Chile: The State and Revolution by Ian Roxborough

By Ian Roxborough

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Here their chief contribution was their ability to prevent the Communists and their own reformist wing from extending the Popular Action Front itself into an alliance with other social sectors outside the working dass, represented either by the Rarucal Party or by the nascent Christian Democrats. From 1958 to 1969, the Popular Action Front was dearly a 'Workers' Front' of the kind advocated by the Socialists in 1933-6: it rud not indude any party which, by whatever stretch of the imagination, could be regarded as bourgeois - and chis in spite of the fact that throughout this period, the Communists' own policy was still based on the idea of a potential 'Democratic Alliance', which from 1952 to 1958 dearly induded the Rarucals and the Christian Democrats.

Before another general strike could be ealled, Ibanez had trade union leaders throughout the eountry arrested and brought eharges against the national leaders of the CUT for infringing the Ley Maldita whieh he hirnself had promised to repeal. Both in its ends and in its means, Ibaiiez' stabilization poliey was a success. In 1956, the rise in the cost ofliving from one end of the year to the other was only 32%. The CUT was massively defeated in the general strike of 9 January 1956, called to protest against the re-imprisonment of Clotario BIest and its other national leaders, which was massively boyeotted by the working dass itself.

A unified federation of private employees was founded in 1948, followed in the same year by an even larger federation which now inc1uded the State sector salaried employees. In 1950, this federation of white collar workers, together with the small group of anarcho-syndicalists which still survived, began to agitate for the formation of a new trade union federation. Simultaneously, the students were attempting to organize a united working dass campaign against inflation. In 1952, the political pressure of all these sectors outside the traditional organizations and politics of the working dass led to the formation of a Committee for Trade Union Unity which induded the oudawed Communists and both varieties of Socialists.

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