Saturday, May 15, 2010

Nepal: Six Day Strike Leads the Maoist Road to its Dead End!

Rajesh Tyagi/ 15 May 2010
Reposted from new wave blog

The indefinite general strike starting from May 3, called by the Maoists in Nepal to force Madhav Nepal to resign as head of the coalition Government, was called off abruptly by the Maoist leadership, under tremendous pressure of receding support for them. The strike however has made the Maoist leadership realise the new alignment of forces, leaning strongly against them.

Maoists had to take the abrupt decision after government-sanctioned 'vigilantes' succeeded in hijacking the peace rally organised at the behest of Maoist party on May 7 in Kathmandu.

A perturbed Prachanda, the chief of UCPN(Maoist), accusing the government of trying to instigate violence in the Maoist demonstrations, vented his anger on the press and intellectuals for their role in not supporting the strike.

After calling off the strike, addressing a rally of party workers on Saturday, who had gathered and camped in Kathmandu for the past six days, hoping to return only after pulling down the coalition government under Madhav Nepal, Prachanda warned that “his party would not forget the dishonesty of these two groups of people towards the strike”. “We will settle scores with journalists and intellectuals for the dishonesty they showed towards our movement. We have in our mind what all you have written and done", he said referring to the media and the intellectuals.

Saturday's rally was mainly called to explain to the cadres the reason behind the sudden withdrawal of the strike. "If our demands are not met, we will go for a peoples' revolt and the six-day strike will prove to be a rehearsal," Prachanda added further.

However, unable to bring down the government through general strike, the Maoist leadership was compelled to pledge to disband its guerrilla army, at a moment when the bourgeois has established complete control over the National Army.

Maoist chief and supreme commander of its People’s Liberation Army, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has drawn up a four-month plan to empty the PLA camps, as demanded by the bourgeois parties. The Janadisha daily, a Maoist mouthpiece, on this Thursday has given the details of the plan.

The shamefaced Maoists are now asking the bourgeois parties to seek the opinion of their over 19,600 combatants of PLA, as to whether they would like to join the national army or be rehabilitated.

The process can be completed by mid-June and the armed fighters can be segregated in separate camps till they are fitted according to their desire within four months.

The main sticking point is the number of PLA fighters to be inducted into the national army.

While the former rebels want an en masse induction, the ruling parties say the Maoists inflated the size of the PLA and are entitled to have only 3,500-4,000 combatants taken in the regular army.

Prachanda has further pledged to dismantle the camps of the party’s militant youth wing, the Young Communist League, which is accused of being the paramilitary wing of the once underground party.

In return, the Maoists are asking for the formation of a commission that will disclose within two months the fate of nearly 1,000 people who went missing during the “People’s War” and are feared to have been killed by security forces or the former rebels themselves.

It remains to be seen if the Maoist road map will be accepted by the ruling parties.

Creeping towards the total power, step by step, the bourgeois gave another blow to the Maoists after the Supreme Court allowed the Nepal Army to make fresh recruitments, in derogation of the peace agreement signed in 2006, where both sides were to refrain from fresh hiring. Recruitment is allowed on the pretext that the vacancies were for technical posts like doctors and engineers.

While the bourgeois parties are busy in stabilising and consolidating power in their hands and perfecting the structures of Army, the Maoist appeal among the toilers in Nepal is fast losing its steam. Withdrawal of indefinite strike on May 8, without any success, is clear evidence of their decline.

Meanwhile, the time is running out with the UN supervising agency that is monitoring the Maoist camps nearing the end of its tenure. After a recent extension, the UN Mission in Nepal will now monitor the PLA till mid-September, within which the UN member countries want the fate of the PLA to be decided.

In no case, bourgeois is going to allow the writing of Constitution by the Parliament dominated by the Maoists, till May 28, the scheduled date, for the purpose. The sole targeted task before the bourgeois is to waste the time till then, while keeping its hold on power. In any case, bourgeois is not ready to share the power with Maoists, the misguided representatives of petty bourgeois.

If Parliament fails to adopt a Constitution by May 28, the same may trigger a political crisis, for which bourgeois has prepared for long. While perfecting its armed forces, it has succeeded in virtually disarming the revolutionary youth, with the aid of Maoist leadership. In case of a direct conflict, it is ready to inflict heavy loss upon the opposition.

