“Democracy In Chile Is Still In Danger”

2021-01-27   |   by CusiGO

By 2021, Chile will be different. In these 12 months, he will be electing and re electing major elected posts, at a time when the country is facing health, economic, social and political crises. On April 11, citizens will elect 155 traditional drafters of the constitution, municipal authorities and district governors, who have been appointed by the executive for decades. Parliament and the president will be held on November 21.

When the incident happened at a dizzying speed, in a society that felt strong and alienated from its leaders, intellectuals sought explanations from their different fields for this process of change, which began with the social uprising on October 18, 2019. Joaque í n fermendois (VI NIA Del Mar, 1948), Professor of the University of San Sebastian, President of the Catholic University and Dean of the Chilean school of history, has been so since contemporary history. He is one of the leading representatives of Chilean history. It includes a study of Chile’s left-wing and Allende government of people’s unity (1970-1973), which recently increased democracy in Chile. Sisyphus Road (UC public research and editing center) introduces an important perspective to understand the multiple highs and lows of the complex democratization process from the colony to today’s country.

Questions. How do you explain the social unrest in 2019?

answer. Since the end of 2019, 20 books and papers have been published on what became known as the “explosion.”. Like many others, this fact shows the uniqueness of this phenomenon. There are all kinds of explanations and inevitable assertions or bragging, which are predictions. The most immediate remedy is to assume that inequality is the cause, and the frustration and anger that comes with it. This is not a thesis to convince me.

Q. What do you think?

A. I prefer to describe it as a huge may in 68 years, which is a political and cultural phenomenon, although it is not separated from social division. In Chile, Tocqueville was quoted from the beginning, and in the early stages of progress, the revolutionary tendency was stronger: “the lighter the yoke, the more intolerable it is.” Great revolutions like France, Russia, Iran and even Cuba did not take place in static, backward or desperate countries. They take place in dynamic societies, so inherited customs and institutions are also deprived of legitimacy.

Q. Isn’t Chile’s success a mirage?

A. From the late 1980s until recently, significant and statistically demonstrable improvements in material and income have deepened the perception of inadequacy. To be sure, after the sustained high growth before 1998, the vitality of the past 20 years has weakened. However, I don’t think that’s the reason for the outbreak in October 2019. It’s like blaming 30 pesos, which raised ticket prices in San Diego and caused riots. Over the past few decades, extraordinary investments have been made in health and education, but qualitative improvements have not been made in many areas.

Q. What’s going on?

R. The significant increase in life expectancy and the improvement in health of Chileans have made people more open to the need for a more flexible and reasonably accessible system. For half a century, public education has received more resources, but as it expands to almost all children and young people, its quality has declined.

Q. Plus the big problem of low pensions…

R. One of the major changes in Chile was the pension system in the early 1980s, which greatly strengthened the capital market and avoided fiscal deficits – an extraordinary fact, But it failed on a third fundamental pillar: the solemn promise of a better pension than the traditional pension distribution system. In the second decade of the 21st century, the first generations to join the system began to retire on a large scale, which caused a disappointing shock, perhaps an acceleration factor of the protests. However, it cannot be seen as a cause. In December 2017, he was elected president for the second time by the advantage of Sebastian PI è era, although the precursor of the outbreak in 2011 was his first administration.

Q. How do you describe the protest?

A. Of course, there is a social factor, but I doubt whether it is an insult to the powerful. It’s not that simple. In acquiring modernity, social differences have narrowed, but the subjective focus is very strong. As at any stage of accelerated change, rising sectors tend to arrogantly display the power they have gained, widening subjective differences. There is no doubt that it contributes to another universal feature, which, in my view, is one of the main features of our Latin American world: hedonism, demand for immediate gratification, the media and mass education culture, which emphasize rights rather than obligations, forgetting any proportion between them.

Q. Is Chile connected to the rest of the region?

A. This is a fundamental problem in Latin America. For 200 years, Chile and other countries have not become so-called developed countries. I don’t know. Don’t blame the elite or imperialism any more. We have to go back to cultural explanations, such as Octavio Paz and the Enlightenment’s experience of poverty on the African continent. Or the Chilean Mario Gongora’s view of happiness and work is different from the experience of the founders of the modern economy.

Q. Is Chile’s democracy under threat in 2019?

A. Of course, democracy in Chile is still in danger, just more vulnerable. If the violence that will take place in the second week of November 2019 is not contained, only a very severe siege and the use of armed forces can order be implemented, but the cost is high. However, the outbreak has hurt democracy, exacerbated chaos in the political class and shocked the government. The political country is now slowly on the decline.

P. Chile enjoys a high reputation in the region, especially because of the strength of its institutions, as well as democracy and economic stability. Is that still valid?

A. Although this historical model lasted for two centuries of peace, lasted for decades, and then there was a crisis, this reputation is still quite shocking. Its economy has enabled it to withstand outbreaks and pandemics, but the financial freedom it has gained at such a high cost is drying up. The denigration of the political economy will not lead to a more productive alternative.

Q. Did the production process calm down?

A. In the end, the government and the political class – both notorious people – succeeded in reaching a classic compromise that would temporarily help defuse the situation.

Q: will Chile no longer be what it was in 1990?

A. It is no longer, although it remains to be seen whether the epidemic will reverse. In the second decade of the 21st century, as the difficulty of national governance grows, the situation has partially stopped.

Q. Will Chile recast?

A. This is the temptation of Latin America, with 250 constitutions since 1810. In our country, the constitution has become a curse when it is no longer a trick or toy like Venezuela. A disease in our political culture. As far as Chile is concerned, it remains to be seen whether the crisis will worsen and whether it will open the door to completely unmanageable or institutional channeling.

Q. To what extent can the political strata of various departments cope with the challenges?

A. Without political class, there would be no democracy. In such a politicized country, depoliticization surpasses the politicization that the Pinochet regime tried to establish through its growing apathy towards the public and the attitude of abulia, not just the demands on this and that. The relative prosperity that should be enjoyed immediately feeds discontent.

Q. How did Chile turn its back on the centre left transitional government?

A. Many people ask themselves this question, and many of the former heroes also ask this question. What is really incredible is the transition from the old left in the middle of this century to a new version of the Social Democratic Party, which emerged in exile in the 1980s and gradually in Chile. Ironically, after a huge qualitative leap in the economy – partly because of policy continuity with military regimes – he fell into the same problem of social democracy in Latin America, which has always been so weak. It’s hard for her to explain herself. She began to feel shame for the impact of anti culture. With the outbreak of society, she suddenly broke with herself.

Q: has Chile’s rights been renewed in the past few decades?

A. Problems. There are a lot of contradictions. It has been strengthened from the Pinochet regime and has not been mortgaged by the Pinochet regime, but it still lacks the thought and ability to predict the ideal of the future. President Pinera’s situation is more obvious, but it’s not just him.