Argentina: Unifying the anti-capitalist left. Proposals and debates

From the national leadership of the MST we want to reaffirm our proposals to the entire anti-capitalist left. In a moment of challenges and opportunities for the left, we can take firm and unitary steps, with a correct method and without impositions.

Unity in the struggles

We have repeated in various ways and insisted several times on the need for the anti-capitalist left to be united. Not only at the electoral level, but at every level, to stimulate and strengthen the process of workers, popular, student and feminist struggles, and to boost a new classist and anti-bureaucratic leadership in the unions and in the students movement.

The beginning of 2019 raises issue this issue once again. In the struggles it’s essential: because of the brutal austerity plan of Macri and the IMF, with the complicity and direct application of the PJ in its provinces, it clarifies that to defeat them and overpower the old union bureaucracy, the unity of the left is key in every struggle to support, coordinate and deepen the current struggles of workers, the anti-patriarchal feminist movement and the youth.

Unity at the electoral level

With the upcoming national and early provincial elections, the electoral debate has logically opened, and this is also valid for the left. Although we know that the elections are only a part of the political struggle and that it’s on the streets and in the class struggle where the future is defined, this doesn’t deny the importance of offering a strong electoral alternative opposed to the parties of the system, nor the fact that the political-electoral fight contributes dialectically to the entire development of the tasks of the anti-capitalist left.

The unity of the anti-capitalists is required by thousands of activists of every kind, and in the last few days, the debate has opened up again over the possibility of advancing or not toward a real and better unity. The proposals of unity that have been raising from the MST and the silence on the subject by some of the political forces of the FIT, were joined on Monday by a public proposal of the PTS titled “making a broader front for the 2019 elections”.

Since the proposal has been made for the press and not directed at the left forces that have a strong work across the country, it has the limit of being nothing more than that, a declaration which we must see if it’s more than just a declaration. From our side, being the biggest and most nationally extended party outside the FIT, already campaigning in every province as we will do on the national elections, because we are coherent with the unity proposal that we’ve been posing, we consider it positive that this debate has reopened and we propose meeting quickly with the FIT, AyL and other anti-capitalist forces, to exchange opinions and look for every possible variant to achieve a great programmatic, political and electoral unity. To achieve this, the PTS and FIT should embrace the issue and take it from the words to the facts. It would be a new disappointment for thousands of activists and followers, to see a great unity frustrated when the conditions to achieve it are there.

Some debates

In the recent words of the PTS, the City of Buenos Aires is particularly important because they haven’t won a seat there. This is the reason for their insistence to Zamora. However, although not having a representative there is an issue, they can’t limit the issue to one city, a few forces or leaders. We believe it’s more correct to look at the country and the tasks of the left as a whole. This highlights the need and possibility of strengthening a unitary national alternative of the left, that disputes everywhere against the bosses´ parties and the center-left. The unity of the anti-capitalist left would be a positive novelty in the country (and Buenos Aires), while also implying a jump forward in the influence of the left in the mass movement. This possibility is raised today and depends of what we do or don’t do.

At the electoral level, there the case of Buenos Aires is not the only one. Another great example is Cordoba, a key district where the FIT was unable to elect national representatives. The MST there has an important political presence and amount of votes that, unifying with the FIT, would guarantee a qualitative jump for everyone, a province where we’re still in time to do so. There was also Santa Fe, where there is no parliamentary representation of the left, not national nor provincial, where the presentations of alliances has just closed and we consider a mistake that the FIT hasn’t accepted our proposal of presenting together, so now unfortunately there will be two left lists in this elections: the FIT and the MST. There also is the case of Entre Rios, where the MST is facing an important election with the possibility of winning legislative seats that we could put at the disposition of a national agreement of the anti-capitalist left. These and other provincial examples add to the need of joining forces everywhere, without reducing the debate to just one district.

Basically, we believe that we must put forward the global tasks of the left in the country, and the necessity of becoming a strong political and struggle pole that confronts Macri, the variants of the PJ and the center-left. And along with this, trying to join our electoral forces in every province so the sum of the parts can turn into a qualitative jump forward.

Agreements and differences

The PTS says that for the unity they propose “the limit is, as always, the political independence of the workers that we defend in he FIT”. For our part, we have no doubt that the unity of the anti-capitalist left would generate the highest grade of political independence of the workers, that is the strategy for which we fight and that is expressed not only in the program of the FIT but in ours and in those of other anti-capitalist sectors as well.

Precisely because we could achieve a strong political and programmatic agreement, we’ve insisted not only in taking part of an electoral front, but also in deeper agreements, on the base of that program and the necessary class independence in every level of internvention. The joint steps we’ve taken in the Plenary of Combative Syndicalism are examples to follow and, logically, to improve. If we now take steps in electoral unity, they would boost and strengthen the proposals and socio-political needs of our class.

Of course, among the different left forces we’ll still have our differences on some issues from years ago that can be discussed in order to reach conclusions. There are differences inside the FIT as well as between our forces. This is logical, but should not be an excuse to divide. The workers´ method begins with the present and future tasks and necessities. No class-concious worker prioritizes old differences against unity steps that can be achieved against the whole system. Prioritizing common points is the ABC of the Marxism, Leninism and Trotskyism, and this method cannot be put aside in this debate. It must be present to unify the anti-capitalist and socialist left and avoid ultimatums. We reaffirm once again our unity proposal. Meanwhile, the MST will continue giving the political fight with our pre-candidate to the presidency Cele Fierro, with Bodart, Ripoll, with our provincial figures and our national activism. We’re convinced that we must fight until the end to turn everything upside down against the capitalist system and the regime. That’s why we’re organized and that’s why we fight.

Sergio García