G. Warren Nutter and Chile

In 1969, Warren Nutter left the University of Virginia Department of Economics to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Nixon administration. During his time in the Defense Department, Nutter was deeply involved in laying the groundwork for a military coup against the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende. Although Nutter left the Pentagon several months before the successful 1973 coup, his role in the ascendance of the Pinochet regime was far more direct than the better-known cases of Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, and Arnold Harberger. This paper describes Nutter’s role in Chile policy planning and generating a “coup climate.” It shows how Nutter’s criticisms of Henry Kissinger are grounded in his economics, and compares and contrasts Nutter with other economists who have been connected to Pinochet’s dictatorship.

That is a new paper by Daniel Peter Kuehn.  You should note that Friedman and Buchanan have a truly scant connection to Pinochet and the coup (Harberger I do not know, Hayek was too skeptical of democracy in his thinking and informal remarks later in his life).


It sounds like G. Warren Nutter deserves a joint nobel prize in economics and peace for helping to save Chile.

Seems like 3,065 Chileans disagreed - they likely did not find themselves better off dead for being red.

How do you know that they all disagreed? I heard they got free helicopter rides.

Salvador Allende's best friend was Cuba's Castro. Ask Cubans how many Castor killed. How many would have died if Salvador Allende had stayed in power?

OTOH Chile is now a pretty stable prosperous country, unlike Venezuela for instance where the socialists did win a democratic election but didn't get deposed. Generally adults realize that principles are important (democracy is good) but so are outcomes.

'Generally adults realize that principles are important (democracy is good) but so are outcomes.'

As noted by another Schreibtischtäter - “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.” —Henry Kissinger, June 27, 1970

Allende was "democratically elected" by a mere 36% of the vote, and proceeded to unconstitutionally rule by decree in defiance of the laws of Chile.

By comparison, Hitler was a paragon of democratic legitimacy; he actually won legislative approval to rule by decree and a majority in a popular plebecite.

And what percentage of the votes did Pinochet win before Allende's death?

Realpolitik is a normal part of international relations, but please, attempting to say that a coup is justified by saying that an elected president was not elected in sufficiently democratic fashio is a bit embarrassing - Kissinger would not approve.

Did you just miss the second half of the sentence?

This is after Hitler brought in his thugs to force the legislature to vote for him, right?

"Chile is now a pretty stable prosperous country, unlike Venezuela for instance where the socialists did win a democratic election but didn't get deposed. "

Maybe everyone should get its 17-year terror reign in America to see if it is good for the nation. And of course, under Pinochet's rule, most of time, Chile was actually either crashing (1973-1976, 1981-1983) or just growing slower than the other South American countries (1985, 1986).

"Generally adults realize that principles are important (democracy is good) but so are outcomes"

So Soviet domination was awesome. Illiterate countries with no infrastructure or anything ressembling rule of law got schools, law courts and hospitals. And there were no jihadists ruling Afghanistan or using it as terrorist headquarters. Yeah, there were some deaths.

Killing a communist isn't a crime. It is a public service.

Now, you're talking!

I would have said the same about Afghanistan/Saudi jihadists. Why did we support them?

No, you wouldn’t have.

Yes, when you overthrow a tyrant who has rejected the separation of powers and rule of law, sometimes you have to eliminate the tyrant's senior supporters, too.

'who has rejected the separation of powers and rule of law'

Well, the junta did that on September 13,, 1973, in case that escaped your notice.

'sometimes you have to eliminate the tyrant's senior supporters, too'

Actually, many of the dead killed by the junta were young.

"Actually, many of the dead killed by the junta were young."

No they weren't

Guess it depends on whether one considers university students or those shot breaking curfew as young, Or do you think it was mainly old people that were disappeared? (A third of the murdered, basically.)

I'm making shit up again. Ignore me.

Wirklich, ein Wikipedia Link wird hilfreich - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor

Oder sogar zwei - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archives_of_Terror

It isn't as if records were not kept.

