Published on june 22, 2013
by Mauricio Muñoz. Sociologist. Researcher in Labour Area ICAL.
The massive manifestations and protests occurred during the last three years, not only in Chile but rather in the whole world, have some common components. In first place, great part of those that manifest themselves do not ascribe to any political party and, in fact, criticize, disapprove, and even oppose them. In second place, many of the demonstrators are young, workers and, mainly, students; some even go out into the streets to protest for the first time. In third place, the disapproval that they express surges as a reaction to a corrupt social, political and economic system that in its unfolding is violent with them, subjugating, degrading and grieving them as persons. In short, the capitalist social order, for much of the world’s population becomes unbearable and its subversion is necessary.
Understanding social processes as large, complex, diverse and heterogeneous phenomena, and more precisely as a seemingly endless series of eternal alternation, where a stage should not be considered a priori in itself but in its relationship and connection with the foregoing, it can be stated that we are at the end of the incubation process in an era of social revolutions, whose maturing puts us on the verge of its blooming.
Its fecundation is possible to be tracked, at least in Chile, to the first worker´s strikes carried out at the dawn of 20th century, whose character were “illegal” since they did not ascribe to any judicial institutionality.
Its birth and development, in the conformation of conglomerates and political projects such as the Frente Popular (Popular Front) and Unidad Popular (Popular Unity), that represented not only the interest of the political parties that conformed it but rather were catalyzers of a much broader national-popular project, whose paroxysm was the “Chilean road to socialism” conducted by the UP, truncated materially and symbolically with the coup de e´tat of 1973.
We can identify its rebirth and maturing in the protests of the “pobladores”, workers and secondary students against the Military Dictatorship, in the decade of the 80s, and, almost 20 years after, in the so called “penguin revolution”; in the strikes of the subcontracted¸ precariourized workers of important national productive areas such as the minery, especially the copper mining industry, and the forest industry sector; as well as the protests of the “pobladores” occurred in the last years in Arica, Aysen, Freirina and Quellón; and the massive manifestations that, since 2011, have been carried out by university and secondary students in the whole country, putting in jeopardy the political system.
All these social mobilizations, especially those carried out in the last years, demonstrate that there is a civil society that is “alive”, that reacts, that organizes itself, that protests and manifests itself against a social system that alienates them, in which they do not want to live since it simply does not allow them to live well, and that encloses all human riches and its potential to merchandized, superfluous, and in last term, hollow relationships.
If the left wing sectors of our society are not capable of being in the same registry like these actors, if the left wing parties, specifically the Communist Party with the possibility that unfolds due to supporting the deus ex machina that the presidential pre-candidate Michelle Bachelet represents and its almost sure probability of arriving at the Executive power, is unable to discuss, elaborate and influence in the execution of a program of real social transformation jointly with organized civil society and converted into a political actor, having as a backdrop an utopic story, a project whose strategical objective is subverting the social order that impedes the flourishing and development of human species, and on the contrary, only conforms itself with establishing alliances that search to resolve contingent political problems. This sector, if it is not the motor of the social demands within the system of parties that falls apart into pieces, must be prepared for History to pass over it.
pobladores = shanty town dwellers
penguin revolution = secondary students revolt (secondary school students informally called penguins)
UP = Unidad Popular = Popular Unity = left wing coalition