Absolutely yes. Why should the KKE go together with the Syriza reformists? Had Lenin participated in a "common socialist government" with the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries? No, and for a good reason: He declared that their opportunist policy would lead to nothing but giving capitalism a "nicer", "prettier" face, and that a participation in such a government would turn the Bolsheviks into a fig-leaf of opportunism - and the following events proved them right. The opportunists didn't lift a finger in order to fulfill the promised land reform or to end the war, and so this was left to the October Revolution. I wonder why the hell the KKE should treat Syriza different than the KKE treated the Mensheviks and the Kerenski government.
...he shared power with them in the Soviets for 9 months (and even longer), but never mind...
Well, maybe, but the Soviets (where you mainly have contact with the base of the parties) are one thing, participation in the government (where you have to deal with the parties' leaderships) is another thing.
To help kill PASOK and its class-treason agenda for good. To build closer ties between the workers in the demsoc left and communist workers. To throw a wrench into the austerity agenda. To twist SYRIZA's arm into actual Leftist policy. To keep outright reactionaries from holding power. To be able to paralyze the bourgeois repressive apparatus in the event of Leftist uprisings. To wreck and sabotage the bourgeois State. There's a myriad possibilities.
Cm'on baby, eat the rich!!! - Motörhead
Those are quite good arguments, but one mustn't forget that the KKE has made its experiences with Syriza and the single parties belonging to it. According to the KKE comrades, Syriza wanted them to drop several sides out of their programme. Synaspismos is left social-democratic at best, same goes for all the "democratic socialist" groups, the KOE seems to be merely a strange Maoist sect that has had nothing better to do than attack the KKE since its break-away from it, and I don't think I have to talk about the several Trotskyite groups. How the hell should a really Communist Party as the KKE be able to work with all those strange groups?
There is still another point to me. Syriza says that it wants to abolish the austerity agenda. However, it intends to remain within the EU and the Euro zone. This seems to me like an either-or-situation: Either you abolish the austerity agenda, but then you won't be able to remain within this neoliberal project called EU. Or the membership in the EU has top priority for Syriza, but in that case you have to bow to EU's neoliberal agenda and won't be able to abolish the austerity agenda. I can definitely understand that the KKE is not willing to give its good name for such a, if I may say so, programme ...
[sarc]Surprise surprise, those in the not-really-Communist Left ain't orthodox Marxist-Leninists.[/sarc]
A contradiction that will solve itself in one of three ways:
a) SYRIZA can cave in to Berlin's demands: KKE would then kill the coalition and kick them outta government.
b) SYRIZA doesn't cave, and Berlin doesn't either: Institutional crisis inside the EU! (Germany can't just expel countries from the EU 'cause they don't like the way they're governed). Greece may or may not be expelled from the EU.
c) Berlin caves. The austerity agenda gets killed on its tracks 'cause it lacks teeth. An objective win for the Greek working class.
At any rate, being able to blackmail SYRIZA into "do Leftist policy or we'll stop backing you" is much better than having to endure yet another neoliberal government.
Cm'on baby, eat the rich!!! - Motörhead
Wait, do you seriously think that a revolution can be fought out in the bourgeois parliaments and through ballots and the like?
That has failed everywhere. The vanguard of the working class that has to beg and "blackmail" (as if communists are really in a position to blackmail the bourgeois parliament) the capitalist state would be a pretty shitty vanguard. The Bolsheviks didn't focus on "blackmailing" Kerensky and Co., they did their best, from what i know, to win over the Soviets after which the "Parliament" could be safely liquidated.
Greece is a ruined country. Even if, by some wonder, the austerity agenda gets killed all that still wouldn't objectively change much for the country. Greece will still be in deep shit and her only real solution is an immediate withdrawal from NATO/EU and others. Socialism or starvation.
Of course not! The bourgeois State must be completely demolished.
Still, SYRIZA may well need KKE votes to get in power. Take away the backing and their coalition crumbles. In that scenario, it's possible to twist the DemSocs' arm a fair bit. If sufficient representation is gained, it's also possible to paralyze/wreck/sabotage the repressive institutions of the State, making outright illegal revolutionary work much safer and easier.
