According to Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras -- who is now seeking to form a government in Greece after New Democracy has failed to do so -- Aleka Papariga of KKE will not meet with him. Perhaps a partial answer is given by the KKE's website description of Syriza as the "alliance of opportunist forces and forces from PASOK" http://inter.kke.gr/News/news2012/2012-05-07-ekloges-pinakaki/)
Janos you are quite right to attract our attention to Greece. I admit to feeling a bit torn on this. In principle, I think the KKE position is entirely correct and that Syriza and Democratic Left are genuinely opportunist forces, eg against the bailout but adamantly for the euro and the EU.
I fully understand the KKE's position but tactically I can't help feel that the KKE has painted itself into a corner by not, for example, publishing a ten-point list of demands or suchlike and force Syriza to debate or reject them.
My fear is that if there is a second round of elections the KKE will see its support melt towards these very opportunist forces it opposes as many on the Greek left will want to see a robust renegotiation as a first step, if that fails (as seems likely) the KKE's position would surely be stronger.
It's worth recalling that the underlying causes of the bad blood between KKE and Syriza was the KKE's involvment in precisely such an alliance, Synaspismos, with "opportunists" in the late 80s. In a sense, involvement with Synaspismos split the party more bitterly than the "Exterior" "Interior" conflict a generation earlier.
I don't blame Papariga for her reticence, but as always tactics is an art not an exact science and I'm not sure how the KKE's position is seen by radical left voters, principled and proved right in the long run or sectarian and aloof and to be blamed if a pro-memorandum coalition is somehow cobbled together?
Time will tell, but the KKE is certainly correct to stress the key role of extra-parliamentary struggles versus horse-trading.
Syriza is trying to find a way to reject "austerity" without precipitating a collapse of the Greek economy. That is an attractive idea, even though it may be quite illusory, as the KKE argues. However, the more radical measures proposed by the KKE almost certainly would bring about the final collapse of the Greek economy, leading, inexorably, to the very austerity (in a much more chaotic form) that Greek left voters want to avoid. That is probably why the Syriza vote has increased dramatically, while the KKE vote has remained fairly stable. I can't help thinking that if (when) Syriza fails to resolve the crisis, it won't be the KKE which benefits.
Surely, Francis you are answering your own questions? The reasons why the KKE is not going to hook up with Syriza are precisely because they are attempting to deliver economic and social solutions within the framework of capitalism and the European Union.
The inherent irreconcilability of contradictions of the crisis of capitalism and imperialism are being expressed extremely sharply in Greece (and the other "southern" economies). In such circumstances, the only realistic way forward is an anti-austerity programme making deep inroads into the wealth and power of the monopoly capitalist class, potentially opening up the road to socialist revolution, and the establishment of a social and economic system run by and interests of the majority working class.
That is the programme of the KKE. NOT to exhaust the last remaining potentials of bankrupt capitalism, leading to further austerity, as Francis suggests.
In such circumstances, political parties are forced to line up: either on the side of capitalism and ongoing crisis; or, on the side of anti-capitalism measure. The gap between the KKE and Syriza is the same as the gap between the KKE and New Democracy and Pasok.
The tendency of some of the contributors on this site to rate the role and potential of Syriza (including failed ex-euro-communists) is typical of the opportunism and reformism which destroyed our own CPGB.
Clearly Perry Striker would have been at home in the comintern in the early 1930s. How long can it be, I wonder, before he starts calling Syriza social-fascists?
His claim that it's either capitalism or anti-capitalism is classic ultra-leftism, of the sort that led to the destruction of the German Communist Party. Fortunately, the threat of fascism in Greece is not yet on a level comparable to Germany in the 1930s. But it is growing alarmingly, and communists underestimate it at their peril.
The question "capitalism or anti-capitalism" presupposes that there is a revolutionary situation in Greece, or perhaps that there's one just round the corner.
Doesen't look like that to me. A leap from the current economic crisis to socialist revolution is utopian.
Surely a responsiible attitude (in the tradition of popular fronts, if you like), would be for the KKE to reach out to Syriza and to bits of PASOK. in order to build a workable anti-austerity alliance.
Instead the KKE prefers glorious isolation, a position that I fear will cost it dearly at the next elections.
Yiannis Bournos of Syriza clearly thinks that the German government is bluffing and can be made to continue bailing out Greece without it making spending cuts. I doubt that that is the case. In any case, his back-up plan sounds like fantasy as it is to seek money from China and Russia.
I really doubt that Syriza has a workable program of any kind. KKE may be better off not goining into a government which will be a likely fiasco.
Yes,no, maybe Janos. The KKE is certainly better off not joining Syriza's projected "government of the left" because it's "programme" is simply to renegotiate the bail-out terms and secondly the maths in parliament don't add up -- as the Greek communists point out Syriza's "government" can only come about if PASOK and the "Independent Greeks" bloc join it.
New Democracy and PASOK, at the moment, believe that the Germans won't back down. If they thought Merkel would shift then they would all close ranks around the sort of "unity" government that the Greek president is currently trying to assemble.
Left social-democracy clearly sees the Syriza intitiative as a big boost to the efforts of the French socialists and their allies to replace austerity with a neo-keynesian new deal package across the European Union while the KKE sees the problem as only resolvable with Greece's departure from the Eurozone and the European Union altogether.
But is Merkel immovable?
The CDU/CSU has been shaken by their crushing defeat by the social-democrats and greens in North Rhine-Westphalia state elections and this means they've got a fight on their hands when the national government comes up for grabs at next year's general elections. The Merkel government, under heavy pressure from the new French leadership to change course, will also have to consider the need to make a special exception for Greece to preserve the Franco-German alliance and the European Union -- because a Greek exit could trigger others that could bring the whole European project to an end.
"Left social-democracy clearly sees the Syriza intitiative as a big boost to the efforts of the French socialists and their allies to replace austerity with a neo-keynesian new deal package across the European Union while the KKE sees the problem as only resolvable with Greece's departure from the Eurozone and the European Union altogether"
The question in my mind is whether if the SPD form the next German government (with die Grünen or the FDP or even with the CDU) will any "pro-growth" pact -- assuming it is agreed upon be the sort of "neo-keynesian" affair suggested or something like what Italy's Monti has suggested -- labour market reforms and some infrastructure spending. If gambled, my money would be on the second -- particularly since the Germans have already made these types of reforms in large part.
