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Tensions with Reformism & the Constituent Process in the Midst of Fire & Rioting in #Chile

The following text is a translation by Anarchists Worldwide of an article from Estallido Antisocial / Antisocial Outburst, a new anarchist publication from Chile.

Originally published by Estallido Antisocial. Translated by Anarchists Wordlwide.

You can download a copy of the publication HERE (Spanish, Castellano)


The idea and practice of anarchic insurrection in the Chilean region and the world is enough to make us forget who we are and to uncritically join social revolts in which diverse and sometimes contradictory interests are involved.

For us, insurrectionists and antisocial anarchists, it has been a great joy to share moments of generalised rebellion between like-minded people and sometimes with circumstantial accomplices united by the desire to bring out the rage against what oppresses us.

However, when we go deeper into the visions about the struggle and what we want to destroy and build, the differences usually come out and we are not interested in this going unnoticed just to be socially accepted. On the contrary, the fire of our indomitable hearts calls us to propagate the idea and practice of confrontation against all forms of social order.

That is why we are not indifferent when we meet people who point out that there would be no major contradictions in being anarchic and going to vote in the plebiscite that could lead to a new Constitution. Among those voices, the argument is repeated that it does not cost much to go to the polls, claiming that this would be an act of “solidarity” with the most precarious people who – supposedly – would obtain structural changes in their lives when a new Constitution is approved. Some have even gone so far as to publicly denounce the “purist selfishness” of those who maintain the idea that elections and political reforms to the state apparatus are not part of the tools of autonomy, horizontality and direct action historically demanded from the terrain of anarchy.

That is why we chose to be explicit in our position, knowing that this can stress those who, motivated by honest aspirations of “participation and social transformation”, tend in some cases to idealize without question the work “with the people”, to not even question the use of well known mechanisms of reformism such as the plebiscites which throughout history has been used to demobilize those who rise in revolt, channeling the struggle towards institutional solutions.

Of course, our anti-electoral option does not make us better than anyone else. What interests us is simply not to forget who we are and that what we are is determined by what we do, regardless of whether the context is favorable or adverse to anarchic action.

That is why, unlike those who claim that society is a victim of the implacable power of the State, we remain in affinity with our comrades who, throughout history, have shown the symbiotic and inseparable relationship between State and Society, revealing the very complicity of citizens in their own domination and that of other individuals.

Because it is not enough to change a government or a constitution for another one. It is not enough to eliminate the neoliberal capitalist economic system to replace it with another form of “more humane” and kindly exploitation.

That is why we will continue to spread the idea that structural changes to the prevailing way of life will not be found either at the ballot box or in the cages of power.

We will continue to point out the important need to destroy the State and all forms of authority by attacking its structures, representatives and defenders, which together with the construction of forms of life and anti-authoritarian relations on the outside and against the institutions is a fundamental part of updating the historical proposals of anarchy in the struggles for individual and collective emancipation.

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