Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Nikos Mottas- The Total Vindication of Communist Party of Greece's Positions

The Total Vindication of Greek Communist Party's Positions.
By Nikos Mottas.
Republished from mltoday.com.
The Tsipras' Memorandum [set of austerity policies]  the "First time Left" [1] Memorandum, is here. Seven months after his election to  government, in the midst of summer, SYRIZA brought a third austerity memorandum – a package of barbaric antipeople measures which crushes what yet remains after five years of crisis and austerity. The "Left" of Mr.Tsipras proved in pratice that is the "Left" - as the Italian auto magnate Giovanni Agnelli used to say - "which can do all those things that the Right cannot do".
In other words, it is the kind of "Left" that can say "No" and actually mean "Yes", that can verbally "tear up the memorandums" and in practice sign new, even more barbaric anti-people austerity measures,  manipulating and trapping people's consciousnesses with fake choices , disorientating the working people for the sake of serving the interests of the bourgeoisie.
From the latest developments, the people – especially  progressive, left-wing people, the ones who trusted SYRIZA in the last elections, who enthusiastically voted "No" in the fraudulent referendum of Mr.Tsipras – must come to some conclusions. Not only regarding the character of SYRIZA as the new social-democratic pillar of a bourgeois political system in the process of  being re-shaped.  But also, regarding the character of the capitalist crisis itself, as well as for the real nature of the EU as an imperialist, pro-monopoly international union hostile toward the  interests of European peoples.
Given recent developments and what had already happened, we ask the following question: Has the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) been vindicated in its political estimates all these years, or not? Or, if you prefer the question in a different way: Was the KKE right or wrong when it warned the people about the "government of the Left" which would dispute neither the EU nor the capitalist way of development?

