Argentina: Against Macri and the IMF: which unity, when and for what?

Apr 20, 2019 | Debates, Latin America

The economic, social and political disaster that Macri and the IMF are taking us to, highlights the need to end with this model and change it for a different one. The PJ proposes itself as an alternative, but is it really a way out, or is it a continuity of the austerity plan? What should the left do? We share our opinion about which unity, which program and which project we need?

It is clearer every day that the situation is unbearable. The constant inflation of an annual 55%, lay-offs, misery wages, the constant deterioration of the public education and health systems and rising poverty. Financial negotiations, the drop in production, the handing over of the country to great corporations, the loss of our sovereignty at the hands of the IMF. During the last months, the group of people that wants to get out of this calvary is growing.

That is why the Macrist government is going through its worst moment, rejected by millions, with a tense economy and a series of provincial electoral results that strike it over and over. The loss of social support is enormous, the future of Macrism and its reactionary project is dark. That is why they discuss on a daily basis how to get out of this situation that seems to have no way out.


The fallacy of the PJ

The PJ in general and Kirchnerism in particular pose as the supposed solution to this tragedy. Suddenly, it seems as if the leadership of this political force had nothing to do with the catastrophe we are in, but it is not like that. We must take into account that Macrism has not governed on its own, it has been accompanied in Congress and in the provincial legislatures by PJ representatives that voted for more than a hundred key laws. We must also not forget that the governors of the PJ, from the friends of Macri to the supposed opposition of Alicia Kirchner in Santa Cruz, apply austerity plans as savage as the national one. Not to speak of the Peronist union bureaucracy, that spent these years between betrayals, avoiding calling for strikes or plans of struggle or in some cases only calling isolated actions to decompress social pressure. They are all accomplices of Macrism and partly responsible of the current crisis.

This is not only about their responsibility of what has already happened, but also of their proposals for the future. To begin with, there is not one candidate of the PJ that proposes breaking with the IMF and annulling the agreements. One way or the other, they will continue tying the future of the country to this organism: at best, they ask to reconsider some of the points of the deal, without breaking the commitments and paying an external and immoral debt. With the PJ in government, with CFK, Solá, Scioli or Massa, the IMF and the austerity plan will continue, in a country that will not enjoy an economic tailwind but more crisis and millionaire deadlines of debt payments. Faced with this panorama, their recipe is attempting to attain a better deal with the IMF. This means that, though they are not the same as Macri, with them, there will also be rapine and austerity, applied differently and by different people. Leaders who, in their desire to convince economic powers that they are their alternative, have meet with big businessmen and investors to compromise on clear bourgeois laws, and with the churches to strengthen their regressive policy of joining the green and blue handkerchiefs, against the struggle of the LGBT and feminist movements.

The potential program, the necessary unity

Logically, as well as you and millions others, we want to get out of Macri as soon as possible. That is why we are always on the streets supporting and promoting every struggle. That is why we shared struggles during these years of the Macrist austerity plan. Now it is about knowing what project you will support so that there are real and positive changes. And those changes will not come from the same old parties. When they govern, they do not make any radical changes and only administer the crises, and when they are “opposition” they accompany the austerity plan and allow it. It is time to do something different.

Only the anti-capitalist and socialist left proposes radical changes of rupture with the current model and with alternative measures. Our proposals are not only the most solid, but also the only ones that would change the current situation. We are clear; the first issue is breaking with the IMF and suspending all payments of the fraudulent external debt. Without this measure, there is no possibility of improving our situation. Whoever says otherwise is lying.

Along with this, the austerity plan that needs to be applied is on those who have more, and it can be done with firmness through the promotion of popular mobilization and the leadership of the workers, the women and the youth. We must nationalize the banks and foreign trade, privatized utilities companies must be renationalized and public services placed under social control. We must prohibit price increases and sanction those who increase them; prohibit lay-offs and suspensions, nationalizing every company that does not comply. Apply heavy taxes on large corporations and businesses, eliminating the sales tax from the basic basket products and eliminating the wage tax. Increase wages, pensions and social plans according to the real inflation, and reduce the wages of the government staff to the equivalent of a school principal. Eliminate state subsidies to the Church and private education and, with that money, we strengthen education and public health, making the ESI (Integral Sex Education) effective and legalizing the abortion. These and other similar measures would cause real changes in the people´s lives.

Only the left promotes this program and has the will and conviction to carry these measures out. That is why we must advance in conforming a great unitary alternative of the anti-capitalist and socialist left that advocates this program and turns into a very positive situation that opens up a new path in the political situation and in the terrain of social struggles. With this objective we are holding meetings with the parties of the FIT. In the MST we hope we will be able to advance in conforming a common alternative for the struggles, for the upcoming elections and for what will come after. This is the main political change.

Uniting the left without delays

The delay in materializing this unity erodes the possibilities of the left. Every week that passes while the FIT delays its decision, continues our division in every provincial election, in every national debate, in every important struggle and on May Day, which could have been an extraordinary opportunity to show a better perspective of the left with thousands on the streets. We cannot continue giving time and opportunities to the parties of the regime. Letting time pass is, in the end, a political mistake of the FIT that weakens the possibilities of the unity of the left.

To intervene strongly, we have long needed a unity of the left as the MST has proposed and continues proposing. Once again, we call on the FIT and other anti-capitalist and socialist forces to advance toward a political agreement as soon as possible without delay, to change the tendency and appear on the national political scenario announcing the conformation of a new and greater unity of the left. We cannot continue delaying that decision, which is also the only one that will allow us to face every attempt of the capitalist regime to polarize the elections and reduce the political space of the left in better conditions. The best response to this complex situation is unity under a common program and project of class independence, and the worst decision is to continue losing time and opportunities.

The FIT has the responsibility of quickly calling a new meeting to discuss these issues and make common decisions. We cannot lose more time. Let us do this as expected by thousands of workers, a great part of the youth and the LGBT and feminist movements. Let us take a great political and social jump of the left with the perspective of a government of the workers, in the face of the great challenges we will face in upcoming times.

Sergio García