The Case for Economic Democracy: Chapter 2.2
Examining the Economic and Social Failings of Undemocratic States
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No matter where in the world we look, the same pattern emerges. Minority rule, whether attempted or enacted, breeds dysfunction and destruction. Whether it happens in the Middle East, Russia, the United States, or any other region, the link between autocracy and the social destabilization it causes, is not correlation, but causation. There is no deep philosophical or mathematical study needed, as the answer is as obvious as raising a finger to tell which way the wind blows. When the will of the people is ignored, either by the omission of some groups from the voting process or by the outlawing of voting itself, there is only one outlet for the people’s frustration — upheaval. Authoritarians often use this threat of unrest to justify their monopoly on power, claiming they alone are the only ones who can stop the troublemakers and institute “law and order.”
Such was the case that led to the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. With the help of the CIA, Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected president Salvador Allende. After seizing control, Pinochet turned Chile into a military police state. Dissidents were rounded up, tortured, and “disappeared” by being thrown from helicopters into the open ocean. Pinochet, who made no attempts to hide his brutality, shielded himself under the guise he was “protecting Chile’s economy from leftist influence.” He sent his prominent economists, known as “The Chicago Boys” to learn from renowned economist Milton Friedman in the United States, establishing a link between his dictatorship and American economic interests that embedded him in their good grace.
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