But I'm sure that Lunatic will be posting a link supporting their assertion any minute now.

It's even easier to ignore me when my comments are half in German!

Sad- such uninspired trolling.

I can only do so much with the mediocre source material.

Yet prior_incel seems to be able to use it so much more amusingly.

Someone say my name?

'and compares and contrasts Nutter with other economists who have been connected to Pinochet’s dictatorship'

One has to wonder if the word Schreibtischtäter comes up in connection with Nutter, considering the Pinochet death toll. 'A Chilean commission investigating human rights abuses under the former military leader Gen Augusto Pinochet says there are many more victims than previously documented.

Commission director Maria Luisa Sepulveda said they had identified another 9,800 people who had been held as political prisoners and tortured.

The new figures bring the total of recognised victims to 40,018. ' https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-14584095

So, Mr. Nutter was a hero? Cool.

You both sound like a real nutter.

Did Warren G Deez Nuts just release a new single? I liked the album he did with Snoop Dogg. Such a classic.

A Chilean student, studying at Yale, recently did a paper for me (in a seminar on libertarian theory) about Hayek's connection to (1) the Pinochet regime and (2) the new constitution. She argues that the evidence is still out on whether Hayek actually approved of the dictatorship or was simply glad to see the end of the previous regime. But Hayek's influence on the Chilean constitution, she concludes, was enormous, and remains underappreciated.

"She argues that the evidence is still out on whether ...": I hope you've taught her to write better English than that.

Coup climate my ass.

Allende won the 1970 election with only 36% of the vote. He immediately violated Chile's constitution by nationalizing banks and farms. His campaigns were heavily funded by the Soviet Union, and he was personally paid $400,000 ($2.6 million in 2019 dollars).

The man had almost two thirds of the country voting against him and he stole property from millions of people. The US didnt need to create a coup climate. We only needed to assist it in the face of Soviet influence.

Funny how leftists decry Putin's social media efforts but excuse direct funding from a foreign nation.

The only "leftists" who care about Putin being on Facebook are pretty much bitter Hillary supports and Democratic Party Third-Way hacks. I'm pretty sure Hillary Clinton wouldn't be pro-Allende and probably thinks Pinochet wasn't that bad.

Who the hell paid for that paper?

They're brainwashed, not hypocrites.

The problem is they think 3,065 dead reds is a bad thing.

Pinochet and the Chilean Army got rid of Allende before the USSR could deploy sufficient numbers of its and Cuban political commissars and troops. Of course, the Soviets were over-extended. Too many of their operators were in the US colluding with American reds to lose the Vietnam war.

Dividends! I only come here to experience the twisted minds of young and not-so-young victims of public education and the higher education apocalypse.

Pinochet saved his country. Pinochet had indirect assistance from Nutter and a bunch of other US personnel.

Get over it.

'Pinochet saved his country.'

And he only killed a couple of American citizens in DC in doing it - 'The assassination of Orlando Letelier refers to the September 21, 1976, car bombing, in Washington, D.C., of Orlando Letelier, a leading opponent of Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Letelier, who was living in exile in the United States, was killed along with Ronni Karpen Moffitt, who was in the car along with her husband Michael, who worked for Letelier. The assassination was carried out by agents of the Chilean secret police (the DINA), and was one among many carried out as part of Operation Condor. Declassified U.S. intelligence documents confirm that Pinochet directly ordered the killing.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Orlando_Letelier

But hey, our friends can car bomb anywhere they want in the U.S., it seems, as long as they are saving their country at the same time.

Every person is a mixture of good and bad

"Coup climate" is Karamessines and Kissinger's term, not mine.

All the candidates had at least two thirds of the country voting against them. They've got a Congressional ratification vote so the popular vote splits like that sometimes. It's not anti-democratic it's just a different constitutional framework.

Somewhere I read that the Pinochet coup wasn't the CIA's. They had attempted an earlier coup and failed. Does anyone here know more about these two coup attempts?

