And Yet Again

As I’ve said in the past, here and here, Chile’s Augusto Pinochet was a conundrum.  Others, it seems, are even more positive than I am:

Almost nobody is more reviled by the international intelligentsia and media than the late Augusto Pinochet, the late 20th -century Chilean dictator. He holds a prominent position in the political left’s “rogues’ gallery” comprised of those who stood in opposition to their goals.
His supposed “crimes” included conducting a military coup to illegitimately grab control of the Chilean government from a popularly elected president, rounding up and torturing huge numbers of innocent citizens (killing as many as 80,000 in the process) and corruptly stealing vast sums of money while ruling as a dictator.
But many of those claims are either false or exaggerated — most credible estimates of those killed are below 5,000 — or they must be viewed in context. More important, if we raise the examination of Pinochet from the bitter soil of leftist ressentiment to the question of human flourishing, he appears as one of recent history’s shining lights.

Read the whole thing — and my earlier posts on the topic too, if you haven’t seen them before.

I will never forget two things about my visit to Chile:  the sight of old women placing flowers on the sidewalk outside Pinochet’s modest private home (now a museum) in Valparaiso, and at a formal dinner one night, one of the toasts was:  “To General Augusto Pinochet, savior of Chile.”

It was delivered without irony, well received and supported by all the guests, and even more telling, it was said in English — no doubt for our benefit, and to make a point.

Interesting stuff.


  1. Pinochet commited a cardinal sin: he was white. Notice the complete lack of criticism of far-East contemporaries like Lee Quan Yew.

    1. Worse than that… he killed poets and folksingers.

      Most of whom had AK-47s under their beds.

  2. I have told Little Miss and others regularly: Antifa and crew are not the way to get the shining American Socialist Republic. Rioting in a center-right country gets you a Pinochet. I have little doubt that the US would go in that direction if shoved hard enough.

    No one should want to go that route, but the perfect can be the enemy of the possible. If our choice is Chile or Venezuela, who would want Venezuela?

  3. The American Left crapped all over Pinochet because he got rid of (by hook or by crook – he had very flexible legs) a Socialist dictator who was ruining his country.
    Boo HOoo.
    A lot of the more Far Left Chilean Socialists who managed to escape came to the US and cried to the media which dutifully reported the revisioned history of Chile

  4. The Chileans just voted themselves back into Socialism/Communism by passing a referendum to rewrite the constitution from the ground up. This was to make things more fair since the private sector controls healthcare, pensions, education, and housing. I might add that Chile’s pension system is 100% funded.
    Sounds like a great place to have lived. I’ll reserve my opinions on the country’s future until I see what the constitutional convention comes up with.

    1. “Ruin” would be my guess, but that’s all part of the joy of living in the Third World: you’re always only one step away from disaster.

  5. As the saying goes, “You can vote your way into Socialism, but you have to shoot your way out.”
    General Agusto PInochet was chosen to lead the way out for Chile.

  6. can anyone recommend any books on the Pinochet administration and in general, modern history of Chile?



    1. I’d also be interested in any unbiased books on the Pinochet administration. The Speaker For The Dead version: tell the truth, good and bad.

  7. Let’s not forget the part where Salvador Allende was a KGB plant, and by the time of the Pinochet coup was ruling (not governing) with a complete indifference to the rule of law.

  8. If you really want to talk conflicted, then discuss Saddam Hussein. No doubt the man (and his family) was evil in the extreme. And yet ….

    If only he had:
    1 – communicated quietly to certain parties to ignore the rhetoric, that he didn’t have chemical weapons but that he needed to lie about them because …
    2 – that was the only thing keeping Iran in check, and God forbid those bastards start yet another war in the middle east, because …
    3 – if you think anyone else can control all the crazies, various Islamic sects that hate each other, radical mullahs, screaming imams, bomb-happy terrorist, and other assorted goat-fuckers, then you’re just as crazy as they are.

    I don’t know that we accomplished anything good over there in Iraq, certainly nothing worth the loss of our young soldiers. I would have supported half a dozen nukes, but not the decades long invasion. As an alternative, keeping Saddam in place but back on our leash would have been, well, probably ok.

    If he was such a monster to his own people, well, then it’s their job to overthrow him, not ours.

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