This paper argues that the current Chilean social outbreak could be explained by the early modern idea of the right to resist. It also argues that the theory of deliberative democracy is appropriate to manage the conflicts that give rise to this right.
For early constitutionalism, the right to resist was the power to challenge the ruler when he tried to impose decisions that were illegitimate for those who should obey them. Considered as alienable right, modern democracies avoid its exercise creating institutions and procedures to legitimize political decisions through representative decision-making.
In Chile this framework failed. Constitutional decision-making devices have lost legitimacy and a large part of the population is defying the law. Finally, a referendum was called to decide on the adoption of a new constitution.
Just as a deliberative democratic device allowed measured resistance, the new constitution could incorporate others in it to improve Chilean democracy.