Chile's Road to Socialism


CHAPTER 1

The Programme of Unidad Popular

Programme approved by the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, the Radical Party, the Social Democrat Party, the Movement of Unitary Action (MAPU) and the Independent Popular Action

Santiago, 17 December 1969

The parties and movements which form the co-ordinating committee of Unidad Popular, compromising neither the philosophy nor the political character of each group, are in complete agreement with the analysis of the national situation as set out below, and with the programme of activities which is to be the basis of our joint action, and which we here present to the people for their consideration.

Chile is in a state of profound crisis. This may be seen in our economic and social stagnation, in our general poverty and in the forms of total neglect suffered on all fronts by the workers, the peasants and other exploited groups, as well as in the increasing difficulties which face clerical workers, professional people and the smaller businessmen and in the limited opportunities existing for women and young people.

Chile's problems can be solved. Our Country has great natural wealth, such as copper and other minerals, an enormous potential for hydroelectric development, great forested areas, a long sea-coast rich in marine life, agricultural land which is more than adequate, etc. What, then, has gone wrong?

What has been wrong with Chile has been a system that does not correspond to the needs of our time. Chile is a capitalist country, dependent upon imperialism and dominated by sectors of the bourgeoisie allied to foreign capital. These sectors are unable to solve the fundamental problems of the country, problems which are derived precisely from class privileges which they will never give up voluntarily.

Furthermore, as a result of the world-wide development of capitalism, the contribution made by the national monopoly bourgeoisie to imperialism grows progressively greater, while their dependent condition further emphasizes their role of junior partner to foreign capital.

For the great majority, however, it is a hard struggle to sell their strength, their intelligence and their labour day by day, and on the whole they are deprived of the right to decide their own future.

In Chile the 'reformist' and the 'developmental' formulae applied by the Alliance for Progress and adopted by the Frei government have not succeeded in making any important changes. Basically it has been another bourgeois government in the service of national and foreign capital, whose feeble attempts at social change have disintegrated with neither grief nor glory in economic stagnation, in shortage of supplies and in the violent repression of the people. This has shown once again that reformism is incapable of solving the problems of the people.

The development of monopoly capitalism prevents the spread of democracy and encourages the use of violence against the people. The fighting spirit of the people rises as reforms collapse, and this in turn hardens the attitudes of the more reactionary sectors of the ruling class, which, in the last resort, have no other recourse but to violence.

The brutal forms of violence applied by the present state, such as the activities of the Mobile Guard, [1] the attacks upon peasants and students, and the slaughter of squatters and miners, are inseparable from the other, no less brutal forms of violence experienced by the Chilean people.

Because violence exists whenever some own luxury homes while next to them the greater part of the population lives in insanitary conditions and others do not even have a place to live; there is violence wherever food is thrown away by some, while others do not have enough to eat.

Imperialist exploitation of backward economies takes many forms: it can take the form of investment in mines (copper, iron, etc.) and in industrial activities, both in banking and in commerce; it can mean technological control that forces us to pay the highest prices for equipment, licences and patents, or North American loans which stipulate that we must buy in the United States, and with the additional clause that the purchased goods are to be transported in American boats, etc.

Let us quote a single instance: between 1952 and today the North Americans have invested $7,473,000,000 in Latin America. In the same period, they have taken $16,000,000,000 worth of profits away.

In Chile imperialism has made substantial profits, equivalent to twice the amount of capital invested in our country throughout the whole of its history.

The North American monopolies, with the complicity of bourgeois governments, have succeeded in gaining control of nearly all our copper, iron and saltpetre mines. They control our foreign trade and dictate our political economy by means of the IMF and other similar organizations. They dominate important branches of industry and of the service industries; they enjoy privileges while imposing devaluation and reducing salaries and wages. They create imbalances in our agricultural activities by drawing excess profits from their interests in agricultural and fishery concerns. They penetrate our educational systems, our culture and the media of communication. By exploiting military and political pacts they have tried to infiltrate the armed forces. Because the ruling class is an accomplice to this situation and is incapable of independent survival, it has over the last ten years increased Chile's foreign debt.

They claimed that the loans and the contracts with international bankers would improve our economic development. But the only thing that has been achieved is that today Chile has the world record for being one of the countries most in debt in proportion to the number of its inhabitants.

In Chile, government is carried out in favour of a privileged few: the big capitalists and their followers, the companies which dominate our economy and the big landowners, whose power has remained almost intact.

