Just out, a poll by the Centro de Estudios de la Realidad Contemporania that asked Chileans an interesting question: should big copper be nationalized? Or to be more precise: “A raíz del conflicto de Anglo American con Codelco han habido gente que plantea la necesidad de nacionalizar las grandes empresas privadas que explotan yacimientos de cobre. Está usted en acuerdo o desacuerdo de nacionalizar las grandes empresas privadas que exploten yacimientos de cobre?”
(“Because of the conflict between Anglo American and Codelco, people have discussed the need to nationalize the big private companies that exploit copper deposits. Do you support or oppose the nationalization of the big private companies that exploit copper deposits?”)
67% in favor, including majorities from every political party. Who would ever have thought that Anglo American could turn Chileans into a bunch of Southern Cone Hugo Chavezes? But don’t worry, remember what Henry Kissinger (supposedly) said the last time such sentiments arose: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.”
More seriously: I think the Anglo item isn’t the main thing here. The groundwork comes from the student movement. As I said months ago:
… the uprising in Chile is leading to a major renaissance of resource nationalism in the country that has long been the continent’s most accommodating to foreign mining companies. I’ll write more about this in the future, but suffice to say that “renationalize the copper” as a panacea for the country’s ills has gone from fringe notion to conventional wisdom in a matter of months.
BONUS: The by far weirdest item in this poll is that they asked whether the killings by the military government (1973-1989) were a necessary evil to avert communism. Most people disagree, but a few agree. Including 5% of people who say they are in the Communist Party.