Saturday, June 24, 2023

Greek Elections: KKE or Barbarism

“Only a strong KKE can strengthen the genuine 100% militant people’s opposition against the omnipotence of the policy of capital, against the New Democracy government, against the ‘opposition ministry’ of SYRIZA-PASOK and all the parties of the system. This is the only way to create cracks within this negative correlation of forces.”

The above quote from the speech of Dimitris Koutsoumbas, General Secretary of the CC of the KKE, in the large pre-election rally in Athens summarizes the whole significance of Sunday's parliamentary elections in Greece

The dilemma, from the side of the workers and the popular strata, isn't about the winner of the elections. We all know that, on the next day, Greece will have a government with an overall majority. A government that will be determined and ready to continue its anti-popular work with even more intensity. The second four-year term of right-wing New Democracy (ND) government is going to be much worse for Greece's working people than the previous one.

EU's Recovery Fund accompanied by hundreds of anti-popular preconditions, the “midterm” fiscal plan for monetary strategy, acceleration of evictions of families from their homes due to debts, new waves of taxation for the working class strata, further degradation of the National Health System, commitments towards NATO and many other issues are listed in the new government's agenda.

From the side of the workers, the youth, the popular strata, the dilemma of the 25 June elections is clear: What political force can, demonstrably and certainly, stand in a militant and unwavering way by their side, against the upcoming anti-popular storm?

The two parties of social democracy, SYRIZA and PASOK, are both committed to the policies that favors the big capital, the EU directions and NATO's strategy. Despite their particular political differences with ND, they share the same strategic aims. It is characteristic that in the previous parliamentary term (2019 – 2023), SYRIZA and PASOK deputies voted in favor of 50% and 70% cent respectively of the government's bills. Furthermore, in the European Parliament's voting sessions, the three parties (ND, SYRIZA, PASOK) have a 76% match rate.

KKE is the only party that with stability, consistency and unwavering militancy can be the real opposition to the ND government, both inside and outside the Parliament, in every workplace and neighborhood. This is what the experience of all the past years confirms and Greece's working class knows very well.

The KKE has been and remains the only party that struggles to change the negative correlation of forces, declaring that the working people must take their fate in their own hands, without resting their hopes and aspirations to fake would-be political “saviours”. There are no saviours in capitalism; only the workers' organized struggle, under the guidance of the Communist Party, can free the people from the shackles of exploitation. “Only the people can save the people”, as the KKE's slogan says.

On May 21 elections, the Communist Party increased its electoral influence, by receiving 7.23% , that is 425,000 votes and 26 MPs. Tomorrow, in the new electoral battle, the KKE must be strengthened even more so that the people's opposition will be stronger. More KKE deputies in the Parliament mean a stronger voice of the working class interests against the anti-popular policy of the next government.

Obviously, there are no illusions about the limits of revolutionary politics within the bourgeois parliament. Nonetheless, we must always bear in mind the words of Lenin who was pointing out that the “participation in parliamentary elections and in the struggle on the parliamentary rostrum is obligatory on the party of the revolutionary proletariat specifically for the purpose of educating the backward strata of its own class” (“Left-Wing” Communism: an Infantile Disorder).  Similarly, as it had been stated in the 2nd Congress of the Communist International in 1920,   “the argument that parliament is a bourgeois state institution cannot at all be used against participation in the parliamentary struggle. The Communist Party does not enter these institutions in order to carry out organic work there, but in order to help the masses from inside parliament to break up the state machine and parliament itself through action” (Theses on the Communist Parties and Parliamentarism).

The electoral strengthening of the KKE won't be merely a positive step for Greece's working class and popular strata; it will be a significant victory for the communist movement worldwide, for the workers in Europe and all over the world. Being on the front line of the struggle for the regroupment of the international communist movement, the KKE has been a beacon of proletarian, internationalist solidarity and a staunch enemy of imperialist wars and interventions.

Given the above, the 25 June elections in Greece must be viewed as a chance for the working class to make the step forward, to break the “chains” of bourgeois ideological manipulation and vote the only political power that, for more than 100 years now, stands by the side of the people. After all, in the 21st century the fundamental dilemma remains the same; Socialism or Barbarism. Or, adjusted for our case, KKE or Barbarism. 

* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of In Defense of Communism.