I will start this expose of what is really going on in Chile by pointing out that as I have lived there for the last 14 years, I am well placed to talk about it. I am aware that the truths that I am going to set out here may upset more than a few people, but if things are ever going to get better you have to begin by accepting reality, and the reality of the situation in Chile, which has seemingly gone from the most developed and prosperous country in South America to just another failing banana republic is what will be addressed here.
Geographically and physically, Chile is a beautiful and diverse country. It is some 5000 Kms long and has almost every variety of climate, topography and vegetation you can find on the planet apart from tropical rainforest. The problem is the people.
Now we will summarize in an unordered list the main problems or realities in Chile that have erupted in the past few weeks in an orgy of violence and destruction, and afterwards enlarge on the points made.
- The government in Chile is a front for the 5 or so wealthy families who run the country as a sort of personal fiefdom, as they have since the time of General Pinochet.
- Inequality in the country is extreme, with not just the lower classes but also the middle classes being brutally and cynically exploited by the elites.
- The genetics of the people are generally poor, with large numbers of them, especially in the north of the country, being descended from criminals and lowlifes who were brought over to work the nitrate and copper mines etc.
- Because of the legacy of the Pinochet years, and the over-reaction to them, there is an undue emphasis on “derechos humanos” – human rights, which has resulted in a situation where the judiciary are far more concerned about the rights of criminals than their victims.
- The judiciary of the country is infested by a high number of socialists and outright communists, and is extremely weak in dealing with miscreants, which has led to an explosion in crime that runs at epidemic levels. For example, burglaries run at between 5 and 10 times the level in the US.
- In part because of the lack of support from the judiciary, Chile has what is probably the weakest police force in the world. During the recent riots they essentially abandoned the field to the mob, and retreated to their “safe spaces” – either their police stations or guarding the homes of the wealthy who have the most power over them. The result of this was arson, looting and vandalism on an epic scale.
- It used to be held that corruption was much worse in places like Argentina than in Chile, but developments over the past year or two have shown that this is not the case, with the Carabineros (police) and the Military at the highest levels exposed as having “had their hands in the till” on a grand scale, robbing the state of countless millions (in dollars) which they spent in casinos and on Real Estate and foreign vacations etc.
Now we’ll go into more detail…
As stated above the government of Chile is a “shop window” for the 5 or so wealthy families who run Chile as a private fiefdom. They own (or control) all of the big store chains, including the “farmacias” (drugstore chains) which are big business as the Chilean population are encouraged to be pill poppers and the markups are huge, the Costanera center in Santiago (with the big tower) etc. They also own vast tracts of agricultural land. Some years back the drugstore chains were caught out colluding to jack up the prices of medicines. It was a big scandal but as one would expect, they ended up paying a “slap on the wrist” fine. More amusing was that the manufacturers of toilet paper were also found guilty of colluding to price gouge buyers, which is more serious because the demand for this product is understood to be inelastic, and the laughable judgement was that they had to give a rebate of 7000 pesos (about US$15) to each swindled citizen. “What are you standing in that long line for?” “Oh - I’m just standing in line for my toilet paper collusion refund.”
They pay the ordinary working class a bare minimum survival wage, so that they are often forced to live huddled with other family members in shack type housing or shoddily constructed boxes. A lot of young people have made the expensive mistake of thinking that they can enter the middle class by acquiring a college education and have had the nasty shock of discovering that their college degree will only open doors if they “have the right connections” (pitute) and they have ended up saddled with huge debts and having to work long hours doing things like Uber driving. President Piñera is a Harvard educated elitist who works to preserve the status quo and is known not to have paid his land taxes for his house in Caburgua in the Lake District for years, and it should come as no surprise that he is a friend of President Macri of Argentina, whose job was to set Argentina up to be a victim of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) which made loans to Argentina that were immediately used to indemnify its elite creditors (venture capitalists etc.) with the ordinary population of Argentina being stuck with the bill in the form of onerous austerity measures. It could be that the financial repercussions of the current anarchy in Chile lead to the country going cap in hand to the IMF – if it does then we can start to join the dots, and it might explain the otherwise inexplicable destruction of Santiago’s Metro system, which certainly has not helped the ordinary citizens of the city.
