William Cummings, "New York Times Reactions to the
Election of Salvador Allende"

10

Chuquicamata, Novitski gives an inaccurate impression that the coal miners' support of Allende was not shared by workers in other sectors of Chilean industry.28

In the only other article to focus on the attitudes of Allende's supporters, Juan de Onis states that the "political choice...of a course toward a revolutionary change has been made by an influential sector of the middle class, as well as by the labor base of the Marxist parties."29 De Onis seems largely unable to explain Allende's middle class support, as it undermines "the theory that a growing middle class guarantees capitalist stability in Latin America," the fundamental assumption of the Alliance for Progress.30 Such thinking is based on the rather patronizing view that the attraction to Marxism among Latin America's popular classes is the product of "economic backwardness," ignorance, and political immaturity.31 De Onis provides an excellent summary of Chile's long history of governmental intervention in the economy, and of the growth of the left's political power during the twentieth century. He even quotes one member of the MIR (Movimiento de la Izquierda Revolucionaria), Chile's armed revolutionary party, as saying that Chile's economic inequality generated the leftist shift of the Chilean electorate. Yet, it is clear that de Onis views middle class support for Allende as fundamentally irrational: "Like Chile's unstable geology, which causes her frequent earthquakes, the middle class here contains 'faults' that produce constant political tremors and sometimes upheavals."32


28. For a breakdown of 1970 voting among the working-class see, James Petras, "The Working Class and Chilean Socialism," in The Chilean Road to Socialism (Anchor Books:Garden City, NY, 1973), 240-7.
29. Juan de Onis, "Chile's Middle Class a Willing Force in Move to Left," New York Times, October 26, 1970, 18.
30. Ibid.
31. "The Working Class and Chilean Socialism," 240.
32. "Chile's Middle Class a Willing Force in Move to Left."
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