jump to navigation

Important Article from the KKE on the Situation in Greece July 2, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Communism, European Politics, KKE.
trackback

The KKE has published in English an important article by Giorgos Marinos, a member of the Political Bureau of its Central Committee. The article is addressed in part to those who expressed their solidarity with the KKE in advance of the recent elections (see the statement signed by many Communist and Workers’ parties here and the WP message here for examples), in part it seeks to respond to the attitude adopted towards the KKE by forces at home and abroad, and in part it seeks to inform those who have questions caused by the debate internationally before the June election. The article is a very clear restatement of the principles and positions of the KKE, in terms of what is needed in Greece now, in terms of what social democracy represents, and in terms of broader ideological and organisational questions facing Communist and Workers’ parties worldwide.

In other words, it’s a clear restatement of the fundamentals, and how they should be applied in today’s world in Greece.

It’s a fairly long article, so I’m extracting a few key quotes, and then pasting the whole thing after the break.

We call on the communist men and women, the workers who follow the developments in Greece and are interested in the course of the class struggle to come to a better understanding regarding the strategy and tactics of the KKE, its history and struggles. They should judge its positions based on specific ideological-political criteria and not on rumours and baseless slander. They will then be able to discern that the attack on the strategy of the KKE and its alliance policy and the various laughable claims regarding sectarianism and isolationism have been initiated by bourgeois forces or forces which have in reality rejected Marxist-Leninist principles, the need for socialism, the essence of the class struggle which is meaningful when it is linked to working class-popular power.

They will be able to discern that these forces follow a political line of bourgeois management which is concealed behind talk of a “left solution”, sowing illusions about the “humanization of capitalism”, with very negative consequences for the struggle of the workers.

The conclusion is that the election result as a whole reflects the tendency of the containment of the class oriented radicalism that developed during the period of crisis, under the pressure of the current of the rising petty-bourgeois radicalism, guided by the bourgeois ideology and propaganda.

The strategy that promises a better future for the working people and the unemployed through a so-called left or progressive government, while the power of capital and the capitalist ownership of the means of production remain intact, is dangerous. This strategy has been tested and been proven to be bankrupt. It led Communist parties into assimilation and even dissolution.

This strategy conceals the fundamental issue. It conceals that the problem of unemployment, which is sharpening in an uncontrolled fashion, cannot be solved as long as the power and the wealth that the working class produces remain in the hands of capitalists, as long as capitalist anarchy and the profit motive exist.

The principled stance of the KKE stresses that a revolutionary party cannot have two faces, cannot not negate its strategy, its struggle for working class-people’s power, for socialism in order to snatch votes in parliamentary elections by supporting “management” formations which facilitate the system.

The reduction of the electoral strength of the KKE does not negate the decisive advantages that our party has achieved with a great effort. It does not negate the power it has within the trade unions, the mass organizations, the workers’ and people’s movement its prestige in the working class, the confidence that the people have in it in the every day struggles regardless of whether it was expressed in the elections.

There are more than enough forces to manage the system. What the people need are real communist parties that will not manage the capitalist barbarity in the name of the “governmental left” and in the name of “realistically” accepting the negative correlation of forces. In this way you pave the way for the forces of capital and precious time is wasted, for which the working class and the popular strata will pay a high price.

The KKE extends its warm thanks to the Communist Parties, communist men and women, as well as to a large number of other militants from all over the world who expressed their sincere solidarity with and support for our party, because they appreciated the tough class battles which it had waged over a long period of time, before and during the capitalist crisis.

Our party will continue to be worthy of their confidence and will escalate the struggle for the interests of the working class, the popular strata, for the overthrow of capitalist barbarity, for socialism. Because the goal for the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, the founding principle of the communist parties, demands it.

The developments in Greece and particularly the two recent elections triggered many discussions regarding the KKE and the “left”, the role of the “left governments”, the stance of the communists.

Some forces which still use the title “communist party” despite the fact that they are on a course of social-democratic mutation and other forces which speak in the name of the “left” opened a front -in an open or underhand manner- against the KKE, slandering its activity, concealing or distorting its positions, with baseless talk about sectarianism, regurgitating the polemics of the class enemy, adopting and disseminating the positions of SYRIZA.

SYRIZA is a party which is a fanatical supporter of the EU, a vehicle for the utopian view concerning “capitalism with a human face”. It is comprised of right-wing opportunist forces, detritus from the class struggle, marginal ultra-left (Trotskyist and former Maoist) groups and a significant section of officials from the social-democratic PASOK.

The forces which have opened a front against the KKE, amongst them the apparatus of the “European Left Party” and other organizations-supporters of the caricature of “21st century socialism”, have been exposed because the KKE’s activity and its contribution to the revolutionary struggle refutes them. But their stance is damaging for the working class, the popular strata and youth because they take the side of the opponents of the communists. The communists who consistently struggle against the bourgeois class, imperialism and militantly oppose the assimilation of the workers into the objectives of capital.

