Saturday, June 02, 2012

Greece: No Electoral Solution, for Workers Councils and a Workers Government!

Greek protest illustrating Time Magazine 'The Protester' 2011 Person of the Year

No electoral solution to the Greek Crisis!

Convene mass workers' councils to fight for a Workers' Government of the ranks and file, not the politicians!

Create a united front to abolish the debts!

No to any popular front with PASOK, betrayer of all the workers!

Abolish Brussels' draconian taxes on Greek Workers!

Workers give Syriza a critical support vote, but don't trust them at all!

Perhaps in no other country is the question of the survival of the productive forces posed as luridly as it is in Greece right now. The working class is battered, bleeding, swollen-there is nothing unique in that part of their situation-but it is answering the bell for the next round! This sounds for another poll of strength in the June 17th elections. We oppose these elections for the valuable time and attention they waste, but seek to use them as an object lesson.

Objectively they are an exercise in preserving the bourgeois power under and behind a 'democratic' subterfuge. Only on condition of the formation of a genuine workers parties' united front for the expressed project of forming a "Workers Government," and excluding PASOK (the 2nd International bourgeois-workers party,) do we have anything to do with the national election or offer candidates support of any kind. We have no confidence that SYRIZA will not continue to tack to the right and form a popular front with PASOK, the most bourgeois of "bourgeois workers parties," the most shameless of class collaborators. No vote for, no support for such a popular front would be permissible, any more than for PASOK alone!

The working class wants a "workers government" that repudiates the debts and solves the social crisis the capitalists have saddled us with. Very good! How will we obtain these results? When the British Home Secretary makes plans for a sudden influx of Greek nationals and Lloyd's of London makes contingency plans for the collapse of the Euro, some much more fundamental economic and worker-democratic changes will be necessary than are provided for in any social-democratic program. Such changes as price controls with sliding scales to offset foreign capital victimization of the Greek Market; for a 30-hour week with no reduction in pay and a sliding scale of wages and hours to accomplish full employment at union wages with no sacrifice of purchasing power are essential workers’ transitional demands.

The issue then is not the Drachma versus the Euro, no matter what anyone tells you. The issues are employment and compensation; who will control these and for what goals? We say the only way out is through nationalization of the banks and industries under workers' control! Not in Greece alone but across Europe!

Workers who have historically looked to PASOK to represent them because they are in the affiliated union federation are no better off today. They should vote for SYRIZA with an especial resolve to achieve a workers government and not to accept another errand boy for Brussels banksters. We raise no hopes that the genuine workers electoral united front will be on the ballot. The demonstrated class-political interests of the electoral players and the history and programs of their parties yell from the rooftops against it.

A true revolutionary Marxist party of the working class would go through any and all experiences with the Greek workers, but would not be silenced when pointing out that consciousness lags behind objective conditions; that in fact all options for continued bourgeois rule are really already exhausted, that only repetitions of the policies that brought our class to this impasse are forthcoming from new parliamentary shuffles. It is only the historical requirement for patience, not with the SYRIZA leadership but with workers who want to vote for it, that outweighs our great reluctance and results in our call for "critical support" and a vote for SYRIZA. Electing SYRIZA will confirm their limitations for all the workers to see. Watch them day and night! THEY WILL NOT ORGANIZE THE WORKERS’ GOVERNMENT!

Workers! You are losing your homes and even your kids to adoption and even abandonment! How long do we stand for that? Only workers’ own confusion as a class about what we can and should do now keeps us out of power. Such power would not be a bourgeois parliament of any kind, but a workers state power, a dictatorship of the proletariat. See for yourself if our position is mistaken by installing SYRIZA. They will not prepare the class for the tasks at hand. It will fall to the ranks of the workers to surpass the SYRIZA leadership and create the workers councils and workers militia required to stand down imperialisms austerity plans, which the SYRIZA leaders will endeavour to impose.

Were a "Workers Government," such as some trade union functionaries envision, to come about as a result of parliamentary elections, there is no reason to expect the capitalists to respect the legality of the result. Immediately the workers would face three challenges or a combined threat: coup d’état, NATO invasion or a fascist uprising. Allende repeated will always be defeated! Let's be sure to self-organize and make other plans!

Neither would the parliamentary “workers government” SYRIZA is peddling be of any more than momentary use to the working class in escaping the crushing weight of the capitalist crisis. We are not cynics. Not for a moment will we confuse what the working class needs with what the SYRIZA leaders want.

But consider how the unelected back rooms of parliament are staffed with thousands of servants of the capitalists, each with a secret history of allegiances. Consider how ostensible workers parties like the KKE, whom we call Stalinists (for good historical reasons!), have also many times in recent years shown their "patriotic" colours, and always at the expense of the immigrant workers and national minorities. Consider how SYRIZA itself is modelling for a role as a new Social Democracy, already forgetting their pose of a month ago as opponents of the Eurozone troika. Encouraged by the victory of Hollande in France and his "pro-growth" Eurobond ideas, and likewise cheered by some hollow pro-growth quotes from Obama at the NATO summit in Chicago, SYRIZA is now looking to win votes at PASOK's expense. It is turning rightward and suggesting that Greece CAN PAY what it owes the French and German banks, if only it could have better terms.

Therefore tendencies who prescribe this united front parliamentary government formula without describing the true direction the participating parties take are deluding the workers; and that's what we'll repeat until or unless they take the lead to organize workers councils and workers militias and make dual power a fact, preparing to sweep away the bourgeois state once and for all. It is compulsory to face the arrival of the time of the life-or-death struggle for power. This struggle is going to sort out those who think otherwise.

Meanwhile the fascist "Golden Dawn" party is already organizing the ruined shopkeepers and racist skinheads who never had a job. They don't grow as a result of disillusion in New Democracy, who never did offer them anything. With significant support from the police “Golden Dawn” received 7% of the vote last month, and will also grow at social-democracy's expense, i.e., among those who had illusions to lose. Fascists know what they want and like their chances. The skinhead youth believe fascism offers them jobs, and in a country where the official youth unemployment rate is 51% (TIME April 19th 2012) this matters above all considerations.

Workers Councils must form up and recognize the dangers for what they are. Workers Militias are needed to smash fascism in the egg! This organizing must begin in the workplace, among the students, immigrant workers and unemployed, and there isn't a moment to lose! A revolutionary party would bring a transitional program to the workers and youth to fight for demands that answer the crisis of capitalism. Such a party is needed to break the rank and file from the reformists, Stalinists and social-Democrats who hold back the creation of workers councils and workers militia! We will walk with you for SYRIZA through these polling places, but to do so is only to buy some high-priced time while you discover how matters truly stand.

To smash fascism the advanced workers must also organize among the rank and file in the armed forces, which are truly enormous for a country with 2.5% of the European economy. Enlisted personnel need unions and workers’ councils of their own! So that fascists will not be able to put them up to a civil war for the benefit of imperialist banks and now also Chinese imperialism which just bought the Greek port at Piraeus and bans all trade union activity there! Soldiers, sailors, airmen and veterans need to arm and train the workers militias so that the police cannot shepherd the growth of the fascist street gangs and lead them against the workers. Workers in uniform know or will soon discover that the fascist punk and his racist police protector are no supermen.

Workers of all countries unite! We have a world to win!

From Revolutionary Worker No 1 June 2012.  Political organ of the Revolutionary Workers' Group of Zimbabwe.

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