The other question is whether pact would allow Greece to continue on its pre-crisis trajectory. I think the answer is a resounding "no". Two points are here: the first is that the Greek economy is not competitive with the Euro as its currency, second is that Greece raises -- even under reasonable growth assumptions no-where near enough in taxes to pay for its government expenditures.
While it's too early to speculate on the composition of the next German government its economic direction will depend on the nature of the government that emerges after the 2013 general election and the mood of the German electorate. A "grand coalition" led by the social-democrat SPD and the CDU/CSU would almost certainly opt for the sort of "Monti" style package we've seen imposed on Italy but a SPD-led coalition with the Greens (and maybe the FDJ) would be under pressure from the unions to go for Hollande's neo-keynesian "pro-growth" agenda.
The other issue is the wider question of the future of the European Union. It seems clear that unless the Greeks are allowed to renegotiate the bail-out terms Greece will leave the Eurozone and possibly even exit from the EU altogether -- which could trigger a domino collapse in the southern sphere of the EU and jeopardise the whole EU project are it currently stands. That certainly seems to be the argument that President Hollande is putting to Chancellor Merkel at the moment.
The European project has always revolved around a Franco-German axis and the French and German bourgeoisie have invested billions over decades in the drive to build the "Europa" super-state that they believe can challenge American economic hegemony in the western world. As their economists, no doubt, believe that the "upturn" will come before 2015 it is conceivable that even Merkel will change course, and not just to revive the flagging fortunes of the Christian Democrats and their Bavarian CSU allies.
Well Perry, if by "opportunism and reformism" you mean distinguishing between non-revolutionary parties of the left and the right, and allying with the left against the right, then by 1935, the CPGB was beyond all redemption, as it was running round actively supporting Labour candidates almost everywhere.
As for Greece, although I doubt that a Syriza-led administration would be able to deal with the crisis without some significant decline in working class living standards (if not through cuts, then through devaluation and inflation when Greece gets pushed out of the euro), I don't for one moment imagine that the KKE would be able to implement its programme without an even greater fall in living standards, if only because the KKE programme would entail even greater economic disruption.
I tend to share most of Francis King's assessment although from a slightly different perspective perhaps. In the immediate situation many Greeks of the left (and beyond which is a crucial point) will not support withdrawal from the eurozone far less the EU.
The KKE is undoubtedly correct in its overall analysis of the whole EU project and correct to criticise those who believe that it's possible to reject the EU-imposed bailout and somehow be forgiven by the German and French bankers who, it is fair to say, have a not inconsiderable clout within the EU institutions.
I think the KKE is also quite correct to say that this strategy of Syriza is illusory. However, the point is how do you dispel illusions? Could there be some way of the KKE participating in an anti-bailout alliance and escalate the level of confrontation with the EU and thereby also highlight the contradictions of the Syriza strategy?
I'm honestly not sure. Clearly the KKE believes not and that it is better to suffer short term losses (again I think FK is correct and opinion polls show Syriza support ballooning) in order to reinforce its longer term credibility. This may be a risky strategy and a lost opportunity. Again, I don't know for sure but we will pretty soon find out.
However, it is not simply the KKE that have suggested that Greece should not remain within the eurozone but an increasing number of bourgeois economists. The country simply cannot service the "bailout" (which in any case is for the bankers not the Greek people)when its productive economy has all but collapsed. So a Syriza government (even a Pasok/ND one) may still find itself forced outside the eurozone at some point. So I think the point about the KKE alternative causing "economic disruption" is beside the point, whatever happens next will disrupt the economy the question as always is who will pay for it and who will blink first.
Interesting article by Slavoj Zizek in which he appears to give his support to Syriza:
He makes interesting points. However, if Syriza thinks the Germans will cave in under the threat that a Greek exit from the eurozone would bring the whole thing down, they could be very wrong indeed. Then, as pointed out in a recent Morning Star feature, with its bluff called Syriza will be found to have no plan B.
I am not sure what Zizek's conclusions about the crisis are though. He confidently says that "[w]hile all three stories are false" yet offers no explanation of his own. It is impossible to solve a problem if one does not understand it; and Zizek seems to get nowhere closer.
Greece continues to attract the attention of workers of many countries...
June 1 2012, 7:39 AM
Between two tough battles
Article of the International Relations Section of the CC of the KKE
Greece continues to attract the attention of workers of many countries all over the world, in light of the new crucially important parliamentary elections, which will be held on the 17th of June, as none of the three parties, which received the most votes, could form a coalition government. Of particular interest, judging by the relevant articles in communist and other progressive newspapers, journals and web-pages are the recent election results as well as the political line traced by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), which has found itself in the firing line of various analysts in this period. But let us start from the beginning.
On the Result of the May 6th elections
The elections on the 6th of May created a new political scene, as the three parties, which had governed together supporting the anti-people political line of capital and the European Union (EE), fell in the elections. Specifically:
The social-democratic PASOK gathered only 833,529 votes or 13.2%, an unprecedented fall of -2,179,013 and -30.8%.
The conservative ND received 1,192,054 or 18.9%, a fall of 1,103,665 votes or -14.6%.
The nationalist LAOS could not reach the 3% threshold to enter Parliament, receiving 183,466 or 2.9%, a fall of -202,739 or -1.6%.
At the same time, nevertheless, the change of the political scene does not mean an overthrow of the political scene, as the forces which support the political line of the EU one way street were the ones that chiefly benefited from the anger of the workers. And so, the large majority of the voters of the bourgeois parties were scattered mainly to ideologically related political formations . Specifically:
SYRIZA, which is an alliance of opportunist forces, which had left the KKE from the right (in the Party splits in 1968 and 1991) and which has been joined in recent years by forces from the social-democratic PASOK, gathered 1,061,265 votes or 16.8%, an increase +745,600 or +12.2%,
A split from SYRIZA, Democratic Left, which had also absorbed former PASOK MPs and officials, gathered 386,116 votes or 6.1%.
A large number of votes were also directed to reactionary and nationalist parties such as the Independent Greeks, which emerged from ND and received 670,596 votes or 10.6% and the fascist Nazi Golden Dawn, which received 440,894 votes or 7%.
Also, about 20% of the electorate voted for dozens of parties, which participated in the elections, but could not break through the 3% threshold.
