The Ghost of Peronism: Why Argentina Keeps Making the Same Mistakes

Quilombo

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I guess words no longer have any meaning. "communist" actually has a definition. And there are a few actual communists in Argentina, but they have no political clout.
The USA is currently a center right country, as is its current President.
Actual Socialism is obviously another word whose definition seems to have mysteriously gotten lost.
Center Left countries, like, say Finland, are still not "socialist", but, instead, social Democratic.
Me, I love Argentina, I dont care what they say.
Most people would call me a communist and they wouldn't be entirely wrong (though I prefer the term leftist) and I just laugh when I see people accuse Biden/Democrats of being socialists, or call Sweden/Finland/Norway "communist". You can't engage with someone who is that politically uneducated, it's a waste of time.

The reason so many leftist millennials like myself dislike Biden is because he's right wing, he doesn't have a communist bone is his body, let alone a social democrat one, hell, the man was against universal healthcare during a goddamn global pandemic, and yet there's people unironically calling him the hybrid of Olof Palme and Lenin. If Biden's such a commie how come none of the communists like him?

As Ries says, apparently socialism and communism don't have meanings anymore, because anyone with a cursory knowledge of either one would know that the United States, Sweden, and Argentina are anything but. Even the Soviet Union didn't call itself communist, but rather a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics working together towards a classless communist society as envisioned by Marx and Lenin.

I cant remember if it was a Republican Congressman or a FOX talking head on Twitter that was saying conservatives should read Lenin, and yes, please, I 100% agree, every conservative should read The State and Revolution; even if it doesn't change your mind at least you'll actually understand communism isn't Starbucks baristas with pronouns on their name-tags saying Happy Holidays like Breitbart has you believe.
 

Ries

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For me Peronism, and its legacy on the structure of the Argentine state, can best be described as a form of Neo-Fascism that closely resembles classical Italian Fascism with a strong dose of Kleptocracy and a very versatile marketing department.

In terms of meeting the definition-check of being Neo-Fascist, Peronism;
  • is Populist (e.g. a political panqueque, from Menem to Cristina, it will say and do whatever it takes to get into power according to the bank balance or credit limit of the day vs. the popular mood)
  • is Authoritarian (e.g. Does not tolerate criticism well and does not like powers of the state that it does not control, continually attempts to concentrate more power in the executive roles of governors and presidents, wants to put the state at the center of all decision making)
  • is Supremacist (e.g. "For a good Peronist, there is nothing better than another Peronist.", zero respect for political opponents and a highly divisive political strategy)
  • is Nationalist (e.g. "la Patria" this and "la Patria" that)
  • is Xenophobic (e.g. uses "anti-US/ "anti-imperialist" justifications for political decisions)
  • is a frequent oppressor/ subordinator of individual interests for their idea of the "greater good"
  • attempts to demolish key tenants of Liberal Democracy to solidify its own political power (e.g. separation of powers, rule of law, market economy, maintaining fair and consistent electoral rules etc.)
  • opposes Communism
  • opposes Socialism
  • opposes Neoliberalism
  • promotes elements of corporatism (e.g. favors and utilizes aligned businesses like Aerolineas Argentinas and labor unions like CGT over non-aligned businesses and unions as political tools and agents of "social welfare")
  • is a supporter of other authoritarian regimes (e.g. Cuba, Venezuela, China, Iran, Russia and historically Franco's Spain, Hilter's Germany, Mussolini's Italy etc.)
  • has always been rife with corruption, misappropriation, embezzlement, of state funds etc, while actual punishments have been few and far between (and where they do happen, short and sweet.)
Like in classical fascism, capitalism and private property have always existed under Peronism. The difference between capitalism in a more neo-liberal context and the Argentine context is that the state puts itself at the center of all matters of life including the economy, so it decides which of its friends to make rich through monopolies, rigged concessions, subsidies, protectionism, etc instead of letting the market decide for itself, meaning personal interests always end up taking priority over national interests, regardless of the pathetic sloganeering like "primero la gente" etc. When assessing Argentina's failures and successes labels like "socialist" and "communist" just don't factor as legitimate elements of the outcome.
I am interested in how you reconcile that list with the classic current Peronist policies-
Free Health Care for anyone who walks in, regardless of citizenship
Free Education thru undergrad degrees at State Universities, including trades schools
Subsidized Utilities for low income citizens
Government run Cultural Centers, like the CCK, CC Recoleta, and dozens more
Government mandated cost of living increases in salaries.
Policies that make it virtually impossible to evict tenants.
To me, a lot of these things are pretty classic european social democratic social safety net policies.
 

antipodean

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I am interested in how you reconcile that list with the classic current Peronist policies-
Free Health Care for anyone who walks in, regardless of citizenship
Free Education thru undergrad degrees at State Universities, including trades schools
Subsidized Utilities for low income citizens
Government run Cultural Centers, like the CCK, CC Recoleta, and dozens more
Government mandated cost of living increases in salaries.
Policies that make it virtually impossible to evict tenants.
To me, a lot of these things are pretty classic european social democratic social safety net policies.
My list is not concerning somewhat superficial policies that a lot of other countries have, and even regional neighbors like "neo-liberal" (What would one label Bolsonaro?) Brazil and "socialist" Venezuela have.
My list is concerned with the behaviors and ideologies behind the way of governing and structuring or attempting to structure, the state which has far deeper consequences on society and the economy.

