Gabriel Boric 1

In the age of rising tide of neoliberal authoritarianism and populist reactionary religious politics, the electoral victory of left brings smiles to all progressive forces beyond Chile. The people of Chile defeated José Antonio Kast-a committed follower of the country’s former dictator, Gen. Augusto Pinochet who established neoliberal authoritarianism in Chile before it spread worldwide. The decisive victory of Mr Gabriel Boric is a celebration of people’s power beyond the borders of the Andean nation. History repeats itself yet again. The victory of Chilean left brings hope that working class people can defeat authoritarianism and their neoliberal reincarnations. Mr. Boric rightly said that “if Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its grave”.

The victory of left in Chile in a record majority is not a symbolic victory. It has reinforced the idea of class consciousness, class organisation and class struggle encompassing issues of human and animal rights, individual freedom and dignity, gender justice, environmental justice rights of indigenous communities over their land, forests, water and natural resources. Gabriel Boric-Chile’s 35-year-old President elect’s victory speech covers all these universal ideals. The victory has shown that deepening of democracy depends on struggles on the streets with a clear agenda that rebuilds the politics of trust among the masses.

In terms of GDP, Chile is the richest country in Latin America, and it outperforms other countries in the region, but Chilean income inequality is highest among the OECD countries. The income share among the poorest in Chile is lowest in the world. The Chilean economic conditions are not very different from the rest of the world. These economic conditions are direct outcomes of neoliberal authoritarianism. The mining led capitalist industrialisation has enabled various forms of Pinochet regime to maintain its control over the state and government for decades, which comes to an end now. Gabriel Boric vows to end the mining projects that destroys environment. It includes $2.5 billion dollar worth of controversial Dominga iron, copper and gold mining project. Boric government is going to be a government of the people and planet.

But the bourgeoisie agencies are on over drive to demean the Chilean left victory as forward march of corruption and misery. These far-right reactionary forces have started their strategic mobilisation to prevent radical transformation of Chilean society and economy that works for the masses. The bourgeoisie media brands the victory of left in Chile as Latin American abyss. Such ideological onslaught on working class electoral victory shows that bourgeoisie fear the power and wisdom of people and their abilities to reclaim their rights during turbulent times. It is only left politics which can not only defeat neoliberal authoritarianism but also can provide sustainable alternative for the people and planet. Chilean left shows the way to the left forces worldwide to reclaim the lost decades for a sustainable future. In left’s victory, hope trumped despair in Chile.

Bhabani Shankar Nayak, University of Glasgow, UK


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