(Fwd) (Fwd) Unity of "socialists" [was "Unity" of socialists]

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Fri Sep 20 21:25:26 MDT 2002

Lou, I am sending a msg to the list, and a copy to your own mailbox.

------- Forwarded message follows -------

Armand Diego wrote: 


The Cuban report contains a number of mistakes and obviously does not 

make a characterization of these groups.  See my comments 
interspersed in the Cuban press release:

<My own comments, between "<>"s, interspersed in the interspersed 
comments: palimpsest reading skills mandatory, I guess...>

"Buenos Aires, Sep 13 (PL) Saturday, Argentinean
socialist forces will establish their fusion into one
party after more than 45 years of divisions, it was
confirmed in this capital."

Obviously, this is far from reality.  There are more
socialist organizations, with more members and
influence in the working class than those who are

<A. Diego's paragraph is, at the same time, true, and not so much.> 

<In Argentinean politics, one must distinguish between  "_the_ 
socialists", and "socialists".  Since in Spanish you always use the 
article in this case, it is sometimes hard to see the not so subtle 
hue.  In Argentinean political usage, _the_ socialists mean those 
groups which consider themselves the actual heirs and inheritors of 
the old Partido Socialista.>  

<Since I guess I know who was the person that promoted the PL 
article (most probably it was Emilio Corbiére, a journalist who has 
always been a part of "_the_ socialists" and who is currently working 

for Prensa Latina) I think that I know what was going on in _his_ 
resourceful and tricky mind while he drafted, or suggested a draft, 
for the article. Corbiére is very linked to "_the_ socialists", he is 

a good person and an able journalist, albeit too opportunistic for my 


<I also understand A.Diego's uneasiness at the article, as well as  
his own version of the facts. But, I am afraid, neither the article 
nor the comments bring to the fore the actual meaning of this piece 
of news.>

<As I commented above, the political camp of "_the_ socialists", 
in Argentinean political usage, is reserved to those formations 
who claim to be the direct inheritors and true representatives 
of the old Socialist Party of Juan B. Justo, Repetto and Palacios. 
This is not contested in Argentina, save for the few sects 
-even eventually bulging sects such as those which, in A.Diego's 
own words, can boast today "more members and influence in 
the working class than those who are fusing"- who dispute 
over words and names in the name of "revolutionary socialism" 
against "reformism". Please don't take "sects" as an indication of 
size, but rather in the sense Marx used the word, of groups which did 
not stress their links with the actual consciousness of the working 
class, stressing their differences instead and try to "raise" the 
workers to their illuminated ideologies.>

<A. Diego is right in pointing out that the news release by PL does 
not take into account -as "socialists"- the variegated array of 
 formations which tend to melt into such alliances as "Izquierda 
or the "Polo Obrero". But, at the same time, he is wrong IMHO 
because he does not meet the basic issue, which is the nth attempt 
at the reconstitution of the old Socialist Party by what remains 
alive of "_the_ socialists".>  

<Of course, the intention of the article is to blur this issue, and I 

understand A. Diego's itch. But this is a microdebate completely 
alien to Argentinean mass politics. Mainly because, even though they 
have criticized "_the_ socialists" on every ground imaginable, all 
the sects and groups which can get annoyed at this article from PL 
have _never_ criticized the basic mistake of "_the_ socialists", 
namely their completely erroneous understanding of the national 
question in Argentina. On this, they share the same ground, which 
makes their claim somehow irrelevant.>

"The rebirth of the Argentinean Socialist Party (PSA)
will be the result of the merger of the Authentic
Socialist Party and the Popular Socialist Party and
will be directed by leaders of both organizations:
Alfredo Bravo and Ruben Giustiniani as president and
General secretary, respectively."