The owners of capital are concerned only to make money and not to meet the needs of the Chilean people. If the production and the import of expensive cars, for example, is good business, then valuable resources of our economy will be channelled into such a project, regardless of the fact that only a minute percentage of the Chilean people are in a position to buy them, and that there are far more urgent needs to be met, even in the same area: the improvement of public transport, for example, or the supply of adequate machinery for agriculture.

Chile pays a very high price to maintain the group of businessmen who control the economy, the press and the other means of communication, who manage the political system and threaten the state when it refuses to grant them favours. So that they may continue 'working', since only they can afford themselves the luxury of choosing whether to work or not, the following demands have to be met:

- they must be given all forms of aid. Big business threatens the state with a withdrawal of private investment if the aid and the guarantees they want are not granted to them.

- they are to be allowed to produce whatever they want with the money paid by all Chileans, rather than to plan according to the needs of the majority of the people.

- that they should be able to place profits in accounts in foreign banks.

- that they may sack workers who demand higher wages.

- that they may manipulate the distribution of foodstuffs with a monopoly enabling them to increase demand, raise prices and thus continue to enrich themselves at the expense of the people.

Nonetheless, a considerable number of those who produce effectively find themselves in difficulties.

Half a million families are homeless, and as many again or more five in abominable conditions, without adequate sewage, without drinking water, light or sanitation.

Neither the educational nor the medical needs of the people are sufficiently considered.

More than half of Chile's workers receive wages which are not enough to cover their minimum living needs. The effects of unemployment or of irregular work are felt in every family. Countless young people find opportunities for work both difficult and uncertain.

Imperialist capital and a privileged group of less than 10 per cent of the population monopolize half the national income. This means that of every 100 escudos that the Chilean worker produces 50 are going to line the pockets of ten oligarchs. The other 50 have to be shared among ninety Chileans from the people or the middle classes.

The rising cost of living is a torment in the homes of the people, especially for the housewife. In the last ten years, according to official figures, the cost of living has risen by almost 1,000 per cent.

This means that every day some of their salary or wages is stolen from the Chileans who work to earn their living. It is the same for retired people, or for those on pensions, for the freelance worker, the small producer, the artisan, all of whose slender incomes are further reduced by inflation.

Alessandri and Frei assured us that they would put an end to inflation. The results are quite evident. The facts prove that inflation in Chile is caused by forces fundamentally related to the capitalist structure of our society, and not by salary increases, as successive governments have tried to claim in order to justify maintaining the system and reducing the worker's income. The big capitalist, however, can protect himself from inflation and indeed can profit from it. His properties and his capital increase in value, his construction contracts with the Treasury are adjusted accordingly and the price of his products continues to rise and always keeps ahead of any rise in salaries.

A large number of Chileans are poorly fed. According to official figures, 50 per cent of children under fifteen are undernourished. Malnutrition affects growth and impairs learning ability.

This goes to prove that the economy in general and the agricultural system in particular is unable to feed the Chilean people.

At present Chile could support a population of 30 million people, three times the size of the present population. Yet the contrary is the case: each year we have to import foodstuffs to the value of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The big landowner is exclusively to blame for the Chilean people's lack of food. He is responsible for the backward conditions and for the poverty which characterizes the Chilean countryside. The mortality rates both for children and for adults, the illiteracy rate, the lack of housing and the insanitary conditions are infinitely worse in the country than they are in the cities. These problems have not been resolved by the inadequate land reform of the Christian Democrat government. Only the struggle of the peasant with the support of the entire people can solve these problems. The current developments in his fight for land, and the expropriation of the estates, open up new hopes for the Chilean popular movements.

Our economy is growing at a minimal pace. According to the latest figures, there has been barely a round 2 per cent increase per person per year, and since 1967 there has been no increase, in fact there has been a decrease. These are the figures put out by the government itself, by ODEPLAN. [2] This means that in 1966 every Chilean owned more goods than he does now. This also explains why the majority of the people are discontented and are seeking an alternative for our country.

The only really popular alternative, in fact the basic task which the government of the people has before it, is to end the rule of the imperialists, of the monopolies, of the landed oligarchy, and to begin the construction of socialism in Chile.

THE UNITY AND ACTION OF THE ORGANIZED PEOPLE

The growth in number of the labour force and its organization, its battle for power and awareness of its strength, reinforce and confirm the will to make profound changes, to criticize the established order and to attack its structures. In our country there are more than three million workers whose productive strength and enormous creative capacity cannot be expressed under the present system, which can only exploit and subjugate them.

These forces could mobilize with the entire people, including all who are not compromised with the reactionary interests, both national and foreign, and, in united and combative action by the immense majority, could dissolve the present structures and march forward in the great task of liberation.

