Reply to Richard Fidler

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Apr 28 20:16:48 MDT 2002

On Sun, 28 Apr 2002 20:14:39 -0400, Richard Fidler wrote:
>In my opinion, Perón was in fact a Bonapartist
>figure (in the context of an underdeveloped or
>dependent country, of course), and rather than
>"promoting" the class interests of workers _and_
>the industrial bourgeoisie, I think it is more
>accurate to say he attempted to straddle those
>interests, which were fundamentally conflictual
>as well as parallel in some respects. In the
>end, his downfall is explained by the
>impossibility of his project.

Richard, you obviously didn't read what I wrote very carefully. I 
concluded my post with the following:

"When the internal contradictions of his experiment forced an option 
between radicalization or reaction, he opted for the latter, but 
could not escape the political and institutional pressures he had 
created. Opportunism proved self-defeating. When hard times arrived 
Perónism revealed its deepest conservative impulses. After all it had 
attempted to develop a populist labor policy within the institutional 
framework of capitalism. Laborism had been the strategy of its 
revolutionary phase. It had provided Perónism with working class 
support. But it contradicted the requirements of capitalist 
accumulation which Perón had not once challenged. Perón had now to 
stabilize the hybrid system he had created: he began instituting 
repressive controls and freezing the class struggle by setting up 
corporativist institutions. In brief, he tried to build a power 
apparatus in order to free himself from the reactionary and radical 
cross pressures in the society." (Quote from Corradi) 

When the forces of reaction began to bear down on Perón, there was 
only one class force capable of resistance. Imperialist pressure and 
hostile class forces in Argentina had taken their toll, however. 
Perón was unwilling to turn to the same working-class forces that had 
come to his aid in 1945. After a military coup had unseated him in 
1955, Perón asked his sympathizers in high government positions and 
trade unions to resign in order to keep the peace. He also permitted 
the military to seize the CGT's (pro-Perón trade union) arsenal of 
5,000 rifles and revolvers.

In an emotional speech to the nation on July 15, 1955, he said:

"The Perónist Revolution has ended; now begins a new constitutional 
stage without revolution 
 I have ceased to be the leader of the 
National Revolution in order to become President of all the 

In my next and final post on the collapse of Argentina, I will try to 
explain why a revolution in Argentina cannot reflect the interest of 
"all the Argentines."

Louis Proyect, lnp3 at on 04/28/2002

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