Forced to call off the indefinite strike on Saturday, Prachanda warned the government of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal that it had two days time to respond to their demands. Two days had passed, but nothing happened, except that the Maoist leadership has made itself more laughable and politically irrelevant.

Bourgeois leaders were quick and jubilant in their response to the backtracking by the Maoists on protest agenda.

Welcoming the decision of withdrawal of protest, Madhav Kumar Nepal, the Prime Minister in ruling bourgeois coalition government, said in a statement that “the decision would play a positive role for discussion, consensus and cooperation among the political forces”. He further said, “the parties have no alternative to consensus and cooperation to ensure that peace process concludes and a new constitution is written”. Advising the Maoists, he urged them to “seek solution of all problems through consensus, constitutional principles and democratic values”.

The European Union and the United States also welcomed the Maoist decision to postpone the indefinite general strike. In their statements, the ambassadors of Norway, Switzerland the United States of America as well as the Head of the Mission of the European Union expressed hope that “this will prove to be a decisive step in the pursuit of a solution to the protracted political deadlock”.

Following the dictum of Mao on ‘new democracy’ the Maoists in Nepal had continued to dream of a petty bourgeois republic, where they would take power in conjunction with bourgeois. They misled themselves through ossified texts of Mao’s petty bourgeois and class conciliatory prescription of ‘bloc of four classes’, in believing that the capitalist landlord parties would enter into a coalition to power, under their leadership.

The capitalist landlord parties remained however unambiguously clear in their mission and outlook. After engaging Maoists in writing Constitution for their cherished ‘democracy’, the bourgeois deliberately delayed in time awaiting the tide of movement of 2006 to die down, and used the opportunity to prepare their forces to take the power.

Coalition of Maoists with bourgeois parties in 2006, not only prevented the forcible overthrow of Monarchy, but also preserved the structures of the Royal Nepal Army, the main plank of old power, with only cosmetic change of its name. On the contrary, Maoists were forced by bourgeois to send the armed fighters under their command to barracks monitored by the UN and thus stultify their fighting forces.

As the Maoists had refused to fight against bourgeois parties like Nepali Congress, after the tumultuous events of April 2006, the bourgeois has found time to regroup its forces to capture the political power and stabilise it. Maoists had remained adherent to bourgeois in the name of ‘new democracy’ and ‘seven party alliance’, but the bourgeois had prepared itself to take the power, marginalise its rivals and crush them later completely.

Maoists, the opponents of the program of permanent revolution propounded by Leon Trotsky, and the disciples of bogus ‘two stage theory’ of revolution-capitalism today, Socialism tomorrow, have little space for their fantasies in today’s world under extreme imperialist domination. They could not get even upto where they could reach in China and would not get anywhere else even upto where they could get in Nepal.

The crushing failure of the Maoist program in Nepal, is not the result of errors or mistakes of Maoist leadership in Nepal, but the whole political flaw stems out of the program proposed by Mao himself, which in its turn is a Menshevik program, taken up by Stalin in opposition to the program of world socialist revolution- the program of permanent revolution. Nepal only reveals the logical end of the program of Maoism.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Class Struggle 88 March-April 2010

National-ACT: 3 strikes and you’re out!

National ACT is pushing for the adoption of the US 3 strike law to lock up ‘hardened’ criminals. It doesn’t work in the US after 30 years and it won’t work here. This is no more than a sop to the bosses who want to lock up all those who break the law and throw away the key. This is directed at the working class facing a crisis where to survive more will resort to theft against property and persons. But it is capitalism and its crisis that is the cause of rising crime. It is sheer hypocrisy for the ruling boss class to lock up the working class for minor crimes when it gets away with theft of public property to fatten the pockets of its farming and banking cronies. National-ACT is engaged in three major acts of open crime against the working class for the benefit of its rich backers: Auckland Assets (see Article Socialise Tamaki Makarau), Canterbury Water and Conservation Gold.

In the case of Canterbury Water we see the local descendants of the 19th century squattacracy who grabbed thousands of acres, not squatting on water rights. The NACT regime has sacked the Canterbury Regional Council (CRC)in the pretext that is couldn’t fulfil its tasks, when in fact what they wanted was the wholesale granting of water rights to the dairy industry that has expanded rapidly in recent years. David Carter, deputy Minister for Local Government, who has a farm that can benefit from new water rights, and Rodney Hide, Minister of Conservation, both leading the charge to privatise Auckland, decided to do the same sort of blitzkrieg on Canterbury water. Bill English brother who was being taken to court by the CRC for dumping waste will probably avoid conviction.

