Wednesday, September 16, 2015


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The "Popular Unity" is a Greek Tragedy 

There is no electoral solution because electing parliamentarians will not prevent the keys to banks, factories, ports and airports being turned over to the privatizers of the capitalist Troika or to Chinese imperialist firms. The decision to strip Greece of its assets was not made in a Greek parliament but was made by European central bankers and any decision to fight them and save these assets will not be made in any parliament but by the workers themselves armed and organized in the streets against both the Golden Dawn and NATO. This is the only way these assets can be saved when our social class is confronted by the fascists and threat of NATO military intervention combined. And what happens to Greeks today will happen to the other PIIGS nations (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain) tomorrow.

Reformists always promise their next new model government power formula will be 'different this time.' As the world crisis of capitalism stumbles into its eighth year facing collapsed European Central Bank (ECB) world growth forecasts through all of 2017, SYRIZA has at last split, with 25 deputies breaking from the Tsipras group and forming the new "Popular Unity Party," the LAE. Twenty five delegates makes LAE the 3rd largest party and forces Tsipras to call Parliamentary elections. Soon many of these delegates will be out of work, of course, and they deserve this. Fate works that way in politics as well as in drama.

We think this split was very late and it was only coincidentally a split from the popular front SYRIZA had made last January with the ANEL party nationalists. Late and a lame split too. To think that a 'last year's SYRIZA' political re-configuration, consciously sold as such even in the aftermath of the OXI ("NO!") referendum vote, will answer the needs of the oppressed and desperate Greek masses is for Marxists a tragic failure of imagination.

It was last year's SYRIZA that put the masses up to staking everything on parliamentary elections and closed up shop on the Popular Assemblies. This is the essence of Kautskyism. It sees parliamentarism as the highest expression of democracy and suppresses the criticism of this view made by Marx and Engels themselves. These ‘vanguard representatives' turned out to be as useless as they were helpless when called upon to act and stop the parliamentary betrayal that utterly contradicted the OXI referendum.

The whole conduct of the "left" players around former government Minister Lafazanis and the very name they have taken, sometimes styled as the Popular Unity Front (!), suggests that they are seeking another popular front in spite of recent history and the history of all popular fronts including Allende's, from whom they have learned the wrong lesson, i.e., that this time will be different and they will find the ‘peaceful road to socialism.’ And in fact they have called for a popular front, the ‘OXI front’, to the international cheers of every Kautskyite and otherwise rotten group on the left!  

Promises, promises, from both sides of the mouth!

Some, such as the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), were already buried in SYRIZA and will automatically continue as entrists in the LAE. Others, like the RCIT, who must seem like our favorite whipping boys, see the LAE's intention to form a popular front and advocate revolutionists do entry work in it anyway! They say struggle to "...make LAE an activists' party." Just now (9/15) LAE is polling between 2 and 3%. The RCIT calls for a critical support vote for the new-last-year's-SYRIZA, as if the masses experience with these very delegates does not exist, or matter if it does.

Greece is facing the crisis brought to it by the EU and the imperialists. The EU and German imperialism are in trouble and they will impose a diktat of this kind in each of the PIIGS. The pressure of history will be felt directly by the workers to take the struggle outside parliament because they voted NO and it made no difference.

We are not the sectarians who reject electoral politics out of hand. But a revolutionary party in Greece would stand as tribunes of the people on a transitional program beginning with an action program; not entry in the LAE, but organizing the masses into workers councils.

Those who want to give critical support to a handful of LAE MP’s abandon the Leninist method of using critical support to expose the reformists in front of their electoral base. The LAE has no more of an electoral base than ANTARSYA and will undoubtedly seek out popular front partners and has said as much.

The RCIT would have you believe that yesterday’s SYRIZA party bureaucrats, reformists to the core, were the OXI movement vanguard of the working class, and because these workers still have illusions in the parliament this justifies calling for critical support and entry too! But the mass support turns out not to exist because the masses have seen through their act.

In the RCIT prescription there is no accounting for the masses’ experience in the last year. None of these ex-SYRIZA parliamentary delegates are guilty of bringing the masses to this impasse apparently and none of them will be held accountable.

They are projecting a ‘vanguard’ which never rejected the popular front idea and only belatedly broke with SYRIZA. And then only when it was too late. The third memorandum was passed over their essentially toothless objections.

We call for revolutionists to accompany the workers to the polls to make plain that no electoral solution can exist. And that there is not a moment too lose for the building of workers councils and workers militias to prepare to defeat the fascist danger.

Transitional Program or 21st Century Socialism?