Apparently, those fusing are attempting to call the
party the Socialist Party.  Period.  PSA was the name
of one of the factions in the 60s and 70s led by, I
believe, historian Gregorio Selzer and later by
others. The announced fusion is betwen the Democratic
Socialist Party (PSD) - a right wing, anti-peronist,
very conservative organization and the Popular
Socialist Party (PSP), a formation mostly around the
MNR - Reformist National Movement- in college campuses
that held some weight until 10 years ago based on a
de-politicized, student service program in
universities around the country.  The Partido
Socialista Autentico, a phamtom group that was in
every coalition of the UCR (De La Rua party) was
actually no invited to the fusion and is bitterly
complaining about it.

<True, the actual actors of this nth attempt at welding the 
unweldable are the  PSD and the PSP, and not the PSA.>

<The characterisation of the PSD is more or less accurate, only that 
it does _not_ say that Alfredo Bravo, the main figure in the "center-
left" ARI, which is not exactly a right-wing, conservative formation, 

belongs to the PSD. The basic feature of the PSD is their organic 
anti-Peronism (they even obtained an Embassy during the 1976 regime 
of Videla and Martínez de Hoz), but with time and the experiences of 
the remains of the petty bourgeoisie of Buenos Aires that they 
represent, even _that_ has been waning, Alfredo Cartañá, for example, 
takes pride in having ejected Américo Ghioldi from the PSD. In this 
sense, I am afraid that even the current PSD is _less_, not more, 
anti-Peronist than the many "revolutionary socialists" that criticize 
the PSD as "reformist">

<The PSP is more than what A. Diego (whose vision seems to be moulded 

by the asphyxiating atmosphere of in-campus politics) says. It is an 
agrarian middle class formation, centered around the town of Rosario, 

who still have some basis on the poor chacareros and the middle class 

of the Southern tip of Santa Fe province. They began to fall apart 
after the death of Guillermo (?, not sure) Estevez Boero, a leader of 

Rosario who, during some time, proved to understand Peronism in a 
relatively decent way, and had a reasonable action in national 
politics. Following the evolution of its social base, however, the 
PSP turned to support of Alfonsín's formal democratism soon. Now, 
their leadership is completely discredited, but they are more than an 

in-campus outfit. Both the PSD and the PSP have representatives in 
the Congress.>

<Where Diego misses the shot completely is about the Partido 
Socialista Auténtico. In fact, this fraction of the old Party is the 
one which best represents the best traditions of radical national-
democratic reformism which were once prevalent within the old Partido 

Socialista Argentino (more on this later). They have a respectable 
political structure in some areas of the Western and North Western 
Greater Buenos Aires, and they have a sizable _electoral basis_ of 
their own in the Province of Buenos Aires, something few "socialist" 
parties can boast to have. Their leaders, Drs. Mario Mazzitelli and 
Jorge Selser, are in fact very interesting examples of the best 
qualities of the Argentinean middle classes (in a sense, they fit 
with the profile of a, say, Daniel Barenboim), and sometimes they are 

to the left of their own voters.>

<The attempt to rebuild the Partido Socialista is still another 
attempt to offer to the "progressive" middle classes of Buenos Aires 
a "socialist" group that covers the left wing of the "center"-left 
coalition led by Lilita Carrió, a member of the Radical party who 
tries to gather the forces in disarray of the "progressive" sepoys 
here. The Partido Socialista Auténtico did not join in this attempt, 
simply because they are nearer to have a reasonable understanding of 
Peronism and the national question in Argentina than any other branch 
of _the_ socialists.>

<The full story should run like this: the Socialist Party, which 
after 1945 became more and more a middle class formation (which it 
had always been, in ideology if not in membership, from its very 
beginning), suffered a wave of splits and a process of definitive 
splintering after 1955. >

<The most ferociously anti-Peronists gathered around Américo Ghioldi 
and constituted the Partido Socialista Democrático (PSD). Anti-
Peronism, by the way, was a matter of genetics with Américo. His 
brother, Rodolfo Ghioldi, was a Communist Party leader,  which did 
not forbid him in in 1945 to offer his arm to the American Ambassador 
and the arch-oligarch Santamarina and to head the march against 
Perón, that fascist; among his many demerits one can also count his 
unable pen's attack on the Spanish language when he coined the 
following definition of Peronism: "nazi-nipo-fasci-falanjo-Peronism". 

