Chile and all of Latin America represent for the author of this monograph a distinct field in the study of comparative politics: neither completely Western nor non-Western, neither completely developed nor underdeveloped. This entire area, furthermore, has been adopting Western technology wholeheartedly, as it once adopted Western political thought and institutions, and has instituted vast programs for industrialization. Complementary reforms in other areas of national life, however, have not been as rapidly promulgated.
Chile is, therefore, representative of this modern phenomena. Industrialization has proceeded and a working class has been created, while traditional Chile (the Church, agriculture, society) has remained relatively unaffected by the changes. The purpose of the monograph, therefore, becomes apparent. The author traces the interplay and impact of the new developments on the institutions of traditional Chile. In doing so the unreality of Chilean political life becomes quite apparent. On the one hand are the Conservatives and Liberals. Both parties represent the wealthy and conservative elements in society. Both parties are aware of the new changes, but they urge greater restraint and support restriction in the organization of state-run industrialization schemes. On the other hand stands FRAP, an alliance of leftist parties created by the new changes. Without the weight of tradition limiting them, they advocate a thorough reorganization and reform of the economic organization of the country. The state should control economic planning and basic industry, agriculture should be revitalized and the latifundio system destroyed, and trade should be expanded by means of economic integration of Latin America and resumption of relations with the Soviet bloc. Caught between these two extremes are the Radical and Christian Democrat parties. The Radicals defend economic intervention by the state and urge development of agriculture. The Christian Democrat program is threefold: attack inflation, allow the natural spiral of wages and prices to work itself out, and create an orderly long-range plan of economic development. As the author ably concludes, “What Chile clearly cannot afford is to continue struggling ahead under a confused, defective, and ineffective political system which has failed to make the adjustment demanded by modern conditions.”