We call on the communist men and women, the workers who follow the developments in Greece and are interested in the course of the class struggle to come to a better understanding regarding the strategy and tactics of the KKE, its history and struggles. They should judge its positions based on specific ideological-political criteria and not on rumours and baseless slander. They will then be able to discern that the attack on the strategy of the KKE and its alliance policy and the various laughable claims regarding sectarianism and isolationism have been initiated by bourgeois forces or forces which have in reality rejected Marxist-Leninist principles, the need for socialism, the essence of the class struggle which is meaningful when it is linked to working class-popular power.

They will be able to discern that these forces follow a political line of bourgeois management which is concealed behind talk of a “left solution”, sowing illusions about the “humanization of capitalism”, with very negative consequences for the struggle of the workers.

What is worst of all is that these forces which “craftily” attack the KKE and sometimes pretend to be its “friend”, are trying to exploit this election result, which is negative for the people, in an attempt to support their dangerous claims.

REGARDING THE DEVELOPMENTS IN GREECE

In Greece, the deep capitalist crisis of capital over-accumulation which has entered its fourth year, combined with the crisis in other EU member-states, provokes the intense aggressiveness of the monopolies and their political representatives and is expressed by the anti-people strategy as a whole. The memoranda, which were signed between the Greek governments, the EU, the ECB and the IMF are a part of this strategy.

The deterioration of the situation of the working class and popular strata caused by capital’s offensive, the development of the class struggle with the decisive contribution of the KKE and the class-oriented movement, led to the significant erosion of the social-democratic PASOK which had implemented the cruel anti-people political line for many years. It led to the erosion of the liberal ND party and of the two-party system as a whole which lost the ability to trap popular forces which it had previously possessed.

On this basis, the reformation of the political scene is being promoted which is supported by the bourgeois class, the European Union and other imperialist mechanisms to more effectively manage the capitalist crisis in capital’s favour, to impede the class struggle, to attack the KKE and the class-oriented movement.

A basic element of the reformation of the political scene is the creation of two poles- the “centre-right” based on ND and the “centre-left” with SYRIZA at its core together with the participation of a large section of PASOK officials who bear criminal responsibilities regarding the implementation of the anti-people political line in the previous years.

Greece and the parliamentary elections were utilised as an arena of inter-imperialist competition between the USA, the EU, Germany, and France. This was expressed by the stance of the Greek political forces, above all by ND, PASOK and SYRIZA which flirts with France and the USA.

The multi-facetted and deep assimilation of Greece in the European Union, the deep prolonged crisis combined with the manifestation of the recession in the Eurozone made the intervention of the EU, IMF and USA extremely necessary in order to head off every tendency for the radicalization of the movement in Greece and its international impact.

The systematic statements of the officials of the imperialist organizations as well as the articles of the foreign press, including the appeal of the German Financial Times for a vote for ND, reinforced the polarization and the blackmailing of the people so that they turn to the two poles of bourgeois management.

THE ASSESSMENT OF THE ELECTION RESULTS

The KKE made an enormous effort, and received 8.5%, 536,000 votes and 26 MPs in the May 6 elections but it was not complacent. It spoke clearly about the plan to weaken the party, it predicted and fought against the organized anti-KKE offensive with all its strength and remained on its feet with losses of 4% of its electoral strength, a reduction of votes and MPs, receiving 4.5%, 277,000 votes and 12 MPs.

What had occurred between the two elections? What dilemmas had been posed by the bourgeois system to trap the popular forces? The CC of the KKE made an initial assessment of the result, which is now being discussed in the party organizations and in meetings with friends of the party in order to gather the collective experience and so that it can be used in the final assessment. In order to understand the political atmosphere which prevailed in the second election, it is important to bear in mind that according to the electoral laws the first party receives a bonus of 50 MPs (of the 300 in the Greek Parliament) so that the attempt to form a government can be “facilitated”. In the first elections (in which the KKE received 8.5%) the difference between the 1st (ND) and 2nd party (SYRIZA) was 2.1% and the struggle for the first position created conditions of intense polarization.

The CC of the KKE made the following assessment: “The significant losses of the KKE which occurred do not reflect the impact of its positions and its activity. This happened under the pressure of the current of illusions and the rationale of the alleged lesser evil, the painless and easy path through which it is allegedly possible to form a government to manage the crisis on the terrain of the monopolies’ power and the assimilation in the EU, which will manage to stop the deterioration of the position of the people. At the same time, there was the impact of the atmosphere of fear and intimidation concerning the expulsion of Greece from the Eurozone. It occurred in conditions of a systematic and underhand offensive by the ideological-political mechanisms of the system, even through the systematic use of the internet. The main goal was the weakening of the KKE in order to prevent the rise of the labour movement in conditions when the position of the people is deteriorating.

The conclusion is that the election result as a whole reflects the tendency of the containment of the class oriented radicalism that developed during the period of crisis, under the pressure of the current of the rising petty-bourgeois radicalism, guided by the bourgeois ideology and propaganda. It is obvious that the struggles which developed did not manage to deepen and consolidate radicalism as they did not take on such a mass character and they did not achieve the organisation and the political orientation that the current conditions require. In the final analysis, any positive tendency that developed was influenced by the narrow anti-memorandum content, by the lowering of the expectations in conditions of the expansion of poverty and mass unemployment.”

