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The Evolution of a Chilean Socialist: Marmaduke Grove Author(s): Jack Ray Thomas Reviewed work(s): Source: The Hispanic

American Historical Review, Vol. 47, No. 1 (Feb., 1967), pp. 22-37 Published by: Duke University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2511539 . Accessed: 17/03/2013 13:58
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ofa ChileanSocialist: The Evolution Grove Marmaduke


JACK RAY THOMAS

fromseveral small N APRIL 19, 1933, representatives reformparties met in the Municipal Theater at Santiago to create the Socialist Party of Chile. Five in organizationhad grownsufficiently years later this heterogeneous numbers and resources to play a leading role in the formationof In this formative Pedro Aguirre Cerda's Popular Front government. period the party leadership consisted not of doctrinaire socialists inspiredby Karl Marx but ratherof men devoted to welfare statism. socialist was Typical of this breed of non-Marxian,nontheoretical senator from Colonel Marmaduke Grove Vallejo, career army officer, Santiago, and secretarygeneral of the Socialist Party. Chilean socialism prior to 1933 developed slowly with frequent crises and agonizing reverses. It evolved from and later complewhich had expanded rapidly after the mentedthe labor movement, turn of the centuryunder the bold leadership of Luis Emilio Recabore fruitwiththe establishment barren. In 1909 Recabarren's efforts Workers' Chile (FOCH), and in 1912 he orFederation of of the Both groups were initially Party. Socialist Workers' the ganized relations with the public "cultivate amicable moderate,designed to while adhering closely to the authorities, powers and administrative Yet a few years later the workersabanspirit of the statutes. . . doned these principles and openly embraced Marxism. In 1922 the International, Socialist Workers' Party voted to join the Communist were in positionsof power in FOCH.1 and by 1925 Communists Meanwhile, many Chileans who sought social and economic advancement refused to accept the alliance with communism. Disillusioned socialists formed a number of political parties, but they in national political warfare. For a few years all proved ineffective each of these parties went its own way until finallyit became clear
* The author is Assistant Professor of History at Bowling Green State University. Research for this article was made possible by a grant from the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Foundation. 1 Alberto Edwards Vives and Eduardo Frei Montalva, !istoria de los partidos chilenos (Santiago, 1949), 158.

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to the various leaders that socialism could succeed in Chile only throughthe concertedaction of a single party. Once this idea was accepted, it was only a short step to the creation of the Socialist Party in 1933. Marmaduke Grove was a leader in the socialist unification movement. As a youthin 1891 he became enmeshed in the Congressionalist rebellion against President Jose Manuel Balmaceda, when governmenttroopsimprisoned his fatherfor outspokencriticism of the Balmaceda government.Infuriated,the young Grove attemptedto join the rebel army in Copiap6, his home town. As he was leaving with the troops,however,his mothertook him fromthe train because he was only thirteenyears old. Anotherimpulsiveact of Grove's formative years occurredat the Naval Academy, which expelled him in 1894 for participationin a student revolt against the school directors. Undaunted, Grove managed to gain admittanceto the Military Academy in Santiago and subsequentlygraduated with the rank of second lieutenant. Even as an army officer he failed to curb his impetuosity, and he could never really accept the regimentation of a militarylife. On occasion he verbally assailed his superiors,and at one point he openly chalFor a time Grove lenged orders given him by a general staffofficer. escaped expulsion only because other officers indulged in the same activitieswithoutfear of punishment.Discipline had brokendown in the Chilean army after the loss of dedicated officers in the War of the Pacific and the defectionof the navy and some army units from the Balmaceda government in the 1891 insurrection. Grove's outspoken attitude and his desire for quick action led him into several insurrectionsand finally did cost him his commission, though not until he had risen to the rank of colonel and had served for thirty years. Even dismissal fromthe service did not alter his personality, his and he remained a volatile, impulsive man of action throughout life. Grove came to socialism by a digressive and implausible route. From his father,a leading memberof the Radical Party in Copiap6, he early learned to identifyhimselfwith the aspirationsof the rising middle classes. Later, when his professiontook him to William II's Germanyon a militarymission,he appeared to espouse a more conservativeprogram. Friends noted that Grove admired the order,the discipline,and political stabilitywhich he felt characterizeda monarchical government.2Upon his return to Chile, however, Grove
2 CAtmara de Senadores, Sesiones ordinaries, May 28, 1934, 119.

