In his Sept. 19 Point of View essay “Selling the snake oil of austerity to Americans,” Jeffrey Bortz dishonors the memory of thousands of Chileans murdered, and tens of thousands tortured, by the Pinochet government. To compare the current policies of N.C. state government, whether born of ignorance or malice, to the repression of Pinochet is absurd.
Any person who frets about N.C. voter ID laws knows nothing about voter suppression. If there is any lesson for Americans in the horror of Pinochet’s rise to power it is this: Understand the motivations of those entrenched in government, corporate media or academia and question the simplicity of the “truths” they espouse.
How can someone witness, indeed experience, the terrorism of Pinochet only to return to the United States without a studied glance back? How can this professor of history have the audacity to acknowledge his ignorance of key participants in the Pinochet regime until “a few years ago”? The involvement of the U.S. State Department, CIA, University of Chicago and the Ford Foundation has been described in detail for more than 30 years.
We are threatened less by the clumsy stupidity of state government than by self-absorption.