The KKE had a small increase in this election. Specifically it received 536,072 votes or 8.5%, that is to say +18,823 votes or +1%. The KKE elected 26 MPs (of the 300 in Parliament), 5 more than it had previously. In working class neighbourhoods the KKE received almost double its average percentage. Indeed in one of the 56 electoral regions (Samos-Ikaria) the KKE came first with 24.7%.
The CC of the KKE came to certain initial conclusions on the election result. It mentions in its statement amongst other things: the CC salutes the thousands of working men and women, and unemployed who appreciated the militancy, consistency and the truthful clarity of the KKEs words, the militancy and unselfishness of the communists and supported it at the ballot box, irrespective of their level of agreement with its overall political proposal. A large section of the workers as well as a section of the partys voters, under the pressure of the exacerbation of the popular problems, the misleading slogans concerning the renegotiation of the memorandum and the immediate relief for the workers, could not understand and take on board the difference between a government and real power. But as is noted by the CC of the KKE: the political proposal of the KKE regarding the struggle for working class-peoples power will find itself at the core of the people in the next period, as the difference between a government and real peoples power will become even clearer, as well as the overall proposal concerning the immediate issues of the peoples survival and working class popular power. From this standpoint political electoral activity of the KKE in harmony with its strategy, as is proper, constitutes an important legacy for the years to come.
Certain international bourgeois media, presenting SYRIZA as the winner of the May 6th elections, did not explore beyond its title: Coalition of the Radical Left and came to the conclusion that it is a radical left or even communist party. Of course this has no basis in reality. The central force within SYRIZA is the party Coalition of the Left (SYN), which has a social-democratic programme. In 1992 it voted for the Maastricht treaty in the Greek Parliament and is a supporter of the imperialist European Union, which it believes can be improved. It joined the anti-communist campaign against the USSR and the other socialist countries we knew in the 20th century. SYN is a member of the Presidium of the so-called European Left Party (ELP), which is an instrument of the EU to eradicate the communist characteristics of the CPs in the EU countries.
Together with SYN there are forces that entered SYRIZA from the Social-democratic PASOK, as well as various smaller ultra-left groups of a Trotskyist hue, and mutated former maoist groups, which add political spice to the basically social-democratic and anti-communist meal. A basic goal of this particular formation is the reduction of the electoral, trade union and more general political influence of the KKE, Thus, there are numerous examples over the last decade of the anti-KKE character of this political formation. In dozens of trade unions, sectoral federations and labour centres (local trade union councils), the forces of SYRIZA cooperate and form electoral alliances with PASOK forces in order to impede the election of communist delegates to the higher trade union bodies. SYRIZA is the sworn enemy of the All-workers Militant Front (PAME) which is a rally of class-oriented trade unions. SYRIZAs forces openly collaborate with government and employer-led forces in the leading bodies of the compromised trade union confederations in the private (GSEE) and public sector (ADEDY). In many instances they have a similar stance in local elections. A particularly characteristic example was the stance in the municipal elections of 2010 in Ikaria. The KKE possesses significant electoral influence on this island, which was a former place of exile for communists. In the 2010 elections SYRIZA collaborated with the social-democratic PASOK, the liberal ND and the nationalist LAOS so that the island would not elect a communist mayor. Then the KKEs candidate received 49.5% of the votes and the municipality was won by the anti-KKE alliance by a few hundred votes.
Today SYRIZA is trying to attack the KKE with proposals of political expediency regarding the so-called unity of the left, in an attempt for the KKE to erase whole sections of its programme, to abandon its principles and to accept the policy of managing the capitalist system, which is proposed by SYRIZA.
Based on this, the least we could say is that the stance of certain CPs was not responsible, which rushed to salute the electoral rise of this opportunist and anti-communist formation in the name of the electoral increase of the left, without knowing the real situation in Greece. They saluted a sworn enemy of the KKE, an enemy whose participation in a coalition government of the supporters of the EU has been proposed by the president of the Greek industrialists.
The illusion of unity of the left and the lie of the left government.
Many politicized workers, from various countries in Europe and the world, pose this question: Why does the KKE not make some compromises? Why does it insist on its political line for the rallying of social forces, which want to struggle against the monopolies, against capitalism, against the imperialist unions, for peoples working class power and does not support the political line of unity of the left, the struggle to correct capitalist reality, and the EU, with political and/or governmental collaboration with other left and social-democratic forces, as other CPs in Europe have done?
To begin with, The KKE has for some time now clarified that the meanings left and right are not terms that reflect todays political situation. The term Left today could be used to describe the GS of NATO or the Prime Minister of a country who is conducting an imperialist war and is carrying out anti-worker and anti-people measures at the expense of the workers in his country. The Communist Party is not simply a left party, but the party which struggles for the overthrow of capitalism, the construction of the new socialist-communist society. It is this path, this line of struggle that can bring about gains and not the reverse!
As history has demonstrated, reforms, the struggle to correct the capitalist system, to blunt the most extreme anti-people measures, which is what the opportunist-social-democratic forces focus on, have never led to the overthrow of capitalism anywhere. On the contrary! On many occasions this approach has led to the consolidation of capitalism, through the creation of illusions amongst millions of workers, that capitalism can be allegedly humanized; that today the European Central Bank can be transformed from a tool of capitalism into a charitable organization which will hand out interest-free loans or that the European Union, can be transformed from a union which serves capital into a union of the peoples, as SYN/SYRIZA and the ELP claim.
This is the reason why the KKE promotes its political proposal in a comprehensive fashion, which it specialized for the elections on the 6th of May in the slogan: Out of the EU, with peoples power and the unilateral cancellation of the debt.
In this sense, the KKE remains consistently oriented to Marxism-Leninism. As Lenin wrote: The proletariat is fighting, and will continue to fight, to destroy the old regime. Towards this end it will direct all its propaganda and agitation, and all its efforts to organise and mobilise the masses. If it fails to destroy the old regime completely, it will take advantage even of its partial destruction. But it will never advocate partial destruction, depict this in rosy colours, or call upon the people to support it. Real support in a genuine struggle is given to those who strive for the maximum (achieving something less in the event of failure) and not to those who opportunistically curtail the aims of the struggle before the fight.
