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ses11_chile1 - 17.55 Introduction to Latin American Studies...

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17.55, Introduction to Latin American Studies, Fall 2006 Prof. Chappell Lawson Session 11: The Breakdown of Chilean Democracy The Fall of Salvador Allende Introduction The 1973 Chilean coup was a shocking political event Heard ‘round the world’ o Good social democrats replaced by evil reactionary dictators o Echoes of Nazism Allende’s government was leftist cause celebre at a time when the socialism was all the rage o Seductive promise of peaceful road to socialism o Marxists inspired by Engel’s remarks in Holland about possibility of democratic route o Everyone concludes peaceful transition impossible; capitalists will never surrender power o Intense criticism of foreign policy in U.S. We will spend a lot of time (3 weeks) on Chile for two reasons Such a well-known event o Still discussed and debated; very controversial o Issue of transitional justice still alive (even though Pinochet will not be tried) Chile is the most overstudied country in the world, so readings are very good Chance to observe the whole cycle (democracy-dictatorship-democracy) without having to learn a whole new country each time Chile in 1970 Moderately developed High education, literacy Quite unequal distribution of wealth o Neofeudal relations in some areas o Like Esteban’s estate in The House of the Spirits Pockets of extreme poverty Dependent on minerals (copper) and agriculture Long tradition of democracy and rule of law Military firmly under civilian control Parties dominate political scene Electorate divided along three-thirds (Left-Center-Right) Some semi-loyal groups o Rightist parties, who want to turn back clock o Leftist parties, who want revolution o Not so bad as in Weimar; semi-conditional acceptance of democracy Gradual erosion of old norms o Competition for “captured votes” in rural areas o Extreme politicization under Christian Democrats (CDs) Reject pork-barreling and partisan compromises Aim at political hegemony Attempt to capture mass media Use of the materials should be cited as follows: Chappell Lawson, MIT OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html) course materials for 17.55J/21A.430J/21F.084J (Introduction to Latin American Studies, Fall 2006), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, downloaded on [Insert Date].
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Polarize both Left (who fear challenge) and Right (who feel betrayed) Push Radicals to Left As a result of CD behavior, Center and Right can’t agree on common presidential candidate in 1970 Allende wins in 1970 No majority, so Congress must ratify
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