In the case of Conservation Gold, the government has been talking to the mining industry since 2006 to open up Department of Conservation land to mining. We are not opposed to mining in principle as high tech methods can avoid destroying the ecology. However, we reject the NACT plans for mining as they involve rip-shit cowboys like Aussie mining interests pulling out gold, coal, oil etc with no real economic benefit coming to workers. The NACT regime talks about billions worth of value from mining. This is a vast exaggeration, and the profits that are made will leave the country.. We are for mining in public land only by the state under workers control. We are for the nationalisation of land and all natural resources under workers control with agricultural, mining and other use rights leased and monitored by workers committees.

No to privatisation of water, land, foreshore and seabed and minerals!!!
We say to Rodney Hide and his National-ACT cronies: 3 strikes and you’re out! Smash National-ACT!

Whanau Ora – Privatising welfare

Maori party leader Tariana Turia has happily announced a new policy which she say will reshape the way social services are delivered in NZ. She is now the minister for Whanau Ora. Translated this means “healthy families”.

The effect of this Maori party lead policy will be more crumbs for the Maori “Trust” bosses of social service providers. The frontline workers will not be paid more. Instead frontline wages will fall overall. Currently in social work, Health and Welfare (CYFS) lead social worker wage rates (perhaps paid a premium for oppressive roles). Trusts (privatised welfare) pay poorly. The Maori party will deliver low wages to frontline family workers and result in cost cutting for their National – Act government and their capitalist masters.

Maori party support of the National – ACT government has brought about this new welfare policy: “Whanau Ora”. It won’t just be Maori families which will suffer this new “healthiness”; Nat – ACT government insisted that the new welfare be open to all families.

$134.3 million is being thrown into a new national trust to research and implement the government’s Whanau Ora policy. We already know that it is private providers who will deliver the services to families. They will be told to change their business models, train Whanau Ora practitioners and improve their IT systems.

The lessons from the community dumping of disabled and mentally unwell in the 1980s and 1990s are the same lessons being dealt to society today, under the hype of “whanau ora”. Disabled and mentally unwell were thrown out of hospitals and dumped on their families and the workforce became fewer and lesser paid, “community support workers” (who remain at or near minimum wage rates today).

Perhaps the worst thing for Maori is that Turia appears to actually believe the vague and fluffy policy ‘whanau ora’ will result in effective change to families. While capitalist crisis dumps economic costs onto families by the bucket load, Turia will distract the working class from the pain of this with missionary zeal in her oratory. How many Maori will be sucked in by the Whanau Ora hype before the actual reality of under funded social services is understood?

Foreshore and Seabed means Aquaculture

Capitalist development has gone to sea in a new area of expansion: Aquaculture. Marine farming was bringing in (to NZ) just $25 million in 1989. It expanded rapidly to over $200 million in 2000. The vast majority of this income is from the export of green-lip mussels. Overseas demand exceeds supply and is growing. Approximately 28,000 tonnes of mussels were produced from 3000 ha of intensive mussel farms, mostly in the Marlborough Sounds. That is what the foreshore and seabed issue has actually always been about.

Ngati Apa wanted to get in on the burgeoning aquaculture industry in the Marlborough Sounds. While capitalists lined up for aqua farming licences. Ngati Apa waved the Treaty of Waitangi and claimed they already owned the seabed. They successfully got a court to agree that that might be the case. Suddenly the then Labour government put their Foreshore & Seabed law through to hold it in “public” hands. So, the capitalist state effectively took control of capitalist development of the seabed away from Maori.

While part of the Maori party deal with Nat-Act was to repeal the Labour government’s “Foreshore & Seabed” law nothing is going to change under this government. Indeed capitalist exploitation of the resources of the sea has increased under this government. Nat-Act have expanded the use of seabed with mining and drilling exploration rights up for grabs in many areas of the seabed. Nat-Act announced 10 new marine farms giving 3,143 hectares of new marine farming space, including a 2,695 hectare offshore farm, in Pegasus Bay in Canterbury. Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley said, “we need to get more space more quickly”. They want aquaculture to be bringing in a billion a year by 2025 and they will be changing the law to allow just that (in the aquaculture amendment act).

