Chilean Students Riot


Chilean Students Riot

Chile’s youth are out of control, with the blessing of parents and educators, not to mention the Chilean president. This travesty highlights a broad global trend.

Santiago, Chile—This week the city of Santiago, capital of Chile, echoed to the screams of sirens. The air became acrid with the smell of tear gas. The streets of the city center surrounding our hotel were awash as water sprayed from cannons mounted on armored vehicles driven by the national police who worked to limit damage to people and property. Santiago, apart from the lack of significant fires thanks in large part to the water currently spraying through its streets and some timely rain showers, began to look like Paris during last year’s riots.

On Monday afternoon, the shutters went up on many a shop as merchants prepared for anticipated disturbances resulting from calls from the students for a national work stoppage. El Mercurio newspaper reported, “The national work stoppage transformed into a looting and violence scene”—266 were arrested in the capital city, of which 169 were adults, plus 23 police were injured (June 6, translations ours throughout).

Once again, like Paris in 2005, the clamor resounding from the inner core of the Chilean capital emanates from the vocal dissident displays of its youth. There is, however, one difference: the age of the participants. Many of the males do not yet qualify to use a razor. Many of the females sport pigtails. These are high school students.

Many of Santiago’s high schools were closed Monday—significantly, with the willing approval of staff and parents—following student activity building to a head over the previous two weeks. Chilean newspaper National News reported that “hundreds of students in Chile kept pressure on the national authorities in the past fortnight, demanding waiving of bus fares, free university admission tests and an end to the full-day study scheme” (June 5). The paper further reported the widespread support received by the student rebellion, noting that students had “occupied a building in downtown Santiago. The group received the explicit support for their actions from teachers and families” (ibid.).

Chile’s newly elected president, Michelle Bachelet, gained the ire of the student protestors by failing to mention their cause during her presidential address the day following their occupation of the inner city building in Santiago. Perhaps to make up for this, Bachelet went public on June 5 to express sympathy with the students’ frustrations and to condemn the swift response of the police in their actions to limit damage and maximize arrests during the wild student demonstrations.

Demonstration organizers tried to have it both ways by simultaneously claiming that they do not condone violent conduct, while accusing the government of indifference and the police of excessive repression.

In fact, as National News noted, President Bachelet is in a strong position to consider some of the students’ demands as she has inherited “the biggest sack of money any Chilean president has ever had to spend.” This gives her “a tremendous advantage” (ibid.). Bachelet had earlier signaled her willingness to deal with the demands of Chile’s high school students by announcing a considerable increase in expenditure on secondary education. However, as El Mercurio further reported, “The high school students are not happy with the package of measures that she announced last Thursday and which has a cost of close to $200 million for the first two years” (ibid.).

President Bachelet, though she touts a more liberal brand of politics, is shaping up as a kind of Angela Merkel of Chile. Similar to Merkel in Germany, she enjoys widespread support in the community in respect of foreign policy, receiving strong reviews for her recent visit to Austria. She has already entertained high officials from Iran. But just as domestic politics, in particular the German economy, could yet prove to be Merkel’s Achilles heel, domestic politics including endemic social problems and disturbances at home such as the current student riots could be Bachelet’s soft spot. Her initial reactions to the student disturbances already place her on the back foot in this first real challenge to the authority of her leadership.

But what is the real issue here? It is simply a matter of cause and effect. The present student disturbances in Chile bespeak a far wider trend in global society. When we have parents and teachers sympathizing with the actions of law-breaking youth, and a nation’s president castigating the authorities for their attempts to uphold the rule of law in such circumstances, something is deeply wrong with that society.

Anciently, the Prophet Isaiah was inspired to predict that a time would come, in the history of Western civilization, where women and children would rule (Isaiah 3:12). Most significantly that is a prophecy relating to the descendents of Abraham, the bulk of which inhabit the Western democracies, in particular those who claim English as their mother tongue. But just as these nations lead the world in the export of pornography, perverted music and other forms of anti-culture, so it is that, for well over 40 years, these same nations have led the world in miseducation through their marriage and family breakdown. This has now reached a point at which the negative effects of the perverse example of immoral society within these nations have simply rubbed off on many other nations.

It is a fact that much of the world’s youth look to and lust after the false gods of anti-culture, shamelessness and immorality portrayed by Anglo-American entertainers, fashion gurus and celebrities. This has had a drastic effect on many countries which once held monogamous marriage and the family unit in the highest of esteem. The effects of this are what we see in Chile today—a woman rules the nation, and she allows children of high school age to run riot in the streets and then castigates the officials who try to enforce law and order!

What we see in Chile today is actually symptomatic of a global trend: the general breakdown of civilized society.

Since the 1960s, the very best of thinkers have noted the progressive collapse of orderly society within the English-speaking nations. But what we see now is the increasing breakdown of the general social order worldwide. The sad fact is that it all started with those nations that were the leading lights of global civilization during the 18th to the 20th centuries—the British and American peoples and their associated sister democracies—which once shared in common a fixed core of values founded upon an ancient code of law we call the Ten Commandments.

Once, the stability, growth and wealth of the British Empire and the United States were the envy of the world. All other nations wondered at the order and discipline within the countries that the Anglos embraced. Despite the efforts of liberal revisionist historians, with their anti-British and anti-American biases, the recent and well-thought-out, thoroughly researched writings of a number of conservative writers point to the fact that the influence of Victorian Britain was powerful in maintaining social order and stability within the pre-World War i British Empire. Similar arguments have been advanced to explain the moral stability of the U.S. in that era. This phenomenon coincided with the peak of national power once enjoyed by those whom Winston Churchill simply called the English-speaking peoples. The fact is, that was no coincidence! It was simply that code of law, and the en masse, willing submission of those nations to it, that underwrote their greatness!

However, since the great global disruption of World War i, and the entry of women to the workforce in significant numbers, marital division, family disruption and general social disorder have escalated markedly in Anglo-America. There is a profound lesson for us all in the almost 100 years of history that has followed. The results of the increasing feminization of society that has since taken place are there, starkly, for all to see. And this is at the root of Chile’s current student disruption. The very foundation of their education, the family unit, is being split asunder.

Just as has been the case for decades within the U.S., Britain and its dominions, the masculine strength of leadership within Chilean society is waning, and the feminist influence rising. Traditional male authority is sacrificed on the altar of the feminist god. Women and children are taking over the rulership of society. But until the cause of this negative social change is recognized and its detrimental effects admitted, Chilean society is bound to follow in the wake of social breakdown that is progressively contributing to the downfall of Western civilization.

This swelling global tide of societal breakdown must be stemmed; otherwise catastrophe will follow, placing the entire future of the globe at risk. The good news is that the correction of the current negative course of global civilization is imminent! Write for your own copy, free of charge, of our book Mystery of the Ages, and find out how not only Chile’s, but the whole world’s downward social trends will soon be reversed, and the course of all mankind put right on track.

Believe it or not, each and every human being who has ever lived will yet be given the choice of fulfilling their incredible human potential within a globally ordered system of social justice, equity and peace. Unbeknown to the rioting students in Chile, this will be the result of a soon-to-come perfect system of education, the likes of which most of this world has never seen. It is already in process of being established—right here on Earth, today!

Check out our Herbert W. Armstrong College website for a glimpse of the future education system in which the youth of not only Chile, but of the whole world, will some day be very glad and willing participants! Then request your own copy, gratis, of the Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course and begin to learn how you can begin to participate now in that perfect system of education!