No 1473 23rd July 2015
Syriza “no to austerity” capitulation in Greece exposes fake-“left” of all shades, supporters and supposed “critics” alike, none making clear the depth and incurability of the global economic crisis meltdown, and the only possible solution to it, the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system. There never was a way to “stop austerity” because inexorable and epochal collapse of a class exploitation system has reached the end of the road historically and can only drag the world into deepening slump disaster, cutthroat trade war and the outright warmongering destruction that is the only “way out” capitalism has ever known. Keeping workers tied to continued protest and “left pressure on democracy” politics is now even more of cynical betrayal when the ruling class is desperately preparing counter-revolutionary repression and fascism to impose far more brutal and draconian cuts needed to survive. World revolt, already explosive in Africa and Middle East has already weakened imperialist control but is confused – conscious Leninism is missing everywhere and needs to be built
After cheering on the Greek referendum “No” result as a supposed triumph of “democratic resistance to austerity”, fake-“left” posturing and demagoguery has run into the brick wall of capitalism’s catastrophic world crisis breakdown.
Instead of the vaunted defiance pushing back the capitalist slump impositions, it saw immediate climbdown and capitulation by the Syriza frauds and careerists voting through all the savage cuts they notionally “opposed”.
That has delivered a powerful lesson for workers everywhere in the treachery and confusion of the reformist and revisionist populists and their posturing and preening over “voting against austerity”, and their declarations of a “new way” by movements like Syriza, Podemos and the UK’s own “Left Unity”.
When it comes to the basic interests of capital conflicting with the interest of the “democratic vote” there is no competition – there never has been and never is going to be.
These opportunists and their equivalents throughout the Europe-wide “Greek Support” campaigns have been wilfully misleading the working class with their populist exhortations and illusions, running everyone round in circles for six months with the pretence of “standing up to the cuts”, dissipating valuable class energy and fighting spirit.
Such humiliation and betrayal of the Greek masses has been on the cards from the very beginning because the capitalist crisis is incurable, inexorable and unstoppable.
Only the total ending of capitalism’s corrupt, collapsing and ever more unequal and greed-ridden system can possibly stop its continuing slide into the greatest Slump and endless war destruction in history.
Only a revolutionary perspective of taking power and taking over the banks and industries can take things forwards in Greece and everywhere else.
Austerity cannot be “stopped” or even ameliorated within capitalism once its reaches breakdown, any more than King Cnut’s tide could be slowed up for his courtiers.
But this lesson is not emerging from any of the fake-“lefts”, neither the Syriza cheerleaders nor their supposed “Marxist critics”.
Far from it; instead these pretend “lefts” across the board are either making pathetic excuses or offering only alternate versions of the “democratic” struggle, equally doomed until capitalism is ended.
Those at the heart of the “No to War” and “No to austerity” pretences, from “left” Labourites like currently hyped-up leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn, to the laughably censorious Left Unity and its soup of squabbling Trots and Revisionists, can complain as loudly as they like about this being an “economic coup” imposed with such ruthlessness and savagery by German-led European banks and corporations trampling roughshod all over democracy in Greece and Europe. So it is – but their theatrical shock and dismay at the savagery of the financial “bailout” blackmail and the rapacious repayment terms set by the bullying might of big finance, is the most disgusting play-acting, desperately covering up gross misleadership, Marxist ignorance and opportunism.
Stomping and shouting about the “criminal” nature of the “neoliberal” settlement – (“ordinary capitalism” (!!!) would somehow be different or even a possibility?????) – as if it were a huge surprise, only underlines the stupidity and treachery of these “lefts” and the “democracy” illusions they continue to punt out.
It is tying workers back to this fatal and deadly nonsense which is criminal – a gross and deliberate betrayal that leaves the masses vulnerable, exposed and unprepared for growing counter-revolution.
What did these “lefts” expect anyway?
As genuine Marxism has always understood and fought to explain, against the cynicism and complacency of the such petty bourgeois “leftism”, capitalism is a dictatorship of big money and the tiny capitalist class that controls it, hidden behind a pretence of “democratic rights” but ready to strip away as much of the mask as is necessary at any point to maintain its rule and control.
It has done so time and time again, turning to open intimidation and suppression most obviously in the Italian fascism and German Nazism of the 1930s, as well as Franco’s Spain and Japanese militarism, but in much else of capitalism too, including sections of the pre-war US (several states directly and Ford’s armed anti-union patrolled production lines are all aspects eg).
It was teased at too in the UK using Oswald Mosley’s thugs, cheered on by the infamous Daily Mail “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” headline, and readying the potential fascist monarchy of Edward VIIIth as figurehead (though this wing of the ruling class was eventually overruled by more nervous sections, still Empire-rich enough to favour keeping on bribing the petty bourgeoisie and better off working class with the “democracy” illusion, to avoid “unnecessary” conflict).
It has been repeatedly used by American imperialist post-war dominance.
Brutal invasion slaughter and war, supplemented with numerous coups and subversions, has wiped out multiple “democracies” to maintain capitalist rule if any working class influence was getting too far, with such notable examples, among dozens, like the toppling of Sukarno’s democratic anti-imperialist nationalism in Indonesia in 1965 at a cost of at least one million massacred lives (including thousands of CIA and MI6 listed victims) and the General Augusto Pinochet coup in Chile in 1973 against the “anti-austerity” “democratic socialism” of Salvador Allende, showing just how bloodily violent and repressive the capitalist order is prepared to become, and will always become to maintain its rule.
Stooge dictator after brutal stooge has been installed from the Marcos regime in the Philippines, Papa and Baby Doc in Haiti, Mubarak in Egypt, Iran’s Peacock throne Shah, Mobutu, Idi Amin, and Hosni Mubarak, to name just a few, and massacre after massacre have suppressed rebellions and democratic movements.