Yes, there had been previous coup d’etat attempts before the one on 11 September 1973 which coincided with Allende’s suicide with an AK-47 given him by Castro.

According to Wikipedia, initially there were a series of three attempted kidnappings of the Chilean military commander in chief Rene Schneider by coup plotters. Schneider was seen as a powerful protector for Allende and he needed to go before Allende could be deposed.
The first attempt was on October 16, 1970 and failed due to bad information.

The second on October 19, 1970, a second group of coup-plotters loyal to General Roberto Viaux, equipped with tear gas grenades attempted to grab Schneider as he left an official dinner. The attempt failed because he left in a private car and not the expected official vehicle. The failure produced an extremely significant cable from CIA headquarters in Washington to the local station, asking for urgent action because "Headquarters must respond during morning 20 October to queries from high levels." Payments of $50,000 each to Viaux and his chief associate were then authorised on the condition that they made another attempt.

In the third on October 22, 1970, the coup-plotters ambushed his car at a street intersection in the Santiago. Schneider but was shot and killed. On October 26, 1970 the CIA gave $35,000 the kidnappers "to keep the prior contact secret, maintain the goodwill of the group, and for humanitarian reasons."

Another failed coup attempt is known as El Tanquetazo but the CIA was not involved. On 28 June 1973, a Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Souper, who stood accused of participating in a conspiracy, led a column of sixteen armored vehicles, including six Sherman tanks, plus 80 to downtown Santiago and fired upon the presidential palace and the Ministry of Defense. This was put down by other military units, however, including a unit led by General Pinochet.

That Pinochet was a monster does not absolve Allende of his crimes. Nor does the fact that the CIA was involved in plots against him. The Chileans would have acted with or without US involvement. Good paper here putting it all in context: http://www.josepinera.org/zrespaldo/HOW%20ALLENDE%20DESTROYED%20DEMOCRACY%20IN%20CHILE.pdf


Of course, if Nutter had been an adviser to Juan Velasco Alvarado or Juan Jose Torres or the civilian auxiliary to the Tupamaros, no one would care at this point. Are there any professors who are not poseurs?

Why is that no one cares about the number of economists (like J. K. Galbraith) who went happily to teach in the USSR?

How many economists have advised the Chinese government, have taken money from the Chinese Communist Party. It must be okay because the Chinese Communist Party is popular and has no blood on its hands, right?

Can someone write a paper about Oscar Lange leaving U of Chicago to take a high post in Poland's Communist government?

How about a review of Joseph Stiglitz visiting Hugo Chavez's Venezuela and saying, in effect, he has seen the future and it works. Does Stiglitz owe an explanation for four million refugees?

How about Paul Douglas joining a group that visited the USSR in the 1920s and had a full day talk with Stalin. Any problem with that?

Finally, Chile is now a democracy with the highest standard of living in South America. Would it have that if Allende stayed in power?

Salvador Allende may have been "democratically" elected.
But please... Chile was not a Swedish democracy in the late 60s and early 70s. It was more of a Weimar Republic, with extreme factions fighting in the streets, and trade unions going absolutely rampant and terrorists running amok. As much as left-wing progressive want to paint it as such, Chile in the early 70s was *not* Paradise or Nirvana.
Chile was on its way to become a new Cuba, a new Soviet satellite.
Augusto Pinochet did not fall from the sky, getting up one morning and said "I want to grab power". No, it was much, much more complicated than that (as it was with the coup in Argentina and/or the coup in Uruguay around the same time).
Anybody pontificating from a perspective of 50 years later and with the benefit of hindsight, should re-evaluate.
Yes, Pinochet was a dictatorship - but, it left a functioning country. And mind you, when democracy returned to Chile (around 1990) the coalition that governed Chile did *not make one iota of change to the economic model introduced by Pinochet*. Yes, they adjusted here and there, but no fundamental break from Pinochet's policies.
And this is true even today.
So again, don't pontificate with the hindsight of 50 years.
Things are sometimes much more complicated.

