[Marxism] Argentine recovery defies neoliberal convention

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Tue Dec 28 02:23:50 MST 2004

Dear Walter, too late in the night to give a long answer.  Much less 
to read the WSJ.  Besides that, I don't have any liver protective 
medicine handy.

However, I hope that the following fast comments may help you.

To begin with:  Venezuela is now traversing the rising tide of a 
national revolution.  This stage of the national revolution took 
place in Argentina long ago, between 1945 and 1955.  It saw a short 
and stormy rehearsal between 1973 and 1976, with the third term of 
Perón, but at this time Peronism already began to display some of the 
signs of internal limits that took someone to define it as a 
"racehorse in cuffs".  It was unable to destroy the oligarchic-
imperialist conspiration and eventually began the long process after 
which it reappeared in 1983 as just another (though for a long time 
contestatary) party of the system.

The Bolivarian Revolution needs not to repeat the "cycle", and some 
of its internal features may help it ahead for a very long time.  

First, Peronism came to power at a moment when, except for the 
strengths provided by World War II, the Argentinean staple product 
for the world market (meat and grains) was already suffering from 
erosion in its prices and underproduction by the Argentinean 
oligarchy.  The price of the Venezuelan equivalent of this staple 
product, oil, is traversing a seemingly endless upwards curve.  Thus, 
the initial base of accumulation to trigger the development of a self-
centered economy seems stronger in V. than it ever was in A.

Second, in order to grab the differential rent provided by 
Argentinean agrarian products, Peronism had to devise a complex 
system of nationalized foreign trade centered around the IAPI 
(Argentine Institute for Promotion of Trade), because the ownership 
of land was left in oligarchic hands.  The State that was inherited 
from the previous oligarchic regime (1930-1943) was refurbished, and 
somehow revolutionized, but not replaced by anything new.  In 
Venezuela, the actual nationalization of PDVSA put the ownership of 
the main international asset of the country in the hands of the 
Revolution _and_ is enabling Chávez to create, through a _sui 
generis_ IAPI, a "second State" while the old oligarchic one is left 
to fade away as it pleases.

Third, the Missions fulfill, in Venezuela,the same goal that income 
redistribution -and to a minor extent the Evita Foundation- did in 
Argentina.  But while in Argentina, mostly an urban and increasingly 
urban working class society, redistribution of wealth implied 
strengthening of the urban working class which had been created by 
the import substitution age (1935-1945), in Venezuela it seems to 
imply (a) the _creation_ of a new working class and (b) the creation 
of a vast complex of peasant and cooperative farms with a land reform 
of the deepest significance.  In Argentina, the strengthening of the 
working class implied increasingly acute fears from the new 
bourgeoisie, who sided with the oligarchy and imperialism in 1955, 
while in Venezuela this may well not take place, particularly if the 
attempt to cooperativize farm ownership is thorough and succesful.

Fourth:  the ideological framework of the Bolviarian revolution 
(partly _because it does not need to tame and enclose an already 
existing working class_) is much more progressive and open than that 
of Peronism.  This may be a problem if, as it is happening, many 
"socialists" begin to brand Chávez a like of themselves, thus giving 
ammo to imperialist plotters (that is, this would put Chávez in a 
situation resembling that of Chile, 1971-2), but at the same time 
there is an important probability that the whole movement will not 
stop at the doorsteps of private property if it becomes necessary in 
order to save the Nation and the Revolution.

Fifth, Venezuela has a lot more chances than Argentina under Peronism 
(or Brazil under Vargas, for that matter) to organize a great South 
American union.  Not only because Chávez claims that these are his 
goals, but also because even some South American bourgeoisies are 
beginning to fear that the US bourgeoisie, such as represented by 
Dubbya, has nothing for them but obliteration.

All these comparisons are, as you see, diachronic.  I am comparing 
today's Venezuela with Peronism at its highest point.

Although there _is_ a Peronist president in Argentina, today, 
Kirchner belongs to the declinating branch of the cycle of Peronism.  
In this sense, no comparison can be done with Chávez.  It is as if 
you compared a youthful Superman on Planet Earth with an ageing Kal 
El in Krypton.  Of course, you will find _nothing_ of what is 
happening in Venezuela repeated under the Argentinean scenario.  

When the Dec 2001 mobilizations in Buenos Aires, I wrote, more or 
less, that "times of reorganization were ahead" for us.  The wording 
was less vague than cautious.  Kirchner is, most probably, a 
transitional president, presiding over the first stages of a 
reorganization which -hopefully- will reach full bloom within some 
years.  When this happens (and I believe that the movement of 
recovered factories is an announcement of what is to come), then 
Argentina will take the lead again.  In the meanwhile, I stick to my 
"no comparison possible".

Well, I hope I have explained something.  

Respuesta a: RE: [Marxism] Argentine recovery defies neolibera
Remitido por: Walter Lippmann
Fecha: Lunes 27 de Diciembre de 2004 
Hora: 16:33

> on the various mission programs
> in Venezuela. There doesn't seem to be anything like
> that going on in Argentina, from what little I know.
> Of course, Argentina doesn't have anything like the
> oil resource which Chavez is fortunately able to use
> to fund the Bolivarian projects. I'd love to hear your
> thoughts on these, as I'm sure other readers would.

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
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

More information about the Marxism mailing list