12 de agosto de 2019

The collapse of Macrism demands the intervention of the working class

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1. The results of the primary elections have caused the political collapse of Macrism. Against what the polls had been saying, the rout was crushing and irreversible. This is a trend that was present throughout the entire electoral process in the provinces, where the ruling party was beaten categorically in all districts. The attempt to reverse these defeats by leveraging the resources of the IMF and the entry of short-term speculative capitals not only did not work, but ended up making the situation worse. The economic collapse, the systematic decline in industrial production and construction, and especially of consumption as a result of the increasing devaluation of wages and pensions, created the framework for a non-mitigating defeat of huge proportions. In his defeat, President Mauricio Macri also dragged down Maria Eugenia Vidal, governor of the province of Buenos Aires, whose situation is even worse than that of the president. But like Vidal, Radicalism was defeated in Mendoza, leaving it on the verge of losing its hold on the provincial government. Even Horacio Larreta himself, who achieved the only triumph of the ruling party, will have to go to extreme lengths in order to retain the position of head of government of the City [of Buenos Aires]. That is because, even though he won by a considerable margin, the general collapse of Macrism will also be at work in the Buenos Aires electorate and it will take a huge effort to obtain the 4 percentage points needed to avoid a run-off.

2. The lead obtained by the Fernández-Fernández formula is so huge that it is already an established fact that this is the new government that will replace the now defunct Macrism. The electoral system currently in force has not been able to fully grasp the situation and only makes the ongoing crisis worse. The PASO elections( primaries), whose function is to confirm the candidacies of each political force, have ended up giving birth to a new government both nationally and in the province of Buenos Aires. But at the same time, due to its institutional function, things must necessarily wait until October for that election to be confirmed. In that period a double power will be created in practice between both capitalist forces, with a defunct government that still has institutional control, and a winning formula that must wait to take on the attributes of command. That transition, which according to current legislation must take more than 4 months, will have as a backdrop a fractured country, with a cumulative debt that is already around 95% of its GDP, with a generalized decline in the economy and a clear possibility of the unleashing of capital flight, causing not only new devaluations but also directly affecting the financial system and placing bank deposits at risk. Unlike what happened with Alfonsin, who, in 1989, turned over the command to Menem ahead of time, this cannot happen here because the Fernández-Fernández formula has not been formally elected to the presidency. For this to happen in this case, it necessary to hold off until October, for the candidates to be actually elected or to take the complex decision of advancing the October elections, taking into account the tendencies towards an acute devaluation that have already been announced [today] even before the opening of the financial markets.

3. Big Capital, which mostly had bet on the continuity of Macrism, will now use the crisis of this transition to dictate its conditions to the new government that will assume office after October. On the side of Peronism-Kirchnerism they have already anticipated that they are willing to negotiate with Big Capital to make a coalition government. Alberto Fernández himself, who is essentially a political operator, was nominated as a candidate for president instead of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, to facilitate coming to terms with local and international Big Capital. Their economists in the days prior to the elections let them know that they were looking for a renegotiation with the IMF to extend payment terms, something that could cover part of the private debt, as has just happened in Ukraine, where the BlackRock and Templetom funds accepted a 20% reduction. It is clear that any negotiation with the IMF will have as a counterpart the acceptance of its conditions, which have labor and pension reform at the top of the list of requirements. Here also Fernández made it clear that he supports new labor reform, which would be through the modification of collective bargaining agreements with labor, seeking the agreement of the trade union bureaucracy, called upon to ensure the 'social peace'.

4. The rabidly capitalist policies of the Fernández-Fernández formula, however, are not enough to settle the crises and shocks that will be caused in this long 4-month long transition. Capital will seek to dictate the conditions using its own methods, such as the flight of capital or runs on the stock market. In the next few months, for example, almost 12,000 million dollars of debt will mature, and its renewal is conditional on the agreements reached during this transition. At the same time, the government remains in the hands of Macrism, without ruling out cabinet changes and even the appointment of a Chief of Cabinet Ministers that operates as guarantor of this existing double power. A fundamental role in the political arena is reserved for governors. Alberto Fernández has just met with 16 of them prior to the PASO (primaries), to be joined by several more winners of primary contests. This sort of "league of governors", who are already applying severe austerity measures in their own respective provinces, is called upon to play a key role in piloting the crisis, in the containment of the people’s will and in ensuring a controlled transition. If this operation is complex enough as it is, it becomes much more so when we are facing a political bankruptcy of extraordinary dimensions and that is at the base of the defeat of the ruling party.

5. While the capitalists will strive to dictate the conditions of political turnover, workers, women and youth cannot passively look on with a crisis of this magnitude without putting forward their own program and the means of struggle needed for the conquest of its objectives, which in no way can follow the passive course set by the electoral schedule. A general debate is necessary, together with the need to take action so that the crisis is paid for by the capitalists and not by the workers. However, the union bureaucracy, which mainly backed PJ-Peronism, will accentuate its passivity so as not to affect the ongoing transition. Religious sectors will act in line with the same objectives of containment. This raises the need for a campaign for a rank-and-file union congress and the preparation of a 36-hour national active strike to defeat the policy of mass layoffs, salary devaluation and the sell-out to financial capital. The failure of the IMF policy must be met by definitively breaking all ties to financial capital, repudiating the usurious debt and proceeding to nationalize banking and foreign trade. Only through this program can the blackmail that big capital will impose on the transition to ensure the conditions of the new government be successfully confronted.

