A suicide in Argentina

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Mon Aug 7 18:41:18 MDT 2000

Oh, no, the son of a bitch has reached Marxmail!!!!!!

Let us put some things clear on this Favaloro "great man".

En relación a A suicide in Argentina,
el 7 Aug 00, a las 12:19, el New York Times,
reexpedido por Louis Proyect, dijo:

> NY Times, August 7, 2000
> Argentina Searches Its Soul Over a Suicide
> BUENOS AIRES, Aug. 6 -- It has been more than a week since René G.
> Favaloro, Argentina's most esteemed surgeon and a pioneer in the heart
> bypass operation, committed suicide. But the outpouring of grief seems
> to be compounding day by day, opening a channel of despair so profound
> that Argentines are raising the deepest of questions about themselves
> and their country.

What has begun is a vast campaign of the media to glorify post-mortem
one of the most dedicated partisans of the oligarchic establishment
in Argentina. We Argentines are raising the deepest of questions
about ourselves and our country long ago, and Favaloro's death is
anything but an answer. On the contrary, it provides an alibi to the
gang of thugs who in one way or another have been ruling this country
for almost half a century.

> As wreaths of flowers pile up in front of Dr. Favaloro's research
> foundation, newspapers are publishing extra columns of letters to the
> editor in a deluge of long, sorrowful and often bitter diatribes
> blaming the entire society for the suicide.

The society is the society that Favaloro and his like forged or
helped to forge. Favaloro, a sympathizer of the Partido Socialista
Democrático of Américo Ghioldi, was among the most hydrophobic
antipopular intellectuals after 1955, siding with the right wing of
the Revolución Libertadora and supporting the mass shootings of June
1956 (as well as the terrorist actions and the bombing of Buenos
Aires one year earlier). True, he was a country doctor ("médico
rural") who did not cash his visits to poor patients, but this kind
of wishy washy humanism did not prevent him for supporting policies
which put the Argentinian health system in catatonic state. What's
more, this kind of "good hearted doctor" required, to exist, a
country where there were no good public health services, much in the
sense the Ladies of Beneficence need the poor and wretched to exist
in order to feel righteous.

Dr. Favaloro's photograph
> is on covers of magazines filled with details of the suicide and
> theorizing by Argentine writers about what Dr. Favaloro's death means.
> There has been blanket television coverage showing pictures of his
> life along with recordings of the most doleful tangos.

In fact, this would be enough to be wary of the coverage. These same
media look elsewhere, all the time, when it comes to speaking of the
really serious things: foreign debt, imperialist expoliation,
miserable wages, horrid conditions at workplace, extended
unemployment, lack of national sovereignty, the destruction of the
Argentinian Sci-Tech system, and so on. Now, they have found a way to
become "sanctified" on these issues. Ah, you see, how terrible a
country and how repugnant a people we are that we allow Great Man Dr.
Favaloro kill himself! National deprecation is the mood, not analysis
of our current problems. And this is EXACTLY Favaloro's last service
to the system.

> Argentines -- and especially Portenõs, as residents of this capital
> are known -- are among the most psychoanalyzed people in the world.
> Depression is a topic of everyday conversation of people of all
> classes, and Argentines are not shy about airing complaints, from the
> weather to the pressures of their jobs. Funerals and cemeteries are
> elaborate, and suicide is not uncommon.

Such an idiot. Suicide is a social disease. There is a statistics
linking suicide with hopelesness that Norberto Galasso compiled for
the 30s. Argentinians (even Porteños) are more or less like anyone
else on this world. The story of the "sad people" should explain why
the popular singer Rodrigo (lousy singer, but his were funny and
joyful songs) gathers millions after his sudden death in a traffic
accident, instead of the hundreds that gather around Favaloro's
clinic. The idea that people burdened with problems do not want to be
sad, but to rejoice, seems alien to these "analysts".

> But there is something so distinctive about Dr. Favaloro's suicide
> that it goes beyond the national fixation with neurosis and death.
> Some analysts say that the national mourning could be just the
> epiphany Argentines need to kick themselves out of their lethargy and
> the long decline the nation has suffered since its economic and
> cultural heyday in the 1920's.