THE ROLE OF SYRIZA

The forces which support – covertly or openly- SYRIZA and slander the KKE are obliged to explain to the members and cadre of their parties, to the working class and popular strata the following issues:

Why do they conceal that the common element in the political line of ND, PASOK SYRIZA and the other parties, apart from the KKE, is their support for the EU the inter-state imperialist union which implements a proven anti-people strategy and was formed and developed in line with the interests of the monopoly groups and the multi-nationals?

Why do they conceal the fact that a section of the bourgeois class, strong financial groups which control newspapers, radio and television channels supported SYRIZA decisively this was also true of the state radio and TV channels, while the president of the Greek industrialists proposed a national unity government with the participation of this party?

Why do they conceal the fact that during the course of the elections and especially after the May 6 elections SYRIZA abandoned even the sloganeering phraseology regarding the cancellation of the memorandum and the loan agreement, the nationalization of enterprises etc and adjusted its programme completely to the needs of bourgeois management?

Why do they conceal the fact that a large section of the most corrupt PASOK officials from the regional authorities, municipalities, trade unions and state apparatus played a leading role in manipulating popular forces and PASOK voters by exerting multi-facetted pressure in favour of SYRIZA?

Why do they conceal the fact that there is a plan underway to regroup social-democracy with SYRIZA at its core? Social-democracy has proven to be very useful for the bourgeois class in order to erode the radical consciousness of the people in favour of the “EU one-way street” and to attack and control the labour movement.

Why do they conceal the fact that this party continually utilised anti-communism, when at the same time it was making appeals for “left unity”,? At a central election meeting of SYRIZA, with its President in attendance, the Slovenian “philosopher” Slavoj Zizek, in a vulgar display of anti-communism, said that “This is, if I understand it correctly, what KKE, which is basically the party of the people who are still alive because they forgot to die, are telling you” and received enthusiastic applause from the audience!

Why do they conceal the fact that it used every kind of dirty tactic against the KKE in order to seize the people’s votes in its quest for the first position in the elections or the ability also to form a one-party government?

Dirty tactics which included amongst other things supplying bourgeois journalists with “black” false propaganda about differing views in the CC and PB of the KKE regarding the stance in relation to SYRIZA and the participation in a government of bourgeois management. The experience from the conditions in which the KKE fought in these elections is valuable for every CP and for this reason we inform them about the provocations which occurred including the provocation on Twitter where the mechanisms created a fake account of the KKE which they then used to call on the people to vote for SYRIZA.

Why do they conceal the fact that a few days before the elections the President of SYRIZA met with diplomatic personnel from the G20 countries in Athens in order to “establish a climate of trust”? With whom really? With the club of the strongest capitalists and imperialists in the world.

And there is more. SYRIZA’s staff presented the political line of Obama to the Greek people as a realistic policy for the management of the crisis in the people’s favour. Meanwhile it also falsely claimed that the election of the social-democrat Hollande would be a factor which would bring a “new wind” and pro-people changes in Europe. At the same time the social-democratic government in France was calling on the Greek people to submit to the commitments to the EU and –despite the inter-imperialist competition- is participating together with the German government in order to prepare new anti-people measures which are being planned in the EU for economic and political integration.

These facts cannot be bypassed. The KKE does not need to resort to conspiracy theories. The truth cannot be hidden. This is of major importance so that every worker who is interested in the situation in Greece and the role of the political forces can form a viewpoint.

For a long period myths were fostered regarding the role of SYRIZA in the labour and people’s movement. It was presented in a misleading way as a strong opposition force when in reality it had either a nonexistent or a minimal contribution to the development of the struggle in the factories, businesses, and to the organization of strikes and other mass mobilizations.

In reality, this party was the tail of the General Federation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and the Federation of Public-sector Workers (ADEDY) which operate as instruments of capital, vehicles of employer and government led trade unionism and “class collaboration”.

The stance of SYRIZA in the movement of the “squares”, which was transient, had a limited mass character and was a breeding ground for reactionary views, was opportunistic and integrated into the plan of those who sought to seize the reins of bourgeois management. SYRIZA bears serious responsibilities because it shared the “squares of the indignants” with the fascist abomination “Golden Dawn” which presented itself (along with other nationalist forces) as an anti-memorandum force, promoting vulgar and reactionary slogans in order to manipulate the indignation of the workers.

THE STRUGGLE OF THE KKE

The offensive against the KKE after the elections is not led merely by the various well-known Trotskyist groups but also by the forces of the European Left Party, like the Portuguese “Left Block” and the Italian “Communist Refoundation”. The Presidents of these two parties could not resist showing European opportunism’s aversion to the KKE.

The stance of certain forces that blame the KKE because ND was able to form a government is equally provocative. These forces, however, conceal the fact that the only party which truly came in conflict with ND and PASOK is the KKE because, unlike SYRIZA, it is not committed to the EU, NATO, big capital and its power. It does not foster parliamentary illusions and it tells the people the truth about the forces that support the bourgeois management. Our party has been struggling for years against the intimidating dilemmas “right-wing or anti right-wing”, “centre-left- centre-right” and fights against the dead-end rationale of the lesser evil which has led communist parties in Europe into becoming the tail of social democracy.

