Internet statement 2003-43


The Memory of the Bloody Military Overthrow in Chile - September 11th, 1973

September 10th, 2003                

The fascist military overthrow in Chile, which inaugurated a long epoch of the bloody dictatorship of the forces of the comprador bourgeoisie over the Chilean people under the overall control by the US, comes up again for the 30th time on September 11th, 2003. At the 11th Sept., 1973, the armed forces under the leadership of general Pinochet's military junta attacked Chile, which was in the struggle for the construction of a socialist society. In 1970 the president Allende as a representative of the Socialist Party (a party similar to the social democracy) had been elected to the head of the state in a legal way. He was murdered at this putsch. Thousands of Chilean revolutionaries and democratic representatives from the most different groups and camps were murdered together with him. Several other fascist dictatorships in Latin America followed the fascist dictatorship in Chile, ruining the respective countries.
We refer to a number of articles which in this context have been published, such as on the Internet page or in some newspapers. [1]

It is impossible to understand the Chilean revolution if one doesn't include the international relations and the struggle against revisionism, both at an international level as well as in Chile itself. It is relatively known that the fascist military junta at their putsch made use of the systematic sabotage against the Chilean economy, which was performed via the transport system, and of the discontent over the government which thus had been stirred up. But there is still need for an analysis how far its politics had included the rural population and the large majority at all correctly. Alone due to the machinations of the imperialists and their bloody odd-job men such overturns cannot, as a rule, be explained.

At their overturn, which was promoted and steered by the US, the military junta also made use of the political weaknesses of the popular front government, which didn't prepare for such an overturn although it was being prepared since about 1972. In 1973, it had been known for already more than one hundred years that the bourgeoisie reaches for military means, and even if a part of the bourgeois forces sympathises, because of special conditions, with the forces of the popular front, a minority of the bourgeoisie and forces in the state connected to them, leaning on international great powers, reaches for the instrument of force. It is the duty of any socialist party which deserves this name not to make forgotten the reality of the violent bourgeois rule which always existed on the global scale, and to incorporate it in its fundamental strategy.

The events in Chile from 1970 until September 1973 stood not only in framework of the confrontation with the USA, but also of the struggle which world-wide took place within the communist movement. The Soviet Union wasn't only dominated by modern revisionism, in its policy elements of a co-operation with the USA appeared, which in actuality threatened all revolutionaries in the world. This politics, albeit covered up, continued also under Leonid Breshnew, and what is even more, the elements of an own big-power politics kept surfacing. The Soviet Union seemed to support this parliamentary way in Chile. It found itself confronted by the criticism by the PR of China under Mao Zedong, which had publicly compromised this modern revisionism and demanded adherence to Marxism and Leninism. With the cultural revolution and the continuation of the class struggle in the socialist period a thoroughly real danger of an analogous development was fought in the VR China until 1976. The USA for their part added fuel to the fire and tried to play both states off against each other, and likewise to intervene in the discussion on a global scale.

The VR China hardly spoke about the Chilean overturn in 1973. This has on the one hand the reason in the problem that the current of modern revisionism, dominant at that time, which amounted to a complete liquidation of communism, made use of such a so-called peaceful parliamentary way for paving its own way and making progress internationally. This direction also had influence on the events in Chile itself. It is therefore understandable if there was a certain restraint from the Chinese side with regard to the radical changes in Chile. But also other reasons might have played a role in the background. 1973 was the time when the rightists around Deng Xiaoping won back increased influence in China, after the revolution had suffered damage by the ultra-leftists like Lin Biao. These people, having obtained offices again, attempted under the mask of the formal recognition of the policy of the Communist party of China under Mao Zedong to develop their rightist scheming activities against the international communist movement. We must reckon with those forces, associated above all with the name of Deng Xiaoping, having influenced certain political statements in China. The rightists in China around Deng Xiaoping did not only have a dominant influence in the diplomatic apparatus of the People's Republic of China, but also, as it was to turn out, in the party department responsible for the international connections to parties. From here they were able to conduct masses of splitting activities against the international movement. [2]
The rightists around Deng Xiaoping operated a one-sided so-called "Anti-Moscow line", which they subsequently propagated in China quite openly after Mao Zedong's death in 1976, and for which they found also certain allies at an international level. This was a pretext and served for distorting and fighting the revolutionary line, which stood out due to the criticism of modern revisionism without palliating US imperialism and capitalism. The same Deng Xiaoping who had operated his so-called "Anti-Moscow line" during the seventies, went over to the direct fusion with Soviet revisionism after the beginning of the 80ies and already previously initiated the capitalist restoration in China, which has to show achievements for itself in certain sectors at a voluminous and rapid capitalist construction but liquidated the revolutionary line in China simultaneously.

