The transition from military rule to democracy has proved a failure. The majority of society no longer believes that growth and welfare are the solutions to economic and social ills, nor that the current political institutions are the paradigm of citizen representation. The popular explosion of 18 October made this abundantly clear. It is the origin of the Constitutional Convention and the changes it is proposing.

However, big business resists the changes and the right wing does not accept diminishing its positions of power. They are joined by “centre-left” senators, who fear for their positions, as well as the usual economists, subservient to the economic groups and, of course, the conservative press.

The Party of Order is the enemy of the Constitutional Convention (CC) because it proposes a new framework for our coexistence, which will deliver full democracy to our country. And those who care for the present order find it dangerous, because it makes traditional politicians lose power and because it will put an end to the abusive profits of big business. They are more comfortable with half-democracy, semi-sovereign democracy (as Carlos Huneeus has described it).

Let’s tell it like it is.

The existing economic order, favourable to big business, together with the policies of social segregation, based on the 1980 Constitution, multiplied the wealth of the 1% of the powerful. This Constitution was legitimised with the signature of President Lagos, and did not change the essence of the regime of economic and political social exclusion.

Chile has lived a half-democracy, under the tutelage of the political right, the big businessmen and the Carabineros and the Armed Forces, who have not changed their Pinochettist vision. Unfortunately, some members of the “centre-left” have joined this economic and political order, together with a majority of economists who have become employees of the business community or who, in the best of cases, have remained silent in the face of the abuses and inequalities of neoliberalism.

The neoliberal order has been a disaster. The productive regime of food production, industrial fishing, forestry and mineral exploitation has eluded economic transformation and has served, in recent years, to favour China’s industrialisation. The profits of rentier businesses have grown amidst precarious work, with a notable increase in informality. Education turned into a business, and poor public-school education has amplified social segregation and delinquency among children and adolescents. Health is daily via Crucis for the poor and the middle classes, while pensioners suffer from the starvation pensions provided by the AFPs.

Corruption is now at the heart of Chilean society. It grew first with the purchase of politicians by big business and then spread to various institutions, including the Carabineros and the Armed Forces. This, together with the individualism of “every man for himself”, have become dominant features of our society.

Young people had to come and tell us that things were not going well in Chile. First the high school students and then the university students. They were the ones who opened the way to rebuild democracy, to make it fuller.

It was these young people who, by jumping over the turnstiles of the Metro and mobilising on 18-O, gave hope to society to build a fairer and more decent country. And then came the women, the environmentalists, the defenders of decentralisation, the settlers, the indigenous people, and the fighters against the AFPs. All of them, under the leadership of the youth, installed the Constitutional Convention, with an overwhelming majority of people who had previously been absent from political life. They are the ones who are now drafting the new Constitution. Politics has been democratised.

The Party of Order is frightened, because the system is in disarray. They fear for their privileges. The economic groups are hurt by the fact that their profits are decreasing. The political class, right-wing and “centre-left”, is uncomfortable with equal rights for women, with the fact that young people are beginning to rule and, above all, with the fact that those who have always been marginalised are now represented in the institutions of the Republic.

This explains why the Constitutional Convention is suffering an atrocious bombardment, similar to that of Ukraine. The right wing, the economic groups, the establishment media, and a centre-left that has turned yellow, are trying to discredit the work of the constituents and are announcing the rejection of the new Constitution.

The convention members have spoken through the agreed norms and announce a new economy, which hurts the de facto. Indeed, the new economy will put an end to the overexploitation of natural resources and aim at diversification. It will put an end to the current subsidiary state and unregulated markets. Constituents understand that only an active state will be able to promote new productive sectors that add value to goods in order to generate quality employment. This is not to the liking of rentiers and environmental predators. The economy will be democratised.

On the other hand, there is an inclusive social proposal. The constituents have proposed to dismantle the wall that divides Chileans. This is the only way to put an end to the anger of those young people who neither study nor work, or those who study in unusable schools. It will also close the doors to crime and drug addiction, which is spreading in marginalised areas. The Constitutional Convention aims at social integration when it proposes a social state based on the rule of law, which also displeases the big businessmen because it would put an end to the commercialisation of health, education and welfare.

The members of the Party of Order are nervous that the Senate will be abolished and replaced by a Chamber of Regions. Nothing so terrible. It fulfills a historical demand for more power in the regions and reduces overwhelming centralism. Nor will they like the anti-corruption article in the draft of the new constitution (Art. 13), which prevents people convicted of crimes against humanity, sexual crimes, domestic violence, and those linked to corruption such as fraud, bribery, bribery and embezzlement of public funds from running for public office.

The 18 October rebellion was a challenge to the inequalities and abuses of the economic model and also to the poor participation of the political system. This is what is now being mandated by the Constitutional Convention, whose responsibility it is to deliver responses to citizens’ demands. The new Constitution is a substantive leap in favour of equality, inclusion and democracy.