Sun Dec 03, 2023
December 03, 2023

Argentina: A first look at the primary election results

The people’s anger turned to the right

The triumph of Milei with 30% of the votes, along with the large number of abstentions and blank votes (31% and 5% respectively) are the central facts of the primaries in Argentina.

By PSTU – Argentina

The “bi-frontism” or “rift” of the last few years has widened and millions have turned their backs on those who have been governing the country and the electoral regime itself. The first conclusion is that voters have rejected those responsible for the tragedy: Macrism and Peronism-Kirchnerism.

With them in power, everything was decadence, surrender, and a regression in the standard of living for the popular classes.

This, however, is not enough to explain what happened.

A worldwide phenomenon

A rupture with traditional politics is occurring worldwide. When crises hit, the traditional parties make the workers and the people tighten their belts by lowering salaries, pensions, and rolling back social victories, and they plunder nature and destroy the environment. These are the symptoms of capitalist democracy’s failure to improve the lives of the people. Trump, Le Pen, Miloni, Bolsonaro are the result of that rupture.

An electoral turn to the right

That anger was channeled electorally towards the liberal ultra-right of Milei, and the candidates further to the right in the alliances (Bullrich and Massa).

Milei and Bullrich did not hide their program. They are in favor of further structural adjustment, more pro-capitalist reforms, and the complete submission to the IMF. How will they achieve it? They also made this clear: by repressing, putting an end to the picket lines and all forms of resistance, persecuting unions, and imprisoning people as they have in Jujuy, and killing as they did to Facundo Molares at the protest at the Obelisk in Buenos Aires.

These facts are fundamental for situating ourselves in the reality that is emerging from these elections, which will have important consequences in the near future. Milei may or may not win in October, but it is a fact that these political positions have a great deal of influence among the population.

Elections are a distorted expression of the overall situation and power relations. They do not change them by themselves. But they are a thermometer. This result helps the capitalists to try to change things in their favor.

The vote for Milei and the rupture with Peronism.

The votes for Milei came mostly from working class and popular neighborhoods in the suburbs. In the third sector, it came second after UP (Popular Unity), with figures much higher than in the first sector (25-27%). It also won in traditionally Peronist provinces (Tucumán, Patagonia, etc.).

The loss for Peronism, was a catastrophic as they lost the highest number of voters [1]: millions of workers and popular votes left UP. Another part, as in 2021, abstained. And another sector fed the vote for Milei, who said that he will put an end to “social justice”.

And what about the left?

It is a fact that it failed to channel any of this social discontent. Instead it garnered less votes. Its candidates and the program they represent are seen by the workers and the people as more of the same.

The rebelliousness and rejection of the political regime was directed elsewhere. It is not a small thing that Milei has appropriated -by changing its content- the slogan “Get rid of them all,” which was was popularized during the 2001 crisis.

On the other hand, the 5% who voted for Grabois -who is now giving his votes to the IMF through his support to Massa-showed that there is a fringe willing to reject the Fund’s structural adjustment.

Immediate results and our politics

The eviction in Jujuy of native peoples’ pickets indicates that the state is deepening its repressive methods. The murder of Molares shows that the repressive forces will feel greater impunity.

Massa’s brutal currency devaluation, with the inflationary jump it provokes, shows that Milei and the IMF’s program is already being applied by the current government.

Peronism will be in a scenario of crisis and dispersion if it does not manage to revert the results of the first round of elections.

It is necessary for workers and popular activism to draw conclusions from the current scenario. It is not only necessary to break with the old politicians, but also with the policy of continuing to submit to the IMF who is governing for the multinationals and big business.

From every factory and place of work or study, it is necessary to begin to organize the resistance to defeat these plans right now. We must organize to achieve a minimum wage equal to the cost of what it takes to feed a family, indexed monthly according to inflation, jobs for all, an end to the plundering of natural resources and the destruction of the environment, and the expropriation of companies who are plundering the country and the nationalization of wealth.

We cannot wait any longer, we must take the problem of hunger into our own hands by directly procuring food, medicine and all basic necessities.

It is not enough to demand a plan of struggle from the unions and the CGT. We must do it, but without waiting for them to take the lead in defending the working class.

We must prepare this struggle from below, independently, with popular assemblies and by coordinating all the struggles and the occupied and unemployed workers. We must follow the example of the people of Jujuy.

We must also work to defend ourselves from repression. In every union, workers’ or popular assembly, we must patiently explain that state or right-wing violence is not fought with “peace and love,” but by confronting it with a force equivalent to that which they use on us.

In 2017 we were able to confront Macri and his reforms. We have to rebuild that force with which we defended ourselves from repression.

In October we will vote for the FIT-U, because it is the only coalition that includes no bosses and proposes a break with the IMF. But today it is about building the struggle and saying clearly that the solution to our problems will not come through elections, but with a revolution to begin to build a Socialist Argentina, without IMF or capitalists.

Taken from: 17/08/2023


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