Maori party get the Foreshore and Seabed back for Maori: Get real!

Bennett’s panel of anti-welfare 'experts'

In an informative article on Scoop journalist Gordon Campbell has described as “strange” the composition of a working group Paula Bennett has selected to ‘reform’ the welfare system, but there is nothing strange about it considering the self serving ideological assumptions of her government and it ACT coalition partner. The panel’s composition signifies nothing short of an intention to contract out all social services to Nanny Private Enterprise.

Prominent in the panel’s membership is an assortment of CEOs of trusts already contracted to WINZ. As such they have a direct financial interest in the outcome of their deliberations, and can be expected to propose whatever changes will bring business their way.

Also on the panel are a former ACT Party president, and two overseas academics who have been appointed as ‘expert advisors.’ One of these, Peter Saunders is a former Director of Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney and is described by Campbell as “a nut job… [who] writes fiction as well as right wing opinion pieces for the press in Australia and Britain, even though it can be hard to tell the difference.”

An example of fiction masquerading as fact is Saunders’ opinion that there is “a link between low average intelligence and low class position.” You can check up on Saunders (see photo) website including his reply to the attacks made on him in NZ on his views of ‘class and intelligence’. He makes no attempt to look at class as a factor that influences intelligence.
He makes the common mistake of thinking a correlation is a cause. Class is a much more powerful cause of social position than intelligence. Bourgeois families provide ‘better’ education for their children that show up in higher intelligence scores, and vice versa for unskilled workers. It follows from this false premise that in Aotearoa where there is far stronger evidence of a correlation between class and ethnicity that Maori and Pasifika people are of low intelligence. In other words this ‘expert’ advisor is either ignorant of social realities in this country, or (what seems more likely) he is an out and out racist who is too intellectually dishonest to say so openly.

By selecting Saunders to go on her expert panel Bennett is getting a rightwing academic to justify cuts in welfare to people who are too ‘stupid’ to help themselves and undeserving of the help of others. By privatising provision of welfare market incentives will separate the deserving from the undeserving poor.

Is China taking over New Zealand?

There is alarm growing that China is about to take over NZ. This concern has been highlighted by the proposed sale of the bankrupt Crafar farms to a Chinese company for $1.5 billion . The Greens say this means that NZ will lose its ‘economic sovereignty’. The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) has spoken out about the dangers of China’s buying up NZ assets.

Yet according to CAFCAs own records China has a long way to go to rival the US and Australian imperialist ownership of NZ assets. NZ is a semi-colony nominally independent but actually economically dominated by the US. But this could change as China’s rapid emergence makes it a major rival to US imperialism. Not only that China has continued to grow rapidly during the global recession and has trillions of surplus capital to invest in hydrocarbons, other minerals and land. China is now the US main rival in Africa, Latin America and Asia and is already a major player in Australia. So what should be our attitude towards China’s increasing role in NZ?

China is no different to other imperialist powers in a time of global crisis when the competition to control scarce raw materials intensifies into military rivalry. They use Free Trade Agreements to take control of raw materials and labour at the expense of its more established rivals. Each has to enlist allies among the rival factions of the national ruling class. US and Australian imperialism are already well represented by the NACT regime but national capitalists are only loyal to their bank balance and can be bought by an economically rampant China. Workers have no interest in choosing sides in these fights. China is no more or less progressive than the US. They are both only interested in making big profits at the expense of cheap resources and low wages. They both suppress democracy and use torture to defend their interests. Our response to imperialist domination of NZ is to fight against all imperialist ownership and control by the socialisation of all assets under workers control.

Fight US and China takeovers with a workers' takeover! 

Links to other articles

Socialise Tamaki Makaurau
South Africa: SAMWU strike
We are all Greeks!
US: All out strike against union busting

pdf Class Struggle 88 March April 2010

Friday, May 07, 2010

Greeks? We are all Greeks!

We are all Greek!

So Greece hits the top of the news. Greece is the badboy of Europe. Overspender. Lazy. Mediterrean. Ancient. Needs modernising. Needs bondage and discipline by fat German bourgeois or IMF agents. What racist imperialist garbage!