The KKE has rejected the idea of forming a left government, which will keep Greece in the EU and NATO and the capitalist relations of production untouched, and which will allegedly be able to implement a pro-people management of the system. Our party is struggling for the development of the class struggle, the political consciousness of the workers, their liberation from the influence of the bourgeois parties and ideological constructs and for the formation of a social alliance, which will defend the interests of the workers and will also seek to extricate the country from imperialist interventions, and will also pose the question of power.
Goal : The reduction of the influence of the KKE and its assimilation into the system!
The refusal of the KKE to submit itself to left formations or even to a government of the left is being targeted by its enemies, and friends, who directly or indirectly call on the KKE to unite with the other left forces. The CPs which are in the presidium of the ELP are following this line. There were also some rather crude attacks e.g. by various Trotskyist groups that are more well-known abroad than in our own country who characterized the KKE as sectarian and dogmatic.
How is it possible for the KKE to rally hundreds of thousands of people in Greece, with the line of class struggle, if the party is sectarian? How is it possible, for example, for the All-workers Militant Front (PAME) to rally dozens of first-level trade unions, sectoral federations, and labour centres which represent hundreds of thousands of workers?
We should note here that PAME, as the class-oriented pole in the labour and trade union movement rallies 8 sectoral federations, 13 labour centres, hundreds of first-level and sectoral unions, with 850,000 members. In addition, PAME also operates in trade unions where the class-oriented forces are not in the majority. For example, PAME is the second force in a series of sectoral federations (such as the federation in the tourist and catering sector and the Metalworkers Federation) as well as in the countrys two largest labour centres (Athens and Thessalonica).
How is it possible for the Panhellenic Anti-monopoly rally of the self-employed (PASEVE) to organize thousands of self-employed people, who understand the need to come into conflict with the monopolies? How is it possible for thousands of poor farmers, through their farmers associations and their committees, to be inspired by the struggle of the All-farmers Militant Rally (PASY) against the EUs Common Agricultural Policy? How is it possible for women and thousands of students, who belong to the working class and popular strata to enter the struggle in the framework of the demands and the initiatives of the Federation of Greek Women (OGE) and the Students Front of Struggle (MAS)? The members and cadres of the KKE play a leading role in all these socio-political organizations without hiding their identity.
They accuse the KKE of being isolated, or even dogmatic and sectarian due to its rejection of a left government or due to the fact that its percentage in the elections does not increase as fast as that of the social-democratic formation of SYRIZA. These accusations against the KKE do not stick. We should remember that 2,5 years ago PASOK, the other social-democratic party, received 44% while this time it received just 13%. This decline, which took place in conditions of political fluidity boosted SYRIZA, its closest ideological relation. Even more so as a revolutionary communist party, like the KKE, is not judged exclusively by its percentage in elections.
Our party has accumulated immense historical experience regarding the policy of cooperation! It led the anti-fascist struggle of a large armed front that made an enormous contribution to the peoples struggle. Nevertheless, in that period the party did not manage to form a strategy for the transformation of the antifascist struggle to a struggle for the overthrow of bourgeois power. During the 1950s and 1980s the KKE formed left alliances. The KKE has drawn valuable conclusions from its experience regarding the policy of alliances and it does not intend to repeat similar mistakes.
But why they are attacking the KKE? Of course they are irritated by the significant international activity of the KKE for the reconstruction of the international communist movement on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. Besides, the International Meetings of Communist and Workers Parties as well as other international communist initiatives started in Athens. But the most important thing is that the KKE is a party with strong roots in the working class, with significant experience in the workers and peoples struggles, a party that refuses to abandon its principles, a party that refuses to become the tail of social democracy, a party that does not submit to the EU and NATO. At this point we quote a comment of an article published in the well known French newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique: the secret goal and wish of all the left people in Greece is to dissolve the Communist Party and reshape it on a new basis and give to the Greek left its proper position in society. That is to discredit the KKE and transform it, like certain other mutated communist parties of Europe, into a communist alibi of social democracy for the management of capitalist barbarity.
Our own goal is to thwart their plans! To preserve and strengthen the KKE. Despite the pressure exerted on our party there are several encouraging signs that show that the KKE will prove to be a tough nut to crack. Ten days after the elections of May 6th the students elections took place in Greece. The lists supported by the Communist Youth of Greece received 16% in Technological Educational Institutes (TEI) and 14% in the universities, an increase compared to last year. On the contrary, the lists of SYRIZA achieved a low score with 2,3% in TEI and 6,9% in universities.
Face-lift of the bourgeois system
The KKE has for some time warned the Greek people that the bourgeois class is preparing a face-lift of the political scene in order to preserve its power. The reason is that it cannot manage the political system on the basis of the rotation of a conservative (ND) and a social-democratic party (PASOK) in power as it has been doing since 1974, after the fall of military dictatorship. The bourgeois system seeks to get rid of parties and persons who have been exposed in the eyes of the people once and for all. Under these conditions SYRIZA, which has a social-democratic programme, reaped benefits in the elections by spreading blatant lies, both before and during the election period, fostering illusions which in essence claim that there can be a better future for the workers without a conflict with the monopolies and the imperialist unions. That is why it bears enormous responsibilities vis-ŕ-vis the people!
The KKE urges the working people to realize that this face-lift has nothing to do with the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people. Even the so called left government is a leaking lifeboat for the working people who have been suffocated by the impasses of the capitalist system.
The people must not be trapped in false dilemmas
In the electoral battle of 17th June the bourgeois parties and opportunism promote new misleading dilemmas, which will be utilized in the next period in order to trap the people, reduce the endurance of the radical masses to the pressures exerted on them, as well as the influence of the KKE in the elections. The KKE does not conceal the fact that this battle will be particularly difficult for the communists!
In order to make clear what kind of false dilemmas we are talking about allow us to examine some of them:
1. Euro or drachma?
One of the false dilemmas is the accusation brought by ND against SYRIZA arguing that its policy leads the country out of euro and that it would be catastrophic for the working people. SYRIZA answers that the cost of the exit of Greece from the euro would be immense for the other countries of the Eurozone and for that reason it will never occur.
Of course in reality, taking into account that the capitalist crisis is in progress, we cannot exclude, given the scenarios which are already being discussed, the shrinkage of the Eurozone through the expulsion of Greece and other countries or through an internal devaluation of euro in our country. Consequently the blackmails of the EU and the IMF are real and the answer cannot be the complacency that SYRIZA fosters.
