[Marxism] Argentine recovery defies neoliberal convention

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Sun Dec 26 16:30:53 MST 2004


Lots could be said about this display of conventional wisdom by the 
NYT.  Obviously, (a) the brake on foreign debt payments and the 
incumbent bleeding [Rodríguez Saá], and (b) the devaluation [Duhalde] 
could only have these results, particularly under the political 
conditions of Argentina 2002-2003, which prevented any oligarchic 
attempt to unleash a hyperinflation, etc.  The actual reason behind 
this "surprise" reactivation is the conmixtion of elementary 
political economics and popular rage at the results of neoliberalism.

Unlike Mr. Rother's friends, no reasonable economist in Argentina is 
particularly amazed at what is taking place.  You could forecast it 
by simply keeping an eye on unused assets in thousands of factories 
the country over by Dec 2001.  Immediately after Kirchner gained 
power, or so to say, a rather mild progressive Peronist economist 
explained to a group of friends the obvious:  "We have a lot of years 
of import substitution ahead".

However, this is not enough.  The essential escapes NYT, as always 
when it comes to Argentina (I sometimes wonder whether they know _too 
much_ or _too little_, serious).

The basic fact, and the problem that Kirchner is beginning to face 
now, is that this economic recovery will be doomed if income 
distribution is not revolutionized.  Because the problem does not lie 
in "reactivation" but in "reorientation".  

In fact, Peronist policies of what was called "welfare state" had 
little to do with welfare economics, which attempts to keep the 
capitalist production engine active even though it has reached its 
built-in obsolescence date.  Income redistribution in Perón's 
Argentina was something different: by creating a massive popular 
market for local capitalists, it provided the basic asset for 
economic independence, it actually generated the conditions for the 
full operation, for the first time in our history, of the laws of 
_self centered capitalism_, and extracted from the hands of the 
oligarchy a good deal (not all, which in the end proved fatal) of the 
monies that they either distracted in imported goods or simply sent 
abroad.  

This was obtained through state monopoly on foreign trade and 
progressive income policies at home, something not very different 
from what Chávez is doing today in Venezuela.  In fact, the 
nationalization of PDVSA has a very strong structural similitude with 
Perón's creation of the IAPI (Instituto Argentino de Promoción del 
Intercambio, the state agency for foreign trade which, of course, 
most Peronists consider "a thing from the past" today).

Kirchner has not broached this essential issue.  Rother should thank 
him for keeping the large masses "asleep" (they're not, but this is 
the idea) by means of "social programmes".  The San Luis experience 
(where unemployment has dropped to 3% in a year and both a local 
market for mass consumption goods and embryos of a self-centered 
economy have appeared through the action of the State) is much more 
interesting, but I will not deal with it here and now.  It is a very 
small province, and it would be certainly a forecast of global doom 
if the NYT correspondent at Buenos Aires had a keen eye for it and 
what they are doing there.  And it will not be me to call global doom 
on us.

Respuesta a: [Marxism] Argentine recovery defies
Remitido por: Louis Proyect
Fecha: Domingo 26 de Diciembre de 2004 
Hora: 10:25
*****

> NY Times, December 26, 2004
> Argentina's Economic Rally Defies Forecasts
> By LARRY ROHTER
> 
> BUENOS AIRES, Dec. 23 - When the Argentine economy collapsed in
> December 2001, doomsday predictions abounded. Unless it adopted
> orthodox economic policies and quickly cut a deal with its foreign
> creditors, hyperinflation would surely follow, the 

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"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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