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Perón was the central symbol in the Peronist party
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Peronism (Spanish: Peronismo), or Justicialism (Spanish: Justicialismo), is an Argentine political movement based on the ideas and programs associated with former President Juan Perón and his second wife, Eva Perón, referred to as Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina. Perón's party, the Partido Justicialista (still active in Argentina), derived its name from the Spanish words for "social justice" (justicia social').[1]

Peronism has been difficult to define according to traditional political classifications, and different periods as well as factions must be distinguished.

His ideology was marked by some constants, including:

Contents

Peron's policies

Perón's ideas were initially widely embraced by a variety of different groups in Argentina across the political spectrum. Perón's personal views would eventually become a burden on the ideology; for example his anti-clericalism did not strike a sympathetic chord amongst upper class Argentinians.

Perón's public speeches were consistently nationalist and populist. It would also be difficult to separate Peronism from corporate nationalism, for Perón nationalized Argentina's large corporations, blurring distinctions between corporations and government. At the same time, the labor unions became corporate themselves, relinquishing the right to strike in agreements with Perón as Secretary of Welfare in the military government from 1943-45. In exchange, the state was to assume the role of negotiator between conflicting interests.

Detractors have sometimes considered Peronism to be a fascist ideology. Overthrown in a coup that started a dictatorship in 1955 (the Revolución Libertadora), led by General Aramburu, Perón spent 18 years in exile, mostly in Francisco Franco's Spain. Though his feelings for Franco were mixed, Perón never disguised his admiration for Benito Mussolini's domestic policies.

However, despite these comparisons, Perón and his administration never resorted to systematically organized violence or dictatorial rule. To a large extent what stifled his opposition was the resounding electoral victory which put him and his party in power. It must be said, however, that Peron showed contempt for any opponents, and regularly characterized them as traitors and agents of foreign powers. Perón maintained the institutions of democratic rule, but subverted freedoms through such actions as nationalizing the broadcasting system, centralizing the unions under his control, and monopolizing the supply of newspaper print. At times, Peron also resorted to heavy-handed tactics like imprisoning opposition UCR leader Ricardo Balbin and shutting down opposition paper La Prensa.

Peronism also lacked a strong interest in matters of foreign policy other than the belief that the political and economic influences of other nations should be kept out of Argentina and could thus be said to be somewhat isolationist. Early in his presidency Peron envisioned Argentina's role as a model for other countries in Latin America and beyond. These ideas ultimately did not materialize and were abandoned. Despite the rhetoric, Perón frequently sought cooperation with the U.S. government on various issues.

Perón, despite his admiration for Mussolini, never showed parallels to Hitler's Nazi regime, and never exhibited racist ideas or views like that of the Third Reich or several other fascist regimes. However, under his regime many Nazi war criminals were granted asylum after the Second World War. In 2005, as a result of revelations in Uki Goñi's book The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Perón's Argentina, Argentine President Néstor Kirchner ordered the repeal of a secret directive issued in 1938, under the presidency of Roberto María Ortiz, prohibiting Argentine diplomats from granting visas to Jews fleeing Germany's Nazi regime.

Before Perón came to power in Argentina, Argentina had the largest Jewish population in Latin America. After becoming president of Argentina, he sought out the Jewish community for participation in his government, and one of his advisors was a Jewish man from Poland named José Ber Gelbard. Because Peronism has no anti-Semitic or other racial bias, there were no concentration camps in Juan Perón's Argentina.[2] The Jewish Virtual Library writes that while Juan Perón had sympathized with the Axis powers, "Perón also expressed sympathy for Jewish rights and established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1949. Since then, more than 45,000 Jews have immigrated to Israel from Argentina." [3] In the book Inside Argentina from Peron to Menem author Laurence Levine, former president of the US-Argentine Chamber of Commerce, writes: "although anti-Semitism existed in Argentina, Perón's own views and his political associations were not anti-Semitic....[4] And while Juan Perón's Argentina allowed many Nazi criminals to take refuge in Argentina, Juan Perón's Argentina also accepted more Jewish immigrants than any other country in Latin America, which in part accounts for the fact that Argentina to this day has a population of over 200,000 Jewish citizens, still the largest in Latin America and one of the largest in the world.[5]

Perón's admiration for Mussolini is well documented.[6] Many scholars categorize Peronism as a fascist ideology.[7] Carlos Fayt, believes that Peronism was just "an Argentine implementation of Italian fascism".[7] Hayes reaches the conclusion that "the Peronist movement produced a form of fascism that was distinctively Latin American".[7] However, many dispute this, inside and outside the Peronist movement, and compare it with Gaullism in France.