Participation in parliaments is not a constructive tool. It's a destructive tool: Its goal is to thwart the bourgeois State in its assaults against workers and the Left, to paralyze the bourgeois' weapons in the class struggle, thus making it as one-sided in our favor as possible.
We ain't got Soviets in greece, and the working class is disarmed. Under those shitty conditions, making bourgeois power as ineffective as possible is the best bet in order to enable dual power (precursor to worker power) to flourish.
Cm'on baby, eat the rich!!! - Motörhead
I agree with KW here. The KKE must ally with SYRIZA if only for the prestige that comes with becoming part of a European nation's ruling coalition. Such a thing alone is a small defeat for our enemies. Allowing SYRIZA to show their class-collaborationist colors is far more effective propaganda than just announcing that they are traitors.
لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله - يا عمال العالم اتحدوا
Do you really believe in this? That you can "sabotage the State from the inside", by parliamentary means? SYRIZA is a pro-imperialist, social-fascist (IMO it makes sense to call it that way when you think about it a bit) puppet-organization set up by the EU oligarchy.
Communists shouldn't, IMO, care about "coalition" and "calculations" and "parliamentary power". When did that ever work?
No, i don't think it's a "tool" but merely a platform to spread propaganda and perhaps influence some relatively unimportant policies.
Besides the KKE has a history of participating in bourgeois parliaments and governments, and not much ever came out of that.
There's nothing "prestigious" for Comparties to participate in governments, at least not in Europe. And SYRIZA has already shown it's counter-revolutionary colors, what's the point in making "alliances" with them just to be fragged over once again. KKE knows what it's doing because it has learned from previous mistakes. The people will soon inevitably become disillusioned with SYRIZA (in case they win the majority of seats in the following elections and manage to actually for a government), and when that time comes it will be very important to have an "independent party" of the working class.
Besides, SYRIZA, as Ralph said, is a really grotesque amalgam of various enemies of the people and assorted ridiculous Maoist and Trotskite and what not sects...
BTW "Trotskyist Group of Greece" has called the masses to reject SYRIZA and vote for KKE on the next elections.
Yes, certainly. I'm sure they're not perfect in every aspect, and I can understand that CPs in other countries would take different viewpoints in relation to "left coalitions", but it is absolutely the best policy in the Greek situation. Not even necessarily because "it's revolution or bust", "they are revisionists" or "we never want to cooperate with reformists/trots/maoists" and other simplistic arguments. Instead, the very real political reality on the ground and its class content needs to be considered first of all.
Participating in a coalition with Syriza would not bring about socialism, we can agree on that. So that brings us down to purely strategic considerations: would this participation at least bring it closer, would it be more progressive? Maybe, but does that mean that you need to participate yourself? Syriza coming to power might ease the burdens of austerity to some extent, but in the end, their main goal is to save the system, to be responsible administrators, pushing through a kind of austerity-lite. Check out this article for instance.
That would certainly take some pressure off, but I think it's incredibly naïve to think that the KKE has "nothing to lose" by essentially giving left cover to it. Such a coalition would, in practice, be a no-strike pledge writ large. The reformists and "communists" (in name only, if they actually did this) would find it impossible to agitate, strike and demonstrate against their own government. In essence, they would sacrifice every last bit of working-class militancy (not to mention their own credibility) to a few ministerial posts in order to "fight the right". Greece would go from a country that has a general strike every few months to one where no strikes happen for four years because Syriza, the KKE and affiliated trade union movements would tell their supporters to stand down.
In other words, in a KKE-supported left coalition, the working class would be completely demobilised and deradicalised. It would therefore be utterly incapable of fighting for its interests if a right-wing government were to return to power, which would of course happen, because 4-yearly swings between left and right are pretty much the essence of parliamentary politics. Worse yet, they would also be demobilised against the likes of Golden Dawn, who will seize on any kind of dissatisfaction with either a left or a right government. That would be incredibly dangerous for immigrants, for instance. A lot more people would look towards the fascists, because the communists just compromised themselves by joining the government.
