Friday, September 12, 2014

Allende Could Have Started a Real Revolution - But He Didn't

9/11, for the people of Chile, has a completely different meaning than it has for Americans.

Forty-one years ago, on September 11, 1973 Salvador Allende was deposed in a violent coup led by Augusto Pinochet.

CNN published a pretty good article about the coup marking the 40th anniversary last year.

I remember watching the news at the time this happened.  My parents were in tears.  But the thing to remember about it is there are always two sides to a story, and my parents could not hear the other side.

Generally speaking, the left takes from the rich and middle class and gives to the poor; while the right takes from the poor and middle class and gives to the rich.  Both the left and the right are covetous of other people's wealth.

Allende was from the left.  He was a Marxist who had close ties with Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR), which was a leftist militant & terrorist group.

Once elected, Allende ignored thousands of court orders and precedents (writing executive orders to override them, as all of our own recent presidents including Obama have done) and confiscated billions of dollars of private property in a forced nationalization of industries.  What had been a growing middle class in Chile was reduced to penury by the end of his term.

In a few cases where anyone dared resist confiscation, they were jailed or shot.

Removing someone's property at gunpoint is called "robbery".

The election of Allende was a product of the repression of the middle and lower classes prior to 1968; but the coup was a product of Allende's repression of the middle and upper classes.  Allende had a chance to break the cycle of one government breaking bad one way and the next government breaking bad the opposite way.

He chose not to.

Most leaders don't -- they'd rather double down.

Allende could have concentrated on reforms that would have improved lives and extended the free market so that more of the poor could participate.  Instead he chose to bring down the middle class and the rich.

This effect has been demonstrated dozens of times in the last century.  A more recent example is Columbia, where the government went from rightist to leftist. The same thing is happening there.

The only way to end polarizing politics is to protect the rights of all, and reduce government intrusion into all areas of private life -- business and personal.  Government should not be involved in so many aspects of your life; it only creates conflict and turns people against each other.

A small and frugal government that doesn't steal or murder doesn't create enemies.