The Chilean Unrest Isn’t Unique, It can Happen Literally Anywhere at Anytime

The sudden explosion of violence in the comparatively wealthy South American country of Chile took practically all observers off guard after they had hitherto assumed that no such unrest was ever possible in a nation with such impressive macroeconomic indicators, yet that just goes to show that what occurred wasn’t by any means unique and can literally happen anywhere at anytime because of very serious underlying systemic issues that have been ignored by many governments for far too long.


Chile is emerging from its darkest days since the fall of Pinochet’s Old Cold War-era dictatorship after surviving a sudden explosion of violence that lasted over the past five days and threw the comparatively wealthy South American country into its worst crisis in recent memory. Students began protesting earlier this month in response to a slight increase in their metro’s ticket prices, which served as the trigger for many other socio-economic malcontents to eventually take to the streets and vent their rage at living in one of the most unequal societies in the world. The BBC confirmed that Chile has the highest inequality rates of any country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) despite lessening the divide in recent years after improving its macroeconomic indicators, so it’s little wonder that there are so many people who feel like they don’t have much to lose by burning public transport stations, police cars, and even supermarkets as part of their campaign of HybridWar pressure on the government to do something tangible to improve their situation.

This isn’t to endorse the wanton acts of violence that have taken place in turning one of South America’s most livable cities into a literal war zone, but just to explain what’s driving events there. Accepting the rioters’ perspective — which isn’t the same as approving their actions — helps to understand why everything exploded so suddenly and in such an organized fashion since this problem was bubbling just under the surface for quite a while now but was ignored by both the government and observers alike. Billionaire Chilean President Pinera had a valid point when he declared that, “We are at war against a powerful enemy, who is willing to use violence without any limits…We are very aware that (the perpetrators of riots) have a degree of organization, logistics, typical of a criminal organization”, since all of this was obviously planned well in advance by passionate activist networks which had evidently just been waiting for the perfect moment to act. Whether one calls them “protests” or “riots” carried out by either “activists” or “criminals” (or even a mix thereof), what happened was obviously preplanned.

Color Revolution technologies have already proliferated all throughout the world since these regime change methods were first weaponized by the US against Serbia, several former Soviet Republics, and the Mideast (prior to which one could say that the so-called “Revolutions of 1989” also fit this criteria), so it’s unsurprising that all sorts of causes utilize them nowadays, including those that aren’t aimed at advancing American foreign policy such as the recent ones that drove the latest unrest in Ecuador and of course Chile. The difference between these two cases, however, is that most of the world had written the former off as a so-called “banana republic” where such events are presumed to practically be the norm while the latter was regarded as immune to them because it was considered to be a “first-world” country like its fellow members in the OECD. The over-simplistic belief that positive macroeconomic indicators somehow guarantee long-term systemic stability in any given state is nothing more than a wishful thinking delusion that’s now been debunked beyond any doubt.

This is especially the case when it comes to Latin America’s new right-wing governments whose neoliberal and austerity measures were meant to reverse the socialist gains of the so-called “Pink Tide”, but have been implemented in such an extreme way that they’ve exacerbated preexisting societal divisions and thus created an even more fertile environment for those same socialist ideas to to win more hearts and minds before emerging from “underground” to challenge the establishment during times of crisis. Unlike what Ecuadorian President Moreno and his international allies alleged, this isn’t part of a “Venezuelan conspiracy”, but is the natural reaction of an historically divided regional population to the imposition of neoliberal economic policies immediately after having previously lived under socialist governments. The very fact that none of this was foreseen beforehand speaks to a serious analytical shortcoming that tremendously underestimated the appeal of socialism in a region that was recently known for practicing this ideology on a continental scale.

As such, with pro-socialist sentiment rising all across the developed world, this means that the Chilean unrest isn’t unique, but can happen literally anywhere at anytime since it should be assumed that there are countless activists preparing for similar scenarios in their own countries but are just waiting for the opportune moment to set their plans into action. There’s no silver bullet for solving these problems, which differ in detail depending on the specific country, but just to point out that this is a serious structural issue across the world that must somehow or another be addressed as soon as possible. Whether that takes the form of more left-wing economic policies, the doubling down on neoliberal ones, preemptive intelligence-gathering operations to identify Color Revolution threats, and/or militant force in reaction to ongoing destabilizations, the fact of the matter is that something will eventually be done because the problem has revealed itself to be structural and might very well become a defining characteristic associated with the ongoing global systemic transition.

By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

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