[Marxism] Eagles don't catch flies, but honest people confront misinformers [1 of 2]

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Thu Dec 28 10:34:56 MST 2006


[First of two parts]

[Popetroni, as it was to be expected, does not like my account of 
events during the mid-70s. Won't debate with him (aquila non capit 
muscas) but I will simply rectify his many distortions. 

We shall follow the path of that Zionist, Chaim Weizmann, whose motto 
was "to truth through error". Perhaps in so doing we might find some 
use to his permanent littering of this list with misinformation too 
large and extensive to be dealt with seriously. 

Technicalities: 

In the following paragraphs, where reads "Nestor:" please refer to my
former posting, where reads "Popetroni:" please refer to Our 
Clownship's
last routine on the list. 

As to the remaining paragraphs, they're mine if not otherwise 
attributed. Eventual mentions of Popetroni on these paragraphs must 
be dealt with as with shorthand for "sepoy, anti-national, anti-
Peronist, irresponsible and misinforming ultra-Left". I guess we can 
agree
at least that it would be quite cumbersome to reproduce this accurate
definition once and again.]

Popetroni:

> Ay, ay, ay... Nestor, you really know nothing about these things, 
> isn't?

Of course, I don't have a single clue because I was living in a 
Thermos bottle by those times. 

For example, I was simply distributing, on the evening of March 23, 
1976, one of the couple of political publications which were calling
aginst the coup and to the defense of the constitutional government 
of
Isabel Perón. This, among other things I did to avert the coup so 
much
aided by the objectively anti-working-class policies followed by the
ultra-Left you, Popetroni [readers, please don't forget: "sepoy,
anti-national, anti-Peronist, irresponsible and misinforming ultra-
Left"], so strenuously defend. 

What were many of those who Popetroni defends (now)  doing in those 
times is one of those things that, as the Quijote says, "peor es 
meneallo". As to Popetroni himself as a human being, I would rather 
keep a friendly silence, since I am still full of Xmas Spirit. But 
Popetroni the social product goes ahead, and -surprisingly enough for
some- on this I can't but somehow agree:

> Let's correct some of the things that most overtly come from
> a fictional account of events:

Yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!!!!  Let us try to put a final end to our 
"Leftists"' efforts at dilluting their responsibilities in what 
happened. Thank you Popetroni for the excellent opportunity you give 
us.
We don't expect to close the exhaust tube of the disinformation 
machine,
but at least we might provide some antidotes to toxic gas thus 
produced
and distributed. Popetroni begins like this:

> Nestor:
>
> "a) if that "weird alliance" managed to "briefly control the 
> state", it had at least a little to do with (1) the prescindent 
> attitude of the "democratic" anti-Peronist parties (electoral 
> calculation proved more important than the interest of the country 
as a
> whole: if Peronists made a horrible administration, then perhaps 
they
> might lose in the elections scheduled for 1977)"

Popetroni:

> The bourgeois opposition parties were NOT prescindent. In fact
> they were -- together with Peronist union bureaucrats --
> embarked in a campaign to convince the military to organize
> a coup.

Again, Popetroni speaks of "bourgeois" opposition parties and "union
bureaucrats" as if they were a single bloc. We shall deal with this 
red
herring later on[1]. But Popetroni's definition, _in the context he 
puts
it_, brings with it a painful sense of uneasiness. 

Tell us please, for our own souls' sake, and if you can, Popetroni:  
If
the opposition parties were "bourgeois", exactly _what_ was the party 
in
government? Socialist? With López Rega? 

Or, rather, it was Fascist? Mr. Obrien has some clear definitions in 
this
sense. Do you share them, Popetroni? 

Maybe you don't share them. Then, they were all just "bourgeois" 
parties. If _all_ were "bourgeois tout court", both the ruling party 
and
those of the opposition, why were they so definitely confronted?  
Wouldn't
a serious revolutionary have done what some did, that is to equate 
all
"bourgeois" fractions and wage a relentless and unflinching struggle 
to
isolate the working class from their influence? 

