Moving forward

Stop criticizing the Constitutional Convention and the government, which is just beginning, says a lot, and they may be right.

By Margarita Labarca Goddard

Remember that when Michelle Bachelet was president of this country, she said that for the good of Chile, everyone must “be convinced and push together”.

And very similar sentences, but with identical consequences, are the following sentences which often come up: “This is a government for all”, or “Progress will require broad agreements”, or “Cross-cutting agreement against violence”.

I find these statements sensational, because if everyone had understood this way of doing politics much earlier, there would have been no wars or revolutions. Napoleon would have said to Wellington: “Convince yourselves and let us go forward together”, and the story would have changed. In short, the examples could be endless: if Robespierre had said to Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette “Convince yourselves and let’s push together”, there would be no French Revolution nor its example in the world.

In any case, it should be noted that this blissful vision of politics did not work very well in Chile. Instead, the milicos and pacos push the boot against the prisoner’s body or shoot him in the eye, or quietly allow Chilean and foreign criminals in the Meiggs neighborhood to shoot journalists, which is arguably very effective for the attackers.

The problem is knowing which way to push, as the great Sun Tzu said in “The Art of War”. And here there are three basic possibilities, although each has its derivations, but we will not deal with the last one because no one reads long articles, as Sun Tzu would have said if he were alive today.

The first possibility is, as has been the case so far, to push to the right. In this case the country will roll like a train on well-oiled rails, without jolts or jolts. That a cliff awaits him at the end of the road – which is very close – is not something we should worry about; after all, life should be lived day to day, as a young president and Reader’s Digest said.

Another possibility is that some push to the right and others to the left, in which case the country is paralyzed. In the middle of the road, so to speak. But such a paralysis is very deceptive and dangerous, as Perogrullo said, who is unfairly despised by many. Because hunger is cumulative, discontent is cumulative, anger is cumulative. They accumulate little by little without anyone noticing, even if they then say “I saw it coming”, but it’s not true. And suddenly boom! everything explodes, so the train loses its balance, chaos ensues and the country finds itself in an unknown place, unless the pandemic saves it.

The last possibility is to push to the left. It’s impossible! many will exclaim. But they are wrong – with all due respect, of course. It’s not about “all of us” pushing to the left, but about “the left” pushing to the left. It’s too much to ask, you will say, because when in recent years has the left in Chile pushed for the left? Just look at the socialists who in the CC are pushing to the right, because they don’t dare to nationalize copper, whereas Pinochet and Lagos had left it in the current Constitution, but that’s not not applied… Maybe, but in reality, it is of no real importance.

Because the people will continue to push on their side, on the side of their legitimate interests, which are also those of the country and of Latin America as a whole. You can call it the left or whatever you want, the names don’t matter. This process can be led by anyone, but they will be honest, patriotic and courageous people. But it will not be led by the left pushing to the right, because this “left”, even if it is new and has a new president, will be swept away. Sun Tzu, Reader’s Digest and Perogrullo agree on this!