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thoughhe could concernedwith social problems, becameincreasingly not accept a genuinelysocialist solution. In 1927, during an extended tour of duty in Europe as militaryattache, he praised the English political systemfor sincerelyrespectingpersonal liberties,in sharp in Chile.3 With he said, with the prevailinglack of freedom contrast, and the passage of years,then,Grovevacillated betweenconservatism liberalism. There is no evidence that he accepted socialism prior of the short-livedSocialist Republic of Chile to the establishment in 1932. On several occasions before 1932 Grove expressed deep concern for the unhappy lot of Chile's lower classes. In the 1920 presidential electionhe openly supportedthe reformcandidate, Arturo Alessandri Palma; again in 1924 he aligned himselfwith a group of who bitterlyresented congressionalapathy toward the army officers economic problems of the poor.4 Staging a barracks revolt, they forced congressto pass the social legislation which Alessandri had body for four years. vainly urged upon that conservative-dominated he attemptedto insurrection, part in this took no Although Grove conduct in a series of articles published justify his brotherofficers' in the Santiago newspaper, La Nacwn. By nature sanguine and benefiting idealistic, Grove believed that social and political reforms, not only the lower classes but the middle and upper segmentsof society as well, would inevitablyaccompany a militaryuprising. A healthy, progressive economy, he asserted, meant prosperity for capitalists and workersalike.5 In La Nacwin Grove repeatedlyurged electoral reformsin order to reduce the notoriousvotingfrauds. To combatthe prevalentabuses systemincludof multiplevotinghe proposed a uniformregistration cards with photographs and fingerprints.Grove ing identification also pointed to the necessityfor a national civil service reform. Far too many governmentpositions went to incompetentor untrained individuals, he wrote, solely because of their political and family connections. He suggested institutingon the national level an administrativemethod which had been employed successfullyat the Military School. Aptitude tests should be given to all aspirants,and the job first. He the person with the highestscore should be offered
3 Marmaduke Grove, Toda la verdad (Buenos Aires, 1929), 55. ' Marmaduke Grove, " Las elecciones del afo 20 y la ' movilizaci6n de D. Ladislao! '," Claridad (Santiago), February 12, 1938. La Naci6n (Santiago), October 6 Marmaduke Grove, " Sepamos esperar," 4, 1924.

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believed that this system,if conscientiouslyemployed,would not only eliminatecorruptionbut also improvethe caliber and efficiency workers.6 of government In the weeks immediately following the military revolt, the government-which had forced Alessandri into officer-dominated within its own ranks. To restore the opposition exile-developed unityof purpose Grove urged a united militaryfrontagainst officers' the forcesof political reaction. In his view the militarygovernment services; had a fourfoldobjective: (1) to cleanse the administrative so as constitution the (3) to revise reform; fiscal inaugurate (2) to and of majority Chileans; to the acceptable to make the government finally(4) to adopt laws which would ease the plight of the laboring who wished to create classes. Grove believed that all militaryofficers a progressivenation would support this program.7 and their more By Novembera clash betweenthe youngerofficers conservativesuperiors appeared imminent. After the overthrowof had President Alessandri in September the revolutionaryofficers the Government Junta, composed formedtwo separate organizations, who actually administeredthe of three older, conservativeofficers and the Military Junta, made up of several younger government, who acted only as advisers. Predictably,frictiondeveloped officers became suspibetweenthe two organizations,as the youngerofficers cious of their superiors and jealous of their predominantrole in the also favored more liberal policies, government.The youngerofficers and they resented the GovernmentJunta's obvious drift toward conservatism. Grove himselfbegan to doubt the liberal nature of this professed reformmovement; for to his surprise and displeasure the ruling did not appear as concernedwith social justice as he had committee when the ConservaHis suspicions seemed to be confirmed expected. Temporarily, tive Party openly supportedthe militarygovernment.8 however,Grove chose to cling to his illusions concerningthe GovernmentJunta, and he attemptedto persuade the public-and perhad no desire to govern haps himselftoo-tthat his fellow officers Chile in a dictatorialfashion. Once again using the columns of La in the military Naeion, he asked the countryto retain its confidence
Grove, "Reforma indispensable," La Naci6n, October 7, 1924. 'Marmaduke Grove, "La uni6n hace la fuerza," La Naci6n, November 11, 1924 and Marmaduke Grove, " Serk necesario levantar una horca . . . ," La Nacion, November 6, 1924. La Naci6n, November 8 Marmaduke Grove, " Declaraciones sospechosas," 20, 1924.
oMarmaduke

