Another nation's young people turn against neoliberalism

The November 16 edition of The Economist made a definitive statement.

Chile’s voters are in no mood for reckless radicalism
...
If voters were really angry they could choose one of six other contenders, most plausibly Beatriz Sánchez, a journalist with a radical plan for taxing the rich to ramp up spending by the state. Ms Díaz, the teacher, says without enthusiasm that she will probably vote for her. But pollsters give Ms Sánchez little chance. Chileans do not want to break with the liberal economic model set up under Pinochet and refined by his elected successors.

Neoliberals have loved Chile and its privatized everything since the 1970's. It's supposed to represent "the future" for Latin America, and their stable, unsurprising elections between right-wing and centrist candidates seemed to prove this.

And then this happened.

Piñera, a billionaire and former president, had been widely expected to cruise to victory – and possibly even win outright in the first round. He still took first place, taking 36% of the vote, but faced a strong challenge by two main leftwing rivals who between them won 43%.
Former TV news anchor Alejandro Guillier, who heads a centre-left alliance, came second in the presidential race, but the real political earthquake, was the emergence of a new political force, the Frente Amplio – or Broad Front – whose roots can be traced to student protests that shook the country in 2011.
Often compared to the Podemos movement in Spain, the FA is an anti-establishment alliance of left-liberal parties, ecologists, humanists and grassroots organizations.
Among the movement’s demands are the replacement of Chile’s neoliberal economic model together with the Pinochet-era constitution; broad changes to the country’s pension system; and major reforms in health, education, workers’ rights and wages.
Led by Beatriz Sánchez, a 46-year-old journalist who came third with 20% of the popular vote, Frente Amplio will now also control 12% of the 155-seat chamber of deputies.

The 2011’s mass protests were over high levels of inequality in Chile.
Broad Front was only supposed to get 10% of the vote. Instead the kids come out with a strong and surprising anti-neoliberal vote.
Imagine that. It wasn't enough, but it changed the political environment, similar to Podemos in Spain, Labour in Britain, and Obrador in Mexico.
It also reminds me of Melenchon's supporters in France, who recognize that the neoliberal center isn't significantly better than the hard-right.

By next Wednesday, Frente Amplio, or Broad Front, is due to decide whether or not to support Mr Guillier. But party leaders make it clear they will be unable to do so without clear gestures on issues that matter most to the student-dominated bloc, including pensions and constitutional reform.
“We are a new political option that doesn’t respond to the promiscuous relationship between business and politics. We want to break the neoliberal logic that has reined in Chile for the last 50 years, imposed by [General Pinochet’s] dictatorship but that has been broadly maintained,” she says.

That sounds like Democrats and their "Bernie Bros Problem".

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Comments

The Aspie Corner's picture

In fact, if he were alive today and he told them to suck his dick, they wouldn't just do it, they'd pay him for the privilege.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Aspie Corner I once had a really nasty conversation with a conservative friend from high school about Pinochet. Apparently, my problem is that I believe each human life has value.

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15 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

BrutallyHonest's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal This is exactly why I feel that they are all some form of sociopath. They truly do not value life.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@BrutallyHonest It was, in fact, an argument about Pinochet.

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4 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

"It takes balls, even in this day and age, to speak glowingly of Augustin Pinochet's policies. It's like saying `Hitler's economic policies really got Germany back on the right track!'" Well, Hitler's economic policies did actually get Germany on the right track--economically--but who the hell cares, am I right?

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10 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
had to listen to a 20-something guy at another table explaining to his teammates that Nixon was actually one of our best presidents, and how it's too bad he's judged only by "what he did at the end".

refrained from giving the guy a history lesson, but man, the essential smugness in his half-witted and barely-informed knowledge of Nixon was nauseating.

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10 users have voted.

Sigh

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd Which part of what he did in the end? Murdering people in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam to serve his own pride ("I won't be the first American President to lose a war"), subjecting a generation of American men to injury, insanity, and death, or breaking into the offices of the DNC to steal documents and bug the place?

Or was it stealing Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's notes in hopes of being able to convince the American public Ellsberg was a lunatic?

Nixon is undeniably better than our current psychopathic overlords--he pretty clearly didn't want a nuclear war, he wanted America to become energy independent, he actually thought using the U.S. military to take over the country in a military coup was going a little too far. But that's a bar so low you have to go to Limbo to limbo under it.

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I think Nixon would do well in today's Democratic party. Bernie might have been nominated in the Democratic party of that time.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Timmethy2.0 No way! The Democratic party would never allow a dangerous Greenie like Richard M. Nixon into power. Good Democrats like petroleum, at any cost.

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5 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Timmethy2.0
Obama and HRC both ran to the right of Nixon.

But that doesn't make Nixon a good president. Yeah, he did some things that were, y'know, "decent". I like the EPA. Or at least, the idea of the EPA.

He was also the proto-fascist who ushered Dick Cheney into the halls of power, wooed as he was by Cheney's "unitary executive" nonsense. "When the President does it, that means it's not illegal," good God.

And he was a paranoid racketeer with absolutely no ethics or morals, who would do anything to anybody (except his family, I think) in order to hold on to, and exercise, power.

And of course ... there's Kissinger.

And of course ... the 1968 election where Nixon attempted to directly influence the government of Vietnam, specifically to persuade Thieu to hold off on agreeing to attend the Paris peace talks. It was classic Nixonian criminal overkill, given that all evidence available then and since was that Thieu had no intention of doing so anyway. Somehow, this is viewed as absolving Nixon of what was indisputably a crime, and a high-crimes-and-misdemeanors sort at that.

Etc.

He was a really, really bad man, who did so many really, really bad things that they defy enumeration.

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3 users have voted.

Sigh

@UntimelyRippd

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd what they found:

In August 1971, Krogh and Young met with G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt in a basement office in the Old Executive Office Building. Hunt and Liddy recommended a "covert operation" to get a "mother lode" of information about Ellsberg's mental state in order to discredit him. Krogh and Young sent a memo to Ehrlichman seeking his approval for a "covert operation [to] be undertaken to examine all of the medical files still held by Ellsberg's psychiatrist", a Dr. Lewis Fielding. Ehrlichman approved under the condition that it be "done under your assurance that it is not traceable."[20]

On September 3, 1971, the burglary of Dr. Fielding's office – titled "Hunt/Liddy Special Project No. 1" in Ehrlichman's notes – was carried out by White House Plumbers Hunt, Liddy, Eugenio Martínez, Felipe de Diego and Bernard Barker (the latter three were active CIA officers).[21] The Plumbers found Ellsberg's file, but it apparently did not contain the potentially embarrassing information they sought, as they left it discarded on the floor of Fielding's office.[22] Hunt and Liddy subsequently planned to break into Fielding's home, but Ehrlichman did not approve the second burglary. The break-in was not known to Ellsberg or to the public until it came to light during Ellsberg and Russo's trial in April 1973.

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@UntimelyRippd It's the r's rewriting history. That's been the story for at least 20 years. As long as there is "both siderism", it's what will pass for history.

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divineorder's picture

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13 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@divineorder

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2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q