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Chilean Baptists and the State

Baptists have always existed and flourished—independent of the state—and therefore are natural libertarians; thus making the new Independence Party (Partido Independencia) in Chile appropriate for promoting their ideals. In the British colonies before the founding of the United States of America, Baptists opposed (1) paying taxes to build churches for Anglicans, Congregationalists, etc., (2) the obligation to request licenses to preach from other religious authorities, and (3) to pay fines or suffer enslavement (in the case of Virignia) for not attending the worship services of other religions established by law, for example Anglican services in Colonial Virginia.

In the face of such threats, Baptist pastors of the era Isaac Backus and John Leland fought to ratify a Bill of Rights, which was later transformed into the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution in 1789. Those Baptists were true libertarians.

The same thing happened in Chile where early American Baptist missionaries and a Scottish Baptist opposed the link between the state and the church, especially the prohibition of conducting public worship services or preaching the gospel in Spanish. It is not surprising that the first missionaries who arrived in Chile from the United States (1917-1926), advocated changes leading up to the 1925 Chilean Constitution or became active members of the Radical Party of the time. They wanted the freedom from the state and its bride, the Roman Catholic Church.

These Baptists brought many dollars to Chile (undoubtedly in the form of U.S. gold coins commonly circulating before 1933), investing the equivalent today of many hundreds of millions of pesos in: (1) paying salaries of more than ten full-time missionaries, largely with advanced degrees, (2) building many churches and pastoral residences between Santiago and Chiloé and also in Antofagasta, (3) launching a publishing house called El Lucero, a Christian radio broadcast, and a monthly magazine La Voz Bautista, (4) erecting a seminary on Miguel Claro street (Providencia, Santiago), and (5) building a main school in Temuco (initially for girls only) in 1921, led by Miss Agnes Graham, with branch or satellite schools around Temuco.

This last project was very successful, according to missionary Dr. William Earl Davidson, “Time proved the wisdom of co-educational venture, Miss Graham’s school became the pilot co-educational school for all Chile.” His Reminiscences of Our Mission to Chile 1917-1924, page 7[Photo credit]

Agnes Graham.PNG
For Chilean Baptists, activism against the state—and its most egregious manifestations like communism—was necessary. This fact was evidenced in many articles they wrote on the subject, published in La Voz Bautista in 1922 and 1923. Baptists do not want to force anyone to attend church services or follow religious precepts. On the contrary, they want to live in a free society where they can preach the Gospel in peace, persuading others to join them by converting to Christ. The Baptist religion is simple and biblical, providing no place for the state—an institution that was (and often still is) repugnant for many Baptists, if not openly satanic.

The Chilean state was an annoyance to the early Baptist missionaries and first Chilean pastors like Honorio Espinoza, a law school graduate from the University of Chile and first Chilean president of the Baptist seminary in Santiago. All these men had graduate degrees—some of them holding doctorates (Davidson, 1928; Moore, 1944; McGavock, 1961; Maer, before 1941). Espinoza and Isaías Valdivia were examples of Chilean Baptist pastors who studied in prestigious seminars in the United States before 1940, returning to Chile to participate in the struggle against personal and social sins pervasive in Chile, being aided by their degrees and preparation. The intellectual Baptists of the time had a very high level of education, even by today’s standards, and should be an example to follow for modern Baptists and other Evangelical, Protestant and Pentecostal Christians.

For example, the missionary Roberto Cecil Moore, who obtained his doctorate (Ph.D.) at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with his thesis The Economic Influence of Roman Catholicism in Chile, attributed mid-Twentieth Century Chilean poverty and backwardness to (1) useless dogma, (2) ecclesiastical corruption among the priests and other leaders, (3) the cruelty of the church to indigenous peoples, and (4) other abuses, such as the arbitrary extraction of money from ship captains arriving in Valparaíso under threat of excommunication.

After 25 years living in Chile, he wrote frankly in the same thesis:

Chile is infinitely behind other countries that have inferior resources, not because of inferior race, but because of a religion that gives inferior economic results. Is it too much to say that Chile is poor because it is Catholic? [p. 84]. Judged by the history of colonial Chile, Roman Catholicism is not conducive to intellectual liberty and exploration nor to inventiveness in any line. Catholicism is contrary to social change, and social change is essential to permanent economic well-being [p. 119]. [Italics not in the original; added by the blog software.]

He also wrote the book Men and Acts: Baptists of Chile (in Spanish, 1965), in which he recounts some difficulties that the missionaries had with the Chilean state. A famous example in his time, but almost forgotten today, is the case of the Baptist School located in Temuco, funded 100% by Southern Baptist churches in the United States, in order to eliminate illiteracy in the region and raise the academic level for girls. and (later) boys. Moore tells us on pages 101-102:

The State
Another problem for the Baptists, and perhaps of greater danger, was their relationship with the state. As they became more well-known and their influence increased, so did the problems pertaining to their relationship with the state.
Years ago, a well-meaning Chilean congressmen managed to apportion a considerable sum for the Baptist School’s budget, without first consulting with Agnes Graham. The provincial treasurer called her on the phone and said:
—”Miss Graham, your money is waiting for you.”
—”What money? What are you talking about?”
—”Well, it is the government’s subsidy for the Baptist School.”
Agnes Graham could hardly convince the kind treasurer that the school was not going to accept tax money to teach the Baptist creed. And the problem has yet to be resolved. The solution is not easy.
On the one hand, Baptists are citizens and they want to be able to participate in government and public affairs such as this one. And they must have the same privileges and guarantees as any other person. On the other hand, the government needs all the support and moral guidance that the believer in Christ can bring. [Italics not in the original; added by the blog software.]

Nevertheless, the Chilean state afflicted the Baptist School in Temuco, placing obstacles in its way and, apparently, compelling the closure of some satellites for being so “rebellious” by its refusal to accept state money [Moore, p. 85]. Like Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul, Baptists are often considered “rebels” in the eyes of the state.

Espinoza was the most prominent member of the first generation of Chilean Baptists who were trained by Baptist missionaries in the southern United States. He wrote: “Again and again formal means of social control such as government and law, with all their machinery and technique, fail to realize their purpose because they cannot deal with the spring of human action itself. Religion proves to be the force in that realm for social order [page 282].” (Source: “The Place of Religion in Social Control” (1940), Review & Expositor 37:3, pp. 282-285.) This reality is one of the reasons why state authorities are constantly looking for a way to control or manipulate religion—along with their private schools—in a way that furthers the state’s ends.

The idea that the church and its institutions might have been controlled or manipulated by the state was repugnant to the early Chilean Baptists. As true libertarians, receiving state funds for such ends is just as bad—for a consistent Baptist—as paying taxes to accomplish religious ends. This idea was still underscored nearly four decades later, in La Voz Bautista of July 1961 (53:7, page 6), where the opposition of the Baptist churches to subsidize religious schools was affirmed under the principle of separation of church and state.

According to Moore, “in 1920 illiteracy in Chile was almost 50%” [page 50]. Could Chileans understand the word of God without having being able to read? Hardly! Thus, a school was necessary, but one without influence or connection with the state [page 84]. Moore recounted, “Some—especially the missionaries and some others—thought that accepting such government assistance to subsidize a Baptist school violated the principle of separation of state and church” [page 85]. This position caused some discord among them, since some Chileans were (mistakenly) willing to accept this form of state financing. They did not understand their own doctrine well, just like many modern Chilean Baptists whose biblical formation is not good.

The Bible teaches how Christians should act before authorities, normally submisively (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13), but not always (Acts 5:29; 2 Kings 1:9-11; Judges 3:17-23): “lest we offend them” unnecessarily (Matthew 17:27), try to “live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18), and also seek out an adequate public policy prescription so “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:2), yet “if you can be made free, rather use it…You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men” (1 Corinthians 7:21,23). The Chilean Baptists of the first part of the Twentieth Century—such as Davidson, Moore, Graham, Espinoza and Valdivia—fulfilled this mandate.

It is high time for Chilean Baptists to recognize their biblical and historical roots and to act as “rebellious” libertarians instead of statists. Their faith should not depend on the state, nor should greater moral behavior in Chilean society. Their duty is to preach the Gospel and be political activists in the struggle to achieve freedom from the state and its most nefarious, vile and atheist manifestations—e.g., communism, radical ecology, radical feminism, gender identity or homosexuality, abortion rights, and the modern secular dogma of being politically correct. Like the Baptists, the Independence Party, without being a religious party, shares this same struggle against the state and its evil proactive policies.

I am certain that many consistent or dedicated Baptist activists in Chile, along with some of their counterparts in Presbyterian, Lutheran, Anglican, Opus Dei-style Catholic, etc. circles, will find this party to be the one that promotes their ideals and convictions.

Haz click aquí para ver la versión en español.

John Cobin, Ph.D. George Mason University Twitter
Co-founder Partido Independencia/Independence Party
www.libertarios.cl

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

First Southern Baptist Missionaries to Chile (1917-1926): Ten Americans and One Scot Turning in Their Graves!

Modern Chilean Baptists have fallen a long way from their missionary predecessors, at least in terms of the quality of their service, Calvinistic soteriology and biblical church practices. The initial missionaries that came to Chile from 1917 to 1926 were conservative theologically, very libertarian in their quest to separate church and state, and far more educated than typical American Baptist missionaries in Chile today or modern Chilean Baptist pastors. Moreover, many (if not all) of these missionary men read Greek and Hebrew fluently, and probably read (and some spoke) German, too.

The Early Missionaries

Since the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where all but two of the early missionary men to Chile studied, has never taught Dispensationalism or Pentecostalism, there is no reason to believe that any of the missionaries adopted either thing. As Ernie Reisinger once said about dispensationalists in the Southern Baptist Convention, “There are other good men in the Southern Baptist Convention who have Dispensational views, but they did not get these views in our schools or seminaries.” They were not hyper-Calvinists either.

Southern seminary was then, and is even now, world-renown for its serious biblical and Greek language scholarship, among other things, such as being serious about studying, preaching and obeying the Word of God. There is no evidence that these men were taught or later promoted unbiblical practices like ordaining women elders, preachers or establishing any other leadership role for women in Baptist services (a common sinful malady in Chile today—see 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15). They knew nothing of the prosperity gospel, seeker-sensitive preaching, or running skits, theater, or dancing in church services that often characterize modern Chilean Baptist services.

In 1939, a Baptist seminary was opened in Santiago, under the direction of missionary James McGavock, that initially upheld the doctrinal views of the early Baptists—likely akin to what he learned at Southern seminary. The seminary leadership was promptly handed-off to a brilliant Chilean Bible scholar and biblical languages expert, Honorio Espinoza, who had also studied at Southern from 1937 to 1940, and who was personally trained beforehand by missionary W. E. Davidson. (Espinoza and others in his generation of Chilean Baptists, like Isaías Valdivia, are the subject of another article.) Tragically, that Chilean institution has since seen the majority of its faculty fall into modernism and liberalism. At any rate, returning our focus to the early Baptists that got the ball rolling, in a previous article I wondered:

Who exactly were these ardent missionaries?
—1917 William Earl and Mary Davidson to Santiago (see page 27 of the missionary list).
—1919 Frank and Effie Marrs, missionaries to Mexico who went to help Earl Davidson in Santiago (see page 66 of the missionary list).
—1919 Robert Cecil and Mary Moore, first to help in Santiago for a year and then on to Concepción (see page 73 of the missionary list).
—1920 Agnes Nora Graham (see page 41 of the missionary list), head of the Baptist school in Temuco starting in 1922, construction and operations financed by the Southern Baptist Convention to combat the illiteracy rate of 50% and provide basic instruction.
—1921 Joe Lancaster (and wife Tennessee) Hart to Temuco to start a Bible institute, then to Concepción briefly and finally to Antofagasta (see page 46 of the missionary list).
—1922 James W. and Catherine McGavock to Talca (see page 70 of the missionary list)[but first to Temuco in 1923 to be with most of the other missionaries (page 214), much later heading the Baptist seminary in Santiago starting in 1939].
—1926 Wynne Quilon and Berta Lou (Tooms) Maer to Temuco for youth ministry commencing in 1929 (see page 66 of the missionary list).
They settled in Temuco, Concepción, Talca, Santiago and Antofagasta. MacDonald also became a recognized Southern Baptist missionary, and proceeded to establish churches in Freire, and the southeastern Ninth Region: Laureles, Villarrica, Pucón, Liucura, and Picahres (near Caburgua lake in the Andes foothills). Thus, the first organized Chilean Baptist churches, apart from the previous union with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, under the efforts of MacDonald and the Southern Baptist missionaries (later becoming the Baptist union or association UBACH) were, according to Aguilar (page 8): Temuco (1914), Valdivia (1917), Santiago 1st (1919, reorganized 1920), Concepción (1919), Santiago 2nd (1921, with the Davidsons), Talca (1926), Valparaíso (1936), and Antofagasta (1937).

I now have some further details. The following biographical excerpts were taken from: John S. Ramond (1936), Among Southern Baptists, Volume I, (compiler-publisher from Shreveport, Louisiana), Kansas City, Missouri: Western Baptist Publishing Company.

DAVIDSON, WILLIAM EARL [arrived in 1917]
Bible Department, Hannibal-La Grange College, Hannibal, Mo.; born, Freeman, Cass County, Mo., Sept. 6, 1891; son of Mary Elizabeth Holman of Albany, Ore., and Rev. Franklin Pierce Davidson of Freeman, Mo.; education, A.B., William Jewell College, Th.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; ordained, Savannah, Mo., August, 1917; married Mary Skidmore of Chillicothe, Mo., 1917, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Thayer Skidmore; children, Dorothy and Virginia; missionary, Timber Lake, S. D., 1913-1914; missionary, Valparaiso, Chile, 1917-1926; pastor, Gilliam, Mo., 1927; Bible Department, Hannibal-LaGrange College (1927 to date); author: “Catecismo de Doctrina Cristiana.” Address: Hannibal, Mo. Page 129 [Note: Davidson said he was a much better teacher than a preacher, and that his main contribution was to intensively train Chilean men with what they needed to be solid preachers theologically. “We had gone to Chile both times with the hope of being life-time missionaries there.” Nevertheless, he reported that he had to return to the United States instead of serving in Chile long term due to contracting acute miliary tuberculosis (“galloping consumption”) twice and the severe anemia, hypertension and angina of his wife, but that he always kept in touch with the mission, reading La Voz Bautista, a Chilean Baptist magazine run by the missionaries, writing “wacky ads” to the missionaries. Source: Reminiscences of Our Mission to Chile (pages 38-39, 62-63, 76-77)]

MARRS, FRANK [arrived 1919]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, stationed at San Antonio, Texas (Mexico); born, Florence, Tex., April 18, 1869; education, Southwestern University, Eastman National Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., 1889; work in Baylor University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; appointed May 22, 1900; evangelistic work. Page 327 [Davidson wrote in his Reminiscences of Our Mission to Chile (page 14), that Marrs “was not long for Chile” even though he had a strong desire to serve there after having worked so long among Mexicans in Texas. The climate constantly made him sick and he and his wife suffered from pathetic poverty. Thus, they soon returned to the Northern Hemisphere.]

MOYE, JOHN LUTHER
Pastor, Hunter Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.; born, Patsburg, Ala., Nov. 23, 1892; son of Elizabeth Mills and George Washington Moye of Patsburg, Ala.; education, graduate State Normal College, Alabama; A.B., Howard College; Th.B., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; ordained, Arkadelphia, Ark., Dec. 20, 1917; married Esther Billingsley of Healing Springs, Ala., Aug. 23, 1921; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clay Billingsley; children, Sarah Elizabeth, John Luther, Jr.; pastor, Killen, Ala., 1916-1917; pastor. [Note: Davidson remarked in his Reminiscences of Our Mission to Chile (pages 35, 47), that Moye was in Santiago helping with the church planting when Davidson and McGavock were there but Moye does not appear on the list as an official or permanent missionary, and thus is not counted in the “eleven” in the article’s title. Photograph taken from La Voz Bautista (1923), 15:10 (October), cover]

L Moye y señora y dos otras misioneras.PNG

MOORE, ROBERT CECIL [arrived 1919]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, stationed at Temuco, Chile; born, Fort Green, Fla., Jan. 28, 1894; education, Columbia College, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; appointed June 11, 1919; evangelistic work. Page 361

GDT MacDonald.PNG
Pastor McDonald Chile 1908.jpg

MacDONALD, AVM. D. T. [arrived 1888, ordained under the Southern Baptists in 1919]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, retired on pension, formerly stationed at Temuco, Chile; born, Edinburgh, Scotland, i Aug. 8, 1851; educated, schools of Scotland; sailed for Chile 1888, an independent missionary to October, 1919, when appointed by F. M. B. Evangelistic Work. Address: Casilla 191, Temuco, Chile. Page 318 Photo credit

Agnes Graham.PNG

GRAHAM, MISS NORA AGNES [arrived in 1920]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, stationed at Temuco, Chile; born, Yoakum, Tex., Feb. 22, 1888; educated, University of Texas, 1918; W. M. U. Training School, 1920; appointed June 10, 1920; Girls’ School. Page 197Photo credit

HART, JOSEPH L. [arrived in 1921]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, stationed at Concepcion, Chile; born, Essex County, Virginia, Nov. 26, 1879; education, McGuire’s School, Richmond, Va.; Richmond College, 1900; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, three years; appointed December, 1903; Evangelistic and Educational Work. Page 222 Photo credit

JL Hart.PNG

HART, MRS. TENNESSEE H. [arrived 1921]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, stationed at Concepcion, Chile; born, Meade County, Kentucky, Sept. 21, 1881; education, Brandenburg Normal Institute, 1897; Shelbyville College, 1901; appointed Mar. 15, 1904; married J. L. Hart, March, 1904; Educational and Evangelistic Work. Page 222

McGAVOCK, JAMES WILLIAM [arrived in 1922]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, stationed at Santiago, Chile; born, Newberg, Ark., Oct. 30, 1888; education, Union University, A.B., 1918; S.B. Theological Seminary, Th.M., 1922; appointed May 17, 1922; Evangelistic Work. Page 342 Photo credit

McGAVOCK, MRS. CATHERINE, 3. [arrived in 1922]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, stationed at Santiago, Chile; born, Obion, Tenn., Aug. 5, 1890; education, Hall Moody Normal; W. M. TJ. Training School, 1921; married J. W. McGavock, June, 1917; appointed, 1922- ; Evangelistic Work. Page 342

MAER, MRS. BERTHA TOOMS [arrived 1925]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, stationed at Temuco, Chile; born, Medina, Tenn., June 4, 1898; education, Union University, A.B., 1920; W. M. U. Training School; B. M. T., 1923; married W. Q. Maer, January, 1921; appointed June, 1925; Educational Work. Page 320

MAER, WYNNE QUILON [arrived in 1926]
Southern Baptist Foreign Missionary, stationed at Temuco, Chile; born, Europa, Miss., June 14, 1897; education, Mississippi College; Union University, A.B., 1921; A.B. Theological Seminary, Th.M., 1924; appointed June 10, 1925; Educational Work. Page 320

The Missionaries’ Theological and Ministerial Training

Having come from all over the South (except for the missionary from Scotland), most of them were trained at Southern Seminary in Louisville, and eventually sent out from under the Virginia chapter of the Southern Baptist Convention (Foreign Missions Board). One of the key seminary teachers at Southern for most of these men was Archibald Thomas Robertson, who was one of the greatest New Testament and koine Greek scholars of all time. His most famous, massive work was A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research, which is still highly regarded today. Source: William Baird (2003), New Testament Research in the Era of Global Conflict, vol. 2, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, pp. 412-414. Another book that grants similar accolades is, Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study by James Leo Garrett, Jr., (2009), Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, pp. 347-350.

A.T. Robertson (pictured below) was a Calvinist in terms of his soteriology, just as was the rest of the faculty. Accordingly to Gregory A. Wills (2010), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-2009 (New York: Oxford University Press), “A. T. Robertson held that the fundamental Baptist doctrine was the necessity of the new birth, which included the doctrine of justification by faith and ‘acceptance of the system of doctrine known as Calvinism'” (page 240). Congruently, Frank S. Mead, in his 1954 book The Baptists, reminded us that “we were Protestants before the Reformation, before the birth of Martin Luther” (page 7), although after the Reformation the particular Baptists of England and North America were particular and therefore Calvinistic (pages 19, 23).

AT Robertson.jpg
In terms of eschatology among Southern Baptists, historic premillennialism and postmillennialism were the dominant viewpoints during the Nineteenth Century with amillennialism displacing postmillennialism from 1930 to 1980, which is around the same timeframe that dispensational premillennialism became dominant in American Baptist churches. From this framework, one might conjecture that the early American Baptist missionaries probably held to either a historic premillennial or postmillennial eschatology. However, judging from what missionary Davidson wrote, they might well have been amillennial. One 1922 article dealing with eschatology that was published by missionary Hart, editor of La Voz Bautista, was Juan C. Varetto’s “Come out of her my people” [Revelation 18:4]. He was clearly not dispensational by virtue of his allegorical interpretation of the book of Revelation, although it is unclear exactly what his millennial position was. He stated: “The Apocalypse is a symbolic book, so here it is not about the famous city of Babylon built on both sides of the Euphrates, but of Rome, and not of pagan Rome, but Papal Rome.” Source: La Voz Bautista(1922), 14:10 (October), page 7.

W. Earl Davidson

The most prominent theologian of the group of missionaries was, clearly, Davidson (pictured below with his wife), followed by Moore. In addition to writing his 1928 dissertation entitled, The Early History of the Idea of Penance, from which Davidson doubtless exemplified some of his practical expertise in Roman Catholic doctrine after living in Chile for a decade, along with his erudite knowledge of church history and New Testament Greek. He recounts a story of a prayer-warrior woman in Chile, who showed preference for a missionary stricken with typhus by asking God to afflict one of her own instead. Her husband died from the same disease shortly thereafter, while the missionary recovered. Her daughter never forgave her (p. 65). All of this to show just how much Davidson was endeared to Chile and had fond memories of his experiences there.

He also published a Catechism of Bible Doctrine, translated from Catecismo de Doctrina Cristiana that was used to train Chilean pastors and disciple new believers. He was keenly interested in teaching others at all levels, showing that fact by writing an article for La Voz Bautista (The Baptist Voice) in January 1923, while on furlough in the United States, on how to set up a purposeful and successful Sunday School program in the local church. At the seminary level, his lecture notes taken under A. T. Robertson, New Testament Interpretation: Notes on Lectures of Dr. A. T. Robertson, 1914-1915 (1916), were also published, as well as some theological journal articles:

WE Davidson.PNG
In one short journal article, “On the Atonement,” Review & Expositor 24.3 (July 1927): 318-320, Davidson builds on the doctrine particular redemption—just as one might have expected coming from a scholar who graduated from a famously Calvinistic Baptist seminary. He wrote it while still in Santiago, Chile—prior to finishing his doctorate in Louisville. Davidson keys in on King David’s claim, “Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight,” (Psalm 51:4) in drawing parallels to Christ’s redemption. “Time would bring to light what was to make it possible for God to be both the justifier of the criminal and just to his victims” (p. 319).

In his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ transformed Himself “from Judge of men to man’s chief victim” (p. 320), and by making all of our crimes against other men against His person, the door was opened for Him to forgive us personally by grace and mercy rather than strictly act as our Judge, and thus mete out what we deserve. Our greatest victim thus became out greatest forgiver. Therefore, King David was right. Davidson stated that he did not regard his thinking as embarking on a new theory of the atonement, but rather served to supplement the doctrine of the substitutionary sacrifice. In his concluding remarks, Particular Baptist Davidson’s Calvinism seems to shine through: substitutionary theory “becomes even more meaningful if the substitute who should satisfy for us is the Judge himself, and if the victim for our sins is also the victim of our sins” (p. 320).

Apparently, Davidson taught the sovereignty of God in salvation as a missionary in Santiago. Whatever happened, then, to the disciples and pastors he trained and their spiritual progeny to have eventually generated such widespread Arminianism among Chilean Baptists in 2018?

The preface to Davidson’s aforementioned Catechism (English) states that, “It was prepared for the instruction of young ministers and Christian workers in the Chilean Mission, and has since 1930 been used as a manual for the training of young Christians in Bible fundamentals and in study classes in Chilean churches.” Again, what happened to this teaching over the past 85 years? In reading Davidson’s Catechism, I find little difference between it and the Southern Baptist Convention’s coeval 1925 edition of the Baptist Faith and Message. As a Particular Baptist creed, it is hardly surprising to find articles such as the following:

Article III: “He [man] was created in a state of holiness under the law of his Maker, but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and in bondage to sin, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.” (emphasis added)

Article IV: “The salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial office of the Son of God, who by the Holy Spirit was born of the Virgin Mary and took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience and made atonement for our sins by his death. Being risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in Heaven, and, uniting in his person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is in every way qualified to be a compassionate and all-sufficient Saviour.” (emphasis added)

Article V: “Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of righteousness of all sinners who believe in Christ. This blessing is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but through the redemption that is in and through Jesus Christ. It brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other needed blessing.” (emphasis added)

Article VIII: “We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour.” (emphasis added)

Article IX: “Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which he regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners. It is perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. It encourages the use of means in the highest degree.” (emphasis added)

Article XI: “All real believers endure to the end. Their continuance in well-doing is the mark which distinguishes them from mere professors. A special Providence cares for them, and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” (emphasis added)

Consider, then, some pertinent excerpts from Davidson’s A Catechism of Bible Doctrine that by-and-large prove his Calvinism, and show that he did not deviate from the recently-published Baptist Faith and Message:

Section 1, Question 6 states, “…we are so tainted with sin that we cannot please God.” Questions 8-11 of Section 2 imply particular redemption, that Jesus laid down His life for us, although somewhat less explicitly than earlier Baptist confessions (i.e., London, Philadelphia and New Hampshire). However, Section 2, Question 13 states that, “God loves men in their sins and yearns to save them from their sins,” which is somewhat ambiguous, as is Section 5, Question 8: “God is loving and good toward all his creatures,” and Section 7, Question 9 that Jesus bore “in body and soul the wrath of God against the whole human race,” and Section 7, Question 10, “Christ died for every man to redeem us from everlasting damnation.” Yet, Question 1 of Section 3 is a bit clearer: “Are all men saved by the death of Christ? No; those who continue in sin remain under the wrath of God.”

Section 6, Question 5 states emphatically that nothing happens by accident or chance but rather “from the fatherly hand of God.” Section 9, Question 11 unambiguously says that, “God gives his renewing Spirit to those whom he has always purposed to save” but in the very next Question 12 there is ambiguity to the point of contradiction, “Is any man excluded from salvation by the will of God? No; God loves all mankind and for their salvation has given his only begotten Son; he would have all men to be saved…he offers salvation freely to every man” yet is so worded as to not outright deny a Calvinistic soteriology. He clearly holds to the perseverance of the saints in Section 11, questions 7 and 8.

Perhaps the oddest part of it is Section 1, Question 10 (related to Section 3, Question 10) which says (akin to C. H. Spurgeon’s belief about infants) that unbelieving children will not go to hell if they die prior to knowing the difference between good and evil, but instead will be saved by grace without believing. In addition, in his Reminiscences of Our Mission to Chile (pages 18, 22, 27), Davidson insinuated that he might have been a teetotaller, and also that he considered that Baptists were “Protestants”—neither view being a general, or historically Baptist perspective.

Also note that Davidson’s orthodox, simple, general eschatological pronouncement about Christ’s return—perfectly aligned with amillenialism—is seen in Section 7, Question 17. He gives no hint whatever of adopting a dispensational hermeneutic or eschatology with a millennium, great tribulation, or rapture (which is often taught in modern Chilean Baptist churches).

In another article, “Paradise Regained and Recent Criticism,” Review & Expositor30.4 (Oct. 1933): 381-402, Davidson showed his (obviously) keen interest in British literature, tackling critiques of John Milton’s Paradise Regained (1671). He basically argued that Milton was not unsound for focusing his attention on Luke’s account of the temptation of Christ, especially his disproportionately long treatment of the second temptation in Luke 4:6-7, “And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority [of the kingdoms of this world] I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.’” Davidson, by then Professor of Bible at Hannibal-LaGrange College in Missouri, concluded that Milton was orthodox in his interpretation and actually drew clever parallels with the trials and temptations of Job who, like Christ, ended up overcoming the devil. It was, indeed, a logical sequel to Milton’s other great literary work, Paradise Lost (1667). While one might see some weak and tacit links to political activism in his defense of Milton, no inkling of Davidson’s soteriology given. It does show that Davidson was a scholar in fields beyond Bible, church history, and theology alone.

R. Cecil Moore

The second regular Southern Baptist missionary to come to Chile in 1919, Robert Cecil Moore, stayed in the field far longer than Davidson. He wrote his 1944 Ph.D. dissertation, The Economic Influence of Roman Catholicism in Chile, at Southern Baptist Theological seminary, around 25 years after his arrival. As such, it was fully related to his field experience. He cites Chile’s low wages and overall backwardness as being direct results of the false doctrine or manipulative polices supported by the Roman Church, e.g., high taxes, brutal treatment of Indians, grants of unequal land privileges, and greed and exploitation in the name of religion.

There is an interesting quotation in his introduction (p. 2) that sums up the link between property, capitalism and a Christian Worldview: “A man’s religion, and a man’s goods are two of the most dynamic forces in his existence, and they are closely related at many points. What a man believes will affect his acquisitive desires, as it will modify also the distributive use of the goods he will make of his goods once acquired.” He then goes on to talk about the importance of observing the Ten Commandments, especially resting on the Lord’s Day and partaking in charitable activities (also see Davidson’s dissertation, p. 69). Too, he applies Max Weber’s theory in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of CapitalismPhoto credit

RC Moore.PNG
Moore concluded that, “…the Roman Catholic Church releases the lowest brutal passions of avarice and cruelty by its sanctions and even its participation. The potential wealth represented by the Indian population is squandered, beaten down by inhumane cruelty, and wasteful, selfish exploitation” (p. 46). Colonial curates (priests) in Valparaíso would also levy hefty taxes on visiting ship captains under threat of excommunication (p. 57). Moreover, under the Jesuits, Moore concluded, “Roman Catholicism, as a religious way of thinking, does not conduce to the best economic welfare of a country or a people” (p. 71). Indeed, “Chile is infinitely behind other countries that have inferior resources, not because of inferior race, but because of a religion that gives inferior economic results. Is it too much to say that Chile is poor because it is Catholic?” (p. 84). “Judged by the history of colonial Chile, Roman Catholicism is not conducive to intellectual liberty and exploration nor to inventiveness in any line. Catholicism is contrary to social change, and social change is essential to permanent economic well-being” (p. 119). In sum, Chile would have been a vastly different place had it not be dominated by Catholicism for so long (p. 124).

Moore wrote for the Chilean Baptist magazine La Voz Bautista (The Baptist Voice) frequently as he spent decades trying to impact the Chilean people. As an activist, seemingly with similiar inclinations as Pastor John Leland decades before him, he kept an eye on world happenings for the brethren and, in the January 1923 issue, even noted gleefully that Russian communism had “failed.” Moreover, the dedication at the beginning of his thesis indicates that his wife was equally devoted to serving the Lord among the Chilean people. Furthermore, he wrote (in Spanish), Men and Acts: Baptists of Chile in 1965, a history of Baptist missionaries and work in Chile, along with other books and tracts.

The Rest: Some Circumstantial Evidence about Their Theology

From the writings of Moore and Davidson, it is clear in the case of Davidson and likely in the case of the others, that the early American Baptist missionaries were theologically savvy, multi-lingual, Calvinistic and non-dispensational, non-charismatic men, who were also intellectuals that enjoyed political activism and studies in church history, economic history and classic English literature. They were hardly men of low preparation, but rather—as thinking men—dedicated themselves to the evangelization and lifting up of people living in an impoverished country. Would it be too much of a stretch to think that the other initial missionaries—MacDonald, Marrs, Moye, Hart, McGavock, Maer—were also of similar character and preparation, or at least just as true and dedicated in their diligent service for Christ in Chile? MacDonald had evidently learned his doctrine directly from C. H. Spurgeon in London (Biography, page 19), and was surely an active Calvinistic preacher. In summarizing “The Baptist Message to Chile” in La Voz Bautista (February 1922), MacDonald stated that apart from decreeing and controlling all things that come to pass, “predestination is the eternal election that God makes for some people to eternal life, by virtue of which they are called, justified, and glorified,” affirming emphatically the perseverence of the saints, too. I hope that further study into the lives and work of these men will better reveal both their precise theological views and their passion for “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Nonetheless, at least by considering the circumstantial evidence of their training, the missionaries’ belief in the sovereignty of God in salvation should come as no surprise. According to William A. Mueller, in his 1959 book A History of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Nashville: Broadman Press), the faculty working at the seminary when Davidson, Moore, McGavock, and Hart studied there were (page 242): John Richard Sampy (1863-1946), faculty member 1887-1942; Archibald Thomas Robertson (1863-1934), 1890-1934; William Joseph McGlothlin (1867-1933), 1896-1919; William Owen Carver (1868-1954), 1898-1943 who, according to Wills (2010), manifested some liberal sympathies, like entertaining the idea that hell does not exist (pages 260-267, 322); Edgar Young Mullins (1860-1928), 1899-1928, who, according to Wills (2010), was clearly a Calvinist (page 240); George Boardman Eager (1847-1929), 1900-1920; Charles Spurgeon Gardner (1859-1948), 1907-1929 who, according to Wills (2010), was open to a few liberal sympathies, but less than his mentor Carver (pages 237-241); Harry Clifford Wayman (1881-1959), 1915-1923; and Landrum Pinson Leavell (1874-1929), 1915-1920. According to Wills (2010), Sampy, Wayman, Robertson and Dargon, along with Byron Hoover Dement (1863-1933), 1906-1914 (President of Baptist Bible Institute and future seminary in New Orleans starting in 1917); “represented the more conservative wing of the faculty” in 1907, with Whitsitt, Harris, and Kerfoot being gone by then (page 268).

J McGavock.PNG
A few other professors possibly influenced later graduates like McGavock (pictured above, who graduated five years after Davidson): Frank Marion Powell (1886-1973), 1918-1941; Gaines Stanley Dobbins (1886-1978), 1920-1956; William Hersey Davis (1887-1950), 1920-1950; James McKee Adams (1886-1945), 1921-1945; and conservative preacher (Wills, 2010:325) Kyle Monroe Yates (1895-1975), 1922-1942. Note that McGavock was a mason, like unto so many Baptists during the Twentieth Century (e.g., Honorio Espinoza) and Presbyterian Pastor Trumbull in Valparaíso during the Nineteenth Century (see photograph of the seminary’s masons below).

Earlier graduates Hart (who was editor of The Baptist Voice for a time) and Marrs were likely also influenced by William H. Whitsitt (1841-1911), 1872-1899; Henry Herbert Harris (1837-1897), 1896-1897; Franklin Howard Kerfoot (1847-1901), 1887-1899; and Edwin Charles Dargan (1852-1930), 1892-1907—all of whom ended their seminary careers prior to Davidson entering the seminary—but did not have courses with Byron Hoover Dement, Harry Clifford Wayman, Landrum Pinson Leavell, Charles Spurgeon Gardner, Frank Marion Powell; Gaines Stanley Dobbins, William Hersey Davis, James McKee Adams, or Kyle Monroe Yates, who taught after Hart and Marrs had finished their studies. These professors were undoubtedly Calvinists. According to Wills (2010), “Whitsitt frequently emphasized the Calvinistic character of baptist doctrine in his church history classes and praised the soundly Calvinistic Philadelphia Confession of Faith” and Dargan’s 1905 book Doctrines of Our Faith clearly indicated that he was a Calvinist, too (p. 240). Presumably, Hart broadly agreed with the Calvinism, local churches practices and issues of morality espoused by the other missionaries, along with translated articles written by theologians outside of Chile that were reprinted in the journal he edited. He likely held, for example, that the role of deacons was merely to serve rather than to rule the local church, which is a doctrine that is quite different than what is practiced today, where deacons are the leaders of the local church.

The deacons are not elders or directors, but rather servants of the church, who must care for the temporal interests of the same. We have no commandment to determine how many deacons there should be in a church, nor how long they should remain in office. The officers of the church are there more to serve than to exercise power. The official positions of the church are not titles, nor ranks, nor means to achieve exaltation, but instead exist for service. Officers and members form part of a unity and their actions are both joint and mutual. [Dr. JLM Curri, “An Important Difference: A Baptist Church Is Radically Different from Paido-Baptist Churches,” reprinted in La Voz Bautista, 15:2 (February 1923), Temuco, Chile, page 11, translated from Spanish.]

Chile’s early Baptist missionaries were trained in Calvinist soteriology and taught the doctrines of grace from the pulpit, in its seminary and in discipleship classes. There is no evidence that they were taught in seminary either a dispensational hermeneutic or eschatology, and certainly not a charismatic perspective on the continuation of the revelatory and other spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14, Acts 2 and 8, and Romans 12, or that they promoted such teachings to their churches in Chile. In fact, Davidson commented several times in his Reminiscences of Our Mission to Chile (pages 7-9, 17) that missionaries Davidson and Moore (and presumably others) rebuffed incursions by pentecostals, e.g., a self-professed, boisterous, Greek-reading “prophet” Mr. Shulpig, and faith healer named Mr. Bunster from Concepción who had led the Baptist church there astray, calling the former “heretical.” Yet, one would never know those facts when visiting one of the Chilean Baptist churches in 2018 that was directly or indirectly spawned by their efforts almost a century earlier. Indeed, they would turn in their graves upon witnessing the modern Baptist debacle.

The World Situation When the Early Missionaries Arrived in Chile

Remember, too, that the 1910s and “roaring” 1920s were tumultuous decades in the world, affecting both the United States and Chile, each of which had been receiving (and continued to receive) many new European immigrants. On the world stage, World War 1 (1914-1918), the Russian communist revolution (1917), the sinking of the Titanic (1912) and the Lusitania (1915), and the opening of the Panama Canal (1914), had been changing the course of history. Christian seminaries worldwide experienced the onslaught of theological liberalism during these decades, spurred on by the growing teaching of Darwinian evolution (affecting Carver, Gardner and Toy at the Southern Baptist Seminary), with conservatives splitting off from them to form new ones, such as Dallas Theological Seminary (1924) and (in the case of the conservative Presbyterians) Westminster Theological Seminary (1929). The uprising against theological liberalism and the defeat of postmillennialism that had dominated Baptists and many Protestants for centuries due to the devastation of two world wars, permitted the rise and spread of conservative dispensationalist teachings that profoundly impacted both Baptists and Presbyterians in the mid-Twentieth Century.

Chilean history had been forever altered by the aftermath of the great Valparaíso earthquake and fire (1906), the synthesizing of saltpeter (nitrates) by the Germans (1915) that destroyed their greatest export business, the sinking of British ships by the German ship Dresden (1914) and subsequent blockade of Chilean ports by the British during World War 1, internal strife between German and British, French or other European immigrants who sent their sons from Chile to fight in Europe, the dwindling of its economic power and the golden age of Valparaíso, along with the rise of Santiago’s preeminence, and the 1925 Constitution which separated church and state and allowed common men to vote—and Baptist men to preach publicly in Spanish.

The United States started its central bank (1913), passed a permanent national income tax for the first time (1913), fought in World War 1 (1917-1918), granted women’s suffrage (1920), started producing automobiles via the assembly line (1913), enacted and then rescinded alcoholic beverage prohibition (1919-1933), and saw the first commercial airlines begin service (1914).

One cannot fully understand the situation of the missionaries without first appreciating the world in which they lived and studied, and that of the land where they arrived. In addition, one must have a better understanding of what they believed and sought to establish in Chile to really comprehend the effort. To that end, I hope this article has been enlightening, given that no one would have ever guessed what the early missionaries represented considering the degenerate state of modern Chilean Baptist churches and the Baptist seminary in Santiago today.

Leer la versión en español

John Cobin, Ph.D. Twitter

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

A Grateful Immigrant

Some people are surprised to learn that not only did I immigrate to Chile, but I also renounced my American citizenship after I became a Chilean. Indeed, I prefer freedom, and with all its faults Chile is an even freer place than the United States of America. I do not mean to say that the Chilean state is good or without its faults; not at all. I am a libertarian and according to my experience, the theoretical framework of my Worldview, and the empirical results that I have seen many scholars come up with: all States are vile.

In Chile there is no justice, there is crime; it is a lying, dishonest, deceitful and distrustful society with an odious bureaucracy that is coupled with annoying hassles and hurdles to get anything done. People tend to be overtly selfish, especially when driving or shopping. A large percentage of professionals and tradesmen seem to be incompetent. The Marxist minority is disgusting and irksome. These things are annoying. However, there are dozens of excellent reasons to be in Chile: beautiful landscapes, good medical care, low taxes, privatization of pensions and former state-run enterprises, affordable housing (in Chilean First World places), the best anti-seismic construction in the world, good food, a large number of libertarians, little political correctness, scant radical ecology or radical feminist policies, a strong family focus, strong opposition to abortion, etc.

I left the U.S.A. and I eliminated my citizenship because I did not want to be linked with that state and I adopted the considerably less malignant Chilean one. I am certainly more optimistic about the future of Chile than that of North America. Chile is my homeland now and I am working to make it even more libertarian.

What do I think about the old country? Not much; I do not feel any moral obligation to liberate the U.S.A. from its evil, nor raise funds from here to free its serfs from their regulatory, tax and politcally-correct slavery. Am I a degenerate or indolent for not caring about fixing the big mess up yonder? I do not think so. Instead, I recommend that North Americans (and Europeans) come to Chile.

For me, life is clearly a struggle between good and evil, in general trying to help others be a little freer, even though my main desire is for Chile to move towards greater liberty. Such freedom is a strong magnet that will automatically attract oppressed immigrants—similar to Hong Kong in the Twentieth Century. My idea is not original, since during the Nineteenth Century and the first decades of the Twentieth, Valparaíso, Chile fulfilled that magnetic function. I want Valparaíso to regain that virtue during the Twenty-First Century so that, once again, the world’s oppressed, poor, ignorant and persecuted will reach its shores alon with the rest of the country.

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I am a grateful immigrant because Chile welcomed me on March of 1996 when I was thrity-three years old—without a job, with less than USD$10,000 in savings, with five children under eight years old (and another one to be born that July), and without being able to speak much Spanish. We all had a temporary visas when we arrived, obtained before boarding the plane, but nothing else of significant earthly value besides courage, resourcefulness, dedication and diligence.

In addition, I have been rather serious about promoting Chile to others. Since 2006, I have publicized and “sold” the country to many Americans (and several Europeans), with many of them having come down to stay (a few in conditions similar mine in 1996). Now, most of these folks speak, more or less, in Spanish. Many of them work here and are applying for Chilean nationality. I am happy for them and I hope they serve as great blessings for Chile.

With the help of some fabulous individuals (i.e., Chicago boys or, in one case, a UCLA boy) who trusted me and hired me even though I spoke Spanish poorly, boosted my career growth and later facilitated the development of some projects in Chile. I would be remiss not to mention and thank, in a special way, Álvaro Vial, who even signed up to be my personal guarantor, allowing to lease my first home in 1997, as well as Harald Beyer, Cristian Laurroulet, and later (in 2008) Francisco Labbé, among others.

In mentioning these fine men, I am not implying that I got work on account of favoritism. For instance, to get my first full time job in Chile I had to pass a “test” before being hired by the Finis Terra University. It consisted in me teaching a semester-long course (in English) about free market and public policy topics, for authorities and professors of the university. Thus, I earned the job based on my merits. I am infinitely grateful for the opportunity they gave me. Also, nobody claimed that I was going to take away the work of a Chilean that might have otherwise gotten my university post. Its authorities, with the exception of Adelio Pipino, were pro-immigrant.

Now, I want to help other immigrants as others have helped me—especially considering the great influx of immigrants that has arrived since 2015. Accordingly, I am especially happy to see Baptists (of which I am one) working with Haitian immigrants to learn Spanish and the Bible. I am libertarian in word and deed, and there is no man more naturally libertarian than a Baptist.

Unlike other Chileans who disdain immigrants, how could I be anti-immigrant after having such a good reception in Chile? I have been settled in the country for the better part of twenty-two years, working, paying taxes, participating in politics and active in church, writing 1,505 letters to the editor, hundreds of blog entries pertaining to Chile, and have been the subject of many press interviews. My language skills still leave something tp be desired. Yet, I was relatively comfortable writing this article in Spanish (having had people who helped me correct mistakes), before putting it into English. Another issue: note that my second daughter (Rachel) was born here, in Quilpué, on July 7, 1996 and is a Chilean citizen, too. I have another son who opted for nationality as well. For so many reasons, I have always felt welcome to Chile.

Álvaro Vial and Héctor Hevia (among others) told me that when they went to study at the universities of Chicago and Western Michigan, respectively, they were surprised by how well the gringos received them, willing to help and show kindness to an unknown foreigner. I must agree that the generosity and volunteerism of Americans is unparalleled in the world. (It is, after all, a country made up of once persecuted, oppressed and poor ignorant immigrants or their descendants, right?)

Upon seeing me in 1996, they told me that they were goig to take the opportunity to return the favor of what they had received in America by being generous and helpful to me, without expecting anything in return. At other times, different men helped me, too, especially in 2008 and 2015-2016. It is worth mentioning that Pablo Baraona, Hermógenes Pérez de Arce and super-libertario Álvaro Bardón nearly became my fans by helping me become yet another emblematic (or enigmatic?) Chilean libertarian who believed in the economic policies they envoked under Pinochet, and who showed his preference to live in these furthest confines of the world instead of the “fabulous” United States. I’m grateful for them too.

Blurb in <i>La Estrella</i> (The Star) of Valparaíso in January 1996 alerting people to the fact that the "<i>gringo loco</i>" was going to arrive.jpg

They put this notice for me at La Estrella in Valparaíso (January 1996). Mrs. Marta Ramírez (another fabulous person) answered and leased us a country house in Lo Hidalgo, between Limache and Villa Alemana. I am grateful again because he was interested in my case. From there, I launched my life in Chile. It has not been easy, but I have shown that you can achieve success as an immigrant in Chile.

Having considered the main provisions of the bill championed by President Piñera (April 2018) to modify Chilean immigration legislation, I think it will cause more distortions than solutions. Would it not be better to privatize the border? In what sense am I different from the Haitian immigrant so frequently despised today? My skin is white, my eyes are greenish, and my university and postgraduate education (coupled with my professional career) is far better than theirs. Are those the reasons why I was preferred? The differences I have with immigrants from Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela are relatively minor compared to the massive ones I have with Haitians—except that those folks already speak Spanish as their first language, unlike my unpolished drivel—wherein they beat me hands-down. All of that evidence leads me to believe that there is an immigrant prototype that the Chilean government under Piñera likes.

At any rate, I have empathy for the immigrants who have been coming to Chile since 2015. I hope that Chile is beneficial to them, and that they will consider becoming part of our pro-life libertarian political party (and perhaps ponder becoming Baptists, too!). Normally those who have fled oppression and social malice, having been persecuted by the Left, come to their new homeland willing to oppose the slavish, often violent and bloodthristy Left that beleaguered it. Just how beneficial would attracting so many new adherents that detest the Left be for the libertarian Right?

This article was published (in Spanish) by the popular, left-wing Chilean magazine The Clinic, on April 13, 2018.

Haz click aquí para ver la versión en español de este artículo.

John Cobin, Ph.D. Twitter

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Early Chilean Baptists Supported by Libertarian Ones from America

The early Baptists that arrived in Chile likely brought with them some strong libertarian tendencies. Virginian Baptists were the first Americans to support Chilean Baptists works in 1917. Accordingly, there was probably a tacit link with to the influential activism of Pastor John Leland, who preached thousands of sermons in Virginia and took an activist role in both the association of Baptists—that would later send missionaries Earl and Mary Davidson to Chile (see page 27 of the missionary list)—and the promotion of libertarian ideals for the newly-formed United States. Indeed, it is unlikely that American Baptists sent socialists or communists to Chile, and surely not any pacifists.

According to Ricardo Becerra Inostroza in Invitando a Conocer la Historia de una Comunidad Cristiana (2006:18-22), (which translates to “An invitation to know the history of a Christian community”), the first Baptists arrived in Chile in 1884 from Hamburg and Berlin, Germany. More followed in 1892, establishing a church in the southern 8th Region in the town Contulmo, and then spread to the western 9th Region, with the second church in “El Salto” (north of Temuco) opening in 1894, with others soon being established in Quillén, Púa, and Victoria. They preached in German and struggled to preach in Spanish, which had to be improved over time. Their main goal ended up being to evangelize German-speaking Roman Catholic immigrants that had settled in southern Chile. Similarly, English-speaking Baptists William (Guillermo) MacDonald and his wife Julia arrived from Scotland in 1888, having been invited by Chilean President Balmaceda to serve as a professor in the English colony in Púa (between Victoria and Temuco). He was paid by the Bible Society in Valparaíso started by Presbyterian (and Mason, Pereira, page 12) Dr. David Trumbull and received a parcel of land in Freire from the Chilean governemnt for his efforts. MacDonald ended up establishing Baptist churches from Victoria to Valdivia, and then jumped further south to Chiloé island.

Of course, before 1925, Chile was an officially Roman Catholic country and, as such, it was illegal to preach the Gospel in Spanish—even though legislation in 1865 y 1883-1885 had permitted private worship by Evangelicals in homes. As usual, the early Chilean Baptists found themselves outside the law for preaching the Gospel illegally, starting perhaps around 1895 when they began to hold Spanish-language services. They also faced other threats. The region was still a wilderness full of hostile Mapuche Indians, and it is likely that the Baptists were armed and ready to defend themselves if necessary—just like all the other European settlers around them from France, Belgium, Italy, Britain, Switzerland, Germany and elsewhere.

My wife Pamela’s maternal great grandfather, Pastor Wenceslao Valdivia (1886-1935), “the first Chilean Baptist,” was converted from Roman Catholicism upon hearing the simple Gospel message from Spanish immigrant (perhaps of French origin) Jorge Canete in Pailahueque (Ercilla province), just north of Victoria (central 9th Region), according to the biography Wenceslao Valdivia: Primer Bautista Chileno (1947). This book was written by his son, Pamela’s maternal great uncle, Pastor Isaías Valdivia Sanhueza in Valparaíso. Wenceslao was baptized in 1896 in the Quillén Baptist church and later went on to pastor thirty-four Baptist congregations in Contulmo, the 9th Region (Temuco) and 14th (Valdivia) Region during his life.

Isaías, who was the founding pastor of the first Baptist church in Valparaíso (1936), eventually went to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for further training and never returned to Chile. He and his father were probably close to the core doctrine imported by the Davidsons (and probably the other missionaries from Virginia in Chile at the time: Joe Hart, Robert Moore, Frank Marrs), presumably trained by calvinistic Baptists and libertarians in Virginia, and whom presumably would not have been opposed to employing self-defense against menacing Indians in either the United States or Chile. In a recent blog entry about Pastor John Leland, who ministered in both Virginia and Massachusetts, I concluded:

…early American Baptists like pastors Leland and Backus would not have been opposed to carrying concealed weapons, much to the chagrin of some of their modern progeny in Europe, North America and South American countries like Chile. Were the historical Baptists right regarding taking up arms in self-defense? How different would modern countries in North America, Europe and South America be if Baptists would only adhere to the doctrine of Christ and corresponding Worldview championed by their activist Baptist predecessors?

While the ends do not justify the means, it is quite clear that Baptist prosperity since 1790, including Bible-based seminaries and the enormous missionary surge over the last two centuries—along with similar blessings that spilled over to many other groups—was built on the defensive actions of activist Baptists. The courageous American Baptists of the late 1700s may have originally aligned themselves with Presbyterians (mainly) and others like the “black robe regiment” Lutherans during the battle for freedom in Colonial America, but they later stood alone when insisting on protecting the rights of men generally via the Bill of Rights. Accordingly, libertarians in North America, Chile, Europe and elsewhere around the world owe a debt of gratitude to Baptists, the most libertarian and neoliberal of all the branches of Christianity.

I do not know for certain what the Davidsons or Canete believed, but given what I do know about the history of Virginian baptists (in the tradition of Leland), and other southern baptists of that 1880-1920 era in North America and Europe, it is likely that the missionaries from Virginia brought a relatively libertarian and calvinistic perspective to the Valdivias and other Chileans. Nevertheless, modern Chilean Baptists generally know little of the Valdivias, close to nothing of Leland, or even much about the support from the Virginian Baptists initially given a century ago—bolstering Chilean Baptist churches. Looking at how weak Chilean Baptist churches are today, replete with their theatrical acts, charismatic tendencies, arminianism, pacifism, and women in leadership or coordinating the services, one can imagine the Valdivias turning in their graves.

Are Chilean Baptists anything like John Leland and their libertarian-minded, calvinistic Virginian forefathers? Or are they courageous like the Valdivias, Canetes or Davidsons? When considering a bacon-and-eggs breakfast, we see that the hen sacrifices a lot (her egg), but the pig is committed to the ultimate sacrifice to get the job done. The American Founders were committed like “pigs” are, especially the Baptist ones. Are Chileans more like “hens” or “pigs” in this sad scenario today, wanting to fight for liberty and historic Baptist doctrine? The question is rhetorical. The obvious implication is that Chilean Baptists would do well to learn their libertarian and calvinistic roots, reconsider the biblical doctrine that makes them distinct and their message powerful, thereby moving forward once again to transform their culture.

Ver la versión en español acá.

John Cobin, Ph.D. Twitter

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

New Pro-Life Libertarian Party in Chile / Nuevo Partido Político Libertario Chileno a Favor de la Vida

Chile has many classical liberals or libertarians that are pro-life who have now formed their own political party: the Independence Party. Chile tiene muchos liberales clásicos o libertarios que están a favor de la vida, y ya han formado su propio partido político: el Partido Independencia.

This article is written in both English and Spanish. The idea is (1) to inform English speakers of an important new political movement in Chile and also (2) to help attract people in Chile to participate. If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Chile, and you agree with the platform (whether or not you speak Spanish), please sign the Party’s online form to join with us and show your support!

Español abajo.

English

Declaration of Principles of the Independence Party

Preliminary Statement: In accordance with Article 5 of Law No. 18,603, the Independence Party expresses its commitment to the strengthening of democracy and respect, the guarantee and promotion of human rights enshrined in the Constitution, in ratified international treaties and laws in force in Chile, and in life generally.

1- On the human being and the individual:

The person is an end in itself and not a means. As a rational being (when we say rational being, we do not say that its actions are entirely dedicated mainly to its own survival) he exists for his own effort and courage in cooperation with others, and not to be used by others. Being endowed with a volitional consciousness (free will), social relations must be based on free collaboration that is voluntary between subjects to be considered fair, while rejecting forced impositions by the state.

2- On the Chilean nation:

The Independence Party advocates a civic nationalism. We consider Chile a Western and Hispanic American nation, with major cultural influences coming from several human groups: the Indians, the conquerors of the Spanish empire, many other European countries (especially Germany, Britain, Italy, Croatia, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Portugal), the United States, and a large Orthodox Christian remnant from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine—that part of the former Ottoman Empire that is now called Israel. Chile is a country of immigrants, but it is also a country of indigenous people, former Spanish conquerors and other settlers, but now its culture and common traits are easily identifiable as the small differences seen across our long geography.

The preservation and improvement of our nation is not a racial or biological problem, neither military nor expansionist. Civic nationalism seeks conservation and CULTURAL improvement of what we understand today by “Chile”. We reject isolationism or racism in every way.

  1. On citizenship and the state:

Citizens must be free and equal in dignity and rights. We live in a mixed society, with a state that exploits the private productive relationships of people through high taxes and regulation. Tax measures and administrative measures are due to adequate levels of effectiveness and efficiency. We stand for privatization and the use of market-based regulation wherever possible to reduce taxes and government regulation.

4- On property as a natural right:

Life, liberty and property are natural rights that are antecedent to the State. The defense of property is the basis of a well-formed civil society, allowing personal development and the improvement of individual initiative and private enterprise.

A free individual must take responsibility for the positive and negative consequences of his actions. The fruits of his work, i.e., his property, must be protected from the consequences of the acts of others, and thus protected by justice, peace and social harmony.

5- On justice:

We understand by justice the recognition of the fact that people and nature cannot be changed or interpreted differently and according to the discretion of others, much less by means of public policy. It means respect for the truth in an incorruptible way, given that all human beings must be judged by what is and treated accordingly with equality.

6- On protective and subsidiary status:

The state or, better said, the government, must defend the property rights of the people, which are the expression of human nature, savings, capital formation and the preservation of life and happiness, must promote voluntary private solidarity and ultimately fulfill the subsidiary role focused on the population most in need to guarantee the minimum benefits for the healthy coexistence. In doing so, government should rely on private, charitable, philanthropic, mutual and market-based institutions as much as possible.

7- On the law and legislation:

The law is a declaration of the sovereign will of the individuals that make up the national community, spontaneously generated and antecedent to the state, either in the general sphere of the country or in each territorial unit with it scorresponding jurisdictions. Legislation is the artifically imposed rules or codes of conduct created by legislative bodies of the government or state.

Notwithstanding the above, Chile is a Republic where natural rights are fundamental and protected, namely: the rights to life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. None of these rights may be restricted by majority vote or decrees by the executive or judicial power.

8- On national sovereignty:

The sovereignty of Chile lies in its people and is applied throughout its territory: Accordingly, it is important to review and submit to the democratic control of international treaties, pacts and agreements to which Chile subscribes.

9- On decentralization and cantonization:

In order to increase the degrees of freedom and responsibility of individuals, we believe that the delegation of decision-making power to the smallest organizational and territorial unit is important. We believe that the vast majority of administrative, valuation and tax matters correspond to the competencies of local communities. That is why we propose the cantonization as administrative structure of each territory, accomplishing as much decentralization as possible to promote efficiency and effectiveness. The current provinces will become autonomous political bodies to make decisions on issues of economic, social and regulatory relevance. We propose with this a confederated and cantonal Chile.

10- On trust in the family and community:

Given that human beings are eminently social and empathic beings, we believe in the family and the community (e.g., religious groups, neighborhood associations, sports club, and other institutions), as instances of participation and solidarity in which individuals may find support, help and mutually beneficial cooperation. We believe that the weight of “social action” falls on them instead of the bureaucratic and impersonal state.

We also believe that this makes the individual responsible for the positive or negative results derived from his actions. In terms of thinking, individuals must be free to believe and choose as they deem best, even if considered absurd or ridiculous to others, noting only that one may deny reality but not the consequences of reality. Man must be allowed to err, so long as he does not force his will upon others.

11- On free association, the right to discern and self-defense:

People should be free to associate with those they deem best according to their own criteria. No one can be forced to belong to an association. The members of each intermediate body (e.g., churches, companies, families, groups of friends, foundations, clubs, etc.) have the right to express their power to discern when accepting a new member. We oppose any legislation that attempts to prevent the exercise of this right unless it is a matter of national security. We oppose state intervention or involvement in marriage, the foundational unit of family and society, which should be left to private institutions or associations to define, determine and regulate. All people have a right to defend themselves, by force of arms if necessary, against any other human being or autocratic state that seeks to deprive them of their natural rights by force.

12- On the environment and privatization of externalities:

In order to fully develop human nature, we believe that it is necessary for people to live in a clean and healthy environment. Without prejudice to the foregoing, we understand that individuals have different preferences and visions regarding the type of environment in which they want to live. Recognizing the legitimacy of these differences, we believe that the free market is the mechanism to resolve them, through an adequate definition of property rights and the prices of externalities. We believe that public policies tend to make environmental problems permanent and only slightly improved, being subjected to the perverse incentives of interest groups, and that market-based solutions to environmental, population and natural resource problems are in every way to be preferred.

13- On the right to life and the free movement of peoples related to immigration:

We believe that every human being, whose personality or personhood cannot be infringed on or separated from him by public policy, has an inalienable right to life, from the moment of conception to death. Euthanasia of the elderly or infirm, or voluntary abortion, are acts of aggression against a person that must not be allowed, excepting only self-defense abortion in cases where the position of the fetus in the fallopian tube will with certainty kill both the mother and unborn child. All persons have the right to travel and should be welcomed into Chile as a means to improve our country’s population and development. However, it may be necessary to rely on market-based regulation (e.g., privatized borders, largely-privatized civil registry services and border security guards, private medical teams to isolate infectious diseases) to define the quantity and placement of immigrants.

14- On free-market policy alternatives and the use of force internationally:

Finding and providing solutions to policy problems are an essential feature of any political party. Thus, we propose the use of market incentives, market-based regulation, private initiative and historically favored rules like allodial property rights to encourage the development of remote regions, improve the quality of life, foment business and economic growth, protect residents from infectious diseases, and promote peace. National defense is important and Chile has a right to defend its citizens and their property against aggressors, but we oppose the opportunistic, expansive use of militarism or warfare to subdue other peoples. We all oppose all international entanglements with multinational social or political bodies such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank of International Settlements, the International Court of Justice, and so forth. We oppose, too, the imposition of political correctness doctrines on individuals by the state, as well as state criminalization, regulation and other rules regarding what individuals choose to smoke, inhale, ingest, whether in the form of a drug, alcohol or food.

15- On the Party’s historical position:

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and Chile has not yet achieved full independence from state encroachment. The mission of the Independence Party is the unification of the Chileans in a collective process that allows the development of each individual in the country. It represents a rupture with world and national bureaucracies, at the same time being a renewed means to keep Chile open to the rest of the world. Peace with other nations includes trade and free migration that is not contradictory to our independence and sovereignty. As Chile has a strong history of receiving other peoples peacefully, we encourage migration processes that allow for healthy coexistence through market-based regulation, that ensure avoiding cultural and uncivilized clashes. From 1840 to 1930, Valparaíso was one of the economically freest places in the world, yielding a prosperity built on diversity of immigrants and free flows of capital and goods. We aim to restore this golden age of Chile, coupled with a furtherance of the social and political freedoms.

Note for the English version onlyValparaíso even enjoyed free banking from 1862 to 1879. To a lesser extent, similar freedom movements were observed in south-central Chile by European migrations (from 1860 to 1910) to the 9th (especially), 10th, and 14th regions—largely comprised of people fleeing religious (anti-Evangelical) or early-Marxist persecutions in their home countries. Punta Arenas, Santiago, Iquique and Antofagasta also flourished with the influx of immigrants, many of whom became fabulously wealthy. Such freedom is cherished by liberty-lovers today worldwide and showcased by other libertarian parties and libertarian think tanks around the world.

Only in the English version (proposed addition):
16- On financial regulation and banking: As an essential element of free enterprise, the banking, insurance and financial sectors must be freed from ties to the state, leaving their formation and regulation to market-based institutions. We support free banking and competing banknote issue, gold-based banking, and unregulated crytpo-currency activities. Financial accounts and transactions should be completely private and untaxed, both for Chileans and residents from other countries living in Chile.

We face an opportunity never before seen, where a group of Chileans is resolved, and thus decided to take the reins of history, to take Chile down the path of greater individual freedom and free markets.

Long live Chile!

Declaración de principios del Partido Independencia:

Declaración Preliminar: En conformidad con el Articulo 5 de la Ley Número 18.603, el Partido Independencia expresa su compromiso con el fortalecimiento de la democracia y el respeto, la garantía y la promoción de los derechos humanos asegurados en la Constitución, en los tratados internacionales ratificados y vigentes en Chile, y en las leyes.

1- Sobre el ser humano e individuo:

La persona es un fin en sí mismo y no un medio. Como un ente racional (al decir ente racional no decimos que sus actos enteramente lo sean si no que es su principal herramienta de supervivencia) existe por su propio esfuerzo y valentía en cooperación con otros y no para ser utilizado por otros. Siendo dotado de una conciencia volitiva (libre albedrío) las relaciones sociales deben basarse en la colaboración libre y voluntaria entre sujetos para ser consideradas justas, rechazando de esta manera cualquier tipo de imposición forzosa por parte del Estado.

2- De la nación chilena:

El Partido independencia propugna un nacionalismo cívico. Consideramos a Chile una nación occidental e hispanoamericana, cuyas principales influencias culturales provienen de varios grupos humanos: los indígenas, los conquistadores del imperio español, los colonos europeos (especialmente Alemania, Reino Unido, Italia, Croacia, Francia, Suiza, Bélgica y Holanda), Estados Unidos y del imperio turco-otomano provenientes de lo que hoy es Israel o Palestina y Siria. Chile no es fundamentalmente un país de inmigrantes (como lo podría ser Estados Unidos por ejemplo), es un país de indígenas, conquistadores y colonos, por lo que su cultura y rasgos comunes son fácilmente identificables pese a las pequeñas diferencias dadas por la larga geografía que nos aleja.

La preservación y mejora de nuestra nación no es un asunto racial ni biológico, ni militar ni expansionista. El nacionalismo cívico busca la conservación y el desarrollo de lo que hoy entendemos por “Chile”. Rechazamos de plano cualquier forma de racismo o nacionalismo étnico.

3- Ciudadanía y Estado:

Los ciudadanos deben ser libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos. Vivimos en una sociedad mixta, con un Estado que explota las relaciones productivas privadas de las personas a través de altos impuestos. Es por esto que deben reducirse las tasas impositivas y los órganos administrativos deben acercarse a niveles óptimos de eficacia y eficiencia con tal de servir a las personas de la mejor manera posible en materias que no pueden ser resueltas por el mercado.

4- La propiedad privada como Derecho Natural:

La vida, la libertad y la propiedad privada son derechos naturales anteriores al Estado. La defensa de la propiedad privada es la base de una sociedad civil bien conformada, permite la creación de riqueza, el desarrollo personal y potencia la iniciativa individual.

Un individuo libre debe hacerse responsable de las consecuencias positivas y negativas de sus actos, incluyendo de los frutos de su trabajo.

5- Justicia:

Entendemos que la justicia implica que las personas y la naturaleza no pueden ser cambiadas o interpretadas de manera diferente y según el arbitrio de algunos. La justicia significa el respeto por la verdad de una manera incorruptible, siendo el ser humano juzgado por lo que es y tratado en consecuencia.

6- Estado protector y subsidiario:

El Estado debe propender a defender los derechos de propiedad de las personas, que son una expresión de la naturaleza humana, debe promover la solidaridad privada voluntaria y soluciones de mercado y en última instancia cumplir un rol subsidiario focalizado en la población más necesitada garantizando las prestaciones mínimas.

7- Sobre la ley:

La ley es una declaración de la voluntad soberana de los individuos que conforman la comunidad nacional, ya sea ésta en el ámbito general del país o en cada unidad territorial y de la correspondiente jurisdicción.

Sin perjuicio de lo anterior, Chile es una República, y por ello los derechos naturales y fundamentales tales como los derechos a la vida, a la libertad y a la búsqueda de la felicidad no pueden ser coartados por leyes de la mayoría.

8- De la soberanía nacional:

La soberanía de Chile radica en su gente y se aplica en su territorio, debido a lo anterior nos parece importante revisar y someter al control democrático los tratados internacionales, pactos y acuerdos que Chile suscribe.

9- Descentralización y cantonización:

Con el fin de aumentar los grados de libertad y de responsabilidad de los individuos, nos parece importante la delegación de poder de decisión a la unidad organizacional y territorial más pequeña; creemos que la gran mayoría de los asuntos administrativos, valóricos y tributarios corresponden a competencias propias de la comunidad local, es por esto que proponemos la cantonización como estructura administrativa de cada territorio. Las actuales provincias pasarán a ser organismos políticos con autonomía para tomar decisiones en temas de relevancia económica, social y regulatoria. Proponemos con esto un Chile confederado y cantonal.

10- La confianza en la familia y la comunidad:

Siendo el ser humano un animal eminentemente social y empático, creemos en la familia y en la comunidad (grupo religioso, barrio, club deportivo, etc…) como instancias de participación y solidaridad en los que los individuos pueden encontrar contención, ayuda y apoyo. Creemos que recae en ellos el peso de la “acción social” en lugar del Estado burocrático e impersonal.

Creemos además que esto responsabiliza al individuo de los posibles resultados positivos y negativos de sus acciones. En términos de pensamiento, los individuos deben tener la libertad de creer y elegir lo que ellos consideren mejor, aunque esto sea considerado absurdo o ridículo para otros, considerando que uno puede negar la realidad pero no las consecuencias de la realidad. El ser humano debe estar permitido de errar siempre y cuando no imponga su voluntad sobre otros.

11- De la libre asociación y el derecho a discernir:

Las personas deben ser libres de asociarse con quienes estimen mejor según su propio criterio. Nadie puede ser obligado, forzado o inducido a pertenecer a una asociación. Los miembros de cada cuerpo intermedio (empresas, familias, grupos de amigos, fundaciones, clubes, etc…) tienen derecho a expresar su potestad de discernir al momento de aceptar a un nuevo miembro. Nos oponemos a cualquier legislación que intente impedir el ejercicio de este derecho a menos que se trate de un asunto de seguridad nacional. Nos oponemos a la intervención del Estado en el matrimonio, la unidad fundacional de la familia y de la sociedad, cuya determinación y regulación debería dejarse en manos de instituciones privadas o asociaciones.

Todos los seres humanos tienen el derecho a defenderse, por las armas si es necesario, contra otros seres humanos o contra un Estado autocrático que busque quitarle sus derechos naturales por la fuerza.

12- Medio ambiente y privatización de externalidades:

Con el fin de desarrollar plenamente la naturaleza humana, consideramos que es necesario que las personas puedan vivir en un ambiente limpio y sano Sin perjuicio de lo anterior entendemos que los individuos tienen distintas preferencias y visiones respecto del tipo de ambiente en el que quieren vivir. Reconociendo la legitimidad de esas diferencias creemos que el mecanismo para resolverlas es el mercado mediante una adecuada definición de los derechos de propiedad y de los precios de las externalidades.

Creemos que las políticas medioambientales del Estado son soluciones marginales que tienden a hacer que estos problemas medioambientales sean permanentes ya que generan incentivos perversos en ciertos grupos de intereses. Por lo mismo, creemos en soluciones de mercado a problemas, medioambientales y de asignación de recursos naturales.

13- Sobre el derecho a la vida y la libertad de movimiento con respecto a la inmigración

Creemos que todo ser humano, cuya personalidad o persona no puede ser transgredida o separada por políticas públicas, tiene derecho a la vida, desde el momento de la concepción a la muerte. La eutanasia de los mayores y enfermos o el aborto voluntario, son actos de agresión contra personas y no pueden ser permitidos salvo en casos de defensa propia cuando la posición del feto en las trompas de falopa provocará con seguridad la muerte de la madre y del niño que está por nacer.

Creemos en el derecho que de las personas a migrar y creemos que estas deberían ser bienvenidas a Chile como una forma de mejorar la cultura y el desarrollo del país. Sin embargo, para definir la cantidad y la distribución de los inmigrantes, promovemos soluciones de mercado tales como la privatización de las fronteras, la privatización del registro civil y de los guardias y personal médico en las fronteras y siempre en conformidad con la decisión soberana del pueblo chileno.

14- Sobre el libre mercado y el uso internacional de la fuerza

La búsqueda y la promoción de soluciones a problemas políticos es la función principal de cualquier partido político.

Respecto del desarrollo de regiones remotas, de su calidad de vida, de su economía y de su seguridad, proponemos el uso de incentivos de mercado, de la iniciativa privada y de los derechos alodiales.

La defensa nacional es importante y Chile tiene el derecho de defender a sus ciudadanos y su propiedad contra agresores. Sin embargo nos oponemos al uso oportunista y expansionista de la fuerza militar para someter a otras personas.

Nos oponemos al involucramiento con entidades políticas o sociales internacionales que limiten la soberanía de Chile, tales como las Organización de las Naciones Unidas, el Fondo Monetario Internacional y la Corte Internacional de Justicia entre otros.

Nos oponemos a la imposición de doctrinas de lo políticamente correcto, que no son otra cosa que formas de autocensura.

Nos oponemos a la criminalización y la regulación de substancias que los individuos elijan fumar, aspirar o ingerir. Sin embargo entendemos las repercusiones sociales que esto conlleva y por lo tanto entregamos parte importante de la toma de estas decisiones a las comunidades expresadas en sus cantones.

15- Posición Histórica:

El precio de la libertad es la eterna vigilancia y Chile no ha logrado una independencia plena del Estado y de organismos y entidades foráneas. La misión del Partido Independencia es la unificación de los chilenos en un proceso colectivo que permita el desarrollo de cada una de las individualidades que lo componen.

Representa una ruptura contra las burocracias mundiales y nacionales, al mismo tiempo que una fuerza renovadora y abierta al mundo. La paz con otras naciones incluye el comercio libre y la inmigración lo cual no debe estar en contradicción con nuestra independencia y soberanía.

Chile tiene una larga tradición de recibir a otros pueblos de forma pacífica. Creemos y promovemos procesos migratorios regulados que permitan una coexistencia sana mediante soluciones de mercado que eviten choques culturales y civilizatorios.

Entre 1840 y 1930, Valparaíso fue uno de los lugares económicamente más libres del mundo y su prosperidad se construyó sobre la inmigración y la libre circulación de bienes y capitales. Buscamos restaurar la era dorada de Chile y avanzar las libertades sociales y políticas queridas por amantes de la libertad en todo el mundo.

Estamos ante una oportunidad nunca antes vista, donde un grupo de chilenos resueltos ha decidido tomar las riendas de la historia para llevar a Chile por la senda de la libertad.

¡Viva Chile!

Este artículo está escrito en inglés y español. La idea es (1) informar a los hablantes de inglés de un importante movimiento político nuevo en Chile y también (2) ayudar a atraer a personas en Chile para que participen. Si usted es ciudadano o residente permanente de Chile, y está de acuerdo con la plataforma del Partido Independencia, firme el formulario en línea del Partido para unirse a nosotros y mostrar su apoyo.

John Cobin, Ph.D. Twitter

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Early Twentieth Century Baptists in Chile

Baptists have “plagued” Chile for many decades—in the same sense that the Apostle Paul was said to have done so in Acts 24:5. Unfortunately, few Chilean Baptists know much about this history of what I would call both a calvinistic and largely libertarian heritage. I have previously written something about the Baptists that arrived in Chile from Germany, Scotland and the United States from 1884 to 1917. They were the first real movement of Baptists to Chile, although President (General Director) Bernardo O’Higgins had invited Scottish Baptist Pastor James Thompson in 1821 to work to improve Chilean primary education using the Lancaster method. He stayed a year but managed to bring the first “Bible that came legally” into the country and began to spread the simple Gospel as well as he could.

There were also a few Baptists included in the more general immigrations of Germans during the 1850s and 1860s to Valdivia, La Unión and Osorno, along with the later settlements around Lago Llanquihue. (Note: a few Mennonites—pacifist, Arminian Baptists—also arrived, but they are not the focus of this article.) Some of the earliest German Baptists settled from Contulmo to Los Ángeles, down to Victoria, and also El Salto, Quillén Viejo and Temuco, including the Lichtenberg, Reinicke, Rolof, Meir, and Berg families, evangelizing German-speaking Roman Catholics.

Pastor McDonald Chile 1908.jpg

In 1908, twenty years after his initial arrival in the country and extensive labors, missionary William MacDonald (photo above) and three hundred Baptist brethren founded the first evangelical Baptist convention in Chile. There were a number of Chilean pastors by then, too, and many of them ran along family lines with these surnames:

Sáez (José)
Valdivia (Wenceslao Valdivia and his son Isaías Valdivia, being the most renown)
Chávez (Abraham)
Mella (Gualberto)
Gatica (Juan Antonio)
Álvarez (Juan Domingo)

along with other key men in leadership, according to Victor Aguilar, History of Baptists in Chile (pages 5, 7):

Zapata (Nieves)
Bar (Pedro)
Rodriguez (Erasmo)
Espinosa (José Tenorio)
Mancilla (David)
Mora (Joaquín)
Ramirez (José)

Modern Chilean Baptists would do well to find out more about these men. The initial Spanish-speaking churches were established—apparently illegally (before 1925)—in towns spread across a wide radius around Temuco: Gorbea, Lastarria, Mune, Molco (on Villarrica lake), Cajon and Huilío. American southern Baptist missionary Dr. WIlliam Buck Bagby, who was originally sent to Brazil, came to Chile around the same time at the request of MacDonald. Along with the American Baptists, Brazilian, Argentine, Mexican and Cuban Baptist organizations sent financial support for the early Chilean churches. By 1923, the number of Baptist churches had grown from five to twenty-nine and the number of members to 1,154. Pereira, page 7

It is interesting to note that Chilean Baptists were renown for being penniless at that time and were thus poor givers; a characteristic that has transcended generations and over 110 years of history, down to the present day. It is a shame that Chileans are famous for not being generous givers. They neither support their own pastors adequately nor fully undertake the cost of building their own church structures, instead relying on foreigners (especially Americans) for such blessings. As Oscar Garcia Pereira noted in 2012:

But the pain of missiological poverty was cured by the largesse of missionary wealth of the Southern Baptists of the US. From this body missionaries began to arrive [1917-1926], very well trained in theology, and well equipped in family resources and dollars. They came to plant, harvest, and store, the rich fruits of evangelization. Pereira, pages 4, 6, 8; note that Virginian Baptists were still paying 79.7% of Chilean pastoral support fifty years later in 1972!

Who exactly were these ardent missionaries?

—1917 William Earl and Mary Davidson to Santiago (see page 27 of the missionary list).
—1919 Frank and Effie Marrs, missionaries to Mexico who went to help Earl Davidson in Santiago (see page 66 of the missionary list).
—1919 Robert Cecil and Mary Moore, first to help in Santiago for a year and then on to Concepción (see page 73 of the missionary list).
—1920 Agnes Nora Graham (see page 41 of the missionary list)head of the Baptist school in Temuco starting in 1922, construction and operations financed by the Southern Baptist Convention to combat the illiteracy rate of 50% and provide basic instruction.
—1921 Joe Lancaster (and wife Tennessee) Hart to Temuco to start a Bible institute, then to Concepción briefly and finally to Antofagasta (see page 46 of the missionary list).
—1922 James W. and Catherine McGavock to Talca (see page 70 of the missionary list).
—1926 Wynne Quilon and Berta Lou (Tooms) Maer to Temuco for youth ministry commencing in 1929 (see page 66 of the missionary list).

They settled in Temuco, Concepción, Talca, Santiago and Antofagasta. MacDonald also became a recognized Southern Baptist missionary, and proceeded to establish churches in Freire, and the southeastern Ninth Region: Laureles, Villarrica, Pucón, Liucura, and Picahres (near Caburgua lake in the Andes foothills). Thus, the first organized Chilean Baptist churches, apart from the previous union with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, under the efforts of MacDonald and the Southern Baptist missionaries (later becoming the Baptist union or association UBACH) were, according to Aguilar (page 8): Temuco (1914), Valdivia (1917), Santiago 1st (1919, reorganized 1920), Concepción (1919), Santiago 2nd (1921, with the Davidsons), Talca (1926), Valparaíso (1936), and Antofagasta (1937).

They were all active in evangelization and political activism, as Pereira noted (page 4): “The Chilean evangelicals and Baptists settled in a country with martial war. They had to fight against closed social institutions to obtain room for social tolerance and religious freedom…[and] had to face a constitutional giant—the union of Church and State.” Like Pastor John Leland before them, they boldly fought for religious liberty, and their progeny following suit through participation in the Radical Party starting in the 1930s (see Pereira, pages 11-12).

While one cannot say with certainty if or how the Chilean pastors and foreign missionaries of the 1908-1937 era fell in with Leland, it is manifestly clear that Twenty-First Century ones are reluctant, theologically ignorant and perhaps even lazy cowards by comparison—lacking both his calvinistic/transformational doctrine and his diligent Christian principles put into practice. As the historical record shows, the original Chilean Baptist church (UBACH) and its Santiago seminary’s degeneration to unbiblical modernism or light “Christianity” seems to have begun during the 1950s and metastasized ever since. Consequently, unless there is a revival among it, historically Baptist convictions must be sought in other independent, particular and Reformed Baptist churches that have risen up during the last four decades.

Ver la versión en español.

John Cobin, Ph.D. Twitter

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

The Free Market: Our Future Friend at the Chilean Border

The discussion on the new Chilean immigration law has been accompanied by images of long lines outside consulates abroad, as well as long wait times for immigration services in Chile. These irksome troubles have been exacerbated by the startling discovery of immigrant trafficking networks, along with worrisome potential private pension (AFP) problems that will almost certainly be generated by the ingress of hundreds of thousands of people. Those workers—if for no other reason than their age or lack of steady employment at first—will have gaps in their AFP contributions as they find it necessary to undertake precarious or informal jobs.

Many of these failures could be remedied by privatizing border services.

Border services basically consist of (1) ensuring national and health security—for human beings, animals and crops, (2) helping to ensure a growing population currently threatened by a low birth rate—1.8 children per couple in Chile, (3) providing local labor markets with resources where shortages exists, and (4) managing the issuance of visas, passports and travel documents.

All these services could be provided by a well-designed system of concessions linked with economic incentives. The concessionaires would lose part of their annual income or bonuses for failing to fulfill their mandates and not taking care of their reputation. Through a competitive bidding process, each concessionaire could be assigned a certain number of kilometers of border or coastline, others would watch over airports and ports, and still others take charge of offices that issue passports, a much wider variety of visas, and travel documents.

The market-regulatory framework of private border services must comprise at least the following elements: (1) promotion of competition among concessionaires, (2) adequate power to catch, punish and expel those who fail to comply with Chilean immigration regulations, and (3) issuance and approval of visas and passports, encompassing all aspects of their duration, type, status, prices and discounts.

The lion’s share of the price of visas and passports would form part of the concessionaire’s income and, with competition, the prices would vary between different points of entry, issuing offices, and would depend on the required options and delivery times (speed) specified by a client. The other part of the concessionaire’s income would come from the government, which pays each one a base plus bonus for good behavior and results.

There is no doubt that the current situation beleaguers both prospective immigrants—who wait hours or even days to obtain their visas—and Chileans who are exposed to state-driven, artificial Civil Registry strikes, high passport prices and, above all, the ineffectiveness state institutions that for years now have let in hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, often assisted by quasi-mafias that specialize in human trafficking.

By privatizing of border services Chile would once again take the lead as a world pioneer in market solutions to government failure, improving border services and better regulating immigration, improving the country’s security, reducing its fiscal spending requirements, and generate better, greater and newer technologies and industrial capacity. If successful, other countries would do well to follow suit, just like they followed Chile in privatizing pension services.

Versión en español

John Cobin, Ph.D. (George Mason University) Twitter
Alejandro Rogers, MBA (MIT Sloan)
Co-Founders Independence Party (Chile)
www.libertarios.cl
Escape America Now

Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Chilean Ethnicity and Ancestry: A Somewhat Surprising Mixture

A lot of things are surprising about Chile, especially its natural beauty. Relatively few people seem to be aware of just how stunning the coastal and mountain/lake landscapes can be. The same is true about Chile’s ethnicity, ancestry and culture, which is decidedly European and certainly not Mexican or Central American (e.g., the tacos and burritos in Chile might disappoint you!). Indeed, along with the other two “southern cone” countries, Argentina and Uruguay, Chile is racially far “whiter” and culturally far more European than any other place in Latin America.

That aspect of Chile is due to the fact that between 15% and 29% of its people are direct descendants of Europeans. Note that while those percentages are far higher in Argentina, and even in Uruguay, they still have had quite a significant impact on Chile. And the diversity of Europeans that have come to Chile is somewhat surprising, too. Mostly, one hears about the British and Germans who came. But there were many other sizable, important immigrant groups from places like Switzerland, Austria, Palestine, Armenia, France, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Holland, Belgium and Croatia.

Chile’s New World story is not entirely different than America’s: people escaping oppression or looking for better economic opportunities. That fact is most certainly true of the vast majority of Latin American immigrants that have arrived since the 1990s, but it was also true from 1850-1950 for Eastern European Jews, Palestinian refugees, Armenian and Greek genocide refugees, German libertarians, anti-communist eastern Europeans fleeing the Soviets, Russian Molokans (non-Trinitarian Pentecostals) looking for religious liberty, persecuted Baptists seeking relief, and myriad poor central European farmers, miners or fishermen that fled their aristocratic homelands in search of peace and prosperity. Many thousands of them found a new home in Chile. The same is true for well-to-do European and Asian merchants and professional that settled in Chile, hoping to find fortune and opportunity in a new land full of natural resources.

The table below summarizes Chilean ethnicity and ancestry information. The sources of information were articles encountered on the internet, as well as Wikipedia. I found rather large differences in figures between sources, so I have reported the findings as ranges. Please do not take this article as either good history or good science. It is neither thing. The objective is to provide those interested in Chile with a general idea of the topic, based on presumably reliable and easily accessible sources. There are also cultural elements today which collaborate the figures: ethnic clubs, ethnic firemen in Valparaíso and Santiago, ethnic schools, tombstones in Valparaíso and Punta Arenas cemeteries written in various European languages, and a variety of European last names. The impact of Far Eastern immigration has been far less, but there are still notable traces, especially seen in Chinese “malls” and restaurants.

As I have said repeatedly, those who plan to come to Chile as a freer, saner alternative to Northern Hemispheric empires and vassal states would do well to learn something about Chile’s culture and history. That history has been changing in the 21st Century with hundreds of thousands of black immigrants from Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, as well as hundreds of thousands more from other parts of South America, especially Peru and Venezuela. In just two years, 2016-2017, 150,901 (net) Venezuelans and 144,589 (net) Haitians immigrated to Chile. Those migrations will change Chile’s national skin color a little more, making it less “white” and more diverse. Chile is changing, mostly for the best, and newcomers should be apprised of where Chile has been and where it is going. I hope that this article has helped facilitate that quest at least a little.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Turning a Blind Eye to the Evils of One’s Homeland

In spite of recent positive election results in Chile, there are still many people who refuse to consider immigrating to this country on account of its national sins and defects, apparently ignoring the magnitude of problems where they presently live. For instance, in response to my previous blog entry (December 2017), a man posted on Facebook: “Regardless of who is in office Chile is still not a safe place to live. lying and stealing are rampant everywhere. Stealing from their neighbors and then bragging about it is part of their culture. Piñera or anyone else cannot change that.”

Nevertheless, this man’s perspective is riddled with questionable logic and seems to be turning a blind eye to the evils of his own land. There is no doubt about egregious extent of lying, stealing and cheating in Chile. I have written about such repugnant practices extensively. Yet, no place on earth is perfect. We must choose places that serve up the least amount of badness. And most people cannot afford Hong Kong, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Andorra or San Marino, nor do they want to live out their days on a small island somewhere. So what place is better than Chile for most people?

The dismissive Facebook comment begs the question: are things really better anywhere else?

I mean, Chilean dishonesty may top the list of notable evils compared to all other countries, but that commentator apparently forgot that other countries have problems that are at least as bad if not far worse: abortion, political correctness, warfarism, welfare statism, quantitative easing (central bank intrusiveness), Draconian business regulation, high murder rates, violence and police brutality, drone killings, NSA surveillance, family court and DSS/CSD atrocities, confiscatory taxation (along with Gestapo tactics), EPA mandates, radical ecology policy, political correctness, and much more. Chile comes in remarkably low on all of those scores.

So, why is the gainsayer willing to put up with all those evils just to avoid having to deal with rampant lying, cheating and stealing? Pretty selective in his sin avoidance/intolerance, no? He seems to be making an implicit decision that Chile’s negative aspects are far worse than a whole host of other evils. It also seems like he is making up excuses for why he wants to stay in a far eviler place than Chile.

Denial is a prevalent trait among Northern Hemisphere dwellers. I recommend that my readers unshackle themselves from such denial. As Ayn Rand famously said, you can deny reality, but you cannot deny the consequences of reality. You doubtless see all the warning signs. Why take the chance?

A more insightful comment was posted elsewhere: “Given Chileans are as dishonest and backstabbing as you suggest, I don’t understand how the average North American or European could ever integrate and live comfortably. Violent crime is rampant in large American cities (trust me, Chileans would faint in parts of Detroit or Baltimore!), but watching our backs at every corner for slick, well-dressed scam artists is quite another matter. Any advice on how to cope? Do Chileans ever take genuine, good-natured interest in foreigners, or is it almost always a ploy?”

There is no easy way to cope in Chile other than to train yourself to not take people at their word or trust anyone you have known for under a year. So, while difficult, it can be done. Also, a reasonable minority (maybe 10%) of Chileans are nice, trustworthy people, at least in my experience. Remember, too, what your alternatives are staying in the U.S.A. Consider the previous points that should be useful in shaking up your thinking and clarifying what you need to do. Chile may be bad, but probably everywhere else you can think of is worse. And that is the stark reality we face in a fallen world.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

Recent Trends in Chilean Immigration

Chile is a great country to live in; just ask its nearly 500,000 immigrants (3% of its population). That figure is likely to double by 2025 as even more immigrants pour into the new El Dorado on account of its economic prosperity. According to La Migración en Chile: Breve Reporte y Caracterización, or report on the characteristics of Chilean migration, since 2001, Chile has become the leading migrant destination in Latin America. This trend has also held true for First World immigrants this century, with significant increases in South Koreans, French, Germans, Dutch, Austrians, Czechs and Americans, with honorable mention going to British, Italian and Japanese immigrants.

Although the percentage of First World (OECD) immigrants from places like the U.S.A. and Spain sharply declined during the now outgoing Bachelet administration, it should reverse itself now that the leftist threat has subsided and President Piñera will be back in office, and Latin American and Caribbean immigration has not stopped soaring—and that trend continues. No country in Latin America has experienced a higher boom in immigration recently than Chile. Although the lion’s share of immigrants are workers in their 20s, 30s and 40s, they are not entirely uneducated. In fact, the Chilean government states that the average education level of an immigrant is higher than that of a Chilean citizen—a fact which bodes well for Chile’s economic future.

Furthermore, many immigrants will take any job. I personally have met Venezuelans fleeing the horrors of life under Maduro in once-prosperous Venezuela. Many of them are now working as maids, auto mechanics and electricians in Chile, having earned university degrees from their homeland in education, construction engineering, and industrial engineering, respectively. They are also earning wages that are perhaps 10% lower than Chileans earn.

Such is the cost of being a refugee and one reason I have always advocated getting a second passport (besides the Chilean one). One never knows when things can turn bad and it becomes necessary to leave. How much better is it to arrive in a new place as a citizen rather than a refugee?

According to Población Migrante en Chile, roughly translated as “immigration yearbook,” published by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peruvians still comprise the largest immigration group, making up 27.5%/21.2% of total initial visa applications approved/applied for in 2016. They are followed by Colombians (17.8%/17.7%). The Colombian case is interesting since I would say, along with many others, that Colombia may be the second most desirable place to go to in Latin America, neck-and-neck with Panama. Yet the “market” indicates that large numbers of Colombians would rather live in Chile, a figure which has continued to increase dramatically in recent years—even surpassing Bolivian immigrants—implying that Chile is a far more attractive place.

Bolivia comes next (17.1%/13.3%), which, along with Peru, has easy connectivity with the far north of Chile. Indeed, while the Santiago area attracts 61.6% of new, legal immigrants, the far north (Antofagasta, Calama, Iquique and Arica) attracts an impressive 23.3%, especially remarkable when compared to only 4.0% for Valparaíso/Viña del Mar (Chile’s second largest metropolitan area). They are followed by Haitians (5.8%/16.0%), Venezuelans (5.7%/14.7%), Argentines (4.8%/3.7%), many from the latter two countries being professionals, then Ecuador (3.1%/3.0%), Spain (2.6%/1.4%), the U.S.A. (2.5%/1.4%) and Brazil (1.7%/1.2%). Some of the Spaniards and Americans are freedom-seekers, but most are either retirees or working professionals coming down to work for a few years and then return to their home countries.

Note the figures (percentages) represent requests for initial, temporary visas. The country rankings are somewhat similar when considering applications for permanent residency, with Bolivians leapfrogging Colombians, and Haitians falling below everyone (2.0%, just ahead of Brazil), followed by strong rises in applications made by Argentines, Spaniards and Ecuadorans. The U.S.A. dropping out of the top ten at that stage (reflecting that most Americans in Chile come for short-term assignments with their firms then go back), being eclipsed by other nations, even the Chinese (2.3%) which are on the rise at this stage—along with people from the Dominican Republic. About 10% to 12% of new immigrants settle in wealthier sections like Las Condes or Providencia; most of the rest live in poorer or lower-middle-class sections of Santiago and cities in northern Chile, indicating that the great majority of immigrants are not wealthy, nor qualify as upper-middle class.

I remember how unusual it was to see a black person in Chile during the 1990s. Nearly everyone stared at Negro visitors on the Metro out of curiosity. In 2008, I mentioned in an Escape America Now blog entry that Chile has very few black people. That has totally changed since 2015—especially in the last year. Blacks from Haiti and Colombia are now seen everywhere. There is no institutionalized welfare state in Chile, so these people come to work, even though Colombian women often end up being prostitutes. They are seen doing menial cleanup jobs, heavy lifting and loading, house cleaning, and selling candy at intersections with longer-wait stoplights. The Haitians hardly speak Spanish.

From 2015 to 2016, the number of Colombians applying for visas increased by 40.7% (28,361), Haitians by a whopping 419.0% (35,277), and Venezuelans by a remarkable 323.7% (30,751). Working as much as we do with immigration services for our clients, we have every reason to believe that these large increases skyrocketed even further during 2017. At immigration offices in downtown Santiago, the line to enter (since 2017) now stretches around the block, largely full of immigrants from these three countries. Note that the figures cited do not include illegal or undocumented immigrants, whose number is surely significant, especially from Peru and Bolivia.

In the same way that Chile discriminates against 51% of the world’s countries by making it much harder for them to come to Chile, the ease of getting a visa once in country also varies according to Chile’s revealed preference for First World or professional immigrants. For instance, the average wait time for the initial temporary visa for Venezuelans is 63.2 days, with Americans slightly behind at 65.2 days, followed by Argentines (66.9), Spaniards (70.3), and Brazilians (74.2). However, the wait times are much longer for people from countries that send poorer people: Peruvians (152.7), Colombians (133.9), Ecuadorians (119.3), and Haitians (99.4).

Chile needs immigrants. Nowadays, Chilean women produce only 1.9 children on average, which is not enough to replace the country’s population. And immigrants, especially educated ones, tend to be a boon to the economy (Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2, 1996). Moreover, Chile’s demographic makeup is changing racially and politically. Skin color is not quite a white as it was a few years ago. And people from Venezuela and Argentina, and possibly Argentina and Brazil, are likely to support anti-left, anti-communist candidates, given the fact that they fled countries that have been beleaguered and damaged by them. That fact bodes well for libertarians and constitutional conservatives in Chile, since we may expect a rightward or freedom-minded political shift over the coming decade. (Remember that one may vote in Chile after achieving five years of permanent residency.)

Overall, therefore, we should welcome the recent demographic changes caused by immigration to Chile. Even the government, employers and even huge labor unions agree. Chile has passed the “market test,” as growing thousands pour into the territory seeking a better life. Is not that a good indicator for you? While you ponder the grave situation you face in the Northern Hemisphere, now is as good a time as any to consider setting down roots (or at least a “Plan B” residence with visa) in Chile. Visit Escape America Now to find out more about or residency and consultancy services. You will be welcomed and well-liked in this country situated at the end of the world.

Be sure to become a member of Escape America Now and gain access to the monthly webinar. Details at www.esccapeamerianow.info. Visit AllAboutChile.com for discussion and forums about the country. Non-wealthy immigrants to Chile should also create a portable income by signing up to be a 51Talk online English teacher. Read more details about the job in my previous post on the subject.

 Dr. Cobin’s updated and enlarged 2017 book, Life in Chile: A Former American’s Guide for Newcomers, Fourth Edition, is the most comprehensive treatise on Chilean life ever written, designed to help newcomers get settled in Chile. He covers almost every topic imaginable for immigrants. This knowledge is applied in his valet consulting service–Chile Consulting–where he guides expatriates through the process of finding a place to live and settle in Chile, helping them glide over the speed bumps that they would otherwise face in getting their visas, setting up businesses, buying real estate, investing in Chilean stocks or gold coins, etc. The cost is $129.

For a brief introduction consider Dr. Cobin’s abridged 2015 book (56 pages): Chile: A Primer for Expats ($19), offering highlights (somewhat outdated) found in the larger book. Buy Dr. Cobin’s Public Policy books at Amazon.com:

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