Argentina: Against the Macri/PJ polarization, becoming an alternative by uniting the anti-capitalist left

Mar 6, 2019 | Latin America

While the social and economic crisis deepens, among important struggles and in the last months before the national elections, the debate of the need of the unity of the left has opened up. Here we share the proposals of the MST.

The crisis of Cambiemos

It is clear that Macrism is going through its worst months and it is internally debating in its coalition Cambiemos about how to avoid a national defeat. The PRO is in a bad place, as shown in its first defeat in the primary elections of Cambiemos in La Pampa, its insecurity took it to cancel its candidacy in Santa Fe, while it expects a weak election on Sunday in Neuquen and, on top of that, the weak UCR now re-floats a possible primary election against Macri or at least the demand of a UCR vice-president.

The context of this is the economic crisis and growing social discontent. The much expected economic improvement that Macri´s electoral managers have been announcing doesn’t materialize and there’s an even worse crisis on the economic horizon in the upcoming months. If it arrives during August, the government will find itself in serious electoral problems. That is why its provincial allies decided to separate their local elections, since no one wants to tie their luck to Macri’s.

Dilemmas and complicities of the PJ

That old party and key bastion of the Argentinian bourgeois regime has behaved against the adjustment plan of Macri and the IMF, with a greater loyalty than the one it has behind closed doors. On one hand, voting for Macri’s essential laws, including his national budget which is basically his entire government plan, by applying austerity measures with his governors in most provinces and, as a complement, the old Peronist bureaucracy, that lets the austerity plan be applied without complaining.

Still, they haven’t achieved the unity they seek: the PJ and Kirchnerism are advancing on the construction of an amalgam with most of the union bureaucracy, but Federal Alternative won’t stop for now and it’s doing its own thing, with several pre-candidates unwilling to give up and Lavagna postulating himself, but only if there are internal elections. For the PJ, it is its fragmentation and complicity with the austerity plan which plays against them.

CFK and the Kirchnerism deserve a paragraph of their own. In a few weeks dedicated to seducing the establishment, its protege Kicillof reaffirmed everywhere he could that, if they govern, they won’t break with the IMF and, in a grand gesture to the financial investors with who he just met, behaved as their spokesperson saying that they are worried about the disaster that Macri has created. In the meantime, CFK took the decision of supporting Perotti in Santa Fe, an old privatizing, soy-friendly and anti-abortion politician, and called the Evangelical Churches to organize a “blue branch” of the anti-Macri campaign, trampling over women’s struggle for their right to decide. This all proves that the PJ, in none of its variants, offers no real solution to this crisis.

The FIT and its doubts hold everyone back

On the terrain of the left, the debate over unity has reopened, which is logical. Who can deny that, against Macri, the PJ and the IMF, we must create something new? It is clear that an alternative project that confronts the parties of the system can only come from the anti-capitalist left. It can only happen if we can turn the current dispersion into a framework of political and programmatic unity.

So far, the FIT has not been willing to walk that path, while it has the most responsibility in doing so. It insinuates diffused proposals, but, in reality, while it debates internally, it hasn’t made a serious proposal to the organizations that are part of this space. Time is passing and the opportunities to grow are being lost, the provincial elections, where we have possibilities of presenting common candidacies are taking place, and, therefore, in those places, it is quite difficult for the left to be the alternative it could be if it were united. This will continue happening if the FIT maintains its refusal to break with the logic of electoral calculations while reality imposes another necessity: launching an offensive, classicist and brave alternative to conform a greater and stronger unity against Macri, the IMF, the PJ and the center-left.

The proposal of the MST

Macri wants to maintain himself in power, the PJ wants to return and the entirety of the big media will want to hide or shrink the presence of the left, promoting in millions the idea that they only have two options. We must overcome these maneuvers and policies of the regime and its parties in the only possible way: building the best alternative through the unity of the anti-capitalist left towards the elections, while setting the bases for a long-lasting project, for a political strategy with class independence that, in unity, will fight to the end with the working class, women and the youth.

Days ago we took part of in important mobilization and unitary act against imperialist interference in Venezuela and for an independent way out of the government of Maduro. It was an important step that shows that, when the will is there, it is possible to agree on important points that can make anti-capitalist leftist activism visible. In that act in front of the U.S. embassy, our comrade and pre-candidate to the presidency Cele Fierro proposed taking the achieved unity for the Venezuelan people to the political unity in our country. Undoubtedly, that is the main political task of the moment.

In the same act, Christian Castillo of the leadership of the PTS said: “There is not a more important part of Latin American politics, and therefore, of Argentinian politics, than what is happening in Venezuela. This is the merit of this act that we promoted from the parties of the Left Front, the PTS, the Worker Party and Socialist Left, with the comrades of the MST, of the Nuevo Mas and Autodeterminacion y Libertad. It is the working-class and socialist left that lifts the flag of anti-imperialism, because we know that the liberation of our continent will come with the government of the workers and the socialist unity of Latin America, not with the national bourgeoisie that always end up capitulating.”

We agree with those definitions. We only add that, therefore, what is coherent is advancing without delay on a political unity that’s also socialist and for the workers, of those who struggle in Argentina for a government of the working class. Electoral calculations or differences about our past should not impede this necessary unity of the parties that mobilized to the U.S. embassy. Those who do not promote it, end up benefiting the parties of the system.

The MST met with the parties of the FIT and made a clear proposal: advancing on a programmatic agreement for the struggles and the next elections for the long run, to act strongly and in unity in the upcoming years that will be full of social struggles. Sitting down to discuss everything in order to advance on this agreement, and, from our side, always open to the different variants that allow us to advance on a greater unity.

We want to do this across the country for it to be a great political success, a great new phenomenon to encourage thousands, leaving us in better conditions to confront Macri, the PJ and its variants. In the middle of this crisis, the news about a new unity is the only one that can improve the conditions for the growth in the political and social influence of the anti-capitalist left. If we do not do this, electorally speaking, the polarization can reduce the space and representation of the left, and, in political terms, can cause a setback while we could generate a qualitative jump if we are united. This is the challenge before us.

Sergio Garcia