The effort to slander the KKE will fail because its initiators will be totally exposed as the propaganda of sectarianism and isolationism, which is used by the forces that attack our party, is refuted by the leading role of the KKE, the KNE but also of PAME, of the class oriented trade unions, of the militant rallies of the popular strata and the youth in dozens of strikes at a nationwide, sectoral and company-level, in hundreds of multifaceted mobilizations that rallied thousands of working people who were fighting for demands that express the rights of the workers and come in conflict with the power of capital, the capitalist barbarity.

These significant achievements are not cancelled out by the election results which are negative for the people.

They constitute a valuable experience and legacy for the escalation of the class struggle till the end.

The KKE has opposed the opportunistic welding together of the leaderships from above and insists on the social alliance between the working class, the urban and rural popular strata with the participation of women and youth. It rejects the cooperation for the formation of a “left government” to manage capitalism and insists on the formation of the socio-political alliance that will fight for the problems of the people, that will come into conflict with the monopolies and imperialism and will direct its struggle to the overthrow of the capitalist barbarity, the conquest of working class and people’s power.

The strategy that promises a better future for the working people and the unemployed through a so-called left or progressive government, while the power of capital and the capitalist ownership of the means of production remain intact, is dangerous. This strategy has been tested and been proven to be bankrupt. It led Communist parties into assimilation and even dissolution.

This strategy conceals the fundamental issue. It conceals that the problem of unemployment, which is sharpening in an uncontrolled fashion, cannot be solved as long as the power and the wealth that the working class produces remain in the hands of capitalists, as long as capitalist anarchy and the profit motive exist.

The contemporary needs of the people cannot be satisfied since capitalism is in its last stage, the imperialist stage, and is totally reactionary. The difficulties in the reproduction of capital, the competition of monopolies for their dominance reinforce the attack aimed at reducing the price of labour power, and increasing the rate of exploitation. Even the small gains require very tough conflicts with the forces of capital as the 7-month heroic strike of the steelworkers in Aspropirgos demonstrates, which has been consistently supported by the KKE and PAME along with thousands of working people in Greece and abroad who express their class solidarity.

The daily struggle for the right to work, for the protection of the unemployed, for salaries and pensions, for free healthcare, welfare and education, the daily struggle against imperialist wars, for the disengagement from the imperialist unions, for people’s sovereignty, for democratic rights is inextricably linked with the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism.

The principled stance of the KKE stresses that a revolutionary party cannot have two faces, cannot not negate its strategy, its struggle for working class-people’s power, for socialism in order to snatch votes in parliamentary elections by supporting “management” formations which facilitate the system.

The KKE told the truth to the people. It called on them to support the party in order to strengthen it, so that it could contribute decisively to the prevention of the anti-people measures, to the regroupment and strengthening of the workers’ and people’s movement, to the development of militant struggles, to pave the way for radical changes.

The KKE swam against the tide, as it has done at other times over crucial political issues when it exposed, amongst other things, the character of the counterrevolution, of the overthrow of socialism and the imperialist character of the EU, when if fought against the EU, when it opposed the Treaty of Maastricht, when it condemned the imperialist interventions and the pretexts that justified them etc.

In this direction the KKE struggled in the elections against the current of fear and fatalism, of the various threats – ranging from the expulsion from the Eurozone to the fear about the lack of a government- and the illusions which were systematically fostered by SYRIZA. It explained to the people the character of the crisis and the pre-conditions for a way out in favour of the workers, the pre-conditions, which are connected to disengagement from the EU and NATO, the unilateral cancellation of the debt, and socialisation i.e. the government of working class-people’s power. It posed the government of the workers’ and people’s power against the government of bourgeois management. It fought this battle taking into account the danger of the electoral cost.

But even the slightest retreat on the part of the party in the face of the pressure for it to participate in a government to manage the crisis would have led to the disarming and retreat-defeat of the labour movement, to the cancellation of the effort for the formation of a strong socio-political alliance, which comes into conflict with the political line of the monopolies, the imperialist unions of the EU and NATO. It would have negated every effort for the rallying of the people in the struggle concerning the everyday problems, which are increasingly sharpening, for the prospect of working class-people’s power. In practice the KKE would have found itself negating the consistency and solidity of its words and deeds, as it would have been asked to carry out damaging and mistaken retreats of a decisive character both regarding its programme and its immediate tasks for the struggle.

It is of great importance that in such conditions, when a series of other communist parties are not represented in parliament or have been diffused into social-democratic and opportunist left formations in Europe, the KKE remained standing with less electoral strength in comparison to its wider political influence. Its strategy regarding the two paths of development, regarding the necessity of the socio-political alliance and the struggle for working class-people’s power, the expansion and deepening of its ties to the working class, the poor popular strata, remains the goal of its new activity amongst the people so that they remain upright and are not broken by the new hazards which await them.

The strategy of the KKE has been confirmed by the developments on a daily basis. It is a strategy based on the communist principles; based on the laws of the class struggle it sets the goal, the path and the preconditions in order to resolve the basic contradiction between capital and labour, in order to resolve the central problem of power and abolish the exploitative relations of production in conditions that capitalism suffers from its irreconcilable contradictions, becomes more reactionary and dangerous and no management formula can provide a pro-people solution. With this strategy, with this line of struggle the KKE has tirelessly contributed to the effort to regroup the communist movement on a revolutionary basis; it encourages and supports the struggle of the communists, the anti-imperialist struggle all over the world, it strengthens the internationalist solidarity while at the same time it undertakes its responsibility for the development of the class struggle at national level.

