EspañolMichelle Bachelet’s announcement of her intention to continue the task that she and her party have set out on in Chile, by sanctioning the creation of a new constitution, didn’t take long to cross the Andes to Argentina.
Moreover, the Chilean government has proposed to replace private financing of political parties with state funds, and to reintroduce Civic Education as an obligatory subject in schools. The country which once knew how to be a beacon of liberty in South America reverts to a host of nefarious policies which characterize socialism in the 21st century.
Throughout recent years, 21st-century socialism has generated a growing atmosphere of violence, hate, resentment, and brutal failure in Latin-American societies. The cases of Argentina, Venezuela, and Cuba are only a few examples of this sickness which has infected all areas, from economics to politics and society.
The magic recipe of these messianic policies consists of turning the state, the party, and the leader into a single identity where there is no distinction between powers. There are no limits: all is concentrated within the ambit and will of the person who rules. They usually use state resources as their own at a whim, and regularly confuse private property with state property.
Leaders, after obtaining a majority of votes in an election, believe they have a blank check to act without restrictions and exercise unlimited powers. Such is the case of Argentina, where President Cristina Kirchner doesn’t tire of alluding to the 54 percent she won in 2011’s elections every time she has to justify a new measure.
Governments frequently refer to their electoral majority to discredit, stigmatize, and persecute those who oppose their ideas or simply have different ones. In this way, they manage to create a climate of constant social warfare, where the government produces various scapegoats that change according to its needs.
Corporatism grows, and crony capitalists spring up, friends of the government who swap bribes, favors, and privileges to do away with any semblance of competition.
Another of the strategies utilized in this macabre system is control of the free press. Governments hand out privileges and misspend taxpayers’ money on state propaganda. For example, in Argentina, after persecuting the press, the Kirchner government tried to regulate the advertising of several supermarket chains. The result was that the spooked business owners stopped publicizing offers on their products and services in different media.
Attack of the Cronies
Then there’s the mercantilist idea where the government believes it has the power to determine what the nation should or shouldn’t export, and decides to isolate the country from the world because it thinks that the country will prosper behind closed doors. Corporatism grows, and crony capitalists spring up, friends of the government who swap bribes, favors, and privileges to do away with any semblance of competition. Thus the state becomes the administrator of production and profit.
Excessive spending, the product of the extension of the state in all corners of national life, provokes a constant fight for the available booty, and the public offices which come to be perceived as nothing more than positions in which to enrich oneself. The allies of the ruler begin to exert ever-closer ties over him, becoming part of a state mafia, and setting themselves up to become one of the new crop of messiahs that will carry on his legacy.
Chile must understand that tragedy has been swift and comprehensive in those countries where rulers have pioneered socialism in the 21st century.
However, this can become a problem that can grow to fragment the populist apparatus. After the administration of late Argentinean President Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007), followed by that of Cristina Kirchner, doubts are circling over who will be her successor, and this could weaken power and confidence in the government.
The End of Individual Freedom
Ultimately, the fundamental political project consists of creating a society that constantly depends on the state, and is only ever disappointed. They inject hate. They spread the belief that the condition of low-income individuals is nothing more than the fault of previous governments, who benefited themselves at the cost of leaving the poor in poverty.
Thus, every time a new political, economic, or social problem emerges, these governments never fail to take the chance to blame even the alignment of the planets last century to exonerate themselves from any responsibility.
What Chile must understand is that in those countries where rulers have pioneered socialism in the 21st century, tragedy has been swift and comprehensive. These careless experiments have been worse than damaging for societies.
Rulers haven’t tired of changing and scrapping any regulations that get in their way, and have made laws on a whim. Regimes like those in Argentina have liquidated individual freedoms and humiliated the dignity of their inhabitants, who have become slaves to this system.
That’s why it’s necessary to retake the road of respect for the republic and the rule of law. So that the division and limiting of powers prevents the corruption of institutions, the enslavement of the individual, and the crushing of minorities under the weight of a circumstantial majority. So that Venezuela doesn’t become Cuba. So that Argentina doesn’t become Venezuela. So that Chile doesn’t become Argentina.