Crisis in Popular Unity and the Emergence of ‘People’s Power’
Towards the middle of 1972, the political strategy of Popular Unity went into undeclared bankruptcy. It was no longer possible for the government to entertain hopes of ‘buying off’ the middle classes, when faced with the joint determination of national capital and imperialism to create economic chaos as an excuse for bringing Allende down. The coalition itself was divided. One section wanted to call the Chilean ‘experiment’ to a halt, consolidating the gains which had been made, in the hopes of preserving social peace by reaching an agreement with the Christian Democrats and the national bourgeoisie. A second section wanted to push forward towards socialism, in the hope of winning the inevitable confrontation. ‘Consolidate’ or ‘Advance without Compromise’: these were the slogans advanced as alternatives. President Allende clearly supported the first slogan. In the year and a half to come, he would do everything in his power to prevent civil war, but little to prepare the working class to confront it. ‘Consolidation’ was also the slogan of the Communist Party, the largest single political organization in Popular Unity. At the same time, a majority in Allende’s own Socialist Party clearly supported the second, revolutionary alternative.
KeywordsArmed Force Communist Party Black Market Official Price Socialist Party
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