But then, _why all that fuss over the 1976 coup_? Weren't all the 
same thing? Wasn't the coup simply a bourgeois issue to which workers
should have been completely "neutral"? 

Later on we shall read Popetroni himself answering these obvious 
questions: "The coup was a coup against us, the "Left", who were 
already becoming a menace". Allow me to smile condescendently at this
piece of hybris, on which I will return later, dear and patient 
readers.
But isn't it quite meaningful that most of the murdered and 
disappeared
were Peronists and not "Leftists"? 

(Not to speak of the millions who had not been touched by politics, 
that is the mass of the population, and who saw their country 
destroyed and their own livings turned nil by deindustrialization 
imposed by a government that came to power, in more than one sense, 
thanks to the tremendous political mistakes of the diversified 
varieties of ultra-Left then operating in Argentina;  "Sire, this is 
worse
than a crime, this is a mistake" said Talleyrand to Napoleon after 
the
Duke of Enghien was shot)

Doesn't this hybris say _something_ at least about this 
"explanation"? (This is just for beginners. Others will be kind 
enough to stop laughing at Popetroni's pretense that the "Left" was 
ever a serious menace to the bourgeoisie in Argentina, and please 
follow us in this operation of surgery. Thank you all.)

In Popetroni's schematic and wrong view of things these mysteries of 
life
escape understanding as much as the mystery of the Trinity escapes 
mine.
Perhaps it is not a matter of "bourgeois" and "Left", after all. We 
shall
see below...

Popetroni:

> Balbin, leader of the UCR made it clear: "The time is up.
> The government should change or the days of the Republic
> are counted."

Popetroni, here, is rashly "telescoping history", as Jim Blaut liked 
to
say. Popetroni refers to a declaration by Balbín issued during the 
latter
days of the government of Isabel, and if I don't recall wrongly on 
the
very late night of March 23rd, 1976 (hours before the coup). This was 
NOT
the open position during the whole period. I was speaking of the 
period,
not the day. Popetroni (not unintentionally, methinks) confuses it 
all.
But let us probe this mystification further.

Of course the oligarchic-imperialist bloc, with a "left" and a 
"right" wing, was NOT "neutral" as regards the Peronist 
administration. Of course they were _against_ it from the very 
beginning, and even before it began. The Radical party was the 
"sheriff's horse" in the 1973 electoral race, and the "Left" created,
under the aegis of the Communist Party, a "progressive" front that 
tended
to erode the voting base of Peronism. 

But this is not what I was speaking about. And, at any rate, this is
something I had tried to skirt elegantly, even though it 
_strengthens_ my
own positions, because I wanted to stick to the basic issue 
(something
Popetroni, in a fully understandable way, tries to avoid):  the fact 
that
as regards not the Peronist administration -with or without Perón as
masthead- but the enormous political blunders of the "armed Left", to 
call
it mildly, the "bourgeois opposition parties" were _at first_ 
prescindent.


Again: I am too diplomatic. In fact, they were even sympathetic, in a
muted way, to these "young champions of social justice"... who eroded 
the
power of the constitutional government, thus preparing the conditions 
for
Balbín's final declaration of March 1976. 

It should be noted, in this context, that when Perón made his final 
return to Argentina in 1973, he was most interested in averting the 
(socialist?) fires that had begun to burn in the popular 
mobilisations between 1969 and 1971. In this sense, his most 
important move had been an attempt to find a "cold" way out of the 
hell of political violence that had been unleashed as far back as 
1955. 

His move was to offer his hand to Ricardo Balbín, the active head of 
the
anti-Peronist bloc as President of the Radical Party[2]. Balbín, 
tired of
his ever-losing performance, accepted this offering, thus opening a 
line
of policy in that party which provoked an irate Raúl Alfonsín to 
declare
later on that this attitude of his own chief was "Munichist".  All 
this
with the applause of the "Left" and particularly of the most anti-
Perón
fraction of the "Peronist Left", who were his allies in the 
"Juventudes
Políticas Argentinas".

