What's wrong with this country?

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JHyre
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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by JHyre » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:43 pm

Social & class distinctions exist everywhere. In this regard, the US rates pretty well, with great ability to move up (or down) and with far less discrimination between classes than in most other places, especially when compared to Latin America. In US, merit is more important, pedigree less so, even when compared to Europe.

In addition to class issues, Chilean military also likes to keep out certain bad influences. See how a military marriage into a classy family of leftish professors (OK, that was contradictory and redundant at the same time) would go - both ways. I doubt that stating one married a fascist oppressor knuckle dragger (university speak for "member of the armed forces" in both US and in Chile) would go over very well in a Chilean faculty lounge.

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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by Real State » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:52 pm

as someone said the special country is USA not chile. of course europe is going better in that issue, but there are still some social discrimination in western europe, not in the former commie states of eastern europe when they destroyed that social class system

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Seabee
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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by Seabee » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:15 pm

I am wondering if people in this forum understand what the article says. Except for a few people who got the point, the base of this thread is to understand the level of discrimination based on social classes in which Chilean society is engulfed in. My intention is to discuss why foreigners tend to minimize or simple ignore it, or in some cases just believe it doesn't exist.

The article mentions the reason why the officer cannot married her fiancé, "ya que el entorno social es de estrato bajo incompatible con la condición de cónyuge de un oficial de Carabineros" or "su grupo familiar, corresponde a un nivel socio-cultural de nivel bajo e incompatible que en nada contribuirían al prestigio del oficial". Even further, the article never mentions there is a policy of fraternization in the military (debido a problemas de fraternizacion...) yet, it says "La mujer también pertenecía a la institución, pero a la rama de suboficiales"

Why is in the news?? When we all (arguable) understand the military all over the world has fraternization policies on some extend, why this is big news then??
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JHyre
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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by JHyre » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:15 pm

I would agree that "class discrimination" is much greater in Chile/Latin America than US/Western Europe. Same phenomenon exists in US military for officers, but to a much, much lesser degree. But exist it does - the wrong wife or one who does not play ball with the other officers' wives can kill a career, nicht wahr?

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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by PenquistaDeCorazon » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:30 pm

Seabee wrote:I am wondering if people in this forum understand what the article says. Except for a few people who got the point, the base of this thread is to understand the level of discrimination based on social classes in which Chilean society is engulfed in. My intention is to discuss why foreigners tend to minimize or simple ignore it, or in some cases just believe it doesn't exist.

The article mentions the reason why the officer cannot married her fiancé, "ya que el entorno social es de estrato bajo incompatible con la condición de cónyuge de un oficial de Carabineros" or "su grupo familiar, corresponde a un nivel socio-cultural de nivel bajo e incompatible que en nada contribuirían al prestigio del oficial". Even further, the article never mentions there is a policy of fraternization in the military (debido a problemas de fraternizacion...) yet, it says "La mujer también pertenecía a la institución, pero a la rama de suboficiales"

Why is in the news?? When we all (arguable) understand the military all over the world has fraternization policies on some extend, why this is big news then??
I think some of the people on the forum, though not justifying it outright, minimize what is going on here. Fraternization merited a small mention in the letters cited. There was a lot more mentioned about social class. And I have never heard of a police force in Canada, the UK or the states telling one of its members that they could not marry someone.

"as someone said the special country is USA not chile. of course europe is going better in that issue, but there are still some social discrimination in western europe, not in the former commie states of eastern europe when they destroyed that social class system"

As to the assertion above that it is not Chile but rather the US that is different I have to wonder if the poster has traveled outside of Chile. I have friends from England and France, have met people from most of the Scandinavian countries, and many other parts of the world. And though there might be upper classes in all those countries, they are far from being closer to Chile than the USA. I do not recall any of my English friends telling me stories of people working as grocery store baggers for tips alone in England.

And though I do not expect anyone on this forum to advocate communism, I have to ask what would be wrong if Chile's class system was turned on its head and Chile became a more egalitarian society.

