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GAMBONE, L. "The Libertarian Movement in Chile. 1840 to the Present"
Article published on 31 December 2004
last modification on 26 April 2015

by r-c.
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The rise and fall of the libertarian movement in Chile is a facinating story. There is more to the story than mere historical interest, however. Chile is a country on the brink of development and hence is closer to a European country than to a truly underdeveloped nation. Chile is as urban as any developed country and even in 1900 about 20% of the population lived in cities, around the same percentage as Canada at that time. Population growth is low and vital statistics are at the developed level. Women have a more equal status with men than in any other Latin American country.

Chile is one of the few countries where libertarian ideology had hegemony over the labor movement. The Chilean movement gave rise to an unprecedented level of popular unity, albeit for a brief moment, uniting the vast majority of the population against the elite. Chilean libertarianism was notable for its practicality, its populism, its unideological nature and its lack of violence. The movement was highly adaptable, constantly changing its methods and not getting bogged down in dogma. The Chilean movement also shows the contrary danger of being too "undogmatic", as many syndicalists became corporatists.

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