Unlike many countries across the world, in Chile after 1968 a radical socialist government came to power with the electoral victory of Salvador Allende and Popular Unity underpinned by a whole range of movements toward a socialism “from below”. Using fragments gathered from workers’ newspapers produced during the 1930s, 1950s and 1970s, the aim of this article is to identify the changing content of radical socialist politics that coalesced by the time of this electoral victory in and through the “everyday” experience of workers in the textile industry. Workers in this sector were at the forefront of the profound changes underway during the prior period of import-substitution industrialisation from the 1930s and the “pre-revolutionary” moment of 1970-1973, where major textile firms were amongst the first to be occupied and nationalised under the Allende government. By tracing the evolution of socialist ideas in these publications —published by trade unions, political parties and, in the 1970s, by workers in the occupied factories themselves— I unravel the development of a radical socialist politics through these decades that then coalesced with the electoral victory of the UP in 1970. Methodologically, I draw on the work of Chilean sociologist Tomás Moulian (1993) and his concept of ideas “en uso” to examine how radical socialist ideas developed and changed in their interaction with workplace conflicts of the time. Consequently, I identify four areas in which these ideas developed: expression of the changing workplace; interpretation of discontent through legalist and radical discourse; the complexities of Chilean socialist and anti-imperialist ideas; and the construction of historical memory. I demonstrate how the interplay of these four features of Chilean socialist ideas were represented in an “everyday socialism” that informed the factory occupations and nascent social transformations after 1970.
|Translated title of the contribution||The "everyday socialism" of Chilean textile workers: Tracing radical politics through the workers´press, 1936-1973: Tracing radical politics through the workers press, 1936-1973|
|Journal||Astrolabio: Nueva Época|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
- textile industry
- labour movement
- political ideas