A Domesticated ‘Leftist’: Latin American Revolutionaries on Gabriel Boric, Chile’s New President

By David Martinez

After two rounds of elections with a large number of abstentions, the phony socialist Gabriel Boric was elected the new president of Chile on December 19. In the second round, a mere 55.5% of eligible voters took part, giving Boric a win against the fascist Jose Antonio Kast. Boric presents himself as a ‘progressive’ who can transform the old Chilean State, but in reality he assumes his post at its head to try to breathe life into the same dying bourgeois (capitalist) system that is the root of the people’s misery. Unlike the self-congratulation of the false ‘left’ in Chile and abroad, the revolutionaries of his own country and across Latin America have denounced Boric as an opportunist and a charlatan.

Following the first round of elections, Chilean revolutionaries issued a statement to denounce Boric, the old Chilean State, and their attempts to deceive the people. The Chilean revolutionaries have said that the elections serve to “legitimize a rotten system that is falling to pieces” and raised the slogan “The path is to fight, not to vote!” which has been documented in graffiti in Chile.

The people of Chile are being wracked by surging inflation in the prices of basic goods, which the Chilean comrades attribute to the ruling class taking advantage of the economic and health crises to raise prices. The revolutionaries say that Boric and other candidates “come promising they will solve this crisis that drags along decades-old problems.”

Boric is also part of the coalition to rebrand the old State by drafting a new constitution, which is being sold by the false ‘left’ in Chile as the means to overcome the legacy of fascism in the country and address mounting crises. New constitution or not, Chile is a dictatorship of its bourgeois ruling class. These rulers are subservient to imperialism, mainly American, and this servility goes for false ‘socialists’ like Boric as well.

The Association of New Democracy, which is affiliated with Peruvian revolutionaries, commented on the reality of Boric’s upcoming governance: “The results of the election in the first round show that the two candidates who passed to the second round will have little weight in the Senate. … Therefore, after the second round, the opportunist Boric will have to govern with the consent of the two factions of the big bourgeoisie, the comprador and the bureaucratic, that is, the government mechanism of the ‘concertation’ of collaboration with Pinochetism will be repeated.”

In other words: In Third World countries, the comprador bourgeoisie are the private capitalists, linked with the big landlords of the Chilean countryside who sell land out to the imperialist monopolies for agribusiness and resource extraction. The bureaucratic bourgeoisie are those who seek to nationalize capital under bourgeois State control, not for the people’s benefit, but to serve imperialist interests. Boric will only be able to govern according to the will of these private and state monopoly capitalists, including the fascists of Kast’s Christian Social Front, who represent the legacy of Augusto Pinochet. This collusion among the ruling class, particularly with the fascist current, is known in Chile as “concertation.”

Pinochet, who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, was installed in a coup with the backing of the CIA, overthrowing and killing the social-democrat president Salvador Allende. Prior to the coup, Pinochet was appointed as the leader of the military by Allende himself. Allende, as the president of Chile, was merely another figurehead in the old, rotting society of the bourgeoisie. Allende diverted the people from the path of armed struggle to conquer Power and instead led them into the slaughterhouse.

The Chilean revolutionaries uphold the legacy of Luis Emilio Recabarren, who founded the Communist Party of Chile. Recabarren participated in federal elections in the early 1900s, and was even an elected deputy. This experience illustrated that ultimately there was nothing for revolutionaries in the reactionary parliaments.

Through the path of revolution, Recabarren said, “we can make a platform from which we can say so much and much more than what can be spoken from a parliament, with the advantage still that the work done in the streets will always find supporters, while we will not enlist a single one from the parliaments, because there are no human beings there but monsters, insensitive to the pain of others.” Recabarren continues, “Sending men to parliament means corroborating the unjust regime, consolidating and perpetuating the crime established in the system.”

Today, elections are even more farcical than in the early 20th century, when imperialism was less developed; the voting booth is not a way out of the recurring crises of imperialism and the brutal oppression it brings. This fact does not stop false Marxists from trying to twist proletarian ideology to fit their needs. The so-called ‘Communist’ Party of Chile, which has long lost its revolutionary character, joined the opportunist coalition to elect Boric.

In the US, Jacobin magazine, an unofficial mouthpiece of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), desperately promotes the election results by saying Boric’s 56% to 44% margin in the second round represents a “landslide.” They gloss over the first round in which Kast won a higher percentage of votes, with neither candidate gaining a majority, sparking the second round in the first place.

Jacobin’s contributor Francisco Dominguez mocks the Chilean people who see Boric as little different from Kast, saying they have “an ultraleft stance.” In some working-class municipalities in Chile, voter abstention reached 65-75%, making these huge sections of the people “ultraleft” in the eyes of US opportunists for not buying Boric’s deceptions.

In contrast, the Chilean revolutionaries call on the people “to follow the path of struggle which is what conquers and can defend our rights. The path of organization, whether to oppose fascism in direct action or to raise popular mobilizations and demands, can never be replaced by electoral participation every four years.”

The Defense Front of the People’s Struggles in Ecuador (FDLP-EC, Frente de Defensa de Luchas del Pueblo del Ecuador) issued its own statement last week in support of Chilean revolutionaries, titled “Gabriel Boric, the Expression of a Domesticated Left.” In their words, Boric is a “domesticated ‘Communist’ willing to keep dragging the masses on the bureaucratic path, that of the democracy of the big bourgeoisie and big landowners.”

To resist this, the FDLP-EC, says, “the proletariat of Chile should gather the strength to retake the path of Recabarren, to reconstitute the Communist Party, a task today in the hands of the Red Fraction, the true standard-bearers of the only possible choice and decision in the hands of the proletariat, the poor peasantry, national minorities, and other oppressed peoples, that of People’s War until Communism.”

The opportunists inside and outside of Chile push elections and constitutional reform because they have no faith in the people to fight for a revolution that can overthrow the big bourgeoisie and rich landlords, and kick out US imperialism. This hatred of the masses is more vile among those who claim the legacy of socialism, such as Boric, who adopt revolutionary phrases while dragging people into the very system that drives their oppression and exploitation.

Revolutionaries in Latin America and across the world have no illusions about what is necessary to break from the deepening crises of imperialism. This is why they denounce the farce of the bourgeois elections and fight for revolution to overthrow the old societies.

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