Argentina: May Day. Great FITU rally and some debates

By Pablo Vasco

We filled Plaza de Mayo and raised a working class, socialist and internationalist program with the FITU. It was a positive initiative, which managed to make it to national news as the alternative to the act of the sectors that support the government of the Frente de Todos. At the same time, debates continue to be expressed in what was said, what was omitted, with what force it was taken and how it was developed in Buenos Aires and all over the country.

A necessary assessment

There were two years in which this international workers’ day did not find us in the streets, due to the pandemic. This year, the economic and social crisis and the adjustment suffered by the workers and popular sectors is deepened by the pact with the IMF defined by Fernandez. That is why it was necessary to raise a class and socialist tribune, with an alternative program, that clearly states that the workers will not pay for the crisis.

The social and political polarization is growing and is going around the world, and a positive solution to this situation cannot come from Milei’s liberfacists (who present themselves as the new, but put forward old recipes) nor from the Macrist right wing. The only way out is from the left, with the program of the FITU, so that the working class can take it as their own, and defend it to the end.

The crisis is not only within the borders of our country. In the Plaza, red with flags, it was clearly marked that the problem is this capitalist system, which condemns us to barbarism: wars, hunger, plunder, environmental destruction. Each of our fights must be put at the service of the struggle to defeat this system and build a country, a continent and a world without oppression and exploitation, where the workers rule.

The rounds of speakers at the event included representatives of each party of the FIT-U, union leaders and the greetings of the piquetero struggle. With agreements and differences, the interventions were within the framework of these general positions. The big act that overflowed Plaza de Mayo ended with the singing of the working class anthem, fist raised.

Successes, mistakes and debates

It was already a success to have filled Plaza de Mayo with the Frente de Izquierda y de Trabajadores – Unidad, disputing and gaining political space on the national scene, managing to polarize with the act in support of the government. It served as one more tool to postulate our front in the task of trying to be an alternative for millions of workers, youth, women and dissidents who organize, fight for their rights and have already made the experience with those who govern or have already governed. And so that reactionary expressions do not grow, the only antidote is to strengthen the left.

To strengthen ourselves as an alternative is also to play our postulation, which is not only electoral. And although we filled Plaza de Mayo, not all the forces played equally. The event overflowed the Plaza due to the presence of the militancy of the MST with their union work, the youth and the Teresa Vive Movement and the Polo Obrero. A separate note for the comrades of the PTS, who unfortunately did not take part in the event. Already in several previous events it was reflected that they mobilize less and, to cover that up, they directly decided to weaken the act by doing their own regional events beforehand in order to justify a very weak presence, almost similar to the very small column of Izquierda Socialista, which in all the acts is by far the smallest militant force. A very important mistake of the PTS, since it should have focused on the Plaza de Mayo act to strengthen this event that made the national postulation.

Two more issues. First, we consider it wrong to take the electoral as a variable to define, for example, who closes an act. This is not Marxist or revolutionary at all. The key is in the real insertion of the organizations in the class struggle, which is reflected in what each force organizes and mobilizes. And second, but not less important, we reiterate to the PTS our proposal, which has not been answered since the joint international conference, on how we build a strong international. It would be good to have this answer.

As for the PO, and with all due respect for hearing impaired people, the old saying “There is no worse deaf person than the one who does not want to hear” fits them well. And lying is not revolutionary at all. In a section below we discussed their national-Trotskyist position on Ukraine. But it was not the only blunder of their speakers at the event and in their subsequent balance sheet. In Prensa Obrera they lie saying that “the MST wants to take the Front to the center-left”. We call on them to leave behind this method of lying and misrepresenting. Listen or read again what we said in our speeches, which is the opposite of calling the center-left. We proposed and we propose to strengthen the FITU, to open it to sectors of the social, intellectual, independent left, always on the basis of our anti-capitalist and socialist program. We want the Front not to be only electoral and that we act together in the class struggle. It is time for the PO to give its opinion on these proposals instead of making up others that nobody proposes. The logic of “lie, lie, something will remain” is not revolutionary.

Furthermore, just as it was very correct and important to have overflowed Plaza de Mayo together, in several important provinces the PO, due to a policy of sectarian self-proclamation, ended up dividing the acts of the 1st. In places like Córdoba, Rosario and Santa Fe we still managed to hold acts together with the other forces of the FITU. But as a balance, we insist on not repeating these attitudes that divide and weaken the Front.