Alfonsín was by those times the head of the "Left" wing of the 
Radical party, keep in mind. The historic core of this definition, of
course, was a mystery to everyone in Argentina but for the cultivated
"progressives" to whom he catered. What Alfonsín was saying was that
Balbín was the Argentinean Neville Chamberlain, and that in accepting 
an
agreement with Perón he was placing his signature under a wrong and
ultimately self-murderous settlement with Hitler -that is, Perón.

As a logical consequence of such a position, Alfonsín was sympathetic 
to
the "Left" and the "Peronist Left" Popetroni also likes so much. But 
let
us go to the next piece of political fantasy:

> The union bureaucrats, on their side, started to break
> away from the government after Isabel Peron and the
> Econonomy Minister, Rodrigo, refused to comply with
> some concessions asked for by the Peronist tradeunionists
> to stop the pressure on them in factories and workplaces
> by workers led by the left.

"Some concessions"! "Workers led by the left"! 

Late in those years, I was in close relation, among other groups, 
with the telephone workers union. We in the Izquierda Nacional even 
had a list of our own there, and were managing to expand through what 
we
proudly called the "June 27th" list to other unions. June 27, yes, 
for
June 27, 1975 and the general strike that forced López Rega out of 
power. 

We in the Izquierda Nacional were following the state of 
consciousness of the working class very closely. Some of our comrades
wrote essential pages on this issue by those times[3]. If by 
"pressure led
by the left" we mean the most active and serious Peronist workers, we
can't but agree: the class was in movement. But if we capitalize the 
word
"Left", then Popetroni simply lies. This movement was not _directed 
by the
"Left"_ as Popetroni wants us to believe (in order to hammer into our
heads the ridiculous notion that the 1976 coup was not directed 
against
Peronism but against the "Left"). 

This contention by Popetroni is more or less like those "workers of 
the University of Buenos Aires" who, as far as I know today, won an 
_inexistent_ victory in what Popetroni, in one of his usual littering
marauder's incursions in the list, has "informed"us about as if it 
was an
all-union event. That "Left" was never as important a force among the
working class in Argentina, nor will it ever be, whatever Popetroni's
dreams might be (more below). 

Moreover, the "union bureaucrats" did _not_ simply "answer to 
pressure" in the sense Popetroni wants us to believe, not just from 
"the Left" (which had no weight at all in actual politics) but not 
even from "the workers", because they simply did _represent_ (though
perhaps not fully) the average will of the workers. It was not a
"concession" from an essentially treacherous rotten command to a 
raging
base which was eager to overthrow that command together with the 
bourgeois
regime, as the "Left" suggested and still keeps suggesting. It was,
esentially, an act of political will directed _against_ the whole
antinational bloc, "Leftists" included, which however, did not finish 
with
its logical outcome: full conditioning of the Isabel government, up 
to the
elections, by the CGT and the "bureaucrats"[4].

The June 27th 1975 general strike was not launched by Rogelio Coria 
(the arch-corrupt head of the Construction Union who ended his life 
as a landowner in Paraguay), nor Casildo Herrera (the leader of the 
Textile union who, in the events immediately related to the coup, 
publicly declared he was abandoning the ship). But it was certainly 
not launched by the "Left", nor was the "pressure" of that "Left" 
strong enough to launch it. On this, the pathetic "data" Popetroni 
provides us with at the final paragraphs of his own posting are as 
reliable as his opinions on my own positions on Argentinean politics.

The strike, Popetroni's shouting against it nonwithstanding, _was_ 
launched, essentially, by Lorenzo Miguel, the head of the metal 
workers union, a man of working class origin and most conservative 
policies who was also one of the heads of the Justicialista 
(Peronist) Party.  And believe me, nobody would dare exert too much 
pressure on Lorenzo Miguel by those days, either from the "Left" or 
the "right" (the reasons why, I prefer not to comment here, but they 
were
related to the murderous character politics had acquired in Argentina
during the mid 70s). Anyway, Lorenzo's decission had simply been an 
issue
of sheer class instinct. 

In fact, during those fateful days everyone was sticking to its class
instincts. The anti-Peronist "Left", and particularly those groups
embarked in policies of "guerrilla against the bourgeois regime", 
too. 

