The Anticapitalist, Feminist and Eco-Socialist Movement in Argentina Grows: the birth of Poder Popular [Popular Power]

Poder Popular is the result of the convergence of three important revolutionary organisations in Argentina:  Democracia Socialista [Socialist Democracy], Organización Revolucionaria Guevaristas [Revolutionary Guevarist Organisation] and the Diciembre Colectivo Militante [Militant December Collective].

This is the result of reflections on the past cycle of life in the country and the need to take another step forward in the construction of a revolutionary organisation, which, as in its initial manifesto, proposes "to preserve fundamental elements of continuity in the history of the workers movement and the revolutionary left: an emancipatory perspective of the working class” and a clear strategic orientation for the new cycle that is opening up marked by the deep crisis of capitalism at a global level and the international reconfiguration of  “a policy of unity and class independence rejecting any strategic alliance with the bourgeoisie; with a delimitation against reformism and class conciliation”.

Below, we share the inaugural manifesto of this new organisation, “Popular Power.”

Poder Popular is the result of the convergence of three political organisations (DS, ORG and DCM) which come together in a new and superior situation because we want to contribute to the fight to change this society from the ground up. This new party organisation, built with the tools of a non-dogmatic revolutionary Marxism, has as one of its main tasks the construction of popular power.

Our historical time opened with the defeat of the revolutionary movements of the 70s and 80s and the fall of so-called "real socialism", in the first place with the Soviet Union, which configured a new world scenario in which for almost two decades neoliberalism has managed to advance in its offensive against all the conquests of the working class.  But this neoliberal world order was challenged at the beginning of the century by the Latin American insurrections and its limitations became evident worldwide with the economic crisis of 2008. Today we find ourselves in a period of great instability, the ruling classes acting without a common strategy, although this does not prevent their agreement on some basic points aimed at recovering a dynamic of capitalist accumulation.  This necessitates advancing with the "triple reform" (provisional, tax, labor), a perspective resisted by popular rebellions that in many cases managed to stop the most regressive reforms but still without building revolutionary alternatives that are in a position to dispute power.

In our country we have been resisting these plans -- which would imply a profound defeat for the working class -- for years. We did so during the last term of Cristina Kirchner when so-called "fine tuning" began to be applied and much more so when a Macrismo, emboldened by good results in the 2017 midterm elections, wanted to accelerate this project.  The battle at the Congressional Plaza against the pension reform marked a turning point for the leadership of Juntos por el Cambio/JxC [Together for Change], which from then on became a gang of fleeing bandits, concerned only with transferring millions to various tax havens. Although we celebrate the electoral defeat of this project in 2019, we warn about the danger of believing in the promises of JxC of a possible improvement for the majority of the population, without confronting or touching any of the ruling classes interests.   Final proof of the infeasibility of this project came with the legitimation of the illegitimate, multi-million dollar Macrista debt to the IMF, condemning the masses to a classic adjustment plan to be "honoured", a strategy that has deepened with the recent assumption of Sergio Massa as Minister of the Economy.

This is why we do not accept settling passively for the "least bad" of the two plans that deepen the economic and social crisis of millions of Argentinians and why we seek to build a new socialist project at the height of the current disputes and with a vocation for real power. In a context in which most of the militant forces are breaking up, unity is the clearest perspective in order to confront this new anti-popular offensive.

Who are we?

We are a current that intends to preserve fundamental elements of continuity in the history of the workers movement and the revolutionary left: an emancipatory working-class perspective, a policy of class unity and independence rejecting any strategic alliance with the bourgeoisie; marking the boundaries against reformism and class conciliation. At the same time we advocate concrete internationalism with the struggles of the peoples of the world against capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy.

We are part of the daily battles of our people on different fronts and we promote unity in defense of our rights in each territory, in our places of work, study or social organisation. We promote the struggle of the popular sectors from our unions, work and study spaces, seeking to join forces with employed and unemployed workers, the women's and sexual diversity movements, resistance against state repression and trigger-happy cops, while we promote emancipatory art and culture and encourage the leadership of youth.

We are children and grandchildren of the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, heroic references in the anti-dictatorial struggle who we recognise as amongst the highest points in the world in the struggle for human rights. We are inheritors of the struggles for the emancipation of our 30,000 and we fight state repression in all its forms (from trigger-happy cops to the repression of social protest, through the brutal conditions that await detainees via the judicial and prison systems). As anti-racists and anti-fascists, we consider ourselves irreconcilable enemies of the new or traditional right and extreme right.

We are an anti-capitalist, feminist and eco-socialist organisation. Because within us live the struggles of our peoples, of the communities devastated by the extractivism of colonialism, imperialism and patriarchy. That is why we are convinced that these protest struggles have a thread that unites them against exploitation and oppression. Our feminism seeks to anchor itself in the struggles of the peoples from their own voice, regarding intersectionality and transfeminism as breaks with a colonial white feminism that can tolerate the scrapping of our territories and natural resources and the impoverishment of the masses.

We are an organisation rooted in the popular rebellion of 2001 that today is preparing to build an alternative marked by the deep political and economic crisis that our country has been going through in recent years. We reject the idea that in order to build political alternatives we should renounce those who knew how to mark the history of our people with their fight against neoliberalism, facing state repression in the streets.

For all this, we are building a tool that seeks to find a way out of the current crisis on the left, that develops a programme attentive to the daily problems of the working class and the people with a perspective of overcoming capitalism in Argentina.

From our previous paths we have seen how the truly utopian proposal is to build a capitalism with a human face, a "capitalism in which everyone wins", as the Government tries to explain. But those of us who live from our work and share the popular struggles and resistance cannot accept a proposal that condemns a large part of the population to misery.

For this reason, with genuine and determined intention to build popular power, we take to the streets with new forces, new compañeras and compañeros and reinforced convictions to contribute from now on to prefigure with each of our actions the socialist society that we dream of.

16 September 2022

Translated by David Fagan for from Poder popular


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