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organizationand assured the Chilean people that it had nothingto fear fromits leaders.9 Soon after this, however, Grove learned that the Government Junta had pledged support to a Conservativecandidate in a forthcomingpresidentialelection. This alarming announcement convinced him and otherofficers of fieldgrade that they must now wrestpower fromtheir superiors. Late in December the Government Junta precipitateda revoltby dissolvingthe subordinategroup withoutprevious noticeor even a satisfactory explanation. This peremptory action provoked the military insurrection of January 23, 1925, led by Major Carlos Iba'nez del Campo and Lieutenant Colonel Grove. Aftertheir successfulrevolt Iba'nez assumed the post of minister of war while Grove was appointed chief of the air force.10Using his new post as a stepping stone, Iba'nez became the virtual dictator of Chile in 1927. As part of a policy designed to eliminateopposition Iba'nez named Grove militaryattache to France and England. Once in Europe Grove joined a group of Chilean expatriates,led by exPresident Arturo Alessandri, in a conspiracy against the Iba'nez regime. Participation in this plot led Grove to think more in revolutionarytermsand to examine more closelythe problemof military in politics. Curiously, he was not concerned with the intervention but he feared harm such action might do to the civil government, insteadits ill effects upon the armed forces. "I wish," he wrote,"that destiny would permit the armed forces to remain . . . outside the political struggles that divide and malign, perseveringin its professionaltasks that serve to unite and dignify."" But Grove himselfcould not remain aloof frompolitics. He confor its arbitraryrule and its tinued to attack the Iba'nez government tramplingof civil liberties,while, at the same time,he lashed out at politiciansin general for their errorsin judgment,their corruption, his and theirlack of patriotism.He wrotelettersto Iba'nez protesting erstwhileco-conspirator 's policies; he wrote letters to friends condemning Iba'nez; and he made his unfavorableviews known to the press. Finally exasperated, Iba'nez charged Grove with complicity in the Alessandri conspiracyand in August 1928 sent to the Senate a request for Grove's dismissal from the service. When the Senate
9 Marmaduke Grove, " No hay por qu6 alarmarse," La Nacion, December 8, 1924. 10Ej6reito de Chile, Comando en Jefe, Direcci6n del Personal, Datos Biogrdficos del ex-coronel (F) Don Marmadulke Grove Vallejos [sic], Santiago, November 3, 1961 (Mimeographed). " Grove, Toda la verdad, 20.

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approved this proposal Grove found himself stranded in Europe with no means of support.12 One of the charges leveled against Grove at the time of his expulsion was that of Communistsympathiesand activity,a charge whichwould be repeated with great success four years later. In 1928, when the issue firstarose, Grove flatlydenied any association with the CommunistParty, adding pointedlythat he had frequentlydenounced its political philosophy. In his own defense he wrote: "It is a very currenterror . . . to view the supportersof workerbetterment as enemies of capitalists, when on the contrary,worker organizationswill produce . . . the greatestunderstandingamong the two great currentsof humanity-Labor and Capital-without whose Such commonaccord all social work would be ephemeral. ..."13 thoughtsillustrate Grove's political philosophyat this stage of his career. He was obviously neither a communistnor a socialist, alhimselfto a programby which thoughby this timehe had committed the plight of Chile's lower classes could be eased. Althoughfavoring of Chile's political he did not advocate the destruction social reform, his countryboth system,but sought instead reformsto strengthen politicallyand economically. Had the socialists been more attractive during these years they mighthave lured Grove into a more active but the bickeringamong the small parties only role in the movement, repelled him. In the early 1930s, however,Grove moved even closer to socialism. His cordial relationshipwith Eugenio Matte, founder of the New Public Action Party, and probably the most influentialChilean socialistof his time,hastenedGrove's drifttowardthe socialist camp. At the same time socialists were beginningto put aside their differMarxian phrases became commonplace. ences,and talk of unification now appeared in Grove's writings and, after his election to the Senate in 1934, in his speeches as well. He remainedessentiallyan exponentof welfarestatism,however, and constantlysought methods to incorporate the army into his schemes for social reform. As early as 1918, while a general staff Grovehad proposeddividingthe cityof Santiago into sections, officer, and men would contribute each with its own militaryunit. Officers their sections and generally look food to needy children living in after the unfortunate. This humanitarian idea died in infancy, Grove to the Escuela Militar primarilybecause the armytransferred
12

13

Ibid., 117. Ibid., 124.