Turning now to inequality, while the middle class in Chile certainly have it better than the working class and the underclass, who live a bleak hand to mouth existence, unable to do the normal things that workers in most Western countries have been able to take for granted until recently, their lives are also a struggle as they are subject to punitive taxation and fees. An example is driving – first you have to pay to have your vehicle on the road, a yearly or biannual fee called “Permiso de Circulation”, then you have a pay a heavy tax on gasoline, the tax being about 50% of the price, finally most major roads are toll roads, and the tolls are steep. I believe that the orbital freeway in Santiago, called Americo Vespucio, is owned by Spanish interests, and that the then President of Chile Ricardo Lagos, who organized this, has a big villa in Spain. In any event this road, which was completed about 10 years ago, has probably paid for itself 10 times over in tolls and is now just a money generating scam. For example, a woman appeared on the television recently who has to use this road every day to get to work (the alternative is an endless journey along winding back streets) in her small family car and she said she had to pay about US$300 a month in tolls. Truckers, who have to pay even more, are boiling mad about this scam which gives you an insight into how things work here. If you have the money you have to pay for private healthcare, because public healthcare is awful with people dying in the corridors waiting for treatment – basically, if you are poor here, you are left to die. The mandatory pension scheme, known as AFP, is a long-established swindle – everyone who works has to pay a lot into it every month, and then when they retire they get a derisory pension. So now you are starting to get why the people’s anger is boiling over.
I spent some time in northern Chile after I arrived in 2005, and could not help but notice the uniform ordinariness of the people there. Their rough-hewn faces all looked much the same to me, almost as if they were clones – and they mostly aspired to do the same thing – as little work as possible and to spend their time drinking, having barbecues (asados) and watching football. The wealthier ones would distinguish themselves by driving large pickup trucks, having frequent and bigger barbecues and going on foreign trips either to loaf on a beach at a resort or watch the national team playing an away game. I had a Chilean Spanish teacher for a while whose horizons had been broadened by living in Phoenix, Arizona for some years, and one day I said to him “Patrick, why are the people here so uniformly ordinary and boorish, and his reply was that they are mostly descended from criminals and lowlifes sent over to work the nitrate and other mines in northern Chile, and some of them bred with the tribal mountain people, which apparently didn’t help much. As anywhere there were some good people there of course.
There are large number of communists in northern Chile, seemingly because they haven’t got the message that communism doesn’t work. If you were talking about this to one of them and you said “Do you realize that Stalin killed 20 million of his own countrymen?” they would stare at you blankly and say “Who’s Stalin?” Many of them are so ignorant it beggars belief.
The central problem for Chile is that after the Pinochet era the country has overreacted in the direction of extreme tolerance and liberalism so that the pendulum has swung to the other extreme, and the economy is a strange mix of the forces of raw capitalism and socialism. The justice system is chronically weak and ineffectual with many judges being casually dressed daffy women with liberal or even communist sympathies, who often have more sympathy for the perpetrators than the victims of a crime. They provide no backing for the police, so that police have largely given up and resigned themselves to going through the motions and picking up their paycheck at the end of the month. If they succeed in apprehending criminals the judges let them out onto the streets a few weeks or even days later. I thought I had heard the worst when I saw that they arrested and let go the same criminal 30 times, but that was trumped by one that they had arrested 80 times. I thought “Why don’t they just shoot him and get it over with?” In addition to this way of carrying on being imbecilic, it is a gross waste of public money and greatly increases risk to citizens. The prisons, incidentally, are like overcrowded monkey temples, with the prison guards standing around nonchalantly on the periphery while the prisoners do drugs and fashion weapons out of whatever comes to hand, instigating a primitive and brutal Mad Max social hierarchy. The Carabineros (police) in Chile do dress well, and while they are good at handing out speeding tickets they otherwise don’t do very much, partly of course because the courts don’t back them up. If a miscreant injures them he gets maybe 4 months in prison, but if the police officer shoots him, he loses his job and maybe gets 30 years in jail, so you can understand why, when the mob went on the rampage in recent weeks, they just turned tail and retreated, apart from token resistance in the form of tear gas and water cannon. I once saw a yob taking a runup and kicking a policeman in the backside, and he then meekly sloped off. On another occasion a group of about 6 Carabineros were surrounded and being attacked by a gang with wooden poles, they had guns but were too scared to use them.
One of the stupid laws enacted by the liberals in Chile was that it is illegal to smack a child. Since there is no ultimate sanction for a badly-behaved child, it means that the child can always get his way. If you add in that the parents are often delinquents to start with, you can understand why there are literally millions of people in Chile who are “enfant terribles” and have absolutely no respect for anyone or anything. With almost no-one around having the moral fiber to stop them and a weak and useless justice system and police force, they are free to do exactly what they like. They are characterized by nihilism – what they can’t take for their own use, they destroy, as we have seen only too vividly in recent weeks.
Santiago is a peculiarly awful capital city, although it didn’t used to be that way. Because of its unusual geographical position surrounded by mountains, there is often no air movement. Years ago this mattered little but now that the city has ballooned in size and produces a vast amount of toxic fumes, all this acrid muck hangs over the city as a semi-permanent brown haze. In addition to this the public water supply is tainted and not to be drunk. The suburbs sprawl out as awful dreary cynically constructed semi-ghettoes, characterized by a lack of community, shoddy housing and high crime rates so that many houses have bars on the windows, and the roads are full of potholes and everything is plastered with graffiti. So the children, of poor genetic stock to start with, grow up in a terrible alienating environment with little or no parental discipline, and it’s therefore easy to see why, once they become teenagers and realize that the society has almost nothing to offer them, they become delinquent and take up a life of crime. The new Metro system, before it was half-destroyed in recent weeks, was a real boon to them, because it meant that they could be swiftly transported to more affluent areas like Providencia where they could engage in street robberies and burglaries etc. There was never much culture in Santiago in recent times, and what little there was has been destroyed by the mob in recent weeks, with statues being torn down, and churches and museums raided and vandalized
, and everything plastered in graffiti, shopping malls ransacked and torched etc. The lack of respect for public property is one of the things that strikes first time visitors to Chile – all public buses in Santiago have their windows scratched with coins so that you can’t see out properly, and most public monuments are covered in ugly moronic graffiti. A while ago a sculptor crafted a monument that was placed outside the Museum of Fine Arts – it didn’t survive one night without being daubed with graffiti. The government naively tried to make life better for the travelling public by ordering a fleet of shiny new buses from China that have air conditioning and wi-fi – needless to say they were vandalized in no time, with some being burnt. For persons from an orderly society like Japan, the place is a living nightmare.
Chile is not generally a good place to foreigners to live. While they will smile at you as long as they can relieve you of money, they are insular and do not feel comfortable fraternizing with foreigners, and this insularity even extends to their own race. They don’t trust other people and families cling together and for this reason incest is rife. You would have to be mad as a foreigner to consider starting a business here, either that or very naïve, because with no effective rule of law, your premises could be ransacked and burned to the ground at any time.
As we have seen the broad mass of the citizenry in Chile had good reason to get out on the streets and protest in recent weeks, after many years of brutal and cynical exploitation by the elites. The spark that triggered this conflagration was another hike in Metro fare prices which proved to be the last straw for a stressed-out populace. The problem was that this has provided the cover for the destructive nihilistic “enfant terribles” to go on the rampage in an orgy of arson, looting and vandalism. In the space of just a few weeks they largely trashed Santiago. The scale of the destruction and damage they have wrought is incredible, it has to be seen to be believed. The weak and useless police force impotently fired their tear gas and water cannons but were completely overwhelmed. So then the government declared a curfew and called in the military, but the curfew was not respected because the demonstrators knew that the government was too weak to enforce it, and the military, like the police, were scared to do what was necessary to enforce the curfew, with the liberal media talking about the human rights of demonstrators having been violated. The key point here is to distinguish between the right of citizens to stage a peaceful protest without being subject to police or military brutality and the need to deal harshly with those bent on wanton destruction. Unfortunately, in this situation it is often ordinary protesters who end up getting hurt, while the delinquents and vandals get away with it.
What happened to Santiago’s Metro system was truly tragic. This Metro system, which had taken many years to build up, was the best in South America, and was a great improvement to the quality of life of citizens, and not just those who used it, as it took a lot of traffic off the roads. It was much better than the Metro in London or New York (which wouldn’t be hard, it’s true). But over the space of a couple of nights it was badly damaged with over 100 stations being set on fire. This was not some random act of violence, it was clearly coordinated and organized by some group of anarchists, or communists or group with a political motive, and they knew how to use the electrical system to get the fires started. While we cannot rule out CIA involvement as they do things like organize a coup in the Ukraine, it is hard to see why they would do this with a right-wing government already in power, unless of course they want to force Chile into the clutches of the IMF, like Argentina. Whatever the reason, the damage to the quality of life of people living and working in Santiago is immense. The Metro was one thing they could feel proud of, and now many of them, instead of having to spend say 3 hours a day commuting to and from work, have an hour or two added to their daily commuting times, robbing them of valuable recuperating time at home and putting them under terrible stress.
Those causing all of the destruction and devastation in Chile are what the Chinese would classify as “inferior men” and they have proliferated in recent years due to bad parenting, a rotten environment and a complete lack of discipline and order in society most starkly exemplified by the corrupt and weak justice system – the first thing any powerful force taking control in Chile in order to restore order should do is to kick out all of the judges – sack the lot of them. The Chinese know that the way to control the inferior man is to instill fear in him, by making it clear that there will be dire consequences if he persists in his ways, and by making examples of miscreants.
The ironic thing is that General Augusto Pinochet, a man who restored order in Chile and brought it to relative prosperity, so that shopkeepers didn’t have to keep a baseball bat or a gun under their counters, and women could walk the streets in the evenings without fear of being raped, has been vilified by the hypocritical Left and socialists for years and painted as a pariah. It’s true that his Generals did commit excesses in the process of cleaning the country up, but overall, as we can see only too clearly now, his effect was beneficial. Pinochet understood the mindset of Chileans and especially how to deal with the inferior criminal elements that are now on the rampage. Right now, the country is lawless, with the police having already abandoned large swathes of Santiago and other cities to mob rule, and the country is headed in the direction of civil war. Ordinary people are starting to appreciate that the State is not going to defend them, and are mobilizing local defense militias, who will come together with whatever weapons they can lay their hands on to defend their lives and property against the degenerate criminal elements.
It is also deeply ironic that the country has a huge military, which is largely a waste of money, because the enemy is not without, in the form of a potential military assault by say Bolivia or Peru, it is within in the form of the millions of degenerates now running amok within the borders of Chile who only understand one thing – force. Force will be required to stop them, not the effeminate pleading of an impotent government talking about their human rights. What Chile needs now more than ever is for another strongman like General Pinochet to seize control in a military coup and if this now lawless country slides into civil war as is increasingly likely, then this outcome will not only be likely, but desirable, and it will be very strange and ironic that after all of the demonization of Pinochet and railing against him for many years, especially by communists and liberals etc the wheel turns full circle so that someone like him takes charge of the situation in Chile and does what needs to be done.
While many in the northern world reading this may think that Chile is just some distant banana republic and dismiss what is happening there as irrelevant to their lives, this would be a mistake. With socialist degeneracy in the ascendancy in many States and cities across the US and across Europe, most notably California, we can readily appreciate that what we are now seeing in Chile is what is eventually destined to occur in Europe and the US if these forces of decay are not directly confronted in the most robust manner.