Andrew Cooke | Contents | Latest | RSS | Previous | Next


Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Choochoo Training Diary

Last 100 entries

[Computing] Okular and Postscript in OpenSuse; There's a fix!; [Computing] Fail2Ban on OpenSuse Leap 15.3 (NFTables); [Cycling, Computing] Power Calculation and Brakes; [Hardware, Computing] Amazing Pockit Computer; Bullying; How I Am - 3 Years Post Accident, 8+ Years With MS; Collaboration request; [USA Politics] In America's Uncivil War Republicans Are The Aggressors; [Programming] Selenium and Python; Better Walking Data; [Bike] How Fast Before Walking More Efficient Than Cycling?; [COVID] Coronavirus And Cycling; [Programming] Docker on OpenSuse; Cadence v Speed; [Bike] Gearing For Real Cyclists; [Programming] React plotting - visx; [Programming] React Leaflet; AliExpress Independent Sellers; Applebaum - Twilight of Democracy; [Politics] Back + US Elections; [Programming,Exercise] Simple Timer Script; [News] 2019: The year revolt went global; [Politics] The world's most-surveilled cities; [Bike] Hope Freehub; [Restaurant] Mama Chau's (Chinese, Providencia); [Politics] Brexit Podcast; [Diary] Pneumonia; [Politics] Britain's Reichstag Fire moment; install cairo; [Programming] GCC Sanitizer Flags; [GPU, Programming] Per-Thread Program Counters; My Bike Accident - Looking Back One Year; [Python] Geographic heights are incredibly easy!; [Cooking] Cookie Recipe; Efficient, Simple, Directed Maximisation of Noisy Function; And for argparse; Bash Completion in Python; [Computing] Configuring Github Jekyll Locally; [Maths, Link] The Napkin Project; You can Masquerade in Firewalld; [Bike] Servicing Budget (Spring) Forks; [Crypto] CIA Internet Comms Failure; [Python] Cute Rate Limiting API; [Causality] Judea Pearl Lecture; [Security, Computing] Chinese Hardware Hack Of Supermicro Boards; SQLAlchemy Joined Table Inheritance and Delete Cascade; [Translation] The Club; [Computing] Super Potato Bruh; [Computing] Extending Jupyter; Further HRM Details; [Computing, Bike] Activities in ch2; [Books, Link] Modern Japanese Lit; What ended up there; [Link, Book] Logic Book; Update - Garmin Express / Connect; Garmin Forerunner 35 v 230; [Link, Politics, Internet] Government Trolls; [Link, Politics] Why identity politics benefits the right more than the left; SSH Forwarding; A Specification For Repeating Events; A Fight for the Soul of Science; [Science, Book, Link] Lost In Math; OpenSuse Leap 15 Network Fixes; Update; [Book] Galileo's Middle Finger; [Bike] Chinese Carbon Rims; [Bike] Servicing Shimano XT Front Hub HB-M8010; [Bike] Aliexpress Cycling Tops; [Computing] Change to ssh handling of multiple identities?; [Bike] Endura Hummvee Lite II; [Computing] Marble Based Logic; [Link, Politics] Sanity Check For Nuclear Launch; [Link, Science] Entropy and Life; [Link, Bike] Cheap Cycling Jerseys; [Link, Music] Music To Steal 2017; [Link, Future] Simulated Brain Drives Robot; [Link, Computing] Learned Index Structures; Solo Air Equalization; Update: Higher Pressures; Psychology; [Bike] Exercise And Fuel; Continental Race King 2.2; Removing Lowers; Mnesiacs; [Maths, Link] Dividing By Zero; [Book, Review] Ray Monk - Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty Of Genius; [Link, Bike, Computing] Evolving Lacing Patterns; [Jam] Strawberry and Orange Jam; [Chile, Privacy] Biometric Check During Mail Delivery; [Link, Chile, Spanish] Article on the Chilean Drought; [Bike] Extended Gear Ratios, Shimano XT M8000 (24/36 Chainring); [Link, Politics, USA] The Future Of American Democracy; Mass Hysteria; [Review, Books, Links] Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go; [Link, Books] David Mitchell's Favourite Japanese Fiction; [Link, Bike] Rear Suspension Geometry; [Link, Cycling, Art] Strava Artwork; [Link, Computing] Useful gcc flags; [Link] Voynich Manuscript Decoded; [Bike] Notes on Servicing Suspension Forks

© 2006-2017 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

The Blindness Of The Chilean Elite

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 4 Jul 2015 15:37:59 -0300


  This is a loose translation of
  by Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser.

