De Gennaro, the PT, and Brazilian Peronism

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at
Mon Dec 2 07:25:15 MST 2002

A. Diego wrote:

"Personally, I do not believe De Gennaro or the CTA
could carry out the building of a new PT.  For one,
the PT was the result of a victorious wave of
struggles of a new, young, dynamic proletariat in

Those conditions, obviously, are not present in
Argentina. Here the struggles are out of despair and
the decadence of the system.  Second, De Gennaro faces
opposition - left, center and right - inside the CTA
to that proposal.

Third, their allies of the PCR/CCC will strongly
oppose any shift to the left like creating a vehicle
for class independence.  Last, but not the least, are
the ties of De Gennaro himself with the center-left
(Carrio, ARI, the rests of the FREPASO, etc) that is
also claiming allegiance to the PT model, but from the

The main reason, however, has escaped Armand. In essence, the PT has
already happened in Argentina, and its name is Peronism. Though it is usual
to equate Vargas with Perón, from the political and structural point of view
the PT is the representation of the national-democratic, proletarian based
movement that Peronism always was. Any attempt to build a "PT" here is
criscrossed by a deep current of anti-working class (working class such as
it is) prejudice.

OTOH, I know De Gennaro very, very well. In fact, it is thanks to one of
the members of this list that De Gennaro could resume his carreer as a
union member in the State Employees' union ATE, in 1984.

I have been with him (DG) quite recently, BTW.  I felt as if I had met Mr.
Samsa after his metamorphosis was complete.  During the first years of
what is wrongly called "la democracia" here (the mid- and late-eighties), De
Gennaro teamed with Germán Abdala, a young Peronist cadre who,
unfortunately for all of us, died of cancer many decades too early.  While
Germán teamed with him, DG followed a rather democratic, petty
bourgeois but leftist, line within a general Peronist framework. This line
brought ATE to its best achievements.

I would not like to blame Germán Abdala for his premature death, but the
fact is that after Germán died, the deep character of De Gennaro began
to show itself. De Gennaro belongs to the not-so-rare lineage of pro-
Stalinist, middle class, Peronists that has been so bountiful in grown up
bureaucrats (the telephone workers' union Julio Guillán being another on
this list).  They were particularly important during the late 60s, early 70s,
with figures such as Bustos Fierro and others.

Most of them are shameful Peronists, and their general political trajectory
usually ends as a puppet (or as a callously cyinical) leader of some social-
reformist or social-democratic outfit.

De Gennaro's CTA, to which I am forced to belong through compulsory
affiliation of ATE, my own union, appeared on the political scenario as a
progressive reconstruction of democratic Peronists many years ago, but it
has turned a neo-Stalinist organization today, with most important sites of
power occupied by former or current members of the highly unpopular
Communist Party or sympathizers of the Communist Party. Its list of
members have been shamelessly used to generate lists of "party affiliates"
for some center-left anti-peronist formations, particularly in the Province
of Buenos Aires. It has strong links, on the other hand, with the European
Social Democracy, and has been very actively working in the sense of
splitting the labor movement. The links with the European Social
Democracy, by the way, explain why Julio Godio, an archetypal anti-
Peronist "leftist" is on the payroll of CTA. There is another member of this
list who knows Godio well.

This monster could never become anything else than a small, reformist,
isolated organization. Who needs another "center-left", when you already
have one?  But since Argentinean politics, in a rather Aristotelean way,
abhors vacuum, it would not be much of a surprise to witness the growth of
CTA as a "new kind of political party" once the different center-left
groups founder, which has already begun to happen.

Somebody has to do the dirty work of taking the progressive, wage-
earning middle class (what somewhere else would be called the "white
collars", but which in Argentina bears a double determination, including the
intellectual colonization component too) away from the national liberation
front in its different avatars? De Gennaro may well end up as the
torchbearer of this unsavory formation. History, and the necessities of the
colonial structure, will decide in the end.


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