Provoked and stunted up bogus “revolutions” – slickly colour coordinated – have become a favourite to install reaction and fascism from Catholic clerical reactionary Solidarnosc in Poland to Georgia to Nazi Ukraine.
All out wars like Vietnam cost four million lives and Korea more than two; and the process continues, notably at present in Thailand, Honduras and Egypt where the General Sisi government, sustained by US money, “overthrew” the newly established democracy of 2012 and its elected president Mohamed Morsi, going on to kill thousands on the streets in cold blood and preparing for more, including Morsi himself on a ludicrous death sentence along with multiple supporters.
The Greeks have had their own taste of such bloody suppressions three times in history already, their communists barbarically tortured and put down under the Ioannis Metaxa corporate state dictatorship of the 1930s, again in the anti-communist anti-partisan civil war of 1945-49 staffed by deliberately released and recruited Greek rightwing torture collaborators with wartime Nazism, (a civil war notably run for imperialism by the “democratic left” Labourism of the fake-“left” darling Clement Attlee), and once more during the anti-trade union, anti-”left” colonels junta of the 1960s (when another Labour government was in office under Harold Wilson, ignoring and tolerating it).
All that potentially will happen everywhere again, most of all when capitalism runs further into the inevitable breakdown and collapse that the contradictions of production for private profit are rapidly returning the world to, with greater destructiveness and turmoil than ever before, as the unstoppable unrolling 2008 global meltdown is proving in raging war destruction and turmoil throughout the Middle East and east Europe, and in desperate forced penury as in Athens.
Of course the vicious exploitation terms of the “deal” imposed on the Greek working class by desperately besieged European finance capitalism, are not yet open Nazism (though harsh enough in expressing Europe-dominating German bourgeois interests, to have raised all kinds of historical echoes and nervous commentary even in the bourgeois press).
And a major part of any analysis must be that the modern monopoly capitalist ruling class is in greater disarray and fearful collapse in confidence than ever before, despite its enormous power and ever greater wealth and brutal automated killing capabilities, staring at the crumbling, on an unprecedented scale, of its world economic exploitation (just consider the Toshiba profit fixing humiliation in Japan for example, or the Tory bankruptcy in Britain, barely able to keep its military together, or any part of civil society, and in hock wholesale to assorted Gulf sheikhs, German bankers, Indian industrialists and Hong Kong magnates).
But Greece makes clear just what can be expected from an increasingly hard pressed bourgeoisie in even the richest countries facing the most cutthroat trade war conditions in history – and about to get far worse once the Quantitative Easing valueless credit injections of the last few years work through the system and further dilute the already poisoned dollar, bringing to an end all the hollow pretences of “recovery” pumped out by the George Osbornes of this world.
Not just the Germans but every bourgeois ruling class knows that if it is to survive now and in the coming storm of far worse collapse (magnified even more by the coming inflationary implosion of the same QE credit that is supposed to have “saved” the “free market”), it has to step up the rate of exploitation by driving the working class far harder.
Every one of them is preparing itself for coups and crackdowns, with enhanced surveillance, “anti-extremist” political censorship laws, stepped-up secret (and open) police repression, water cannon and the like, endless chauvinistic hate stunts, 1930s-style scapegoating, trade union restrictions (now virtually banning union strike action in Britain) and other anti-working class measures.
That is a recipe for explosive class turmoil and revolt as centuries of history have proven and all the more so in a modern world of high expectations and sophisticated knowledge: all the more reason to impose the burdens as much as possible on others, picking the weakest like Greece first of all, to avoid too much domestic strife.
The crisis is not going to stop with the desperate and temporarily helpless minority of the Greek working class – it is coming across the board as the global financial collapse of 2008 resurfaces in full force again.
There is no way out, except by completely ending capitalism’s greed-ridden exploitation system, and taking control to build planned socialist economies firmly under the control of the working class.
Why have the “lefts” not been warning and educating the working class in at least this basic Leninist grasp from the beginning of the crisis instead of false notions of “opposing” austerity by “voting against it”??
Why have they not tied this to the universal unrolling disaster being imposed on the rest of Europe too, as the Tory’s vicious budget has underlined in the UK for example, the savagery of which at least few bourgeois press commentators have explained against the ludicrous Tory “one-nation” lying spin (even more upside-down and inside-out than Blairite lies and hype)?
The “left” mountebanks and poseurs in the assorted fake-“left” groups have always been hostile to such crisis “catastrophist” understanding, however, even if they now make token references to the “crisis” in their various articles (it would be hard not to).
They are certainly a long way from explaining or grasping the profound depth of the unfolding disaster and certainly from the conclusion that relentless Marxist dialectical logic confronts them with, that capitalism is doomed and has to be turned over by a dictatorship of the working class the only power capable of opposing capitalist dictatorship, so that planned socialism can be built.
So instead they have been lying to the working class for the last five months that Syriza was “a new way forwards”, feeding out the same old failed reformist illusions pumped out for a century and a half, helping to sustain the increasingly threadbare and bankrupted fraud of “parliamentary democracy” and failing to warn the working class of the inevitable imposition of Slump penury, only just beginning as capitalism’s incurable crisis failure unrolls.
They have whooped and cheered on Syriza, and all such populist shallowness and anti-revolutionary semi-anarchist opportunism, like Podemos in Spain, the populist Beppo Grillo movement in Italy or their own Left Unity circus of disparate Trot and revisionist sectarians, all pretending to be singing the same tune but as united as a bagful of cats except for one question - their relentless anti-communism and hostility to Marxist theory.
