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Pandemic, Plague & Protests: Will Chile Join the Shithole Country Club?
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Before the pandemic (coronavirus) and the plague (of locusts) came the protesters.

From the affluent locales—Chile, France, Britain, Hong King, Catalonia—to the impoverished ones—Algeria, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon and more: the world was on fire (to borrow from Amy Chua’s brilliant book).

The reasons cited for a world-wide conflagration ranged from the evils of free-market capitalism (the Left) to the “socialist regimes in Cuba and Venezuela” (the Right), to “economics, demography, a sense of powerlessness…and social media.”

Some experts spoke of a “youth bulge” of over-educated young people chasing too few jobs. Or, more like ill-educated youngsters with useless degrees, who thought it chic to don a balaclava and lob hard objects at the police and the property it was protecting.

Chile is the jewel of Latin America. In 2014, it even surpassed the U.S. on the Index of Economic Freedom, ranking 7th to America’s 12th. Since 1990, economic growth in Chile has been as steady as the stability of its institutions. Poverty rates had plummeted and social services had been extended to the needy.

On the right, Pat Buchanan has described Chile as “the country with the highest per capita income and least inequality in all of Latin America.”

On the Left—yet still on the side of a competitive market economy—the Economist is agreed. Chile “is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector.”

In no-man’s land are the protestors on the streets of Santiago and other cities. What the demonstrators want is unclear. To the extent their inchoate signs and signals can be divined, it would appear that the path the well-to-do Chile will be forced to take is that of less capitalism and more socialism; less of the private sector and more of the state.

Indeed, Chile is beset with protesters determined to bring the elected government to its knees. Many parts of Santiago, the capital, have been boarded up or burned down. The country’s “malcontents” want more state-provided stuff; more health care and more free education and pensions.

It increasingly looks like Sebastián Piñera, Chile’s president, may just be forced “to scrap a system” which appears to have served Chile well.

One of the Chilean system’s signal features was “developed by free-market economists during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990.”

Whereas, “in many other countries,” including the American social democracy, “public pensions are financed by taxing current workers and giving the money to current pensioners”; in Chile, explains the Economist, “citizens are expected to save for their own retirement.”

In the U.S., the pension promises made by government and underwritten with taxpayer support, have resulted in pension debt to the tune of $5.2 trillion, for states and local governments.

Conversely, Chile’s private scheme has helped the country “manage its public finances and encouraged the development of long-term capital markets, which in turn has boosted economic growth.”

But that’s not how the rioters and looters see solvency and individual responsibility. Theirs is the story of democracy and the quest for government-mediated distribution.

Ditto, the Venezuelan mobs fighting against the forces of Nicolás Maduro. They were not fighting for “freedom,” as classical liberals and conservatives think of it, and certainly not against socialism.

Rather, in opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the anti-Maduro malcontents in Caracas and elsewhere were simply looking for a better, more malleable socialist.

Lech Walesa, an iconic polish political leader, captured the impetus propelling demonstrations across the world. Working-class people are turning on the wealthiest 10 percent of the population, he forewarned. Their motto: “Give us your assets.”

Lower-case, doctrinaire democrats in America doggedly conflate the will of the people across the world with liberty. This Disneyfied view of democracy ignores that, in a democracy, the right to vote gives one man control over another’s life and livelihood.

You see, people with higher incomes constitute a minority, an economically dominant minority. People with low incomes are in the majority, a politically dominant majority.

In democracy, the rich dominate the economy, the poor dominate the polity. Come election time, the politically powerful exact their revenge against the economically powerful.

Or, as H. L, Mencken put it, “Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

ORDER IT NOW

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook & Gab. Latest on YouTube

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Chile, Coronavirus, Neoliberalism 
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  1. Rational says:

    THE JEWISH CONTROLLED LIBERAL MEDIA AND HOLLYWOOD HAVE DESTROYED THE WORLD AND SPREAD DISCONTENT.

    The big problem is the Jewish controlled media and their movies, which reach the world, via internet now. Unhappy people see “America the rich” in the movies. Rich people everywhere. Big houses. Poor people with nice new cars. Beautiful white women galore. Paradise!!