For more MST and FIT Unity

In each unitary call, like the one we made on May 1st in Plaza de Mayo, the political agreements that allow those relevant facts are prioritized. From there, there are constructive debates, for action, to improve and be stronger as an alternative: that is the task. That is why in the words of Alejandro Bodart we carry with all conviction revolutionary proposals at the international level, on how to advance in building internationalist revolutionary organizations. And at the national level, with the speech of Cele Fierro, we made a series of proposals for the Frente de Izquierda Unidad to advance and strengthen itself. Unfortunately, the other member forces did not have the same method and their speeches lacked concrete proposals to advance. For all this, and without fear of saying that nobody has the revealed truth, with the certainty that we are not yet the alternative that is needed but that we must go for more, this May 1st we achieved an impressive act of the FIT-U. We vindicate this fact. And from the MST, having contributed an enormous militant column in the Plaza, we insist with our proposals to transform ourselves into a real alternative for millions, in the country and the world, together with the great task of continuing to build our revolutionary party, which we invite you to join.

Ukraine: the PO gives in to Putin, in another display of national-trotskyism

By Nicolás Zuttión

At the 1st of May rally in Plaza de Mayo, the debate on the Russia-Ukraine war was present. Izquierda Socialista minimizes the imperialist interference of NATO and the PTS omits all support for the legitimate resistance of the Ukrainian people to the invasion of the Russian troops; we believe that both positions are mistaken. However, the biggest mistake is made by Partido Obrero. Its leader Gabriel Solano reaffirmed a pro-peasant policy, that is to say, functional to Russian imperialism led by Putin.

“The sides confronting each other in this war are all reactionaries,” Solano said. Of course, so is the imperialist NATO. The problem is that OP defines Putin’s government as only “restorationist”. Wrong: capitalism has been restored in Russia for a long time, its companies operate all over the world, it is the second military power on the planet and on top of that it seeks to expand and control the countries of the former USSR, now invading Ukraine. In other words, Russia is imperialist.

We obviously share his denunciation of the plan to expand NATO over Eastern Europe, as well as the reinforcement of the military budgets of the Western imperialist powers. But the OP reverses the burdens of the current war conflict. The role of NATO does not obviate the co-responsibility of Russian imperialism and its nefarious expansionist military attack. Besides, there is Nazism in many countries and nobody would think of justifying a military invasion of another country because of it, as Putin does. It is not today “the Ukrainian people used as cannon fodder” who invade Russia, but it is the army of that power who subjugates the democratic right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination.

The campist position of the PO is reactionary towards that struggle for national self-determination, a principle that Lenin and Trotsky always defended and applied from Bolshevik Russia towards Ukraine. This serious mistake is another expression of the deep-rooted national-Trotskyism of the PO, which from Argentina, thousands of kilometers away, ignores the concrete reality of what is happening, lacking any internationalist vision. While true Trotskyism is always synonymous with internationalism, the unilateral and national outlook of Solano and the PO retains the mark of origin of its former leader Jorge Altamira. And it is to cover up this major shortcoming that Solano launches absurd slanders, such as that the MST intends to broaden the FIT Unity towards the center-left.

But people, government and State are different categories to discern the revolutionary politics of any Marxist and even more so of Trotskyism. Therefore, to understand these basic elements of reality and to encourage the resistance of the Ukrainian working people is not either, as Solano wrongly denounces, to be in favor of Zelensky. Neither our comrades of the Ukrainian Socialist League and of the independent trade union Zjist Pratsi (Defense of Labor), nor the MST nor the entire International Socialist League, have the slightest confidence in this Ukrainian government, servant of NATO, the IMF and Western imperialism. On the contrary: we denounce it.

A revolutionary policy toward the current conflict must integrate repudiation of Putin and his invasion, NATO and its extension, and support for the resistance of the Ukrainian people and their right to decide their own destiny. This is part of a transitional program for a workers’ government and socialism in Ukraine, towards a Free Federation of Socialist Republics in the whole territory of the former USSR and all Europe. Unfortunately, the campist and national-Trotskyist position of the PO capitulates to Putin and Russian imperialism.

Alejandro Bodart´s Speech: “An international organization of revolutionary socialists is needed”

Long live May 1st! Long live the working class, comrades! A few days ago, Vice-President Cristina Kirchner said again something she says every now and then: that for her, capitalism is the best system that has ever existed. There is no rift with Fernandez, nor is there a rift with Macri on this issue, there is no rift with Milei: they all defend this rotten capitalist system.

Now from this square we want to ask the Vice President what is it that she likes so much about the capitalist system: does she like that every time a handful, a small handful of rich people accumulate all the wealth produced by the whole of humanity, while the majority go hungry, lack work or if they get it they do it in the most precarious conditions? What does she like about the capitalist system: that they destroy the forests, the glaciers, that the rivers are polluted, that the seas are polluted? Because that is what the capitalist system is leading us to. What do you like? The genocides that take place all over the world to guarantee profits for those few? What do you like? The genocide that took place in Argentina to ensure that the system is maintained and that led to the death of 30 thousand comrades? What do you like? That patriarchy and oppression and super-exploitation of working women continue? Because that is what capitalism supports. What do you like? The fratricidal wars that the peoples and the workers pay with blood to guarantee imperialist interests? Do you like that?

