STATEMENT FROM THE TMB – ARGENTINA
What did Milei win?
The electoral victory of fascism had the support of the Trumpist faction of imperialism, sectors of the big world bourgeoisie, such as Elon Musk, the fascist movements of Brazil and Spain, such as Bolsonarism and VOX, the anti-Peronist right and, socially, mass sectors of the Argentine middle class. Thus, he won with around 55% of the vote.
The economic crisis provoked by the imperialist encirclement of the IMF creditors was one of the most important instruments of finance capital against Argentina. The inflationary escalation in Argentina of 142% so far this year, inflation that is generated in the periodic devaluations demanded by the IMF, was what precipitated Massa’s defeat in the elections and Milei’s victory.
The Decline of Peronism
These were external factors that led to the defeat of the ruling party’s candidacy. Nor can we forget the internal factors, the social policy of Fernandez-Massa, a last-minute welfarist, but not structural even for a social welfare state, because in the final analysis, they are a capitalist government of vassals to imperialism, which did not break with the IMF, which transferred to the working people the payment of the debt taken by Macri. They were also a cowardly government, trying at all times to reconcile between NATO and the BRICS, a decadent and typical representative of the parasitic bourgeoisie against the working people. Added to this is the political betrayal of sectors of the ruling party in several provinces and municipalities that considered that their political positions were already assured with the results of the first round.
Why did Milei win?
Despite Massa being one of the Peronist politicians closest to the White House, Biden did not support him directly because the primary interest of imperialism is to get Argentina out of BRICS, in this, Biden and Trump surely agree. The White House still did not support Milei because in the dispute over Argentina in world geopolitics, the US Democrats were not interested in winning over a Trumpist who would aim for Trump’s victory or that of another Republican in the 2024 US presidential elections. So, getting Argentina out of BRICS is Milei’s most important task for the imperialist bourgeoisie.
With this strategy, the NATO mainstream media supported Milei and tried to camouflage him as a mere exotic outsider, an anarcho-capitalist still necessary to get Argentina out of the economic crisis. Hence, each faction of the big world bourgeoisie had its own interest in Milei’s victory. Elon Munsk, for example, interested in Argentinian lithium, tried to support the facho, as he did in the 2019 coup in Bolivia. The right-wing opposition to the current Peronist government, deeply demoralized since the collapse of the Macri government, joined Milei as a way to defeat Massa and move forward with an adjustment program, such as the already announced privatization of YPF and nationalised radio and television media.
A government that is ready to carry out shock measures against the current geopolitical tendencies of Argentina, and against its proletariat
Milei aims for radical reaction in all lines in its economic program and in the role of Argentina in the world capitalist market. In addition to the break with BRICS, and with the tendency towards the end of Argentina’s historical dependence on the IMF, as indicated by the recent agreements with China in this regard, Milei also came to abort Argentina’s rapprochement with the trend of the world economy towards de-dollarization, pointing to a new and suicidal dollarization of the economy. As Menem did in the 1990s with convertibility as a form of dollarization; he was responsible for the qualitative leap of the neoliberal dependence of the economy. The middle class, which now supports Milei, will soon be hit by the far-right’s austerity measures. Milei can bring together the worst of Menem with the worst of Macri.
At the time of the 1917 Revolution, Lenin considered absolute control of the Central Bank by the Soviet state as the first measure for the construction of national sovereignty and socialism in the USSR. The elimination of the Central Bank, as Milei announces, or the simple autonomy of the Central Bank, as Bolsonaro did in Brazil, in Argentina would mean the end of monetary sovereignty in Argentina, and a free hand for financial-speculative capital to circulate unhindered in its offensives.
The government of Milei, a lover of the Argentine military dictatorship, threatens to apply measures typical of Pinochet-style shock treatment, which will take the current economy from crisis to collapse.
(TMB, Monday, October 23, 2023, BETWEEN IMPERIALISM AND THE BRICS, A materialist balance of the Argentine elections). https://tmb1917.blogspot.com/2023/10/entre-el-imperialismo-y-los-brics.html
“What is at stake goes far beyond domestic interests and the economy. Milei is being supported directly by big capitalists like Elon Musk, interested in lithium, and by multinationals, and indirectly, by the White House, all to get Argentina out of the BRICS. The destruction of the country would be a detail “to think ahead” (like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya). Like the logic by which the U.S. sacrificed Europe in the war in Ukraine: “the European Union!” (Victoria Nuland, Undersecretary for Political Affairs of the European Union) And the U.S. shows no concern with the future consequences of its policies even with its main imperialist partners, much less with the Argentine semi-colony.”
The fragility of the fascist Milei
Milei does not have a political base of its own, he will be supported by Macri’s PRO, especially the wing of Macri and Patricia Bulrrich and hard-line anti-Kichnerism sectors of the UCR, such as the UCR of the province of Mendoza. If compared to historical parties and movements such as Peronism and the UCR, Milei also does not have a party even like the PRO with any territorial construction. If Milei moves forward with his plan to break with China, taking Argentina out of BRICS, he will be in contradiction with agribusiness and its political and parliamentary representatives (since agribusiness has China as its main market) and sectors of the rural middle class.
Also in his plan of mega-devaluation and raising of tariffs and fuel, he will clash with the working population and the strong union political apparatuses, hegemonized by Peronism. It remains to be seen to what extent if during the transition Alberto Fernández would not assume the political cost of devaluation and tariff adjustment measures. In addition, the fiscal adjustment that he is going to undertake will lead him to enter into a harsh contradiction with the political apparatuses at the head of the provincial states and with the working-class population of those provinces, to the extent that the financing of the provincial states themselves is cut.
The Catholic Church did not officially declare itself against Milei in the elections, but its majority is part of those who oppose him. A significant section of the evangelical churches spoke out against Milei’s proposed measures, while another sector remained neutral towards Milei. https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/elecciones-2023-las-iglesias-evangelicas-le-responden-a-un-sector-dentro-del-credo-que-se-pronuncio-nid12112023/ . If there was a sector of pastors of Pentecostal evangelical churches who supported him slightly in the face of his measures of attrition, they will return to apoliticism.
In short, Milei’s government will be a weak government, without important support from the ideological, political and economic trends of bourgeois society and that will clash with important sectors of the population, and its Pinochet-style shock adjustment measures will lead it to rapid decline.
The working class, and oppressed and exploited people need to take stock of the inability of Peronism to defend them from this fate and to prepare its independent organization, in the unions, the neighborhoods, schools, and a new, communist and revolutionary party to confront fascism, imperialism and its agents.