The imperialists and the ruling class will oppose a united people, and will again try to deceive them. They will say that freedom is at stake, that violence will rule the land. But the popular masses are coming to believe less and less in these lies. Day by day their social mobilization grows, and now they are strengthened and supported by the union of the forces of the left.

In order to stimulate and direct the mobilization of the people of Chile for the conquest of power, we shall establish committees of Unidad Popular everywhere. They will be set up in each factory, each farm, village, office and school by militants of the movements and parties of the left, to integrate the vast numbers of Chileans who have prepared themselves for basic changes.

The committees of Unidad Popular will not be merely electoral organisms. They will be the interpreters of and spokesmen for the direct demands of the masses, and above all they will prepare themselves to execute the power of the people.

This new form of power, which Chile needs so much, must begin to take shape now wherever people organize to fight for their particular problems, and whenever people become conscious of the need to exercise it.

The system of joint action will be a permanent and dynamic method in the realization of our programme. It will be a living school for the masses and a concrete way of communicating the policies of the Unidad Popular to all levels of the people.

At a given time in the campaign the basic contents of this programme, enriched by discussion and by the contributions of the people, and by a series of direct measures from the government, will be set down in an Act to the People, as the mandate of the new government of Unidad Popular and the Front which supports it.

To support the candidate of Unidad Popular does not mean merely to vote for a man, but to declare oneself in favour of the urgent need to replace the present society, which is totally controlled by large-scale capitalists both native and foreign.

THE PROGRAMME

People's Power

The revolutionary changes which the country needs can be brought about only if the Chilean people take power into their own hands and wield it in a real and effective way. After a long series of struggles, the people of Chile have won for themselves certain freedoms and guarantees of democracy for whose preservation they should be constantly on the alert and ready to fight ceaselessly in their defence. Real power itself, however, still lies beyond their reach.

The popular and revolutionary forces have not united to fight merely in order to substitute one President of the Republic for another, nor even to replace one party by others in government, but to bring about those basic transformations which the national situation demands. These changes will be effected by transferring power from the old ruling groups to the workers, to the peasants and to progressive elements of the middle class in the city and in the country.

The triumph of the people will thus open the way for the most democratic government in the history of the country.

The problems of political structure that will concern the government are:

- to preserve and make more effective and far-reaching the democratic rights and the triumphs of the workers.

- to transform the existing institutions in order to establish a new state where power will truly belong to the workers and to the people.

THE SPREAD OF DEMOCRACY AND THE TRIUMPH OF THE WORKERS

The Unidad Popular government will guarantee the exercise of democratic rights and respect the individual and social obligations of all people. Freedom of thought and speech, the freedom to publish and to assemble, the inviolability of residence and the right to organize and form unions will be exercised effectively with none of the restraints imposed by the present ruling class.

In order for this to take place, the trade unions and social organizations of all workers, clerks, peasants, settlers, housewives, students, professional workers, intellectuals, artisans, small businessmen or any other group of workers will be asked to contribute in their proper capacities to the decisions taken by the central power. For example in the organizations for Social Security and Insurance we shall set up an administrative body made up of their own employees, assuring them of democratic elections and of a secret ballot in their decision making processes. The central committees and the production bodies of the institutions of the public sector must follow from the direct mandate of its employees.

In the Residents' Associations, according to the scale of their jurisdiction, the Neighbourhood Committees and other squatters' organizations will have mechanisms at their disposal to finance their operation and to enable them to participate in many aspects of their functioning. It is not however a matter simply of realizing these few examples, but of creating a new concept of society where the people will take on a real and effective role in the functioning of the state.

Likewise the Unidad Popular government guarantees to all workers the right to work and the right to strike, and to the whole people it guarantees the right to be educated and to participate in their culture. All forms of religious ideas and beliefs will be fully respected and people assured of their right to practise their faith.

All democratic rights and guarantees will be extended and social organizations will be entrusted with the real means by which these rights may be exercised. Mechanisms will be set up to enable them to act through the different levels of the state apparatus.

The Unidad Popular government will derive its authority from the support which an organized people have to offer. This is our conception of strong government, in contrast to that held by the oligarchy and the imperialists, who identify authority with the degree of coercion that may be inflicted upon a people.

The Unidad Popular government will be pluralistic: it will be composed of all revolutionary parties, movements and currents of opinion. In this way it will be a genuinely democratic, representative and coherent body.

The Unidad Popular government will respect the rights of the opposition if expressed in a legal manner.

The Unidad Popular government will begin a process of genuine administrative decentralization, which, combined with efficient and democratic planning, will eliminate bureaucratic centralization and replace it with a system in which all the state organisms will be co-ordinated.

