Friday, October 01, 2010

Chile :Two hundred years later (1810-2010)(II)

As long as the State was key to design the new framework, ideology was the driven force in the following years. On this regard and as a condition to make the State stronger, the institutional profile , was bias toward the law and order, rather than freedom and rights.
The foundation of the new republic was based on the strength of its State and those who supported and controlled it. However, this emphasize on the State responsibilities ,left apart and on a secondary level , the citizens and their role as the most important source of contribution to a nation greatness .The Chilean State was in charge of education ,public health, infrastructure ,even the economy in the second half of the latest century (1940-1975) , was designed upon the State preferences .-
As a result , ideology replaced pragmatism because all what mattered was what to do with such a power . From time to time, politicians forced the institutional framework stretching ideology beyond the level which the system could absorb and sustain. Social unrest and repression was the outcome. From 1958 up to 1970, there was three different but not complementary government programs. Three different way to go nowhere because there was not a long run perspective to go through, other than to get control of the State. The main consequences of these stress, was a permanent social struggle between opposite forces ,with severe consequences as much as the system was not designed to protect rights, but mainly duties from certain segments of society. The human rights concern, is a recent phenomena in Chilean politics and society. Past history on this issue ,is quite fragile to say the least.-
At the beginning of the third century, Chile is in the path to become a development country, just the same way it was before, one hundred year ago. Thus, the question which arise is this : will it be able to make this time such transformation to lead the rest of the Latin America continent ,to higher levels of economic progress and performance?. Historically Chile has been leader on social issues: It was the among the first to recognize women rights, and to implement social security as well. At the end of the twenty century (25 years),it was the first to open up its economy to private sector and world markets getting rid of the State preponderance .Wealth creation became as much important as it was poverty reduction.
Others countries at a different speed, are also following their own path to improve conditions for economic progress and development, based on a more active role for the private sector .
Actually, there is an interesting process to get the development status, which includes almost all countries in Latin America. Politics and economics must be quite well fitted. Ideology is a risk because it might left some countries behind. The majority of countries are moving forward into this century , with a different approach concerning the real force of prosperity and wealth creation.
For Chile own expectation ,the challenge ahead goes on two complementary path to get such goal:
a.- Higher productivity and competitiveness
b.- Better education and innovation
A preliminary evaluation indicates that the chances to get substantial advances on the productivity level are higher, because a deep decentralization of the State, and its full scale modernization as necessary conditions depends upon political will, which has been one of the main assets in the latest 20 years for important reforms. Education improvements needs a very long period of time to show substantial achievements.