Go here to read the rest. PopeWatch thinks the best way to understand Peronism for Americans is to imagine that Huey Long had not been assassinated by a dentist, and had lived to become president running on his “Every Man a King” economic populist/demagogue platform:
Now imagine that he rules like a dictator, and ultimately is toppled by a military coup. Long is defeated but spawns a political movement in the US that becomes the dominant political party. It is broad enough to embrace both an extreme left and an extreme right, but all proclaiming allegiance to the movement started by Long.
One of Father Z’s commenters gets to the heart of Peronism that embraces different ideologies and has served primarily in Argentina as a mechanism for politicians to gain power, always, of course, for the “good” of the people :
Argentinian here. Peronismo and Justicialismo are two different names for the same thing: the “Peronista” party had to change its name due to a new law which forbade political parties to include personal references in their names, so they re-branded it “Justicialista” party.
The main idea behind justicialismo/peronismo is not about economy or politics, it is about power. The peronist leader thinks: “The best thing that can happen to the country is not freedom or development or peace or education or whatever… the best thing that can happen to the country is ME. Therefore I have to amass as much power as I can, and for that I have to amass as much wealth as I can. Once I have the power, I will bring peace and prosperity. Somehow.”
That’s why you have liberal peronists, conservative peronists, marxist peronists, keynessian peronists, libertarian peronists, and so ad nausseam, because actual ideas about how to actually govern are secondary, the primary thing for the peronist is for he/she to be the one ruling.
Of course, they say that peronismo is about bringing social development to the poor. That may be true, but they don’t have any clear idea of how to actually achieve that. Some of them think that it is all about giving money and stuff to the people for free, others have some degree of formal socioeconomic thought. But power always comes first. If a peronist government has to choose between the welfare of the nation and power, the answer is always power. And if a peronist leader have to choose between his/her beliefs and power, the answer is, again, power.
So, if you have a vague desire for “social justice” and are willing to support whatever peronist is above you in the ladder in order to eventually take your turn there, that’s enough to be a peronist. Sociopolitical discussions are not to be had within the party. The most famous peronist adaggio is “Que se doble pero que no se rompa”, which roughly means, “let it bend but never break”. A marxist peronist and a capitalist peronist will sing the peronist march together and affirm that “the best thing which can happen to a peronist is another peronist”. Because they will support each other when the time comes. Schisms within the peronist party are always about power, never about doctrines or beliefs.
So, if you think that Pope Francis will bring collegiality to the Church you are dead wrong: it is his time to hold the power and he will use it. He will allow some form of collegiality but only for those thing which he does not care about, and only if he has no choice.
And, btw, doctrine is one of those things.
Pope Francis has emerged from a deeply dysfunctional political system where leaders make wild promises of social justice and then use the power they have obtained for purposes that prove disastrous for the nation. Pope Francis often was embroiled in fierce disputes with Peronists in Argentina, but it would be fanciful to think that living his entire life in that political system has not left a clear, and PopeWatch thinks unfortunate, mark upon him.