The structure of municipal councils will be modernized, granting them a degree of authority commensurate with the plans for the co-ordination of the whole state. We shall try to transform them into the local organs of the new organizational policy, supplying them with financial assistance and sufficient means to enable them, in conjunction with the Neighbourhood Committees and with each other, to attend to the regional problems of their communities and inhabitants.

The Provincial Assemblies will also be organized along similar lines.

The police force must be reorganized so that it may not be used as a tool for repressing the people, but will, in contrast, fulfil its true object of protecting the population from antisocial acts. Police procedure is to be carried out in a humane manner, effectively guaranteeing full respect for the dignity and physical integrity of the human being. The prison system, which constitutes one of the worst blemishes of the present system, must be radically transformed with the aim of re-generating and rehabilitating all those who have transgressed the law.

A NEW INSTITUTIONAL ORDER: THE POPULAR STATE

Political Organization

By a process of democratization at all levels, and an organized mobilization of the masses, the new structure of power will rise on new foundations.

A new political Constitution will institute the mass participation of the people in the affairs of the state.

A single state organization will be established at national, regional and local levels which will be responsible to the People's Assembly as the central organ of power.

The People's Assembly will be the single chamber in which the sovereign will of the people may be expressed to the nation. In it different currents of opinion will be able to meet and find expression.

Such a system will eradicate the evils which have been tolerated in Chile both under dictatorial presidencies and under corrupt parliaments.

Specific standards will be set down to determine and coordinate the attributes and responsibilities of the President of the Republic, of the Ministers, of the People's Assembly, of local and regional organs of power and of the political parties, in order to ensure that all legislative measures are fully operative, that the government functions efficiently and, above all, that the will of the majority is respected.

In order to ensure the proper harmony amongst the organizations that will emerge from the will of the people, and so that this will may be expressed in a coherent form, all elections shall take place together and within the same period of time.

The creation of any organism of public representation will be brought about by universal, secret and direct suffrage of all men and women over eighteen, both civil and military, literate and illiterate.

The members of the People's Assembly and of all organisms representing the will of the people will be subject to the control of the electors by means of consultative mechanisms which will have the power to revoke the people's mandate.

There will be strict regulations which may terminate a mandate or require that a post be relinquished if a delegate or a high-ranking official behaves in any way as the agent of private interests.

The instruments of the economic and social policy of the state will create a national system for planning, they will have executive character and their purpose will be to direct, coordinate, and rationalize the activities of the state. The plans upon which they operate will have to be approved by the People's Assembly. The workers' committees will have a fundamental role in the planning system.

The regional and local organs of power of the Popular State will have authority for their geographical area and will have economic, political and social departments. Furthermore they will be able to advise and criticize superior bodies. However, the activities of the regional and local bodies must remain within the limits set down by national laws and complement the general plans for economic and social development.

There will be social organizations with specific functions at every level of the Popular State. They will be responsible for allocating duties and for developing the initiative in their particular field of action, that is, they will analyse and solve the problems lying within their competence. These requirements will not impair the full independence and autonomy of these organizations.

From the day it assumes power, the Unidad Popular government will establish channels whereby, through social organizations, the opinions and influence of the workers and of the people may be expressed in the decision-making processes and the financing of the state administration.

These will be decisive steps towards abolishing the bureaucratic centralism which characterizes the present administration.

Organization of the Judiciary

The organization and the administration of justice should be based upon the principle of autonomy sanctioned by the Constitution, and upon genuine economic independence.

We envisage the setting-up of a Supreme Tribunal whose members will be decided on by the People's Assembly and shall have no other qualification but their inherent suitability. This Tribunal will be free to appoint the internal powers, individual or collegiate, of the judicial system.

The new organization and administration of the judiciary is meant to assist the majority classes. It will function more swiftly and be less elaborate than the present system.

Under the government of Unidad Popular a new conception of the role of the magistrature will replace the present one, which is individualistic and bourgeois.

The National Defence

The Popular State will give priority attention to the preservation of national sovereignty, a task it considers to be the duty of the whole people.

The Popular State will be alert to any threat to its territorial integrity, or to the country's independence, which might be exerted by imperialist or oligarchic groups. Such groups base themselves in neighbouring countries and, while attempting to repress their own people, encourage expansionist and revanchist ambitions on the part of foreign powers.

It will establish a modern, patriotic and popular concept of the sovereignty of the nation based upon the following criteria:

(a) The national character of all branches of the armed forces will be reinforced. In this way they may never be used to repress the people or become involved in activities provoked by alien powers.