Even now, instead clearly stating and identifying Syriza’s gross class collaborating betrayal, (joining up with the same bourgeois parties that it was supposedly trouncing in the February election, to vote through the latest draconian Slump package of cuts) they simply make excuses for one of the most glaring about turns yet in a long world history of careerist opportunism by such petty bourgeois dominated movements, wringing their hands not at the twisting duplicity of careerist “left” demagogues, but at the perfidy of the German-led Euro-bourgeoisie:
We unreservedly condemn the criminal attacks by the states and institutions of the European Union on Greece and its people. Not satisfied with the imposition of extreme neo-liberalism and the destruction of the livelihoods and welfare of millions of people, these so-called European ‘partners’ are now proceeding to strip Greece of its national sovereignty and self-determination.
“Unreserved” condemnation- eh? That should do it.
It was clear from its founding that this “left radical” Syriza hodge-podge of reformists, old-lag Eurocommunists, and assorted anti-communist Trotskyists was a gigantic and preposterous opportunist fraud, which would do nothing to stop the unrolling capitalist crisis being imposed with full force, not even its “left” faction, which has remained silent until now, its presence playing the same role the Corbyns and Abbotts do in the Labour Party, giving a “left” reformist cover to outright class collaboration (or these New Labour days, simply alternative bourgeois class rule).
Nor could it “do something” without developing complete revolutionary perspective for the working class to take power, seizing all of the banks and industries into common ownership under the authority of the working class.
But even such calls – suddenly being theatrically made by some of the “left” are so much posing if made in a vacuum.
Carrying them out would require a full revolutionary leadership and understanding commanding sufficient authority and acceptance to unite the working class in the obviously huge class war battles it needs to fight.
To build that, an urgent task, requires a wide ranging and ever deepened grasp of the entire worldwide capitalist system, seeing the devastation facing the Greek working class as part of a world Slump catastrophe, and seeing and explaining the war drive by imperialism to escape it; seeing the enormous worldwide revolt which has been created by the devastation, particularly throughout the Third world in the great Islamic insurgency and jihadist revolts particularly, which for all their confusions, are now inexorably growing and making life difficult for imperialism; seeing and understanding the weaknesses and splits in the ruling class itself and its hesitancy,uncertainty and paralysis.
No such perspective is coming from the “Greek Solidarity Campaign” for example whose chair happens also to be “general secretary” of Left Unity, Kate Hudson.
Just the opposite, its full statement reeks of a mixture of petty bourgeois complacency and defeatism. It goes on:
The terms under consideration are nothing short of economic terrorism to force political compliance and reduce Greece to colonial status. European imperialism, previously reserved for peoples and states outside Europe, has now been turned towards Greece, asset stripping, privatising and deregulating, reminiscent of the structural adjustment programmes imposed on Africa and elsewhere in the 1970s and 1980s and on the countries of eastern Europe in the 1990s.
Well how shocking is that, it is tempting to ask teenager-style, that Europeans should be subjected to the same tyrannical exploitation and barbaric oppression that the slave-driven Third World has experienced for the last 200 years!!!!
And what are we to do about it?
There is no solution in this “how dare they treat us like that” pomposity with its near-racist undertones (and to a background of constant “condemn terror” capitulation to capitalist warmongering and blitzkrieging), all saturated with petty bourgeois exclusivity and smug “superiority” born of long years of imperialist world dominance, and the super-profits corruption of great layers of better-off and skilled workers, or “more secure” (until now) municipal state workers, all influenced by petty bourgeois attitudes.
There is a total blindspot in the comprehension of such “left” groups to the overwhelming hurricane of economic collapse and failure that is now unfolding and threatening everyone, as indicated by its “left charity” sensibility, seeing “solidarity with Greece” as a matter of aid collections and help.
This is a million miles from any Marxist view.
The humanitarian instinct of the working class will always respond to difficulties faced by others, but whether it sends donations or not, - and many workers in Britain are facing their own desperately tough times in the teeth of Tory (and Harriet Harman colluding Labourite) economic “terrorism” here, – what it needs is to take up the struggle for revolutionary grasp itself.
But the Left Unity statement sneers at all efforts to understand, declaring offhandedly that
“Whatever analysis we arrive at about how Syriza could or should have done things differently, the need for solidarity with the people of Greece is greater than ever before.”
What should be said is just the opposite, that correctly analysing and exposing Syriza’s opportunism, its relationship to the crisis overall and the international balance of class forces, is the vital need for workers in Greece and everywhere else, as part of the overall struggle for a worldwide perspective.
Pandering to philistine reluctance to engage in Marxist theory, as this does, as a sly way to wriggle away from grotesque errors supporting Syriza – (analysis - “whatever”!!!!) – is the hallmark of the petty bourgeois-“left” and its sectarian rejection of all real polemic, debate and serious effort to understand, by battling through and correcting mistakes, to reach an agreed understanding of the world.
Hostility to theory (not just Marxism) is a particular weakness of the British Labour movement, rooted in the empiricism of the industrial revolution, but also a devastating legacy of the Third International Stalinist revisionism which slowly retreated from such difficult debate under the huge pressures of trying to understand the world at a time of total encirclement by capitalist counter-revolution in the 1920s and 1930s and its culminating devastating World War Two onslaught on the USSR.
The best, in fact the only true “solidarity” that can be offered to the Greek working class, is exactly as Lenin said many times, to “take up the revolutionary struggle in your own country”, beginning with the battle for Marxist understanding and its continuous development as the class struggle unfolds, to overcome past mistakes and see the emerging shapes of the great class forces shaping up.
That is the leadership the working class needs, developed and argued in front of it and drawing in and educating thereby the best of the workers to build the cadre forces needed.
The immediate and most basic lesson from Greece to spell out, is that “anti-austerity” and the “assertion of the democratic will of the working class” via bourgeois institutions like Parliament, cannot change anything and in fact leads them up a deadly garden path.
As the crisis unfolds the working class has absolutely no choice BUT to take up the revolutionary struggle.
Perhaps those opposing Syriza are a better option?
