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Nestor Kirchner: 1950-2010

As an anarchist, the deaths of politicians were usually something I met with something between indifference and joy. Maybe it is the distance to the events, or maybe my Latin American sozialization has created an unconscious sympathy towards the „caudillo“ figure, present emotionally although rejected rationally. Or maybe, even more irrationaly, the reason is his fanaticism for Racing Club. Whatever the cause may be, I cant help but feel that the death of Nestor Kirchner is a negative and unfortunate event.

I know full well that the project of „Kirchnerismo“ has very little to do with that of a liberated society, free from capitalism, classes, and state. I know that their politics are often little more than lip service to left-wing ideas, at best a left leaning populism. I know that if I was in Argentina, and when I was in Argentina, my place was never among the supporters of the ruling party, but with the radical left who didnt stop fighting for a better alternative.

And yet, how could one not smile when Kirchner and his government spoke of „redistribution of the wealth,“ and basically declared war on the farmland oligarchy? How could we not be pleased when they pushed forward with the prosecutions and trials of the Generals responsible for the dirty war of the 1970s against the Argentine left? Who didnt feel happy when the picture of Videla was taken down from the walls of the ESMA, and the building handed over to the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo? When the media monopoly of Clarin was challenged, for whatever reasons, and a law was passed to democratize mass communication in Argentina, was that not a positive step? Taking football from private interests, and showing it free of charge on television as „football for all,“ may be bread and circus, but is there anything to criticize in it? The legalization of same-sex marriage, the universal monthly benefit for Argentine children, and the list goes on and on. It is these politics which have enraged the old, the priviliged, and the reactionary in Argentina, and brought a generation who not 10 years ago was chanting „que se vayan todos“ out in the thousands to proclaim their will that Cristina Kirchner continue the „proyecto nacional y popular.“

The Argentina of Kirchnerismo is still an Argentina of capitalism, inequality, and poverty. But the fact remains that the better alternative is not what will follow in the absence of Nestor Kirchner. Just as I am certain that the Argentina of 2010 is a much better place to live in than the Argentina of 2001, I am certain that the reactionary, nostalgic, coup sympathizing opposition would offer nothing better.

Against the status quo of Kirchnerismo and for social revolution, definitely. But in defense of Kirchnerismo against those who want to turn the clock back in Argentina…as well.

Cristina Kirchner in her first speech after Nestors death:

Racing and Nestor Kirchner:

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