Wednesday 11 September 2013

The 11 September Anniversary

In spite of the heroic efforts of the small presidential guard at la Moneda, the presidential palace shown here under attack, the building quickly fell and President Allende chose suicide rather than submit to the whims of America's dogs.

The legacy of this coup still reverberates today. It led to future socialist leaders in Latin-America realising that attacking the elite was a waste of time unless they also went after the parasitic middle class which grovels to that elite. For instance, in Venezuela, the late President Hugo Chavez Frias made the degradation of the middle class a priority for his government. Following the failure of the 2002 coup, which demonstrated that he had full control of the army rank and file, Chavez Frias adopted policies of high taxation and high inflation that had the effect of encouraging the middle class to leave the country. At the same time, the tiendas populares, the government owned chain of shops ensured that the ordinary Venezuelan were able to purchase basic food stuffs at either cost price or sometimes even below it.

Chavez Frias had learned from Chile that winning an election is only half the battle as the enemies of the working class will then seek to undermine the new system just as they did in Chile. They failed in Venezuela because the new government realised that the main danger to socialism comes not just from the old elite, but also from the middle lass who are desperate to preserve their privileges. 

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