Numbers that Don’t Add Up

By Esteban Diaz

Recently I’ve had contact with a number of Argentineans. Some traveled to Cuba to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, others were here for studies, and a few came on vacation; in short, these were all people with disparate reasons for visiting the island.

Though their political and economic positions were also diverse, each brought the same sad news that the political struggles in my country remain fragmented. Each group there continues to fight around their individual issue, without recognizing the need for the various organized groups to find common ground.

This is nothing new; since the 1980s diverse currents have been forming. This came into being in the fight against the hegemony of the Stalinist bureaucracy, whose impact has been felt in all countries.

The fight against that force has not been totally won, since the union bureaucracy retains a culture left by the Stalinist school; this thinking lingers in the unconsciousness of many leaders.

Nonetheless, when it come times to initiate struggles against the bureaucracy – who show no respect for the decisions of the majority – these groups adopt positions that lead to greater disunity. They splinter even further into factions that carry out protest struggles in isolation, unable to cement a block that can disrupt capitalism, which consumes us all in our division.

In this way, little groups have proliferated, fighting in isolation, not wanting to integrate for fear of the centralization of ideas. Among them are not only trade unionists, but also environmentalists, feminists, homosexuals and lesbians, ethnic minorities, squatters, anti-repression leagues, etc.

They have promoted freedom for inconsistent approaches, but completely lack the deep and reflective criticism that allows us to grow. Such thinking is what is needed to unite us in the decisive front that will ultimately free us from the marginalization of capitalist development on a world scale, or regionally felt hardships in the present.

I believe that, like Argentina, there are other countries that are going through this same process that has had a historical framework. This process has served to advance political and social development, but currently it presents itself as an obstacle to the development of serious political positions that can lift us out of the mud.

We must catalyze an effort among all tendencies to achieve a democratic consensus that casts a solid block against world capitalism. No single-issue group can look at itself in isolation if we want to develop a true struggle that can pull us out of this hole. We must concentrate on the points we share in common; these lend greater freedom to all of our positions.


Esteban Diaz: I am 26-years-old and from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m currently in my sixth year of studies at the Latin American Medical School in Havana. I like to travel, which has enabled me to get to know other cultures and see what life is like in other places. In my free time I play guitar and sometimes read books about politics.

2 thoughts on “<em>Numbers that Don’t Add Up </em>

  • Yes, this speaks all too clearly to the problem here in Canada; many many apologists who are blind to the fact that endemic crises arise from a systemic problem. Or if they can glimpse this simple fact of todays many horrors, they do not admit it, for what alternative is there?… we’ve tried socialism (central planning) which doesn’t work, and we’ve tried capitalism. Besides, how can I as an individual or even my little group change the whole system?

    There is another model, participatory economics (Remuneration based on Effort and Sacrifice, Say Proportionate to Stake, Worker & Consumer Councils planning the supply chains, Balanced Rotation of Roles – so as to eliminate bureaucracy and the coordinator class, and a facilitation board which calculates the data coming in from the many worker and consumer councils).

  • The struggle here (Australia) is essentially the same – except instead of Stalinist unions (we do have some of those left over) we have right wing pro-capitalist unions, and many of people from groups environmental, feminist etc who no longer see capitalism as a problem. They are tied down in their single issues as you say, we need a re-awakening of people seeing a structural problem if the struggle is to achieve victory.

    Solidarity from Australia.

Comments are closed.