[Marxism] Interview of Christian Castillo in L'Anticapitaliste, a publication of the NPA of France

Juan Andres Gallardo juanagallardo at gmail.com
Thu Feb 20 14:39:26 MST 2014


http://www.ft-ci.org/spip.php?page=boletin_nota&id_article=7524&lang=en


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[de]> Interview of Christian Castillo in L'Anticapitaliste, a publication
of the NPA of France February 12, 2014Por: Courant Communiste
Révolutionnaire - Plateforme Z dans le NPA

15 Feb 2014 | Some aspects of the situation in Argentina and the lessons
that the international far left could draw from the FIT.[image: Interview
of Christian Castillo in L'Anticapitaliste, a publication of the NPA of
France February 12, 2014]

*Interview: Christian Castillo is a member of the leadership of the Partido
de Trabajadores Socialistas of Argentina (PTS). During the October 2013
elections, he was one of the comrades elected on the lists of the Left and
Workers' Front (FIT), to which more than 1.2 million votes went (between 5%
and 6% of the votes), something never before seen in Argentina. He arrived
in Europe last month, before the opening of the parliamentary sessions;
Castillo has visited London, Berlin, Barcelona and Madrid, Athens (invited
by Antarsya), Toulouse and Paris. After a meeting with the magazine
Contretemps and the monthly magazine Ideas de Izquierda, a meeting
organized by the NPA (New Anti-capitalist Party) took place, which a
hundred militants and sympathizers attended. The occasion allowed
discussing again some aspects of the situation in Argentina and the lessons
that the international far left could draw from the FIT.*

At the height of the summer vacations in the Southern Hemisphere, the
government has just announced the devaluation of the peso, in the middle of
inflation. Until a short while ago, Argentina was considered as an
up-and-coming country, since it had left behind the crisis of 2001....

We already saw this turn on the horizon. In two years, the dollar reserves
of the Central Bank went from 50 to 29 billion dollars, inflation went up
to 28%, in a context of a slowing down of the economy. Throughout the
campaign, the team of President Kirchner, that is going through a crisis of
succession, repeated that there would not be a devaluation. It is for that
reason that one of the main ideas of the FIT was that the poorer classes
would have to prepare themselves for a turn to austerity, and that, for
this reason, they had to vote for the Left and Workers' Front and get
organized. Our predictions are confirmed by the offensive of the most
recent days, that combines devaluation and inflation, and that directly
affects the workers' wages.

*We have the impression, at least in Europe, that the far left is not in a
position to capitalize on periods of crisis. How do you explain the results
of the FIT?*

There is social dissatisfaction regarding the government. Kirchnerism, in
power since 2003, got 54% in the 2011 presidential elections, and it did
not pick up more than 33% of the votes in October. Meanwhile, the general
strike of November 20, 2012 developed. In the same period, the FIT doubled
the number of its votes. And so we we got several Deputies in different
provinces (I was elected for Buenos Aires, the most populous province of
the country), as well as three national Deputies for the Legislature. To
that, one must add the profile of class independence that the far left has
defended in the most recent years, and the decision, in the case of the PTS
especially, to intervene in an exceptional, but not exclusive, way in the
workers' movement. The resolute intervention in different phenomena of the
class struggle, the presence in the factories, and the clear delimitation
in relation to the different capitalist groups is what has allowed us to
capitalize on the dissatisfaction that exists among the workers and the
young people.

*To what extent was your campaign carried out on a class terrain?*

In these most recent years, we have seen that in the factories, the workers
are voting in the union elections for our comrades against the union
bureaucracy, but without taking the step of supporting us politically. Now,
we are going to a bigger political deployment, with factories, in the
northern area of Buenos Aires, for example, where between 20% and 40% of
the workers voted for the FIT, and where dozens of workers, that are active
in the unions with us, actively participated in the campaign. They are the
first confirmations of a turn to political militancy among the wage
earners. In Argentina, the anti-capitalist and socialist left is beginning
to take shape as a real alternative, not only in the struggles (Zanon,
Kraft, among the railway workers, to give some examples), but also on the
political plane.

*In Europe a debate exists about the anti-capitalist program, its
adaptation or not to this current period. What is the orientation of the
FIT?*

I am not going to enumerate the 27 points of the program. I will say that
it consists of a combination of immediate, social and democratic demands,
and of transitional demands, tied to the strategic perspective of a
workers' government.

We distributed it in hundreds of thousands of leaflets. We also publicized
it in television ads, with two key ideas: on the one hand, that electing
Deputies of the FIT is for strengthening the struggles, to avoid the
misunderstanding that with their mere election, it is enough to solve the
problems; on the other hand, that in a country where Peronism has decisive
power in the workers' movement, our orientation is that of a political
alternative in the world of labor.

*There are those who say that the FIT should "broaden itself" ...*

The FIT basically groups together three tendencies that claim to be
Trotskyists: the PTS, the Partido Obrero (PO) and Izquierda Socialista
(IS). Those who want the FIT to "open up," have often, in the past, had
rather an ambiguous orientation of support by the left for the government,
and they do not share either the program of the FIT or its orientation of
class independence.

So that the crisis of Kirchnerism will not be harnessed by the right, that
managed to win the majority of the opposition votes in October, my party,
the PTS, thinks that it is essential to open a discussion about the
building of a united revolutionary party of the workers. A simple electoral
front can be a very useful tool for political agitation, but insufficient
for fighting for power against the capitalists.

*And what was the impact on the far left in other parts of the world?*

After the crisis in 2001, the far left in Argentina intervened in many
areas: among the unemployed workers, especially the Partido Obrero; in the
"recovered" enterprises, with Zanon as an example, the PTS. The results of
the FIT show that it is incorrect to think that, in order to get the
support of large groups of workers and the young people, it is necessary to
adapt to the reformist programs of managing capitalism, that Syriza or the
Front of the Left in France, defend. On the contrary, they show that it is
possible to advance on the basis of an orientation of clear political
independence of the workers and an anti-capitalist program, to confront the
crisis.

In this context, with the closures of factories, as we know, defending the
perspective of occupation, of putting into production under control of the
workers and of nationalization under workers' control (one of the slogans
of Zanon, whose struggle lasted for 13 years), I believe that it could have
educational and political power, that the far left could bring to Europe. I
also believe that the results of the FIT, the challenges that could be
highlighted, could be the occasion for posing the question, on a worldwide
scale, of the reconstruction of a revolutionary International of the
workers.

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