Chile: The Debates Posed by the Revolution

Piñera Must Go, Constituent Assembly and Workers’ Government

By Maura Galvez Movimiento Anticapitalista leader.

The dynamic of the revolution shakes the pillars of the established regime and places new forms of political organization that were, until recently, limited to the circles of the most politicized vanguard, within the reach of the masses. We present here some debates about the fundamental slogans of the Chilean process and the politics of revolutionaries.

A Strengthened Right or Polarization and Crisis

A few months ago, our current, the ISL, affirmed: “the international situation is marked by the crisis of the imperialist capitalist system. Its decadence is visible both in the central and the peripheral countries. In most of them there are strong social polarizations, with political phenomena to the right and to the left, with an important imperialist economic counter-offensive that attacks the living conditions of hundreds of millions in all continents, and an important response of workers, women´s, youth and popular struggles, with logical inequalities around the world”. (1)
On the other hand, other currents that claim to be Trotskyist emphasize the strengthening of the forces of the right, in what amounts to a superstructure-reductionist and not so Marxist analysis of the class struggle at an international level. For example, the Unified Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI) advanced in its path of assimilation to reformist formations, even maintaining that the historical era changed in the world and therefore it is necessary to adapt political organizations to a non-revolutionary era. (2)
Other currents, like the one promoted by the PTR in Chile (PTS of Argentina) or the Argentine PO, have held similar points of view, guided by skepticism and attributing to bourgeois forces a power that even they do not recognize themselves.
The revolution that shakes Chile and the multiplicity of processes that occur worldwide clearly debunk these interpretations.

The Left, Between Pessimism and Adaptation to Reformism

In this international framework, some of the international Trotskyist currents that intervene in Chile have once again demonstrated the level of political and conceptual crisis that afflicts them. The same can be said of other political tendencies that limit and adapt their positions. The LIT, for example, explains in a long article that “the Constituent Assembly is a trap and is useless”, (3) ignoring the hundreds of thousands who fight in the streets to impose it. Even worse is the position held by the USFI currents, which directly defend the Broad Front (FA) as a political model. Thus, the Brazilian MES praises the FA as having “the pronouncements that are most connected with the street”, (4) when that sector´s main activity – along with the Communist Party (PC) – has centered on attempting to institutionalize the process through the channels of the regime inherited from the dictatorship and signing a pact with the murderous government of Piñera, rescuing him when he was on the edge of the abyss. This policy is costing them an extended process leaders and militants throughout the country splitting from the organization, with the resignation of Valparaíso mayor Sharp standing out.

Among Chilean political tendencies, the MIR (Revolutionary Left Movement) maintains an ideological influence over new organizations that claim its inheritance. This is the case of Convergencia April 2, which questions the centrality of the Piñera must go slogan in an article that presents its politics: “It is better to demand the resignation or approve the removal of a President than to eliminate his privileges. Nonetheless, a condition for the approval of a Constituent Assembly implies the resignation of Sebastián Piñera, and new presidential and parliamentary elections must be called … This process of the Popular Constituent Assembly must also serve to enhance the struggle against the power bloc, which is taking place from the streets and could also take place in a Constitutional Plurinational Assembly that gives rise to a new constitutional text. ” (5) This demand to renew the president by electoral means, confirms its stagist separation from the revolution, which is a consequence of the separation they express in the struggle for the power of the centers of self-organization that arise from the process. It is a policy of abstention without disputing the leadership, which contributes to the recovery of the current bourgeois regime.
As always, the revolution exposes those who call themselves revolutionaries to the hard test of events. Some, beyond their red facade, demonstrate their enormous inability to understand the current political moment, not only in Chile but throughout the world; others choose the path of reformist adaptation. Both phenomena are explained by the profound skepticism of these currents, which contrasts with the initiative and audacity of the ISL throughout the world.

1. Nuestra estrategia para la revolución socialista, foundational document of the ISL, approved in Barcelona in May, 2019.

2. “Nueva época, nuevo programa, nuevo partido: este tríptico debía constituir el marco de una reflexión sobre el nuevo período histórico», From the LCR to the NPA, 15/12/08, signed by the USFI´s main leaders.

3. Asamblea Constituyente: ¿solución o trampa?,, 1/11/19.

4. Chile: el paraíso neoliberal en llamas,, 29/10/19.

5. A tres semanas de la revuelta popular: ¡avanzar a la huelga general!,, 11/11/19.