Chile, Movimiento Anticapitalista: Our position on the 21N elections

We are approaching the first presidential and parliamentary elections after the rebellion. Amid this panorama of deepening economic crisis, social polarization and no alternative that is expressed as part of the outbreak, we share our opinion to contribute to the debates and challenges to come.

By Movimiento Anticapitalista

Elections, social polarization and economic crisis

A first fact is that there is no continuity of the independent phenomenon in the ballots, due to the obstacles of the regime to avoid the result of the Constitutional Convention (CC) as an objective fact, while the role of the leadership of the People’s List liquidated the political movement that incipiently emerged.

That is why the polarization at the electoral level is channeled by the renewal of the political center at the hands of the Frente Amplio in an agreement with the PC, where the candidate Gabriel Boric, former student leader, is the main card to govern the next presidential period. A government with a bourgeois program defined as “transition”, a formula for dialogue from aadisadvantage protected in the conventional process, thus the prelude and sample to a possible government of the FA-PC is being expressed in the CC as a guarantor of stability and governability in relation to the Peace Agreement signed by Boric himself to disarticulate the momentum of the streets and safeguard the worn out model of neoliberal-capitalism,. They also show that they are outdated with the scandal of Karina Oliva’s renditions, revealed by CIPER, where the reproduction of the hideous practices of the politics of the 30 years, which they are supposed to fight against, is evident.  The former Concertación, badly hit after the rebellion, is emerging behind Boric, while positioning itself in the elections with the DC Yasna Provoste, a voice of “renovation” that will promote inclusion/negotiations with the future government.

The right wing on its part expresses the greatest political crisis, the government continuity candidate, Sebastián Sichel, channels the fall of the sector, going from being the political novelty in the primaries of the block in power to a pyrrhic presentation a few days before the elections due to his business relationship and also, by positioning himself as Piñera’s candidate. The crisis is so deep that it left his sector actuar freely due to the irruption of the representative of the ultra-right, José Antonio Kast, similar to Bolsonaro discursively and programmatically.

Due to the absence of a direct representation of the rebellion, Kast, with a right-wing orientation, channels the polarization with a proto-fascist language and a sector of the bourgeoisie helps to tone him up mediatically to position a voice that acts as “radical”. This is how he has positioned himself in the polls and may possibly go to the second round. Due to this situation, the political center that tries to reconfigure itself under the figure of Boric, takes advantage of the polarization in an “all against Kast” to join the concertación and progressivism behind the project of the FA-PC. It is evident that the irruption of the Kast phenomenon must be fought and not leave space to the ultra-right, a position that will go through the active role of the streets and the left, not relying on the lesser evil.

On the left Eduardo Artes of the PC(AP) – UPA is running for president, a declared Stalinist organization that defends governments like China and North Korea, that is to say, it defends the totalitarian view of the wrongly called real socialism and a State capitalism that promotes bureaucratic privileges, the devastation of nature and reactionary nationalism. A failed historical experience that acted as a containment of the workers and socialist movement worldwide, that definition is the counterpart of any emancipating look that the anti-capitalist and socialist left must contribute as a social and political alternative to reconstitute ourselves as a pole of reference under the banners of socialism, feminism, ecosocialism, freedom and internationalism, based on the analysis of reality and not on simplifying mechanisms. Artés also fails to position himself as a figure that brings together the vanguard and is relegated to a position distant from the world we are living in due to a Soviet nostalgia that must be overcome.

The post-rebellion electoral scenario, full of impunity, with political prisoners in jails and in the midst of the consequences of the pandemic, adds the factor of global economic crisis, therefore, the debates on who pays for the crisis are of the first order, since, as a “new” factor in the country, we are living the direct consequences of the crisis on the working class, even raised by the government itself that it is only comparable to that of the 20s. In that sense, public policies have been of direct transfers of monies through withdrawals from AFP fund and universal IFE to sustain the massive destruction of work, that policy that ends at the end of the year finds a panorama that we described in this way in mid-October:

“In our country we have an economy mounted on the basis of plundering, the main activities are extractive with strong impact on the environment, low value added and a pauper wage level. According to a September report by the SOL Foundation, “50% of Chilean workers earn less than $420,000 and 7 out of 10 workers earn less than $635,000 liquid. Within this disastrous universe, women are the most affected, with nearly 83% of those employed earning less than $850,000 liquid and being the ones who have suffered the most from job losses in the last year and a half.

As if this were not graphic enough, inflationary pressure, estimated at 5.7%, is added to this, which has a central impact on salaries, generating the acceleration of the already widespread indebtedness process: 70% of families are indebted by an average of 2 million, a 300% jump from the mid-2000s to the present. This indebtedness is centered on common expenses (food, housing, health, education, etc.) used to “compensate” the lack of wages”[i].

Perspectives, the left and our tasks

We think that the dynamic that opened the outbreak has not finished closing and that a pre-revolutionary stage prevails[ii], although it is evident that two years later we find ourselves in a different scenario and today the Peace Accord[ii] prevails. This tension generates the situation we are going through. On the one hand, the change dynamics that activated the streets, and on the other hand, the structural weakening of capital that does not allow lasting reforms that benefit the majorities, the main problem of the CC, therefore, the next period with a possible FA-PC government will have to coexist with this situation in dialogue with the deepening of the crisis and the exhaustion of the economic countermeasures that were implemented at the social level during the first years of the pandemic.

This scenario underpins the perspectives of the period that will begin after November 21, since the electoral situation itself shows the difficulties they have in not achieving, neither the FA – PC, nor any other conglomerate to consolidate a flow of votes of their own to strengthen them as an alternative, that is why for a second round and future government an inter-bourgeois agreement is pending within the framework of the crisis that is deepening and we are detailing. The Kast phenomenon means a fact of reality due to his electoral growth, although with the same difficulties, especially because his government program is of a wild neo-liberalism, while the left turn of the country stresses the consolidation of a social space protected by the ultra-right, a debate that will undoubtedly be dazzling as the current situation passes and the process decays.

From our organization we call to annul in the presidential elections, while at the parliamentary level we give our support to Fabiola Campillai for Senator of the Metropolitan Region for her role against the impunity of this criminal government and for human rights, likewise we support the candidacies of fighters on the list of Dignity Now as Matías Jair Toledo for deputy in the D12 and we also extend our support in the places where they are to the list of the Front for the Unity of the Working Class. Although we also warn that it is central to get out of the electoral pettiness and amplify the unity to concrete action and struggle, without sectarianism or opportunism, thus strengthening the path of mobilization and organization.

The electoral situation cannot cloud the economic and social situation that the majority of us who live from our work are going through, therefore, the current task is to promote the construction of a political alternative that is an expression of the reserves of rebellion and to prepare ourselves for what is coming without letting go of the streets, facing the crisis so that the capitalists pay for it and not giving any space to the ultra-right, that is why with this roadmap we invite you to join Movimiento Anticapitalista and become part of it together with us to promote what is needed: a strong organization to transform everything.

[i] For an economic plan at the service of the majorities (October, 2021). In: