Thursday, December 23, 2021

Boric's triumph in Chile is not a victory for the working class

The following article was originally published in "El Machete", Organ of the CC of the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM), under the title "El triunfo de Boric en Chile no es una victoria para la clase obrera".

By Julio Cota.

The recent electoral victory of Gabriel Boric does not represent a root solution to the current economic and political crisis in Chile. Chilean workers and other popular strata must continue their frontal fight against any capitalist management or government. Maintaining high expectations of change or even settling for the least worst, is a trap for the Chilean working class, imposed by the monopolies and the bourgeoisie. 

Let's go to the facts and the historical experience to remember what results the participation in the game of bourgeois democracy brought for the working class.

In the first place, Gabriel Boric represents the interests of Christian democracy, the same conservative groups that at the beginning of the nineties, agreed to the departure of the tyrant Augusto Pinochet and the military dictatorship, but without disrupting its Constitution or the military elites in power. The same political and economic group of the so-called Concertación, which for more than a decade promised profound changes in favor of the middle and popular social strata; and, on the contrary, it ended up implementing anti-worker and anti-popular reforms.

There is no positive way out of the deep problems of the Chilean working class within the game of bourgeois democracy. We saw it during the last two decades: great political and social movements against neoliberal efforts. Then, the arrival of "progressive" governments, a lot of anti-imperialist discourse and nationalism, measures and implementation of social programs with a certain economic margin for the popular strata. And then, after a short period in the government, budget cuts in education, health and application of labor reforms to the detriment of workers and more repression.

The so-called progressivism in Latin America is one more type of management of the bourgeoisie governments in times of capitalist economic crisis. In these last two decades, the general balance was negative for the Chilean working class and the popular strata. The Chilean State, as the administrative board of the interests of the bourgeoisie, was strengthened and managed to overcome a certain legitimacy it had lost after two decades of Pinochet's fierce military dictatorship. Even worse, after the disenchantment of the Chilean popular strata with the efforts of the Concertación period and Michelle Bachelet, the reactionary governments took over the state administration, as was the case of Sebastián Piñera.

The unfortunate experience of the Popular Union and the government of Salvador Allende gave us painful lessons, but opportunism wants to hide this up to this day: peaceful and parliamentary paths to socialism are not possible, without the destruction of the old, bureaucratic and decadent State machinery; true changes are not possible. Call it concertation, representative democracy, Christian democracy, social democracy, new left, rose tide, etc., etc., what all these currents represent is one more face of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the power of the monopolies over the Chilean working class.

Both López Obrador in Mexico and Gabriel Boric in Chile, the bourgeoisie replicates similar government efforts in order to contain the growing insubordination of the working class and the popular strata. Faced with the impossible root solution to economic, political and social problems such as universal health, free education, well-paid jobs with benefits and labor rights; the bourgeoisie opts for demagogic governments whose government program centers on a ridiculous promise of "fighting corruption, transparency and administrative efficiency."

Beyond the fabricated faces of the former student leaders of 2011, such as the current president of Chile, Gabriel Boric; there is a rebellious, dissatisfied, insubordinate youth on the front line of the barricades, without fear and ready to continue the fight. There is the confidence that sooner rather than later, the rebellious Chilean working class, the rebellious popular layers will know how to take up the street protest together with the students and indigenous peoples of the region. 

At the same time, I am confident that the revolutionary organizations in Chile will know how to intervene in a more forceful way with a program and a class policy in the face of the bankruptcy of social democracy and its miserable reform program.