Perón on collective / individual freedom

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at
Mon Sep 1 13:06:17 MDT 2003

Free translation into English follows of an article that Perón 
published, under the signature "Descartes", in _Democracia_, the 
newspaper of the unions central CGT, in 1951.  Please note that this 
is the period of decadence of Peronism, when the impulse of 1945 was 
succesfully stiffled by the bureaucratic shell. 

Thus, on the following lines, the bourgeois leadership was expressing 
itself in full. The bourgeois leader Perón considered both 
"capitalism" and "communism" (representations of imperialist 
countries and Stalinist states, respectively) as exploitive regimes. 

But this is not the core of the message. Please read carefully what 
follows, and perhaps it will help you understand why it was that, on 
Che Guevara's death, Perón considered him "another one like us".

Anti-Peronist Leftists tended to skim the ideological form, and to 
blame Perón to be a Fascist (in a formal sense, what follows _might_ 
be interpreted thusly). But in the concrete context of Argentina, the 
basic message of the lines below was a message of national liberation 
and anti-imperialist struggle. Hundreds of thousands of workers read 
these notes, and this is the stuff that formed their minds.

When we compare these lines with the dishes that workers were 
presented by the local Communist Party and the local Socialist Party, 
one understands why this rigidly militaristic General was more 
revolutionary than any anti-Peronist Leftist. The resistence of 
Argentinean workers against the sepoy regime established after 1955 
was nurtured by declarations such as the one I am sending today. Of 
course, their paralysis against the coup itself had the same origin. 
(But this is simply another side of the story)

"When we listen people say that there are FREEDOM loving states that 
are ready to fight for a free world, while the ESSENTIAL LIBERTIES 
are mentioned, we want to discuss FREEDOM.

I understand that there are two kinds of freedom: the FREEDOM OF THE 
NATIONS, which is based upon free determinacy of the peoples, on 
political sovereignty and economic independence, and the FREEDOM OF 
MEN, which consists in respect for his rights and the fulfillment of 
his duties.

There exists, thus, an essential freedom: the collective freedom, and 
another one that is a consequence thereof: individual freedom. This 
cannot be disputed, since nobody can suppose that free men can exist 
in a nation that is a slave.

This is exactly where Justicialismo starts when, extending these 
ideas, we say that freedom of man in an exploitive regime such as 
communism and capitalism is simply fictional.  Men can be free only 
when they develop in a free environment.
February 3rd., 1951
(Artículos de Descartes - Política y Estrategia - Bs.As. 1952)

Original in Spanish follows:

"Cuando oímos decir que hay Estados amantes de LA LIBERTAD que se 
disponen a luchar por un mundo libre, mientras se enuncian las 
LIBERTADES ESENCIALES, se nos ocurre meditar sobre la LIBERTAD.
Entiendo que hay dos clases de libertad: la LIBERTAD DE LAS NACIONES, 
basada en la libre determinación de los pueblos, en la soberanía 
política y en la independencia económica, y la LIBERTAD DEL HOMBRE, 
consistente en el respeto de sus derechos y el cumplimiento de sus 
Hay, pues, una libertad esencial: la colectiva, y otra que es su 
consecuencia: la individual. Ello es indiscutible, desde que nadie 
puede presuponer hombres libres en una nación esclava.
Precisamente de ahí parte el Justicialismo cuando, por extensión, 
afirma que la libertad del hombre en un régimen de explotación, como 
el comunismo o el capitalismo, es simplemente una ficción. El hombre 
sólo puede ser libre si se desenvuelve en un medio libre."
Febrero 3 de 1951
(Artículos de Descartes - Política y Estrategia - Bs.As. 1952)

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at

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"Sí, una sola debe ser la patria de los sudamericanos".
Simón Bolívar al gobierno secesionista y disgregador de 
Buenos Aires, 1822
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