A second lesson from Greece is that they are just a big a fraud on the working class as the Syriza types, and need exposing even more.
The vital revolutionary perspective does not begin to be looked at seriously by any of the various “left” groups now hastily backpedaling away from Syriza as fast as possible and like the SWP, trying to cover their tracks, having declared it to be “progress” initially (when its opportunism needed to be exposed from the start), or those groups suddenly now coming out as a “left” opposition inside Syriza (why have they remained silent so long?), or even from the revisionists and others who opposed it from the beginning.
For all their claims to be revolutionaries, and suddenly appearing calls for “nationalising the banks” and “taking over industry”, none of them come remotely near talking about the need for the working class to take power and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.
This is the only way such demands could begin to be carried out and crucially be defended from the inevitable counter-revolution, threatened not alone by the vicious nationalist Golden Dawn fascist thugs, but by directly by the Greek state forces and military (which happens to be under control of the Defence Minister from the right wing ANEL nationalist party that Syriza is extraordinarily and sinisterly in coalition with, and which has quietly been getting on with the building alliances with the most reactionary forces in the Mediterranean, as clear already from this February report):
Greece is planning joint military exercises with Israel, Cyprus and Egypt, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said Wednesday, according to AFP.
The decision comes amid continuing tensions between Cyprus and Turkey over oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.
Kammenos, visiting close ally Cyprus, said the two countries, along with Israel and “possibly” Egypt would begin joint exercises within the coming months aimed at improving regional security.
Cyprus has suspended UN-led peace talks with Turkey, which invaded the island in 1974 and still occupies its northern third, saying Ankara persists in trying to hamper the country’s energy search.....
He said regional security also meant closer ties with Israel, another energy player.
“Defense planning should take into account friends and allies which seek defense cooperation in the region. And I clearly I mean eastward toward Israel.”
Israel and Greece have enjoyed close relations and have held joint military drills in the past.
Kammenos’s announcement comes after Greece’s new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, last week sought to assure the Israeli ambassador to Athens that Greek-Israeli relations will not change following his election.
One group posturing mightily over the capitulation is the revisionist Weekly Worker CPGB in a long turgid piece which finally gets round (obliquely) to criticising Alexis Tsipras in the last paragraph for failing to
“abolish the standing army, expropriate the landed estates of the Orthodox Church and oversee a massive wave of trade unionisation and workers control”.
Well and good but how is all this to be achieved???
Presumably with a “massive wave” of the hands?
Certainly not by fighting for a workers state – the real problem, says this laughable bunch of comfortable academics, is that there has been “no radical extension of democracy”.
To think that this strutting and preening “intellectualism” emerged from the one-time British Communist party where it called its paper the Leninist!!!
The man will be spinning in his Moscow mausoleum at such a travesty.
The tiny problem that the WW has in this July 9th article – quite apart from the other “tiny" problem that it is, astonishingly, part of Left Unity, and declares LU’s debate-stifling “safe-spaces” PC-diversionary single-issue riddled Trotskyism (which is anything but “democracy” and free debate) to be the best prospect the British working class has got at least “until the next election” – is that Syriza has made a complete fetish out of “extending democracy” and trumpeting the “people say no” line morning, noon and night.
It has been virtually the only card it has played.
So the CPGBers are obliged to spend most of their article in a long angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin academic rigmarole trying to “prove” that the referendum – surely an “extension” of the “consistent democracy” these frauds advocate – was not democracy all.
The essence of this is that it was a manipulated question pulling a fast one.
But is that not the reality of all bourgeois “democracy”?
Is that not why Marxism does not foster any illusions by the working class being able to make progress this way through any of the abstract “democracy” these petty bourgeois frauds kow-tow to, and not just the Syriza version.
Real democracy for the working class can only be established, contradictorily, when the working class takes power, imposing its will via the dictatorship of the proletariat, under which the great mass of the population can be drawn steadily into running things as a rational communist society.
Tsipras certainly is a tricky careerist and manipulator, – so what conclusion is to be drawn next then does WW suggest – a workers takeover perhaps?
Not for the genteel sensitivities of the CPGBers who get rather antsy at the idea, taking a swipe at both the Syriza “lefts” and the Greek Communist Party, the revisionist KKE, who ostensibly have gone halfway on the question (but no more).
True, the KKE does have a plan B - as does Syriza’s Left Platform, which constitutes about 30%-40% of the party’s membership. The plan is relatively simple: get out of the euro and the EU. Go it alone. National autarky. Permanently maintain capital controls, nationalise everything you can see and hope for the best. A vision of grim, barrack-room socialism - but at least it is an option (not something you can say about the Syriza majority).
Just notice the contemptuous tone over “barrack room socialism” from these comfortable Islington armchair “socialists”, long famous for their reluctance to sacrifice access to “Brie and Bordeaux” in Britain’s supermarkets, piled high on the shelves with the superprofits ripped out of the exploited Third World, for anything so distasteful as an all-out class struggle (see EPSR issue 890 11-02-97).
No wonder their view of the world is indistinguishable from poisonous Trotskyism, driven by hostility and visceral hatred of the workers states, and any concept of the gigantic working class sacrifice and struggle that has been necessary to build them, often under non-stop strangling siege and blockade like Cuba.
Why would the Greek workers complain however?
The deprivation and poverty forced onto Greece in order to salvage the profligate bank lending of the big Euro-banks and financiers (who get virtually all the alleged “bailout” money, to patch up their greedy irresponsibility and incompetence,) has already cost many lives in despairing jobless suicides and from medical shortages, has wrecked families and destroyed the futures of tens of thousands of Greek youths and workers, and will cost far more now.
(And that is still nothing like the conditions of the Third World, which is where the European capitalist ruling class must eventually drive its workers, in order to prevent their economies going under in the ever chillier waters of the cutthroat trade and currency wars that the crisis is inexorably intensifying).