We say the hallmark of 21st Century Socialism is when the workers take over the factory the 21st Century Socialist police come in and give it back to the boss. Variously, it can be defined as an ANC popular front government massacring striking miners at Marikana and not a few farm workers in the strike waves that followed, the PT in Brazil breaking up land occupations and the PSUV serving the Bolivarian Bourgeoisie in Venezuela by protecting capitalist firms from expropriation by the masses. Anyone who is not a World Social Forum sycophant knows these things happen and we warn that the Greek workers are going to find out soon.

We agree with the dock workers of Piraeus who say Greece is the experiment and that the ECB and German imperialism are set to strip all the assets and swipe all the treasuries of the countries on the European periphery.

In Jacobin of August 21st Stathis Kouvelakis former member of the central committee of SYRIZA and Left Platform founding member of LAE stated, “…The front will also struggle for an unitary internationalist struggle around common objectives at the European and international level and will support exiting NATO, breaking the existing agreements between Greece and Israel, and radically opposing imperialist wars and interventions. This transitional program is situated in a perspective of a socialism of the 21st century.” It is a novelty unsupportable by history to make any equation between any known transitional program and the project of “21st Century Socialism.” These are known quantities to Marxists and are based on wholly different methods.

The first task of a transitional program is to stop the privatizations and to do this with workplace occupations and armed pickets to prevent the turning over of the keys and the deeds to the imperialist bankers and firms. Out of these workplace occupations the immediate task will be to reorganize the Popular Assemblies nationwide and to organize them to take on ever increasing self-government tasks.

What LAE opposes is any transitional program worthy of the name as it would call for workers to power and a planned economy, whereas this LAE program calls for a decentralized economy. And is the LAE preparing the working class for the conquest of power? Do these parliamentarists even contemplate the seizure of power by the working class per se? We think the answer is no.

What are LAE deputies likely to do in a new parliament? Already it is evident that it is not just German imperialism but also China and Russia (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, {SCO}) are competing to strip Greece’s assets. While the LAE and the KKE want to break from German imperialism and the EU, they are opening a road to the Russia/China bloc. Their historical links to the 21st Century Socialism movement predisposes them to seeing Russia and China as “progressive nations,” not as imperialist rivals to the U.S.-led imperialist bloc.

Sowing illusions in this bloc as saviors from rapine European banks is conning the workers with the program of 21st Century Socialism, which will turn out to be just as fatal as it is in Venezuela or South Africa. A different group of capitalists will be stealing everything the Greek workers make for generations to come. Already it is obvious that the record of the Chinese SCO/BRICS partners has been to insist upon the fulfillment of promises made by the previous Greek government to give them ownership and control of the port of Piraeus, and this is proceeding and meeting resistance from the workers self-activity alone.

We will march with the Greek workers on the 19th in their mobilizations with the demand that the workers' organizations initiate workers councils that defend themselves and fight for a workers’ government. Revolutionists must stop by the polls on the 20th as proof positive that we march into every battle with our class, if only to warn the masses of their lemming-like march over the precipice.

We make no endorsement, nor do we call for any critical support vote; this election is the work of and the result of acquiescence to the Troika’s agenda. This election is held for the bourgeoisie to dispense with SYRIZA and LAE alike. This is no time for electoral politics and indeed there is no electoral solution! We go to the polls and say to the supporters of the LAE that there is no time to delay the building of the workers councils and workers militia because the lemmings are going to parliament while the fascists are preparing the abyss.

The LAE’s economic program is essentially Keynesian. State capitalist interventions, albeit presented with allusions to 'workers’ control,' and limited nationalizations and plans to renegotiate part of Greece’s debt altogether are nothing more than another parliamentarian trap.

For the workers the only road to socialism is through their own action committees, their own councils and defense guards embracing the refugees, crushing the fascists and breaking with NATO. Internationalist anti-fascist unity, anti-imperialist mobilization and solidarity with immigrants and the revolutionary upsurge across MENA, and in particular the Palestinian cause, create an opening for permanent revolution to unite the workers of MENA and Europe and turn the tide against the proliferation of proxy wars between the two imperialist blocs, against the theocrats, Islamists, Zionists and the overarching military domination of the US imperialist bourgeoisie.

There is no anti-imperialist united front possible with any national bourgeoisie. We must show the masses that their victory requires a break from their own national bourgeoisie both in program and in organization.

Victory is only possible when the workers build their own revolutionary party and international based on the method of the 1938 Transitional Program.

Liaison Committee of Communists (LCC) 09/15/2015

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