In this election, the KKE's strategy caused them to lose votes because a left government was actually on the cards; people who would normally support the KKE might therefore have strategically voted Syriza. But now it turns out that this didn't help, and ND will take power again, though I'm not sure who the coalition partner might be. Syriza will undoubtedly do their best to oppose them in parliament, but they still are a coalition of wildly divergent organisations. And I do not believe for a moment that a coalition composed of a dominent parliamentarist current (Synaspismos) and a slew of trotskyist and maoist sects will be able to oppose the ND government where it matters, on the streets, in the workplaces. The KKE is reduced in parliament, but is still the driving force behind the class-strugglist union front PAME, as well as several other such organisations that together make up their anti-monopolist alliance of the workers, farmers, self-employed, etc.
What I honestly don't understand is that everyone on the left on the internet hates the CPUSA, but at the same time, they demand that the KKE essentially does the same thing as the CPUSA. The CPUSA is always going on about the need to "fight the right" on an unprincipled basis, and I'm hearing more or less the same kind of argument here. Of course communists need to form alliances and be pragmatic at times, but the idea that we are all "lefties" in it together and that we need to "defeat the right" is a complete perversion of the communist kind of pragmatism.
Well, what policies should Syriza renege on. Again, the link: http://www.syn.gr/gr/keimeno.php?id=273 ... 7ad801e61c
In that case, why not just cut out the middleman and oppose them from the start? It is the stated intent of Syriza to rescue the capitalist system in general and the EU in particular. So why should you first support that, and then when they actually do it, suddenly denounce them? It would suck even on the strategic and electoral level, because who would want to vote for a communist party that changes its mind every week? We already have the other parties for that.
Certainly you can't do it from the parliamentary opposition... From inside a ruling coalition, it's quite possible to make their lives harder.
A Leftist party who gets control over, say, gun policy could, for example, lift restrictions and allow the working classes to be armed... Given Justice, they could choose not to prosecute violations of bourgeois legality committed by proletarian activists. Given Interior, they can keep the pigs on their pens, letting revolutionaries have a field day undisturbed, etc.
Absent a reactionary coup, some institutions can be paralyzed and others can be subverted by 'democratic' means (at least for some time). An insurrection of the toiling masses is necessary to overthrow and destroy the State apparatus: That doesn't mean that we can't (temporarily) compromise some of the institutions of the enemy .
Communists shouldn't primarily care about that: The struggle in the workplaces and in the streets is vastly more important. Still, if you're participating in elections and getting representation, these seats are leverage. This leverage can be employed to obtain concessions and tactical advantages.
It's basically a propaganda platform, but if you've got enough seats you can use them as an additional means of pressure against the bourgeois factions. It's not the main means of pressure and it's not intended to be the main means of pressure. It's just an extra tool that comes handy occassionally.
Cm'on baby, eat the rich!!! - Motörhead
How often does that actually happen, though? I'd say the best example of that kind of thing is Czechoslovakia in 1948. But of course, that was when there was a ruthless Communist Party that already had the firm support of a plurality of the population, combined with weak opponents who thought that they could not exclude the communists, and who were also quite aware of the new post-war reality, and of the proximity of Soviet troops. All these factors combined to essentially bring about a communist takeover by combining power in the streets and workplaces with manipulation of the parliamentary system in a rather brilliant manner.
These machinations worked one time, but they frightened the ruling class to such an extent that they never fell for it again. In Czechoslovakia at the time, the communists could grab power and integrate into the socialist bloc. In our time, communists have been elected into office in Moldova (until recently), Nepal and Cyprus, but in countries like that, they can't institute socialism, whether from above or from below, because they would just isolate and starve themselves. In Moldova, they got forced out by a coalition of every single other party, riding the waves of pro-EU ideas and Romanian irredentism. In Nepal, the Maoists were swallowed whole by the system that they had spent a decade of civil war fighting against. In Cyprus, there is a communist president whose hands are tied because he hasn't got a parliamentary majority. Etc., etc. There is always something holding them back. Of course, you can hardly blame these parties for having electoral success and taking the responsibility that comes with it, but these aren't really success stories either.