Greece is a client state of the US and the EU powers - a former classical world empire crunched between the rise of imperialist powers in the last two centuries, invaded and occupied by the British and US to stop a revolution in WW2, and today a favoured tourist destination for the sleek Euro bourgeois, petty bourgeois and labour aristocracy. All of this colorful media spinning to turn Greece into a cot-case is just to disguise what is really going on - Greece is being made a scapegoat for the world capitalist crisis. Unless Greece is 'fixed' the contagion of loose living could infect the whole of the PIIGS and the EU. It would not stop at the Atlantic. Greek workers must die for the bosses to live.

Globally the bosses are panicked and desperate to make an example of the Greek working class to workers everywhere. To survive the global crisis finance capitalists have to make the workers especially in the weakest semi-colonies and client states pay for their crisis with austerity, a bullshit word for job cuts, wage cuts, pension, education and health cuts. Phase one of the crisis that began in 2007 was to force workers to pay for the public debts blown out by rescuing the banks. Of course this merely shifted the bankruptcy from the banks onto the state public debt.

So phase two that begun in 2009 is to force the workers to pay for bailing out the bankrupt states by the rescued banks, or by central banks that can print money and erode workers living standards by inflation. The bankers have shifted the blame from the private sector onto the national debts of the weakest states and are imposing massive attacks on workers living standards to 'balance the budgets'. That's why this is a revolutionary crisis, because for the working class to live, capitalism and imperialism must die. It is us or them. We are all Greece!

Whose Crisis ?

First, who should pay for this crisis?  Not the workers and poor farmers of the weak oppressed countries! It should be the bosses and their parasitic banks and their state functionaries who pay for the endemic crisis of capitalism. So let's destroy the myth that this crisis is an accident of badly managed capitalism that can be corrected by scapegoating some or other sections of society. It is not bad regulation, greedy casino capitalists, or banksters that are the cause of this crisis. Nor is it their greedy mates who run the state regimes in their client states. Nor is it workers resistance to austerity. They are but symptoms, effects of crisis.  The cause is the endemic crisis-ridden nature of capitalism.

The biggest mistake by the so-called anti-capitalist left is to separate out capitalist production from the financial system and blame the crisis on the mismanagement of the banks. Thus phase one of the crisis begun in 2007 is seen as the result of money used for speculation on bad assets (subprime housing mortgages) instead of invested in production of value. What they overlook is that the surplus capital was gambled on speculation on 'toxic assets' because of the decline in the rate of profit in production.

Globalisation was more about buying and selling of privatised assets than investment in new production. The overaccumulation of capital that could not be invested in production to produce new value therefore had no alternative but to go into speculation on existing risky assets or lose all of its value. This is what Marx called 'fictitious' capital, because there was no new value being produced by workers that could be exchanged for the mass of capital invested in 'fictitious' values. Such 'capital' was no more than bits of valueless paper. This desperate attempt to postpone the destruction of capital value by speculation in non-values went up in a puff of smoke in 2007 with the collapse of the banking system.

Sovereign debt crisis

The crisis was temporary halted by massive state bailouts of the biggest banks, and a huge devaluation and bankruptcy of the weakest banks. But the price was the loading of debt onto the balance sheets of the state central banks who underwrote bad debts and in the case of Britain actually nationalised some banks like Northern Rock. The Greek banking system was similarly bailed out, and the Greek state borrowed up its deficit to the point that it had to go to the biggest rescued bank, Goldman Sachs, for an 'off balance sheet' loan to hide its bankruptcy. So phase two of the crisis is now dramatically exposed (so much for the bosses cynical 'transparency') by Goldman Sachs which, rescued by US taxpayers money could buy up failed banks, and then buy up weak client states like Greece as if they were banks to be gobbled up.

So far from Greece being responsible for its bankruptcy, we can prove that the Greek state was a mere pawn of EU and US imperialism. Its job was to exploit Greek workers for imperialism. Imperialism loaned money to the Greek state to manage this semi-colonial exploitation. The EU and US (Goldman Sachs) banks make the Greek workers pay for this debt. For decades Greek workers resisted this exploitation by fighting for decent jobs (half are employed in the public sector) wages and pensions, education and health. They have been able to limit the loss of these gains to pay for the mounting state debt.

