The Rise of the Union between Theory and Praxis: Chilean Communism in the Cold War (1934-1990)
The Communist Party played an outstanding role in Chilean politics during the twentieth century. The party’s history sank its roots in the three decades before World War I, when a nascent left-wing language, shaped by socialism and anarchism, created a sort of anti-systemic persuasion in the country, connected with new social movements and protests. The Russian Revolution introduced a big change in the social and political models of the left, even if, as was the case across the world, the emerging left was divided. From the 1920s to the 1930s the Communist Party developed a tightly knitted organization, standing on the Marxist-Leninist tenets determined by the Comintern, even if there were at the same time recognizable Chilean traces in the party’s ideological history. Under Stalinist influence, and aided by its own dynamic, the ideology became not just a point of reference, but a language that held the party united through several decades, surviving all the swings of the century, including political persecution at the end of the 1940s and the Pinochet dictatorship’s attempts to destroy the party through the murder of many of its leaders and members in the 1970s and 1980s. The common bond, besides the apparatchik and social organizations, remained always the language derived from the ideology approved by the Central Committee, confirmed by quotations of the sacred texts, reproduced in cell life, in the youth branch, the party’s media, and the ‘cadres school’ (education of militants). The ideology and doctrine evolved, as it was a reflection of the evolution of Soviet communism, even if the actual policy of the party was relatively pragmatic. The force of the ideology was shattered only in the late 1980s, with the visible end of the Cold War, both across the world and inside Chile.
Studi di Storia
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Joaqìn Fermandois, "The Rise of the Union between Theory and Praxis: Chilean Communism in the Cold War (1934-1990)" in: "Words of Power, the Power of Words. The Twentieth-Century Communist Discourse in International Perspective", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019, pp. 339-357
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