In Greece it's even worse, because the only party that had the potential to throw a spanner in the works, Syriza, is not even communist in name, and there would have been absolutely no room for this kind of sabotage-through-parliament. In any case, for now ND has won and all left forces will be in opposition anyway, so the possibilities are endless in that respect.
People voted for the communists and nothing happened. Now they are voting for their old masters again.
People in greece are desperate for leadership and none is to be found.
Soviet America is Free America!
Under communism, there is no freedom; you are not free to live in poverty, be homeless, to be without an education, to starve, or to be without a job
I Don't think that those measures are bad for working class .
Never seen any COMMUNIST PARTY saying that they want the workers in control of the companys it's always the state because they want to puy a dictatorship in the country .
Marxism - Leninism is a REVISIONIST theory and so how can you support that ?
KKE should Ally Syriza because it's better for people .
SYRIZA, a coalition of 11 different left-wing organizations along with many individuals, is massively popular because of its stand against the austerity measures that have come as conditions--contained in what is called the "Memorandum"--of the bailout of the Greek financial system by the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, known together as the "troika."
The following are SYRIZA's proposals in a document titled "The Exit from the Crisis Is on the Left."
1. Creation of a shield to protect society against the crisis:
-- Not a single citizen without a guaranteed minimum income or unemployment benefit, medical care, social protection, housing, and access to all services of public utilities.
-- Protection of and relief measures for indebted households.
-- Price controls and price reductions, VAT reduction, and abolition of VAT on basic-need goods.
2. Disposal of the debt burden
The national debt is first and foremost a product of class relations, and is inhumane in its very essence. It is produced by the tax evasion of the wealthy, the looting of public funds, and the exorbitant procurement of military weapons and equipment.
We are asking immediately for:
-- A moratorium on debt servicing.
-- Negotiations for debt cancellation, with provisions for the protection of social insurance funds and small savers. This will be pursued by exploiting any available means, such as audit control and suspension of payments.
-- Regulation of the remaining debt to include provisions for economic development and employment.
-- European regulations on the debt of European states.
-- Radical changes to the European Central Bank's role.
-- Prohibition of speculative banking products.
-- A pan-European tax on wealth, financial transactions, and profits.
3. Income redistribution, taxation of wealth and elimination of unnecessary expenses:
-- Reorganization and consolidation of tax collection mechanisms.
-- Taxation of fortunes over 1 million euros and large-scale revenues.
-- Gradual increase, up to 45 percent, of the tax on the distributed profits of corporations (SA).
-- Taxation of financial transactions.
-- Special taxation on consumption of luxury goods.
-- Removal of tax exemptions for ship owners and the Greek Orthodox Church.
-- Lifting of confidentiality for banking and merchant transactions, and pursuit of those who evade taxes and social insurance contributions.
-- Banning of transactions carried out through offshore companies.
-- Pursuit of new financial resources through efficient absorption of European funds, through claims on the payment of German World War II reparations and occupation loan, and finally via steep reductions in military expenses.
4. Productive social and environmental reconstruction:
-- Nationalization/socialization of banks, and their integration into a public banking system under social and workers' control, in order to serve developmental purposes. The scandalous recapitalization of the banks must stop immediately.
-- Nationalization of all public enterprises of strategic importance that have been privatized so far. Administration of public enterprises based on transparency, social control and democratic planning. Support for the provision of Public Goods.
-- Protection and consolidation of co-operatives and SMEs in the social sector.
-- Ecological transformation in development of energy production, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. These reforms will prioritize nutritional abundance and fulfillment of social needs.
-- Development of scientific research and productive specialization.
5. Stable employment with decent wages and social insurance:
The constant degradation of labor rights, coupled with embarrassing wage levels, does not attract investment, development or employment. Instead, we are calling for:
-- Well-paid, well-regulated and insured employment.
-- Immediate reconstitution of the minimum wage and reconstitution of real wages within three years.
-- Immediate reconstitution of collective labor agreements.
-- Instigation of powerful control mechanisms that will protect employment.
-- Systematic opposition of lay-offs and the deregulation of labour relations.