But now that the bosses' endemic crisis has gripped the world economy and exposed how weak the Greek economy is, the EU and US banks make an example of it for the rest of the world. Greek workers must be forced to lose jobs, cut wages, pensions and education and health spending to pay back the imperialist banks and their ruling classes. This is how the imperialists want the workers all over the world to pay for their crisis! So in Greece we have a revolutionary situation that represents the potential for a revolutionary situation in the whole world. The sparks flying in the insurrrectionary struggle in Greece can light fires in every major city in the world.

The union bureaucracy

The Greek working class majority is still under the illusion that PASOK (the main social democratic party) can solve the crisis because PASOK has since the war brought many gains to workers. The elected PASOK to power last year to defend their living standards. PASOK however is being made to solve the crisis at the expense of its working class base. Its leadership has agreed to the terms of the EU and IMF to cut pay, jobs and pensions by huge amounts. We have seen that in its year in office PASOK is incapable of solving the crisis except at the expense of the workers. This means that workers already fed up and angry will rapidly break from PASOK to the left. Standing between them and indepenent working class politics is the powerful Greek labour bureaucracy of the GSEE-ADEDY that backs majority PASOK and the minority of the PAME of the KKE.

The union bureaucracy is the main force inside the working class that acts as the agents of the bosses to trap workers on the reformist dead end road. It is the main union bloc backing PASOK that is holding back the revolutionary development of the radicalising masses. They have called for several 'general strikes' over the last two years, the most recent on May 5/6. However, they are designed not to allow workers to develop into a fighting movement. Rather they are designed to let off steam for 48 hours and to pressure PASOK in the hope of minimising the attacks on the working class.

For two years militants have been moving left towards the KKE (Greek Communist Party) and the other 'left' parties but this is not a break from reformism or social democracy. The KKE is a reformist party with a rotten history of betrayal of workers revolution. The majority of Greek workers want a new left social democratic party to replace the sellout PASOK and the KKE may move into this vacuum. But it was the KKE that split the working class and allowed the imperialists so smash the revolution in Greece during WW2. They will talk left but neutralise the working class fight to make the bosses pay for their crisis. To give any support, critical or otherwise, to the KKE in this revolutionary situation is to betray the working class.

Syriza, Maoists and Anarchists

To the left of the KKE and the smaller left reformist groups are a number of small new left, Maoist, Trotskyist and anarchist formations that are taking advantage of the growing militancy. The May 5/6 48 hour general strike that followed two others in March and April got half a million on the streets. None of the left parties are capable of offering much leadership. For example the broad left Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) is an anticapitalist formation linked to the World Social Forum. It is limited to mobilising workers to pressure parliament to the left.

Some have reactionary programs like the Maoists who see this crisis as one that can be solved by the Greek 'people' breaking with the EU and fighting for their national independence.
In our view, Greek nationalism has a progressive element since Greece is a semi-colonial client state of the EU and US and is being nationally oppressed by the 'conditions' imposed by the EU and IMF to resolve 'its' crisis. However, to limit the struggle of the Greek masses to national independence would hamstring the revolutionary independence of the proletariat behind some or other 'progressive' national bourgeois or petty bourgeois leadership. The betrayal of the mass struggle in Nepal by the Maoists is a sad object lesson.

The anarchist formations have emerged as tlhe most radical forces in the strikes and street actions. They have a history of rejection of the Stalinist KKE traitors, and the Maoist stagist national revolution, for street action and spontaneous anti-capitalist insurrection. It is therefore, the youth activist rebellion against the older generation of Stalinist/Maoist bureaucrats. For that reason is it a powerful, progressive force that needs to be guided by a revolutionary program that overcomes the weaknesses of the anarchism. Anarchism fails to see that the revolutionary proletariat must be organised both democratically and centrally. Without any centralised command the working class is prey to disorganised individual terrorist actions and the covert action of state forces as '5th columnists'. The geniune hatred of anarchist youth for the Stalinist/Maoist bureaucractic dictatorships of the past and and betrayals of the Greek working class can only by turned into a consistent revolutionary direction by the revolutionary Trotskyist program.

Greek 'Trotskyism'

We can look at what Greek 'Trotskyism' offers, as well as several international currents who are outspoken on the Greek crisis. There are several international currents such as the Woodite IMT, Cliffite SWP and CRFI who have small groups in Greece. These groups have no real Trotskyist program to win over the vanguard and make the revolution. The IMT is busy sucking up to Chavez in Venezuela and his call for a 'Fifth International' that includes Hu Jintao! The Cliffites are semi-anarchist anti-capitalists who refuse to call for a vanguard party and armed workers militias.

