Chile has struggled to become a thriving democracy. Once a dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet, the country has gone through considerable turmoil since his death. Capitalism has not treated everyone fairly in this country, even though Pinochet was once lauded for the dynamic free-market economy he created, once cited as the “model for the developing world.”
By no means has Chile been the only country which has struggled to become a free-market democracy. Russia is still struggling, decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Iraq really hasn’t accepted democracy as a political model, even after enormous amounts of investment by the US government. Other countries have struggled as well, but not with the same results.
Much of the problem that Chile has been experiencing has been due to the vast income inequality that exists in that country. While there are portions of the population which are thriving, many others are still suffering, especially those who are dependent on retirements that were established under the Pinochet regime. Many schoolteachers are still working into their 80’s, because they can’t survive on their $300 a month pension.
For those working in non-skilled jobs, public transit to take them to and from their work costs as much as 21% of their weekly wages. Thus, when the government announced a 30 peso rise in the cost of the metro, it was met with anger. A student-led protest, called evasión swarmed the metro, jumping the turnstiles to avoid paying the increased fare. Workers took advantage of the opportunity to save a little money and joined the protest.
While protests are nothing new in Chile, these seem to have gained traction. A demonstration which started in the capital has now spread to many of the major cities, with continued evasión of fares and widespread protests in the streets.
It appears that socialist organizers and anarchists have joined in the protests, working to turn it to their political ends. As in many such cases, word coming out of Chile is a bit confused, with each side accusing the other of what they themselves are doing. Much of the reporting is tainted by the political leanings of the reporters who are on the scene. But one thing is certain, the government’s response doesn’t stand up under scrutiny.
The Government’s Response
President Sebastián Piñera has declared that his country is “at war.” But if it is, it’s a war between the government and the citizens. While some government response is required to the violent acts of the protesters, that should be a police response, arresting the worst of the offenders and those who are inciting others to commit illegal acts. Protests, as our own government has learned, are not the reason to call out military forces armed and equipped to use deadly force.
We’ve seen that before in this country; at Kent State University in 1970. National Guard troops were called out in response to a protest. Although the National Guard does receive some training in how to respond to a riot, they are first and foremost soldiers, equipped and trained to kill, not to arrest people. In this case, the results were four dead college students and another nine who were injured.
The soldiers on the streets of Chile reminded many of the older citizens of the years of Chilean dictatorship, when such sights were common; a parallel that was lost on the students who started the protest. For the older citizens, that sight struck fear in their hearts.
The government has admitted to eight people being killed in the protests, but information leaking out of the country claims over 20 killed. There are also widespread reports of police and military brutality against the population, including against people who were not protesting, but merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Martial law was declared by the President, early on in the protests, allowing for the use of military forces and imposing ever more restrictive curfews on the people. Interestingly enough, whenever the protesters have gotten the upper hand, troops have retreated to wealthy areas of the cities, focusing on protecting the wealth centers. It seems clear from that action alone, that the leadership of the country is only interested in protecting their financial standing, not protecting the people.
Under martial law, police and military forces have beaten hundreds or perhaps even thousands of innocent people, often plucking them off the streets in civilian clothes, in an attempt to hide their identity. Civil rights are being trampled daily, as the government attempts to regain control.
Could that Happen Here?
Regardless of where you stand politically, Americans have grown afraid of politicians on the other side, especially as the political divide has grown. Each side assumes that the other is likely to declare martial law, on the thinnest of pretexts, imprisoning those who have declared themselves aligned with the other side. Yet that sort of thing has never happened in this country. For that matter, we haven’t seen people rounded up and put in any sort of detention camps since World War II.
Those on the left decry the “oligarchy” regularly, declaring that this country is actually run by them. But I’d like to propose a different viewpoint on that. That is, every government that has ever existed has been an oligarchy of one sort or another. Even monarchies are oligarchies, as the wealth is concentrated in the hands of the royalty.