However, we should note that all the parties apart from the KKE i.e. ND, SYRIZA, PASOK, and Democratic Left are quarrelling over who is the most competent to keep the country in the euro. Each party is accusing the other of leading Greece to the drachma with its policy. All of them aim at imposing on the peoples consciousness the false dilemma euro or drachma in order to conceal the fact that they have the same strategy because they are parties committed to the EU. They call on the people to vote for and struggle under false flags, contrary to their interests in the false line inside or outside the euro when all the parties apart from the KKE- are saying inside the EU and the euro. Either with the euro or the drachma the people will be destitute.
The KKE calls on the people to bypass this dilemma. They should not accept the choice of which currency they will measure their poverty in, as well as the reductions in their income and pensions, the taxes, the medical expenses and the tuition fees. The dilemma euro or drachma is the other side of the coin of the intimidation concerning the uncontrolled bankruptcy which is already a fact for the overwhelming majority of the people. They want the people to be trapped in the false dilemmas so as to be able to blackmail them when they want to pass anti-people laws, telling them to choose between the barbaric measures and the return to drachma which they identify with chaos and misery. At the same time, there are sections of the plutocracy, both in Greece and abroad, that seek a return to drachma. This would enable them to make more profits for themselves and the bourgeoisie as a whole than they do now in the conditions of the countrys assimilation into the euro. The bankrupted people will not make any progress either with the euro or with the drachma as long as monopolies direct production, as long as the country remains in the EU and the bourgeoisie remains in power. The only answer to the dilemma euro or drachma from the viewpoint of the peoples interests is: disengagement from the EU with peoples power and unilateral cancellation of debt. It goes without saying that in this case the country will have its own currency.
2. Greek or European solution?
All of them are talking about a European solution of the crisis in Greece and refer to negotiations with the EU bodies for a comprehensive solution to the debt problem that will concern Greece as well. All Greek parties, apart from the KKE, saluted the election of Hollande in the French presidency, which as they claim puts an end to the anti-people duo Mercozy. They also talk about the consultations with the EU on development measures, by subsidizing the big businesses so that they can make investments.
Their tactics seek to conceal that those who are chiefly responsible for the suffering of the people are not in Brussels but within the country. It is the bourgeoisie, the employers who possess the means of production i.e. the ships, the offices, the services in our country. The participation of Greece in the Eurozone, based on the decisions of the parties of plutocracy, serves their interests. It is provocative to present the EU as a terrain where a pro-people way out from the crisis can be found. It is the EU which has elaborated the memoranda together with the national governments and the IMF. It is the EU which has as its strategy the EU 2020 and the Maastricht Treaty i.e. the source of all anti-labour and anti-people measures with or without memoranda. They tell the people that even the slightest relief from the measures is a matter of negotiations within the EU that endeavours to ensure for its monopolies a way out of the crisis at the expense of the peoples. They urge the victim to expect a solution from the persecutor, in a Eurozone which is sinking even deeper into the crisis and becomes even more reactionary, given the rivalries inside the EU but also between the EU and other imperialist centres.
SYRIZA also bears an enormous responsibility as it seeks a renegotiation of the strategy of the memorandum putting the movement on ice and fostering a stance of wait and see until the negotiations of the left government it dreams of with the EU partners yield results. At the same time, it talks about social cohesion, about social peace that will be imposed by a left government i.e. muzzling the workers and peoples struggles in a period when they have to be escalated and radicalized against the national plutocracy and the parties that serve it or support it through intimidation and illusions.
The KKE reveals to the people that it is necessary to have a peoples and workers movement that will struggle for the rupture and the overthrow of the choices of capital and the EU and to promote the coordination at a European level not through negotiations but through strengthening the workers peoples movement in its struggle against the EU, in the line of rupture.
3. Austerity or development?
In a capitalist Europe foundering in the crisis the governments seek development namely the exit of EU capital from the crisis. In Greece the pro-EU parties quarrel over the proportion of austerity and development included in their policy. They seek to conceal that the capitalist path of development entails austerity in the conditions of sharp capitalist competition and acute inter-imperialist contradictions. The measures of fiscal consolidation taken in a series of countries, with or without memoranda, in the name of the need to create a surplus in the state budget in order to provide subsidies to capital are also serving development. In addition, the structural changes are promoted in Greece and throughout Europe also in the name of development and include chiefly the abolition of social security and labour rights in order to make the labour power cheaper for capital. The privatizations and the liberalization of markets that provide new profitable fields for the plutocracy also aim at development, squeezing small businessmen and the self-employed. Consequently, everything is done for development which owing to its capitalist nature is served solely by anti-people measures that appear either as austerity measures or structural changes or as bailouts for big businesses. In the previous period the bourgeois governments in the Eurozone have loosened or intensified the measures in one or the other direction in order to regulate the contradictions between them as well as the deep crisis.
The KKE notes that the way out in favour of the people does not lie in the management of the crisis with expansive or restrictive tools by the political personnel of capital in the bodies of the EU. It lies in the organization of the struggle at a national level, for a different path of development which will develop all the production potential of the country in favour of the people based on the peoples power, the disengagement from the EU and the socialization of the means of production.
4. Right or left , pro-memorandum or anti-memorandum
These are dilemmas which according to the developments will take on a new form of two poles, centre-right and centre left. The abovementioned dilemmas, primarily with the responsibility of SYRIZA, marginalized and obscured the real contradictions within Greece and the EU. The artificial dilemma memorandum- anti-memorandum is used by the bourgeois and opportunists in order to conceal that their common denominator is the EU one way street namely the alignment with the strategy of capital. Irrespective of their different tactics these forces right-wing, left-wing, pro-memorandum, anti-memorandum are fooling the working people, the popular strata when they tell them that there can be a solution in favour of the people within the EU. ND, PASOK, Independent Greeks, SYRIZA, Democratic Left and other forces do not have a programme that comes into conflict or at least challenges the power of the monopolies. The terms that they use, namely development, redistribution of wealth, audit of the debt, European solution conceal the contradictory class interests that exist in Greece and the EU i.e. the fact that as long as there is capitalist ownership over the means of production there cannot be any prosperity for the popular strata. The memorandum is the tip of the iceberg of the strategy of the EU which provides for anti-people measures in all member-states. Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Hungary, Romania have contracted loan agreements unlike Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Britain which does not participate in the Eurozone. But the assault of capital is common to all countries and includes cuts in salaries, flexible working relations, increase of retirement ages, privatizations of public services, commercialization of health, education, culture, sports the relative and absolute destitution of the working people. Even if we get rid of the memorandum in Greece the anti-people measures will continue, in fact they will intensify as long as capital and its power are not overthrown because this has been established by the strategic guidelines of the EU which were either signed or supported by the bourgeois parties and SYN/SYRIZA.
