If you are asked to clarify the meaning of the title of your latest book, presented this week (Constitutional path to revolution. Chile between the explosion, plurinationality and the plebiscite), the diplomat, academic and journalist José Rodríguez Elizondo comes up with something: “We are facing a project of socialist revolution in search of an author”.
For the national award for Humanities and Social Sciences 2021, “in the background Of this revolution are the implosion of the USSR, the conversion of China to the capitalist system of production and the frustration of the Castrochavista revolutions. From this void, its activists substitute the classic proletariat for the native peoples and change the word ‘revolution’ to ‘refoundation’. This explains their archaic aspiration to the ‘good life’ of the indigenous people, replacing the futuristic utopia of Marx. The greatest difficulty of the experiment is that the Mapuche peoples have never submitted to foreign political hook-ups. Don Alonso de Ercilla recognized him. The most novel thing is that its starting motor is the neo-constitutionalism of Hugo Chávez. ‘I swear by this dying Constitution,’ he said, upon assuming the Presidency for life”.
What reasons incline you to Rejection?
The main one is that I want to continue being a citizen of a historical and unitary Chile in its diversity. Converting it, by an act of political engineering, into a State of 12 nations -I include the Chilean one, not mentioned in the proposal- is to weaken it. In an archangelic world it would not be a problem, but it would be for a country with a complicated geopolitical configuration, with a history of recurring neighborhood conflicts. To weaken ourselves for free is to create risks where there were none. I am amazed that the possible diplomatic, economic, strategic and geopolitical effects of plurinationality, the undeniable axis of the proposal, have not been analyzed in the Convention.
What is he pointing to when he says that in the Convention “they managed to liquefy” plurinationality?
It is curious that the Bolivian “Evism” has been ignored as its immediate source. Its managers camouflaged the concept through the synonymy “communities-peoples-nations”, and mixed it with similar-appearing voices, such as “interculturality” and “regionalization”. In addition, they were sent to remote sources, such as Canada, Spain and New Zealand. They embellished the partridge so much, that only now other conventionalists confess not having thought about the difference between populations, cultures, peoples, nations and States. “Suspicious the question”, would say Bombo Fica.
Could it be, simply, that he is not understanding the concept of “nation” in the same terms as the conventional ones?
I think, with all the wise men who have been in the world, that “nation” is a complex concept, whose definition corresponds more to historians, sociologists and anthropologists than to an occasional group of Chilean refounders. I don’t know anyone who knows what constitutional norm accredits each UN nation.
What allows you to state that plurinationality and autonomies lead to separatism or facilitate it?
Can anyone assure that in the two plurinational states of the region, Ecuador and Bolivia, ethnic contradictions have been overcome? Or that the autonomies liquidated the separatist tendencies of the Basques and Catalans in Spain? Or that cohabitation with Russian nationals made life easier for Ukrainian nationals? Is anyone unaware that the multinational Yugoslavia exploded into war and today there are seven Balkan nations? This question confirms the risk of identifying plurinationality with interculturality.
Article 3 says that Chile “forms a single and indivisible territory.” Why do you think they want to liquidate the unitary state?
I reply with another question. What is more powerful: the centrifugal forces contained in plurinationality or the rhetorical declaration of Article 3? Our legal fetishism leads us to believe that the rules have superpowers. The stubborn reality, however, reminds us that hell is paved with excellent statements. The proposal, after dividing Chile into 12 nations -computing the Chilean- with self-determination, territories, budget, justice and even its own foreign relations, gives us a Band-Aid patch to maintain territorial unity. That is to say, it creates the conditions for a dismemberment, but warns that this should not be consummated. Better prepared to defend the country from him were, last December, the ten former Peruvian foreign ministers who denounced Evo Morales for trying to introduce an Aymara wedge into their coastline, for the sake of a plurinational continentalism. Tacitly, this nullified the Chilean-Peruvian treaty of 1929, which guarantees the geographical contiguity of Chile and Peru.
Are there aspects that you consider valuable in the proposal?
The proposal contains rules and statements that only troglodytes could disqualify. I could not be against the recognition of indigenous peoples or a social state of law. I am also for the care of ecosystems.
Think of plurinationality as a Latin American theoretical contribution…
Only in part. The name is new, but the concept is old as black thread. In On the right of nations to self-determinationIn 1914, Lenin defined states with internal nations as “variegated states” and said that their dynamics tended towards separatism. and the book Pop. The October rebellion in Ecuador, from 2020, co-authored by the indigenous leader Leonidas Iza, contains a very fruitful allegation about plurinational and anti-systemic indigenism. As a by-product, the Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, of 2009, which recognizes more than 30 internal nations and ignores the 1904 boundary treaty with the Chilean nation, is worth mentioning. Also worth mentioning is the test Community, socialism and the multinational stateof 2015, by the then Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García Linera, which contains the main theses of the Chilean proposal.
Does the recent commitment of the parties for the Approval alter your vision?
It is a “trompe l’oeil”: a trap for the eye. It reminds me of those doors that cannot be opened, because they are only realistically painted on a wall. I take it as a dismissal of other people’s intelligence.
José Rodríguez Elizondo (Rejection): “The proposal creates the conditions for a dismemberment, but warns that this should not be consummated” – La Tercera