The Elite and the Construction of Social Order in Chile

Among the countless myths that we tell ourselves about ourselves, one quite common is the idea that Chile has been a country of strong institutions, in particular in relation to other countries of Latin America. But if one examines the evidence not found with a stability very high. During the time of the decades, the only thing that happened was that the uprisings in the won by the government, but do not forget that Montt experienced two military conflicts in their government. And one of the things that are most easily forgotten around the period mesocrático is that the killing in front of popular mobilizations was a recurring theme, part of standard practices.

To a certain extent, one can argue that one of the things the elites do in a society is to implement an order. Now given the above, one may think that while the stability of that order -at least in the sense of domination by the same elite – has been stable, but is relatively fragile. In the end, it has required the continuous use of violence.

This has to do, I think, with the way in which that order has been established. What the elite has not sought or gained is the active adherence to that order (that you will find something good and desirable). It is based, and this is an historic election -is a thing to remember to Portals – in accession to passive: In the fact that the population is normally not mobilized nor claim too. The weight of the night to use the words of the already mentioned Portals.

This inability to achieve active membership is associated with the fact that it is an elite that often does not understand to the general population, that the completely unknown. In fact, remember you do not have to live with it-our elite historically has liked to be separated. At most he was living with the rural population, but has never lived with the urban population. This lack of understanding -which is manifested in the fact that only uses surveys, always so limited, to understand; or who insists on applying to the population the categories, distinctions and oppositions that they use – it has an affinity for elective with to establish an order through passivity: Because, what for to meet those who do not act, the inert mass?

But based on the above has consequences. Means that in the occasions in which the society is mobilized, this mobilization is usually to be anti-systemic (in the end, the active membership does not work much) and that, in addition, the elite do not have tools or practices to deal with the mobilizations. Everything that the elite sees in her is the threat of disorder, but such a threat is because the elite does not know what to do with a mobilised society. And you don’t know because it has always put to the de-mobilisation.

In other words, the elite only has two responses to a crisis: O achieve the des-mobilization or re-implementation of the order through violence. In regard to the latter, do not forget that the elite chilean has never had many feelings of suspicion in the killing of his fellow citizens. Prefer the solution of de-mobilization, but newcomers to the case, the violence is part of their basic strategies.

It is for this reason that in the face of a crisis, it is a matter of reading the newspapers of the last few months, your bet is for the majority that has not been mobilized (forgetting that the dynamics of mobilization do not operate through those majorities, that may well be carried by these processes). Because of the way that keeps their order is through people to do nothing. In fact, they tend to think that the people who don’t do anything, that she is not interested represents adhesion. What is again think of the weight of the night.

The social order, then, in Chile is relatively fragile, at least the social order which have been constructed by elites. It is not an order that can absorb or live with the social mobilization. And that, ultimately, is a failure of the elite.

Which comes to pose, in the last instance, one of my thesis preferred: The problem of Chile is its elite.


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