Some revolutionaries let themselves after these events being led to attack the policy of the PR of China during the previous time altogether, thus damaging and even destroying their own fundament.

This contradictoriness of Deng Xiaoping shows, by the way, in the analyses of Mao Zedong with regard to Deng Xiaoping. The unfolding of capitalism in China and the partly gigantic process of this development are just proving that these capitalist powers lay inside China, and the left in China wasn't able to maintain the dominance in the confrontation. One of the weak sides of the proletarian representatives, one of the reasons of their defeat lay in their having been cut off the international communist movement. One must just unavoidably touch these questions of the inner struggle in China when dealing with the Chile topic. The defeat in Chile also has to do something with the struggle in the communist party of China and the struggle within the communist movement.

Besides the points which Helmut Lucas of summarises, there always have already been criticisms of the inner developments in Chile. We would like to refer to the book by Jorge Palacios of the revolutionary communist party of Chile of that time, which was published in English in 1979 ("Chile. An Attempt at 'Historic Compromise'. The real story of the Allende Years", Banner Press, Chicago, 1979).
There were attempts also in Germany to deal in greater detail with these things. E.g., in a book by the KPD/ML (Roter Morgen), "Ideology and development of the group Rote Fahne 1970-75" there are also explanations about the inner contradictions in Chile to be found. Here Allende is considered a representative of the national bourgeoisie of Chile, who succeeded with certain progressive changes, but the role of the communist party of Chile led by Luis Corvalan is particularly critically judged [3]. This book is seen by us with a great reservation since it affords essential embezzlements with respect to the struggle about the party in Germany which were at that time typical of this organisation. At the same time, however, it actually summarises a number of the views which had been developed at that time at an international level.

The author of the book from the RCP view also refers to a sabotaging role which modern revisionism performed in Chile, because it was just following up different aims than were imperative from the situation in Chile. Contrasting the efforts of the revolutionary and progressive fighters in Chile, among which surely most members of the party of Allende and the communist party are to be counted, this politics just strove to attain amplified influence for the Soviet Union in South America via this development in Chile. Everywhere modern revisionism tried to imitate US imperialism and to get in its footprints, so to speak. This concept was bound to fail.
It is completely correct in the articles by to point to the fact that there was the failure of not including the armed fight against the counter-revolution into the calculation right from the start and to prepare it; it can, however, not be disregarded that it was definitely modern revisionism, which world-wide turned a deaf ear to this teaching and fought it, and of course this had effects also on Chile. In Palacios’ book, many quotations from the policy of the communist party of Chile are to be found, in which in view of the obvious preparations for the putsch by the army leadership in alliance with the US, still its alleged loyalty to the parliamentary democracy is conjured up and the endeavours to organise the defence of the people are rejected. What concerns the existing literature from the time then, it cannot been withheld because one meets unpleasant passages there, but one must analyse the limitations of that time and also face the remarks of then. These representations certainly contain imperfections, but they also touch points which are essential for the analysis of such a defeat.

Possibly we will be reproached that in view of the memory of the overturn in Chile we have made many explanations about the development of the communist movement of then. But in fact one cannot deal with the history of this overturn at all without this.



[1] See among others the section "Zum Gedenken an den Putsch gegen den sozialistischen Präsidenten von Chile am 11. September 1973" at, as well as the supplement of "Junge Welt", the special of "Neues Deutschland" or the Dossier to September 11th, 1973 at LabourNet

[2] See for that subject the important publications by our organization from the years 1977-79, among them “Einige Stellungnahmen unserer Partei zu der Entscheidung der III. Plenartagung des X. Zentralkomitees der Kommunistischen Partei Chinas bezüglich Deng Hsiao-ping vom Juli '77" (“Some statements of our party about the decision of the III. plenary session of the X. Central Committee of the communist party of China concerning Deng Xiaoping of July '77”) in “Neue Einheit” # 1-77/78, the paper “Warum unsere Partei die Einmischung von seiten der Abteilung für internationale Verbindungen und anderer chinesischer Organe ablehnen mußte” (“Why our party had to reject the interference from the part of the department for international relations and other Chinese bodies”) of 1979 and "Der Wechsel in China bedeutet unweigerlich einen Wechsel in der internationalen Lage" (”The Change in China Inevitably Means a Change in the International Situation”) in Neue Einheit - Zusammenfassende Nummer für 1979.

[3] “Linie und Entwicklung der 'Gruppe Rote Fahne' (KPD) 1970- 1975”, Der Weg der Partei Nr.3 1975, Verlag Roter Morgen, Sept.1975. About the Chile subject see e.g. pages 301 ff. and 358 ff.