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at beforehe could initiatehis plan.'4 In companywith otherofficers poorest the of list a the militaryschool, however,Grove procured childrenattendingpublic schoolsin the vicinityof the militaryestablishment.Since theseschoolslacked facilitiesto providewarmlunches, the military school served the children food purchased with contributionsfromsoldiers and civilians workingin the area.15 Throughoutthe 1920s and early 1930s Grove continued to look to the armed forces for social and political leadership, emphasizing of affairsshould be at the same time that the actual administration left in civilian hands.-'s Perhaps for this reason he did not hesitate in 1932, which led to to use the Air Force to launch an insurrection the so-called Socialist Republic of Chile. The movementseemed to of Chilean society; yet within twelve promisea genuine reformation junta corps had shiftedits allegiance to a conservative days the officer and shipped Grove offinto exile on Easter Island. Languishingin the South Pacific with his fellow exile Matte and disillusionedby his betrayal,Grove finallyrealized that only broadly based civilian support could bring about the needed reforms. From that moment,he worked to build a powerful political organization of socialism in Chile. Grove's efforts, dedicated to the establishment along with the work of many others,led to the formationof the Socialist Party of Chile in April 1933. Once unified,the party no longer placed faith in the militaryas a vehicle for reformbut relied now on legal processesto achieve its objectives. With party support Grove himselfmanaged to win a Senate seat in 1934. As a Socialist, Grove resented the communistlabel his brother had fixed upon him, a label which,he asserted,was nothing officers sought to justify his unmore than an excuse by which the officers were chiding Grove opponents political 1936 warranted exile.17 By denied, arguing he indignantly which attitude, his antimilitary for
that "companions in arms . . . know that Marmaduke Grove would

never do anything that could be termed detrimentalto the professional dignity of our armed institutions.'8 To prove his good will Grove continually brought before congress matters which he consideredessential for militaryprogress. On one occasion, when a
14

1938.

Marmaduke Grove, " Acci6n social del ejercito," Claridad, February 10,

CIarifuerzas armadas al servicio de los nifios," 1 Marmaduke Grove, "Las dad, February 17, 1938. 6 Alberto Alzamora, "IEntrevista con Grove," Hoy, November 26, 1936, 17. 17 Carlos Barella, " No proclamo el derecho a la venganza, dice Grove," Zig-Zag, November 5, 1932, 4. 18 Alzamora, Hoy, November 26, 1936, 17.

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of a new cavalry school, Grove debate raged over the construction voted against the proposal on the grounds that the site chosen was too far fromSantiago. He argued that such a move would create a hardshipfor the men and their families,while the school's establishmentin an isolated area would deprive the cadets of cultural opportunitiesunavailable outside Santiago.1'9From his Senate seat Grove frequentlypleaded for financial benefitsfor retired military personnelwith inadequate pensions. As ministerof national defense during the short-livedSocialist to implement Republic Grovehad had an unprecedentedopportunity socialistdoctrines.Yet the regimedid not establisha socialist system, and its only notable change was an attemptto aid the lower classes of the existing political structure. The govwithin the framework ernmenthad earlier institutedthe Caja de Credito Popular, which grantedcash loans to individuals,takingas collateralhouseholdgoods, clothing,tools, or indeed, almost any personal possession. When the full force of the 1929 worldwidedepressionstruck,many people deposited as security the very implementswith which they earned theirlivelihood. Without these tools they could not obtain work,and withouta job they could not raise money to redeem their tools. To remedythis situation Decree Law 15 ordered the agency to return itself would equipmentleft as collateral on loans. The government then assume the responsibilityfor unsupported loans.20 By acts that he had no insuch as these Grove unmistakablydemonstrated tentionof establishinga socialist government.Instead, he centered seekingthrough on the conditionof the underprivileged, his attention legislationto amelioratetheirpovertyand suffering. After the fall of the Socialist Republic, Grove remained on Easter Island for about four months,returningas a presidential candidate on electionday, October 31, 1932. Though he failed in his he nevertheless made a strongshowing, placing bid forthe presidency, in candidates. second behind Arturo Alessandri a fieldof five Following his defeat at the polls, Grove worked for the socialist carried out his military as he had formerly cause as enthusiastically tact and a conciliatory required considerable duties. Politics,however, nature,neitherof which Grove possessed to any marked degree. He because of his caustic soon ran afoul of the Alessandri government agents took him into custody and unrelentingcriticism. Government while he was on a speaking tour in the south and sent him into exile harsh, on Melinka Island. Because the Melinka climatewas extremely
9 20

Camara de Senadores, Sesiones extraordinarias,November 15, 1934, 524-526. Contralorfa General de la Repuoblica, Recopilaci6n de decretos eyes, 1932.