<The bulk of the party gathered around Alfredo L. Palacios but led by 
Gregorio Selser among others (Selser, by the way, is a very 
interesting researcher who prepared, among others, very interesting 
books on Sandino and on Panamá) formed the Partido Socialista 
Argentino (PSA).> 

<This PSA, however, suffered another process of splits, some of its 
members constituting the PSAV, others melting with "Trotskyists" in 
the PST (Moreno's electoral formation), others turning to the 
Communist Party, a few turning to the Izquierda Nacional, and still 
others entering the "special formations" (urban terrorist groups) of 
the late 60s / early 70s (Roberto Quieto, one of the main leaders of 
Montoneros, was of this origin, for example).>

<Though the main political issue in Argentina was, during those 
times, the proscription of Peronism, almost all of these splits 
tended to turn around the "reform" vs. "revolution" axis. It was an 
abstract axis which in fact concealed the increasing rage of the 
middle classes at their "bad fate" after 1955. In a sense, the mood 
is still alive not so much in the "mainstream" socialist formations 
-which have some links with reality through the fractions of lower 
middle class that they represent- but certainly in the sects which 
have been left aside by the  "fussion":  Only yesterday evening, for 
example, I met with a guy who had been active in the Partido Obrero 
for ten years, until he left it on this very reasonable ground: "Lots 
of class struggle talk, lots of proletarians against bourgeois, but 
never a word on imperialism!".>

<Against the info by A. Diego, though the original name will be 
PS, they _will_ try to reconstitute the "PSA". The original "PS" name 

cannot be generated withouth the _three_ former members of the "PS" 
agreeing in the usage of the word "Socialist". Without this 
agreement, the PSA might impugnate any other party name with the word 


<Thus the members of the renewed party counter attack in an obvious 
electoral trick. The explanation of the trick may be somehow boring, 
but since it might cast some light on the details to which the 
Argentinean reactionaries have gone in order to smother popular 
voices, I will give it to you. 

< In Argentina, a law dating back to the mid 1960s forbids to name a 
party after an individual (that is, you cannot call yourself Partido 
Peronista), or with the word "argentino"; it is also forbidden to 
call yourself "nacional" (thus you cannot call yourself _legally_ 
Frente de Liberación Nacional). The law also makes it very easy to 
impugnate a new party's name on formal grounds, such as "we are 
already carrying the name 'socialist'" . This law was passed during 
the age of the "democratic" President Illia (1963-1966) and it aimed 
at two basic goals:>

<a) the general one of making it difficult for those in the national 
camp to call themselves their actual names. In the early 1970s, we in 

the Partido Socialista de la Izquierda Nacional were forced by law 
not to call  our proposed "Frente de Izquierda Nacional" according to 

what we _actually_ were, but we had to call the Front "Frente de 
Izquierda _Popular_" (FIP for an acronym). In the early 80s we in the 

Partido de la Izquierda Nacional had to resort to a "fantasy name" 
for legal purposes, and had to call our electoral structure "Acción 
Popular por la Liberación". Comrades in the former Partido Socialista 

Argentino de Vanguardia, PSAV, who had constituted a Partido de la 
Liberación Nacional had to accept to become the "Partido de la 
And the comrades in the Partido Socialista Argentino were forced to 
replace the "Argentino" for "Auténtico" during the mid-1970s. In 
Argentina, it is legally accepted that you call your party, say, 
Partido de la Revolución, Movimiento Colonialista Italiano, or 
Partido Patriótico Japonés. But you cannot call yourself 
"Argentinean" or "National"...>

