Just a reminder to the pseudo-leftists who are gleefully getting off by trolling right-wing patriotic conservatives, urging them to remember “the real 9/11″ (the 1973 Pinochet coup against the Salavador Allende government in Chile). Please don’t let the dearth of revolutionary figures in recent memory lead you to claim false martyrs for your canon:
The UP [Unidad Popular, the coalition that helped bring Allende into office] was a classic popular front, an alliance of reformist workers parties, chiefly the SP and Communist Party (CP), with bourgeois forces — the small Radical Party as well as some Christian Democrats. The Allende government was not, as maintained by reformists around the world, a ‘people’s government’ gradually introducing socialism. It was a government committed to the maintenance of capitalism. The presence of bourgeois parties in the UP coalition was a guarantee to the capitalists that the workers parties would not take any steps to threaten the profit system.
Even before assuming office, Allende signed an agreement pledging not to permit the formation of ‘private’ armed forces — i.e., workers militias. The Allende government disarmed the workers by seizing their weapons and by sowing illusions in a ‘peaceful road to socialism.’ This cleared the way for the bourgeoisie to crush the working class.
By pointing this out, I do not in any way intend to diminish the historical significance of Pinochet’s US-backed military coup, which as an event was a massacre and led to more than three decades of institutionalized reaction. The Pinochet government was a Bonapartist throwback, almost textbook. My intention is not to ridicule the memory of a murdered man, populist pygmy though Allende was, so much as it is to draw attention to the selective amnesia of hero-mongering leftists.
Or, as Jonathan Munis put it, albeit a bit more disparagingly: “Somehow no one can find it in their recollection that this idiot — Allende — refused to arm the workers, consistently tried to keep workers’ organizations arms-free, and he is the one who literally appointed Pinochet chief of staff of the army (oops).”
Personally, in times like these, I always look to the hardened kernel of Spart ultraorthodoxy for clarity of vision. “Popular Front paved the way for Pinochet terror” the title says it all, really.