For those of you who speak Spanish, here are two excellent articles that will explain what is wrong with Chile. Of course if you do not think it is wrong then I will not try to convince you.

http://edant.clarin.com/diario/2006/01/ ... -03601.htm
http://www.atinachile.cl/content/view/1 ... ettos.html

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Chuck J 3.0
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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by Chuck J 3.0 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:03 am

PenquistaDeCorazon wrote:Does not surprise me in the least. Nothing does about pacos.

As stated above they are quasi military which should not be the case. In most civilized societies there are the police and the military which is not used against one's own people. But this is Chile after all.

......

P, honey, :) - you have no idea how GOOD you have it in Chile with the paco's. Nowdays, there are damn few of those mythical things, civilized societies. In my country the line is very blurry between the police and the military now, and growing less distinct everyday. Over the last twenty years the police have been militarized beyond recognition and there is very little effective difference. I don't want to think about how many poor bastards are murdered by the police everyday. http://educate-yourself.org/cn/dougzerb ... ec10.shtml - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poXCJ_liXTQ His murder by police thugs is not an exceptional occurrence. Happens EVERYDAY in the USA.

Even the smallest towns in the USA have Federally Financed (with stolen loot from taxpayers) S.W.A.T. teams with enough weapons and armor to take over a small country. Ever since the forfeiture laws started in the early 90's I've seen the Police State coming. It's legalized theft by cops and courts of "law". You still have a rule of law in Chile, (such as it is) it is something. It's far better than up here. We have no rule of law in the USA, it's a free-for-all of graft, corruption, theft and murder that is almost unbelievable. Appreciate what you still have and protect it. And fight to never, never, never allow forfeiture laws to be passed for the police and cronies to fatten on. If anyone tries to forward that idea in Chile I would suggest quietly disposing of them.
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PenquistaDeCorazon
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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by PenquistaDeCorazon » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:12 am

Chuck J 3.0 wrote:
PenquistaDeCorazon wrote:Does not surprise me in the least. Nothing does about pacos.

As stated above they are quasi military which should not be the case. In most civilized societies there are the police and the military which is not used against one's own people. But this is Chile after all.

......

P, honey, :) - you have no idea how GOOD you have it in Chile with the paco's. Nowdays, there are damn few of those mythical things, civilized societies. In my country the line is very blurry between the police and the military now, and growing less distinct everyday. Over the last twenty years the police have been militarized beyond recognition and there is very little effective difference. I don't want to think about how many poor bastards are murdered by the police everyday. http://educate-yourself.org/cn/dougzerb ... ec10.shtml - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poXCJ_liXTQ

Even the smallest towns in the USA have Federally Financed (with stolen loot from taxpayers) S.W.A.T. teams with enough weapons and armor to take over a small country. Ever since the forfeiture laws start in the early 90's I've seen the Police State coming. It's legalized theft by cops and courts of "law". You still have a rule of law in Chile, (such as it is) it is something far better than up here. We have no rule of law in the USA, it's a free-for-all of graft, corruption, theft and murder. Appreciate what you still have and protect it.
Let me guess you voted for McCain Palin right? Just kidding. :)
I am in Canada. And I do fully realize that in North America we do have corrupt cops. But as an example, what happened during the G20 summit in Toronto garnered tons of news coverage and calls for public inquiries. Yet what the cops did there is something that happens in Chile all the time.

I see a lot of people on this forum express some of your sentiments. How the USA is not free, how it is now a 'socialist' (and dare I say some tea partiers use the C word), and how Chile is actually freer. All I know is that the Chile experienced by the average expat on this forum is not the reality of millions of Chileans.

But yeah I do agree with some of your sentiments:

http://www.aolnews.com/2010/05/18/tv-sh ... roit-girl/

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Chuck J 3.0
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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by Chuck J 3.0 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:18 am

P, I've never voted in a National or State election. They are all employed by bankers and front for the bankers. I was about 9 years old when I realized the scam of what the US Electoral College is. About 15 years ago I did vote for my buddy Manny Valerio whom I went to High School with for mayor of Sunnyvale, California. That's the only time I've ever voted. Well, I guess I did also vote with my feet and dollars when I went to Chile. Soon to be back too. I can almost smell the mani confitado. :)
"Betting against gold is the same as betting on governments. He who bets on governments and government money bets against 6000 years of recorded human history." - Charles de Gaulle

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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by PenquistaDeCorazon » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:22 am

Chuck J 3.0 wrote:P, I've never voted in a National or State election. They are all employed by bankers and front for the bankers. I was about 9 years old when I realized the scam of what the US Electoral College is. About 15 years ago I did vote for my buddy Manny Valerio whom I went to High School with for mayor of Sunnyvale, California. That's the only time I've ever voted. Well, I guess I did also vote with my feet and dollars when I went to Chile. Soon to be back too. I can almost smell the mani confitado. :)
Yeah it was only after Gore lost (not copping to be a fan) that I bothered to learn how the electoral college works in the states. Or doesn't work.