(b) Technical training in all aspects of modern military science, as far as this is required by Chile to promote national independence, and peace and friendship among nations.

(c) Integration and participation of the armed forces in diverse aspects of the country's social life. The Popular State will study means whereby the armed forces may contribute to the economic development of the country without prejudice to their essential work of protecting the independence of the nation.

It is necessary therefore to ensure that the armed forces have proper material and technical resources; and that they have a democratic system of payment, promotion and pensions which will guarantee economic security to officers, junior officers and men during their period in the services and also in retirement. We must ensure also that promotion is obtained solely on the basis of a man's personal qualifications.

THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW ECONOMY

The central objective of the policy of Unidad Popular is to replace the present economic structure and to end the power of monopoly capitalism together with that of the landowner, in order to begin the construction of socialism.

In the new economy planning will play a supremely important role. Its central organ will be at the highest administrative level and its decisions, taken in a democratic manner, will have executive character.

The Public Sector

The process of transforming the economy begins with a policy aimed at establishing a dominant public sector, composed of firms already owned by the state and also by firms which will be expropriated. As a first step those basic natural resources will be nationalized which, like the copper, iron and the saltpetre mines, among others, are in the hands of foreign capital or internal monopolies. Thus the following will gradually be drawn into the public sector:

(1) The large-scale mining of copper, saltpetre, iodine, iron and coal.

(2) The financial system of the nation, in particular private banks and insurance companies.

(3) Foreign trade.

(4) The large distributive businesses and the monopolies.

(5) Strategic industrial monopolies.

(6) Generally those activities which affect the economic and social development of the country, such as the production and distribution of electric energy; rail, road, air and sea transport; communications; the production, refining and distribution of petrol and its derivatives, including liquefied gas; the steel, cement, petrochemical and industrial chemical industries, and the cellulose and paper manufacturing industries.

All such expropriations will be carried out with full respect for the interests of the small shareholder.

The Area of Private Property

This area refers to those sectors of industry, mining, agriculture and the services in which the means of production are held in private ownership.

These firms are in the majority. For example, in 1967, of the 30,500 industries (including artisan industries) a mere 150 controlled the monopoly of all the markets, concentrating state aid and banking credit, and exploiting the remaining industrialists in the country by selling them raw materials at a high price, and paying cheaply for their products.

The firms which comprise this area will receive aid according to the general plan for the national economy. The state will provide the financial and technical assistance necessary to the firms in this area, so that they may fulfil the important function they have within the national economy, and will concern itself with the conditions of the people who work there as well as with their volume of production.

Furthermore, the system of patenting, customs rates, levies and taxation for these firms will be simplified and they will be guaranteed a just and proper marketing of their products. These firms will have to guarantee to their workers a right to fair wages and conditions. The state, together with the employees of these firms, will see that these rights are respected.

The Mixed Area

This will be a mixed area in that it will include businesses where state capital is combined with private capital.

The loans or credits made by the development organisms to the firms in this area will be in the form of contributions, so that the state is a partner and not a creditor. The same conditions will apply when the said firms obtain credit on the security of the state or of any of its institutions.

FURTHER EXTENSION OF LAND REFORM

Land reform has been conceived as a process which takes place simultaneously and in a manner complementary to the general changes proposed for the social, political and economic structure of the country, so that its realization will be inseparable from the rest of the general policy. Past experience in these matters, and the mistakes made, lead us to reformulate a policy for the distribution and organization of land ownership on the basis of the following points.

(1) The process of Land Reform must be accelerated. Those estates which exceed the established maximum will be expropriated, in accordance with the conditions set down for the various zones. This includes fruit- and wine-growing areas and forest lands. The owner will not have the right to select the reserve. Expropriation may include all or part of the assets of an expropriated estate (machinery, tools, livestock, etc.).

(2) Immediate cultivation of all abandoned lands and of land belonging to the state which has been poorly developed.

(3) Expropriated lands will be organized preferably into co-operatives. Peasants will hold title deeds which will indicate their ownership of the house and land assigned to them and detail their respective rights in the indivisible estate belonging to the co-operative.

When the conditions become suitable, peasants will be given areas of land as personal property, and the organization of labour and of marketing will be developed from a basis of mutual co-operation.

Land will also be set aside for the development of state agricultural industries with modern technology.

(4) In certain cases land will be allotted to small farmers, leaseholders, part-owners, and to farm employees who are qualified to carry out agricultural work.

(5) Small estates will progressively be reorganized into more co-operative forms.

(6) Small- and medium-scale farmers will be included in the advantages and services of the co-operatives existing in their areas.

