Social Scientist. v 2, no. 17 (Dec 1973) p. 15.


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Lessons of the Chilean Experience

It is an extremely agonizing task for Marxists to reflect critically on the recent Chilean developments so soon after the events, even before the blood of the fallen heroes has fully dried up. But it is a task handed down by the martyrs themselves who died, and are still dying, with the firm belief that their unfinished mission would be carried forward by others, enlightened and inspired by their martyrdom. It was this sense of historical legacy that had prompted Marx to undertake the critical study of the tragic but glorious bid to 'storm heaven9 only two days after "the last fighters of the Commune succumbed to superior forces on the slopes of Belleville.. ."l And, indeed the Chilean Communists have demonstrated this proper Marxist spirit by themselves undertaking this challenging task. The underground centre of the Communist Party of Chile and at least one of the Party's leading spokesmen have already come out with important self-critical conclusions. In the interests of the Indian revolution, Marxists should seek to draw appropriate lessons from the struggle and experience of the Chilean comrades to illuminate our own path

ahead.

To speak of the critical nature of the present exercise should not

lead one to a false notion that the Chilean experiment has yielded only negative results. Quite the contrary. In less than three years of its rule,



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