Answer to Nestor: Rodriguez Saa

John Paramo albatrosrojo2000 at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 13 13:02:26 MST 2002


Please, disregard my previous posting, and I
apologize.  I forgot to change the heading and used
the wrong name for Nestor and some other mistakes (I
sent it before I finished it):

Nestor wrote:

> John Paramo, who seems to have a deeper knowledge of
> Argentinean left that is commonplace outside my
country,

I'm interested in a deeper understanding of political
situations that are key for this period.  That
includes, at this point Argentina, Middle East,
Brazil,
Venezuela, Colombia, Central Asia ... No Marxist could
claim such a title that doesn't study the live
phenomena of the class struggle as it happens.

Paraphrasing Lenin: "whoever takes the word of others
is a fool" when it comes to the political situation in
countries where the class struggle is acute.  "It is
not merely the task of socialdemocrats to publish the
official resolutions written by others, but ot
reaching
their own conclussions, independently" the guy said
(quoted from memory).

Thus my interest in Argentinean politics.  I'm not
taking your word for it, nor I believe everything I
read (not meaning anything personal here).  I read so
much crap about what is going on in Argentina and
Brazil and Venezuela - for example - allegedly written
by Marxists that I decided to take the risk and reach
my own conclussions.

Nestor:

criticizes me (in a sense, justly) when I state that
"most "leftists" in Argentina brand
> Rodríguez Saá and his supporters Fascists or, at
> least, a new version of the gang of stooges of
imperialism." Please keep in mind (this
> will be important at the end of this e-mail) that I
> wrote *brand*,  not *talk about*.

JP:

I understood your differentiation of "branding" and
"talk about." But in the framework of political
discourse, "branding" means "characterizing" certain
political force or politicians as "fascist", in this
case Rodriguez Saa. And, I assume, acting accordingly.

My point in correcting your assertion that most left
*branded* Rodriguez Saa as a fascist was just that.
The correction of an exxageration.

Nobody in the Marxist left in Argentina characterizes
Rodriguez Saa as a "fascist", nor brand him as such
nor they act in regards to him as if he was a fascist.

With all the shortcomings, the Argentinean left
doesn't seems to be THAT ignorant.

Nestor:

> To begin with: I resorted to shorthand for foreign
> readers. The main issue here is that the "report on
the current situation" that I attached had little to
do with the characterizations that John
> displays more specifically on his note. On the
> contrary, it would be difficult to define it as
emerging from anything but a clearly progressive
movement.

JP:

Yes.  That is why I especifically answered to your
introduction to the "report" and not the report itself
which I considered bland and innocuous.

As to the "progressive" character of Rodriguez Saa
movement, it is all relative to what.  In regards to
the other Peronist candidates for President: Menem, De
La Sota et al this is probably an accurate
formulation.

Relative to the political situation in the country,
the mass movement and the real phenomena of the class
struggle: piqueteros (movements of the unemployed),
occuppied factories, the weakened but still existent
neighborhood assemblies, Saa represents an attempt to
stabilize the country on bourgeois terms, through a
popular frontist operation -and not of the most
leftist brand.

> It is _at the very least_ misleading to qualify such
> a movement as one lead by "a landowner and wine
producer, a member of the
> oligarchy".

That is true.  The MOVEMENT cannot.  But the guy IS a
landowner, wine producer (ethilic preferences aside)
industrialist, a member of Congress, of a traditional
provincial family who controlled the politics of the
region for years.

Not only that, but in terms of economics, he reflects
the interests of his class.  It is a member of the
classical Argentinean "oligarchy?" For the purpose of
dealing with his politics, I would say no, since what
he would like to present as a facade is a Peronist
populist moderate position (moderate for the
economic/political/social situation now in Argentina).

Now, as a definition of what class he belongs to, he
is closer to the oligarchy than to the industrial
bourgeoisie, while maybe he is in between.  In any
case, the class a politician belongs to is of
importance.  His "caudillo" aspirations together with
his brother in the province, is of importance.  His
past support of right wing governments is of
importance.  Whether any of all those elements comes
to play is question of analysis.  In this case, the
class Rodriguez Saa belongs too DETERMINES his
politics to a large degree.

Nestor:

But there are clearer declarations.
> Luis Zamora, for example, stated on TV a few days
ago that his goal is to make it
> impossible for Rodriguez Saá to rule the country if
> he gets to power.

JP:

Really?  I would be surprised to find out this is the
case. I would believe that Zamora would say something
to the effect that "Saa would not be able to govern if
elected" - which strikes me as true for anyone elected
in this parody of democracy that is Argentina today.

But adding that "his goal is to make it
impossible for Rodriguez Saa to rule" is beyond what I
expect him to say. Zamora is a middle class radical
with too many democratic bourgeois prejudices as to
make such an statement that could open him to attacks
of being "undemocratic."

