I follow Estudiantes Informados (Informed Students) on Facebook, and earlier today they posted this video, created by Fault Lines, an English language news source from the Middle East. It beautifully describes the education conflict in Chile that I experienced, synthesizing facts, the history of Chile’s politics since the coup d’etat on September 11th, 1973, and interviews with leaders in both arenas.
The video opens with marchers playing a simple rhythm on metal fencing, an infectious pattern that became familiar while walking through Valparaíso in the middle of the day.
Students, teachers, taxpayers; in small huddles or large masses; all would chant and cheer and this rhythm was the heartbeat of their collective energy.
At the end of the video, you hear the song “Shock” by singer Ana Tijoux. I’ve posted and translated the lyrics at the end of this post. The song is centered around the idea of the Shock Doctrine, a term coined by author and journalist Naomi Klein in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
A “Shock Doctrine” is the employment of economist Milton Friedman’s free market economic plan during times of great turmoil and upheaval. This is what was referred to in the Fault Lines video when the Chicago Boys were sent from Chile to study economics with Friedman in the 1970s, and employ his Regean-era policies in the fresh dictatorship.
Your monologues are poison,
Your discussions colorless,
You don’t see that we’re not alone.
Thousands pole to pole!
At the sound of one choir,
We will march to the tune,
To the conviction, “stop the robbery!”
Your state of control,
Your rotten throne of gold,
Your politics and your wealth,
And your treasure, no.
The hour sounded, the hour sounded.
We won’t permit any more, any more of your Shock Doctrine.
The hour sounded, the hour sounded. (x4)
No countries, only corporations
That have more, more action,
Fat slices, powerful decisions by the few.
Opus dei rights, Fascist books.
Coup supporter dressed by an elitist pardon.
Drop the drops, drop the purse,
The takeover takes the broken machine.
The street won’t quiet, the street is scratched,
The street isn’t quiet, debate that explodes.
Everything leaves, everything’s sold,
Everything profits life and death,
Everything’s business, like you,
Seeds, Pascuala, methods, and choirs.
Coup to coup, kiss to kiss.
With desire and breath,
With ashes, with fire,
From the present with remembrance,
With certainty and with bleeding,
With a clear objective,
With memory and with history,
The future is now!
This whole test tube,
This whole laboratory every day,
All of this failure, all of this economic model
Doomed like the dinosaur.
Everything’s justified in the news,
Everything leaves, everything’s trampled,
Everything’s filed and classified.
But… your politics and tactics,
Your typical laugh and ethnicity,
Your manipulated communication,
How many were those that were silenced?
Cops, water tanks, and nightsticks,
Cops, water tanks, and tuna,
Cops, water tanks don’t add up.
How many were those that robbed the fortunes?