Argentina: Second round? First, an alternative political project

Jan 23, 2019 | Debates, Latin America

In the last few weeks, as the electoral campaign approaches, a sector of society revisits the issue of what we to do if there’s a second round in this year´s presidential election, like there was in 2015. In this article, we attempt to make a contribution to a debate that we consider crucial to the analysis of the country’s situation and what political project will allow us to break with this logic of exploitation and misery. Actually, the question of the ballotage is deceiving: it tries to discuss a premature scenario in order to cover up the real debate.

The first thing we need to analyze is the crisis our country finds itself in:

-We closed a 2018 in which inflation reached almost 50% and industry fell close to 3,5% of GBP, according to bourgeois analysts.

-As if there hadn´t already been enough blows to the workers´ economy, the Macri government´s New Year´s gift was a brutal raise of utilities rates: most of them of over 30% in the first months.

-According to a report, capital flight was around U$D 59.3 billion during the three years of Macri’s government, an larger amount than the deal with the IMF.

This is the real Argentina, where the inversions that were supposed to come and reactivate the economy never arrived. In this electoral year there are more uncertainties, and if the inversion even did come, they will only come to continue lining the pockets of the bourgeois and exporting our resources -which are plenty- as they have done during previous governments.

In response this complicated economic and social situation, the government will try to continue applying its austerity plan to comply with the demands of the IMF. On the other hand, the working class will continue resisting and confronting this policy. The question is: which is the way out? What real alternative proposal is presented today by the different political options?

Proposals to solve the crisis in its root

To those who question us over what we will do in case there’s a ballotage between Macri and CFK, we want to ask them: what will they do with the external debt and the deal with the IMF? We clearly propose breaking the deal and suspending payment of the fraudulent debt. Between 2019 and 2020, the total payment will represent 1,25 times the reserves of the Central Bank, which today amount to 83 billion dollars. In 2020, what will Kirchnerism do? With ex minister Kicillof leading the way, they have declared that they would not break the deal with the IMF and instead would restructure the debt. This means even bigger interests to pay and the continued dependency on bail-outs from this imperialist organization, that continues applying the austerity plan and demands a deeper labor reform and the raising of the age of retirement, among other measures.

A few days ago it was made public that the banks, in this economic crisis, have won. The Central Bank informed that the financial system has almost doubled its profits in November 2018 in comparison with the same period the previous year. What will Kirchnerism do with the banks? Will they allow the financial entities to continue controlling our economy? We propose the complete opposite: to end with financial secrecy, financial speculation and the capital flight that is bleeding us dry. This is why nationalizing the banks and foreign trade is necessary.

Which political and economic project?

A current issue is which is the correct proposal to end with the utilities fare hikes. We agree with regressing the fares. But to achieve this, must we go back to the subsidies system? And the money for those subsidies, where do we take it from with the country as it is, without the economic tailwind that Kirchnerism had during the previous period?

Without deep-rooted measures, there are no real solutions. We must end with every contract of private concession, nationalizing the companies without compensations and putting them under social control by the employees and consumers. Are they willing to make these structural changes? Because they remain silent on this, and those who don´t speak, don’t change anything.

Should the right to abortion and the separation of the Church and the State not be programmatic proposals of every truly progressive project? Will they end with that cave of privileged dinosaurs called the Senate? According to Cristina, green and blue (pro-choice an anti-choice) go together, to the delight of the Pope and his senator friends.

These are some of the current central debates that must be addressed today: which is the alternative economic-social project to solve the crisis we’re in and which political space raises those alternative solutions, of rupture with the establishment. And when the times comes, if it does, of a possible second round, the answers to these questions will have a decisive influence in defining what we would do as socialists. In this debate, we must remember a paragraph by Trotsky in Lessons of Spain, Last Warning: “The theoreticians of the Popular Front do not essentially go beyond the first rule of arithmetic, that is, addition: “Communists” plus Socialists plus Anarchists plus liberals add up to a total which is greater than their respective isolated numbers. Such is all their wisdom. However, arithmetic alone does not suffice here. One needs as well at least mechanics. The law of the parallelogram of forces applies to politics as well. In such a parallelogram, we know that the resultant is shorter, the more component forces diverge from each other. When political allies tend to pull in opposite directions, the resultant prove equal to zero.”

To end with the austerity plan of Macrism and its accomplices, a political front “against them” won’t be enough if we do not discuss which political project is needed.

We’re socialists, we fight for a different system to end with these capitalist relations of production that every day deepen exploitation and oppression. Ending with the bourgeoisie and imperialism is a limit that the PJ and the variants that have governed never overcame. Capitalism is always neoliberal and savage, there’s no way to humanize it. the struggle is for new equal society: a feminist, secular and socialist Argentina.

The sectarianism of the FIT helps Kirchnerism (and Macri)

If today Kirchnerism is debating about a second round and is positioned as the most probable force that will confront Macri in that situation, it is partly because the left hasn’t been able to turn into a reference pole for a broad sector of society. In that sense, the FIT works against this and ends up helping the bourgeoisie, including Cambiemos.

Its skepticism of not believing that we can turn into an overpowering force and conform an alternative third space strengthens its sectarianism. Also, their constant denial of the much needed unity in the streets, in the trade unions and in the conformation of a new left wing political and electoral alternative, that is independent of the regime parties. From the MST we insist in this path of unity.

Cele Fierro

1. Ámbito Financiero, 22/1/19.