face. The origin of these constraints is largely in Chile's relation to the rest of the world. While the country is geographically remote from the mainstream of world activity, it is by no means isolated. This is why so much of the book is devoted to analysis of Chile's situation as an underdeveloped and dependent society. Underdevelopment means having an economic system that perpetuates poverty and its attendent human misery and living with social structures based on gross inequalities in social well-being, privilege, and power. Dependence is an international structure that conditions underdevelopment. Chile is unable freely to make decisions that affect its economic, social, and political life, since the range of choice is constantly limited by external economic and political powers that do not have Chile's national interest as a primary concern. Thus, dependence leaves Chile faced with either the consequences of decisions it does not autonomously control, or the consequences of foreigners' adverse reactions and retaliatory measures against any choices Chile makes for itself. Moreover, Chile's dependence leaves the country very vulnerable to the consequences of decisions over which it has no control whatsoever—decisions by such external forces as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, agencies of the U. S. Government, the International Telephone & Telegraph Corp., and a hundred other "multinational" corporations that operate, or would like to operate, in Chile.

These structures of underdevelopment and dependence, inherited from four centuries of colonial and neocolonial domination, constitute the main problem that Salvador Allende and the Popular Unity face. These structures constrain Allende at every turn and limit the means of making the transition from the old to the new society, of making a better life for all Chileans and setting an example for the world. So far, Allende and the Socialists, Communists, and non-Marxist supporters of the Popular Unity have taken decisive steps in the direction of a new Chile and have been able to do so by strictly constitutional means. But the changes are reversible, and the situation of the government is tenuous. The Popular Unity could be simply boxed in and voted out in the next election. But a civil war, a bloody counterrevolution assisted by outside powers, or a total revolution brought about by armed workers and peasants must be included among the possibilities.

One can hope that a new society is in the making with minimum bloodshed and maximum democracy. Many Chilean Communists and Socialists are among the optimists who see a new historical process opening after a thousand years of violent struggle by antiquated social systems to maintain themselves against the threats from new social forces. Certainly the institutions and powers of old slave and feudal societies never stood conveniently aside to permit the next stage of social evolution peacefully to supersede the ancien regime. Nor has a socialist system ever been constructed following the rules established by the preceding, capitalist order. Fortunately, there are always new chapters in world history.

This book is several things: a record of an important historical process described and analyzed by participants; a compendium of information and analysis of imperialism, nationalism, and social change; a textbook reader in development and political sociology; a source book of theoretical debates, conveniently tied to a concrete case, on the nature and strategy of the transition to socialism. Most of all, however, the book is designed to bring American readers information, analysis, and perspective on what is happening in Chile. Mainly, the Chileans speak for themselves. Chilean intellectuals closely examine the economic problems and social structure of Chile; Chilean Socialists analyze Chilean politics and the process of socialist transformation; Chilean conservatives and Christian Democrats explain their opposition views. As editor, I have consciously chosen not to editorialize and have instead made my own contribution to the book, together with that of my North American colleagues, in the form of a series of articles, contained in Part I, on Chile's relation to and problems with the United States. The rationale for this is that Chileans are best equipped to explain what their struggle is about and that we, as Americans, have an obligation to take a close (and critical) look at how our institutions and leaders affect other peoples.

Appreciation is extended to Compañera Magaly Ortiz of the Center for Socioeconomic Studies of the University of Chile for her invaluable assistance in preparing this volume. To Theotonio dos Santos, Vania Bambirra, Gunder and Marta Frank, and many other compañeros in Chile I owe much of my intellectual formation. Sincere thanks are given to the many Chilean authors and to their publishers for their adherence to the socialist principle that the sphere of private property does not extend to intellectual work.


1. In February 1971 Debray conducted a fascinating, lengthy interview with Allende and wrote an analysis of the Chilean process: Conversations with Allende (New York: Pantheon, 1971).

2. The North American Congress on Latin America has contributed a valuable addition to the literature available in English on Chile: NACLA, New Chile (P. O. Box 226, Berkeley, California, 94701).

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