Chile's Road to Socialism


The Unions' and Workers' Aristocracy

Address to heads of departments involved in public administration
Santiago, 15 March 1971

I have considered suggesting to the Ministry of Labour that union executives should spend a few hours a day at work. Thus they will not become exclusively union executives who do not work and who sometimes spend years without working. I know perfectly well how much work is entailed in being a union executive. I do not consider it to be incompatible with the proper discharge of his duties for an executive to work for a few hours a day.

There cannot be a sector of privileged workers under a government which is genuinely of and for the people.

Let the workers realize that this is their government and that, being their government, there cannot, in any way, be, a sector of workers claiming to occupy a place of greater influence, nor should they imagine that we are going to grant them limitless priorities. This would of course mean gross opportunism. It is the negation of a class position. It would be acceptance of a workers' aristocracy. If we were to tolerate that, with what right could we criticize the bourgeoisie, who are prepared, weapon in hand, to defend what one form of society taught them was their own, and what we shall have to take away from them?

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