Presidential Elections: Drill in Chile | Opinion

Something does not fit, does not fit, does not fit. Something seems, here, a drill.

Simulacrum is “fiction, imitation, falsification. Reconciliation drill. Simulation of domestic life. Mock trial”.

Simulacrum back We could say in the case of Chile prior to the presidential election next Sunday, after social upheaval, in the midst of a decentralized, parity constituent process with representation of native peoples. The falsification here points to the adherence that an authoritarian and ultra-conservative doctrine would have, expressed in the possibility that some polls give to a candidate who defends the Pinochet dictatorship.

Something does not fit, does not fit, does not fit when society experiences a cultural transformation accumulated in layers upon layers of activisms that have intensified the pressure to inhabit a more just and diverse country. A brief search through the post-dictatorship years is enough to find expressions like that of 2006, when high school students took to the streets to protest against profit in education. Then came other demonstrations, with environmental, salary, health, pension or gender demands. The mass of discontent came, with the university student movement of 2011, which installed the word “gratuity” in the syntax of the protest. And in 2018 came the feminist insurgency with an agenda of structural changes oriented towards a non-sexist education and society. Perhaps the prelude to what would explode on October 18, 2019, when so many unrest converged and the knot between democracy and neoliberalism was untied, hatched from the first day of the transition to democracy and sustained by the Political Constitution of 1980, still valid.

Transition is “action and effect of passing from one way of being or being to another”.

The 2019 revolt exposed a country with abysmal social inequality, with commodified social rights and a myriad of normalized abusive practices. A country in which the political and business elite evade taxes, evade sanctions for collusion, evade responsibilities for fraud to the treasury, evade fines and millionaire interests, while the rest of the population lives scratching to make ends meet, in debt until their last days, depleted by an immoral pension system, with increasingly inaccessible health and education. President Piñera, in addition to going down in history for having brutally repressed the protest and being responsible for the most serious human rights violations since the dictatorship, will do so by incompatible negotiation and influence peddling in projects such as Minera Dominga, which would destroy a unique ecosystem in the world.

Waking up is “to stop sleeping.” But also “to make a desire or a feeling be born or manifest.” And also “bring to memory something that has already been forgotten.”

Oblivion is the “cessation of memory that one had.”

Something sets off alarms when the Pinochet candidate says, one week before the presidential elections, that in Chile “political opponents were not locked up” during the dictatorship. When he proposes in his government program that the President of the Republic could “intercept, open or register documents and all kinds of communications and arrest people in their own homes or in places that are not prisons or are destined for detention.” Or when he promises to militarize Araucanía, annul the Law of Political Exemptions, leave the UN Human Rights Council or dig a ditch on the northern Chilean border to prevent migration. Or when it says that the Ministry of Women will close, it will repeal the abortion law in three causes, it will offer state incentives only to married couples and it will promote “marriage preparation courses.” Or when it warns that flora and fauna “must find a way to pay for their right to exist.” Something becomes dizzying when the Pinochetist candidate is raised by questionable impartiality polls, monopolizes pages and screens, and is pasteurized by the media associated with power.

Vertigo is a “disorder of the sense of balance characterized by a sensation of rotating movement of the body or the objects that surround it.” But also “sudden and temporary embarrassment of judgment.”

A troubled judgment, a sham of reason is what we experience these days. Because the idea of ​​a retreat and a neo-fascist onslaught in a country that two years ago mobilized a million and a half people in the most massive march in its history is at least doubtful. And that during the pandemic, despite sanitary restrictions, he confirmed that will at the polls to vote for a Constitutional Convention that had almost 80% support. And by some constituents who for four and a half months have been turning the revolt into words to leave behind the burden of that text imposed by the dictatorship, in perfect harmony with the model that it installed at once.

Coup is “the act of striking one body against another”. But there are hopeful meanings, such as “irruption of something in great quantity.” Or: “hole in which the seed and the plant are put.” Or better yet: “heartbeat.”

Those of us who believe that something does not fit or square or fit, especially having seen the poor handling of the pinochetista in the last presidential debate, we hope that on Sunday, November 21, the simulation will end and we will witness the emergence in large numbers of some seeds turned into a tree. May the beat of a collective and diverse heart echo in the grammar of a new Chile.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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