Peronism from the 1960s to today: spanning the whole political spectrum

Furthermore, the absence of Perón himself, who lived for 20 years in exile in Franquist Spain, is also an important key to understanding Peronism, as he could be invoked by all kinds of Argentine sectors opposed to the current state of affairs. The personality cult of Eva Perón, in particular, was fondly conserved, while at the contrary strongly despised by the "national bourgeoisie". In the 1960's, John William Cooke's writings became an important source of left-wing revolutionary Peronism. Left-wing Peronism was thus represented by many organizations, from the Montoneros and the Fuerzas Armadas Peronistas to the Peronist Youth, the Frente Revolucionario Peronista and the Revolutionary Peronist Youth, passing by Peronismo en Lucha or Peronismo de Base, which supported a Marxist viewpoint. On the other hand, older Peronists formed the base of the orthodox bureaucracy, represented by the Unión Obrera Metalúrgica (Augusto Vandor, famous for his 1965 slogan "For a Peronism without Perón," and declaring as well: "to save Perón, one has to be against Perón", or José Ignacio Rucci). Another current was formed by the 62 Organizaciones "De pie junto a Perón", led by José Alonso and opposed to the right-wing Peronist unionist movement. Left-wing Peronism rejected in the early 1970s liberal democracy and political pluralism as the mask of bourgeois domination, while the anti-communist right-wing Peronism also rejected it, in the name of corporatism, claiming to return to a "Christian and humanist, popular, national socialism" [8].

Thus, by 1970, many groups from opposite sides of the political spectrum supported Perón, from the left-wing and Catholic Montoneros to the Fascist-leaning and strongly anti-Semitic Movimiento Nacionalista Tacuara, one of Argentina's first guerrilla movements. All in all, Perón was a pragmatic figure, and through the course of his long career his views would frequently change..

In March 1973, Héctor José Cámpora, who had been named by Peron his personal delegate, was elected President of Argentina. However, a few months after Peron's return and the subsequent Ezeiza massacre during which the Peronist Left and Right violently clashed, with the Peronist Right having set up snipers to shoot on the masses, new elections were held in September. José Cámpora, a left-wing Peronist, was replaced by interim President Raúl Alberto Lastiri, while Peron chose to openly support the Peronist right. On October 1, 1973, senator Humberto Martiarena, who was the national secretary of the Superior Council of the National Justicialist Movement, made public a document giving directives to confront "subversives, terrorist and Marxist groups" which had allegedly initiated a "war" inside the Peronist organizations [8]. From then on, the Superior Council took a firm grip on the Peronist organizations in order to expel from it the Left [8]. On that same day, a meeting during which were present President Raúl Lastiri, Interior Minister Benito Llambí, Social Welfare Minister José López Rega, general secretary of the Presidency José Humberto Martiarena and various provincial governors is alleged to be the foundational act of the Alianza Anticomunista Argentina death-squad [9].

Legacy

Buenos Aires street named after Juan D. Perón

Today, there are several Argentine political parties identifying themselves as Peronist, such as the Partido Justicialista, which is the official Peronist party.

See also

References

  1. ^ citation needed
  2. ^ Crassweller, David. Peron and the Enigmas of Argentina. W.W. Norton and Company. 1987: 221. ISBN 0-393-30543-0
  3. ^ Jewish Virtual Library. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Argentina.html#WW2
  4. ^ Inside Argentina from Peron to Menem: 1950–2000 From an American Point of View by Laurence Levine, page 23
  5. ^ "Continuing Efforts to Conceal Anti-Semitic Past." Valente, Marcela. Valente, Marcela. IPS-Inter Press Service. April 27, 2005.
  6. ^ Eatwell, Roger (1999). Contemporary Political Ideologies. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 196. ISBN 9780826451736.  
  7. ^ a b c Peronism and Argentina By James P. Brennan
  8. ^ a b c Alicia Servetto, El derrumbe temprano de la democracia en Córdoba: Obregón Cano y el golpe policial (1973-1974), Estudios Sociales n°17, Segundo Semestre 1999, revised paper of a 1997 Conference at the National University of La Pampa, 19 pages
  9. ^ Manuel Justo Gaggero, “El general en su laberinto”, Pagina/12, 19 February 2007

Bibliography

  • Tomas Eloy Martinez, El Sueño Argentino' (The Argentine Dream, 1999) and Memorias del General (Memoirs of the General, 1996).
  • Daniel James, Resistance and Integration: Peronism and the Argentine Working Class, 1946-1979. NY: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
  • Félix Luna, Perón y Su Tiempo, Vol I-III.: Sudamericana, 1990.
This entry is related to, but not included in the Political ideologies series or one of its sub-series. Other related articles can be found at the Politics Portal.
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Etymology

Peron + -ism

Proper noun

Singular
Peronism

Plural
-

Peronism

  1. (politics) The political ideology attributed to the former Argentine leaders Juan Perón and Eva Duarte de Perón.

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