Against the capitalist candidates: Unite all the Left, abandon all sectarianism


By Pablo Vasco

Inside and outside the FIT Unidad, there are left-wing forces that obstruct unity and/or make false accusations against us. What follows is our reply, because hindering the unity of the Left is functional to the variants of the system.

Inside the FIT Unidad, the Partido Obrero and Izquierda Socialista refuse to use the primaries to settle the lists. Furthermore, PO, immune to the problem of the division of the Left, does not propose to expand the FIT-U either. According to PO, our proposal of primaries “leads to an internal debate on the Left, dispersing efforts in the necessary fight against the candidates of the regime.”

Double mistake:

1. Internal debate within the Left has always existed, and it always will exist, because there are different projects. At the same time, these differences do not have to impede a front. Or is there no unity in diversity within the working class, the unemployed, feminist, student, human rights and environmental movements?

2. Instead of dispersing efforts, a primary of the entire Left unites them: after ordering the lists according to that primary, all the forces of the front will face the capitalist candidates in the general election in a single list. Unless someone thinks it is better to be divided into two or three lists…

Although PO already used the primaries in the 2015 election of the FIT, where it lost against the PTS, and in the 2019 FIT-U election in Salta, they now reject them. This current refusal is not unrelated to the division that the PO suffered in 2019, when the PO Tendencia emerged, led by Altamira and Ramal.

Bad combination: sectarianism + fallacies

Another excuse of PO is that a primary of the entire left “blocks the participation of labor, unemployed, women and youth activists in the electoral struggle, because in order to do so, they must first choose between lists of Left that dispute among themselves and between which the differences are not clear”.

1. The primaries not only do not block the participation of activism, but rather allow hundreds of thousands of Left sympathizers to participate to democratically decide the integration of the lists of the front.

2. In addition, the debates prior to the primaries would help clarify the differences between the different projects of the Left, little known outside of party militants. The proposal of the PO, to resolve the candidacies in a congress of the FIT-U, not only excludes the Nuevo MAS, the PO Tendencia and the space of Luis Zamora, but also by insisting that “the bases for an agreement already exist, and they are the ones that allowed us to make unitary presentations in the 2019 elections” they deny the changes that have taken place, especially the weakening of PO due to its split. Contrary to what Solano says, a “petty inappropriate request” is to wield “bases” from 2019 that no longer exist. Furthermore, to say that the primaries “would put an emphasis on an internal debate, which discredits us in the face of the workers” is to underestimate the latter and their political capacity to advance and discern. Finally, PO makes a critique that is false from every point of view, because we propose to extend the unity of the Left “to social, environmental, feminist, intellectual and human rights referents.” No one, neither party nor person, is part of a front whose program they do not share. This obvious point is omitted by PO which accuses us of wanting to add the center-left. Does the PO ignore that in our country there are hundreds of personalities and thousands of activists that are not members of any party, but who do recognize themselves as being on the Left, Left independents or the social Left? Wouldn’t it be very positive if they converged on a great Left front? Or how does PO believe that the Left can advance as an alternative for millions and ever aspire to power without adding to such valuable activism? For us, it is key to open up and invite them to actively participate in a great unity of the Left.

PO Tendencia: the same logic as PO

Our call to unite the entire Left was launched on June 9. Altamira says that Ramal did it first. Infantile, because his article quotes “the primaries that the MST claims” and is dated June 12. But while the PO Tendencia accepts a primary of the entire Left, it lies, just as PO does, about our proposal to expand the unity of the Left to referents and activists. According to Ramal, “it is a multi-class proposal: it is an attempt to amalgamate a crazy range of trends; the MST wants to reinvent the likes of Pino Solanas and Luis Juez”. And according to Altamira, we want to “integrate the center-left, in the form of personalities of human rights, feminists, independents, etc … A primary should bring together the historical left, not the progressives with bourgois character“. Totally ridiculous. PO Tendencia (Politica Obrera) broke with PO, but they share the same sectarian DNA.

Izquierda Socialista: yes but no

In an article signed by their executive committee, IS says at the beginning: “we ratify our line of unity of the entire Left, to struggle united against the bosses’ parties”. But they immediately launch several objections that contradict this “line of unity”:

1) “We will continue to insist to the sectors of the Left that have not yet joined the FIT-U, to do so,” they say. Mistake: for a larger unity it should not be a condition “that they join” the FIT-U, but rather converge.

2) “We speak out against the primary mechanism. It is the opposite of a truly democratic mechanism”, they say. But more than the official primaries as internal elections, what we all reject is the proscriptive floor and all other limitations attached to them. In addition, in 1989, the old MAS – of which those who later formed IS were part –  held the primaries of Izquierda Unida with the CP, and in 2015 IS also went to primaries of the FIT, where it integrated with PO the losing list.

3) A primary of all the Left “would complicate the existing unity of the Left, which is that of the FITU,” says IS: “Entering into primary elections with each party contesting against the others, is the least unitary thing we can think of. Instead of uniting to fight the common political and electoral battle against the bosses’ parties … we would be campaigning for the vote of all against all within the FIT-U itself. Fighting among us, in an exhausting fight and not against the common enemy ”. Weak attempt at confusion. The primaries are not the least but the most unitary mechanism, because they would allow a greater unity in the general election. It would be an exhausting struggle if in the November elections there are several Left lists instead of just one.

4) “The Nuevo Mas has been criticizing the FIT-U for years and has refused to join. We wish they changed their mind and joined. We would also agree that the Altamira and Ramal tendency return to the FIT-U. We wish we could reach agreements. For now, since they emerged they have virulently criticized the FIT-U and made an electoral alliance with the Nuevo Mas, opposed to the FIT-U. Despite all this, IS strongly agrees with proposing that they join a unity with the FIT-U”, they say.

But together with “proposing” unity, it is necessary to propose the only real method to make it happen. Reaching an agreement between six or seven left-wing parties is an almost inhuman task. A primary, on the other hand, would express the existing relation of forces. Speaking of “unity” without a primary in nothing more than empty words. In short, moving towards the unity of the Left requires abandoning sectarian positions and false accusations.