Argentina: the FIT-Unidad, the left that unites, is the 4th force

From the MST, we share some conclusions on the results of the left and its upcoming political tasks and challenges, particularly for our front in the general elections and the perspective of a great crisis, in which the anti-capitalist and socialist left must be an alternative in the struggles and in the political arena.

We condense our opinions and proposals into seven themes.

1- A first obvious fact is that the left that intervened together in this political electoral dispute, in the FIT-Unidad that is based on a profound programmatic agreement, had a positive result and ended up being the fourth national force over other six lists, with 700,000 votes to the presidential formula and a slightly higher amount in the categories of representatives in different provinces. These votes, in a great polarization and an important punishment vote against the government, are the evidence that an important part of workers, women and youth resisted the polarization and supported the FIT-Undad, the only force that is truly an alternative to the parties of the regime.

Results of the FIT-Unidad at a national level

2- This confirms the success of opening up the FIT and deploying a campaign with real proposals with the call to vote for the united left. The greatest unity was key to disputing and maintaining an important strip of working, women and young voters in a very difficult election for the left. The call to vote for “the left that unites” was supported and well received by a significant part of the workers’ vanguard, class activism, feminism, intellectuals and youth, who accompanied us with their vote in the primary elections, valuing the achieved unity. As the media reflected “the historical unity of the left” was one of the outstanding political news of the campaign, and in the end it paid off by placing us in the 4th place.

3- The vote of the FIT-Unidad was generally good but not incredible, in votes it did not reflect a progress in comparison to previous elections, though it maintained the support of important sectors that continue to support the left. Those numbers have objective and subjective political causes that explain them. The objective cause is precisely the particular political context of these primary elections; of a deep economic crisis, an energized political polarization and a strong repudiation of Macrism, facts that until the end promoted a massive “useful vote” for the Fernandez-Fernandez formula. This reality is combined with the juncture we are going through, without a great rise nor a turn to the left in political terms, a situation motivated and preceded by the treason of the union bureaucracy of the PJ that gave time to the government, stagnated processes and impeded the realisation of the plan of struggle that we needed. The subjective ones were the previous mistake of the FIT that we have already elaborated; a lot of time was lost in the previous years and particularly in the first part of this year refusing the unity we needed to become an alternative, causing the left to be divided between the FIT and the MST in several provincial elections and only almost on the deadline of the presentation of alliances, were we able to conform the FIT-Unidad. This made us lose precious political time while clashing in very recent provincial elections instead of having a united preparation before these national elections, like we had proposed from the MST, which would have helped us face the primary elections in better conditions. There is also a lack of joint actions in the working-class and student fields, where in recent times some positive steps have been taken in several unions and universities, but at the same time we need greater unity so as to appear with more strength as an alternative, an issue that has to be corrected in the future, since we do not believe in solely electoral agreements, but in the need of a global political postulation of the left. In this sense, we must change the attitude of the FIT of not having a common postulation in major political events and giving permanent and common political responses to each situation, something in which we will try to contribute. For example, in the face of the current political crisis, we need a common policy, a campaign and actions of the entire front, we will now propose them at the meeting of the National Leadership of the FIT Unidad, through a letter with our proposals. (See the letter at the end of this article)

4- In addition to this, we add that with their electoral and divisionist attitudes and policies, both Castañeira of the Nuevo MAS and Zamora of AyL were political actors who worked consciously and mistakenly to try to prevent the left from appearing united and even stronger, which was fully functional to the capitalist regime. Driven by petty interests and alienated from the demand by the vanguard and working-class, feminist and youth activism for the unity of the entire left, these forces chose to be on their own and weaken the common pole of the left. With this sectarian policy, the NMAS did not pass the rimaries with a very low 0.7%, far from its own and ridiculously exaggerated forecasts, a weak result despite the fortune spent on its campaign, including paid surveys to try to show a progress that did not exist. Marked by self-proclamation and a strong electoralism, they did not pass the primaries with Castañeira anywhere in the country nor in any category. Meanwhile, Zamora retreated a lot in comparison to previous elections. His votes collapsed, passing only in the national representatives of the City of Buenos Aires and not passing in the legislators catergory, which is a very strong blow for his personalist project. The least they should do, after such a great political error, is calling to vote for the FIT-Unidad in the general elections.

5- What is positive of the electoral assessment of the vote received by the FIT-Unidad, is that it can be improved if we overcome the limits and errors. This must be objectively analysed to improve what is necessary for the general elections and to strengthen the struggles, so we are in better conditions to intervene in the upcoming national situation; to further strengthen the united left that confronts the parties and institutions of the capitalist regime. In this sense, assessments like that of Marcelo Ramal and the tendency of PO that he leads with Altamira, written at the service of his internal party dispute, are not useful. A defeatist, unbalanced and unrealistic assessment that tries to deny that the FIT-Unidad was the 4th force, all at the service of an apparatus fight by those who dedicated the entire campaign to discrediting our front and objectively opposed the unity, with a hostile and divisive attitude towards the front. A mistaken policy that now continues to express a deceptive assessment to try to prove that everything is wrong, which shows an old left model that, thus, brings nothing positive.

