Capt. Juan Peron escorts Gen. José Félix Uribiru on September 8, 1930 the day when a military putsch ended 77 years of peaceful transfer of power in the Argentine Republic.

by David Warren

Reprinted from davidwarrenonline.com

Peronism came to Argentina and never left. Not only have the Partido Justicialista and its avatars dominated Argentine electoral politics, through their various iconic husband-and-wife acts over the last seventy years, but they have contaminated the thinking of the whole country, which adhered to their arbitrary and contradictory doctrines even during the sixteen years they were banned, and adheres to the present day when once again they are nominally out of power. Actually it is a century, now, since Peron’s “Radical” predecessors first won election (dating from Hipólito Yrigoyen, 1916). Moral, intellectual, and material squalour is their chief legacy to a country which was once among the world’s most prosperous and most free. The spiritual equivalent has now migrated to Rome.

This, at least, is the impression I have formed from afar. “Justicialism,” so far as one can read, embodies every sort of rhetorical populism, across the political spectrum, but with a heavy and perfectly consistent bias towards centralized power. It stands for “social justice” — an absolutely imaginary and therefore unattainable ideal. It is on the side of labour and of management, it is Catholic and anti-Catholic, racist and anti-racist, isolationist and aggressive, leftist and rightist and dogmatically nationalist with all the contradictions nationalism entails. Yet it is not unique.

Socialism is leftwing Fascism; Fascism is rightwing Socialism. Other than that, they are the same. They vie for the same voters, and politicians may move comfortably back and forth between their symmetrical (i.e. identical) extremes. The principle underlying both is that the government should control everything, for the government’s idea of the common good. Whether the government technically owns everything is neither here nor there. Indeed, Socialism/Fascism works better, for the government, if private actors can be made to take the blame and the losses for all of the government’s goon-show mistakes. Any “excess” income on which they fall in their government-assigned monopolist stations can then be impounded.

Mussolini tried the same tactics in Italy, and Peron hugely admired him (as did Roosevelt and many others at first). And had it not been for the embarrassment of having to choose an ally in the last World War, Fascism would probably still dominate conventional Italian electoral politics. Rather it does, notwithstanding, for as the Argentines have shown, you cannot oppose a bundle of statist contradictions without falling into contradictions yourself, and being lured incrementally into a reflection of your enemy. Italy as all Europe now reposes under the direction of a Euro-justicialismo of nested bureaucracies, and in North America we have “evolved” our Nanny States along the same lines. Everything is regulated, and with that signature clumsy incompetence that is inevitable when something very large and ham-fisted tries to micromanage things very small, such as human beings and their families.

How to resist? Not by “proposing alternatives,” which can only be implemented from the top down, through participation in the established political order. That has been tried, repeatedly, and has anyone noticed it has repeatedly failed?

Rather, I think, one resists by creative personal non-cooperation: rendering justice not “socially” to the abstract mass, but individually to your neighbours. With love.

That was from the beginning the “political” genius of Christianity, which undermined dirigiste authority simply by ducking under its radar sweeps; emerging when, under its manifest contradictions, it finally and totally collapsed. Casualties — martyrdoms — must sometimes be taken, but to the ends of Heaven they are all good. Live a free Christian life, in defiance of the modernists, but without telling them.

Spread it by example.


One thought on “Justicialismo

  1. No one has ever seen “the masses” because the masses are an abstract concept. When we see a group o people large or small we contemplate individuals that happen to be together at one place, at one time. Any system that places the “common good” first — disregarding the individual that is going to enjoy or suffer that common good — is doomed to failure. Any form of government proposing the individual as the object and measure of the success of its efforts will fare better than any collectivist efforts.

    To survive as a political movement Peronism had to change history by declaring the great Conservative era of 1853-1916 a resounding fracas (among many other historical myths that only Argentines believe.) So the history of Argentina is now divided roughly into three ages.

    1. The age of the wars of independence and the subsequent anarchy that lasted from 1810 to 1853.
    2. The age of the Constitution of 1853 and the Conservative era ending in 1916.
    3. The populist age beginning with the election of Hipólito Irigoyen in 1916 than continues to this day.

    Argentina retains the Fascist model imposed rather weakly by the Radicals (growth of the State to accommodate friends, etc.) imposed again forcefully by Uriburu in 1930, and perfected by Juan Perón from 1946 onward. There three main forces vie for predominance in exploiting the people.

    1. The crony businessmen demanding constant import tariffs and controlled commerce.
    2. The labor unions exacting a labor tax from the backs of Argentine workers in exchange for nothing.
    3. The Federal Government which is not Federal at all but collects disproportionate taxes with an iron fist.

    These three interacting forces turned the pre-1916 Argentina – one of the 10 top economies in the world – into a failing banana republic, irrelevant among the nations of the world, an economic midget in spite of having more easily exploitable natural resources than any other nation in the planet.

    Argentina is a country without a reliable or effective justice system; the legislative bodies pass laws, rules, and regulations that become ineffective or void soon after being passed; there is no enforcement of the law in the vast majority of the cases; judges, prosecutors, and other judicial officers are mostly interested in milking their post; there is no idea or tradition of serving the public. Government is a haphazard pile of institutions with unclear jurisdictions and even less clear functions or objectives. There is no stable money, no internal security, no force able to confront an external enemy, no internal trust as Argentines are in a sort of “every man for himself” mode all the time. Yet, every Argentine citizen wonders why is it that the country gets worse year after year but that same citizen keeps electing the same crooks election after election.

    Japan and Germany were utterly destroyed in 1945 but returned to become two of the leading economies in the world. Argentina was untouched by war or natural disasters by 1946 but elected Juan Peron. None of the social, political, or economic projects of Peron ever worked. He succeeded in conniving the Argentine people into following him to the abyss. Every government since 1946 has tried to make his socio-economic model work. None has succeeded.

    About the time the solid state transistor was invented ushering the age of information, Peronism adopted the informal motto “alpargatas sí, libros no” (alpargatas is shoe made of rough canvas with a hemp sole) a phrase meaning basically “we do not want books, we want cheap shoes” whatever the deep meaning of that may be, Argentines opted for ignorance at a time when the rest of the world was making knowledge more available to the common man.

    Japan and Germany are countries with smaller territories than Argentina and less natural resources. Both are however committed to provide its citizens with the best education possible. Both honor and promote individual achievement. Many Japanese-Argentines and German-Argentines have succeeded and thrived in both Japan and Germany after leaving Argentina frustrated — and in some cases persecuted — by the ignorant mob controlling everything there. There is talent in Argentina but the current system is bent on stopping any serious intent of bettering the life of the people.

    In my opinion Argentina is condemned to be controlled financially and militarily (or both) by a strong foreign power. Would it be Britain, Brazil, Chile or a combination of the three? Only time will tell. Sadly if Argentines ever lose their country to the manifest incompetence and dishonest corruption of its upper classes they can only blame themselves and their blind following of Juan Perón and his political descendants.

    The image shows the portraits of the presidents of Argentina since the end of the military rule in 1983. That is the sad gallery of rogues citizens voted into power.


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