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Grove petitionedfor a transferto Easter Island. The government recognizedhis plight and moved him not to Easter Island but to a prisonin Santiago for reasons of health. Meanwhilethe senatorfrom Santiago died in office, and the Socialist Party nominatedGrove as its candidate in the special election. Finally, on the day of his release from prison, the people of Santiago elected him their representativeto the Senate. In his maiden speech, anxiously awaited by both friends and Groveannouncedthat Chilean socialismhad as its primary detractors, objective the "profound and revolutionarytransformation of our economicand political life. . . ." Citing H. G. Wells, Grove pointed out that social revolutionsdo not arise fromplots and conspiracies but constituteinstead symptoms of social distress. He argued: "So long as profoundsocial maladies are not remedied,so long as there is no solution put forth for Chile's economic and political ills, no one can speak of order . . . as our plutocracydoes. But the Socialist Party, in its program,accepts as a basic point the confrontation and solution, with revolutionarymethods, of Chile's problems. With Marxismas its guide, the party will solve the economic, political,and social problemsthat confrontus. "21 These problems,Grove believed, stemmedin part fromthe very nature of capitalism,which divided societyinto two groups,the rich and the poor. With the passage of time this division had sharpened, particularlyin Chile. The few who exploitedthe bulk of the population traditionallyencounteredno opposition,he said, since Chile's lower classes had inherited a servile mentality. Confrontedwith such a challenge,the Socialist Party promised to unite intellectual and manual workersin an effort to constructa socialist state. Towould pursue theirgoal but only throughpeacegetherthese elements ful acts, forsakingviolence and bloodshed.22 During his early years in the Senate Grove frequentlydeplored the lack of civil liberties in Chile, particularly among reformelements. When Alessandri became presidenta second time in 1932, he immediatelyabandoned the ideals which had guided his firstterm. Instead of advocating additional social reformhe joined with more conservativeelements and concentratedon the restoration of political stability after eight years of anarchy and dictatorship. To achieve this end he drastically curtailed civil liberties and dealt severely with his opponents,particularly Grove and the socialists. Greatlydisappointed in Alessandri, Grove argued that the presi21
22

Ca6mara de Senadores, Sesiones ordinarias, May 23, 1934, 98. Ibid., 100.

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dent had falsely accused his supporters of communismand had alienated the majority of Chileans by organizingforces outside the menlaw, such as the Republican Militia, to combatthis nonexistent Grove insisted, were using Alessandri, and ace. The conservatives, need for his services,theywould drive him whentheyhad no further from office. Grove promised to support Alessandri, the constitutionallyelected president,wheneverhe mightbe attacked. He asked only that Alessandri guarantee freedomin the subsequent election, that he dissolveillegal armed forces,especiallythe Republican militia, "23 and that he grant to socialists "plain and simple liberties. One of Grove's greatestfears was that Alessandriwould refuseto restorefree elections. For two years Grove hammeredaway at the necessityfor open balloting. By late 1936 he was apparently convinced that Alessandri would permit unrestrictedvoting and, of greater importance,that the president would abide by the will of the electorate. But, at the same time, political persecutions conas police arrestedsocialists and comthe country, tinued throughout munists,imprisoningsome and deportingothers. Participants in a railroad strikeremainedin jail while their case went to the Supreme Court, despite a lower court decision grantingthem freedom. Still the countrywere held in custodywithoutspecific othersthroughout Of such conditions charges,in clear violationof their civil liberties.24 Grovewrotein the socialist weeklyConsigna and in a national magazine: "Two roads are open to us-one of force, . . . the other of continuesin its unnecessary repression, legality.... If the government will be imposed; if it respectsthe law and guarantees surely the first the rightsof citizens,the second will carry us to triumph."25 harassed the socialists in the mid-thirties, While the government attacks came also fromthe Chilean Nazi Party. In the Senate Grove protestedthat the activities of the National Socialist movementin Chile had been marked by destructionof private propertyand loss of life. He pointed out that in 1934 the Nazis assaulted participants at a socialist rally, leaving one dead and several wounded. A year later Nazis in Concepcion murdered a socialist leader in his own
Alzamora, Boy, November 26, 1936, 22. Camara de Senadores, Sesiones extraordinarias, March 24, 1936, 203. 25 "Grove explica el origen de algunos acontecimientos. . . ," Boy, February 26, 1936, 10. The day following the publication of these lines the government announced that it would convene congress and request extraordinary faculties, citing as one reason the words of Grove which the governmentcharged threatened the use of force to gain power. Boy maintained that this was a deliberate misinterpretationof Grove's words, demonstratingthat the governmentdid not wish to respect civil rights.
23Alberto
24