Our party is very exacting in the self-critical assessment of its course. It stresses that it is not enough to have a correct strategy and militancy. It studies its weaknesses so as to become more effective in questions of political guidance, improve the ideological-political education, accelerate the party building in factories, workplaces, people’s neighborhoods, strengthen the class oriented movement, so that the participation in trade unions and other mass organizations increases and new forces join the struggle.

The KKE continues its struggle concerning all the problems of the people with an even greater sense of responsibility and decisiveness. It focuses on the struggle against the anti-people taxation policy, for collective bargaining agreements, for salaries and pensions, for the protection of the unemployed, for healthcare, welfare and education. At the same time it prepares its forces in the face of the danger of an imperialist war against Syria and Iran.

It fights against the anti-people policy of ND, PASOK and the Democratic Left which emerged from a split of SYRIZA and is part of the plan for the “left” manipulation of the people. It carries out a more organized struggle against the left illusions of SYRIZA, strengthens its struggle against the fascist “Golden Dawn”.

We had a long time ago informed many communist parties that the attack against the KKE will intensify. Many comrades know that the bourgeois class, the state and para-state mechanisms tested means for the repression and the provocations against the KKE and PAME and now we need to be very well-prepared in order to deal with the escalation of the attack against the party.

We continue our struggle. We are trying to become more effective in the organization and the development of the class struggle.

The reduction of the electoral strength of the KKE does not negate the decisive advantages that our party has achieved with a great effort. It does not negate the power it has within the trade unions, the mass organizations, the workers’ and people’s movement its prestige in the working class, the confidence that the people have in it in the every day struggles regardless of whether it was expressed in the elections.

“Fair-weather friends”.

Thus, the forces that openly or covertly seek to interpret the election result in an arbitrary fashion in order to undermine the strategy and the tactics of the KKE as well as its role in the international communist movement will be judged by the revolutionary communists, by the working class.

There are more than enough forces to manage the system. What the people need are real communist parties that will not manage the capitalist barbarity in the name of the “governmental left” and in the name of “realistically” accepting the negative correlation of forces. In this way you pave the way for the forces of capital and precious time is wasted, for which the working class and the popular strata will pay a high price.

About these ads

Comments»

1. 1798Mike - July 2, 2012

This is the kind of dispiriting stuff masquerading as ‘pure’ ‘marxism-leninism’ that provided the logic for dismissing the SPD in Germany between 1929-1932 as ‘social fascists’ dividing the left in the face of the rise of nazism. We can also look to Spain in the 1930’s where the same kind of warped logic led to the purging of POUM, the assassination of its leaders as well as arrests and attacks on anarchists. These people in Greece are frozen in time. Clearly, if an opportunity arose to make any historic advances for popular radical left formations or to make transitional advances for the benefit of working people these people would spurn it. They will be waiting for ever because time and tide won’t wait for them.

Like

2. Jim Monaghan - July 2, 2012

Does the WPI follow the same logic here. Then ULA, Sinn Fein, the CPI are just rogues intent of betraying as soon as possible. Why they are probably set up to divert the masses from the only true party.How could the WPI ask these people to oppose the extradition of Garland. Sure that would only give them credibility which they would use to betray the Workers. How could you work in an front with these people?

On a serious note his type of there can be only one party is also a feature of much smaller groups.
It is a pity that an United Front of Syriza and the KKE do not rule Greece and are not offering an alternative across the EU to austerity.The KKE could have been an extra strength to the left of Syriza. Will Syriza go into a coalition. I don’t know, the KKE did in the past so maybe. But the fact of the matter is that they did not in spite of pressure and this should be recognised.
I give this link as one of the authors was close to the CB who are roughly on a similar wavelength http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article25393

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2012

Jim, that’s very kind of you, what you say on that other site.

Got to say that there’s a real point to what you’re saying re the logic of the position of those outside (we don’t need to localise it to the WP) the ULA or whoever. Are they detritus and opportunists too?

I just feel a bit depressed when I read the KKE’s article. It’s what ejh said, any party which at a time like this economically and socially in a state like Greece under pressures even we with our own local brand of austerity would find hard to believe, loses half its representation is a party that needs to display a lot more self-criticism and soul searching than is shown here. I think it’s also very telling how much of the focus appears to be on other communist and workers parties (and the ritualistic and rather hollow denunciations of SYRIZA, which as Jim notes did precisely the right thing by not entering coalition or even the charade of coalition building that the orthodoxy would have).rather than on the Greek working class.

Like

3. Jim Monaghan - July 2, 2012

Now this is an interestin analysis coming from a Maoist source. It is analytical and a serious response.

http://kasamaproject.org/2012/06/26/unity-struggle-crisis-currents-within-greeces-coalition-of-the-radical-left/#comment-57728

Like

4. Blissett - July 2, 2012

This is on the same level as an Intermediate hurling coach arguing that it was probably as well that they were relegated, as the year at junior would do them good, and generate a bit of ‘momentim’ for a run at the intermediate in two years time. Utter rubbish

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2012

Agree. It’s not a very feasible sounding approach. And meanwhile SYRIZA – with the credibility it gained from standing aside – builds itself up and up as the right parties find themselves unable to contain the crisis – most likely.

