Socialist Utopia

Andy Daitsman adaitsma at
Sat Jul 8 13:32:29 MDT 1995

Jerry responding to Tim wrote:

>Tim W. asks some interesting questions:
[stuff gone]
>> A decentralized government body and administration, however, is incapable of
>> defending the gains of the revolution from counterrevolution and
>> administering an industrialized economy and urbanized population?  Right or
>> wrong?
>Even where there is decentralization there can still be a mechanism that
>would allow for coordination.  Relatively autonomous bodies could relate
>to each other in some form of federation.

How about an obscure historical example?  The Mapuche Indians in southern
Chile resisted Spanish conquest for over 300 years, despite never having
formed a central governing authority beyond a loose federation of
chieftainships.  In fact, the one guy who wrote about the subject concluded
that it was precisely the lack of central authority that allowed the
Mapuches to survive.  No central power you could take over and hold.  See RC
Padden, "Cultural Change and Military Resistance in Araucanian Chile,
1550-1730," Southwestern Journal of Anthropology (Spring, 1957), pp.
103-121.  (Araucanian is an alternative name for the Mapuche, and though
Padden's study ends in 1730 the Mapuche were not conquered until the 1870s.)

Not for nothing do I study Chilean history!


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