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class system in chile and descrimination

Post by admin » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:23 pm

O.k. I think what obscured the intent of the OP's conversation was the the example used to kick it off. Military organizations are a whole different social animal, for better or worse.

Let's set aside the issues of military, and deal with the issue of class systems in Chile.

First, the class issue in Chile is pretty much the same as any other country in Latin America. We can likely squarely blame Spain for that cultural gift. So that is where it came from. Essentially European culture is to blame for starting it, and Europe is still struggling with it on all kinds of levels. The U.S., for all the movie propaganda pushed, also has it its class system of that top 1% or so, just more cut down economic lines now than family name. Still it is there. However you define it, it is safe to say it is at least the group in any society with a disproportionate influence over the society relative to their numbers (regardless if it is driven by name or money ).

The difference is in Chile and much of Latin America the "French revolutions" only occurred recently, are still underway, and sometimes have not occurred at all. Why it continues in Chile, is perhaps particular to Chile, but the middle class is really less than about 40 years old in Chile. It is still not defined by money for the most part. There are many very wealthy, but still considered lower class in Chile. They are the "new rich" of Chile.

What foreigners fail to often grasp is that in Chile this class system has been perpetuated not only by the "elite" but by the new rich. There is class mobility, there just is not the blurring of classes as you might find in other countries. Those are the Chileans that have rose above their station through education or simply bought their way in one form or another (e.g. political success, economic success, even marriage). Chile has a very big middle class, that once they do make it, are many times far more brutal in their discrimination against the "lower" classes in an attempt to emulate the "upper" classes. They are generally more inclined to reinforce the class distinctions, than somehow try to mix and blend them in to a new class.

The lower classes have also embedded for whatever reason a sense of social right or class warfare that reinforces that class system , and I would tend to blame the political left for exploiting that unrest. Generally, those that represent the left politically, are not from the lower classes. They are themselves from the elite, just perhaps their middle to lower ranks have certain mix from the lower classes. So, for many reasons the lower classes are enforcing these cultural folkways and moras in Chile, regarding the mixing of the classes.

The image that sticks in my mind is the news clip of the father and son on the streets of Concepcion after the earthquake stopping to talk to a reporter as they exit a store they had just looted. They were both smiling and happy like it was a family outing, and there was nothing wrong with the idea that they were steeling or that the father teaching his son it was o.k. It was his right to steel from the rich, and he was passing that on to his son with a smile.

I was talking to a friend before the election about why he was voting Pinera (even though he does not like the Right in Chile) and that comes from a family that tended to vote left, and he blatantly said, "I am tired of being blamed by the media and the left for every little problem in the country simply because I have money".

That is why the left lost the last election. They cannibalized their young. That is, they raised people from the lower classes and created a new middle to upper class, then vilinized them with the traditional right elite in order gain votes from the lower classes. Unfortunately for them, they lost long-standing supporters that tipped the scale just sufficiently to loose the government.

Here is another illustration of this class conflicts and lack of willingness on all sides to really end it, comes from little Frutillar where we live. In fact on the 28th I literally have tickets for front row seats to this local class conflict at its best and worse, and I will explain in a moment.

Frutillar has been divided for generations between Frutillar Alto (upper) and Frutillar Bajo (lower). The first thing out of many peoples mouth when you meet them is they ask if you live in alto or bajo. Frutillar was first settled by Germans around 150 years ago. The German families occupied the best land on the lake front, that is now referred to as Frutillar Bajo. Later, when the train came through, another almost separate community of Chileans was built up around the train tracks on the hill, that we refer to as Alto. They were workers that came with the train at first, and now the community is built around the highway as it replaced the train. That community of lower class Chileans earns much of its income on the old and new money that now owns the tourism businesses, the retirement and vacation homes, and so on in Frutillar Bajo. They are symbiotic communities.

