3 December 2021. By Jose Castillo, a leader of Socialist Left/FITU (Left Front Unity) Argentina for El Socialista (1 December 2021)
The growth of the Left Front Unity, an alliance of four parties (Socialist Left, Socialist Workers’ Party, Workers Party and Socialist Workers Movement) that claim to be Trotskyist left, has led us to meet many new comrades who ask us what this is all about and whether our proposal is workable. Some media have also given their interpretation of Trotskyism.
The Left Front Unity (FITU) is coming off the back of a historic election. Not only will it have for the first time four national congress representatives, but also for its development among workers and popular sectors. This is reflected in the outstanding performance in the Greater Buenos Aires area, where for the first time we will have councillors in several municipalities. And also, in the immense election got in Jujuy. Bosses’ parties and the establishment media, worried about this growth, warn that FITU represents “Trotskyist parties”, with “utopian” and “unrealistic” proposals. Many comrades at work, universities, schools or in workers and popular neighbourhoods who voted for us, ask us: “what is Trotskyism and what are we proposing?
Who we are
In short, we Trotskyists are revolutionary socialists. We come from Leon Trotsky’s Marxist tradition, the great Russian revolutionary, who, together with Lenin, headed the 1917 Russian Revolution. Trotsky then fought the process of bureaucratisation led by Stalin, which transformed the immense revolutionary process into a ferocious dictatorship, even betraying revolutions in other parts of the planet. To lead the left opposition to Stalin, Leon Trotsky founded the Fourth International in 1938. In August 1940, Stalin’s minions finally assassinated him in Mexico.
Since then, Trotskyists around the world keep on fighting for socialism with democracy for the workers and the peoples in Argentina and the entire world.
We differentiate from other left groups and parties because we neither ally with bosses’ parties nor do we support their governments. That is the key difference with what Communist parties have done and still do, always in search of a “progressive bourgeois party”, “anti-imperialist”, “anti-fascist” or “national and popular”, depending on the historical moment. Thus, for example, in Argentina, the Communist party, the PTP or PCR (Maoist party) support the Peronist party of Alberto and Cristina Fernandez.
We Trotskyists, on the contrary, reject voting bourgeois laws. And we refuse to be partners in their austerity plans, the plunder of our natural resources and the repression of popular sectors. We support the political independence of the working class. That is the reason we denounce the fake left parties, in our continent represented by Chavism, Lula’s PT, Uruguayan Broad Front, Evo Morales’ MAS and other similar political expressions. They preach class conciliation, implementing double-talk governments (what they say do not correspond with what they carry on for the benefit of multinationals, banks and imperialism, not the people of the country). They impose austerity measures and repress workers and the people, denying the banners of socialism they falsely proclaim. We Trotskyists are the left that has nothing in common with all those political expressions.
What we propose
We are the ones who say capitalism is like cancer for humanity and the planet. While it exists, there will be no in-depth solution to any of the problems we face. Therefore, we promote all struggles against exploitation, poverty, patriarchal oppression of women and gender dissidence, the plundering of people’s resources or the environment. We are convinced that whatever partial victory we get (and for which of course we fight daily), it will never be definitive as long as we have not put an end to the capitalist-imperialist system. Thus, we have to expropriate big capitalists, multinationals and banks, putting all these resources under workers’ control.
We Trotskyists are also the most consistent advocates of the broadest possible democracy for the workers and the people, that the rank and file should decide everything in assemblies or the bodies created by the workers themselves. Therefore, we fight relentlessly against union bureaucracies and for new leadership in unions and workplaces.
We also state that, as imperialist capitalism is a world system of exploitation, the struggle should also be international. We know struggles and revolutions start in a country or place, and there are local and historical peculiarities. But we are certain that every mobilisation that breaks out or triumphs anywhere in the world strengthens us for our fights. So, we support and stand in solidarity with all the struggles of the world. And we also raise the need to build an international organisation by uniting the revolutionaries of the world. That is the task we promote from Socialist Left and the IWU-FI*.
Revolutionary socialists are fighting for an alternative, working-class and popular programme that can be implemented immediately, here and now. Our proposals are anything but utopian. We say that what is utopian is to carry on with plunder, exploitation, debt payments and claim it will bring prosperity to the working people.
We Trotskyists believe that only with workers’ and popular mobilisation can we achieve fundamental changes. We do not believe in parliamentary solutions or in supporting the measures of the bosses’ governments.
We say we must fight to stop paying the usurious, immoral and illegal foreign debt and break with the IMF, whose only function is to impose austerity plans on us. We must levy heavy and real taxes on big business and wealth. Banking and foreign trade must be nationalised. We must re-nationalise the privatised companies and put them back into operation under the management of their workers and users’ organisations. A major public works plan must be implemented, starting with the building of popular housing. In short, we propose that big bosses, the rich and imperialism, should stop controlling politics and the economy.
And for what? So that the working people can lead a dignified life, with salaries and pensions that cover what is necessary, with quality public health and education for all, with adequate housing for each family.
To move forward on this road, we Trotskyists call on the working people to stop supporting Peronism and other bosses’ variants. We promote the building of a revolutionary party like the Socialist Left, which calls to strengthen the unity of the left in the FITU as a new political alternative.
In short, the Trotskyist left proposes that those who have never ruled should rule: the workers, the youth and the people, and not the bosses, the rich and the privileged, who increase the country’s poverty and decadence. To achieve a Socialist Argentina and organise the economy in a socialist way, and from there to unite all the exploited and oppressed peoples of Latin America and the world.
*International Workers’ Unity–Fourth International