In Peter Winn's Weavers of Revolution, a factory in Santiago, Chile fights for their independence against the Chilean government of the 1970's. While this rebellion is going on, presidential elections are taking place and Salvador Allende is the presidential candidate which represents the common people. The relation between Allende and the people he represents is a unique one because at first this class, the working class, helps and supports Allende to become president, but then both parties realize their different plans for the future and the working class actually contributes to the downfall of Allende's presidency.
At first, the working class heavily supported Allende's campaign. A new movement of younger worker influence occurred during this time period, allowing Allende to accomplish many of the things he did. For instance, in the Yarur factory there was the "strike of 1962" which was the workers rebellion to the new Taylor system of the new generation of workers. They also rebelled because of the "union question" which revolved around three things: job security, free unions, and the elimination of the Taylor system. These were all things that Allende promised to fix, so naturally after a 9 week strike the people of the Yarur factory supported Allende and the promises he gave. All the workers in the Yarur factory were also deeply affected by the characteristics of postwar Chile: "dependency and stagflation, economic inequality and social inequality, the concentration of wealth and the persistence of poverty, the hegemony of the rich and the powerlessness of the poor" (54). These characteristics were the reasons that the working class suffered in Chile, as well as the...
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...he lower class had their agenda on mind, and even disrupted the campaign of Allende in order to do so. Allende was then forced to deal with situations he should never have had to, thus hurting his political status with the working class because he could never deliver the results they wanted all the time.
The relationship between the working class and Allende is definitely a difficult to understand because it's hard to understand how a political party is supported by the same group who contributes to their downfall. The working class was not the only reason Allende lost power, but was a heavy contributor. The working class seemed to only use Allende as a reason to enforce reform, and Allende used the working class as a group of supporters. The two groups could only agree on the fact that Chile needed serious social change, and Allende was the best shot they had.
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