Analysis Argentina

Argentina: With Milei, a new political stage opens. What must the left do?

By Cele Fierro & Sergio García

The victory of a far-right and genocide-denialist[i] candidate generated logical concerns among thousands of workers and young people. It is not without reason. The tenor of Milei’s reactionary proposals and ideas collides head-on with the most basic social and democratic rights that we on the left defend.

Hence, the first unequivocal political stance to take up is to position ourselves in open opposition from the first day of his government. Not just in words, but in daily practice, confronting each of his austerity measures and possible attempts to curtail rights or collective gains like the abortion law, among others. As a symbol and direct message against a denialist government, we joined the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo (organization of mothers of the disappeared by the last dictatorship) at their weekly protest this Thursday at the Plaza, to highlight that those who want to forgive the genocides and talk about “excesses” in pace of the genocide that took place, will not pass.

As Milei’s first statements already point to harsh adjustment and privatization plans, our first tasks are to condemn those plans and start organizing each struggle. That is why we stand in solidarity with the press workers and support the beginning of their struggle against the privatization of TV Pública, Radio Nacional and Telam, the state run television channel, radio station and press agency respectively. We will stand with state workers if the government attempts to not pay their end of the year bonus or attack contracted workers by reducing budgets in Health, Education and other ministries. We will promote every struggle that is necessary from the first day of the Milei and Villarruel government. These anti-rights retrogrades will not have it easy.

A call to build something new

At the same time, it is clear that Milei’s rise to government is a by-product of the disaster caused by the current Peronist government over the last four years. Their candidates, leaders and officials can come up with any type of explanation, but the only reality is that were supposed to put an end to the worst of Macri’s government, and instead dedicated four years to managing the austerity model that Macri left them, with the IMF and its illegal debt included.[ii] For this same reason, the Peronists will not be the ones who will stand up to Milei. As they have done before, they will dissuade mobilization and privilege negotiations, which have already begun with meetings for the transfer of power that have taken place cordially.

In this context, now that a new political stage begins, it is time to call on thousands of workers and young people, to not waste one more day supporting PJ (Peronist Justice Party) projects or those linked to this party plagued by failures. It is time to dare to do something else, something new and different. And it will only be different and alternative if it is with the left, which is the only political sector truly committed to the interests of the working class and the people, that holds no responsibility for the disasters committed to date.

Juan Grabois (center-left Peronist) said days ago that they must not give up and that they will return much improved. No, Juan, that tale has been told several times, and it always becomes a horror story. Those who adjusted the people and tied the country to the Fund (IMF) will not return better. What we need is to build outside those old structures that are ossified and complicit with the large capitalist corporations. Those who say that they fight for a different, sovereign and independent country without the IMF must break with the PJ, else they will continue to be complicit as well. There is no other way to be coherent.

The present and future of the Left Front Unity (FIT-U)

The Left Front is a political achievement of unity of the left, it is no coincidence that it has the support of hundreds of thousands of workers and young people and reflects the support of vanguard groups and activists. We value the space that we have managed to conquer and of that we are a leading part of. At the same time, we are critical of many of its methods and limitations that are self-imposed by visions marked by electoralism and the imposition of hegemony.

The failure to develop a common policy regarding the runoff shows, on the field, the limitations that our front has, as well as the lack of channels for debate and the real participation of our party members and sympathizers, to address issues of great importance like these. PO and PTS took up positions leaning toward a call for a blank vote, IS adopted a position of capitulation to Massa, and the opportunity was lost to intervene with common a policy that would have condensed an active role against Milei, expressing comprehension of those who wanted his defeat, without falling into any political support for Massa, as we proposed from the MST.

Faced with the new country that is coming, the time has also come for the FIT-U to change considerably, to improve and overcome itself. It must assume its task of projecting itself as an alternative, actually fighting in unity in all areas of the struggle, or time will weaken it. If we wish to improve qualitatively, there is no more space for hegemonist positions or any course of electoralist adaptation. It is not too late if a clear, deep and democratic debate is opened among all the membership of the front, to debate and try to agree on the necessary political tasks regarding the new government.

To this end, we must consider the possibility of convening events and large assemblies of the membership, inviting supporters and friends. Calling on the thousands of workers and young people disappointed with Peronism to come with the left to strengthen this alternative. We must open real channels for all those who want to be part of our front. And we must build it with a solid position on each issue and each struggle, accompanying our anti-capitalist and socialist program for a workers’ government. All this is very necessary for the front to have a real future.

Yes, we are talking to you. Organize

Milei won and, in significant areas, this generated concern, anger, indignation and worry about what is to come. We share that feeling and, at the same time, we transform it into militant action, into rebellion, into organized struggle in every field. Our task is to prepare thoroughly and with all our strength for the great social confrontations that will come.

That is why, to you, who gave us your vote in August and October, to you, who also did not want Milei as president, to you, who are going to defend your rights in every place of work, study and popular neighborhood, we invite you to organize with us. We need a larger and stronger socialist and revolutionary party to intervene in the class struggle and to continue carrying out a struggle of ideas within the FIT-U. To fight these battles, we invite you to join us. We have the opportunity to show that we are the front line against Milei, and for that position, we need to be in thousands, well organized, and much better. Transform your anger into an organized political struggle. It will be decisive in the time to come.

[i] Milei denies the genocide committed by the last military dictatorship (1976-1983), minimizing its crimes against humanity and stating that the number of people disappeared by the dictatorship is much less than the 30.000 universally recognized. His vice president goes further in defending the actions of the dictatorship and works to free the incarcerated culprits of the genocide.

[ii] Right wing Mauricio Macri governed from 2015 to 2019, time during which he received the largest loan in the IMF’s history, which was in its entirety destined to illegal capital flight by Macri’s friends in the private sector. Peronist Alberto Fernandez won in 2019 with a campaign centered on reversing Macri’s neo-liberal model and had specifically denounced that loan as illegal, but went on to recognize it and make goo

d on its payments once in the government.

Courtesy International Socialist League