Popular fronts or colonial democratic fronts?

Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Sat Mar 10 14:28:57 MST 2001

Sometimes there is more than sounds in a name.

It is interesting to note that the debate that we are having on Zimbabwe, as
well as the debate we have had on Yugoslavia, and on Argentina and others
bearing on Third World issues, have most usually centered around the actual
class meaning of organizations or informal blocs which usually bear the word
"democratic", or a derivative thereof, in its name.

Most probably the first one of all these was the Unión Democrática, which was
the name that the coallition (much similar to that of DOS in Yugoslavia today
or the MDC in Zimbabwe, or so it seems) that confronted Perón in 1945.

The "democratic" banner (please note I wrote  _banner_, not _idea_, nor
_concept_, nor _notion_, not even _word_) has become, in the Third World, the
surrogate name for "proimperialist" or at least "not national", in the
nomenclature of mass organizations. It generally is the way fronts where the
hegemonic though many times ably disguised leadership is held by those social
fractions or classes which defend the continuity, the establishment, or the
further strengthening of the relation of dependency between the country and the
imperialist system. Of course, they find huge -though sometimes, due to
tactical reasons, under cover- support in the imperialist countries.

In Argentina, in particular, where historic consciousness reached a very high
point during the 70s (yesterday night, a Chilean comrade who was exiled among
us during those times told me that the high pitch of our historical debates had
taken her to believe that leaders of the 19th Century such as Sarmiento or
Mitre were alive!), the "Unión Democrática" has become a category of analysis.

I suggest to differentiate these "popular fronts" with strong imperialist
backing in the Third World from the general concept of "popular front" such as
those which existed in France, Chekoslovakia, or Spain during the 1930s, by
calling them by the name they love to give to themselves with a slight

These are, actually, and sorry Patrick Bond I believe you are missing the
target completely here, "colonial democratic fronts". I think we should call
them that name, for the sake of clarity. And if any academic-oriented comrade
on the list can do it, I believe that this proposition would give way to a good
M.A. or Ph.D. thesis in Political Science.


Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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