The SWP talk about Greece rising up against IMF cuts and gives support to the anti-capitalist Antarsya program which are demands on PASOK.
Disobedience against IMF and EU directives; Exit from the eurozone and the European Monetary Union; Struggle for an anti‑capitalist exit from the EU; The immediate stoppage of foreign debt payments; Give money to workers not bankers; Nationalisation of banks under workers’ control; Demand the taxation of capital and immediate cuts to military expenditures; Ban lay-offs; Secure and decent jobs for all; Immediate increase to wages; Protect collective agreements; Legalise immigrants; Political asylum and shelter for refugees; Public social security, health system, and education for all.  
Just militant pressure on the PASOK regime to defend workers rights and living standards. Nothing about workers self-organisation! Nothing about turning a general strike into a seizure of power.

The IMT said  that the May 5/6 general strike was an 'earth shattering' success and then calls for it to be extended to an "all out general strike until the government backs off". Again, militant language, spontaneous anti-capitalism, but no decisive break from reformist pressure on the government. The article takes a defensive line against those who blame the workers movement for the killing of three bank workers. There is no call to build workers councils with workers militias to coordinate and discipline the struggle and to defeat provacateurs. No call to bring down the government and for a workers government! Are they looking for a Greek Chavez?

The other longstanding 'Trotskyist' party is the Workers' Revolutionary Party or EEK which was until 1989 part of the ICFI better know as Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site (WSWS). Since 2008 the EEK has been the Greek section of the Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International (CRFI). The EEK is ultraleft on the unions failing to make a distinction between the union bureaucracy and the rank and file members so cannot intervene inside the unions to put united front demands on the leadership for an indefinite general strike. While Trotsky condemned the unions in the epoch of imperialism as incorporated in the state, he always called for the rank and file to break with the bureaucracy and to build fighting democratic unions. Since unions were the main organisations of the labour movement they had to be 'revolutionised' to form workers' councils and workers' militias. A genuine Trotskyist transitional program fights to transform the unions into organs of workers power.While the EEK calls for nationalisations and expropriations it does not have a program to transform the unions and build workers councils, workers and soldiers militias as organs of dual power. For example there is no call for an indefinite general strike.

Action Program

The transitional program starts with defensive demands against all attacks on worker and counters with immediate demands based on what workers need now, not what the bosses can afford. It is legitimate to put these immediate demands on the regime, but they must be backed by demands for workers to organise and fight independently of the regime warning that the regime (and its reformist agents in the working class) must defend capitalism and imperialism against the workers. Fighting for these immediate demands forces workers to organise to take control of production, to form form workers militias to defend themselves from state forces, to split the army ranks to the side of workers, and to build dual power organs such as workers councils or soviets. It becomes clear as the struggle develops that their is no solution to the crisis for workers other than the seizure of power and the formation of a workers government that can socialise capitalist property and create a planned economy. 

  • Fight all austerity cuts to jobs, wages, pensions, and state spending on health and education! For a sliding scale of hours and wages to create decent work for all!
  • Form workplace councils of action everywhere! For a national congress of all unions and worker, students and selfemployed councils of action to prepare for an indefinite general strike to bring down the PASOK governmnent!
  • For the occupation under workers and students control of all workplaces during the indefinite general strike!
  • Form workers, students and selfemployed defence militias to defend the general strike! For soldiers committees of the rank and file to provide arms to the defence militias!
  • For a Workers Government to socialise the banks, imperialist and national capitalist property, under workers control, and for a socialist planned economy!
  • For a Socialist Republic of Greece as part of a Socialist United States of Europe!
An action program for Greece cannot be advanced in isolation of the rest of the EU and the world. An insurrection in Greece will not survive unless it is supported by European workers who stop NATO from invading and occupying Greece as happened in WW2. Workers in Europe must defend Greece in their own action programs that cancel the debt to semi-colonies, and expropriate the imperialist banks. It is necessary to build a revolutionary international workers party that can unite the vanguard workers in every country behind an international program for world revolution.

For a World Party of Socialist Revolution based on the 1938 Program of the Fourth International!