Don’t lie to us and say that capitalism allows democracy. This is the democracy of the rich, that when it suits them they call elections and, when it does not, they put dictators at the head. No, comrades: there is no humane capitalism, there is no reform of capitalism. We workers have to work tirelessly to destroy this system before the system destroys us, before it destroys life, destroys the planet.

But capitalism is a world system. We cannot destroy it from a single country. We are going to destroy capitalism when we have enough strength to carry out a deep socialist revolution in our countries, but essentially in the whole world. Because there is no socialism in a single country: either socialism will be world-wide or it will not be. We have the sad experience of the Soviet Union, where unfortunately the triumph of the workers with the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky ended up receding because the world revolution did not advance.

Now, in order to make the socialist revolution at the international level an international organization of the workers, of the revolutionary socialists, is needed. Just as in each country we have to build parties and unite the revolutionaries to confront capital, more than ever we have to unite and work to build an international organization of the workers. Because if we do not build an international organization we will not be able to defeat imperialism and capitalism, the bosses who unite to super-exploit us. And among ourselves we have to open a debate on how we build a great international organization, how we build at this moment, in this change of stage that we are living, an organization for the enormous struggles that are coming, for the revolutionary processes that are going to come. Because from the rottenness of capitalism, the working class is going to rise up to fight. But without revolutionary leadership, these enormous struggles will unfortunately end in new failures.

How we build a new and great international organization.

In the first place, we believe that we must have a critical spirit about ourselves. We revolutionaries have to discuss that the organizations we have managed to build with much sacrifice since the post-war period, which have played a fundamental role so that the flag of revolutionary socialism is not lost in the filth of Stalinism, are no longer enough to be able to face the challenges ahead of us. We have to discuss that it was very valuable that international organizations were built around a party, even if they are small, but that this is no longer the case. That was for a stage that has concluded. In this stage that is opening we need to discuss how we can build large revolutionary organizations from uniting the different traditions that have been built throughout the world. Nobody has the revealed truth, there is no international or national leadership that has enough weight and prestige to say “I am the leadership that is needed”. None of us has led practically anything in the world. But that does not mean that we cannot build a great international organization, if we are self-critical, if we open ourselves to work with other traditions, if we learn to coexist with nuances and differences.

We have a program: the program of transition, the program of the socialist revolution. But we need a new method, without bureaucratism, without sectarianism, a method that allows us to listen to each other. If we have the capacity to listen to each other, if we have the capacity to understand that the other comrade is not an enemy, but that he has different ideas and that we are only going to advance collectively, we can put in place a strong international organization that will allow us to see a light at the end of the road. From the International Socialist League we are open to talk with all comrades, with all revolutionary groups, with all those who want to regroup forces to give battle in the heart of capitalism, which is not only a national struggle, but a world struggle.

And finally, we have nuances about what is happening. And it is not bad to have nuances: from this clash of ideas will surely come out a stronger, fairer idea, closer to reality. In Ukraine we have nuances, but I believe that nuances cannot prevent the Argentine revolutionary left from leading a great mobilization against the war. We have to discuss, but we have to agree that it has to be the revolutionary left the one to mobilize in this country against the war, and among ourselves to continue discussing.

We are convinced that we cannot turn our backs on the struggle for self-determination of the Ukrainian people. And that does not mean giving support either to Zelensky or to any of those behind him who are working for the takeover of Ukraine by NATO and Western imperialism. No, comrades. But we cannot leave them alone, because a defeat will strengthen that new nascent imperialism which is behind Russia and which together with NATO can lead us at any moment to a third world war which can put the future of humanity in debate. Comrades, let us continue to discuss, but together, unified, let us take to the streets to be the ones who go to the forefront of the fight against this fratricidal war that imperialism is carrying out. Comrades, once again: Long live May 1st, International Workers’ Day! Long live the program of the socialist revolution! Long live the Fourth International! Thank you, comrades.

Cele Fierro´s speech: “Make the Left Front Unity bigger and stronger”

As it could not be otherwise, on May 1st, international day of the working class, from the Frente de Izquierda Unidad we had to be in the streets. Here in Plaza de Mayo and all over the country. We are the only political force that raises a working class, socialist and internationalist program. And as internationalists, the first thing is to reaffirm our support to the resistance of the Ukrainian working people, who are facing the invasion of Russian imperialism, to denounce and express our total rejection of the interference of NATO and Yankee imperialism.