    All lies and all illusions.

    The darkies see even filthy looking negroes driving cadillacs and whoring around with white women who say yes to every copulatory predator, every re-feces.

    So they all feel angry and unhappy, and jealous that the rich Americans are living a fancy life and they are working 9-5. So they try to invade USA or rebel.

    • Agree: Malla
    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  2. Daniel H says:

    Right wingers shouldn’t even try to lead governments in Latin America. Latins are irremediably hostile to conservatism. Let the left lead the government, take all the grief and try to exert influence from the sidelines.

  3. (((Which activists))) are bankrolling these demonstrations? Soros or Singer? Perhaps (((they))) can’t stand to see a people without the yoke of debt around their necks.

  4. Malla says:

    Damn!!! Chile was the country I was planning to escape to if WW3 were to hit us. Damn.

  5. Oh dear, here we go again. Cop this gem:
    “In democracy, the rich dominate the economy, the poor dominate the polity. Come election time, the politically powerful exact their revenge against the economically powerful.”
    “Citizen’s united” ? Bar humbug. The Princeton study that found that the US is an Oligarchy, that little to no legislation is for the benefit of the not-10%. Humbug.
    Democracy….yes. i wonder why almost every western country ends up with a choice between dweedlee & dweedldum ? Like, say Trump & Clinton/Biden.
    Funny how the FDR like rabid socialists like Corbyn or Sanders are simply destroyed.
    And of course, all people want is the “assets” of the 10%. Yes their “assets”…. And WHAT assets they are ! After years of artificially low interest rates, QE up the warzoo, stock buybacks, with all the restraint of a rabid dog frothing at the mouth, & 1000 & one financial lurks & perks workers want these assets ?
    Yer, that’s what workers want. Not better health care, a more equitable distribution of surplus, affordable education etc etc (& a government that actually represents their interests).
    Selfish bastards.

    • Replies: @Realist
  6. Svevlad says:

    Ah, the problem is this:

    In Latin America, socialists are nationalist, while right-wingers are turbo neoliberals who immediately hand over the country to America on a silver platter. Cue a mess.

    China-style solution would do them well

  7. “Many parts of Santiago, the capital, have been boarded up or burned down. The country’s “malcontents” want more state-provided stuff; more health care and more free education and pensions…”

    Poor Mercer – she really is flying her colours as a right-wing, Israeli buffoon.

    The riots in Chile started over a proposed price increase by Santiago’s state-owned (no, not privately owned) subway system. It certainly was not a premeditated protest to demand more “free” stuff as Mercer would like us to believe. Maybe it’s time for her and the senile Patrick Buchanan to re-check their GINI scores for South America?

    What “shithole” can Chile become? Easy! How about the ones that Mercer doesn’t mention – like Argentina (totally bankrupted by free-market Macri) or Brazil (being burnt down by “back to work” Bolsonaro the “bold”)?

    That’s funny, because Argentina and Brazil are the ones upon which Israel has pinned such high hopes. Oh well, they’ll always have Bolivia and Honduras…….

    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
  8. Realist says:

    Or, more like ill-educated youngsters with useless degrees, who thought it chic to don a balaclava and lob hard objects at the police and the property it was protecting.

    Exactly on point.

  9. Realist says:
    @animalogic

    In democracy, the rich dominate the economy, the poor dominate the polity. Come election time, the politically powerful exact their revenge against the economically powerful.

    I agree with your comments on this gem. The gem would have been better written as:

    In democracy, the rich and powerful dominate the economy and government, the poor dominate nothing. Come election time, the rich and powerful exercise their power against the 99% by fooling them to think voting matters.

    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
  10. Madam, you are wasting our time.

    The Economist a laftist rag?

    Surely you jest.

  11. You see, people with higher incomes constitute a minority, an economically dominant minority. People with low incomes are in the majority, a politically dominant majority.

    This is why Feudal Order must … and WILL … be restored. That is what COVID-19 is all about.

  12. @Malla

    Simon Black assured me that Chile was the best place to live AND invest.

    Then he moved to Puerto Rico. I’m confused….

