Saturday, January 28, 2017

SYRIZA: Capitalism's social democratic servant

By Nikos Mottas*.

The 25th of January marked the two years since SYRIZA's electoral victory. During these two years the political deception of SYRIZA and Alexis Tsipras was fully exposed. The promises of the “left-wing” SYRIZA- about the supposed “tearing” of the memorandums, the end of austerity, the abolition of unjust taxation, the incrase of wages and pensions- were proved a colossal piece of political knavery. During the last two years, the government of Alexis Tsipras was proved an excellent implementer of capital's anti-people policy, thus walking on the steps of its predecessors, the governments of New Democracy and PASOK.

Since January 2015 and its electoral triumph, the “left-wing” SYRIZA, in governmental alliance with the right-wing, nationalist party “ANEL”, managed to sign and vote a 3rd memorandum of austerity with even harder measures than the previous two; to pass hundreds of harsh anti-people, anti-workers laws; to demolish pension rights; to impose additional heavy taxation to the popular strata; to proceed to further privatizations of state property; to attack social security rights through supposed “reforms” which demolishes whatever has remained from the workers'-people's rights.

In foreign policy, the coalition government of Alexis Tsipras was proved the best “student” of the barbaric, imperialist NATO alliance. The SYRIZA-ANEL government, with great eagerness and with the agreement of New Democracy and the other bourgeois parties, has supported all the NATO decisions which constitute an escalation of the competition with Russia and resemble preparations for war. The Tsipras' government supported the decisions of the NATO Defense Ministers Summit, provides Greek islands for the establishment of NATO bases, has legitimized NATO's presence in the Aegean Sea under the pretext of confronting the refugee flows. While, at the same time, it has concealed the fact that the de facto partition of Cyprus is being promoted through the negotiations for a new "Annan” style Plan.

The above actions of the SYRIZA-ANEL government consist an example of the anti-people policies implemented by the administration of Alexis Tsipras. The experience of the 2 years of SYRIZA's governance clearly demonstrates that this party had never actual orientation for resistance against the EU strategy and the demands of the capital and the monopolies, both Greek and European. Despite the “ultra-revolutionary” and “left-wing” rhetoric that Tsipras' party used in the pre-electoral period, in practice, as a government, SYRIZA showed its real face by forming a social-democratic strategy, aiming in managing the capitalist system for the benefit of the profitability and competitiveness of the monopoly groups.

It is important to point out two basic pillars of SYRIZA's governmental policy: The first one is that SYRIZA deceived large portions of the Greek working class about the role of the EU. More specifically, SYRIZA promoted the deception that a “left-wing” government could pave the way for positive, pro-people, pro-workers changes inside the European Union. The theory expressed by Tsipras and his party was that the EU can change its monopolist, anti-people character; that a supposed change in the correlation of governmental forces within the EU (e.g. left-wing or social democratic versus conservative or neoliberal governments) could alter the predatory, capitalist character of the EU. Of course, this theory was proved in practice a complete fraud.

The second pillar on which SYRIZA based its governmental policy, was the use of fake dilemmas and blackmails towards the Greek people. This is a usual tactic that New Democracy and PASOK had followed before SYRIZA in order to convince the people to accept harsh austerity measures. The government of Alexis Tsipras- with the vote of the rest bourgeois parliamentary parties- passed a 3rd memorandum of austerity on September 2015, by using the known method of blackmail which says: “Accept this harsh package of austerity measures, otherwise the country will face bankruptcy and will leave the Eurozone”.

The peak of the SYRIZA-ANEL government's political deception was certainly the referendum of July 2015, when they trapped the Greek people between a YES or NO vote to the Troika's proposal of anti-people, anti-workers measures. Either with “Yes” or “No”, the Tsipras government had condemned the Greek people to new harsh measures, as long as it had agreed, just a few days before the referendum, with the Troika for an alternative austerity package. 

The then position of the KKE about the fraudulent character of the referendum has been fully vindicated. A week before the day of the referendum, the KKE was pointing out: The coalition government’s officials call on the people to say “no” and make it clear that this “no” in the referendum will be interpreted by the Greek government as approval for its own proposed agreement with the EU, IMF, ECB, which in its 47+8 pages also contains harsh antiworker-antipeople measures, with the aim of increasing the profitability of capital, capitalist “growth” and the country’s remaining in the euro. As the SYRIZA-ANEL government admits, which continues to extol the EU, “our common European home”, the “European achievement”, this proposal of theirs is 90% identical to the proposal of the EU, IMF, ECB and has very little relationship with what SYRIZA had promised before the elections” (29.6.2015).

A negative fact is that several communist and workers parties across Europe had then hailed the supposed “heroic stance” of SYRIZA and Tsipras against the creditors and the EU. The presentation of SYRIZA as a force of “resistance” had two major impacts: First, it promoted misinformation and confusion among Europe's working class about the role of social democracy and secondly, it concealed the actual, anti-people character of SYRIZA as a servant of capitalism and monopolies. There is no excuse for that, especially when the KKE- with demonstrations, public statements, articles and other forms of action- had exposed the dirty role of SYRIZA's social democracy.

SYRIZA, which began as a small opportunist party of the left, has been fully transformed into Greece's social democratic pole, thus replacing the formerly powerful PASOK in this position. Today, SYRIZA competes with the conservative, neoliberal party of New Democracy in who is the best servant and implementer of the bourgeois policy. Both SYRIZA and New Democracy try to prove that they are capable managers of the bourgeois system.

Two years after the electoral victory of SYRIZA and the formation of Alexis Tsipras' coalition government, one thing has been confirmed: that any government which operates within the framework of the power of capital, the EU and NATO is a priori an anti-people government, whatever name it bears and whatever its intentions may be. There can be no pro-people management of capitalism.

SYRIZA was proved in practice a servant of capitalism and its example vindicates the words of Gianni Agnelli, the italian magnate who, two decades ago, has said that “there is a certain kind of a left-wing which is more useful than the right-wing; it is the left-wing that can accomplish all those things that the right-wing wouldn't dare to do”. 

*Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of In Defense of Communism, a PhD candidate in Political Science, International Relations and Political History.