On the perspectives of capitalism in Argentina (was Re: Query forNestor)

Les Schaffer schaffer at SPAMoptonline.net
Tue May 1 19:27:44 MDT 2001

[ from Nestor ]

En relación a Re: Query for Nestor, el 1 May 01, a las 17:18, Carrol
Cox dijo:

> Louis Proyect wrote:
> >
> > Nestor, over on PEN-L the pro-capitalist radical Doug Henwood felt
> > that I was painting a gloomy picture of capitalist progress. He,
> > like Brad DeLong,
> This is a lie and whitewashes Doug at the same time. How in the hell
> is it possible to confront Doug's real political errors when for
> merely personal and quite non political reasons you say things like
> this.
> Doug Henwood: "Neoliberalism is a crime against humanity, and
> Argentina could do a lot better under a more humane regime"

The real problem here, personal things aside, however, should be posed
as follows: "Is there any possibility for the Argentinean capitalists
than a continuation of neoliberal barbarism?" When I speak of
capitalists I mean, not only the obvious allies of imperialist
plunder, the managers of foreign owned public utilities, the usury
system known as financial sector, and so on. No. I am speaking of the
small bourgeois, the owner of a small shop or a medium sized factory.

These firms which produce, mainly, for the domestic market. Of course
that they feel the rope around their neck (neoliberal policies have
them outcompeted by foreign bourgeois, an ever shrinking domestic
market makes them have a bleeding nose against ever rising walls,
etc.). But at the same time, they feel it is a matter of life or death
not to allow the unions to have firm ground in the workshop again. The
strength of the factory council, the strength of the union delegate,
this, never, never more!

And this is a crucial element in their existential consciousness. This
is the element that the neoliberal clique counts on in order to have
these stupid goats throw themselves to the abyss. It is a pity that
Fernando Lavallén, who has an extensive in-shop experience with
Argentinean bourgeois, doesn't have the time to contribute some report
on conditions of work and the ideology of the "small, national"

So that in a deeper sense than Carrol imagines, Lou Pr may still be
right, because non-neoliberal colonial capitalism is a delusion. And a
non-colonial capitalism is simply a step towards a socialist
revolution. Non tertium datur, censeo.

I won't meddle into the debate between Carrol, Lou, Doug and
Braden. This is an important issue but for comrades in the United
States. I would only want to stress that proposing a "mild" capitalism
for a country such as Argentina is at best daydreaming and at worst
ideologic cover-up for new instances of crude neoliberal
capitalism. In fact, this has been the operation repeatedly performed
by Alfonsín, Menem, Alvarez and De La Rúa, the quartet that has been
managing the Protectorat after 1983. They always propose a "mild"
capitalism to earn votes, then impose "the only available capitalism"
to keep up there.

In a moment when ever growing masses in Argentina are slowly becoming
aware of the enormous task ahead, that is to overthrow any
pro-capitalist alternative just in order to keep bones and flesh
together, dreaming of a "better" alternative is not my idea of a good
cup of tea. This is simply a detour, probably not intended by Doug but
a detour.

There is positively NO serious future for capitalism in Argentina
already.  Unless we suppose Argentineans have decided to see their
children grow as slaves and their grandchildren become foodstuff in
some future table of the wealthy anthropophagists of, say, New York.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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