Forwarded from Nestor

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Nov 14 08:11:12 MST 2002

I am so short of time I don´t think I will be able to provide a full answer
to John Paramo on Argentina, the Left, Rodríguez Saá _et al._ It is a pity
because this is the first time in years that an articulate debate can be
launched on these issues. John is obviously acquainted with some realities
of Argentina (and my mention of this on previous postings intended to praise
him for that). He answers with (right or wrong) ideas, not with hollow
slogans. With fact, not with delusion.

Unfortunately I can´t engage the serious debate he deserves. I will only
broach some issues, and in haste, this time.  More relaxed debate will have
to wait. Hope will be able to wage it.

1) As to the TV show where Zamora stated his (for Paramo praiseworthy, for
me completely wrong) definitions, I am not sure whether it was on Channel 9
or Channel 2 of Buenos Aires, a week or so ago, on the night shows.

2) Spilimbergo never wrote a line on Stalinism. This was made by Ramos on
his "Historia del Stalinismo en la Argentina": Spilimbergo´s main published
work was on on the national question in Marx, on the Argentinean socialists,
on the Argentinean right-wing nationalists, and on the Radical party.

3) The idea that the 19-20 December mobilisations, the popular assemblies,
and so on, were geared towards socialism in abstract, is profoundly wrong.
What the Argentineans wanted was an end to the rapist system of  theft y
that passed for "economic sense" since 1976, and the demise of the political
system which supported it. The "que se vayan todos!" slogan was just that,
an imperfect expression of rage _by the middle classes (and, partly, the
jobless)_. Neither can step ahead to the construction of a new movement that
would replace the Hollowayite view of things with a seriously political
building. The fact that new social actors appear does not mean that,
historically, the basic subject of socialism is the working class, however
weakened it can be today.

Thus, it is wrong to adscribe any socialist potential to these movements
(the recovered plants movement is a different thing) _in themselves_. It is
the same old mistake of anti-Peronist leftists, who are always clinging to
new tactics and turn them into strategies that can iron the unruly
Argentinean politics and make it more amenable to their vision of things:
during the 60s/70s, it was "Montoneros, carajo!"; later on, it was
"piqueteros, carajo!"; now, it is a milder "asambleas vecinales!". All this
expresses their denial to assume critically the meaning of Peronism, and the
old dream of wiping the Argentinean historical record since 1945 as an
enormous historical mistake by an immature working class. In this sense, and
in many others, what they want to do is to set the back to October 16, 1945,
or further back if possible, for example to the glorious classist struggles
of the Tragic Week (provided they _know_ that there existed a Tragic Week in
Argentina, 1910s!).

Against this in my view reactionary tendency of the "Left", Rodríguez Saá
wants, so to say, to return to September 15, 1955. And this is why he
represents better the forces unleashed on December 2001 than any Leftist
around in Buenos Aires. Against all the wishful thinking of the "left",
Peronism is as constitutive of the personality of the revolutionary forces
within the Argentinean working class as, say, Olof Palme´s left wing social
democracy is of those in the Swedish working class. The experience of the
construction of a self-centered capitalism must be taken to its end, and at
the same time one should struggle to gather all those variegated forces in a
single national front, while trying to obtain the will of the masses for a
socialist outcome for the unavoidable bottlenecks that the bourgeois project
will confront.

Any other course amounts to an objective support to the plans of the
rearguard of imperialism and the local oligarchs, that is Duhalde and Menem
together with what little remains of the Unión Cívica Radical.

4) And as to the existence of inexistence of the IN in the mind of the
"left" (which is not exactly true), nothing could bother me less. We have
abandoned Universities -the true world where this "left" lives- for some
years. We shall return soon. Then, they will have to deal with us again, and
great headaches they will have! For the time being, we have been building
strong links with the truly revolutionary forces in Argentina, and have
helped to turn them to the left. And, yes, we have been on the streets and
in the poorest neighborhoods.

Upwards from those deep regions shall we rise, with all our people. Or we
shall sink with them, as it was our fate in 1976.

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