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Thu Sep 26, 2013, 03:05 PM

Four Decades After the First 9-11 in Chile

By Roger Bybee

October 2013

In short, the Chilean 9/11 resulted in the death of the democratically-elected president, ended a lengthy tradition of constitutionalism unique in Latin America, unleashed a startling reign of murder and torture in a peaceful nation, enthroned the cruel and avaricious dictator Augusto Pinochet, and provided Pinochet and his supporters among international corporate elites a free hand to establish the most extreme version of what came to be known as “neo-liberal” capitalism. Chile, in effect, shifted from an experiment in democratic socialism to a testing-ground for a “shock therapy” form of unregulated capitalism which—especially under the conditions of a repressive military dictatorship—was overtly dedicated to enriching multinational corporations and local elites while crushing and fragmenting unions and other forms of democratic organization among the increasingly impoverished working class and poor.

As Naomi Klein wrote in her classic Shock Doctrine, “the shock of the coup prepared the ground for economic shock therapy, creating an unstoppable hurricane of mutually reinforcing destruction and reconstruction, erasure and creation. The shock of the torture chamber terrorized anyone thinking of standing in the way of the economic shocks.” This paved the way for the introduction of ruthless policies labeled as “free-market” capitalism, which in practice actually meant state subsidies and support for major corporations and investors, while government assistance to workers and the poor was vastly reduced or eliminated.

Ultimately, four decades later, what the CIA called the “indelible residue” of poison remains in the bloodstream of Chilean society. Chilean labor remains constrained by Pinochet-era restrictions, average real wages are lower than in 1973, and Chile ranks as one of the most inegalitarian nations in the world.

This is a long, but good read imo. Full Article: http://www.zcommunications.org/four-decades-after-the-first-9-11-in-chile-by-roger-bybee.html

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