6. Deepening democracy: Democratic political and social rights for all:
There is a democratic deficit in the country. Greece is gradually being transformed into an authoritarian police state. We are calling for:
-- The restoration of popular sovereignty and an upgrade of parliamentary power within the political system:
-- Creation of a proportional electoral system
-- Separation of powers
-- Revocation of ministerial immunity
-- Abolishment of economic privileges for MPs
-- Real decentralization to create local government with sound resources and expanded jurisdiction.
-- The introduction of direct democracy and institutions of self-management under workers' and social control at all levels.
-- Measures against political and economic corruption.
-- The solidification of democratic, political, and trade union rights.
-- The enhancement of women's and youths' rights in the family, in employment, and in public administration.
-- Immigration reforms:
-- Speeding up the asylum process
-- Abolition of Dublin II regulations and granting of travel papers to immigrants
-- Social inclusion of immigrants and equal rights protection
-- Democratic reforms to public administration with the active participation of civil servants.
-- The demilitarization and democratization of the Police and the Coast Guard. Disbandment of special forces.
7. Restoration of a strong welfare state:
Anti-insurance laws, the shutdown of social services, and the steep fall in social expenditures under the Memorandum have turned Greece into a country where social injustice reigns. We are in need of:
-- An immediate rescue of the pension system, to include tripartite financing and the gradual consolidation of separate pension fund portfolios into one public, universal system of social insurance.
-- A raise in unemployment benefits until the substitution rate reaches 80% of the wage. No unemployed person is to be left without unemployment benefits.
-- The introduction of a guaranteed minimum income.
-- A unified system of comprehensive social protection covering the vulnerable social strata.
8. Health is a public good and a social right:
Health care is to be provided for free and will be financed through a Public Health System. Immediate measures include:
-- Support and upgrades for hospitals. Upgrade of health infrastructures of the Social Insurance Institute (IKA). Development of an integrated system of first-level medical care.
-- Covering the needs of medical treatment in both personnel and equipment, in part by stopping layoffs.
-- Open and cost-free access to medical treatment for all residents in the country.
-- Free pharmaceutical treatment and medical examinations for low-income pensioners, the unemployed, students, and those suffering from chronic diseases.
9. Protection of public education, research, culture and sports from the Memorandum's policies:
With regards to education, we are calling for:
-- Consolidation of universal, public, and free education, including coverage of its urgent needs in infrastructure and personnel at all three levels.
-- Compulsory 14-year unified education.
-- Revocation of the Diamantopoulou Law.
-- Assurance of self-government for Universities.
-- Preservation of the academic and public character of Universities.
10. An independent foreign policy committed to the promotion of peace:
The capitulation of our foreign policy to the desires of the U.S. and the powerful states of the European Union endangers the country's independence, peace, and security. We propose:
-- A multi-dimensional and peace-seeking foreign policy.
-- Disengagement from NATO and closure of foreign military bases on Greek soil.
-- Termination of military cooperation with Israel.
-- Aiding the Cypriot people in the reunification of the island.
Now look at the partys who form SYRIZA :
Active Citizens (Ενεργοί Πολίτες): democratic socialism, patriotism
Anticapitalist Political Group (ΑΠΟ): communism, trotskyism
Communist Organization of Greece (KOE): maoism, communism
Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI): left-wing nationalism, socialism, euroscepticism
Ecosocialists of Greece: eco-socialism, left ecology
Internationalist Workers' Left (DEA): revolutionary socialism, communism, trotskyism
Movement for the United in Action Left (KEDA): communism
Radical Left Group Roza
Radicals (Ριζοσπάστες): democratic socialism, patriotism
Red (Κόκκινο): communism, trotskyism
Renewing Communist Ecological Left (AKOA): democratic socialism, eurocommunism, green politics
Synaspismós (SYN): democratic socialism, eco-socialism, eurocommunism, environmentalism, feminism
Unitary Movement: democratic socialism, social democracy
In those Partys i only see Unitary Movement that want Social Democracy .
So how can they be the big Social Democrats that you are trying to put a tag by force ?