Many if not all of these "social democratic social safety net policies" you mention were generally maintained and will generally continue to be maintained by non-Peronist political parties in Argentina. Why? Because they are part and parcel of what the majority of people here want and expect from the state regardless of who is in charge - just as people in Europe would also generally expect regardless of what party is governing.

So while the National Socialists in fascist Germany and Communist Party of the Soviet Union had social safety nets and welfare policies of their own (and far more agressive wealth redistribution and work programs of their own versus anything Argentina has ever seen), in fascist Pinochet's Chile or Franco's Spain they did not have such policies. Simply having such policies (or not having such policies) is not a guage of weather or not a political movement is "good" or "bad" in terms of the harm and damages it inflicts by governing, nor is it an excuse for such behavior or "I give you rights/ welfare/ work, you give me unconditional support" kind of trade-offs.
 

Alby

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I 100% agree, every conservative should read The State and Revolution; even if it doesn't change your mind at least you'll actually understand communism isn't Starbucks baristas with pronouns on their name-tags saying Happy Holidays like Breitbart has you believe.
It's extraordinary how the descendants of the people murdered by Lenin and then by those who followed him are expected to just come across statements like this and take them with good humour.
 

Macanudo

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I guess words no longer have any meaning. "communist" actually has a definition. And there are a few actual communists in Argentina, but they have no political clout.
The USA is currently a center right country, as is its current President.
Actual Socialism is obviously another word whose definition seems to have mysteriously gotten lost.
Center Left countries, like, say Finland, are still not "socialist", but, instead, social Democratic.
Me, I love Argentina, I dont care what they say.
How do you define woman?
 

Quilombo

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How do you define woman?
Don't feed the troll, this is a video from a self admitted Twitter fascist, and not even relevant to the conversation.

It's extraordinary how the descendants of the people murdered by Lenin and then by those who followed him are expected to just come across statements like this and take them with good humour.
You're free to take them with good, bad, or no humor at all, the choice is yours. If you find Lenin triggering then I suggest you avoid The State and Revolution, and perhaps read something from Rosa Luxemburg, Thomas Sankara, or even some of Michael Parenti's works instead. Lenin isn't for everyone after all.
 

Alby

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You’re way out of your depth. The compunction to pontificate on things you can’t possibly really know about is adolescent. Your comments on this board on tax and funds transfer matters are very helpful and welcomed.
Youu're free to take them with good, bad, or no humor at all, the choice is yours. If you find Lenin triggering then I suggest you avoid The State and Revolution, and perhaps read something from Rosa Luxemburg, Thomas Sankara, or even some of Michael Parenti's works instead. Lenin isn't for everyone after all.
 

Quilombo

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You’re way out of your depth. The compunction to pontificate on things you can’t possibly really know about is adolescent. Your comments on this board on tax and funds transfer matters are very helpful and welcomed.
Well, respectfully we'll have to agree to disagree then; I must admit I find it humorous that I'm sufficiently competent to pontificate on tax matters and transfers for which I have no educational background in, yet one of the core subjects/philosophies of my tertiary education is somehow null and void because I'm in my 30s. But I digress; this board is a lot like like a buffet: take what you like/works for you and leave the rest :)
 

Agribotics

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My only problem with Nannynomics is it doesn't work because there's no such thing as a free lunch. When the U.S. government started depositing all that free money in my U.S. bank account in 2020 and '21 I didn't spend it. Instead I saved it all to pay back the inevitable inflation tax later when it came due, despite Democrats swearing then that inflation was dead and Modern Monetary Theory was vindicated as fact.

So far it looks like I'll end up paying back all that free money with about 1 to 2% interest at most.
 

Alby

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Well, respectfully we'll have to agree to disagree then; I must admit I find it humorous that I'm sufficiently competent to pontificate on tax matters and transfers for which I have no educational background in, yet one of the core subjects/philosophies of my tertiary education is somehow null and void because I'm in my 30s. But I digress; this board is a lot like like a buffet: take what you like/works for you and leave the rest :)
What I’m suggesting (and this is something a millennial can never understand, since nothing evidently occurred before they read about it in school a few years ago) is that believe it or not there are people still alive today who, to varying degrees, live with the aftereffects of these disastrous ideologies you so glibly describe as “not for everyone”. Be aware of that. Those of us in that situation are very accustomed to seeing names like Lenin bandied around as if they were somehow mere intellectuals and not the authors of some of the worst atrocities committed in the 20th century. The tolerance we exercise is extraordinary. Be aware of that too.
 
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