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Argentina

Yearbook 1997

Argentina. A series of protests shook Argentina. in May. The reason was partly the high unemployment rate in the country and partly the opposition to the federal governments' free market policy and the proposed labor market reforms. According to Countryaah, the government condemned the social unrest and insisted that the measures proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to clean up the country's economy should be followed.

In June, President Carlos Menem met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the UN to discuss the future of the Falkland Islands. Menem reported that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reacted positively to his proposal for a Hong Kong-like agreement with the United Kingdom on the future of the archipelago.

As late as August, the political parties Frepaso and the UCR (Unión Cívica Radical) formed an alliance, La Alianza, ahead of the October congressional elections. It turned out to be a successful move. The election, which was for half of the seats in Parliament's lower house, gave La Alianza 45.7% of the vote against the Peronist Party (Partido Justicialista, PJ) 36.2%. This in turn meant that the Peronists lost their former absolute majority in the lower house and that they were now forced to seek support for their policy either from La Alianza or at one or some of the small parties represented in the country's lower house.

1997 Argentina

1946-55 The first year of the Peronist movement

This background is important to maintain when trying to understand the class alliance created from 1943 with Juan Perón as supreme leader. The Peronist movement is an example of how the struggle for emancipation in a dependent capitalist country can be hindered by the leadership of the working class's professional and political bodies being taken over by a class- working labor aristocracy. The working class's connection to Peronism has far too much been tried to explain that it was the new workers who came from the country without class consciousness and class struggle experience., which constituted the main tribe of the Peronist workers. Recent studies, however, show that the connection was equally strong among the experienced and organized workers, and that the connection, rather than being explained by lack of classroom experience, should be explained by the concrete experiences that the working class did during a period of large capital accumulation and very poor distribution.

Thus, in the early 1940's, we find a working class that has achieved very little in the political and economic struggle it has waged and which, despite being relatively well organized, has no potential to achieve political power in the short term without forming an alliance with other classes of society. At the same time, industrial citizenship was split into two parts. Both the working class and the "new" bourgeoisie had an interest in expanding the domestic market through increased purchasing power to the wider strata, thus creating an objective basis for an alliance between both classes aimed at the major landlords, export interests and those associated with it. imperialist dominated the industry. It was of great importance that at the same time, contradictions developed among the military leaders. They made another coup in 1943, but the contradictions between them made the regime very unstable. As head of the labor and supply secretariat, Colonel Perón strengthened his position by giving the workers better conditions and at the same time making contacts with the «new» industrial citizenship. The officers who stood on the side of the landlords and export interests, intervened in 1945 and got Perón arrested. The result was a mass mobilization that Argentina has neither before nor later experienced. A million-dollar demonstration in Buenos Aires on October 17, 45 forced the government to release Perón. Through this mobilization, the subjective basis of the Peronist class alliance was created, and Perón was elected President of Argentina in 1946.

The relationship with Peronism created a deep divide in the Argentine working class. As mentioned, the majority found that the economic benefits of the new class alliance had to weigh most, and therefore gave their full support to the Peronist movement. Smaller groups of trade unions, especially from trade unions where the Communist Party and Socialist Party stood strongest, saw this class alliance as the greatest threat to the independence of the working class, and therefore countered it by all means. To stop Perón, before joining the 1946 elections, they joined forces with the "Democratic Union", where the major property owners and the imperialist allied citizenship dominated in collaboration with the UCR. The result of this was that the Communist Party and the Socialist Party were isolated from the majority of the working class, and they have been since. The Communist Party has, for example. played a far less significant role than in neighboring Chile. The Socialist Party, for its part, has undergone a series of shelling and none of the factions can show any appreciable endorsement.

From the outset, Perón's politics had a clear corporate character, and the fear that the working class would lose its independent position was justified. Through the state's measures and control, the workers met several of the demands they had for many years, such as better wages, working conditions and social conditions. But the demands that the workers through the Peronist class alliance fulfilled were all demands that did not point to the system. By contrast, they were fully compatible with the goals set by the growing new industrial citizenship. The workers formed the dominant part of the class alliance, but gained the benefits of giving up their independence. Better organization during this period did not mean increased fighting power, but increased integration of trade union bureaucrats into a corporate state. Wage improvements were not achieved through free negotiations, but increasingly through government decrees.

Argentina had accumulated large foreign exchange reserves during the war, and high prices of agricultural goods just after the war made it possible to finance increased public consumption and more nationalizations with high compensation. However, the struggle of the Peronists against the large cargo owners only became manifest in attempts to use them as dairy cows. No real structural changes were attempted - e.g. in the form of land reform. Perón provided strong government support for the new national industrial citizenship, which was mainly based on light industry. Imports of capital goods had to increase sharply and the proportion of these goods increased in the period 1945-48 from 13% to 47% of total imports. At this time, the United States was the only country capable of providing Argentina with the necessary capital goods and technology. The dependency relationship with the United States therefore became stronger.technology and machines that had been developed in the United States during World War II and are now considered obsolete in the United States.

 

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