Socialism of any kind, including initially the severest of difficult “barrack-room” conditions that might need to be faced (as Lenin’s early Soviet Union did (and in fact Stalin’s WW2 anti-Nazi war), or the Koreans or Vietnamese or many others), would be welcome if joined in common struggle, with the inequality and privilege of capitalism overturned and a conscious understanding and leadership giving the chance to start building a new socialist planned economy and society established by a workers state, that will eventually be able to take everyone far ahead of the antagonisms, hatreds and deprivation of capitalist rule.
Unfortunately, for all its sourness, the CPGB’s petty lashing out is misplaced anyway; the KKE’s revisionist perspective is much more limited, still saying nothing to the working class about the need to prepare for the civil war realities of the struggle to take power.
Its strategy is primarily to leave the Euro and its tactic for the referendum was simply to advocate a giant “no” be scrawled on the ballot papers, and with a vague plan for “socialising the means of production” in the future, with no explanation of how this is to be done, and certainly no all out revolutionary perspective.
This is the latest website statement from KKE after a major demonstration of the revisionist PAME trade union movement following the signing of the EU memorandum by the Syriza crew and the reactionary parties they have now teamed up with:
The MPs of SYRIZA (111 out of 149), ANEL, ND, POTAMI and PASOK voted for this agreement and the draft bill. 32 MPs of SYRIZA voted no and 6 present. These differentiations do not have a substantial character. It is revealing about the extent of the deception that cadres of the so-called “Left Platform” stated very clearly that they would vote against the draft bill but that they support the government fully and the Prime Minister who tabled this bill!
At the same time, thousands of workers demonstrated outside the parliament and in dozens of cities all over the country, in the large militant demonstrations of PAME. These demonstrations sent a resounding message against the government and bourgeois opposition parties that are “serving” another memorandum to the people in order to continue to bleed them for the profits of capital. The mass character, militancy and protection of PAME negated the planned provocation that unfolded with the aim of attacking the magnificent rally of PAME in Athens.
The GS of the CC of the KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumpas, noted in his speech that the conscious attempt to deceive the people had reached its limits and underlined that the people will be made to pay for the wretched Tsipras memorandum, which the SYRIZA-ANEL government is presenting as the only choice, utilizing the same arguments which the previous governments had deployed. He also stressed that this agreement is extremely fragile as the struggle between France and Germany over the future of the Eurozone is sharpening, as well as the one between the USA and Germany for hegemony in Europe. The victims of these confrontations are the Greek people. For this reason and despite the temporary agreement, a Grexit can not be ruled out in the next period, and he noted that a capitalist Greece with a Drachma is not an alternative solution for the people.
He stressed that the real way out means rupture with the EU, capital and its power. In order to pave the way for this, the people must unite and organize themselves immediately, the labour movement must regroup and acquire a clear anti-capitalist orientation. On the basis of these demands, the labour movement must develop its social people’s alliance with the other popular movements that have an orientation against the monopolies. The people must strengthen their cooperation with the KKE, regardless of various reservations and differences they may have.
For all its vague calls to “anti-capitalism” this is pure revisionism, addled and hopelessly misleading, telling the working class nothing about the class war realities they face both in Greece and just as importantly throughout Europe whether they are inside or outside the EU.
Where is even the tiniest reference to the need for the working class to build a powerful class war fighting organisation and leadership that understands and explains to the working class the disastrous and epochal nature of the world crisis collapse unfolding everywhere?
Where are the warnings about the counter-revolutionary moves most certainly in preparation by the ruling class should any of the working class movement begin to go anywhere.
Are there not lessons enough in Greek history, let alone all around the world for the last seventy years, in Chile for example as mentioned already, or in nearby Egypt across the Mediterranean where even the most confused and tamest of Islamic influenced nationalism, which headed off the continuing giant 2011 Arab Spring spontaneous revolutionary upheaval into safer (for capitalism) “democracy”, has proven intolerable for imperialism, making sure to depose the opportunist President Muhamed Morsi (now under death sentence) and establish a new imperialist stooge military dictatorship even more brutal than the previous Hosni Mubarak (who it has released).
The KKE follows on the direst of Stalin’s mistakes, built on a completely wrong assessment of imperialism’s capabilities after World War Two (of it being unable to grow back to world tyrannising dominance again) which led to a world view of “peaceful roads”, social-pacifist “no to War” protest and “democratic struggle”, and abandoning the revolutionary fight as “likely to provoke imperialism unnecessarily when it can be hemmed in by peace protests and the steady growth of socialist economic superiority”.
But socialist economic growth, and the full development of rational society everywhere could only really take off when the world has shaken itself free of capitalism everywhere, and the huge inequalities of development, built on slave-driven Third World exploitation are ended which can only be done by revolutionary overthrow.
It might be thought that the brief reference in its Syntagma Square speech to the inter-imperialist rivalries intensifying everywhere – they are – would indicate a deeper perspective about the crisis, but in fact simply underline the absence in the KKE leadership of the kind of overall world view that makes clear the now apocalyptic nature of the unfolding crisis of the entire capitalist order.
It says nothing to show it is the world crisis which is driving to the surface such splits and conflicts, as the imperialists desperately struggle to survive against each other, a conflict that is relentlessly pushing the entire world once more to all out world war.
There is no sense, in this KKE revisionism, of Marx’s long historical view of the 800 years old bourgeois system reaching the end of its capacity to go forwards, (as set out in the Communist Manifesto for example) nor of the horrifying world war destruction that its contradictions are dragging the entire world towards, which have already torn much of the Middle East apart, threaten Russia via Ukraine and NATO buildup and are surrounding China.
It is not even mentioned.
But does the KKE not declare that a capitalist Greece using the Drachma, outside the EU cannot survive? Does that not imply socialism?
