The Argentina rebellion
November 15, 2010 1 Comment
On Democracy Now, Amy Goodman talked with Ezequiel Adamovsky, a historian and activist, about the changes that have occurred in Argentina since the economic crash there in 2001:
Adamovsky: I think the most important thing to take into account was that Argentina, during the 1990s, was the most extreme experiment in neoliberal transformation. We had the most radical program of reforms at that time, which ended up in massive unemployment, impoverishment of more than half of the population of the country, and in 2001, finally, the collapse of the whole economic system. At the same time, we had a crisis of credibility in the political system. Since every single political party was proposing the same types of measures, neoliberal measures, population lost confidence in all politicians at the same time. So we—in 2001, we had the vast majority of the population rejecting neoliberal measures and not having any political alternative in the established political parties as to how to continue ruling this country.
So that was the moment in which the rebellion happened. And the rebellion was basically, at the same time, a rejection of austerity measures and also a rejection of the political system. The main slogan of the rebellion was “They must all go,” meaning that all politicians should leave the political scene. So, up until this, there was no political alternative then. But the most interesting aspect of the rebellion was that precisely at that moment, large social movements started to experiment new forms of political representation, new political slogans and programs. And some of the measures that you just mentioned, which Néstor Kirchner took after 2003, were actually the measures that the rebellion itself was proposing. For example, the renewal of the Supreme Court was one of the demands of this vast social movement in 2001.
Interesting to contemplate in the light of the similar “there is no alternative” rhetoric in both the US and the UK–they all must go strikes me as a nice rallying cry. Adomovsky goes on to talk about workers re-appropriating government funded private businesses which have been abandoned because they’re “too unprofitable.”