Economic Left/Right: -8.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82
Well, if you're a Maoist (as your profile says) then surely it should be evident how most of the above is purely social-democratic. Well, unless you're a Greek maoist who thinks that Greece is a "special" kind of capitalist country that doesn't need socialism, but "independence and real democracy" (http://www.revleft.com/vb/showpost.php? ... ostcount=8).
Last January, several of the members of the KOE (Greek maoists) left the organisation because they felt that they were becoming "extras for Syriza" and accessories to the centre-left. They were apparently forced out for being a "faction" and not allowed to give their opinions inside the organisation (http://www.avgi.gr/ArticleActionshow.ac ... eID=664116, use Google Translate).
Of course the social-democratic reforms outlined above would be more progressive in the short term, but every party that seeks power over principles says one thing to their voters, and another thing to their future partners. But when they get into power, it is the latter that they actually have to deal with. Once more: http://www.syn.gr/gr/keimeno.php?id=273 ... 7ad801e61c
It is true that there are a lot of "revolutionary" groups within Syriza, but most of them are tiny sects. The one organisation that dominates Syriza is Synaspismos, which was a rightward, reformist breakaway from the communists. Unless you think "Eurocommunism" is revolutionary rather than reformist, it is clear which line dominates Syriza. That all those other groups want to give them credibility is up to them.
Anyway, Syriza has already announced that it will not protest against austerity measures, but will oppose it with "solidarity" (not sure what that means in this case): http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/06/1 ... 7E20120619
I sympathise with the fact that workers voted for Syriza hoping to see them implement as much of their program as possible, but if they continue supporting Syriza in this kind of "opposition", they really do themselves a disservice. Syriza calls for total disarmament and demobilisation in the face of the worst ever attacks on their living standards. If class-conscious workers stick with them through this (as a lot of Trotskyists and Maoists hope), then that is a massive setback.
Yesterday I was looking for informations about the Japanese Communist Party, and they say exactly the same.
"Mao was just a degenerated Trotsky." Dagoth Ur
And the CPUSA probably use the "exceptional" bipartisan nature of the American political system to justify the idea of "defeating the right" before even mentioning socialism vaguely. And undoubtedly a lot of "<Nation> Road to Socialism" ideas use some form of exceptionalism. Not that there is necessarily something wrong with outlining different approaches depending on national traditions; but the ones that base themselves on exceptionalism usually also tend towards too much patriotism and reformism.
The quotations of the KOE members are especially vile, however. "There are no factories here." Hey, that's exactly what liberals here say (usually followed by "Workers don't exist anymore") to justify their contention that all communist, social-democratic and trade union movements are redundant and should abolish themselves, because nowadays we live in a big happy world full of flexible workers and self-employed, neither of which need political representation according to them (otherwise, they might start demanding higher wages). I guess to the Maoists, the Hellenic Steelworks is a phantom, as is the recent strike there.
The way I see it, the opinion of these KOE members is simply the reformist twist on the ultra-radical contention held by some strains of Maoism that there are no workers in the "First World" at all, just labour aristocrats. Of course, radicalism and opportunism are often two sides of the same coin. Maybe the next step is for the Maoist comrades to develop a new analysis of Greece as a "third-world" country where the workers need to chain themselves to the bourgeoisie and fight for "real democracy and independence".
This, no less, in a country where people are desperately looking for a way out that goes beyond the "real democracy and independence" that all bourgeois parties have promised them for years, and where hundreds of thousands, if not millions, support communist parties and allied labour organisations. Quite remarkable. The comrades at Kasama are favourably quoting all this stuff by KOE as an expression of "creative Maoism". Indeed.
To those whom dismiss the value of participation in parliamentary elections, here is what Karl Marx himself said in La Liberte Speech.
Quote:I myself feel that the various parties of the Left should take part in both elections, from within, and direct actions, from without.
Why did you forgot this part of the quotation?
"This being the case, we must also recognize the fact that in most countries on the Continent the lever of our revolution must be force; it is force to which we must some day appeal in order to erect the rule of labor."
"Mao was just a degenerated Trotsky." Dagoth Ur
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