Essay title: Weavers of Revolution
11/2/06Allende and the Weavers of RevolutionIn 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 reasons for why Allende was elected.Allende’s campaign was designed around bringing social equality to Chile without violence, the opposite of countries like Cuba.
Allende based his campaign around the unfairness of Chile’s society to the working class, and the Yarur factory gave him the support he needed to win the election. Once Allende becomes elected, the two revolutions which were supposed to compliment each other actually start to work against each other.The first type of revolution is the “revolution from below”, which is characteristic of the workers in the Yarur rebelling against the Chilean government.The other type is the “revolution from above”, this was the revolution common of the higher class like Allende working towards workers rights.At first, the workers think that their revolution from below was only helping Allende’s revolution from above.The workers did things like form unions for the first time, or were even so bold to strike against the mill in order to gain complete control over it.Strikes had happened before which were about things like wages or unions, but this was different for the fact that they wanted total control of the mill.Allende was forced to give the workers the power to control the mill.This is just one of the examples of how the revolution from below “sometimes coincided with or complemented, but increasingly diverged from, the legalistic and modulated revolution from above” (141).For the most part in fact, the strategies of Allende.