Successful merchants could buy themselves titles under such a regime, gaining political respectability. But that’s not all they bought; they bought access to the throne, the seat of power. That’s what their titles and their money did for them, just like the oligarchy we have today.
Why is this important? Because in reality it has always been the oligarchy, the elite, who have been in control. I don’t care if you’re talking about the Rothchilds, the Bilderberg group, George Soros or our own political parties, they have kept the power to themselves. Much of the reason why they hate President Trump, is that he has defied their rule and has been working to do whatever he can to overthrow it.
As we’ve seen in the last few years, these power-brokers will do whatever they have to, in order to keep their power. Rumors have existed for years about how the Clintons have done away with anyone who could be a whistleblower on their nefarious actions. The same sort of rumors existed about Obama when he was in office. I’m sure if we searched around the world, we would find many more examples.
The accumulation of power and money is the central focus of these people’s lives. As such, they will do whatever it takes to retain that money and power. They don’t mind if we “little people” accumulate wealth or even some local power; but they aren’t sharing theirs with us. They will use whatever they have to, in order to keep control. Whatever they have to includes military forces.
These power brokers have control of large portions of our government, just like they do in other countries. As long as things go their way, they will allow us the illusion of our freedom. But if things don’t go their way, you can be sure they will take the necessary action to retain power.
What that Means for Us
One big difference between the United States and Chile is the Second Amendment. Even though there are those who are constantly chipping away, trying to take that right, the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear arms. There is no such equivalent in Chile.
That’s not to say that the Chilean people can’t own firearms. They can; but there are huge hurdles to overcome in order to get a permit to own one. Even bigger hurdles exist to having a permit to carry that gun outside your home. On top of that, private ownership of semi-automatic arms is prohibited.
Should martial law ever be declared in the United States, you can almost guarantee that it will be accompanied by widespread gun confiscation. This happened in New Orleans, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Probably the only thing that kept that from turning ugly and kept armed citizens from defending their right to keep and bear arms, was that there were so few of them still in the city; government forces had them outnumbered.
Many have declared that widespread gun confiscations would result in civil war. I tend to agree with that. While there are many gun owners who would give up their guns, albeit reluctantly, rather than fight government troops, there are enough of us who would stand up for our rights. How that war would end is anyone’s guess.
Recently, the new Democrat majority in Virginia’s state legislature passed a number of very restrictive gun control laws, without taking into account public opinion. They ended up being forced to retract those laws, when citizens got up in arms about it and law enforcement officers declared that they would not enforce those laws.
The same thing has happened in other parts of the country, as Democrat controlled state legislatures have tried over and over again to tamper with our Second Amendment rights. But in each and every case, while there have been some who have complied like good little sheeple, the majority refused.
This means that any protests against government overreach here in the United States have the potential of becoming much more violent than they do in other countries. While those of us on the right, who own most of the guns, are not the kind to take violent action, there are always a few who don’t see it that way. All it takes is one or two of them to start the ball rolling, and things could turn ugly, real quickly.
A second American Civil War would be even bloodier than the first. Not only are there more privately owned guns in the hands of citizens, than there are citizens, but the level of military technology has increased by several orders of magnitude. Hunters alone have our military grossly outnumbered. On the other side, the military has all the tanks, planes and artillery. As I said, it would be bloody.
This is probably why there are those in government service who are so bent on disarming the population. It also explains why the AR-15 is the main target of these people. You can’t win a war with pistols and even trying to win it without semi-automatic rifles would be difficult. Those who want to control us don’t want us to be able to fight back.
Throughout the last century, there have been numerous examples of what happens when the government disarms the civilian population. What we’re seeing in Chile today is nothing new; it has been done time and time again. Those who want to be despotic dictators (regardless of what political name they hide behind) know they must disarm the people first. It’s much easier to get sheep to submit, than it is to get sheep dogs too. The sheep dogs have teeth.
If anything, Chile serves as one more reminder as to why we need to defend our Second Amendment rights. Otherwise, it’s much too easy for those who would take away what remains of our liberty, the freedom to do so.