Nonsense. The raging 30s, the ravishing 40s, the bloody 50s, the
creative 60s, the violent 70s, the hellish 80s, and the infamous 90s
lie in between. There has not been a "long decline since the 20s" but
for imperialism and the local speakers of the petty bourgeoisie which
is still desiring to live in a country where the agrarian rent pays
for their lazy lives. Luis Alberto Romero, in an interview on the
newspaper _Clarín_ has recently declared that the 20s were the moment
in our life that he would have preferred to live in. And Romero, a
"leftist" member of the Radical cultural clique, is among those who
raise their eyes to the sky and cry for poor Favaloro, so
misunderstood by his own country. True, Romero and his father belong
to the same political line than Favaloro...

> Ernesto Sábato, the Argentine novelist, noted that it was profoundly
> tragic that one of Argentina's most creative sons would feel so
> "desperate and impotent" that he would end his own life. But he added,
> "I ask myself if this sadness that is draining all of us might just
> jolt us out of our inertia. Perhaps that was his final wish."

His final wish was that someone washed up his accounts, just as
Machinea (now Minister of Economy) and Cavallo (Minister of Economy
of Menem) had done in the early 80s under the Proceso that Favaloro
supported. The famous "clinic", the Fundación Favaloro, was built
with loans for some u$s 20 million that were NEVER paid back. It was
the Argentinian state that took the burden, and they are a part of
the foreign debt that we are suffering now. Favaloro did not find the
"understanding" ears he had found during the 80s, that's all. Since
he was a man of moral principle, he decided to kill himself and pull
the trigger.

[some grams of stupidity snipped away...]

> Meanwhile President Fernando de la Rúa was put on the defensive by
> reports that the surgeon had sent him a letter crying out for help
> just days before he shot himself in the chest. It was more than
> awkward, and some said it was heartless, when the presidential palace
> put out a statement early last week denying that the government was to
> blame.

The government, in fact, is not to blame. Not more than on all its
economic policy. If you support the economic policy that led to the
current situation, then you must support De la Rúa in not helping
Favaloro. Aren't we all "equal under the law"? Favaloro was a very
good expender of other people's monies. That's all. When there were
no monies left even for cherished children of the oligarchic system
like him, he commits suicide. But the pistol that killed him was
armed by him long before he began to think of personal death.

> The 77-year-old heart surgeon had a rags-to-riches life story. The son
> of a seamstress and a carpenter who grew up in the provincial city of
> La Plata, Dr. Favaloro became one of the world's best known doctors.
> He developed a technique for heart bypass surgery while working in a
> clinic in Cleveland in the 1960's. He returned to Argentina and
> started a foundation dedicated to heart transplants and research that
> is among the most important medical centers in South America.

But he always opposed the Argentinian National Health service, if not
vocally in practice. I have never read or heard anything by Favaloro
favoring public hospitals, and whoever wants to show that piece of
eloquence will have a hard time. On the other hand, Dr. Miguel
Bellizi, who was a pioneer in heart transplants but had the demerit
of working at public hospitals and being Peronist, receives no
attention from the media whatsoever.

> and respected, he was repeatedly mentioned over the years as a
> possible presidential candidate. But along with the Argentine economy,
> the Favaloro Foundation has fallen on hard times in recent years.

Explained above. The Foundation was always in debt, but these debts
were either paid for by foreign enterprises (for reasons of prestige)
or by the whole Argentinian population through the foreign debt. It
was furthermore used as an example of how excellent could private
medicine be, as compared to public medicine.


> For the past week, the news media have reported that the Favaloro
> Foundation was being sued by the government because it was behind in
> paying social security contributions to its employees at a time when
> the government reportedly owed the foundation a more substantial
> amount of money for unpaid services to a public retirement institute.

This is not substantiated. It may be true, but at any rate the
amounts due to workers should be sacred for a "socialist" such as

> The government suit was disclosed by a federal judge, Julio Cruciani,,
> who bitterly complained that "this is a country that comes down hard
> on people who are doers."

Hah, that's the way you forge what we call a "figurón" down here. In
this case it is a post-mortem figurón, but a figurón anyway. We
should recall here the long work by that arch-son of a bitch Bernardo
Neustadt, one of the most important journalist of the Proceso and the
establishment in general, who made a long campaign against the
"people who are hinderers". You catch it, don't you, the "doer"
against the "hinderers"...

> The political magazine 3 Puntos commented on its cover, "The suicide
> of René Favaloro has hammered Argentine society like some special
> crime committed by an inefficient and corrupt state."

See? Thus, metaphysics is used to cover up the simple truths of life:
the thieves don't care even about those who have taken them to power.


Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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