Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of Production

Edited by Kees van der Pijl

This Handbook provides a state-of-the-art overview of the changing world of global production. Chapters cover the geography of why and where jobs are moving in both manufacturing and services. The authors discuss topics relating to the human and natural basis on which production rests, from the consequences of exploitation and marginalization on body and mind, to sex work, biotechnology, and the prospects for ecological re-balancing. This Handbook will appeal to academics at all levels interested in political economy, international studies and politics, as well as trade unionists and NGO activists.
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Chapter 12: Paternalism, Taylorism, socialism: the Battle for Production in the Chilean textile industry, 1930–1973

Adam Fishwick


Under the socialist Popular Unity (UP) government of Salvador Allende that ruled Chile from November 1970 to the military coup of General Pinochet of 11 September 1973, the country’s workers engaged in a ‘Battle for Production’, a campaign for vigilance and resolve in the factories against sabotage and efforts by domestic and foreign capital to limit supplies of primary materials and machinery. Pursued most vigorously by the country’s communist party, the Battle for Production marks the culmination of the formation of the working class as a political subject. Workers interpreted it as a mandate not just to protect their workplaces, but also to defend past gains and demand an extension of nationalization and liberation from the stranglehold on the economy by foreign capital. In addition, the campaign fuelled a drive to expand nascent forms of worker control in the ‘industrial belts’ (cordones industriales). Thus the Battle for Production came to symbolize the radicalization of a working class seeking to transform both their workplaces and the political order.

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