6- From the MST, we have made a great national effort, both in the previous months to propose, promote and finally achieve the conformation of the FIT-Unidad, as well as during the campaign, contributing with our ideas, our political figures and our militancy in this battle. With achievements, and surely with things to improve, we were the strongest promoters in the entire country of the electoral campaign of the FIT Unidad. We did this, as we have said and written repeatedly, even having accepted a conformation of lists that does not reflect the real correlation of forces between the parties of the front. We accepted in the City and Province of Buenos Aires and in Córdoba positions that should have been better. We did it with the conviction that the necessary unity of the left could not be delayed due to problems of position. At the same time, we state clearly that, from now on, agreements will inevitably have to be different; respecting the real correlation of forces between the parties or through democratic mechanisms to decide candidacies. This will be the only fair and democratic way for this important and necessary front to continue positively, so it can be strengthened and truly become a political alternative for millions in the medium and long term; so that the anti-capitalist and socialist left can strongly intervene in the class struggle and the political struggle to overturn everything.

7- Based on these political conclusions, we are now on way to the general elections to dispute even more the vote for the FIT-Unidad across the country. We will continue fighting for thousands and thousands of workers, the youth and the people to reaffirm their support for our front and for many more to decide to join us. To consolidate the vote for our presidential formula and to try to increase it so we can conquer new representative seats of the united left, which will be very necessary for the upcoming struggles and times. We are facing a new round of the electoral battle with these goals, keeping in mind the general goal of postulating the anti-capitalist and socialist left in the face of the great crisis of the country and the future social tensions and struggles, in which we must be protagonists in the perspective of the workers’ government for which we struggle. For all of this we invite you to join and get organised with the MST in the FIT-Unidad.

Sergio García

Proposal of the MST to the other forces of the FIT-Unidad

  • Macri and the IMF must go now: strike and plan of struggle.
  • Constituent Assembly so the people can decide everything.

After the official scandal for the lack of data, the electoral results of August 11th was a tremendous political defeat for the government of Macri, including Buenos Aires governor Vidal. The accumulation of people’s anger caused by the austerity plan, the inflation and the impositions of the IMF, brought a massive punishment vote, superior to what was expected.

This defeat has opened a political crisis that threatens to deepen. Less than 24 hours after the election, the financial response took the dollar from 45 to 58 pesos, which represented a devaluation of almost 30%, a blow to the people’s pocket and a promotion of the rise of prices. This way, capitalist “governability” is in crisis because of the political weakness of Macri’s government. In this context, we affirm that Macri and the IMF have to leave now, not only because their austerity plan has already failed, but because every day that passes they continue deepening the capitalist economic and political crisis, making workers, women and the youth pay for it with inflation, precariousness and misery. We cannot wait until December.

From the MST we believe that the necessary solution it to advance the election date, but to a free and sovereign Constituent Assembly in order to debate democratically whether we should continue being governed by the IMF or not and what emergency measures must be taken to stop the crisis. The candidature that channeled the anger vote was the Fernández-Fernández formula, which, beyond its oppositional tone, proposes the renegotiation and the support of the pact with the IMF, the payment of the external debt, devaluation and maintaining the privatizations; nothing truly different from Macrism. The PJ and Massism voted for the Macri´s austerity laws, while the Peronist union bureaucracy impeded and isolated the struggles of the working class. Now, in the face of the crisis, Alberto Fernández lets Macri do the dirty work of devaluation and allows capitalist “governability” at the service of austerity, while the CGT and CTAs continue turning their heads the other way instead of calling for the general strike and plan of struggle we need to kick the government and the IMF out.

Despite the electoral polarization, the FIT-Unidad emerged as the fourth national political force. That is why we insist on our campaign proposals: breaking with the IMF, not paying the debt and investing those funds in reactivation of the economy, prohibiting lay-offs by law, restoring privatized companies under social control, nationalizing the banks and foreign trade. We also propose an emergency increase in salaries, pensions and social plans, with indexation as well as the freezing of prices and the cancellation of VAT to the family basket, among other points.

On this basis, we propose to our partners of the PTS, PO, IS and the other force of the FIT-Unidad to discuss and promote together a national plan of action, demanding a general strike from the CGT and the CTA and mobilizations to kick Macri and the IMF out. We call on workers, women and youth from all over the country to fight together for this solution, so that the crisis is paid for by those responsible: the capitalists.

National Leadership of the MST