(7) The integrity of indigenous communities, whose lands have been threatened, will be protected and maintained. They will be assured of democratic government. We guarantee to the Mapuche and to other indigenous peoples that they will receive sufficient land, together with technical assistance and adequate credit facilities.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POLICY

The economic policy of the state will proceed by means of a national system of economic planning aided by the mechanisms of control, guidance, credit for production purposes, technical assistance and tariff and foreign trade policies. The growth of the state sector of the economy is also an important factor. The objectives of the policy are:

(a) To resolve the immediate problems of the great majority. To this end the productive capacity of the country will be diverted from the production of superfluous and expensive articles which appeal to the high-income groups, and redirected to the production of cheap and good-quality goods for popular consumption.

(b) To assure all Chileans of employable age work at an appropriate rate of payment. This will require the implementation of a policy to generate great activity and make adequate use of the country's resources, adapting technology to the needs of the national development.

(c) To release Chile from the domination of foreign capital. This implies expropriation of foreign capital and the implementation of a policy aimed at a greater degree of independent financing of our activities. It also means that conditions must be defined under which foreign capital may be allowed to operate, and that we must reach a higher level of independence in matters concerning technology and the transport of our goods abroad.

(d) To ensure the rapid and decentralized economic growth most likely to develop productive forces to the maximum and to make optimum use of human, natural, financial and technical resources available in order to increase productivity and to satisfy the requirements of independent development as well as to fulfil the needs and aspirations of the working population in accordance with a dignified and humane existence.

(e) To carry out a policy of foreign trade aimed at the development and diversification of our exports, which will open new markets, encourage the growth of technological and financial independence and avoid scandalous devaluations of our currency.

(f) To take the necessary measures to stabilize the currency. The struggle against inflation is decided fundamentally by the aforementioned structural changes. It should further include measures which accommodate the flow of currency to the real necessities of the market. It should control and redistribute credit and avoid usury in the exchange of money. It should rationalize distribution and trade, stabilize prices and avoid the situation where potential high wage demands cause a rise in prices.

The guarantee that these objectives will be met lies in the degree that political and economic power is held by an organized people and that this power is expressed in the public sector of the economy and in its general planning. It is this power of the people which guarantees that the tasks we have set out will be fulfilled.

SOCIAL TASKS

The social aims of the Chilean people are both legitimate and capable of fulfilment. They want for example adequate housing at rents that will not absorb their entire income; they need schools and universities for their children; adequate wages; a halt to rising prices; regular work; medical attention; lighting in the streets; sewers; drinking water; laid roads and pavements; a just and workable system of social insurance with adequate pensions; telephones; a police force; kindergartens; recreation centres; tourist facilities and public bathing establishments.

It will be the chief concern of the Unidad Popular government to meet these reasonable demands of the people, demands that are in fact rights that a government should acknowledge.

The basic aims of this government will be:

(a) To define a wages policy by immediately establishing committees which, with the participation of the workers, will determine figures that represent a realistic living wage and minimum salary for the various zones of the country.

While inflation continues a law will be introduced to provide for an adjustment in wages corresponding to rises in the cost of living. These will operate every six months or each time the cost of living rises by more than 5 per cent.

In all the departments of the state and first in posts of executive status, high salaries will be limited to a figure compatible with the situation of the country.

Within a fixed period of time a system of equal pay and minimum wages will be established for equal work, regardless of what branch of industry the work is performed in. This policy will be introduced in the state-owned industries and will be extended to all areas of the economy regardless of the differences arising from varying productivity in the different industries. Likewise, all discrimination between men and women, or according to age, will be eliminated in regard to questions of pay and wages.

(b) To integrate, improve and extend social security, preserving all legitimately won gains, abolishing abuse of privilege, inefficiency and bureaucracy and improving and accelerating services to those in need. The insurance scheme will be extended to those workers who are not now covered, and the administration of the insurance schemes will be entrusted to the employees, so that these may operate in accordance with the national plan.

(c) To guarantee to the Chilean people dental and medical attention, both preventive and curative, which will be financed by the state, the employers and the insurance companies. The people will be involved in the task of protecting public health.

Laboratory costs will be strictly controlled and the production of medicaments will be so rationalized as to make them available in sufficient quantities and at a low price.

(d) Sufficient funds will be made available to ensure that a broad house-building plan may be realized. The construction industry will develop under strict controls, and the growth of profits for private and mixed firms operating in this area will be limited. In urgent cases, land will be given to families in need and they will receive technical and material aid to build their houses.