Reality itself gives us a clear and undisputable answer: The KKE has been fully vindicated.
Here are some basic conclusions that show the clear vindication of the positions and assessments of the Communist Party of Greece:
Regarding the July 5th referendum.
What was KKE saying about the referendum and the  false choice that the Tsipras' government was imposing  on people?
KKE was saying: "The government in fact calls the people to verify its own proposal towards the lenders, (a proposal) which is the other side of the same coin. (The government) is deceiving the people in order to make them consent to its antipeople plans. The people must not choose between Scylla and Charybdis, but must rise up and express, with all available means and ways, their opposition to the EU and her continuous austerity memorandums"[2].
From the very beginning, the KKE had stressed that the No which the SYRIZA government was supporting was in fact a Yes in the governmental anti-people proposal of 47+8 pages – a proposal which had very few differences from the one by EU-IMF-ECB. Just three days before the referendum, the Secretary General of the Central Committee  of KKE,  D. Koutsoumbas,  stated in his speech at a mass rally at Syntagma Square: "Our people are being called on to take part in a referendum with a Yes or a No, which are only different in terms of appearance. Both the Yes and the No mean the acceptance of a new memorandum of anti-people measures, perhaps the worst that we have seen up to now. Both the Yes  and No will lead the people to new torments and tragedies. Both the Yes and the No mean anti-worker, anti-people measures. The referendum is an excuse for a new memorandum-agreement at the expense of the Greek people [3].
In the same speech, Secretary Koutsoumbas also pointed  out: "With the "No" vote, combined with the last minute proposals made to the EU, the IMF, and the ECB, SYRIZA asks from the people –  worried about the bank closures, wage cuts and pension cuts – to be completely subjugated to the EU's "alliance of wolves" and, nonetheless to feel dignified and proud. That consists one of the worst provocations we have seen. A government  ready to fully compromise with Big Capital  the EU, NATO, (a government) that gives a clumsy  performance of opportunism".
Was the KKE vindicated, or not, for its position about the referendum? Was or wasn't the KKE proposal (No to the proposal of the EU-IMF-ECB, No to the government's proposal, disengagement from the  EU, with the people in power)  the only pro-people, really pro-working class and patriotic solution to the pseudo-dilemma of the referendum? How did the Prime Minister and his government use the "proud" No of the people? He used the No vote exactly as an excuse for the new bailout agreement, for the third consecutive memorandum of the "Left".
Regarding the role of SYRIZA.
"We don't agree either (with the measures), but we want to make a... humane capitalism"
- Labour Minister George Katrougalos talking to members of the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), 5/8/2015.
In order to analyze properly the ideological character of SYRIZA we must go back to its political ancestors: to the opportunistic ideology of Eurocommunism and to the later role of "Synaspismos". We don't need to go  deep into the past, because the latest years of the crisis give us a clear picture of SYN/SYRIZA's transformation into a new pole of domestic social reformismm, especially after the rapid electoral shrinkage of PASOK. The Communist Party  warned the people many  times about the role of SYRIZA.
In the statement of the CC of KKE regarding the European Parliament elections of June 2009 one could read not only about the proven antipeople character of PASOK and New Democracy governments but also about the role of SYRIZA. The statement  stressed among others: "(SYRIZA) hypocritically incriminates the 'neoliberal' strategy of the EU, thus cultivating the illusion that there can be a pro-people economic and political formation of the European Union, without the overthrow of the domination and  political power of the monopolies in each member-state" [4].
Three years later, in the statement of the Central Committee of the KKE for the June 2012 national elections, pointed  out: "A center-left government of SYRIZA, with the accession of former PASOK members, neither wants to nor is able to lead the people in a confrontation against  capital, the Greek and foreign monopolies, in a confrontation against the choices of EU and NATO.
"The choice of such a government becomes dangerous for the people because it cultivates the illusion that there can be popular prosperity within the framework of the system and without overturning it. Subjectively, (such a government) will implement new measures, in the name of staying in the European Union, something that is regarded (by SYRIZA) as an one-way street, in the name of fraudulent waiting for a change in the anti-people strategy of the EU. Thus, the cultivation of unfounded expectations within the people will reap popular dissapointment, as has happened in other European countries" [5].
Also, the same statement stressed: "The proposals of SYRIZA call on the people to pay again a large part of the debt for which the people aren't responsible, and  they also did not derive any benefit from its partial abolition." 
Have the above positions of the KKE been proven fully correct or not? The political resolution of the 19th Congress of the KKE characteristically emphasized the role of the leftist forces within and around SYRIZA: "The more SYRIZA is  strengthened as a social-democratic governmental party, the more the processes will intensify or the formation of new barriers, comprised of forces of the so-called extra-parliamentary left (ANTARSYA-NAR) and other groups, (Plan B-Alavanos), and even of centrifugal forces of SYRIZA, of the so-called left or communist renewal, which operate in the direction of the so-called transitional goals and transitional management governments"[6].
The latest developments after the "schism" within SYRIZA and the public differentation of party's prominent members (such as Varoufakis, Konstantopoulou, Lafazanis etc.) towards Tsipras' new memorandum vindicates KKE positions. Especially, if we take into account the formation of a new opportunistic party "Popular Unity" (Laiki Enotita) led by ex-Energy Minister Panayotis Lafazanis. The Lafazanis' party emerged from the split in the governmental party and aspires to become a new SYRIZA in the position of....SYRIZA.
About the EU
What has been proved for the EU – our "common house" as Mr.Tsipras called it? With the third memorandum it is now fully confirmed that in the path of the EU and Capital there cannot be a government for the interess of the people . Now, the illusion of SYRIZA about a "pro-people EU" that can "change from the  inside" becomes even  more obvious . It was SYRIZA's ancestor party, Synaspismos, which (along with New Democracy, PASOK and Politiki Anixi) had voted in favor of the notorious Maastricht Treaty in 1992. For Synaspismos' dedication to the EU principles and their insistence  on Greece's remaining in the European Union's " lions den, " the CC of KKE  pointed out on May 1992: "(Synaspismos) equates the interests of the workers and the country with the interests and choices of big local and foreign capital.
The vision of "Unified Europe", of the Europe of monopolies that unifies and inspires industrialists, shipowners, big merchants and the parties of New Democracy, PASOK and Synaspismos has no relation whatsoever  to the visions and the needs of the working class. In March 1994, Rizospastis  circulated an insert called "White Bible" in which all the scheduled anti-worker twists of the EU were codified: "8 hour work day, the conquest of the century, is in danger! Social security and subsidies are targeted! Collective bargaining contracts under suspension! Firings without limits and without compensation!".
Two years later, in  December 1996, Rizospastis   wrote  about Synaspismos' perception about the EU: "Synaspismos thinks that the democratic deficit of the EU consists  only in the greater or lesser power of the institutions and not in the [class] content of the political and economic aims implemented within the EU framework, where the people who face the consequences are absent  [...] The actual convergence of EU-member states is at least an illusion. The leadership of Synaspismos seems to believe that German or French monopoly capital will manage to grant part of their profits for the development of Greece's economy and for the workers' social rights!". More than twenty years later, being a member-state of an  EU that has 120 million citizen living in poverty and 30 million unemployed people, under the leadership of a SYRIZA  "Left government",  Greece faces a third barbaric memorandum. So, who has been vindicated about the character of the EU?
The solution for the people is in the strengthening of the KKE. In the face of the early elections the role of the KKE is the same as always: to prepare and ideologically arm the working class and the popular strata for the overthrow of the rotten capitalist system. Sec. General Koutsoumbas' words expressed the truth in simple words: "There are no saviors for the people in those governments and those parties which want to manage the system and its crisis. There were never saviors. The salvation of the people and their children is somewhere else; it is in our fight in order to become the protagonists of the ongoing developments, it is in the popular alliance, the alliance of the working class with the self-employed people, the poor farmers, the youth and women" [7].
Reality itself, through political developments, vindicates the positions taken by the KKE. In the same way, it is real life that points the way to  the only realistic alternative for the masses, beyond illusions and extortionate dilemmas. The only way for the people is the proposal of the KKE for the overthrow of the capitalist mode of production, the socialization of monopolies, the disengagement of Greece from the imperialist alliances of EU and NATO, the unilateral abolition  of the debt. This is the way for the people to come into power.
[1] "Πρώτη φορά Αριστερά" (First time Left) was a major pre-electoral campaign slogan of SYRIZA in January 2015 parliamentary elections.
[2] Statement of the Political Bureau of the CC of the KKE, 27/6/2015.
[3] Speech at KKE rally in Syntagma Sq, Athens, 3/7/2015.
[4] Statement of the CC of KKE regarding the European Parliament elections, June 2009 [in Greek]: http://www.rizospastis.gr/story.do?id=5016457
[5] Statement of the CC of KKE about the Parliamentary Elections, June 2012 [in Greek]: http://www.kke.gr/anakoinoseis_grafeioy_typoy/kalesma_ths_kentrikhs_epitrophs_toy_kke_gia_tis_boyleytikes_ekloges_toy_ioynh_2012?morf=0
[6] Political Resolution of the 19th Congress of the KKE: http://inter.kke.gr/en/articles/Political-Resolution-of-the-19th-Congress-of-the-KKE/.
[7] Dimitris Koutsoumbas speech in Komotini,15.5.2015. 

Nikos Mottas is a doctoral student (PhD) in Political Science, History and International Relations.