6. There can be no doubt that the massive vote obtained by Fernández-Fernández expresses the repudiation of the Monetary Fund policies applied so far by Macrism. However, Argentina's dependency on the IMF will continue with the Fernandez's. The Fernández´s have hidden their relationship with imperialism in Venezuela, where they have given undercover support to the coup plotters and Yankee interventionism. We warn against the illusion that an even larger vote in October will give the new government greater strength to negotiation with the IMF and creditor banks, which would at least serve to mitigate workers' suffering. These types of proposals, which will surely be brandished by the forces of Peronism-Kirchnerism, only seek to keep workers at bay in order to advance measures against them, to be justified by ´the way the last government left things´. We cannot rule out that the Fernández's want it to be Macrism that does part of the dirty work before they leave the government. An exchange rate of magnitude, for example, would serve to consummate the devaluation called for by Alberto Fernández during the election campaign. Already in the past, the confidence placed by workers in capitalist governments ended up being a deadly trap when it came to facing their confiscatory and exploitative policies.

7. The Left Front-Unity (FIT-Unidad) enters this new phase of the crisis with the authority that comes with having achieved an electoral result overcoming the trap of would-be polarization, establishing a baseline of electoral resistance and ready to go for more in October. The votes were slightly below the results in the 2015 primaries, although in the central districts of the City of Buenos Aires and the Province of Buenos Aires, they are higher than those we received in the 2017 primaries. The almost 700,000 votes obtained in these primaries were won thanks to a program of class independence, calling for a break with the IMF and a comprehensive social reorganization based on the interests of workers, as well as through an enormous intervention in the struggles for legal abortion and in defense of youth against educational reforms and job insecurity. In the Province of Buenos Aires and in the City of Buenos Aires, the FIT-Unity has gathered the necessary votes to fight to expand its parliamentary representation in the National Congress and in the local legislatures, with the lists headed by Nestor Pitrola and Myriam Bregman respectively. In the City of Buenos Aires, in addition, with the votes of the left forces that were knocked out of the race in the primaries, the Left Front can fight to become the third force of the district on the list of Head of Government, headed by Gabriel Solano. Obtaining the fourth place symbolizes the place won against the entire IMF regime, for legal abortion and all the demands of women, and of youth against repression, against precarization of labor conditions and in favor of all workers' demands.

8. The crisis opened with the demolition of Macrism, the convulsive transition that is unfolding and the coming pacts that will be made between the winning formula and Big Capital, put the Left Front-Unity in the necessity of carrying out a campaign of new dimensions, where the center is to be placed on the mobilization of the workers to face the attempt to unload the crisis upon their backs. The FIT-Unity has a broad terrain for political conquest among the workers who voted for the Fernández-Fernández formula with the purpose of ending the Monetary Fund policies, but contradictorily they will be making agreements that give guarantees to Big Capital. The exploitation of this contradiction demands an independent action on the basis of a program for the solution to the crisis, that poses the repudiation of the debt, rupture with the IMF, the nationalization of banks, and immediately proceeds to the suspension of all lay-offs, power bill hikes and the demand for a recomposition of wages and pensions that allows for the recovery of all that was lost these last months. The capitalist solutions being proposed pose a brutal confiscation right out of the pockets of the people and an overall attack against workers, but that will not save Argentina from new bankruptcies or even from a default. The devaluation being proclaimed by Alberto Fernández loses all effectiveness when we are witnessing a war of currencies in the framework of an intensification of the commercial war and an upsurge in the crisis of the capitalist economy that is moving towards a new recession. To these capitalist proposals, which deepen social and economic collapse, we oppose a comprehensive reorganization of the country on new social foundations to be led by the working class, a workers' government. This calls for the Left Front to combine the campaign now unfolding with methods of mobilization going beyond the strictly electoral. The impulse of combative trade unionism to win the streets now for this program and for a plan of struggle for all the workers' central union organizations occupy a conspicuous place, together with the demand for a rank-and-file congress of all trade unions. The situation in bankrupt Chubut, with striking government workers and mass mobilizations against the newly elected Arcioni government that refuses the payment of back pay, advances the situation across the country. In Chubut we say: Down with Arcioni, a rank-and-file congress of all the unions and popular assemblies, staggered strikes leading all the way to a general strike to impose the workers' demands and the repudiation of the usurious provincial debt, in order for the demands to be met. The proposed framework also opens a new reality for all the struggles raised in the labor movement that must demand the intervention of all local workers' organizations to lead them to victory. The same with respect to the movements against the impunity of security forces, and against police brutality and murders that, as in San Miguel del Monte, criss-cross the popular movement.

9. As we have been doing before the primaries, the Partido Obrero once again insists on the need for us to convene as soon as possible - it could be at the beginning of September - a Congress of the Left Front-Unity open to all workers, youth and women in struggle. A congress of this type could attract not only part of the electorate that accompanied us or that accompanied oher left-wing forces, but also show a path of direct action to the mass of workers who voted for Peronism-Kirchnerism with the expectation of putting an end to Monetary Fund policies. Such a Congress would not only be a strong boost to the electoral campaign, it would also allow for a regrouping of forces to break the IMF regime, which the Fernández will seek to rescue through pacts and agreements. This congress will also be an opportunity to strengthen ourselves in the midst of an open political crisis of new scope, which demands the prominence of the left and the active intervention of the workers.

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