<(b) the second goal of this law was to crush the developmentalists, 
who had split from the Radical party after 1955, constituting the 
UCRI (Unión Cívica Radical Intransigente) against the UCRP (Unión 
Cívica Radical del Pueblo). The UCRP illegitimate majority in the 
Congress forced the developmentalists to call themselves Movimiento 
de Integración y Desarrollo (MID), and thus recovered the sole 
ownership of the UCR acronym.>

<Thus, what is at stake here is the right of the comrades in the 
Partido Socialista Auténtico to carry their own name, and that is why 

the PS -which cannot be called Partido Socialista Argentino- will try 

to get the "ownership" of the PSA acronym. The PS Auténtico, 
displaying a very interesting independence and a complete refusal to 
integrate to the "center-left", which is the only goal of this 
reunification, should be punished, in the stupid eyes of a 
Giustiniani (PSP) or a Cartañá (PSD), for what in fact amounts to a 
high degree of socialist -albeit, yes, "reformist"- political 

"The formation of the new organization was decided
last June 28 with the signing of a document in the
city of Rosario. This took place on the occasion of
the 106th anniversary of the foundation of the first

The first party at the end of the 1800s was called PS,
not PSA.  PSA is an acronym of a faction that split in
the 1950s (not sure the year)

<The above by Armand D. is perfect. The _exact_ year during the 50s, 
however, is an essential issue for anyone who wants to understand 
Argentinean socialists.>

"That text called for the new party to become "an
example of a great coalition to transform it into an
alternative able to carry out the changes demanded by
Argentinean society."

These are not working class organizations, but a
collection of conservative, right wing old style
social democrats that function, for all that matter,
as bourgeois parties... only small.

<The above is quite ridiculous, in fact. "Working class 
organizations" such as the Política Obrera, PTS or PST sects! There 
is more actual life to the PSP or even the PSD in terms of social 
class representativity, though certainly not of "working class" 
representativity, than in all those "revolutionary", non-bourgeois 
-actually ultra-left- groups!>

"The document was signed by observers from other South
American socialist parties including: Ricardo Nuñez
(Chilean Socialist Party), Reinaldo Gargano (Uruguayan
Socialist Party), Elio Alfredo Pieta (Brazilian
Workers Party) and Carlos Fllizola, president of País
Solidario de Paraguay."

This may give tha false impression that the fused
organization is somewhat officially representing
social democracy in Argentina.  Is not.  The PSD that
held that position was kicked out as section of the
2nd for being too righ wing in the 1950s (they
collaborated with the military government to intervene
and dismantle the Peronsit unions after the coup that
overthrew Peron).  Americo Ghioldi, its hsitorical
leader once said, referring to workers who were
resisting the coup: "the letter with blood will be
learned." (La letra con sangre se aprende).

<This does not  make them any the less social democrats, in the sense 

of social imperialists. In fact, the 2nd. International kicked the 
PSD out in a shameful move, because they incorporated the UCR 
afterwards. The _false_ impression is that the social imperialists 
support a "socialist" party, when in fact they support and give 
membership to a "petty bourgeois rottening" party, the party of De La 

Rúa, Alfonsín, and others. A. Diego comments this below, but he 
cannot extract the political consequences. A  pity, really. A pity.>

"At the time, it was also decided that the new PSA
would support the candidacy of Elisa Carrio, leader of
the Alternative Party for a Republic of Equals, for
president in the elections scheduled for next

I bet they won't have more than 1,000 at their
founding congress and I'm giving them an optimistic

Both ther PSD and PSP were supporting Carrio for a
long time.  They supported the UCR of De La Rua

By the way, the official section of social-democracy
in Argentina is the the UCR. Alfonsin, one of its
leaders, presided over the Latin America conference of
social democracy and is one of its international


Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"Aquel que no está orgulloso de su origen no valdrá nunca 
nada porque empieza por depreciarse a sí mismo".
Pedro Albizu Campos, compatriota puertorriqueño de todos 
los latinoamericanos.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

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