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Mobilization on 20 December in Argentina:

No Milei, no Peronism, no collaborationist unions, no parliamentary farce!

The only way forward is class struggle!



On 20 December, the main political and trade union organizations of the Argentine left called for a major demonstration in the Plaza de Mayo, in the capital Buenos Aires, to protest against the approval of the first package of so-called "chainsaw plan" measures by the newly-elected government of Milei, Caputo and Bullrich. The mobilization, which includes the different national trade union currents, grouped around the CGT, as well as the largest assemblies of piqueteros and the parties that make up the Left Front coalition (PTS, Partido Obrero, etc.), aims to paralyze the city for the whole day and to show the capacity of the parliamentary opposition and the trade union world to oppose the recent government measures and those that will undoubtedly arrive in the near future.

Inside and outside the country, Milei's electoral victory was presented as the victory of a right-wing anti-establishment current, as if an underground force of plebeian, anti-left and anti-statist discontent had suddenly emerged to "put the country in order" and return Argentina to the first-class position in the world hierarchy it once occupied, according to Milei. To this end, and as soon as the current president was elected as a member of the opposition to Alberto Fernández's government, a program of drastic economic reforms was launched, aimed at controlling inflation, dollarizing the country, and even abolishing the Central Bank, all wrapped up in violent slogans against "the caste", Peronism, and also the unions and the left in general.

But in reality, the Milei government brings absolutely nothing new. It cannot even be considered "the Milei government", because it is nothing more than a regrouping, behind the flag of this histrionic figure, of the old Right led by Macri and his associates. In practice, the economic measures adopted with this first omnibus law, which touches on both monetary and fiscal issues, are in no way heterodox: where there was a fight against inflation that "did not affect the people" (the expression is Milei's own), there is in fact measures of wage devaluation caused by the devaluation of the peso; where taxes were to be reduced, they are increased to make things easier for the big exporters; where the advantages of the "caste" were about to come to an end, there is a partial nationalization of the debt of private companies. All this is accompanied by the elimination of subsidies, such as transport subsidies in Greater Buenos Aires, or their reduction because of inflation.

None of the measures taken can come as a surprise or be understood as a break with the typical behavior of the bourgeoisie and its political leaders in countries in need of economic adjustment. The only difference, and this must be emphasized, is the force with which the reforms are supposed to be implemented. The whole democratic game, the spectacle created around the figure of Milei, etc., is aimed at winning the support (at least temporarily) of the petty bourgeois classes who will be affected by the measures and to whom its rhetoric of savings, sacrifices, etc. is addressed. With this, and with the populist mobilization aimed at involving the middle classes impoverished by the crisis of recent years, the aim is to counter the proletariat and avoid any form of its response, by making it sink into the rising tide of nationalist mobilization. This is the real power of democracy, of respect for the supreme interest of the country and of the electoral game itself, which is used as a lever to mobilize the most openly reactionary social strata in order to impose what are ultimately the interests of the country's big financial bourgeoisie and agrarian oligarchy. Milei will do what Macri wanted to do but could not, and he will do it as quickly and violently as possible, because his only recourse is to exploit the strength of the democratic mobilization that he has achieved around himself.

The Argentine working class, one of the most numerous on the continent but also one of the poorest in recent decades, has a long history of revolts and mobilizations behind it: from the Cordobazo of 1969 to the uprisings of 2001 – without forgetting the harsh repression of the military dictatorship. And it is precisely because its history of struggle (over the last few decades, but also in earlier periods, when the working-class districts of Buenos Aires saw the growth of a vast Italian and Spanish immigrant proletariat) is long and intense that the major currents of the left-wing bourgeoisie – including mainly Peronism in all its forms and reformist trade unionism – have developed and gained great influence among the proletariat: they have been the national bourgeoisie's means of containing, as far as possible, the class struggle.

After the uprisings of 2001, the pressure of the bourgeois left on proletarians redoubled, especially when the piquetero movement appeared, expressing the tendency of the poorest proletarians, the unemployed and the precarious, to fight by their own means against the bosses and their state. The Peronist governments of the Kirchner family (for the most part a veritable mafia structure) surfed on the wave of "21st century socialism" coming from Venezuela and Bolivia in an attempt to put the working class out of action and make it abandon the path of classist struggle. The economic crisis of 2008-2013, which hit hard a country that survives mainly on export of raw materials and agricultural products, as well as successive imbalances in international demand for products such as soya, etc., led to an economic situation that was structurally impossible to resolve and to which all sorts of recipes were applied. From stimulating demand to IMF loans, no formula has worked, and the result has been galloping inflation and  increase in the misery of the proletarian class unprecedented in recent years.

This is why the Argentine proletariat must concentrate its anger and its class hatred as much on the Milei government as on the parties which preceded it and the unions on which they relied. It must break with a tradition which is not about struggle, but collaboration with the bourgeoisie, and which has led it to this situation. It must banish the myth of the fatherland, of the higher interest of the country, which is the doctrine of all the unions and of the majority trade union currents and which prevents the necessary open confrontation with the bourgeoisie (with the bosses, with the real political and business caste, etc.). It must also break with the currents which support parliament as a place where the bourgeois offensive can be stopped, which maintain that the electoral struggle can reverse the situation created by the last governments: it is the ballot box which has created all the strength available today to the class enemy, and this will always be the case because parliament is the organ par excellence of collaboration between the classes and therefore of the submission of the proletariat to the bourgeoisie.

The Argentine proletarian class has a long road of suffering and misery ahead of it. If this road leads it to rid itself of the political and trade union illusions that bind it to the bourgeoisie and its allies, if it leads it to resume the class struggle both on the immediate terrain of the economic confrontation and on the broader terrain of the political struggle for its own ends... then the challenge that the bourgeoisie is now throwing down to it is a welcome one.

If the bourgeois class wants war, the proletariat must respond with war, but class war, the only war that can give it any hope of victory!


December, 18th 2023



International Communist Party

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