But a conscious Leninist party should spell out what it understands.
Anyway this still only talks only of Greece in isolation.
Where is the rest of the world and the giant eruptions of struggle throughout the Third World?
It suits all these fake-”lefts” to ignore that, brushed aside or “condemned” as “terrorism” or “reactionary” or "psychotic jihadism”, lining them up with capitalism’s “war on terror” which is nothing but the excuse for capitalism’s own non-stop warmongering “solution”.
Declaring that Greece needs to “socialise” the means of production may be true but what follows?
“Anti-capitalism” is the vaguest of terms with not indication of how it should be fought for.
And that vagueness covers up the same old international revisionist garbage, for what should appear on the KKE website five minutes later but a declaration of “solidarity” by some 20 worldwide CPs.
And what does that say?
Use the same old “left pressure” participation in “democracy” that has blighted working class understanding for decades it seems:
Capitalism can not be humanized. It gives rise to crises, unemployment and poverty. In reality, it has been demonstrated that every kind of management of the system sharpens the people’s problems and increases the profits of big capital.
The EU is a reactionary imperialist organization. “Democracy”, “Solidarity” and social justice can not exist inside its framework.
We, the Communist and Workers Parties which sign this message, appreciate the decisive-consistent stance of the KKE at the side of the working class, the Greek people for the abolition of the memoranda, against the anti-people agreement signed by the SYRIZA-ANEL government (and the other bourgeois political parties) with the Troika (EU-ECB-IMF).
Our parties salute the struggle of the communists in Greece for the workers’-people’s rights, the overthrow of capitalist barbarity, for socialism.
“Democracy” etc can “exist” outside the EU then?
No sense here of the overwhelming world collapse underway, just the same old crises, unemployment and poverty that have always blighted lives.
Even if the throwaway phrase about “overthrowing capitalism” is taken up the question once again is how.
And how does this get taken up by these parties in their own countries? Is Greece somehow separate?
There is not a word here about the rest of the world facing exactly the problems that Greece does, nor of how the Greek struggle can be understood as part of the same struggle facing everyone.
All this “saluting” fails totally to raise the crucial basic questions, as always seeing events in isolation – solidarity for a “Greek crisis” – rather than as part of the gigantic international collapse of all imperialism into the greatest disaster in history in which taking up the revolutionary issues every where is the only real solidarity.
One listed signatory from the 20 or so listed CPs around the capitalist world for example is Venezuela’s, another favourite of the fake-“left” and as much or an allegedly “new inspiration” as the “anti-austerity” movement was declared to be only weeks ago.
But the Nicolás Maduro regime there has come nowhere near “overthrowing” its ruling class and as a result suffers non-stop sabotage of the left reformist measures that he as president and much eulogised Chávez before him put through, – having the advantage, unlike Greece, of massive oil revenues - as well as repeated CIA-backed local bourgeois coup attempts which have failed at least as much because of American imperialist disarray (facing numerous world wide problems) as from the resistance of the working class, left largely unorganised and confused and open to the reactionary propaganda lies and demoralisation that a still capitalist controlled local media is free to pour out.
Instead of building Leninist revolutionary grasp to guide and inspire the working class this CP has gone along with all the ridiculous “21st Century” socialism twaddle that Chávez and Maduro have promulgated, whose key feature is to tie the working class in Venezuela to notions of “democracy” and to abandon or belittle the understanding of Marx, Engels and Lenin, most of all in the dictatorship of the proletariat.
One of the worst aspects of the KKE’s revisionist confusion above is the advice to “strengthen cooperation regardless of various reservations”.
This is about as sensible as Hudson’s “wot’evah” dismissal of theory.
It too abandons the most important aspect of any communist struggle, the polemical battle for understanding and a correct view of the world.
Of course cooperation against capitalism should be strengthened but not at the expense of clarity.
Even in the middle preparing for battles, far from holding back on “reservations” there should be the most widespread and profound debate, encouraged and led by communists, part of an enormous discussion to hammer out a clear understanding of what is happening and what the fight is.
Decades of brainwashing anti-communism about the supposed “totalitarian nightmare” of the workers states (eagerly reinforced by the poison poured out by the Trotskyist wing of petty bourgeois fake- “left”ism,) and equally that communism “failed” economically, continue to cripple the working class’s ability to fight the crisis.
Until all those questions are thoroughly examined and gone over to understand both the huge triumphs of the Soviet Union (and other workers states) and the philosophical mistakes its leadership made, starting as far back at the 1920s, there is no going forwards - why would workers fight for communism if it “did not work”.
It did work brilliantly, and the Trot lies that it was a “nightmare” are pure poison, but its leadership made errors which finally led to its liquidation and that has to be examined in detail and understood, not denied.
The fear of such discussion and its suppression is part of the legacy of the Stalinist retreat in itself.
It is the basis of the mistaken tactic of the Popular Front (essentially being advocated here) and has been a disaster from at least the time of the 1930s Spanish civil war when Stalinism, despite heroic contribution in volunteers, technical organisation and advice and arms to the fight against Franco, (and against the imperialist Nazism backing him), restricted the political perspective to a call for an “Anti-Fascist” front.
Supposedly this was a demand that “everyone could agree with” fighting for bourgeois democracy, instead of developing and training a communist movement with a perspective of going well beyond the useless republicans to establish a communist leadership of the whole struggle, as soon as the working class could be won over (while continuing to fight Franco).
Without such a perspective not only the fight for a workers state, but even the fight for the republican government was doomed anyway.
Of course Leninist leadership should not be sectarian and should fight alongside any groups genuinely confronting capitalism however partially, intervening in all kinds of single-issue battles if possible.
That is different to supporting out and out opportunism, such as Syriza clearly was from the start.
But even with “popular movements orientated against monopolies” (why does Stalinism never state who it is talking about) the battle is to develop the only understanding that can actually change anything – a revolutionary perspective.
