Forwarded from Anthony (ex-Morenoists commentary) (Second part of a reply in two parts)

Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar
Tue Dec 25 07:04:23 MST 2001


Reply (follow up)

> 
> Constitutional Crisis
> 
> The resignation of the President opened up a constitutional crisis. 
> Without a Vice-President (who, again, resigned a year ago), the House 
> and the Senate will meet hold a joint meeting on Saturday to elect a 
> new President. The proposed new President, Rodriguez Saa, is a 
> conservative Peronist who is the present governor of the province of 
> San Luis. Saa belongs to an oligarchic clan that has controlled San 
> Luis for the last 20 years. (See Updates Below)

Yes, our friends agree with the great oligarchic press. Rodríguez Saá is a
member of an oligarchic clan, and Chávez is an "ex golpista".

> 
> The Provisional President of the Senate, Ramon Puerta, assumed the 
> post of interim President on Friday. He told the media: "I will be a 
> President for 48 hours or for two years, never mind for 90 days." 
> Puerta is a Peronist of one of the most right wing, pro-imperialist 
> wings of the party - now fragmented in at least 10 warring factions. 

The above is true. The below is stupid and false.

> Puerta is also a member of the so-called oligarchy. A landlordist, 
> owner of massive yerba mate plantations in Misiones and other semi- 
> rural industrial concerns and lots of real estate.

Puerta is nothing that can be compared with an oligarch. The pettiness of the
point of view of the people who gave the info is particularly clear here. There
can be no comparison between the Argentinean oligarchy, which is a powerful
rosca with enormous assets and direct links with the foreign powers, and these
small or middle roguish provincial bourgeois, who at most deal in real estate 
in a country where nobody buys or sells land, own mills of yerba mate, that is 
can realize their wares in the domestic market only, and so on. This is the 
view of the Mitrista Leftist of Buenos Aires at its highest. Puerta is as much 
a member of the oligarchy as I can be a member of, say, the Pen club. Which 
does not make Puerta a good man, he is nothing of that sort. But let us 
understand things dialectically. It is Totality which gives sense to things.

> 
> If Puerta can command the support of the various Peronist factions, 
> he may be Washington's man. Otherwise, Bush may very well negotiate 
> with other factions of the Peronist Party or with the now-evident 
> block of ultraconservatives and Peronists that are talking to high- 
> ranking Army officers).

Washington does not know what the hell to do, in fact. The only thing that an
Argentinean Leftist should tell the American comrades is "Please, cdes., stick
to the 'US out of Argentina' line!". All this senseless talk lacks any ground 
nor knowledge of what is actually happening. The most important and outspoken
representative of Washington in the Peronist party, Carlos Menem, has been
destroyed by the events. Isn't it interesting that these great revolutionists
did not realize this important issue?

> 
> But the coup d'etat strategy is a risky proposition. The Argentinean 
> Armed Forces have a shadow of their former social support and 
> logistical strength. They are widely despised by a majority of the 
> population. People remember the Dirty War.

And the forces remember that they were blamed for it, with the help of these
infantile leftists, who played in the hands of the oligarchy and the US. So 
that there are more powerful reasons than popular memory to believe that we are 
not going to have a military coup. Those are nightmares in the brains of 
childish ignorants.

> 
> But there are other right wing sectors of the Armed Forces, those who 
> retired immediately after the advent of the new "democratic process." 
> They have staged numerous failed attempts against democratic 
> governments of the last two decades. In the late 80s, this sector 
> formed political parties that elected people to Congress and even a 
> couple of governors who later informally joined the Peronists. They 
> may very well be a reserve option to change the political regime if 
> need be.

Ah, this is the crowning pearl! Those sectors are the ones that deserve Cuban
respect, in the person of Cnl. Seineldin. It would be too long to explain who
this guy is, but suffice it to say that he is in prison and Menem is free. Some
day I will write a long posting on the situation in the Armed Forces in
Argentina today, and on the foolish provocative role that all these "leftists"
will play towards them.