  Please note that my Spanish is imperfect (my English too!) and use the
  original for reference.

  See also (other translations):
  * The Bolvian Case Against Chile At The Hague
  * The Davalos Affair For Idiots
  * Another Tax Fraud
  * The SQM Affair For Idiots
  * The Penta Affair For Idiots


  It's no longer possible to rebuild the trust that has been broken, 
  the outbreak of populism is just around the corner.

Chile is usually considered an exemplary member of the Latin America ensemble.
Unlike most of its neighbours, Chile has enjoyed three decades of remarkable
economic expansion, with political stability and a strong legal system.
Today, however, this image of a model country is fading.  Why?

Everything started with a corruption scandal linked to the illegal financing
of the main right-wing political party - Union Democratica Independiente
(UDI).  This party is the main proponent of the socio-economic model
implemented by the Pinochet dictatorship, which privatised much of the public
sector, creating economic groups that, in turn, have financed, legally and
illegally, the UDI, in particular, but also political leaders, right-wing think
tanks, and open market technocrats in general.  This has recently been brought
into public view, thanks to the work of the public prosecutor.

But what started as a story of illegal finance for just one party has
blossomed into a political thriller.  The public prosecutor's investigations
show that various deputies and senators - from both right and left - have
received illegal funding through various companies.  Even the presidential
campaigns are now under judicial scrutiny.  These investigations have shown
that one of the main political financiers is Julio Ponce Lerou, a character
worthy of a Stefan Zweig biography.  Mr Ponce Lerou is son-in-law of Pinochet
and enriched himself in an unseemly way during the dictatorship.  If that is
not enough, the son of the current President of the Republic is mixed up in a
dirty property deal.

Faced with these complex circumstances, the Chilean elite have followed a
dismal strategy: stay silent, deny, or lie.  On one hand, a large fraction of
the political class have chosen to dismiss the claims, or given absurd, or
untrue, justifications.  On the other, the businessmen have stayed
complicitly, deeply silent - something of a tradition (as far as I know, there
has been no apology, from any entrepreneur, for their role during the
dictatorship, or for any more recent malpractice).

  The Chilean transition to democracy emerged as a pact between elites 
  who went on to control the country's economic and political systems.

How do you explain the blindness of the Chilean elite?  The answer is simple:
the Chilean transition to democracy emerged as a pact between elites who went
on to control the country's economic and political systems.  If this pact gave
stability to the country, it also normalised practices noxious for democracy.

With time the elites have modified details of the pact, but they have lacked
the wisdom or the motivation to create a new balance of power, suitable for
todays society.  Chile is no longer a country marked by high levels of
poverty, an absent civil society, and a submissive press.  In fact, today,
Chile has a growing middle class, with new social movements and a media that
is no longer afraid of established power.  The problem is that the elite have
not adapted; they are walking blindly on, to the cliff edge.

There is no better example than the results from the recent Report on Human
Development from the UN - -
which reveals the huge gap between the opinions of the citizens and the
political elites.  A single example: about 60% of the population feel that
private companies should not profit in areas like health care, education and
basic services, but only 25% of the elite share this opinion.

Nothing suggests that the elite are changing.  The current political thriller
continues to expose the pernicious overlap between business and politics.  The
situation is worrying, and is illustrated by rising levels of distrust and
worry.  How to face this problem?  The solution requires a new social pact.
For that, the elites need to drop their guard of silence; they need to accept
their errors and listen to the demands of their citizens.

It may already be too late for the elite to act.  It's highly likely that it's
not longer possible to rebuild the trust that has been broken.  If so, an
outbreak of populism is just around the corner.  Because populism is based on
the distinction between a corrupt establishment and the sovereign people, who
demand the unrestricted use of popular power.  The blindness of the Chilean
elite is paving the way for the growth of populism.  Don't say you haven't
been warned.

Comment on this post