We could say Chile was the first real lab of neoliberalism in the world. And now, we could say the experiment blew up.
Chile is living seized times. On October 2019, in the middle of chilean spring, spontaneous protests in several stations of the Santiago Subway system (Metro de Santiago) led very quickly to a crazy overflow in the desperate need of chilean people, specially the younger generations and most of all women, for a more just society: after more than 30 years of being probably the place of the world with the toughest neoliberal policies, chilean society finally broke into madness. For several days a single desperate claim for justice took over violently the streets, the conversation, the political agenda and the soul of a hole country. Neoliberalism, or neoliberal policies, seem to have found in Chile its own limits.
The history of neoliberalism in Chile is a long one. Began officially at the mid 70’s, already with Pinochet leading a terror regime in the country. Neoliberal theorists loved the possibility of establishing in my homeland a social contract based on their doctrine. Nevertheless democracy kicked in in 1990, neoliberal policies were not finished. In fact, even with left sided governments, they were deepened. Like that, the implementation and florishing of the neoliberal era affected deeply my generation as well as the one behind me.
Despite the situation in the streets of Chile has come to a state of relative normality after the militaries took control of the situation and a curfew was established for some days, protests, riots and a never seen political turmoil are still keeping alive this common feeling: something must change. Now that implicit agreement for extreme neoliberalism in the political world seem to be vanishing.
It is an epic moment for me like a chilean, and an interesting opportunity for anyone interested in the long term consequences of intensive neoliberal policies.
In this blog I aim to write stories about neoliberalism and chilean society in English, from Vienna to the world. I offer you here a Zoom Into cultural, political and social aspects of chilean society in the context of neoliberalism, using the opportunity and exposure to the world that the current crisis offers.