> 
> The Left
> 
> Thousands of former left wing activists who entered a protracted 
> crisis in the 90s are now re-activated. But these activists are not 
> responding to those organizations, but rather intervening in events 
> on their own, without leadership.
> 
> These are the most visible political forces of the left:
> 
> Communist Party: split into at least three factions, two of them 
> public operating of their own accord. They lost most of their 
> influence in the 80s because the rise of the MAS.

Oh, how important was the MAS! But the reasons for the loss of influence of the
CP had little to do with this party.

> 
> MAS (Trotskyist): Lost most of its active members and its huge 
> periphery of the 80s in the 90s. It is now reduced to less than 500 
> members divided in factions. In the last election, they formed a 
> block with the Workers' Party, another Trotskyist party.
> 
> MST: A more moderate faction of the MAS. It has about 1,000 active 
> members. In the last election, they preserved their historical 
> alliance with the remnants of the CP - Izquierda Unida. The Coalition 
> elected a House member. 
> 
> PTS: Another split from the MAS. They have about 500 members, very 
> sectarian, with some influence among students. They have the best 
> publishing house of all the Trotskyists. It is a quasi cult. 
> 
> Patria Libre: A Stalinist/Castroist current, traditionally very weak, 
> reinforced lately due to the crisis in the CP. Maybe 300 active 
> members.
> 
> Revolutionary Communist Party / Party of the People and Labor: In the 
> 1970s, they used to have up to 20,000 members, but the rise of 
> Trotskyism condemned them to two decades of irrelevance. After the 
> MAS exploded, the RCP/PPL grew, particularly in extremely poor areas, 
> some areas of the working class, particularly in the provinces. They 
> are today the strongest left tendency in the unions and among all 
> other left organizations. Probably 2,000 active members but they also 
> command a wide array of sympathizing groups.
> 
> There are at least another 10-12 Trotskyist groups with memberships 
> ranging from a couple dozen to about 100 or so active members. There 
> are also half a dozen of proto-guerrilla groups, all of them very 
> small. For now. 

All the above has the smell of a CIA report, although it is not. But what is
really interesting is that formations such as the Partido Socialista Auténtico,
with an interesting development during the last years and a following of about
50 000 are not considered "left" by the group that has writen the report. 

Of course, these guys are kind enough not to mention us as a part of "the 
left". Save for the Maoists of the Communist Revolutionary Party, who have
learnt quite a lot on Argentina since they were born as a  "Guevarist" split
from the Communist Party during the late 60s, and perhaps some fractions of the
Communist Party, my own party the PIN has few links with those grouplets
described above. As for us, we are of course a grouplet, but a grouplet with
politics which gives us a high degree of influence (outside the asphyxiating
realm where these "left" sects thrive).

> 
> While there is definitely an uprising in progress, its leadership has 
> yet to materialize. The main slogan now is "Que se vayan todos!" (All 
> Must Go!) The uprising is a massive and widespread, but it is mostly 
> spontaneous. This may progress as time goes by.

Well, on the above we agree. Now the question is what does "progress" mean.

> 
> So far, judging from their leaflets and other materials, none of 
> these left organizations saw the writing on the wall. While they all 
> celebrated the electoral results of last October, they did not draw 
> all of the conclusions from it or the last two years of political, 
> social and economic events. For example, not one of them pointed out 
> that the government should resign AND NEW GENERAL ELECTIONS SHOULD BE 
> CALLED after its defeat last October. Nor did they raise a series of 
> demands to confront the crisis.

How reckless. Why must we ALWAYS have someone from abroad telling us what we
should have done? There were no reasons for new general elections to be held.
The reasonable idea was to stage a series of mass actions of opposition to the
neoliberals which would eventually become a generalized action of rejection.
This action has been prepared by the process of mobilisations and strikes, in a
way no call to general elections would have generated. And if these elections
had been held, then the worst fraction of Peronism would have got to power.
There is something in politics known as leap in consciousness. This is what has
happened in Argentina. Without the leap, the "general elections" idea is as
stupid as proposing "general elections" as a way to get rid of Hitler in, say,
1933.