It should not for one minute give the working class any illusions that the leadership perspectives of such other groups do not matter.
Leninism’s understanding should be adopted of making clear to the working class that while tactically standing alongside all possible allies, (for as long as they sustain their opposition to reaction,) they should not trust in or rely on them one iota, and in fact in many cases should be constantly on their guard, just as he warned the working class in Russia in August 1917 of the total treachery of the petty bourgeois Kerensky government (equivalent to a modern day Labour Party effectively), even while the Bolsheviks were obliged to join with Kerensky to battle against a violent Tsarist restoration attempt by Black Hundreds (fascist) General Kornilov.
The key is to make clear that the fight is to defeat imperialism and reaction, but not to support wrong understanding; so, for the defeat of the imperialist warmongering blitzkrieg skulduggery against Serbia, Iraq, Libya or Syria for example but not one jot of support for the assorted revisionist nationalist or bourgeois nationalist regimes of the incompetent opportunist Milosevic, the once-time CIA stooge Saddam Hussein, the confused Green book semi-mystical “socialism” of Mummuar Gaddafi or the complacent, incompetent, erratic local capitalism of Assad and its compromises and inaction, failing to take up the anti-imperialist struggle fully and leaving its population divided and split for decades along the sectarian lines which have now been exploited so viciously by Western fascist warmongering and subversion to destroy much of the country.
The battle at the international level and in domestic struggles is to win the fight for understanding and the suppression of the debate in order not to “upset” allies is precisely the wrong approach.
The complete ineffectuality of Stalinism even more is captured by the latest flourishes from the Lalkar paper of the Harpal Brar followers (who alternate their identity each month with the CPGB-ML Proletarian paper from the same museum Stalinist stable) made just before the referendum:
It is time for the Greek people to make a tumultuous arrival on the stage of Greek politics and fight against the blackmail and intimidation being practised on them by the lenders. Only the intervention of the Greeks people can put pressure on their government not to cave in to the outrageous demands being made by the bloodsuckers. It is time tor the Greek people to impress on their government the urgent need for an exit from the Eurozone and the Euro, as well as unilateral cancellation of debt as well as the taking into public ownership without compensation of all the monopolies.
All this fiery rhetoric just to “impress upon their government etc”!!! That was going to happen, as the teenagers say.
Or how about this a few paragraphs later which seems to have forgotten all the fiery phrases just above:
Undoubtedly a Grexit would also be temporarily uncomfortable for the Greek people but short of a substantial write down of its debts, it would be the only possible way that its economy could be put back on its feet.
Back on its feet!!! And this in the middle of the greatest crisis in all history for imperialism. Nobody anywhere is getting back on their feet for more than a few QE sustained moments, not even the greatest powers themselves – and above all overwhelmingly powerful US imperialism – for all that their bullying might temporarily allow the crisis to be pushed onto others (exactly the point of inter-imperialist rivalry alluded to by the KKE, in which the US is manipulating its stooge IMF, forcing Germany to sustain the €billions cost of either further loans to salvage the European finance system, or the risk the destabilisation of a possible Greek default).
Lalkar gets even more confused in the lame conclusion:
There are also many parallels being made between the financial situation of Greece and that of Argentina which defaulted on its debts 10 years ago and was able to make a dramatic economic recovery as a result of the heavy devaluation of its currency leading to an export boom. It has been argued that this was only possible because Argentina had buoyant trading partners, which Greece lacks. This is to forget, however, that China and Russia have every interest in doing business with Greece. There is plenty of political advantage available to them if Greece shifts into their sphere of influence, with negotiations already well underway for the Russian Turkstream pipeline that bypasses Ukraine to be extended through Greece. Naturally, if Greece remains in the EU despite leaving the Eurozone, it can be expected to veto the renewal of economic sanctions against Russia, and there is also the matter of the US military base in Crete that might conceivably come up for reconsideration.
A Grexit which leaves Greece thriving would cause further headaches for the business since other countries - Portugal and Spain in particular - might feel it necessary to follow suit. The fact is the whole of the imperialist European project is under threat.
Where to begin with the nonsense in this?
Argentina perhaps, which for all its temporary success, has neither escaped the crisis and is subject to increasing US aggression including sinister plots to bring down the Government over the mysterious suicide of a leading intelligence chief?
Or perhaps the world crisis of capitalism, which has simply vanished to leave Lalkar gibbering about “bouyant trading” everywhere and a “thriving” economy.
Astonishing – and not on this planet, at least while capitalism still exists.
Or perhaps look at the equating of oligarch gangster dominated and constantly plundered capitalist Russia with the still planned workers state of China, which for all its plentiful revisionist illusions, has not yet seen a capitalist counter-revolution, and has a centralised economy.
The failure to say a word to the working class about the capitalist class nature of Russia, treating it as if the Putin bonapartism is some kind of continuation of a planned economy – is alone deserving of a whole paper to expose these opportunist frauds.
Their desperate clinging on to the old “step by step” Moscow revisionist world view of gradually “containing capitalism” (and thereby avoiding revolution) now elevates Putin to the status of “steadfast” (a favourite Lalkar word) “friend of the working class” even though he is far more of a capitalist and anti-communist than ever was, say, Nikita Khrushchev, the demonised scapegoat on whose revisionist shoulders the Stalin worshippers load all mistakes and difficulties of the Soviet Union (in order to avoid putting the origin of them squarely at Stalin’s door where they belong – Moscow’s deepening errors and retreats having begun long before Krushchev’s time – including the failure to support the heroic Greek partisan communists and the mistaken perspectives about “non-aggressive imperialism” that left them floundering in 1944-5 and open to British led counter-revolution).
