September 2, 2022
The video and the images showing Fernando Andres Sabag Montiel shooting the vice-president are being broadcast on televisions, radios and cell phones all over the country and the world.
President Alberto Fernandez, on national TV, repudiated the fact, decreed a national holiday and together with the trade unions and social and political organizations called to mobilize in peace and in defense of democracy. The PSTU does not share the tactic of individual attacks that have nothing to do with the strategy of mobilization and revolutionary action of the working and popular masses. But we will not mobilize and we want to explain why. The debates that are opened are many and have practical consequences: Is democracy at stake? What is the discourse of hate? If we do not support Cristina and the government, are we with the right-wing?
The ideology behind the gun
An interview shows Montiel with his girlfriend rejecting the current administration’s social plans and asking for the extradition of foreigners. According to the media, this man follows websites such as “satanic communism” and “occult sciences.” In other words, Montiel’s attack is from the right. We do not know if the right-wing orchestrated the attack. We have no way to prove it. That is why we say that it is necessary to demand a thorough investigation. But since we do not trust this justice system that serves the different political sectors of the bosses, it is necessary to set up people’s tribunals and independent investigative commissions.
It is evident that Montiel expresses something bigger than himself. He is not the only one who thinks this way. The ideas motivating his hate have clear referents, such as Javier Milei or José Luis Espert, who define Kirchnerism as “shitty lefties” and say that the left and communism are a genocidal ideology. Peronism is not communism, nor socialism, it is capitalism, but the right-wing puts us all in the same bag. It is important to see the ideology behind the weapon. Last night they attacked Cristina, but tomorrow it could be that some other anti-communist anti-left fascist will attack the social movements or leftist political organizations. That is why we also have to organize ourselves to confront them.
Does this mean that democracy is in danger?
We do not think so. Some might say it is because Cristina was elected by the vote and to shoot her is to shoot at that decision and therefore at democracy. We see no danger of a military coup for now. Nor do we see that fascism in Argentina has the necessary strength to overthrow the government by imposing a change in the regime, going from a bourgeois democracy to a dictatorship. If this were so, we should arm ourselves and go out to fight the fascists and the right-wing militants because history has shown that fascism is not defeated at the ballot box, but in the streets and with the mobilized people. There is a real fight between Peronism and Pro (Propuesta Republicana, or Republican Proposal in English, the center-right opposition party). There are also fights between bourgeois sectors. But both Pro and Peronism have a strategic agreement which is to strengthen bipartisanship, that is to say, to strengthen the regime of bourgeois democracy, settling differences and fighting for their projects in Congress and elections. But even more, their economic plan has strategic agreements, such as not advancing in any expropriation, maintaining the surrender of natural resources and applying a huge adjustment mandated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which at this moment is being carried out by Minister of the Economy Sergio Massa hand in hand with the government. That is why they seek to polarize with the discourse that if you are not with the government you are with the right wing. This discourse is very dangerous, because, amongst other things, it serves as a basis for the government to increase repression against social protest.
What is hate speech?
The autonomous CTA (Central de Trabajadores Argentina, Argentina Workers’ Central Union) issued a statement repudiating violence and intolerance. They state that hate does not serve to settle political differences. Hugo Moyano, a central figure in the country’s organized labor, called to mobilize against “the generators of hate,” and we can give examples of how Peronism defended democracy against hate in defense of Cristina Kirchner. If what they want to say is that they repudiate the military dictatorship, we agree, but they do not say that. Instead, they purposefully mix messages. Of course we repudiate and confront the hatred of the right-wing against the poor, against the social organizations, against the unions, against the picketers. As we said above, we have to organize ourselves to confront them. But there is another hatred, the hatred generated by not being able to eat, not being able to make ends meet, not having a house, not having a job. This hatred is totally legitimate. And this situation of poverty and unemployment can point to those responsible: the governments. Therefore, to say that if we are not with the government we are with the right is a trap we cannot fall into. We run the risk that any fight of the workers against the government will be labeled as playing into the hands of the right-wing. That fight inevitably places us in confrontation with Cristina Kirchner who is the Vice President of the country. And as happened in Guernica, for example, when the workers protest and fight, it is the government that sends the repressive forces to impose “peace and order.” The “peace and order” they are referring to is that of the owners of the land, the factories and the banks.
Peronism will not defeat the right-wing because they are part of the same bipartisan game. Some go out and others come in, alternating in power, driving discontent towards elections. They cannot ask for peace in a country with half of the population in poverty, they cannot avoid hatred while they vote for cuts in health, education and hand over natural resources to multinationals while paying the debt to the IMF. That is why we want to be clear: the PSTU is in favor of the workers organizing themselves to confront the repression of the State and execute with their own hands all the politicians who have impoverished us, imprisoned, persecuted, and kidnapped us, all the while enriching themselves at our expense. We are not pacifists. We vindicate and call to organize the hatred of the people against the bosses and the sold-out union and political leaders, and we vindicate revolutionary violence organized by the workers and the people. To confront the adjustment demanded by the IMF and the surrender of the country is to confront the government and the right wing. And the government and the right-wing, as they have always done, will ultimately use arms to repress us. That is why we demand the organization of self-defense and the arming of the working class against the bosses, the puppet governments of those bosses, and the right wing. Not to carry out individual acts, but to act as a whole as a social class, in a revolutionary way, organizing ourselves democratically, directly in the workplaces and neighborhoods, and on the basis of a program that aims to impose a workers’ and socialist government.