The aim of the housing policy of the government of the Unidad Popular is that each family should own its own home. The system of adjustable rents will be abolished. The monthly dues or rents payable by those acquiring dwellings or leases shall not as a general rule exceed 10 per cent of the family's income.

Redevelopment of towns and villages will be continued so that low-income groups will not be forced out to the suburbs. Respect for the interests of the occupants of the developed zones as well as for those of the small businessman working there will be maintained: all inhabitants will be guaranteed a future domicile.

(e) Full civil rights will be accorded to the married woman; children born in or out of wedlock will have equal legal status. There will be adequate legislation for divorce, with annulment of the contract and with full protection for the rights of women and children.

(f) The legal distinction between labourers and employees will be abolished and the common status of worker will be introduced for both. The right to form unions will be extended to all who at present do not have such a right.

CULTURE AND EDUCATION

A New Culture for Society

The social process which will begin with the triumph of the people will gradually give rise to a new cultural attitude. This will be guided to consider human labour as the supreme value and will give expression to a national affirmation of independence, and encourage a critical approach to reality.

The profound changes which will take place will demand a people who are united and socially conscious, who are trained to exercise and defend their political power, scientifically and technically skilled to develop an economy in transition to socialism, and sensitive at all times to the creation and appreciation of the most varied expressions of art and the intellect.

If today the majority of artists and intellectuals are fighting against the cultural deformation of a capitalist society, trying to bring the fruits of their creative labour to the workers, and to join them in their historic destiny, so, in the new society, they will continue their work as the avant-garde. For the new culture will not arise by decree; it will emerge from the struggle for brotherhood as against individualism; from respect for human labour instead of condescension; from a sense of national values instead of cultural colonization; from the access which the mass of the people gain to art, literature and the means of communication instead of remaining commercially exploited by them.

The new state will draw the masses towards intellectual and artistic activities by means of a radically altered system of education, and a national system of popular culture. Regional Centres for Popular Culture will be set up which will encourage the masses to exercise their right to enjoy culture.

The movement for popular culture will stimulate artistic and literary creativity and will increase the channels of communication between artists and writers and a public which will be immeasurably greater than the present public.

A Democratic, Comprehensive and Planned System of Education

The aims of the government are to introduce the fullest and best opportunities for education.

The fulfilment of such intentions will be achieved by the improvement of the living conditions of the workers, and by a reconsideration on a corresponding level of the responsibilities of the educators.

A National Scholarship Plan will be set up, sufficiently widely based to ensure that all the children of Chile, especially the children of the working and the peasant classes, have regular and continuous education.

The state will further develop an extraordinary plan for the establishment of educational institutions maintained by national and regional funds and organized by the basic governing bodies. Luxurious mansions will be expropriated in order to install the new educational institutions. By these measures there will be at least one comprehensive (primary and secondary) school for each rural community in the villages and one for every urban community in the cities of Chile.

In order to give proper attention to the needs of the preschool child and in order to facilitate the employment of women in productive work, there will be a rapid extension of the number of creches and nursery schools, giving priority to the most needy sectors of society. The result of this policy will be to enable the children of the working and peasant classes to enter school more easily and to take greater advantage of a regular education.

For a new form of teaching to be effective, methods are required which lay stress on the active and critical participation of the students instead of the passive and receptive attitudes they now have to maintain.

In order to dispel the inherited cultural deficit of the present system, there will be a popular mobilization to abolish illiteracy and raise the educational standard of the adult population.

Adult education will be organized chiefly as a function of the centres of work, so that the worker may have a permanent opportunity for technical and social education.

The transformation of the educational system will not merely be the work of technical experts, but a task to be studied, discussed, decided on and executed by organizations of teachers, workers, students, parents and guardians, within the terms of a broad national plan.

Internally the educational system will be based upon the principles of unity, continuity, integration and diversification of courses.

At the executive level, the social organizations already mentioned shall be represented and co-ordinated with local and regional Councils of Education.

In order to realize our educational plan for a comprehensive, national and democratic school system, the new state will take under its responsibility all private schools, beginning with those establishments which select their pupils by reason of social class, nationality or religious persuasion. This will be accomplished by drawing into the educational system the personnel and all the other assets of the private school system.

Physical Education

Physical education and the practice of all sports from the elementary levels of the educational system throughout all the social organizations for young people and adults will receive the constant and systematic attention of the Unidad Popular government.

DEMOCRACY, AUTONOMY AND ORIENTATION OF THE UNIVERSITY

The government of Unidad Popular will lend ample support to the processes of university reform and will encourage their development.

The democratic results of these processes will form an important contribution by the universities to the revolutionary development of Chile. The restructuring of the academic functions, with regard to tutoring, research and projects concerning national problems, will in turn be inspired by the achievements of the Unidad Popular government.

