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      The Chilean counter-revolution: Roots, dynamics and legacies of mass mobilisation against the Unidad Popular

      Radical Americas

      UCL Press

      counter-revolution, Chile, Unidad Popular, coup d’état, the Right, anti-Communism

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          Abstract

          The election of Salvador Allende and the Unidad Popular (Popular Unity) in 1970 unleashed a radical and original revolutionary process, discernible not only in the depth of its redistributive measures and the expectations it generated, but also in the ferocity with which those who identified with the counter-revolutionary ideal responded to that project. The counter-revolution, initially confined to the conservative and reactionary sectors, in a matter of months became an immense mass mobilisation that would end up paving the way for the military coup. This article analyses that counter-revolutionary process, exploring its historic roots, the main actors involved and the innovations in political practices it developed at the time. The ‘counter-revolutionary bloc’ was formed by a diverse array of political and social actors – some of whom did not have previous experience in political mobilisations – who based their actions on the adoption and socialisation of a long-standing anti-Communist script, through which they could make sense of the period’s changing reality. That script – based on decades of taking in events from other parts of the world, elaborations and accusations against all those who identified as Communists – aimed to reduce the originality of the Unidad Popular’s political project to a remake of classic socialist experiences in Chilean territory and processed in a dystopian key. The counter-revolution’s power would be projected into the military dictatorship that began in 1973, when it became a sort of official state ideology, and it would become a foundational experience for Chilean conservative sectors with reverberations even in in the present.

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          Most cited references 50

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          Allende’s Chile and the Inter-American Cold War

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            La Democracia Semisoberana. Chile Después de Pinochet

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              Right-Wing Women in Chile: Feminine Power and the Struggle against Allende, 1964–1973

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                RA
                Radical Americas
                UCL Press
                2399-4606
                01 June 2021
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                Independent Scholar, Santiago, Chile; marcelocasals1@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                RA-6-13
                10.14324/111.444.ra.2021.v6.1.013
                © 2021, Marcelo Casals.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ra.2021.v6.1.013.

                Page count
                Pages: 17
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                Article
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                Casals, M. ‘The Chilean counter-revolution: Roots, dynamics and legacies of mass mobilisation against the Unidad Popular’. Radical Americas 6, 1 (2021): 13. DOI: 10.14324/111.444.ra.2021.v6.1.013.

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                Radical Americas
                Volume 6, Issue 1

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