Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

B24, N16, P31

Key Words

Chile, Cybernetics, Project Cybersyn, Salvador Allende Socialism


This inquiry seeks to establish that back in the 1970s Chile’s “Project Cybersyn” offered novel approaches and specific technologies that appeared to have benefitted capitalism as a system. The Spanish name, SYNCO served as an acronym for Sistema de Información y Control. President Salvador Allende expected that the attributes associated with Project Cybersyn could assist his efforts in implementing his variant of socialism. Cybersyn consisted of a network (Cybernet), software (Cyberstride), computers, a economic simulator known as CHECO, and a control room (Opsroom.) Cybersyn reached an advanced prototype stage; however, its fate was also tied to the interests of the politicos who first dreamed it up. Despite many political, economic, and technological barriers, Cybersyn allowed Allende’s presidency to survive several challenges. First, I shall discuss the political context, the key players, as well as the origins of Cybersyn. Next, successful Chilean resistance shall be discussed until the coup d’etat of 11 September 1973, when General Augusto Pinochet seized power. Finally, I shall examine the legacy of Project Cybersyn found in private sector companies as well as in selected capitalist nations.


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