The state will grant the universities sufficient funds to ensure that they function properly, and to facilitate their effective nationalization and democratization. Consequently the governing bodies of the universities will have to answer to their respective communities.

When the educational system has finally abolished class privileges, it will become possible for the children of workers to enter university, and also for adults to take up courses of higher education, either by means of special grants or by participating in sandwich courses.

MASS COMMUNICATION MEDIA

The means of communication (the radio, the press, publishing, television and the cinema) are fundamental aids to the formation of a new culture and of a new man. They should therefore be imbued with an educative spirit and freed from their commercial character. Measures should be taken to make the media available to the social organizations and to cast off the brooding presence of the monopolies.

The national system of popular culture will be particularly concerned with the development of the film industry and with the preparation of special programmes for the mass communication media.

INTERNATIONAL POLICY OF THE UNIDAD POPULAR GOVERNMENT

Aims

The aim of the government of Unidad Popular in its international policy is to affirm the complete political and economic independence of Chile.

Relations will be maintained with all other countries regardless of their ideological or political position, based upon respect for self-determination and the interests of the people of Chile.

Links of friendship and solidarity will be established with dependent or colonized countries, especially those which are developing their struggle for liberation and independence.

A firm sense of the identity of Latin American interests, and resistance to imperialism, will be fostered by means of a foreign policy which relates to people rather than to Foreign Ministries. The new government will strongly defend the people's right to self-determination as the basic condition for friendly international relations. Its policies therefore will concentrate on a vigilant and active defence of the principle of non-intervention and the rejection of all forms of discrimination, pressure, invasion or blockade proposed by imperialist countries.

Friendly relations and exchanges with socialist countries will be fostered and maintained.

Greater National Independence

Active defence of the independence of Chile means that the present Organization of American States must be denounced as the tool and agency of North American imperialism and that we must resist any form of Pan-Americanism contained in this organization. The government of the Unidad Popular intends to create an organization which will be truly representative of Latin American countries.

It is important to revise, denounce and cancel, depending on the circumstances, all treaties and agreements which limit our independence, in particular those treaties of reciprocal assistance and mutual aid and other similar pacts which Chile has signed with the United States.

Foreign aid and politically calculated loans, or such loans which force us to invest the borrowed sum in a manner which inhibits our national independence, or which is not in the interests of the people, will be denounced and rejected by the government. We snail also reject any foreign restrictions regarding Latin American raw materials such as copper, and the limits placed upon free trade which for so long have made it impossible to establish general commercial relations with the rest of the world.

International Solidarity

The Unidad Popular government will respond to all peoples' struggle for liberation and for the construction of socialism with real and active solidarity.

All forms of colonialism and neo-colonialism will be condemned, and the right to rebellion of people subject to such systems will be recognized.

The same policy will be maintained towards any form of economic, political and/or military aggression instigated by the imperialist powers. Chile's foreign policy must condemn North American aggression in Vietnam and salutes with profound solidarity the heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people.

Likewise, solidarity will be expressed in practical terms for the Cuban Revolution, the first in the Latin American continent to make the Revolution and to begin the construction of socialism.

The anti-imperialist struggles of the people of the Middle East may count on the support of the Unidad Popular government. The government will also help to seek a peaceful solution in that region based upon the interests of both the Arab and the Jewish people.

All reactionary regimes which encourage or practise racial segregation or anti-semitism will be condemned.

Latin American Policy

In the sphere of Latin America the Unidad Popular government advocates an international policy which affirms the identity of Latin America before the entire world.

The integration of Latin America must take place on an economic base which has been liberated from the imperialist patterns of dependence and exploitation. An active policy of bilateral agreements will be practised, however, in matters which are beneficial to the development of Chile.

The Unidad Popular government will take action to solve current frontier problems on the basis of negotiations, in order to prevent the intrigues of imperialists and reactionaries, and with regard both to the interests of the people of Chile and to the interests of the people in countries along the borders.

The foreign policy of Chile and its diplomatic expression will dispense with all forms of bureaucratic formalism or meaningless ritual. We shall meet other nations with a twofold aim: to learn from their struggles how best to construct our own form of socialism and to offer them our experiences so that the international solidarity which we advocate will become a reality.


Notes:

1. A well-equipped and specially trained elite force, about 2,000 strong, created in 1960 under President Alessandri. It gained notoriety in the repression of worker, peasant and student movements under the successive governments of Alessandri and Frei. It was dissolved by Allende immediately on assuming office.

2. Department for National Planning.


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