The traditional “Third Position” of Peronism is the key for international cooperation

The Third Position as Foreign Policy of Argentina, performed in the three governments of President Juan Domingo Perón, was the best expression of Argentine diplomacy of autonomy, regional partnership and Non-Alignment, founded on a long national tradition.

The Peronist Third Position (Non-Aligned and Cooperative) is the “external reflection” of the internal proposals for Argentine society (Organized Community).

The political and social proposal by Peronism (Justicialism) is to create and strengthen an “Organized Community“ for overcoming dehumanizing capitalism without appealing to any form of collectivist oppression. It is not an intermediate position between both systems; it is a model that seeks to be an overcoming synthesis and dialectic.

In addition to the regionalist preaching in favour of the regional integration “la Patria Grande”, the Third Position of Non-alignment Active as autonomous conception represents one of the most original aspects of the Peronist political doctrine:
to maintain a equidistant position from the two superpowers of the moment (the USA and the USSR) without denying Argentina’s roots and position as a member of the “Western concert”, but at the same time recognizing the need to incorporate the voices of the “Third World”, of the emerging peoples and nations of the post-war and decolonization world order into the institutions of global governance. There’s lies perhaps another visionary aspect of the Peronist doctrine: a path for the understanding and practice of a Multipolar Order.

For Peronist doctrine Argentina’s path is to take the cause of peace and international cooperation, and it will do so on the idea of abandoning antagonistic positions imposed from any global center of power, with a position that privileges the human being over any interest or system, in a balance of spirit and matter, which needs a community in equilibrium for self-realization.

For many, the Justicialist Third Position would be diluted with the passage of time and changes in the balance of power, but the idea had its impact at the time on political and intellectual movements worldwide, as in the case of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). But at least at the time the Justicialist doctrine sought to be the autonomist and Latin American alternative to the bipolar strategic competition of the Cold War. Even after 70 years of the birth of this South American political doctrine, such statements remain valid in view of the current facts and processes:

The conflict in Eastern Europe (Ukraine-Russia) challenges us in the face of a new dilemma, with new patterns of disturbing dichotomies, the resurgence of old military alliances (considered already outdated) as well as the reckless emergence of new military blocs, schemes that marks the return of strategic competition between great powers.  

That is why we consider more valid than ever the statements of the original Peronism for a safe distance from the “New Great Game” in current deployment, not only for Latin America, but for the whole World. A path of strategic orientation of autonomy and prudence. And we have no doubt that many other peoples and nations will unite in the search for an overcoming way.

Author’s note: An earlier version published in Spanish.

Alejandro Karlen
Alejandro Karlen
Member of the Mercosur Parliament (Parlasur) - Argentine delegation - Corrientes province.