    • Replies: @Malla
  13. Hacienda says:
    @Malla

    I’m not running anywhere. I have contempt for people who post things like “I’m going to Canada, because of Trump..”, “Mexico is still friendly…”, “Bali is unspoiled…”.

    If you are THERE, then there is not what there once was- by definition.

    Not me. As a Californian, I’m buying property in Houston, Texas. I intent to rent it out to Mexicans, Indians, Chinese, and have it taken care of by liberal whites. This way, THERE, which is no longer “there” because of “heres went theres”, will come HERE, and HERE will become THERE. That’s the FAIR way of arranging affairs between HERE and THERE.

    • Replies: @Malla
  14. Malla says:
    @williamwiliams

    Tell me about it. A lot of these international investors confuse me too. Jim Rogers wuz sayin years ago how soon (“soon” for then) bankers will be driving taxis and farmers would be driving Ferraris. Ya rite.

  15. Malla says:
    @Hacienda

    I’m not running anywhere. I have contempt for people who post

    WW3, I meant WW3. I am not fighting in no “Banker’s Wars”. I am young, cannon fodder material.

    • Replies: @Hacienda
  16. Hacienda says:
    @Malla

    WW3 will probably be between California and Texas. I intent to flip Texas to California before that happens.

    • Replies: @Malla
  17. @foolmenott

    “like Argentina (totally bankrupted by free-market Macri)”

    You are brain dead if you think free markets exist anywhere outside of garage sales and perhaps they don’t exist there either.

    That alone belies your entire post.

  18. @Realist

    Aren’t fools (and dupes) put on Earth to be fooled and duped?

    • Replies: @Realist
  19. Realist says:
    @Drapetomaniac

    Aren’t fools (and dupes) put on Earth to be fooled and duped?

    I don’t believe people are put on earth…fools or no.

  20. The $57 billion bailout from the IMF was “free”.

    Here was Pence assuring every one but a few months before:

    Remarks by Vice President Pence and President Macri of Argentina in Joint Press Conference
    White House – Issued on: August 15, 2017
    Quinta de Olivos, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    “…Today, Argentina has embarked on a great economic and political revival. And as our President said to you in his meeting at the White House, we applaud your political and economic reforms.

    Over the past 18 months, President Macri has taken important steps to break down barriers to growth, eased currency controls, reentered global capital markets, cut import and export tariffs, modernized labor rules, and invested in much-needed infrastructure…

    …Argentina is boldly leading Latin America toward a brighter future, but your progress, and the progress of the wider region, sadly stands in stark contrast to the collapse that we see in Venezuela…

    …Mr. President, President Trump and I believe that Argentina will continue to be an exemplar of a better path in Latin America, under your leadership — the path toward prosperity, security, and freedom. The United States is proud to partner with Argentina as you continue your march toward progress.

    And with the leadership of President Trump and the United States, and your leadership, President Macri, and with faith in the good people of both of our countries, we’re confident that the best days for the United States and for Argentina are yet to come…”

  21. Malla says:
    @Hacienda

    WW3 will probably be between California and Texas.

    And far away, Jew York…oops… New York will make all the money. They will give big loans to both sides.

    • Replies: @Hacienda
    , @Jeff Stryker
  22. Sean says:

    Ex army MP and Federal prison guard retired to a banana republic. His reason for high tailing it home is instructive. Israel does not permit its citizens to go to China for transplants because it was arranging them a month in advance which is proof the organs were being harvested from political prisoners. The Chinese Communist Party are that callous, and they are behind the opioid crisis too. This is all part of the payback for the Western ‘bullying’ of a century ago that Xi referred to.

    DUE to the clinical similarity between MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, it was proposed that they may use the same cellular receptor (ACE2)…Dr. Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, stated that as of now MERS-CoV “does not spread in a sustained person to person way at all.” Dr. Fauci stated that there is potential danger in that it is possible for the virus to mutate into a strain that does transmit from person to person

    MERS is also from a bat (via a camel instead of a pangolin like the Wuhan pathogen). However the Chinese assumed the Wuhan pathogen was like MERS-CoV (AKA Camel Flu), which caused a minor epidemic in South Korea in 2015. The Chinese carelessly concluded extreme close contact with infected materiel at a market caused the Wuhan outbreak. That is why the Chinese said on 7 Jan that they had identified the Wuhan pathogen as a Coronavirus, but it did not spread between people. Now they are preening as the great fighters of COVID-19, but they are largely responsible for causing it.