The real question that the people will have to answer and which will emerge even more intensely in the next period is the following: Greece and working people independent and disengaged from the European commitments or a Greece assimilated into the EU? Will the people be the master of the wealth they produce or will they be slaves in the factories and the businesses of the capitalists? Will the people be organised and play a leading role in the developments or will the movement be out for the count and expect the victimizer to solve its problems as its representative? The KKE has a clear cut position. The fact that all its predictions and assessments have been confirmed is one more reason for the people to trust it and struggle alongside it.
In the forthcoming electoral battle there is a need for the consistent international solidarity with our party to be expressed in a mass way! The Greek communists need to feel the support, the proletarian solidarity and comradely spirit of the communist and workers parties, of the other anti-imperialist forces in view of this tough battle given that the bourgeois class aims at the reduction of the electoral results of the KKE. And the reason is that it is worried about its revolutionary policy, about its clear positions in relation to the imperialist organizations, about the solid basis of the KKE in the workers and peoples movement, in the factories, in the enterprises, in the popular neighbourhoods of the big cities. Because they cannot subjugate the KKE. The communists, the friends of the KKE, the members and the friends of KNE fight in this battle, organized and determined, declaring to the Greek people and the international working class that after the elections we will be in the workplaces, in the cities and in the countryside alongside the peoples and workers families, at the frontline of the struggle regarding the peoples problems, faithful to the historical commitment of the revolutionary party, unwavering in the struggle for the overthrow of the capitalist barbarity, for socialism-communism.
 An agreement of anti-people measures signed by the Greek government with the EU, IMF and ECB to receive new loans
 V.I. Lenin « The fight for power and the fight for sops, volume 11, p 27-31
Re: Greece continues to attract the attention of workers of many countries...
June 2 2012, 12:42 AM
Its nice to read some discussion of the Greek crisis from a socialist stance that has some content. However, I am puzzled by KKE's contention that both the ELP and the SYRZIA were created to weaken the European communist movement. Sometimes the cui bono arguments are stretched so thin as to confuse effect with cause. Yes, it is plausible to argue that the ELP -- which contains now really a grab bag of nationalists, greens, and traditional social democrats) -- and the emergence of SYRZIA have benefited those opposed to communism; but to then claim -- without evidence -- that this proves that these same faceless individuals created them is quite absurd.
Letter of the KKE to the communist and workers parties of Europe
Athens 01 December 2010
In a few days the 3rd congress of the so-called European Left Party (ELP) will take place in Paris. This is being carried out on exactly the same dates (3-5 of December) as the International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, which will be held this year in South Africa. In this provocative and symbolic way the divisive and undermining role of the ELP against the international communist movement is clearly displayed.
As is well-known the KKE took a clear position from the beginning against the possible establishment of a European Party. Other parties which in the past had followed in Europe the so-called eurocommunist current and were in opposition to the USSR and the other socialist countries of Europe, played a leading role in its foundation. A series of parties which had given up any reference to communist ideals also supported its establishment, such as the SYNASPISMOS party from Greece which plays a consistent anti-communist role, as well as the DIE LINKE party from Germany. Finally a series of CPs decided to join as observers taking into account in each instance various factors.
Some years have passed since then and today we are of the opinion that our assessments have been confirmed, if we evaluate the activity, theses and all the experience of the ELPs existence.
In its programmatic documents (constitution and programme) the ELP rejects anything communist, the revolutionary traditions; it is hostile to scientific socialism, class struggle and socialist revolution. In its constitution it accepts as part of the EU institutional framework that the capitalist EU is eternal, and a basic condition for its existence is its acceptance that it will not question the framework of the EU.
This is also apparent in the materials of the 3rd congress of the ELP, where through proposals such as Concrete steps can and should be taken to free EU and national government policymaking from the grip of financial markets, the view of a humanized capitalism is promoted. As alleged radical changes, measures are being proposed to modernize capitalism through the dead-end goal concerning the democratization of the European Union, the union which was formed by European capital for the more effective exploitation of the peoples of Europe and for it to prevail in its global competition with the USA and other imperialist powers.
The fact that the leading forces in the ELP, which lead this party and shape its political line, operate within the bounds of the capitalist mode of production, is apparent from their calls of support for the imperialist EU, in which they call on it to play an enhanced role in global affairs. It is also apparent from the fact that in their documents they focus on the so-called neo-liberalism, fostering illusions amongst the workers of Europe that there can exist another management policy within the framework of capitalism, which allegedly can solve the problems of the people. Yet again the dangerous role of the ELP is clear, as a vehicle to entrap forces within the framework of capitalism and as a tail of European social-democracy.
The tears which the ELP sheds in the documents of its 3rd congress in recognition of the fact that the disappearance of existing socialism has led to a deterioration of the life of the workers, are hypocritical when one takes into account that the forces which lead the ELP were amongst those that fought against the USSR and the other socialist countries, together with the right wing and the social-democrats, and today they still accepts and use the entire line of argument of the bourgeoisie, which ends up identifying communism with fascism. It is not by accident that in the documents of the ELP there is no mention of the unacceptable distortion of history, which the EU, the Council of Europe and the other imperialist organizations are carrying out against the history of the communist and workers movement in Europe.
The disagreements of the ELP with the militarization of the EU and international relations come across like the sermons of missionaries, when one considers that at the same time this party has declared its support for the more active role of the EU in the world and has accepted the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The same is true for its appeal concerning the dissolution of NATO, when this demand is not combined with the struggle for the disengagement of every member-state from it.