But their uncritical eulogising of Beijing is also nonsensical, declaring it to be “thriving” too in this deranged world view, untouched by the world financial collapse – except China’s participation in the world capitalist economy is becoming increasing wobbly as export declines and the great Shanghai Stock Exchange falls have been demonstrating.
China does have the capacity to soak up huge difficulties, precisely because it is a planned economy and while its has made huge use of capitalist methodology for economic development, it remains to be seen how much it will be shaken by the overall world capitalist crisis. But thriving? And enough to rescue Greece? And make the crisis disappear?
Lalkar’s lame ending, essentially celebrating that the imperialist EU project is “under threat” is about par for the course for all the fake-“lefts”, failing utterly to rise to any understanding of the world crisis and the enormous breakdown and conflicts it is imposing.
It is not the breakdown of “Europe”, or its survival that is going to make a difference to the working class anywhere as such; and in fact chortling over the collapse of Europe is to sink close the class collaborating trade unionist traditional Little Englander-ism expressed in the sad remnants of the Scargillite anti-communist Socialist Labour Party or the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition electoral lash-ups, calling for Britain to leave Europe.
Suggesting that Europe is in itself a problem simply feeds the backward chauvinism that imperialism itself wants to wants to stir up (which is anyway done so much better by the UKIP backwoodsmen) in order keep the war atmosphere on the boil, and to have “them over there!” foreign scapegoats to blame for the disastrous collapse, incompetence and bankruptcy that capitalism is alone responsible for,
And it misses the main point that should be drawn out. As the EPSR said 15 years ago (ironically arguing against the Weekly Worker which was defending the EU). From EPSR 1099 24-06-01)
Just these conflicts, with the IMF (representing US interests) deliberately trying to sabotage the German agenda of holding Europe together, are what are now reaching red-heat.
...the political perspective is completely wrong, totally (and deliberately) lacking in the faintest scrap of revolutionary understanding.
What needs to be projected is the reason why the ‘European Union’ has been so slowly, painfully, and traumatically cobbled together in the first place, - to prepare the defeated or dying older European imperialist powers for the next great international confrontation for supremacy (i.e. for survival) with the newer more thrusting US and Japanese imperialist powers when the great world postwar boom finally explosively crashes into slump once it has run into global ‘overproduction’ problems, and the ‘surpluses’ of investment capital everywhere have to start being DESTROYED (which might take at least 20 years of depression, trade war, and shooting war) before a new international boom can begin again on the wreckage of the previous ‘new world order’.
The artificial ‘European Union’ is nothing but a patched together political gimmick hoping to persuade its dominant economic force (revived German imperialism inevitably and unavoidably on the globalisation supremacy trail once again, where all successful imperialist economies must end up) to lead the rest of Europe into trade-war and territorial-influence battle next time that an ‘overproduction’ crisis requires a universally destructive capitalist sort out, - rather than wage war on the rest of Europe like last time.
It is precisely because of this real purpose behind the ‘European Union’ that the British Establishment (under both parties), which has traditionally been a stooge-ally for US imperialism in most previous imperialist warmongering on earth,-- is so tortured, divided, (all parties), and paralysed over whether to take its obvious inevitable trading advantages of EU membership any further into the political tie-up with its old rival European imperialist powers. (Although popularly measured by a shorthand economic summary: ‘Into the Euro, or keep the pound’,- the dreadful doubts crippling the British ruling class (both parties) really solely concern the longer-term political trade-war dimensions of the coming inter-imperialist crisis).
But why is there not a single word of this sole-possible Marxist historical science view on imperialist crisis-development, raised throughout the ‘Socialist Alliance’?????
Because their ‘consistent democracy’ is nothing whatever to do with the confident revolutionary-propaganda aggression of the Bolsheviks who imaginatively described their winning of sufficient support among the Soviet-oriented workers, soldiers, and peasants so as to be able to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat by seizing power and keeping it, as ‘winning the battle of democracy’
Further agonising is apparent in the German ruling class between the most conservative wing ready to ditch weakening southern Europe (and France) and go it alone with the stronger northern economies (which happen to be those whose bourgeoisies sympathised most with, or were occupied by, Nazi Germany in the past, - Austria, Finland, the Baltic states, the Slovakia, and to some extent the Netherlands and Belgium), seeing that as the best bet for competing against the dominant US as trade war intensifies, and the Merkel wing which wants to hold together the Euro area, which has benefitted Germany until now by providing a captive market and one with highly favourable exchange rates boosting German exports worldwide (because the Euro includes weaker economies which hold down the value compared to the level it would reach if becoming essentially a new Deutschmark).
All these options are signs of weakness and desperation rather than rapacious expansionism and are one of the reasons for the long paralysis in the spun out “negotiations”, with Greece over 6 months.
American interests are to keep Greece intact, for critical strategic reasons as a Mediterranean naval base, and to prevent the Middle Eastern upheavals spreading further, north, while pushing Germany down further, forcing it to pay the price; just as it has demanded Germany and Europe take the bulk of the burden of the warmongering provocations against Russia, with the German and other European economies suffering the effects of the sanctions (ironically, one reason for the rise of the nationalist Finns).
Within these conflicting and contradictory ebbs and flows, there is a deeper fear in all of the imperialists of what might begin to unravel if Greece was pushed into all out revolutionary struggle, an even more significant reason why the bourgeoisie has hesitated time and time over from simply cutting Greece loose.
Far from being “on its own” as the various fake-“left” groups imply, and as the analyses suggest by limiting themselves to Greece itself, a revolutionary movement could rapidly send shock waves through all of Europe.
Imperialism is already reeling from two decades of growing insurgency and “terrorism” which for all its confusion has expressed a Third World revolt which is now unstoppably out of the bottle; a European revolution faces a greatly weakened world system increasingly ready for overturning.
What is required is Leninist understanding, not the “condemnations” of the fake-“left” and its narrow petty bourgeois betrayals.
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