organized the comittees of Popular Unity in every factory, in the suburbs, in the streets, and we set up committees in the primary schools, the high schools, in all industries and the hospitals. These committees have been the “radio” that broadcast the ever-widening waves of thought surging from Popular Unity and rushing towards the people . . . As the government in power today we are thinking of using more progressive methods such as the radio and the television, but we intend to keep up that “man-to-man” contact with the people … Our big chances of success lie in giving a new lease of -life to those committees [which have stopped functioning since the election] so that the parties do not get out of touch with the masses. I don’t think I’ll lose. For example, I’m going to the copper mines next week. I have to speak to our comrades there for a while to make sure they understand their responsibilities, … that their country’s basic salary is copper and thus they must produce more, work harder, suit their capabilities and the reality of life in Chile to technology, .. . that the revolution depends on them, that they themselves are the foundation stone of the revolution .. . ROSSELLINI: You are trying to bring about a revolution fully respecting the laws of the land and those democratic rules that so many other revolutionary movements despise. In general, for public opinion, for the man in the street, when we say Marxism, we say dictatorship of the proletariat as well. Why are you different? ALLENDE: … What does the revolution mean from a sociological point of view? One social class in the minority relinquishes the control and exercise of power which then passes into the hands of another social class that is in the majority and which has been politically oppressed and economically exploited. I feel bound to tell you that this is what happened in Chile: the traditional bastions of Chilean plutocracy were defeated by the Christian Democrats in 1964. We cannot compare a Christian Democrat government with a traditional right-wing government but we have declared to the country that we will bring about our revolution by legal ways and means. We have never said that we will be the left wing of the system. We have said that we will change the capitalist regime in order to leave the road open for socialism. We know perfectly well that socialism cannot be imposed by decree. Hence on the basis of this Chilean reality in a country, that is, where civil conscience has a determinate strength, by tradition, where the Armed Forces have a precise professional sense of their obligations, where the “institution” concept carries weight and is well-defined in its content . we are in the heart of this reality, surrounded by the laws of middle-class democracy or of the liberal republic, and we are able to alter the institutions .. . ROSSELLINI: In your May 1st speech, you made an appeal to popular conscience to try and fully realize that the road that leads to the goals you have in mind is long and difficult. You said that you did not want to admit of a “working aristocracy.” Would you be kind enough to explain this concept? ALLENDE: I said in effect that in order to guarantee the successful fulfillment of the revolution in Chile, it is fundamental that the workers intensify their activities; workers at all levels, but essentially manual workers and peasants. You know, Mr. Rossellini, that we have created a national council and local, sectional and provincial councils based on this national council. So it is the peasants \(I refer to the workers of and state technical experts, who draw up production plans as well as establishing the exact agricultural areas to be taken over by the state . . . As regards the industrial workers we have stated that in the nationalized sector that we call social capital, the workers take part themselves in the management of the various industrial enterprises, shoulder to shoulder with state representatives. The managing body to represent the workers will be elected by an assembly of the workers themselves. Now for example we are preparing for the nationalization of the copper industry we are quite certain to bring this about. And the workers must be made to realize that the copper belongs to them, the copper workers. But since they are also part of the people as a whole, they must also understand that economic profits gained by the working of the copper mines cannot be exclusively used to increase salaries or wages of either workmen, office staff or technical experts in the copper industry … If the copper workers fail to understand this point, the situation is grave. If a button factory goes on strike, the country has nothing to worry about; the same for a textile factory but if there is a strike in the copper industry, or in the steel, the coal industries, the consequences are serious for the country. The workers’ conscience is then needed. We must tell them that since they are workers who can exercise a strong pressure on the government, they must not take advantage of this prerogative because this is their government, they themselves are the government. This is the reason why we cannot classify them as privileged workers or, as I have told you, a “working aristocracy,” in the sense that they receive higher recompense or special treatment. And so I have talked to the workers: I told them that the future of the revolution in Chile depends on them . ROSSELLINI: I recall that following the First World War, that is, during the nineteen twenties, both North and South America were regarded as continents offering vast possibilities of material gain to European workers and everyone with initiative . . . Then, in a few years, these last thirty or forty years, all has changed South America has become seriously impoverished, while we Italians for example, after the last world war, have become much richer. If this observation of mine is correct, how can this phenomenon of impoverishment be explained? ALLENDE: I think that what has happened in South America is directly linked to the concentration of capital, basically in industrial countries. We define imperialism as the extreme of capitalism. The financial capital of industrialized countries seeks to invest in those countries where greater profits may be obtained or better rates of interest. During the initial phase of our political semi-independence, England made investments in the case of Chile, in potassium nitrate. Then the United States began to compete with England and North American money was invested. The countries in the process of being developed sell raw materials: we sell at a low price and buy at a high price. When we import, we must pay the salaries and wages of the North American workman and technician. This form of “exchange” has always been to the detriment of Latin America and to Chile. Inflation means that we are obliged to supply more and more raw materials in order to import the same quantity of finished products . . . The distance separating the industrial countries, that is, capitalist countries, from those in the process of being developed, is ever-widening. This is our great drama, apart from the fact that the situation as regards these countires could not be more difficult . . . This is the drama that has gradually been impoverishing Latin America, while foreign capital, basically international capital, has been consolidated, capital that draws immense profits from these countries when compared to their own national income rates. November 30, 1973 13
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