The references concerning a just solution to a series of international problems (Palestine, Cyprus, the blockade of Cuba) are extremely hypocritical when it is stated that they will be resolved, not through the anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples, but through the implementation of international and European law. What law is the ELP talking about? The decision of the Hague tribunal, which legitimized the NATO intervention in the Balkans and the protectorate of Kosovo, demonstrates clearly what international and European law means in reality. Another example is the decision of the European Court of Human Rights which vindicated Latvia, where the anti-fascist veteran Vasili Kononov has been persecuted and imprisoned by the government, because according to the court he acted as a terrorist in 1944, fighting against the Nazi hordes which had invaded his country, the USSR. Another demonstration of this is the disgusting and hostile common position of EU in relation to Cuba. It is shown by the legislative banning of the operations of CPs in a series of EU countries. It is shown by the banning of the symbols of the communist and workers movement in various EU countries. The ELP was once again silent on all these issues. It turns a blind eye and shows that it takes no account of imperialist barbarity which is demonstrated in various ways in the law which is prevalent today and is none other than the imperialist law of the strongest.
The time is ripe for illusions concerning the role which the ELP plays, to be overcome. The KKE calls on the communist and workers parties, which for different reasons joined as members and observers this specific fabricated party (which was created according to the EUs conditions in order to serve it), to re-examine their position. The further weakening of this left party of the EU, the strengthening of the equal cooperation of communist and workers parties in Europe on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, regardless of the conditions and boundaries which the EU places, constitutes the only hope for the regroupment of the European communist movement and is the only reliable response to the aggressiveness of European capital against the rights of the workers.
What do you mean by this apparent sneer?
Are you suggesting that KKE forms a common bloc with Syriza or even Pasok?
How can they form a common bloc with parties that have already capitulated to the threats of the EU/IMF/Central Bank, and thus accepted the surrender of Greece to Germany?
What I mean by my (quite blatant) sneer is that the KKE seems to be concentrating its main fire on the parties which are closest to it, in the overall left-right spectrum. It is denying any common ground between it and them, and presents any left positions taken by the ELP or SYRIZA as insincere, as a mere sham. That was the general approach of communist parties between 1929 and 1933 - that the social-democrats are the main enemy and the left social-democrats are worst of all. The KKE statement is not a reasoned critique of the ELP's effectiveness or lack of it, or of the implausibility of SYRIZA's economic policies. It is a vituperative demagogic rant in the best Third Period style. Only the characteristic phraseology ("social-fascists") is missing.
The KKE has ample experience of the need to put the goal of unity before its own ambitions.
When the Italian fascists attacked Greece in WW2, the KKE immediately put aside its opposition to the Metaxas government to fight for the sovereignty of Greece.
Nikos Zachariadis, KKE General Secretary, wrote from prison on 2 November 1940: "Today the Greek people are waging a war of national liberation against Mussolini's fascism. In this war we must follow the Metaxas government and turn every city, every village and every house of Greece into a stronghold of the National Liberation Fight... On this war conducted by Metaxas government all of us should give all our forces without reservation. The working people's and the crowning achievement for today's fight should be and shall be a new Greece based on work, freedom, and liberated from any foreign imperialist dependence, with a truly pan-popular culture."
In Greece in 2012, KKE is the only party on the left to take a stand not only against the memorandum but against the ongoing attack on their sovereignty spearheaded by Germany and the EU.
I am not aware that the social democratic parties in Greece have made any such stand. What should KKE do then? Sit back and give them a pat on the back?
In any case, the comparison with the 1930's is spurious. The situation of Communist Parties versus Social Democratic Parties has been changed completely since that time by the reversal in the USSR, since the possibility of advance by social democracy was always predicated on the existence of the USSR as a bulwark against capitalism, and in the post-war period, the policy of "Peaceful Coexistence". Now that, the Imperialists have, in the words of Newt Gingrich, "nothing to stop them", the social democratic parties - with little guiding theory, few landmarks to guide them, and no economic models other than those of the 'free market' - are on the ropes in the face of the onslaught. Indeed they appear to be in terminal decline (as also was and still is the case for the Eurocommunist parties of course).
It seems to me that at the present juncture, there is no basis for KKE to form a bloc with other left groups. To do so would be equivalent to asking a mature and experienced party to disarm itself politically and ideologically.
Eurocommunism is, of course, a thing of the past, but in the case of Greece, it is not impossible that a party with its origins in Greek eurocommunism might become the largest party in the Greek parliament by the middle of the month. If that happens, it will come under intense pressure from the right. It will be interesting to see what the KKE does in that situation. If the KKE holds to its current line of unremitting hostility, I expect that will suit the political right just fine.
"since the possibility of advance by social democracy was always predicated on the existence of the USSR as a bulwark against capitalism"
This is totally untrue. Take the example of the German SPD -- the party effected numerous and varied reforms well before the Bolshevik revolution -- both in the Landtag and at the local level also in Prussian provinces as well as Baden, Wuerttemberg, and Bayern. Moreover, some suggest that Bismarck's social insurance reforms were inspired by the advance of the SPD -- in 1899, almost 20 years before the Russian Revolution.
Indeed Janos. The idea that somehow workers in capitalist countries are helpless without communist rule in Russia is one of the sillier myths that have emerged from the communist movement over the years. It completely downplays the struggles of trade unionists, socialists, communists, rights campaigners etc. etc., and denies the obvious point that the rights, living standards and benefits available to workers in capitalist countries depend above all on the balance of forces within those countries. The existence of the USSR did precisely nothing to prevent Thatcher attacking the gains of the labour movement in Britain, and its collapse did nothing to make the situation worse for workers in Britain. The crucial factor was the balance of social forces within Britain itself.
I don't remember anyone saying "workers in capitalist countries are helpless without communist rule in Russia" (of course that would be 'silly' as you say). But Francis you seem to be saying that the existence of the USSR was irrelevant to the situation of workers in Britain. I agree that the "crucial factor" for British workers is the balance of forces within Britain but surely you do think that the balance of forces within a nation operates entirely outside the framework of the international balance of forces. I would find that a most curious view. However if you can explain the idea further....
Perhaps not, Pete, but you did say that: "the possibility of advance by social democracy was always predicated on the existence of the USSR as a bulwark against capitalism". I think that's demonstrably wrong.
Apologies, Pete, if my presentation of the implications of your claim that "the possibility of advance by social democracy was always predicated on the existence of the USSR as a bulwark against capitalism" misrepresents what you meant. And it's good that we seem to agree that the main factor determining the situation of British workers under capitalism is the balance of forces within Britain. As for the role of the USSR internationally, once it had abandoned its initial project of trying directly to foment revolution in Europe, that is a very complex issue, which manifested itself very differently in different countries and periods. The argument we sometimes hear that reforms were conceded in Western countries in order to stave off an (otherwise inevitable?) revolution seems very dubious, given that the greatest gains for workers under capitalism after 1945 were made mainly in the most stable, least revolutionary, states of North-Western Europe. In most of them the attraction of the USSR as an alternative model was rather weak. (France is the main exception here.)
