Miliband on Chile

The previous post reminded me of one of my favourite bits of Ralph Miliband (DSW, #95), from his essay on “The Coup in Chile” published in the surprisingly large 1973 volume of the Socialist Register:

In so far as Chile was a bourgeois democracy, what happened there is about bourgeois democracy, and about what may also happen in other bourgeois democracies. After all, The Times, on the morrow of the coup, was writing (and the words ought to be carefully memorized by people on the Left): “… whether or not the armed forces were right to do what they have done, the circumstances were such that a reasonable military man could in good faith have thought it his constitutional duty to intervene.” Should a similar episode occur in Britain, it is a fair bet that, whoever else is inside Wembley Stadium, it won’t be the Editor of The Times: he will be busy writing editorials regretting this and that, but agreeing, however reluctantly, that, taking all circumstances into account, and notwithstanding the agonizing character of the choice, there was no alternative but for reasonable military men… and so on and so forth.

The quote from the Times is from the leader of 13 September 1973, with Miliband’s emphasis added. The quote from the Register in on p.452.

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