There’s a nice review of “Argentina rebels” in Le Monde today.

Raimbeau et Daniel Hérard. Alternatives, 144 pages, 20 €.

Raimbeau and Herard were in Argentina when the economy suddenly collapsed in 2000, and they watched as people simply took over factories, stores, and private property of the rich and the worthless and re-started the economy. A heartening story – and who knows? Since hyper-Peronism is in the saddle in these here states, we might have to be picking up the pieces in much the same way – rummaging in the fallen columns of the investment bank impact trail.

“If you loved the film, you will adore the book. The documentary, “memoirs of a sacking” by Fernando Solanas has planted the décor of the Argentine crises: the pillage of wealth in the wake of the wave of privatizations launched by peronist president Carlos Menem in the 90s, the impotence of his successor, Radical party president Fernando de la Rua to close the gates, then the economic collapse, followed by the moratorium on foreign debt in December, 2001.”
The merit of the book by Cecile Raimbeau and photographer Daniel Hérard is to recollect that period’s effervescence, and to describe the forms of social innovation put in place against the bankruptcies and closing of enterprises, the dizzing augmentation of unemployment and the fall into poverty of a population used to enjoying a level of life superior to the Latin American average.
Argentine rebelle presents the typology of forms of experimental struggle, from the demonstrations of pot bangers to the putting back into functioning closed enterprises or public services thanks to cooperation and other forms of autogestion, going though barter on a national level.

Facing a crisis of traditional political representation, neighborhood assemblies became the place of deliberation and mutual aid. The extension of barter and the blocking of bank accounts entrained the apparition of parallel currencies. The taking over of elementary needs, like transportaton or the distribution of water, the more or less fraudulent failure of a ceramics factory or a hotel, brought about forms of popular organization and transformed the participants.”


Brian Miller said…
Hm. Interesting. Je ne parles pas assez de francaise pour lire ce livre, mais il sera interesant, je pense. Si vous croyez que le "systeme" est "criminale," ces actions sont...juste, peut etre?
roger said…
Juste? I think it is about survival. If a water company closes its doors because it can't pay its bills because the loans it took out were actually to inflate the stocks that the management was able to then cash in, the water company's facilities still exist. They still work. The water is still there. Capitalism exists to serve society, not vice versa.

I'm not anti-capitalist, but there comes a time when you have to have the sit down strike, or seize the factory, or block the roads, or take over the tv station -- in order to serve a higher justice. It is the threat of that moment that keeps capitalism in line.

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."
Brian MIller said…
Heresy, roger. Heresy. The ONLY purpose of society is to serve capitalism. There is nothing outside the market. There is no "society" only struggly entrepenurial he-men and their rigidly controlled family units. Report to your reeducation center (operated by Halliburton)