Like

5. Mark P - July 2, 2012

I genuinely love this stuff. The bombast, the absolute refusal to countenance the idea that the KKE could have made even the slightest tactical or strategic error, the vituperation. It’s just a pity that this is coming from a group which actually matters.

Like

ejh - July 3, 2012

The bombast, the absolute refusal to countenance the idea that the KKE could have made even the slightest tactical or strategic error, the vituperation.

Yes, although these are not habits unheard off elsewhere in intra-left polemics.

Like

6. LeftAtTheCross - July 2, 2012

There’s plenty of boilerplate bobmast in the criticism of the KKE in fairness.

On the purely pragmatic question of the KKE “interfering” with SYRIZA’s election prospects, do we have any hard numbers from the consittuency counts which show that the KKE’s vote made any tangible difference to SYRIZA candidates being elected or otherwise, or vice versa?

Like

cagp - July 2, 2012

It is a national list system. The seat numbers are decided by the national vote and the party with the biggest vote gets the 50 seat bonus. Constituencies only serve the purpose of determining which candidates of a party are elected not the overall amount of seats. The KKE vote was 4.5%, the gap between SYRIZA and ND was less than 3%. It is very likely a united list would have come first in the election and won over 130 seats.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - July 2, 2012

And Democratic Left won 6.26%. It’s a pity SYRIZA and Democratic Left didn’t form a united list then, isn’t it, using that line of argument?

Like

cagp - July 2, 2012

A united list with Democratic Left would have had the effect of moving Syriza to the right so obviously not worth it. Indeed DL’s main role has been trying to coax Syriza into coalitions with the pro-bailout parties. The effect of unity with the KKE could have been to move Syriza to the left and/or to present an alternative programme to its supporters. The KKE could have a least posed some kind of proposal of minimum conditions for electoral co-operation. The position of the KKE is that of a self-satisfied organisation which does not take seriously the demands of the times it is operating in.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - July 2, 2012

“organisation which does not take seriously the demands of the times it is operating in”

Well in fairness the KKE might well use that same phrase to describe SYRIZA, might it not.

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2012

That’s a fair point, but one still has to wonder whether a party that loses half its representation at an historical moment like this is making the right judgement call either. Or in much of a position to criticise others whose support has increased exponentially. Not least because it is clear from the vote that the Greek working class or a majority within it wasn’t swayed by the outright anti-EU line emanating from the KKE and more importantly wasn’t likely to. Again it comes down to how far you can bring people with you. If you can’t bring them at all and worse again start to lose them then that’s an outright failure.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - July 2, 2012

WbS, it’s clear enough that the electoral result isn’t a positive by any means but I’m pretty sure we’ve been over this ground on other posts here recently. That some of the voters opted for the false illusions offered is no real surprise, every party has a range of voters from committed members through to floaters who align or not on the day do they not, and who can blame people for casting a vote with optimism that the difficulties faced by Greece can somehow be worked through via the type of program promoted by SYRIZA. It may be a cliche that their time hasn’t come yet but if one leaves the approach to one side (not that tactics and strategy aren’t important, but they are at least debatable) I’m not sure the core message of what the KKE are saying is particularly open to question in terms of their assessment of the situation in Greece. The criticism they’re coming in for is in relation to avoiding alignment with SYRIZA in order to focus on the endgame as they see it. Now maybe their long game is correct or maybe it’s badly flawed, that can be argued fraternally or it can be argued through an ideologically opposed pince nez, that’s really up to people to voice their arguments as they see fit. It’s true that the KKE could have done this or that, sure, but the history of the political situation in Greece, and the seriousness of the present situation, seems to have swayed the KKE against that course of action. And some of the criticism they’re receiving is clearly from those ideological rivals who would no doubt find fault with them no matter whether they did or didn’t form a joint strategy with SYRIZA. Sometimes you can’t win I suspect. As for the outright failure, I wouldn’t see it like that, maybe it’s a case of a strong hand on the rudder and not losing sight of the long term compass setting during very rough seas.

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2012

All that would be grand if it weren’t for the rhetoric that KKE adopts towards others which moves far beyond what might be considered partisan comment to something else entirely.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - July 2, 2012

The rhetoric is a bit strong alright, but like so is retsina, some flavours just don’t travel well and for best effect really have to be appreciated in their local context.

Like

ejh - July 3, 2012

That some of the voters opted for the false illusions offered

It’s my long-term opinion that use of the term “illusions” should be punished by receipt of a custard pie.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - July 3, 2012

You’re being too harsh EJH. “Illusions” as a shorthand for a vision of the future which the party believes is utopian, impossible to attain, and distracting from what the party determines to be the correct path of struggle. If you have a better word for it then please forward it to the KKE’s translation team or suggest it here and maybe it will make its way into their lexicon.