In our country, the economic and social crisis does not stop. And it is the responsibility of the government of Fernández and the Frente de Todos because they do not give concrete answers to the needs of the people, but they do defend the interests of the bosses and guarantee the IMF the payment of that swindle contracted by Macri. That is why the discontent of a broad social base that supported that project is growing. And the struggles of the workers, who fight for wages in every sector, are beginning to grow. And I want to salute those who are facing the bureaucracy, especially the health workers, who faced the pandemic and are still standing up, and the nurses from all over the country and from the Capital, who are still fighting for their salary, labor and professional recognition, the comrades of the ALE. And also to salute those comrades of the independent picketers movement, who fight for genuine work and against the adjustment. Of course, from here is the commitment to support in each province the huge Federal March and to receive it here in Plaza de Mayo. The Frente de Izquierda Unidad is at the service of each one of these demands.

And the alternative to the government is neither Juntos por el Cambio, which have already governed, nor, for more minutes on the air and polls, can it be the Milei and the liberfascists. We won’t stop liberfascistsit with the right or with the false progressivism, which open the door to them. The only political sector that can stop them is us, the left. That is why they attack us and are afraid. And I want to refer to one thing, which is how we do from the left to stop that reactionary right wing.

What we have been doing is very important, the existence of the FITU, which has allowed us to be a reference for thousands and thousands, to position ourselves in a very important national political location and to have been the sector that called and articulated all the actions against the pact with the IMF. But we cannot be satisfied with that alone: the challenge is much bigger. It is to achieve that the workers, the popular sectors, the youth, women, dissidents, see us as the alternative, as their alternative, to confront those who adjust us, oppress us and exploit us. And that they see us as that option of power, together with the working class and the popular sectors.

And to do so we have to advance in strengthening the Front. To take steps to act in common in all the spaces where we intervene. That it is not only in the elections or these acts: to advance in the debate and the common intervention in each sector of struggle, union, neighborhood, in the university youth, in the socio-environmental movement, in the women’s movement, the dissidences. We need a Front that discusses and agrees on common policies to intervene in the class struggle and dispute the leadership in all sectors. Learning to work from agreements, debating every difference, but that cannot stop us. We must broaden and summon more sectors of the social left, based on our anti-capitalist and socialist program. To make the Frente de Izquierda Unidad bigger and stronger, to go all over the country, to reach millions with our program, which begins with what is most meaningful and urgent: the fights we have to give now. For wage increases, pensions and social assistance. For housing, health, education. For genuine work, without precariousness.

But each and every one of us must be able to explain that all these fights, in order to win and consolidate them, will be won when the tables are turned. When the economy is at the service of guaranteeing rights, and not the profits of the bosses. When the whole productive model is at the service of social needs, and not of a handful of extractivist corporations that kill and poison us. When we break with the IMF and nationalize banking and foreign trade.

And it is neither a whim nor utopia: the greatest political alternative is necessary to achieve the organization and mobilization of our people, of the working class. And only revolutionaries see this as a necessary condition. Because in this system, all the rights that we conquer will be at risk. That is why we have to advance to achieve fundamental changes with the revolutionary mobilization of millions. In the midst of the capitalist crisis, where there is an enormous social and political polarization, the time has come for the proposals of the revolutionaries. And to achieve them we must also strengthen the construction of revolutionary parties.

And I want to insist on this idea, in the service of making the FIT Unity stronger: to advance in converging in a big party, a single party or a political movement with tendencies, where we can debate everything but act as a single fist. That is much more important than the electoral dispute, than having more seats, which of course we always put at the service of spreading our proposals. But we have to go much deeper.

Today the dilemma between socialism and barbarism is more present than ever. The decadence of this capitalist system condemns us to barbarism, to inter-imperialist wars, to hunger, to environmental destruction, to the majority being plunged into poverty while a minority handful of the rich bourgeoisie fills its pockets more and more at our expense. Now is the time. This is our moment. Only the working class will be able to give this fight to the end and carry this anti-capitalist and socialist program, of rupture with capitalism. To expropriate once and for all those who expropriate our life and our freedom. To put an end to this system and from its ashes raise the new society for which we fight day by day, a socialist world, where the workers, those who move the world, are the ones who govern it. To conclude, let us close the rally with this strength and with this objective: to continue strengthening the FIT Unity as the political alternative for the workers. From the MST we commit ourselves to that and we propose to the rest of the parties to go out, to give that fight and walk that road together. This May 1st we have a gigantic challenge and also an enormous opportunity. Let us go out to give this battle so that we, we, the working women, the workers, take the reins of our destinies. Long live May 1st! Long live the international working class! Long live the Left Front Unity!