From International Socialism (1st series), No.8, Spring 1962, p.33.
Thanks to Ted Crawford & the late Will Fancy.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).
La Realidad Argentina (The Argentine Reality)
Volume I: The Capitalist System
Volume II: The Socialist Revolution
For those people who read Spanish these two volumes are very useful. In the first volume, Silvio Frondizi very lucidly tells us about the distorting effects on the economy of Argentina of British imperialism first, and of American imperialism later. In his general analysis of world politics, Frondizi tends to disregard the political effects of the intense competition between the two big imperialist powers: the capitalist USA and the bureaucratic-collectivist Russia (this latter system being indeed functional equivalent of State Capitalism). This is not surprising since Frondizi thinks that ‘whatever the faults that the socialist countries have, they represent an advance towards progress; to the strength of these countries – the USSR, Yugoslavia, the satellite countries (sic) of the USSR, China – we have to add the tremendous strength which the world proletariat represents.’ (Vol.II, page 222). This unfortunate conception has important consequences upon other aspects of Frondizi’s thinking. While in his second volume he brilliantly exposes the opportunism of the Argentine Communist Party, he completely fails to answer the following question: in the absence of any socialist system on a highly industrial country, how will it be possible for a socialist revolution to succeed in an economically backward country in Latin America? The very fact that Frondizi considers that Russia, China, etc. are socialist, although being ‘faulty socialisms’, prevents him from even asking such a basic question.
Frondizi is probably at his best in showing us the social and economic background behind the rise of Perón. The latter’s regime represents an attempt to eliminate or diminish class warfare without eliminating classes, through the state assuming a more autonomous power. It also shows the frustrated efforts of the native ruling class, or some sections of it, in trying to assert its national power in the face of the expansion of American imperialism. Frondizi seems to be ambivalent as to what should be the attitude of the working people of his country in relation to Perón. While, on the one hand, he obviously opposes the latter as being dictatorial, opportunistic and anti-socialist, he fails to draw firm and thorough conclusions as to what should have been the practical direction of his opposition. The prologue to the second volume – Dialectical Materialist Interpretation of our Epoch, which has also been reproduced in a separate pamphlet published by Praxis – is indeed in the best Marxist tradition. The relationship between reality and consciousness, between theory and practice, is brilliantly formulated here. If nothing else, this book is a good source of political ammunition and disagreement with some aspects of it should constitute an actual stimulus to the critical reader.
Last updated: 2 March 2010