What part of the paper makes you think I'm painting it as paradise, Nirvana, or Sweden? I talk about some of that fighting in the streets! I talk about the fact that Pinochet used to be a constitutionalist. I don't go into detail about the problems with Allende because it's a paper about Nutter not Allende, but I don't give Allende a pass unless you're just meaning that I say he's democratically elected. If that's your only concern, who cares? It's true. He was.

As for Arnold Harberger, his relationship was with the Catholic University in Chile. And, I think, he is married to a Chilean.
So what?
In the late 80s, Harberger got the Honoris Causa from the Catholic University in Chile. His acceptance speech is called "The Economist and the Real World". I think this speech was published.
Anybody interested in being a good economist should read that speech, at least the first 10 pages.

Harberger is more tied in than that. He played a big role in training the Chicago Boys, kept in touch with them, was apparently tipped off about 1970 coup attempts (and was in-country at the time), was with Friedman during his visits, etc.

I don't have a good grasp on how Harberger felt about Pinochet, but he was involved in everything Friedman was involved with, only deeper.

I do agree with Tyler (and say so in the paper) that Friedman and Buchanan's connections are tenuous. Harberger is somewhat more of a black box to me.

Harberger was (I think) the director of the Center of Latin American Studies (or something like this) at the Univ of Chicago. Thus, he had a close relationship with several of the countries that were under a dictatorship. Thanks to Harberger many students from Chile, Argentina and Uruguay (and possibly other countries) could go to the Univ of Chicago and pursue a decent PhD or Master's in Economics, and these were students who then ended up in their central banks, treasuries and universities.
Harberger was not the only one. In Uruguay, the Columbia University ran a PhD courses program at the Uruguayan Central Bank (around 1980 or so) - they brought in Mundell and others.
In Argentina they had the CEMA institute (now called Universidad del CEMA), which had profs trained at Chicago (among other schools).
Thanks to Harberger, the level of economic research and economic teaching went up several - emphasize: several - notches, in countries where the stupidity of the CEPAL (Prebisch and stuff) was reigning supreme.
So, not sure what the whole hullaballoo is about Harberger's involvement in Chile and other countries (like Uruguay) during their dictatorship times. Thank God Harberger got involved. Thanks to him and people like him, decent Economics was introduced into such countries.

Just to repeat - anybody who finds fault in Harberger and others involvement in Chile, Argentina and/or Uruguay during their dictatorship times is a fool. You have no idea what you speak of.
Yes, I feel strongly about this, because I was born down there, and went to college down there, and I know first hand what kind of Economics was being taught before and after.

I think it's tricky. You might be on too much of a hair trigger if your standard is "finds fault." Arguably we should have concerns about how policy advice is implemented - policy advice is not independent of its implementation (a point Letelier and many others made to Friedman). So I'd certainly articulate some fault. But generally I don't see Harberger or Friedman as that objectionable. Not like Hayek and Nutter certainly.

The future economist who is going to push AOC out of the helicopter is probably sitting in Econ 101 right now.

That always seemed like an inefficient way to get rid of somebody, given the cost of fuel and maintenance for a helicopter. I would hope an economist could devise a better system.

Utility maximisation does not imply lowest cost.

It's a example that economy influence the world.

good for him, too bad there were not people like Nutter when Hugo Chavez took power, a lot of suffering by the Venezuelan people could have been avoided

Mandatory reading on the subject of the Pinochet coup:


The best part of Allende’s presidency was when he was trying to do the socialist calculation problem on a giant computer in a room based on the bridge of the starship Enterprise:


"Computer scientist Paul Cockshott and economist Allin Cottrell referenced Project Cybersyn in their 1993 book Towards a New Socialism, citing it as an inspiration for their own proposed model of computer-managed socialist planned economy."

Why do socialists always obsess over and pine for their failures? It's been nearly 150 years and they still haven't gotten over how wonderful the 70 days of the Paris Commune were.

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