This is my conceptual for a paper in my development course:
Chile offers academics a rare real world example of the liberal democratic market system losing hegemony culminating in the election of Marxist president, Salvador Allende in 1970 with the express objective to replace the capitalist market system. The Allende regime, lasting for about three years, was able to begin a process of democratic socialist transformation via the nationalization of strategic industries, such as copper, and creating the mechanisms for a new technological central planning system distinct from the Soviet GOSPLAN system—cybersyn; nevertheless, still retaining the democratic character of the former liberal regime. The presidential election of 1970, and the net gain in the parliamentary elections of 1973 for the Communist Party—in the midst of the largely, externally induced economic crisis—displayed that socialism as an alternative had growing popular support. However, the Chilean democratic-socialist revolution highlighted the collapse of liberalism and capitalism as a hegemonic, ‘common sense’ force, it also displayed the need for a mass movement to protect the revolution from being subsumed by internal and external threats. Indeed, as Polanyi suggests, capitalism is a system characterized by a ‘double-movement’. The attempt to socialize Chile pushed the Polanyist oscillation—of embedding the economy back to society—to an extreme that invited an equally forceful lurch back to the disembedding of the economy from the society by the capitalist classes.
The coup d’etat staged against the Allende regime on September 11, 1973 was the culmination of not merely a local struggle for hegemony/domination, but was a metaphor for the global struggle for ideological control, which in the 1960s and 1970s reached a fevered pitch. The coup d’etat represented the first salvo in the capitals ‘counter-revolution’ against the ascendant socialist, and hegemonic Keynesian discourse. The golpistas in Chile were supported by a myriad of local and external powers, whose express objective was to reestablish the market system as dominant means to organize society through domination. It was also an attempt to subordinate labour via the co-optation and elimination of society’s defence mechanisms, which included, the cooptation of the independent union movement and civil society. The physical elimination, or ‘cleansing’, from the nation’s body politic the intellectual and cultural vanguard of the socialist/working class movement, which were essential to creating a new hegemonic discourse. Lastly, and most importantly, the ‘counter-revolution’ meant replacing Chile’s developmental, and labour policies with the ‘scientific’, utilitarian, cosmopolitan, capitalist class bias of Friedmanite economic reforms. This meant subordinating Chile’s economy into a renewed neoliberal globalization discourse, subsuming Chile’s economic development for the interests of international accumulation, and reestablishing the classic ‘division of labour’ of the world economy via the liberalization of Chile’s trade and capital accounts after the capture of the state by the ‘Chicago Boys’ in 1975.
By September 11, 2001, twenty-eight years after the destruction of La Moneda by the Chilean Air Force, commanded by ‘market fundamentalists’ in Santiago, the World Trade Centre in New York City, the symbol of neoliberal globalization was brought down by an aerial attack by ‘Islamic fundamentalists’. The supposedly hegemonic neoliberal edifice, built on the triumphalism and mythology of what Francis Fukuyama called the ‘end of the history’ after the collapse of communism in 1989, was itself beginning to crumble. These failures include the failure of neoliberalism to resolve the debt crisis and revamp growth after the 1980s. The robber baron, ‘shock-therapy’ capitalism that characterized the post-communist transitional economies, amplified tense class and ethnic tensions, which proved that China’s gradualist approach under the rubric of authoritarianism was optimal. The exacerbation of the financial and social crisis in East Asia via IMF Structural Adjustment Policies culminating with the coup of Suharto in Indonesia, highlighting that capital controls, as those employed by China and Malaysia were necessary for small, and vulnerable economies. The subsumption of class politics by ethnic and religious identity politics exacerbating ethnic tensions worldwide, for example, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and India. The double-speak of liberal internationalism exemplified by the Kosovo War, helping shift Russia away from liberalism towards nationalism and helping to sow deep cynicism towards international law and its institutions. Lastly, the deep scars left over by the mythologized ‘peaceful and democratic’ implementation of neoliberalism throughout the periphery, i.e. Venezuela 1989, Argentina 1991, Russia 1993, etc. began to erode the legitimacy of neoliberal globalization.
It was during this crisis at the turn of the century, that an initially tempered ‘double movement’ towards the subordination, or embedding, of the market system to democratic forces began to take on serious momentum under Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
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