Like

Jim Monaghan - July 3, 2012

Now that is not on the same level. Syriza and the KKE plus the far left are opposed to the Troika. Democratic Left is not. If Syriza had joined with DL then the KKE would have been right. But the fact is that Syriza have not betrayed.
The KKE should and could have sat down with Syriza and looked for a minimum program. Now if Syriza wanted to leave a door open to betrayal, then the KKE would have been right to walk away. The fact is that they did not even do this.
Locally the same applies. ULA, CPI, WPI etc.. should sit down and try and hammer out an agreement. If his is not possible on a minimum program (eg no to coalition with right wing parties, rejection of Troika overlords etc.) then it would be ok to walk away.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - July 3, 2012

Have the SP and SWP agreed on a minimum programme at this stage? That’s a genuine question. Wasn’t there some dispute between them over the necessity for a programme early on in their discussions.

Like

cagp - July 2, 2012

“Well in fairness the KKE might well use that same phrase to describe SYRIZA, might it not.”

Yes, correctly. The problem is that the KKE lets the Syriza leadership off the hook by refusing to make any demands on them or proposals to them. Real pressure from a revolutionary organisation which was fighting alongside them would be a far greater challenge to the SYRIZA right-wing than the unbalanced denunciation the KKE is currently engaged in. Its a cliche that opportunism and sectarianism are 2 sides of the same coin but the KKE are a brilliant example of it. They can only conceive of either embracing the programme of SYRIZA or dismissing them entirely. They refuse to consider any kind of critical engagement. Neither KKE or SYRIZA are responding adequately to the demands of the Greek crisis but neither are static and this can change.

Apologies for the location of this post, it won’t let me reply to your last comment.

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2012

“Well in fairness the KKE might well use that same phrase to describe SYRIZA, might it not.”

Sorry, I was just thinking I’m not sure the comparison entirely holds up. Of course KKE goes much furhter than simply using a phrase like that against SYRIZA. There’s frankly something pathological about its use of languge. Whereas DL by contrast with SYRIZA has been characterised from the off by actual as against projected opportunism.

Even if KKE disagrees with SYRIZA’s policy platform where is the evidence it can appropriately apply terms like detritus, opportunism, etc to them?

It’s absolutely true the KKE could hold SYRIZA to an higher standard, but what evidence is there that SYRIZA sought to go into government with the right?

Like

7. bartholomew - July 2, 2012

This is slightly off-topic and apologies if it’s been posted before, but there’s a short article in the current London Review of Books by Richard Clogg, one of the principal historians of Greece in English. It gives some historical perspective to reactions to the current crisis, and says some things that needed to be said.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n13/richard-clogg/in-athens

Like

makedoanmend - July 2, 2012

Yeah, bartholomew, it’s a good article to give us all some background about Greece. I’m afraid my only real historical knowledge about Greece comes from idealised textbooks and a few hokey tv programs set during WWII which tell us how great the allied nations were but never tell us much about how ordinary people resisted systemic repression and worse, and paid dearly for doing so.

The info about Cameron, Lagarde and the failure of the wealthier parts of society to pay taxes also is informative. There’s definitely a tie-in between neo-liberal rhetoric and tax evasion/avoidance.

Like

8. Jim Monaghan - July 3, 2012

The ULA is in reality a minimum program. Needs development.
Interesting article on things Greek http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article25746
and a far left response. would think they should have joined Syriza as one of its left factions.

http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article25745

Google will give a translation.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - July 3, 2012

“The ULA is in reality a minimum program.”

Is it though? The differences between the SP and SWP seem unfortunately to be pulling the ULA in different directions, as Des Derwin described the renewal of PBPA in that long piece you pointed to here on Saturday (http://links.org.au/node/2931).

One could argue perhaps that having the WP and CPI involved might dilute the SP/SWP rivalries, but it’s not the job of the WP or the CPI to referee that antagonism.

It’s a reasonable question whether the working class is better served by WP or CPI involvement in the ULA. At this moment in time I’m not sure there are too many voices within the working class, the ULA/SP/SWP, or the WP or CPI which would make that claim, are there?

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 3, 2012

Yet there are some of us who believe that the participation of both might be a net positive.

Like

9. Jim Monaghan - July 3, 2012

Neither the WPI nor the CPI have to accept the existing ULA program, warts and all. All people like me ask is that the entire left ( exclude the Labour Party) try. Obviously there are real differences.But a stance of opposition to the Troika and things like refusal to go into coalition with the right and a start.
EG In the ULA people like me have had to accept a lack of republicanism.(There is a better way of putting this, at the moment I cannot think of one This is possible because the struggle for national unity and independence in its traditional format is on the back burner. It will re arise but that is a different question. I hope in the future in a calm way these and other political question on which is is not agreement can be discussed and a synthesis can be reached.There are many other areas where there is disagreement. I am sure both the WPI and CPI would have different areas.
But the central question is opposition from the left to the Troika and Troika parties. Together the assets and support of us all could move the opposition from marginal to centre stage. Now is the time for discussion while there is relative calm.
Otherwise we march separately, showing our weakness and inability to move on.

Like

LeftAtTheCross - July 3, 2012

Jim, rather than looking at the WP and CPI, if the goal is to form a front in opposition to the Troika and coalition with the right, should the focus not be on SF? If the ULA is serious about using the electoral system to force the issue then really it should be looking to its Right to draw the other nominally anti-austerity forces towards it, because that is where there the critical mass of popular support lies, not with the WP and CPI. Why not an anti-austerity electoral front with a minimum programme as you suggest, but one which has the real chance of accelerating change? I appreciate that the answer will be the same one that is voiced above in relation to SYRIZA and DIMAR, that aligning Rightwards is a move in the wrong direction. That logic may suit the interests of the ULA’s constituent parts but does it serve the interests of the working class?