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home,while in May 1936 they attacked the sellers of Consigna, intheir papers. Throughall this his party juring themand destroying them offered refusedto retaliate,he said, even thoughthe government no protection.26 While Grove carried the socialist cause to the Senate and to the nation,he workedwithinthe party to gain more influence. By 1934 he achieved some success, becoming one of the top party leaders. position Grove's speeches now turned Because of his more influential on several occasions to philosophical socialist arguments, and he began to examine his own brand of socialism. Earlier, before his electionto the Senate, he said: "To seek an absolute social equality a biological absurdity. It cannot be. It must not be. is an absurdity, Yet, I know that to all it is necessaryto give the same possibilities. Great, intelligentmen have been born in destitutionand poverty. Some managed to overcome it: Michelet, the French historian, almost died of hunger at nine. At fortyhe was a light as brightas the EiffelTower. How many more Micheletshave gone undiscovered because they had not the means? '27 How were these "possibilities" for everyoneto be attained? For Grove, as for other socialists,the root of the problem could be found in economics. If economic equality could be achieved,he felt,the otherinequalities would soon disappear. Therefore, the Chilean oligarchy, along with British mustbe forcedfrompower and their and NorthAmericancompanies, holdings nationalized. This would end the exploitation of Chilean labor and bring dignity as well as a higher standard of living to Chilean workers.28 A related matterof even greater consequencefor Grove was the agrarian problem. For him it was the "touchstone of future struggles." Some two thousand familieshad inheriteda manorial mentalhe said. ity from the colonial days of the Spanish encomenderos, attitude: this to alter be taken Now steps should men, and men The SocialistParty does not want land to exist without is happroduction system thatin thepresent land. It understands without and the benefits . . . have not received hazardand that small proprietors The Socialist Partywillhelp . . . these theyare entitled. to which assistance in and created wealth;it will be inflexible who have struggled individuals theland to thosewho workit. . . . The great to deliver its greatstruggle wagesand makeof the campesino a are thosewhopay starvation destroyers some and who receives cracker who eats an unwholesome beast of burden
26
28

27Carlos Barella, Zig-Zag, November 5, 1932, 4.

Catmara de Senadores, Sesiones ordinaries, June 15, 1936, 386.

Cdmara de Senadores, Sesiones ordinarias, May 3, 1934, 101.

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to the greedy all his efforts few centavos as salaryafterhavingdelivered


patr6n.29

Part of the agrarian problem,as Grove saw it, was the nature of credit in Chile. Credit, he maintained,had been created to benefit the poor and humble of society,but it had quickly deterioratedinto at the expense of a means by which the wealthyenrichedthemselves the entire economy. Through this unintendeduse of credit a false prosperity had developed which endangered Chile's economicstructure. At the same time misuse of credit aided in creating a malof wealth and an attitude among those in power which distribution enabled them to ignore the fact that many Chileans were deprived of the necessitiesof life. All in all, the rural Chilean worker,like existed on the fringeof Chilean life, denied even his urban brother, the barest essentials in a system dominatedby those who possessed power and privilege.30 Grove's solution to these problems was an economic overhaul. As a step in this directionhe proposed the creationof a government agency in charge of wheat and related crops. The agency would bo empoweredto buy all the wheat produced in the countryat a fixed price, thus eliminatingthe middle man who elevated the price paid by the consumer. The same agency would expropriatethe principal mills and bakeries, thereby controllingboth flour and breadstuffs. All this would be financedby the state with the consumer as the major beneficiary.3' Four years later Grove set forth his ideas in a more detailed fashion in his proposed agrarian reformlaw. In his speech to the Senate introducingthe proposal he argued that his bill, if enacted, would utilize the land to its fullest capacity and, at the same time, provide jobs for the greatestpossible numberof workers. Moreover, of it would be a step in the directionof a completetransformation structureof Chile. This alone would be of imthe socio-economic mense value since the old traditional concept of a privileged few In addition and an underprivileged majority would be destroyed.32 in Chile, he believed. First the law would have three positive effects it would prevent anyone capable of workingthe land fromrenting his acreage for profit. Next it would expropriate and make productive all lands not cultivated,therebyending agricultural underproduction,one of Chile's greatest economic problems. Finally the
29 Ibid.,
30
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May 23, 1934, 100. Ibid. CaOmara de Senadores, Sesiones extraordinarias,January 16, 1935, 1517. COmara de Senadores, Sesiones ordinaries, August 29, 1939, 1715.