    The pandemic killing thousand and destablising the West is SARS-CoV-2s , which is a bat virus recombined with a virus from a pangolin. Because pangolin scales are a ‘masculinity enhancer’ it is the most trafficked animal in the world. Chinese men wish to be more masculine than nature has made them, a bat virus got a ACE2 receptor binding domain is from a pangolin, and the resultant chimera enters human cells to infect them vastly more effectively than the original SARS of almost two decades ago. China has had no domestically caught COVID-19 cases for days and banned foreigners entering China in case they suffer the decimation being visited on the West by the pathogen Chinese greed, insecurity, and incompetence have caused. The Chinese Communist party surely see this crisis as shaping up as a way for China to attain world preeminence or at least a position it can be reached from.. T.Piketty is quite clear that WW1&2 brought inequality right down, and he is not alone.

    THE ratio of Bill Gates’s wealth pile to that of the average US citizen is roughly the same as that of the richest Roman aristocrats in AD400. Scheidel observes that, left to their own devices, most societies – including ancient Rome – seem to reach a demographic and technological limit of inequality. “Only specific types of violence have consistently forced down inequality,” Scheidel writes. War has to be total; revolution has to be ultraviolent and socially pervasive; state failure has to lead to violence so intense that “it wipes the slate clean”. Ditto the social effects of pandemics.

    Santa Clara is big Tech land, the richest county in the US, it is also very densely populated and with racial diversity disguising economic inequality. Skin in the game is worrying about what the neighbours might do; it makes for a very trenchant analysis. No coincidence that it was Santa Clara that precipitated the national lockdown.

    OVER 11,000 Philadelphia residents died in October 1918, including 759 on the worst day of the outbreak. Drivers of open carts kept a near-constant vigil circling streets while hollering, “Bring out your dead!” They then deposited the collected corpses in mass graves excavated by steam shovels. […] There’s a tremendous growth of the Ku Klux Klan because people were afraid of what was foreign. The whole nativist impulse was fed by people’s fear generated by flu

    Italy was one of the worst affected countries and the Roman salute replaced the unhygienic handshake there. Also Bavaria. All this stemmed not from the the–er–March 1918 epidemic. but rather the much more lethal Spanish flu of 1918 October. What is currently happening may seem in retrospect to be a dress rehearsal for a big (second) wave in October out of Chinese concentration camps as Professor Ewald has expressed concern about.

    The lockdown and distancing is certainly going to preserve the lives of many people who would otherwise have died from endemic influenza, which is very often what finishes the elderly off. This means a lot of dry tinder accumulating on the forest floor. Even if COVID-19 is completely eradicated, those who would have died of endemic influenza, but didn’t because of the COVID-19 lockdown, will constitute a vulnerable substrate for an influenza epidemic whenever the lockdown is ended. The exit from the lockdown will be an extremely difficult political problem because once we come out of lockdown there are going to be a vast number of deaths, and not necessarily from COVID-19. It will be a political watershed and one way or another the wealth of the super rich is going to be eaten up. Not in China though.

    • Replies: @Anon
  23. Anon[486] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    It will be a political watershed and one way or another the wealth of the super rich is going to be eaten up.

    The opposite seems to be happening. This outbreak and the panic and lockdown it has generated is being used as a cover for the greatest wealth transfer upwards in history. The working class and middle class, especially small business owners, are being decimated in favor of the wealthy, Wall St., large corporations, and big government:

    • Replies: @Sean
  24. @Rational

    Rational is being a bit hyperbolic, but after working in a Third World country for over 4 years I can confirm his general premise is true.

    The average person in the Third World street has an immensely distorted vision of the US, largely because their only experience of the US are the distorted media images beamed to them via satellite.