Back to Popetroni now:

> Nestor:

> "and (2) with the pertinacy
> in error of some armed groups who insisted in waging "guerrilla"
> actions not just nor only against a military dictatorship"

Against this, Popetroni resorts to the usual method of gleaning out 
some particular cases from a mass of opposing evidence, in order to 
show that the "Left" was already getting to challenge "bourgeois" 
power. This self-delluding move, by the way, and let us disclose it 
for all times, is _exactly_ the same operation that they usually 
perform today in the "recovered plants" movement, when they raise the
Brukman, the B.A.U.E.N. or the Zanón cases (where they have had and 
still
have influence) while they deny any existence to the hundreds of 
plants
that have been _recovered for the workers_ through the efforts of 
Peronist
unions and sometimes even deputies and senators. 

So that I will skip over his low level "factualities" and go to 
political analysis,something he will not accept, but what can I do, I
cannot abuse this list by countering his examples with a miles-long 
list
of factories and workplaces who rejected the very "Left" that had 
obtained
some self-glorified partial victories, thus convincing itself that 
they
were already winning over the whole class POLITICALLY! Same 
considerations
for his glorification of a "committee of over 100 factories" later on 
in
his own posting.

This idea that when you have a "Leftist" union leader you already 
have the sign of a political change in the mind of those who choose 
her or him is another characteristic misinformation of that Left: 
people chose a union leader to lead the union, and this is 
particularly true at the lowest levels of the structure. If -under 
good conditions- a non-Peronist leader can defend me better against 
the plant owner than a Peronist one, I will vote for him as a plant 
delegate, of course[5]  

But this does not mean that my political will shall be placed where 
that _unionist_ wants. This is the kernel of Lenin's "What is to be 
done" and his polemics with the "economist" groups, a kernel that our
"Leftists", so versed in the most minute detail of Old Vladimir's
writings, skip over once and again. There are many ways to be a 
reformist.
Acting as if you were a "revolutionary" but reducing politics to 
unionism
is just one of them.

But let us stick to the single important part of his "rebuttal" here. 
He
says:

"The guerrilla was already militarily defeated.  They were
no longer the factor, but just an excuse, for both the
government and the opposition."

Isn't it interesting to realize that the "guerrilla" was as well 
"just an excuse" for the opposition, who would not be overthrown if 
the "excuse" worked well, as it was for the government, who _would_? 
Is
Popetroni taking us for fools? God forbid! 

Maybe _he_ is a fool? Well, ahem. Because, follow me please now in 
this exercise of reason: let us assume the fact that the "guerrilla" 
was
"just an excuse", which it was. Then, what should have been the 
attitude
of a serious Left (no inverted commas)? Should it have helped to make 
the
government weaker, as Popetroni's so much beloved "Left" did, or, as 
the
National Left did, defend it against its enemies? 

In fact, the phrase "The guerrilla was already militarily defeated", 
with
exactly the same wording, was first emitted to my knowledge by Jorge 
Enea
Spilimbergo in the late 1970s, against those who wanted to "justify" 
the
coup against Isabel Perón as if the only way to defend a 
constitutional
government of the "guerrilla" was to overthrow that government! 

The difference with Popetroni's "Left" is that while we in the 
National Left extracted all the conclussions from this verification 
and supported the government because we knew that the pretext was a 
pretext, the "Left" strove to struggle against it and turn it still 
weaker. We were coherent with our findings, Popetroni's "Left", not. 

Or perhaps, in a most repugnant sense, which brings us from stupidity 
to
crude sadism, it _was_? Popetroni tries to justify himself by that 
piece
of deformation that I have already dealt with above (Peronists 
somehow
preparing a coup against a Peronist government out of fear for the 
"Left"
and its immediate takeover of the working class, and other nonsense 
too
elementary for any serious person to pay attention to it). 


Este correo lo ha enviado
Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
[No necesariamente es su autor]
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"La patria tiene que ser la dignidad arriba y el regocijo abajo".
Aparicio Saravia
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 






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