> 
> The left in Argentina, in answering their own crisis of the 90s (that 
> they never fully understood as te decade of capitalist counter- 
> offensive worldwide), raise mostly a combination of very reformist 
> slogans tinted with very ultra-left rhetoric. None of these 
> organizations were able to advance the events of this week even 
> though all the signals had been there at least since the October 
> elections.

This is false, and offensive, if you allow me. Even the Trotskyist sects in
Argentina are fully aware of the international setting. The above is frankly
insulting.

> 
> Revolutionary crisis without a revolutionary situation
> 
> It is obvious that, save one, all the conditions that define a 
> revolutionary situation exist today in Argentina: economic crisis, 
> division of the ruling class, mass upheavals, the inability of those 
> on the top to continue governing and those under them refusing to 
> continue to be governed. The missing condition is the existence of a 
> Workers or Socialist party enjoying mass support. That is why we can 
> talk about a "revolutionary crisis" without a revolutionary 
> situation.

What we have galore, alas, is groups trying to teach us how _not_ to build that
party...

> 
> Given the present circumstances, the situation will continue to 
> deteriorate in the coming months. The remaining political capital of 
> the Peronists will be spent trying to stabilize the country. Violence 
> and repression are likely to continue. The crisis will deepen with a 
> desperate working class and popular sectors continuing to realize, as 
> they do today, that they have nothing to lose by revolting.

Wishful ignorance. History's ways are quite more complex and amazing. Up to 
now, Rodríguez Saá has been acting resolutely in the best direction. He may 
falter, of course, and I have already said a hundred times on this list and 
elsewhere that Peronism is a living corpse. But things are so complex here that 
no formulae can help us now.

> 
> The effects of the situation there will have enormous repercussions 
> in Latin America since Argentina, despite the crisis, is still 
> considered the third largest economy in Latin America (behind Brazil 
> and Mexico), and also because, more than Brazil or even Mexico, 
> Argentinean politics have had a more continental influence 
> historically.

Well, thank you. I don't think we deserve such a honor. But it would be nice if
this were true.

[...] [snipped part is OK though banal]

What follows is simply a lie, it is saying that others think what you yourself
think.

> 
> There are many echoes for a call for a General - not only 
> Presidential - elections and a Constituent Assembly, but no group or 
> political party is presently pushing for that position.

No echo at all. 

> 
> The Mass Movement
> 
> Demonstrations continued on Friday, but somewhat receded in some 
> cities to bury those killed yesterday and to regroup and because the 
> announcement of De La Rua´s resignation. Testimony from a number of 
> participants shows that many feel they won a battle by forcing the 
> resignation of the cabinet and De La Rua. That perception is building 
> up confidence in many layers of society.

Certainly so.

> 
> All day Friday, there were meetings and assemblies in neighborhoods 
> across the country, some with as many as 2,000 participants, some 
> with only a few dozen in attendance. Improvised public meetings with 
> free for all speakers from all tendencies and unaffiliated activists 
> are being held on street corners in downtown Buenos Aires and in 
> every major city.

Not true.

> 
> Leaflets are starting to circulate calling for a mass demonstration 
> on Christmas Day, others call for a mass demo on Monday. It is very 
> possible that Christmas will be marked by new protests, in a place 
> where Christmas and New Year celebrations are usually calm.

People intoxicated with their own leaflets, or so it seems. These are sad Xmas,
but not combative Xmas. People are desperately asking for a break. The only 
ones who have been working hard up to 7 PM on Xmas were the members of the 
Cabinet. Rodríguez Saá (who declared that he would rule in the line established 
by, among others, the Mothers of the Square) received the Mothers at about 6 
and the leaders of the piquetero movement later. After 7 PM he flew to his home 
town of San Luis to be with his family on Xmas.