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law would enable vast numbers of people to find employmentin rural areas, not as near-serfsbut rather as dignified,productive workingmen.33 This measure followed Grove's other proposals into oblivion, as the traditional parties controlled more than enough yotes to preventsuch radical legislation. Along with agrarian reform,Grove believed that if the nation were to progress,the educational systemwould have to be reconstithey would then tuted. If the masses could be educated, he thought, see clearly the inequality and miseryof society and bring pressure upon the state for change or, betterstill, elect a socialist government whichwould make the needed reforms. Grove had always been interestedin education,both withinhis own familyand at the national level. He lectured his children, particularly his sons, on the advantages of education for the individual and for the nation.34After his electionto the Senate Grove's interestin education deepened. In debate on the 1935 budget he deplored the extensive amount of moneyspent by the Ministriesof Justice and Interiorfor protection of the governmentfrom subversion and violence, while public instructionreceived a minimalamount,even thoughmore than a third of the population remained illiterate.35 In the followingsession he had ignored education, that facilities charged that the government were lacking, and that teachers were underpaid and undertrained. In emphasizinghis point Grove declared that six or seven students while each month forced to share a single textbook, were sometimes teachersspent a portionof their paltry salaries to furnishwashroom materialsfor whichthe schoolbudget providedno funds.36 As an initial step to end these miserableconditionsGrove recomthousandmore teachers mendedfivethousandnew schools and fifteen along with funds for the purchase of needed teachingmaterials. But he recognized this as only a partial solution. Adults as well as childrenmust be educated. A large segmentof the population which the governmentcompletelyignored had never had the opportunity to attend school. In the entire countrythere were only thirty-three teachers,he said. Grove insisted night schools staffedby sixty-two
Letter, Marmaduke Grove to his son Marmaduke, Paris, December 12, 1q28. This and other personal letters belonging to Grove are in the possession of Grove's brother Hugo, who now lives in Vifia del Mar, Chile. 6 CaGmarade Senadores, Sesiones extraordinarias, November 26, 1934, 695. It is significantthat Grove chose to cite two ministries which received a large portion of the budget but omitted mention of the military which also ranked high in its budgetary share. By this omission Grove's fondness for the military was once again clearly illustrated. " Camara de Senadores, Sesio'nes ordinaries, June 25, 1935, 581.
14 33

Ibid., 1724.

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that provision should be made to educate these adults along with their children and therebyattack the illiteracy problem from two directions.37 Grove regarded education as a means not only to improvethe lot of the individual but also as a methodto furtherthe socialist cause. Through educational institutionsstaffedwith socialists the Chilean youthwould be subjected to socialist dogma, he asserted,and would become believers. Of course, education would also prepare those who would be technicians and specialists in the economy of the future. Nor could anyone deny education's cultural advantage, he felt. Moreover,Grove saw in academic traininga means to generate nationalismamong his countrymen.While he attemptedto unite the worker parties of Latin America and occasionally spoke of international cooperation,Grove believed that Chile should stand above all other countriesin its cultural endeavors. Education alone could make this possible.38 Although he recognizedthe need for reformin the educational systemand cried out for civil liberties,Grove himself drew a nice for propaganda betweenextensiveuse of communications distinction of the public. and forthe enlightenment purposesand thoughtcontrol, In 1936 he announcedthat the Socialist Party, once in power,would controlall means of cultural propaganda such as movies,radio, and theaterbecause these provided the most efficient methodof educating public opinion. Yet Grove did not look upon such action as conwith civil liberties. He argued: "The controlof the press and flicting of the means of propaganda will be realized preferablyas an instrument of culture. Freedom of thought and expression will be rethe widest revolutionary tolerance spected to the end of permitting and interestof the workers." In addition Grove advocated reorganiof the servicesof libraries, zation and enlargement and museumsand the creation of cultural missions. Education and cultural advancementwould be the exclusivefunctionof the state.39 As a socialist, Grove deplored capitalism and exalted collectivization. He demandeda societyin which all men would possess dignity. Yet his overridingconcern was not with theoreticalprinciples,but with the immediate problems faced by Chile's unfortunate. He directedhis energy toward amelioratingthe conditionof the lower theirrights. Consequently, classes while,at the same time,protecting he spent little time in a conscious attemptto build a philosophyof
3"Ibid.,
38

