One step forward, two steps back
By now you are familiar with the depressing events in Bolivia, so I won't spend time on it.
Instead I want to talk about the good news in Chile.
The Chilean government has agreed to write a new constitution to replace one dating back to the Pinochet dictatorship, bowing to the demands of protesters who have taken to the streets in often violent demonstrations in recent weeks.
Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel said the president, cabinet members and political allies had agreed Congress should lead the process of re-writing the constitution. The document would be put to a public referendum.
“Above all, we must focus on the goal of reconfiguring the social contract, which has arisen as a fundamental demand of our citizens,” Blumel told a news conference on Sunday night.
Interestingly, I haven't seen a single major media outlet in America pick up this story yet.
What I did see was this story.
John Cobin, a U.S.-born economist and former member of a neo-Confederate group, is so passionate about a free market — and about Chile — that he has devoted the past two decades to marrying the two.
The 56-year-old was arrested Sunday, police said, after he repeatedly fired a gun into a crowd in the beachside town of Reñaca, seriously injuring at least one person.
“I did not do anything wrong,” Cobin said in a video filmed just before his arrest. “It was very dangerous, very scary time for me. Thankfully, I had my gun to be able to defend myself."
After speeding his pickup truck through a crowd of people, video of the scene shows, Cobin shot his gun at demonstrators five times.
I was wondering how the libertarians were going to react to this movement.
Libertarians are fanatics.
In 2012, he helped three other Americans found a libertarian compound in the mountains, Galt’s Gulch, named for the fictional capitalist haven in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Cobin quickly split and founded a competing sustainable farm and libertarian compound, called Freedom Orchard.
A brochure for the mountainside compound advertised an idyllic 400-unit paradise, where “liberty-loving people from all over the world” could enjoy low taxes, organic produce, and freedom from “intrusive and abusive government meddling.” One group, however, was not welcome on his orchard: liberals from the United States.
“You’ve already messed up your country,” Cobin told Mother Jones in 2014. “We don’t need you.”
In countless interviews and letters to the editor, he also expressed a particular admiration for the anti-communist policies of Augusto Pinochet, Chile’s disgraced former military dictator.
Galt's Gulch was a scam and a con that stole a lot of people's savings.