The new Internationale and the new kids on the left bloc

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL December 23, 2021

If Gabriel Boric, Chile’s bearded, millennial president-elect, represents anything it is the changing nature of global socialism, at least in Latin America. That’s the emerging consensus, not just about Chile’s president-elect, but the presidents of Peru and Honduras, and going slightly further back in chronological terms, Mexico.

The Latin American left is more domestically focussed today. Its dream is to change its own country rather than the whole world. Mr Boric, who won the Chilean election less than a week ago, is a case in point. Unlike old-style socialists, he has neither sought to rouse the masses by invoking the United States as the greatest evil, nor to pillory big business as inherently amoral.

In fact, as The Washington Post recently pointed out, Mr Boric has actually “defied socialist decorum by calling out the left-wing authoritarians in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba…He talks of making corporations and the rich pay more taxes, not seizing their lands or boardrooms. He lauds the notion of fiscal responsibility.”

This is emphatically not Chavisimo, by any means. This is not old school socialism. ‘The Internationale’, the anthem of socialism from 1918, is being sung in a different key.