580.

39

Ibid.

CAmara de Senadores, Sesiones extraordinarias,April 14, 1936, 321.

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socialism,freelyadmittingthat his knowledgeof Marx was limited and his understandingof Marxian socialism infinitesimal.40 however,by the English Fabian Grove was stronglyinfluenced, Socialist, H. G. Wells. He read much of Wells' work and quoted when he found that his own views approximated fromit frequently, withWells in one fundamentthe Wellsian approach. Yet he differed al area-the role of the militaryin society. While the Fabians inflexiin politics,Grove was confident-at bly opposed militaryinterference could bring about least until 1932-that the militaryestablishment the desired social reforms. The unhappy experiencewith his fellow after the collapse of the Socialist Republic tempered this officers view, but Grove retained his fondnessfor Chile's armed services to the end of his life. Although Grove's socialism centered in practical problems,he accustomedto compolitician. A militaryofficer was an ineffectual mand, he was too oftenimpatientwith diplomaticlanguage and conis an integral part ciliation. He never understoodthat compromise of political life. Yet he enjoyed great popularity with the people, who identifiedeasily with this romantic figure-the participant in exile on Easter so many military revolts,a man who had suffered Island, and who had been elected to the Senate while confinedto jail in Santiago. Few Chileans had lived so adventurousa life, and attractedto his colorfulpersonality. a large numberfound themselves As the journalist Tancredo Pinochet put it, he was a symbolicbanner around which Chile's poor could rally.4' UnfortunatelyGrove's habitual concern with the poor and the The record of also reduced his political effectiveness. uninfluential Senate activity in the 1930s shows Grove's many attemptsto gain redress for retired military men, for people living in substandard pornowho ran afoul of the government's housing,or for a bookseller graphic laws. He was often preoccupied with trivial mattersof no interestto such an august body as the Chilean senate but vital to those involved. It is largely for this reason that Salvador Allende, current leader of Chilean Socialism, could remark upon Grove's that death in 1954 that the Senator was a humanist: "He understood at the base of all social problemswas man-the concreteman, . . . and hopes. . . . Thus for [Grove] socialthe man who works,suffers,
40 In his ignorance of Marxism Grove was not alone. Oscar Waiss, a Chilean communist turned socialist, wrote that the socialist leadership in the 1930s was not concerned with philosophical principles, but was preoccupied with practical problems. Oscar Waiss, El drama socialists (Santiago, 1948), 25-26. 41 Asies (Santiago), May 13, 1938.

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of socialismlive in men.... " 42 because the elements ismwas humanism Though he failed to secure congressionalapproval for social reform laws, Grove's activities in the Senate did serve to unite the and to publicize their plight. In the midst of the underprivileged battle against poverty,squalor, and misery he reacted much as a with the immediateprobwho must deal first beleagueredcommander lem and afterwardthink in terms of a long-range,more profound plan. Grove handled or tried to handle the immediate difficulty, findingtime only on rare occasions to explore the theoreticaland philosophical answers to the overall problems of Chilean society. the rapid growth of the Socialist Party in the 1930s Nevertheless, owed much to this man. Neither an accomplishedpolitician nor an advanced thinker,Marmaduke Grove Vallejo was instead a friend, protector,and spokesman for all the anonymous,little people of Chile who had for too long seemed unimportantto politicians and intellectuals.
42

COmara de Senadores, Sesiones extraordinarias,May 18, 1954, 2204.

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