lunes, 21 de diciembre de 2009

Revelando el misterio argentino.

UNVEILING THE MYSTERY. Roots of the Argentinean Crisis
Héctor Raúl Sandler, Argentina

1. Why do certain radical politicians, when they arrive to the government , spin towards the right? What is the nature of that political radicalism? As it is my custom, I limit my reflections to what I know: my country, Argentina. However, it is possible that these conclusions are applicable to most Latin American countries.
2. First, I believe that the dichotomies "radical / conservative" or their equivalent "left / right" mean so many things at present time that they don't mean anything. They were born in the French Revolution within a history that everybody knows. But their use in politics through more than two centuries, without a previous definition, makes them unusable in political science. That's why an answer to the questions at the beginning, demands, a definition of the content of those words from whoever responds. These definitions are instrumental to being able to understand what is said.
3. I understand that a person (or group) is consciously rightist if he/she regularly criticizes concrete situations that happen in his/her society, sustaining in his/her discourse that the government should act so that things change. But, at the same time , if he/she is asked to be more specific about on what the government should do , he/she doesn't demand changing any fundamental structure of that which he/she complains. It is the same to say: "This state of things is bad, but not bad enough to be changed."
4. I understand that a person (or group) is consciously radical or "left" if he/she acts according to the prevailing rules in their society, from which one could deduce that it is in accordance with them. But if he/she is asked about their degree of conformity with the system, he/she declares that the general order is reproachable to the point of needing changes in some fundamental structure, with the purpose of terminating economics' injustices, balancing human rights and alleviating the situation of the poorest classes. It is the same to say: "This state of things is good, but not good enough to be maintained."
5. From these definitions it could be sustained that democratically elected governments in Argentina starting from 1946 up to now (year 2008), have been chosen by leftist people or characterized as leftist , according to my definition. It doesn't matter if they belonged to any political party or not. However they acted as if they were rightist and with rightist (according to our definition) people.
6. Very few democratically elected governments during the same period have legally concluded their mandate. There have been coup d'etats that threw legal authorities out of power in 1955 (overthrow of Perón, Peronist Party); 1962 (overthrow of Frondizi, Radical Party - UCRI); 1966 (overthrow of Illia, Radical Party, UCRP); 1976 (overthrow of Isabel Martínez of Perón, Peronist Party - FREJULI).
7. After the last military dictatorship (1976-1983), there were no military coup d'etats that pulled down the democratic government (Alfonsín, (1983-1989), Radical Party, 1983-1989; Menem (1989-1996; 1996-2000), Peronist party; De la Rúa (2000-2001), Radical Party; Kichner (2003 -), Peronist party. (To facilitate understanding we use the elected president's political affiliation and not the names used by parties or alliances).
8. The alternation between Radical Party and Peronist presidents - according to our definition and keeping in mind those "electoral promises" made during each campaign - confirms that during this half of the century most the votes came from leftist people (according to our definition).
9. On the other hand, the dictatorships installed in 1955/58; 1966/7¸ and 1976/83 established rightists (according to our definition) governments. All have been founded on an alleged necessity of recomposing the order, especially on economic issues. Although those dictatorships dictated plenty of laws, they were never devoted to modifying the base of the economic order: the laws that regulate the access to the land and the tax system.
10. Neither were democratic governments concerned with those two structures. These governments seemed to be leftist (according to our definition). From 1950 on, in a more and more marked way, they acted as if they were rightist and with rightist (according to our definition) people.
11. As for the legal order of access to the land and the private appropriation of the rent of the land, there has not been any difference among the democratic governments nor between them and military dictatorships. Both structures date from the national organization (1853/1860) and they have survived every kind of government.
12. Society doesn't understand the causes of this behavior. It is regards itself as a victim of foreign and national conspiracies that make its rulers incur in these reiterated "betrayals". In 2001 before the elections, the reaction against the political class was so serious that the most popular slogan was: "Everybody (meaning politicians) should leave".
13. The whole of society forgets the importance the University education has in the formation of public opinion. To understand what is described in our report, University Education and Social Problems.
14. Our thesis: the issue of the access to land and of private appropriation of land rent, have generated a conflicting and thorny social reality. The ignorance of democratic leaders completely unconcerned about both problems (and the vested interests) prevents them from completing their promises. Any intent of making the ideals of a fair society real without solving those two problems put society on the edge of disruption. For that reason, when they reach power, democratic leaders have to opt whether: a) to cause social chaos or b) to maintain the status quo. The strength of the facts and the ignorance they suffer about land and its rent, force them to choose this latter road. They act as rightists.

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