If you follow the news, you may have noticed reports of civil unrest in Chile — the worst for many decades.
I have lived in Chile for more than seven years before moving to Puerto Rico; I have there are still business interests, as well as hundreds of employees (local and foreign), over the past few days with many of them I spoke.
First things first: Chile usually quiet, stable, peaceful country.
The last time Chile fought 140 years ago, in 1879. She even participated in both world wars.
And although there are occasional protests, Chile for Latin American standards quite peaceful.
Besides, this is the most modern and developed country in the region is not disadvantaged, the impoverished country.
In Chile, a thriving industry and a large middle class, are in a better position than almost any other country in the region.
But as in almost any other country in the world there are plenty of imperfect.
Inflation eats up the purchasing power of workers ‘ incomes, and many are struggling to make ends meet.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, was a 30% increase in the cost of subway fare.
It’s nothing. But it was enough that thousands of people were howling from myself, that ultimately led to the riots, looting, arson and chaos.
Let’s talk about some of the key lessons in this:
1) It can happen anywhere
Not just talking about Chile. Looking at the world, we are now seeing large demonstrations and even violence in places such as Hong Kong, Spain, Haiti, Lebanon and so on.
The movement of the “yellow jackets” in France at the end of 2018 early 2019 brought to the streets hundreds of thousands of people set fire to vehicles and destroying property, all in fact in protest against rising gasoline prices.
Political tensions, social unrest, and economic turmoil… they are everywhere, in rich and in poor countries.
People are nervous everywhere, and don’t forget to temper. If you think that where you live, this can’t happen, think again.
2) It can happen faster than you realize
Weather in Central Chile is one of the main advantages of living here, warm, Sunny and dry… climate of southern California.
And last Friday was a beautiful day. Lunch-time people in the parks enjoying the weather. It was quiet, peaceful and fun.
After a few hours the city turned into a war zone. A couple of hours.
One of my team members told me yesterday on the phone: “If on Friday afternoon you said that Santiago the evening will be in chaos, I would have laughed… And then this is what happened.”
3) only Need a few idiots
Chile is home to around 18 million people. And maybe even a few million in the country who are extremely annoyed by the rising cost of living.
But only a few thousand was stupid enough to cause such chaos and destruction they smashed dozens of metro stations, buses and even set fire to office buildings and shops.
Innocent people have died. And almost all of the others feel that their lives are seriously degraded.
They can’t get to work. The schools are closed. Grocery shopping frenzy. A curfew was imposed. The tanks in the streets.
Most people are reasonable and peaceful. They may be angry due to some problems, but they know that the burning of property and murder of innocents solves nothing.
Only a small fraction of a percent of the population acts like the cowards — those who are stealing flat screen TVs from neighboring electronics store before you set fire to.
They are selfish and rather wallow in the illusion to believe in their own right — that their actions are justified as a response to some kind of economic injustice.
Yeah. After all, nothing proves your moral superiority better than stealing a flat-screen TV.
4) they Often think the answer is socialism
People apparently tend to think that we can solve any economic injustice with socialism.
Although most people don’t even think through problems. They feel the symptoms — it’s hard to make ends meet, the difficulties encountered in life, and they get angry.
And here the review ends. In fact, there is no analysis. Just anger.
A reasonable person thinks — why the cost of living rises? Why am I not moving forward? What are the roots of these problems? How can I handle it?
Again, Chile is not perfect. By and large, not perfect.
But think about 18-year-old guy who’s taking a selfie, setting fire to the store, because he is in anger… in anger that his education is unsatisfactory, anger that he can’t find a job with good pay.
And partly he’s right. Public education in Chile is very bad and doesn’t have the skills necessary for paid work.
But I wondered how many books he read this year? How many free online courses he took? What he did to solve his own problems?
Instead of the burning buildings he could sit at home, watching countless YouTube videos that teach how to program in Python. Free.
And developing the real demand on the market skills, he would be more valuable and able to demand appropriate salaries and remote work for prospective clients and employers around the world.
But the mentality of “socialist” does not solve its own problems.
For them socialism means that you don’t need to lift a finger (except to light the match).
You only need to call a temper tantrum until someone else solves your problems… even if you can’t determine what your problem is or provide a reasonable solution.
I don’t want to underestimate the problems, there are several problems raised by the protesters and I agree with them. But neither socialism nor the burning of buildings never any problems not solved.
It may take time, but Chile without a doubt will recover from this nightmare and go on. The “true” population (i.e. the majority) responds blow for blow and protect the surroundings of their residence.
But I can’t help but wonder — where polyhnet again?