Argentina: In response to the New MAS

Generally, the political reactions we received in the first hours after the announcement of the agreement between out party and the FIT were positive. Our public figures receive words of support and congratulations. Party militants say that in the places where we intervene politically, in workers’, student, feminist and social activism sectors, the unity of the main parties of the revolutionary left had a motivating effect. It is logical: for years it has been a necessity and the polarized situation has reinforced this. Albeit late, the FIT finally decided on a front agreement with the MST. Of course, our intention is to transfer this unity, which is now limited to the electoral terrain, to the class struggle. But we value the agreement as a clear advance. Surprisingly, the most bitter reaction against the agreement did not come from the bourgeoisie, but from a political group of the left: the New MAS, first on social media, then through a public declaration signed by its leadership. Because there are repetitive references to the MST in that text, we have decided to answer in order to clarify the debate.

First, a characterization

Political organizations, no mater how small, act according to a program and the class character that its leadership reveals in its trajectory and its methods. The essence of those characteristics can be clearly evidenced in the great events of the class struggle and in important political controversies. The working-class, Bolshevik method of party building, political struggle and debate in the field of the left is one choice. It consists of arguing with ideas, fleeing from diplomacy and hypocrisy, not lying to the vanguard or its own political base. The opposite method belongs to the petty bourgeoisie, let’s say the middle class, which has different limits, opposed to the first method: maneuvers, cover-ups, amalgams, impatience, incoherent zigzags, provocations, sectarianism. In the affirmations of the New MAS about our party practically all these traits are present. Let’s go over them.

The incoherences

The New MAS says that the FIT, by agreeing with the MST, is sealing a deal with the “most opportunist” party of the Argentinian left. It also says that the FIT reinforces its electoralism because, we suppose, our party (which the NMAS calls “group”), would be electoralist. This affirmation has some contradictions:

  • First, the NMAS formed and defended a short-lived electoral front with the MST, and if it were not for our unilateral decision of ending that experience in 2018, they would have maintained that front. Therefore, their claims border the absurd.
  • Second, if there is an electoralist force in the left, solely focused on the permanent promotion of an electoral figure, without presence in the main events of the class struggle, as an unrestrained strategy, it is the NMAS.
  • Third, the MST, which the NMAS calls a “group”, absolutely surpasses it in national development, militant force, labor, youth and territorial insertion. We are also one of the founding organizations of the International Socialist League, recently launched in Barcelona with revolutionary forces from over 20 countries and 4 continents. Therefore, the derogatory qualification is very similar to a childish tantrum, full of a resentment that hardly hides a confession of its political impotence due to its isolation.

Summarizing, if the MST were everything the NMAS says it is, then there is no explanation to why it built, promoted and defended a front with our party. Unbelievable.

Ideological claudication, shameful expectations

The NMAS accuses the MST of opportunism and electoralism. It denounces the FIT for reaching an agreement with our national organization to “humiliate them” (sic) and raises a number of arguments “based” on principles. However, in the following line, it vindicates Zamora, only criticizing him for a “deficit” on the mater of electoral unity. We must point out that Luis Zamora defends the post-modern conception of “autonomism” and spreads the ideas of professor Holloway, the author of the imponderable book called “Change the World Without Taking Power”. Zamora is an anti-Leninist party militant, he insists on affirming that the struggle for power does not make sense today, so he limits his activity to a municipal personalism of very limited reach. This means: based on the most elemental Marxism, in the most polite terms we should classify him as reformist. However, the NMAS vindicates him and only finds a contradiction in that he is not unitary on the electoral terrain. It is not the first time that the NMAS begs to Zamora. But this time, the expectations of its electoral fever overcame all precedents. In order to cover up its self-isolation and not discuss its causes, it attacks the MST (a militant force that builds a party and an international organization) using an apologist of post-modern and anti-Marxist autonomism as reference. Frankly, a political debacle.

Self-flattery and ridicule

Self proclamation is a destructive political vice that fragments the left and acts as an obstacle for the concentration of forces in positive programmatic and organizational confluences. It is serious in organizations of different sizes and political situations, but in a small party that fantasizes with planned conspiracies to “humiliate and exclude them” it is directly pathetic, completely ridiculous. The idea that the FIT-MST agreement represents an orientation to marginalize the candidate of the NMAS that “represents” the women’s movement, truly borders delirium:

  • First, the FIT and our party made a public call weeks ago to make an agreement with the NMAS.
  • Second, with all due respect, in the women’s movement there are several dynamic organizations and outstanding figures, but the main ones were not the NMAS nor its candidate. This is obvious to any activist and normal person that took part of that process or at least paid attention to it. In the end: absolute nonsense.

Political clarification, our method

For years we raised this policy: uniting the anti-capitalist and socialist workers’ left. Now it has materialized in the electoral field. Our strategy is to take it to the class struggle. This is a positive united front that does not at all exclude our political differences. The agreement is based on a program of class independence as its staring point. We are not particularly opposed to the PASO (primaries) mechanism, we even had to insist the NMAS, when we were in the same front for a short time, to sign a deal that included the PASO as an alternative mechanism, because they were against it. What it demands today of the FIT and the MST, it then denied. In our case, we proposed the PASO to the FIT as a last resource. But we reached agreement which does not truly reflect the relation of forces between our party and the other components, but we still decided to try this experience because we are responding to a need that is raised by workers, the women’s movement, activists and the youth every day: the unity of the left. We bet on that and to continue growing as a revolutionary party. The NMAS chooses its self-isolation. Good for them, they have every right to do so. However, what is not right is to hide that decision with political tantrums to distract and maybe conceal its own impotence. We hope they reflect on this and change. We will continue building, trusting our politics, our class method and sincere debates, without maneuvers and provocative confusions.

Mariano Rosa