Thursday, September 28, 2023

SYRIZA hits rock bottom of political degeneration

Stefanos Kasselakis, SYRIZA's new leader
On 24/9/23, the second round for the election of the new president of SYRIZA took place. This party was the continuation of the “Coalition of the Left, the Movements and Ecology (SYN)”, consisting of a part of KKE cadres who, eroded by opportunism, the ideas of the counter-revolution and Gorbachev, left the KKE in 1989-1991 after their unsuccessful attempt to dissolve the Party. 
This section collaborated within the SYN framework with other opportunist forces that had broken away from the KKE in 1968 and embraced the Euro-communist current.
In 2004, SYN was transformed into the “Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)” with the participation of other groups of the non-parliamentary left, some Trotskyite and Maoist groups as well as some social democrats.

Following the collapse of the main social democratic party PASOK in 2010, a large part of the latter joined SYRIZA, making it the main vehicle of social democracy in Greece. SYRIZA won the elections and formed a government (2015-2019), implementing a harsh anti-popular policy, also in regards to foreign relations by building closer relations between Greece and the USA and Israel, involving the country deeper into NATO’s plans and expanding US bases. It ruled together with the far-right “Independent Greeks (ANEL)” party while after its political disappearance a part of it joined SYRIZA, which added the words “Progressive Alliance (SYRIZA-PS)” to its name.

After SYRIZA’s crushing defeat in the June 2023 election, the president of SYRIZA and former prime minister Alexis Tsipras resigned and the the race for his succession began. On 24/9 Stefanos Kasselakis was elected as president of SYRIZA, received 56.69% while his opponent Efi Achtsioglou, former SYRIZA Minister of Labour, received 43.31%.

In this election for party leader, even people who weren ot SYRIZA members up to that moment were able to vote – they could join the party on-site by paying a 2 euro fee. In the fist round, held among 5 candidates who run for party leader, turnout reached 149,000 voters while in the second round 134,000.

S. Kasselakis, who was elected as the president of SYRIZA, is not a permanent resident of Greece and until a month ago was completely unknown in our country. He used to live in the United States. He is a businessman and ship owner and according to his statements he has worked for Goldman Sachs and was a volunteer in Joe Biden’s election campaign. 
During the past month, he launched an aggressive and expensive propaganda campaign in the mass media, promising to turn SYRIZA into a modern party, like the Democrats in the USA, so that it gets in government again. Thus, another phase of the inevitable course of co-optation and political degeneration of this space was completed, which can only cause aversion to any individual who feels truly progressive and leftist.

Dimitris Koutsoumbas, GS of the CC of the KKE, spoke about this issue during the festival of KNE-Odigitis, noting the following:

“But those who want things to change for good cannot hope for the reconstitution of the sinful social democracy.

They have to think about the open promotion that all the mainstream bourgeois media are doing for them, at a time when the positions and actions of the KKE are completely hidden. This is indicative of the role they will play in the coming day.

And for those who feel surprised or even embarrassed by what is happening in SYRIZA, we simply say to them to consider the following aspect, which they may not have thought about until now:

That, unfortunately, this is precisely a predictable outcome – the result of a whole course of co-optation into the system that this particular political space has followed.

This course of political degeneration in theses and proposals, in their attitude towards politics and the movement, has been supported and promoted for years, sometimes in the name of the so-called ‘modernization’, sometimes in the name of ‘feasibility’ or ‘governability within the system’, by all the cadres of today’s SYRIZA, including those who appear as the guardians of a supposedly more ‘leftist’ character.

The current condition in SYRIZA is the highest stage of the notion of ‘lesser evil’ served by its leadership for many years, and definitely by all of its candidates who run for party leader today, and it once again brought Mitsotakis and ND in power.

It is the notion —since the time of Eurocommunism— that calls upon the people to constantly lower their demands, to make unacceptable compromises, to swallow disappointment, in the name of a better – supposedly humane – management of the current system, something more impossible even than the ‘Second Coming’.

And where does this notion lead to, with mathematical precision? To degeneration, decay, cheap political shows, to its transformation into a purebred bourgeois party having the rotten principles of competition…

This way the Eurocommunist parties, such as the French and Italian CP, vanished into thin air; from parties of 30% of the votes, now they are not even represented in the parliaments of their respective countries.

And today, in this party an agenda, which reproduces literally that of ND including the well-known references to ‘excellence’, ‘good credentials’ and ‘advancement opportunities’, becomes majoritarian.

What else is needed to prove that no one should expect anything from SYRIZA or from any other version of it that may emerge in the future, no matter how many honest, true leftist and progressive people are left in this party?

Today, they have a choice: It is the same as the one made by others before them, who, not wanting to become a part of the course of the reactionary transformation of SYRIZA, abandoned it, held onto their principles and ideals and today join forces with the KKE”.

“As long as there are those who call ‘hope’ the most systemic, sterilized ideas that come out of the test tubes of the sinful social democracy and the other side of the Atlantic, we will always be here to shed light on the only ray of hope and progress: the unyielding class struggle against the system and its power”, stressed Dimitris Koutsoumbas.