Over the years, the distinction has become much more formalized. For example, the city has very carefully blocked the construction of low income housing in frutillar bajo, as the political idiots in Santiago seem to think it is a good idea to drop tin shacked box houses in to the middle of tourism sites across southern Chile in attempts to win a few votes at the polls. Many, many, otherwise perfect little tourism towns, have had their tourism industry ruined by such lack of planning or even caring from Santiago. On the local radio you will hear public service messages saying things like do not discriminate against children for their economic class, and so on. In Frutillar, it is very out in the open and discussed. It is not something simmering under the surface that is whispered about.

Well, recently they finished the theater del lago on the lake. It is a privately funded international concert hall project. (more here: http://www.allsouthernchile.com/frutill ... chile.html ) The theater has made some efforts to reach out to the community, both alto and bajo. That includes offering many performances at affordable prices of say 1,000 pesos, having community performances, and so on. Even the more expensive international performances tend to start at around 5,000 pesos a ticket. expensive for someone that makes 10,000 pesos a day, but not impossible.

Recently my wife was talking to someone in Frutillar alto about why people did not get more involved with the theater or take advantage of the opportunity of having such a venue in the town, the response was "it was for the rich people, and they did not want anything to do with it". So rather than grasp the opportunity to better themselves with art and music, they would rather boycott the theater. That is not the whole story.

Now on the 28th of December there is a concert scheduled at the theater that is the kids in the music program from Frutillar alto. It is suppose to be really good from what people have told me about last years performance. It is the annual holiday concert, in which all the parents and families get dressed up, relatives from the campo come in for the event. This will be our first time attending, and I am curious about how this very split town, recombines for such an event ( I'll report back).

So, the kids program will be held in the theater, but it was not deemed sufficiently important to hold in the main hall. Granted the place it will be held will be spectacular, it is the smaller concert hall inside the theater that looks outside and over the lake. The reasons why they are not being given use of the grand hall for this is not clear, but those involved want to get them in there for next year. Suspicion is that the class system has come in to play in terms of what and who is viewed as "worthy" of performing in the main hall.

Now I am not defending the class system in any way, I am just trying to describe it. What foreigners need to understand is that they are not going to change it. In fact you are in another class all together. You are neither here nor there, and for the most part have the mobility to move between them with in certain limitations. Just do not expect the same of native Chileans born in to them, to view the class system the way you do. It might seem easy from a distance for people to do something about it, but you must remember they are looking at it from the inside out (same with your own culture in many things also).

I have seen foreigner after foreigner get themselves in big trouble, trying to some how inject their foreign sense of social justice in to personal and business relationships, and get their hand bit off in Chile. For example, the most common case is the foreigners trying to take employees and make them best friends. Guess what happens? The employee from the lower class more times than naught will read that as a sign of stupidity and weakness, and take full advantage of the dumb Gringo. The Gringo goes walking away thinking all Chileans are thieves or dishonest. Most of the time that is not so much the case, as they put gas on an old social fire and did not realize that the stove was hot before touching it. Employees and workers from the lower social classes have certain expectations, and very different life experiences, and most of the time unless a foreigner has been here for many, many, years will not be able to judge those motivations correctly. My advice has been and still is, to all foreigners, is stay the hell out of it. By a fluke of where you were born, you lack the cultural experience to play in that cultural pond. Not to say you can not, just it will take a long time and you will be surprised years later about how little you understand it, even when you think you do. In any case, you are not going to fix it or change it.
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Chuck J 3.0
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Re: class system in chile and descrimination

Post by Chuck J 3.0 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:51 pm

admin wrote:...
I have seen foreigner after foreigner get themselves in big trouble, trying to some how inject their foreign sense of social justice in to personal and business relationships, and get their hand bit off in Chile....

Well said, sir.
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Seabee
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Re: What's wrong with this country?

Post by Seabee » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:22 pm

Well done, and thanks Admin for your dissertation. Now, I can leave this thread knowing my point went across thanks to your explanation.
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