On September 11th, 1973, perhaps the brightest of the Latin American socialist experiments ended in blood. Salvador Allende was elected to office on November 3rd, 1970 until his eventual murder at the hands of imperialists. He assumed office at the behest of a bourgeois liberal election, it is no surprise his experiment was founded on the perversion of proletarian political power, but if that is the case why must we, as Marxists, follow his example? Why do we ardently defend the image of a murdered socialist, doomed by revisionism to fail? We will be examining this grace error, and his great successes despite his circumstances. A great deal of slander has been placed upon him, and it is our job to clear the air. Many would claim Allende as the “usual!” socialist psychotic, who soon would commit suicide out of cowardice. This is not true, Allende committed himself to the improvement of humanity before his untimely murder. The Capitalists have buried so much of history beneath both greater and lesser slanders; so we will examine the great leaps made by the Allende administration and how it came crumbling down.
Cybersyn was a product of Allende’s tenure which fused technology with economic administration. Computers, in real time, could calculate both efficiency, consumption of materials, and budgetary requirements within a workplace at a given time. These tasks were carried by rudimentary computers of the time, however with the technological capabilities of both AI and modern supercomputers not only can it provide immediate economic calculations, budgetary adjustments and accurate distribution of materials in the workplace, it can provide real time tasks and long term economic planning in almost an instant. Further, they are not as prone to mathematical errors as the human mind can tend to be, a necessary strength in the complex equations that macroeconomics tend to produce. Neither are they inclined towards bureaucratic stratas as individuals may be, they do not experience political fallibility but are mere instruments of calculation. Beyond all of this, it is a fantastic rebuttal towards the supposed “economic miscalculation” problem as proposed by Mises, it man could not ever accurately address the population in full, machines will! The comorbidity of socialism and technology is evident, Allende has shown this! The capitalists, so far, have used our progressive strides in cybernetics towards exploitative goals, but we will make something truly worthy of them. There is not an example of economic planning more relevant and applicable to the modern day, and we have Allende’s administration to thank for this.
The Accomplishments of Allende
Beyond the shining example of technological comorbidities expressed in Allende’s tenures, many significant strides were made economically. Chile, to this point, was exploited for its copper, whose value fluctuated unpredictably between the exploiting powers. Due to this, Chile could not hope to stabilise themselves; the capitalists bled them dry only to sell their blood back to them at extortionate prices, that is the exploitation of the Chilean laborers also. Allende, however, had managed to curb this entirely, and created an economy that for once, was stable, growing and genuinely for the people. Employment went up, wages skyrocketed, and the imperial powers were left out of pocket for their product. However, any money lost to the imperial powers would surely be repaid, as they worked desperately to reclaim the resources they had lost. The powers created economic embargoes, political instability and supported a failed coup months before the one that killed him. The US had donated millions to anti-Allende factions within Chile, declassified documents show, which was further used to employ red scare tactics against the Chilean population. Despite this, inflation under Allende plummeted from 36% in 1970, to as little as 14% in 1973. Furthermore, he had increased real wages up to 56% in a similar time frame, abolished tuition which led to an 89% increase in university attendance, and had managed, throughout his presidency, to construct over fifty thousand houses per annum. People, for the first time, ate well, had housing, and could afford both healthcare and tuition simultaneously, something much richer nations to this day cannot accomplish. Allende in his time in office did nothing but dedicate himself to the improvement of Chilean lives, but his death was all but certain. He had committed a grave error, through all of this, one that must be discussed.
Allende had entirely run his platform through bourgeois democracy, and in fact when he had taken power it was almost solely as a result of it. The issue at hand here, of course, is that when you are elected merely on the back of bourgeois democracy, your rule is entirely determined by it. This is certain for Allende, he had no revolutionary consolidation of power, no revolutionary discipline to quash the rightist strata, and through it all he had been forced to consolidate with the Christian Democrats to retain his administration. From the beginning, his presidency was one of deep revisionism, reformism, and conciliatory behaviors with the bourgeoisie. He had attempted to reconcile this with genuine proletarian change, but this proved all but impossible. He was forced to choose, either abandon socialism entirely and resign himself to the bourgeoisie or to attempt to continue his reforms, he chose the latter and of course, the same bourgeoisie that had allowed him to be elected were the ones to stab him in the back. This is an exemplary example of reformist idealism, how it does not apply to the real world. Often it is difficult to accept the revolution, violence is no easy thing, but when we do not we are often made a bloody example of. We must crush the bourgeoisie entirely, until no remnants of Capitalism could hope to remain, under no pretext will Socialism ever come from the ballot box.
Of course, in time, Allende’s legacy was undone. This is to be expected of Capitalists, and Pinochet’s bourgeois retaliations against communists had all but buried any semblance Allende in the nation. However, his lessons live on, and we as socialists continually improve upon the wonderful example of his tenure, and improve upon the great errors that killed him in the end. We will carry his legacy forward as we go about establishing our own revolutionary movement. Until then, we can only say; Vive Allende.