But, would you please send me date and TV station, and
name of the program info so I can discuss this with
him and his pals? Is it possible to get a transcript
or an accurate verbatim quote? I'm really interested
on this, because that would indicate a shift in
Zamora's thinking.

Nestor:

> For Zamora, this candidate is as reactionary as
> Duhalde, Alfonsín, or
> De La Rúa. So, he is just another representative of
> the terrorist
> rule of great capital (the basic definition of
> Fascism, since good
> ole Dimitrov).

JP:

Again, I think you're exxagerating.  I do not think
Zamora, or anyone in the Marxist left in Argentina
think that Saa is a "representative of the terrorist
rule of great capital" or even that he is as
reactionary as Alfonsin, Menem or De La Rua.

Maybe he is closer to Duhalde politically, but again,
that is irrelevant since Duhalde rejected the
approximations of Saa at the beginning of the dealing
and wheeling inside the Peronist party. Most of the
left, in fact, are paying little attention to Saa -
which in my opinion is incorrect - and when they do,
they deal with him as the sure loser in the Peronist
primary, trying to build a "center Popular Front",
which is more or less accurate.

Nestor:

> John adds that "The Maoist of the PCR call him a
> "populist" or a
> "member of the popular camp."" Which is true, and
> speaks very well of
> the comrades in the PCR. However, they have decided
> _not to vote_ in

JP:

Je! Je!, the PCR and the other left groups, like PO,
has decided not to go into the elections because they
do not want to expose their claims of leading a mass
movement with a result barely over 2%, which is the
maximum they would get as they did in the past.  When
the PCR presented candidates as PTP, never got their
act together, ran stupid campaigns and got less than
1% of the vote.  Of course, their discourse is
"revolutionary" to cover up for their incompetence.

Nestor:

> the next elections, which shows that -although they
> have been talking
> with the Rodríguez Saá brothers for many years (many
> years earlier
> that my own group, for example), and they have
> printed some paper
> against the Foreign Debt in the printing house of
> Alberto Rodríguez
> Saá (for free, if I am not wrong)-

JP:
According to them, they paid for the printings. But if
they did it for free at Saa's printing presses, I
would be itnerested in the confirmation of this info
as it will be relevant to the political
characterization of both Saa and the PCR.

Nestor:
 their militants,
> bred into the
> "pure" Leftist tradition of the old Argentinean
> Left, find it hard to
> swallow the idea of voting for a "Peronist
> oligarch"...

JP:

Uhmmmm .... we are talking Maoists here, they can
stomach almost anything.  In fact, the PCR were the
staunchest defenders of Isabel Peron and Lopez Rega in
the late 70s, both against the coup but also against
the working class.  The PCR also called for a vote for
Peronist candidates in several elections before,
including supporting the Saa family in San Luis during
their decades of control of the province.

Nestor:

> b) The help of "some minuscule left" refers to the
> members of the
> Partido de la Izquierda Nacional and other members
> of the Izquierda
> Nacional who, with a few exceptions and in varying
> degrees, support
> the MNyP.

I don't think so.  I think the organization who wrote
that and from which I quoted, the MST, was referring
to other left groups.  I don't think anyone register
the PIN or IN in any radar in Argentina since the
death of Abelardo Ramos, his most famous and reknown
representative.  In fact, I like some of his writing
on History and I found Spilinbergo's history of
Argentinean stalinism educating, but in terms of a
left movement, they no longer register in any radar
and the rest of the left does not mention them at all.

Nestor:

> And as to the "labor bureacrats of one of the
> factions of the CGT",
> this is the traditional mantra of the Left against
> the most combative
> and serious group

JP:

Referring to the CGT (Rebelde) led by Moyano, I would
say tha my opinion is that the bureacratic control of
the few unions remaining with them is no different
from the CGT (Daer) and possibly even worse than that
of the CTA of DeGennaro.  In terms of politics, Moyano
and his pals supported the attempts to estabilize the
situation for months after the mass mobilizations of
December 19-20 anbd signed up to pacts and the
roundtable agreements with the bourgeois parties and
the Church and only when they were pushed aside once,
and again, they organized a failed strike.  In fact
the support of Moyano to Saa will amount to little,
since his confederation will not last long.

On one thing, I think we agree.  I think was a
terrible mistake for the left not to campaign,
IMMEDIATELY AFTER December 19-20 for "All must go,
immediate general elections now."  They thought that
the spontaneous mass mobilizations that overthrew De
La Rua would continued unabatted, form soviets and the
taking of power of the working class.  They completely
dismissed the importance of democratic and
transitional demands.

That, however, does not make Saa a left alternative by
default.


JP



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