> 
> CTA and other labor groups called a general strike. Transportation 
> workers are driving their vehicles to allow people to cross the 
> cities. But activists are discussing whether or not a general strike, 
> particularly if it is declared for an indefinite period of time, 
> would not be a maneuver by the Peronists to cool down the situation 
> to allow their party to take the Presidency.

Stupid nonsense. The general strike was superseded by events, and the union
leaders were not up to was expected from them. But the way of reasoning is
unbelievable. 

> 
> Another proposal made in factories and by left activists is to call 
> for the lately abandoned active strikes. Active strikes mean workers 
> would go to work and at 10 AM, they would organize assemblies and 
> meetings and then march to a central meeting place, usually in parks 
> in front of government houses.

"Lately" meaning after deindustrialization and growth of the Surplus Labor Army
made it suicidal for a worker to abandon the factory. Intoxicated foolishness.

> 
> "We have had more than 200 general strikes since the 1930s," wrote 
> PA, a union activist who is formally a member of the MST in a food 
> factory, "but the labor leaders, at different times, used that weapon 
> for different purposes. In the 1970s, it was an active weapon to 
> organize the workers in each factory. In the 1980s, it was just to 
> let off steam and continue with the status quo. Of course, sometimes 
> the labor bureaucrats planned something and the rank and file went 
> beyond their desires ... but that is more difficult."

Sigh.

> 
> There are many neighborhoods completely in the hands of the locals 
> and at least one of the main access bridges to the capitol was in the 
> hands of demonstrators this morning. Roads and routes across the 
> country have been cut and demonstrators are there, burning tires and 
> setting up barricades.

Look, I was among those demonstrators, and believe me nobody controlled 
anything but the usual Police corps.

> 
> There is no question that the issue of factory sit-downs to protect 
> the factories from being dismantled (something that workers in Villa 
> Constitution discussed yesterday in their general assembly after the 
> company announced its bankruptcy); the taking over the banks and 
> financial institutions (to protect wages and deposits, the money in 
> the vaults) by their workers and the occupation of food industries 
> and supermarkets by elected committees of neighborhoods and workers 
> (to organize the distribution according to the needs of workers and 
> stop the looting)are not simply propagandistic slogans, but something 
> that must be done in order for the working class to survive.

Oh, my God.

Now, on to speculations on the Spy vs. Spy line. Anyway, something of what
follows may have been true, but it was turned irrelevant by the masses in the
streets. 

> 
> What's Up with the Cops?
> 
[...] [irrelevant things snipped]
> 
> Emergency Measures
> 
> "We need a Chavez here...," said a young demonstrator at the 
> Obelisco, one of the main public monuments in Buenos Aires where 
> thousands of demonstrators fought with the police for over 10 hours 
> and destroyed the local McDonald and Citibank and numerous other 
> shops. He is referring to left populist President of Venezuela, Hugo 
> Chavez. Others talked of the first period of Peronism in the mid-40s.
> 
> What this means is that many will readily accept a someone who will 
> enact a number of emergency measures - non-payment of the foreign 
> debt, nationalization of the food and bank industries, massive 
> distribution of food and the creation of even provisory sources of 
> jobs and income.
> 
> But it is difficult to imagine such a leader emerging from the 
> Peronist, the Radical Party or their allies, so much are these 
> organizations in the pockets of US imperialism and the IMF.

Yes. But difficult as it is, what is certainly true is that such a leader will
not emerge from the intoxicated and autistic group who wrote this article. This
is far more difficult.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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Compañeros del exercito de los Andes. 

...La guerra se la tenemos de hacer del modo que podamos: 
sino tenemos dinero, carne y un pedazo de tabaco no nos 
tiene de faltar: cuando se acaben los vestuarios, nos 
vestiremos con la bayetilla que nos trabajen nuestras mugeres, 
y sino andaremos en pelota como nuestros paisanos los indios: 
seamos libres, y lo demás no importa nada...

Jose de San Martín, 27 de julio de 1819.

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