  25. Sean says:
    @Anon

    I was talking about the prospect of a second wave in Autumn. In 1918 the second wave in October was so spectacularly lethal (due to gaining virulence in among the overcrowded conditions of young soldiers of WW1) that some doubted it was caused by the same pathogen that caused the March 1918 outbreak. The second wave disproportionately killed men of military age, a telling sign that it was specialized. Lawrence Wright’s soon to published pandemic novel (written months ago) is called End of October so it isn’t that prophetic. Yet.

    If you want a scientific prophecy

    UNLIKE what we’re seeing with COVID-19 now, where people must be more or less mobile to infect others, in a detention camp this constraint on the virus disappears. There it can evolve high specialisation and virulence in the species it’s infecting – in this case, people.

    If the Chinese government cannot or does not curb the transmission of the novel coronavirus in Xinjiang, it’s possible that it will evolve, as the influenza virus did in 1918, to become even more dangerous to humans.

    They won’t listen to Professor Ewald of course, because they are even more stupid than cruel. So very stupid that their doctors could not even tell that the disease in Wuhan was infectious and transmitted between humans by coughing like other respiratory diseases. On January the 7th they publicly said humans did not easily catch it from each other, which incompetence goes a long way to explaining why the West was slow to react. Persecution of political prisoners and animals like the harmless little pangolin (because they think eating its scales will give them a bigger penis) would rebound on them if there was any justice in this world. Instead, the West suffers, and this may only be a foretaste. I think a political reaction against China and their Western lickspittles in the elite is inevitable.

    • Replies: @Anon
  26. Anon[153] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    That second wave of the Spanish Flu in 1918 was not followed by an egalitarian period in which the wealthy saw their fortunes decline. It was immediately followed by the greatest bull market in history: the Roaring 20s, when wealth inequality reached a historical peak in the US. So I’m not sure why you’re claiming a deadlier second wave this fall that is followed by the rich losing all their money as a result of the pandemic would be analogous to the Spanish Flu.

    If you’re right and they are analogous, people should buy stocks if a second wave hits this fall in anticipation for the Roaring 2020s.

  27. @Malla

    It won’t just be Jews that sit it out. Expect Gujarati, Iranians in California, Italians, Chinese to sit it out to.

    Merchant races will be merchant races. Its what they do. You cannot blame for them for that.

    Its sort of like the Parsi and St. Thomas Christians in India. They’ve avoided all the Hindi-Malayalam caste stuff and just kept their head down and made money off Brits, off Brahmin.

    So a bunch of poor whites who are fed up with Mexicans stealing their teenager’s jobs and the fact that all the porn is made in California declare war on the Granola munching hippies who look down on them for being forty years old and possessed of a high school education and the need for an unskilled job and probably the fact that Californians just sneer at them for being hicks.

    Of course the Jews will make money. And maybe the Gujarati. And maybe Indians. And Chinese. And a few Canadian carpetbaggers. So what? Merchant races do that.

    • Replies: @Malla
  28. Malla says:
    @Jeff Stryker

    The so called “Chosenites” are more than just a merchant race. The gujju/ marwari/ sindhi/ Cantonese/ Leb/armenian blood sucker leeches will make money from war, the Chosenites will create the conditions for war in the first place. In front of the kosher sharks, the other mercantile races are remora fishes.

  29. @Malla

    I doubt Chile would allow Muslim Indians to migrate there.

    • Replies: @Anonymous (n)
  30. neverstop says:

    The most active merchant class at present during the covid19 crisis are the merchants of death – aka the Israel lobby.

    They want war (a U.S. war that is) with Iran and they want it now.

    Never let a dumb president, Congress and a good crisis go to waste.

    It’s always, “all about Israel, all the time”. They’re even more self-obsessed than herr drumpfkopf the dummkopf…….

  31. @Just Passing Through

    I am Hindu. And there are a few Hindus in Chile. And I hope Chile does not allow too many Hindu or Muslim Indians to migrate there, I just wanted them to allow me.

  32. impoverished ones—Algeria, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon

    ‘Impoverished’ refers to someone who was rich once and now is poor. None of the places you mention, with the possible exception of Lebanon, were ever rich.

    more mailable socialist.

    I suppose you mean ‘malleable’, rather than someone not legally acceptable as mail.

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