Argentina: IS attacks us and defends monolithic thought

Argentina: IS nos ataca y defiende el pensamiento único

By Vicente Gaynor

Izquierda Socialista, the smallest of the four forces that comprise the FIT Unidad and Argentine section of the UIT-CI, published an article in its newspaper criticizing the MST: it accuses us of “divisiveness” for presenting our own lists in the front´s primary. [1] The article throws out a series of falsehoods to doge the debate that we raise about the need to overcome sectarianism on the left, and to hide IS´s own sectarian, undemocratic and opportunist positions.

First, IS completely falsifies our proposal to overcome sectarianism and broaden the front. “With whom? With the so-called ‘progressive’ sectors,” they attribute to us. But time and again we have insisted that the front must be opened to the other forces of the left, to the independent activists of the left that remain outside the parties and to those who are disappointed in the government, always on the basis of the anti-capitalist and socialist program of the FIT Unidad. That is why it is also very bad that the PO former congresswoman has publicly rejected unity with other left forces. Who does not aspire to grow and expand, is satisfied with a small, testimonial and sectarian left, which will never vie for power. That is not our project.

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Second, it is completely false that presenting our lists in the pribamy divides the vote of the left. IS´s article equates our lists with those of the Nuevo MAS, Altamira and Zamora, which stand outside the FIT Unidad, competing with the FIT Unidad and against the FIT Unidad. That does divide the vote of the left. On the other hand, our lists stand within the front, each vote we for us is a vote for the FIT Unidad and after the primary our candidacies will be integrated into the lists of the FIT Unidad for the Noveber general elections.

Third, IS abandons the basic principles of Trotskyism and the Morenist tendency that it claims to follow. It defends a model of uncritical “unity” based on monolithic thought, denying the possibility of democratically debating ideas, proposals, differences or nuances. They implement the same mistaken criterion, for example, in the only union they lead, the Western Railway Union, where they replicate the methods of the union bureaucracy.

Frontist unity can only be sustained on the basis of the free expression of the parties that unite, not on the basis of some silencing and hiding others. Precisely because we are not the same, is that a front unites entities that are different. Trotskyism has fought against monolithic though from its beginnings and has always defended the basic democratic condition of being able to express one’s opinions within the framework of a unitary space. Sadly, IS denies these principles and the further it moves away from Trotskyism, the closer it gets to Stalinism.

IS itself participated in the previous primary of the FIT in 2015, and in the past was also part of our primary with the PC in Izquierda Unida, as ways of guaranteeing unity between different political currents. Of course, it never suggested that this was divisive, as it now accuses us. It is exactly the other way around: when there is no agreement, it is not divisive to reject the imposition of monolithic thought, it is divisive to try to impose it.

According to IS, the presentation of our lists is not about expressing our ideas and proposals in the campaign, but about seeking more legislative positions. Actually, as there are two lists in the primary, it will be the votes that will determine the order of the final list of the FITU in the general election. And since IS together with the PTS and the PO imposed an undemocratic threshold of 20% of the votes in the front´s primary in order to participate in the rotation of the positions that are obtained, in reality it will be more difficult to obtain them, not easier. For the MST, the debate is political and of ideas.

IS, however, does seem concerned that if our lists overcome the threshold, its own participation in the rotation of elected positions will be reduced. A participation that is totally dependent on the agreements it signs with the PTS and PO. It is regrettable that IS, due to its weakness, decides to subordinate itself to the PTS and the PO in exchange for a few months in parliamentary office. As material conditions always condition consciousness, when a force is in retreat, it accentuates its conservative and bureaucratic features and ends up sacrificing its own political expression. This debate will undoubtedly continue after the primaries, since the challenge of building a really strong, broad political alternative of the left with a vocation for power to face the troubled times that are coming continues to be posed in our country.

[1] “No te confundas: votá a la izquierda que se une,” by Joaquín Robles, El Socialista #513