Working class protest, popular revolt, and urban insurrection in Argentina: the 1969 Cordobazo

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David in Atlanta
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Aug 27 2007 19:52
Working class protest, popular revolt, and urban insurrection in Argentina: the 1969 Cordobazo

I thought I'd post the link and introduction here before posting the entire article in the library.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2005/is_n3_v27/ai_15324639/print

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Working class protest, popular revolt, and urban insurrection in Argentina: the 1969 Cordobazo
James P. Brennan

Introduction

The working class protest, popular revolt, and urban insurrection which shook Argentina's second industrial city, Cordoba, on May 29-30, 1969 attracted shortly thereafter the brief but intense interest of scholars, primarily sociologists, who struggled to explain the paradox of a violent urban uprising led by the best paid and presumably most privileged sectors of the Argentine working class.(1) The Cordobazo, as the uprising came to be known, defied the common wisdom of the moment on working class politics in Latin America. Students of Latin American labor in the years prior to the Cordobazo had borrowed liberally from the writings on the American working class of Herbert Marcuse, Daniel Bell, and Seymour Lipset, who themselves had merely restated Lenin's and Gramsci's labor aristocracy theories, and posited that the decline of militancy and the "embourgeoisement" of at least the more privileged sectors of the working class in the United States also characterized Latin America. Students of Latin American labor argued that workers, especially in the more technologically-sophisticated, capital-intensive industries such as automobiles, the very one which dominated the Cordoban economy, found their material needs and social mobility aspirations fully satisfied by the relatively high wages and sophisticated industrial relations systems that the modern corporation offered. Politics, even unions, were thereby becoming increasingly irrelevant for such workers.(2)

After the dramatic events of May 29-30, 1969, such arguments lay buried in the ashes of Cordoba. The purpose of scholarly exegesis suddenly turned to accounting for the explosion of this supposedly content, apolitical labor aristocracy, to explain the workers' startling occupation of the city and the unforeseen destruction of a significant part of a major Latin American industrial metropolis. The explanations offered by sociologists, Argentine and foreign alike, responded as much to the respective authors' ideological and political inclinations as to empirical inquiry. For some, the Cordobazo was the result of particular model of economic development and a peculiar urban milieu, the social anomie caused by sudden industrialization and equally sudden industrial decline, the response of a labor elite to falling living standards and frustrated expectations of social mobility.(3) For others, it was rather a testimony to the class consciousness-raising experience of employment in the most advanced sectors of imperialism, a revolutionary act in which the automobile workers played the role of vanguard.(4) None of the explanations offered, however, had either the advantage of historical perspective nor the recognition of the interplay of multiple causality and temporal conjuncture which historical analysis utilizes. The purpose of this article is to take a step toward providing such an historical analysis and thereby extricate the Cordobazo from the realm of political folklore and return it to its rightful place as a complex social, political, and cultural phenomenon and reestablish its true significance as a seminal political event in modern Argentine history.

Mike Harman
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Joined: 7-02-06
Aug 28 2007 15:54

Ooh thanks David. Yeah we'd love that in the library.

David in Atlanta
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Joined: 21-04-06
Aug 28 2007 19:55

Bureaucratic Authoritarianism: Argentina, 1966–1973, in Comparative Perspective
Guillermo O'Donnell

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...extremely important, consequence of the Cordobazo: the emergence of serious disagreements within the upper bourgeoisie and the liberal military current over what course to follow. Before the Cordobazo, when order seemed assured, these actors agreed that normalization had to be completed via the fulfillment of the maximum program of the upper bourgeoisie. They also agreed that implementing this program would soon require a version of the BA unencumbered by paternalists and presided over by a military liberal. The Cordobazo shattered this consensus