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 3, 2012

Yes, but there’s a distinction between where SYRIZA sits on the political spectrum and where SF sits. And with all due respect to the latter few would argue it was as radical as SYRIZA. So this isn’t quite like and like, is it?

Like

LeftAtTheCross - July 3, 2012

I was thinking of the ULA as SYRIZA and SF as DIMAR, although obviously the ratios don’t hold up in the analogy, so the gravitational forces would be skewed.

What about the substantive point though WbS? Should the ULA be looking beyond the limits of a united front in terms of a common anti-austerity pact with SF?

Like

Ed - July 3, 2012

One of the main differences is that SF won’t be put to the test for several years. SYRIZA have already been put to the test after the May election, when they came under pressure to join a government with ND and PASOK (they passed that test), and they went into the June election with the real prospect of forming a government, yet stuck to their line of opposition to the Troika’s programme.

Whereas with SF, it’s probably going to be 2016 before the next election, so there’s plenty of time for them to tone down their anti-austerity, anti-Troika line before they’re anywhere near getting into office. If SF was going into an election campaign where it had a prospect of being the largest party, with Ireland under the same pressure as Greece over the last month, after two years of strikes, demos and occupations, and it was still promising to break with the Troika programme, then it would certainly be a challenge for the ULA to figure out how to relate to them; the issue of an anti-austerity pact might come up.

At this stage of the election cycle though, talk from the opposition benches is fairly cheap. The only big test of whether they follow through on their rhetoric in practice has been the household charge campaign, and they wouldn’t support non-payment in that case.

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 3, 2012

An anti-austerity pact which is signed up to by any and all parties of the left would be – IMO – a good thing. So yes is the answer. It might keep everyone honest too.

Will it happen? I doubt it.

Very good point Ed.

Like

10. Jim Monaghan - July 3, 2012

Aside from the North I figure SF left it open to join a coalition. A special conference etc. Did not Labour leave this door open. I want a front where the door to a coalition is firmly locked. No, No, No, coalition.
If SF has a conference, Ard Fheis, and closes the door, then a different ball game maybe. But as the North shows they are moving more and more to the right on national and social issues.
The far left is very weak compared to Greece. And in crisis terms we are not that far behind.
On a test. I figure if the crisis worsens, then it will come sooner. These are not normal times.
Oh and the “left” trade union leaders and officials, many of whom parade their creds have already been found wanting. Oh for a few Mick O’Reillys and Merrigans.
I am afraid we have to challenge former comrades who are now trade union officials.

Like

WorldbyStorm - July 3, 2012

+1 re locking that door (though I know we differ on a coalition where SF/left were in the vast majority and had say the LP or assorted Indos even of the center as a minor partner – or perhaps we don’t?).

Like

11. Garibaldy - July 4, 2012

A number of quick points.

About the possible results of a putative coalition between the KKE and Syriza for the election. The rules would not have recognised this as a single political party, and so the 50 extra seats would not have gone to it. There was in fact some doubt if Syriza would have been entitled to it in the weeks running up to the election, and this question was specifically addressed by it. So a lot of the talk of the KKE supposedly preventing an anti-austerity government is incorrect.

Regarding the way the KKE describes Syriza. Given the fact that it did a deal with the mainstream parties to keep the KKE out of local government on an island where the KKE received just under 50% of the vote, it seems to me that there are very justifiable grounds in the very recent past for suspicion that there is often a gap between Syriza’s rhetoric and reality. The attitude to the memorandum etc that shifted from one election to the next is another fine, and important, example Never mind the absolutely crucial political difference regarding the attitude to the EU and capitalism with a human face. If you are looking for why the term opportunism gets used there are some concrete reasons, over and above the general questions.

Reading this, I’d say the KKE is of the opinion that did it not fear that participation in government would mean it would end up like PASOK, Syriza would have been much more open to going into coalition government. In this sense, the comparison with some people at home is apt. It’s self-interest and not political principle that keeps people out of coalition government at this time.

I’m not at all surprised to see “I love Stalin” Zizek reveal his true colours with his comments about the KKE. I am not really surprised either to see amidst all the shock and horror at the KKE’s choice of language on display here the ignoring of this, and the much more important issue of the Syriza-supporting audience’s response. I’m a little bit more surprised to see that no-one thinks fake twitter addresses and the like might actually be having an impact on relationships.

These seem to me to be the substantial political points raised here, points that are often ignored.

Like

12. Jim Monaghan - October 17, 2012

SYRIZA MP speaks: Resisting Austerity in Greece and lessons for Ireland

Friday at 8:00pm at Wynns Hotel Dublin

Like

13. click here - October 9, 2013

All we apply actually derives anywhere from analyse Leighton meester sex tape photos.

Like

Jim Monaghan - December 14, 2012

http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?page=recherche&recherche=Greece

This site gives a lot of articles not necessarily with exactly the same viewpoint.

Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,415 other followers

%d bloggers like this: