His embrace of economic reform seems unlikely to have sprung from a commitment to freedom, given the overarching contempt for liberty that characterized the rest of his government. Rather, in order to insulate himself from the consequences of his murderous seizure of power, Pinochet sought out political allies, and his free market reforms helped him to garner support domestically on the right, and also among members of the international community. One must be careful not to fall into Pinochet’s trap–accepting his brutal seizure of power and tyrannical rule as a natural accompaniment of free market reforms. Propagandists on the left lost no time in seeking to discredit economic freedom by associating it with Pinochet. To this day, we hear from Moscow that it takes a Pinochet to implement economic reforms successfully; Vladimir Putin seems all too willing to have Pinochet’s uniform taken in a few sizes so he can try it on.
Stalin does in fact discredit Leninism, and the Cultural Revolution does in fact discredit Maoism. Fascism was not corrupted by Hitler, and Milton Friedman’s neoliberalism is not warped but embodied by Pinochet. Don’t let any of the twentieth century ideologues try to bury their monsters in unmarked graves, especially not those who wound up on the winning sides of the world wars.