Chile: After Boric’s second Public Address, more austerity and repression

As it has become a tradition, every June 1st there is the Public Address of the government before the Congress and this past Thursday Gabriel Boric made the second one of his term in a context of severe economic crisis and after elections that resulted in the triumph of the far-right in the new constitutional process. In this context, the government ratified the abandonment of its program and assumed the full administration of the pillars of neoliberalism: more contribution to repression and no social support.

By Joaquin A. – Movimiento Anticapitalista

What does Boric intend to do?

The second Public Address of Gabriel Boric is set in a context that concerns all the representatives of the regime, since the expansive wave of the 2019 rebellion is still a matter of uneasiness among the parties of the bloc in office, since in six months the new constitutional process that emerged after the failure of the Constitutional Convention should close. This as an expression of the mood of the bourgeoisie to try to close the cycle opened after the October irruption and thus grant a panorama of neo-liberal normalization. This perspective collided in the last elections, which reflected the deep disaffection with the process and its representatives, giving a blow to the government and manifesting the polarization that crosses the country with the triumph of the extreme right of the Republican Party and a high vote for the null vote.

This scenario is not the most favorable for implementing the agenda announced by Boric and the respective pacts of the parliamentary political arc as a whole, so the tone of broad unity prevailed in the more than three and a half hours speech that the Public Address lasted. In the words of the President: “Now, if we evaluate it devoid of contingent passions, all of us in this room will agree that Chile’s panorama is more orderly than when we took over the government”, echoing the will of his government in the attempt to retake the questioned governability.

It is in such harmony that the government of the Frente Amplio and the Communist Party has the mandate to “order” the country, therefore, taking on the mandate of the Agreement for Chile and at the same time implementing the fiscal adjustment that grants survival to the neoliberal model for a new cycle of capitalist accumulation in the midst of the crisis that is strongly impacting it. For that they are getting ready with repression.

Excuses to reach a pact and close the doors to social demands

Anchored in this reality and with the stabilizing mission, Boric announced the three central pillars in the Public Address: guaranteed social rights, security and sustainable economic development. Among the advances he stated from the government, Boric highlighted the 40-hour project, the zero co-payment in health, the mining royalty, among others, although the tone was the recognition of not promoting his program, conditioning the main promises with which he came to power to the advance of the Tax Reform, in his own words: “I must be very sincere and responsible: the State of Chile does not have now enough resources to take charge of all this reparation, and that is why we need the tax reform. If the tax reform is approved, we will immediately present a project to fulfill this commitment. I invite this room to be part of this noble and necessary gesture of reparation”, he said.

It is in this way that the historical debt of the teachers and the cancellation of the educational debt of the CAE were conditioned (not to say discarded), the “excuse” was the fiscal shortage, another somersault is the collection in relation to the needs that Boric’s program had promised, of 8% of the GDP now he speaks of 2.5% to comply with the new “priority” agenda in detriment to the more expectable social offers that he once announced in his campaign. During the long speech, the legal abortion project was absent, only the “feminist” narrative was active with the defense of the Minister of Education against the offensive of the right wing against Sexual Education, while the self-styled environmentalist government surprised by removing any kind of narrative associated with a minimum defense of the territories, a notorious counterpoint to the advances of extractivism in the country since it took office and crowned with the signing of the neocolonial treaty of the TPP. In the same way, any trace of the end of the current individually funded pension system was left behind, counterbalanced by official announcements with the reform that reimposes the private logic in pensions.

In Public Security, he promised more resources for repression, although conditioned to the dialogue with the right wing to promote the Tax Reform, thus containing in it a State disbursement of 1.5 billion dollars for more technology and infrastructure for the carabineros and the PDI, supported in reinforcing the borders, while he announced the creation of the Ministry of Public Security.

In the absence of the carrot, the stick is prepared to face the economic crisis that determines the precarious conditions of the social majorities that live from their work, to such an extent, after the Public Address, that the representative of the Frente Amplio, Gonzalo Winter, stated that he was open to ” waive the tax on the super-rich” to advance in the Tax Reform with the right wing, a new attempt of unity with the most conservative sectors to postpone the social demands and give free rein to the repressive apparatus.

Anti-capitalist left-wing opposition to the government and to stop the far-right

The logic of neoliberal administration of the Frente Amplio government with the Communist Party shields itself in fiscal deficiency and stirs up the ghost of the right wing, although the reality is that they are willing to negotiate with them for the benefit of the 1%, discarding any hint of a tax on the super-rich, while closing the doors to the demands most felt by society as a whole and which Boric promised in his campaign. The “as far as possible” narrative of the Concertación is re-boosted from the neoliberal progressivism which in turn opens the way to the worst of the nostalgic of pinochetism that is strengthened in each pact and in each programmatic flip-flop of the government’s hand.

That is why it is fundamental to promote an anti-capitalist left opposition to the government, recovering the initiative in the streets and broadly organizing a way out of the economic crisis so that the capitalists pay for it. This road is the only one that will stop the far-right that grows stronger with each turn to the right that the FA commands together with the PC from the government. The task is to propose an alternative for the working class and the peoples in the face of the economic deterioration and the social indignation that grows every day in polarization.

The government ratified the agenda of updating neoliberalism, the far-right is writing the new constitution, the regime is making a pact for more repression. It is time to activate an anti-capitalist social and political response. Join with us.