The influence of the Soviet Union on British Labour was very contradictory - in some respects it generated admiration and a desire to emulate it, in other respects, quite the opposite. Would British Labour be quite so attached to Atlanticism and the US without the fears generated by Soviet actions in Eastern Europe in the post-war period? Possibly not. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the apparent dynamism of the Soviet economy under Khrushchev helped create the atmosphere which encouraged Labour leaders to look favourably on the ideas of state plans and a large state role in the economy. By the 1980s, the obvious stagnation and relative decline of the Soviet economy helped ensure that advocates of planning, nationalisation and suchlike were on the defensive, and probably facilitated Thatcher's attack on "socialism", and, with it, workers' rights. But both in the 1960s and the 1980s, I'd say that the Soviet role as model and anti-model was pretty marginal.
"The argument we sometimes hear that reforms were conceded in Western countries in order to stave off an (otherwise inevitable?) revolution seems very dubious". When put like that, I agree the argument is dubious since we cannot claim that staving off revolution was the conscious purpose of the concessions. However, you do not appear to be arguing that reforms were not conceded, and we can all agree that gains were made. Were such gains only a matter of the internal balance of forces? Were they not also contingent on the external (international) balance of forces created by the existence of the USSR. To investigate this question further, we need to ask can we consider the USSR an obstacle to the aggressive and expansionist aims of imperialism and what was the importance of this for social democratic parties? My argument is that while the USSR severely limited the aggressive potential of Imperialism, the relationship between social democracy and imperialism was largely one of accommodation and ambivalence. Such a relationship allowed both Imperialism and social democracy some freedom for manoeuvre. In systems terms, we have a relationship whereby social democracy is saying (in effect) we will leave you alone (give or take some rhetoric and the occasional protest), as long as you leave us alone to develop the welfare state (in our own country). Under the Labour Governments of Blair and Brown, a new(ish) version of this accommodation was reached: We will encourage the free application of neo-liberal economics and all its works by the City of London (finance capital) as long as it leaves us alone to undertake various minimum projects in education and support for the most vulnerable. As far as I can tell Miliband is merely offering another version of this accommodation, modified for the era of austerity.
Of course, this picture is painted in very broad strokes. Doubtless, we can argue about all sorts of exceptions. One could take Ireland, for example, to argue that the Peace Process in Ireland cannot be considered mere rhetoric or some sort of half-baked protest against Imperialism. Nevertheless, since the British Labour Party and Labour Movement have still to be won for Irish self determination, I would say that the Labour party is even here fulfilling a role of accommodation.
Labour and the Soviet Union (re:Francis' comments)
June 12 2012, 3:07 PM
The problem with generalisations is that they are just that and while I can agree with some of Francis King's comments I would certainly object to the conclusion that the Soviet model was "marginal" in Labour thinking -- though perhaps for differing reasons.
I won't rehearse the reason for the adoption of Clause Four after the 1917 Revolution because I assume we are all acquainted with it and for the reason why the two McDonald Labour governments failed to introduce any meaningful social reforms in the 1920s.
The key issue Francis raises is the drive to create welfare states, public sectors and "safety net" social legislation in the immediate post-war period in Britain and the rest of Western Europe and the further development of the state sector during the Wilson-Callaghan government in the 1970s.
The Attlee government's sweeping social reforms came, as Francis implies, from a bourgeois consensus that working class demands had to be met in some way and that the only way the essentially capitalist state could be modernised was with the help of a major subsidised state sector. Clearly the European bourgeoisie were concerned at the growth of the communist movement in France and Italy following the establishment of people's power in Czechoslovakia in 1948. They were also concerned at the influence (directly and indirectly) amongst left social-democrats in an era when the Trotskyist movement was irrelevant and minute.
In those early Cold War days (and indeed when I was at school in the 1960s) Labour's dogma was that social democracy sought to nationalise or direct the means of distribution but not of production. The Soviet Union and the people's democracies were routinely described as "totalitarian" or "police" states and unfavourably compared with the so-called liberties that British workers were told they enjoyed. At the same time Labour also claimed, with some justification, that the National Health Service was superior to the Soviet health system because prescriptions were set at a nominal level (and for a very short period entirely free).
The other issue is the question of Labour's concept of social-democracy and whether it represents a distinct ideology as opposed to simply being a version of Keynesian economics. Wilson simply called it "pragmatism" -- anti-communist Labour politicians like Richard Crossman and Tony Crosland wrote books extolling what they claimed was a superior way of administering capitalism to produce social justice.
But what was this "pragmatism" in practice? I suppose the key word was "partnership" or "tripartitism" brought to finesse with the corporatist "In Place of Strife" plan that was moved by the first Wilson government that was rejected by the TUC and the later swathe of bodies set up by Labour in the 1970s. While none of this was inspired by Stalin you could argue that much of this thinking (tripartite committees,Health & Safety legislation, facility time for unions, National Intervention Board, National Economic Development Council and so on) owed much to Mussolini's Italy. While I'm not seriously suggesting any conscious imitation of fascist models there is an echo of the "Mondism" (class collaboration) that the right-wing of the TUC bought into during the 1930s.
Throughout this period senior Labour politicians would constantly stress the supposed superiority over the Soviet model -- if it was raised and the one exception was comprehensive schooling which was diametrically opposed to the Soviet system of rigid streaming.
You have a point here but it does not invalidate the arguments that: social democratic parties and gradualist approaches to achieving socialism have been knocked for six by the demise of the USSR; and that like is not being compared with like when we compare the position of communist parties today with those in the 1930s.
Note that the KKE has not actually called anybody "social fascist" and that as far as I know, unlike the situation in the 1930s, the question of the formation of an anti-fascist front has not arisen in the current debate on the Greek economic crisis. At least not yet. Should it arise, I fully anticipate that KKE would be in the lead for such a development.
However, the debate at the moment in Greece focuses entirely on the nature of the debt, the forces of the plutocracy that has created it, and the impact the crisis is having on the working people of Greece, and their right to govern their own affairs.
The KKE has given its Marxist analysis of the situation (see previous posting). What do the critics of KKE on this site want then to do? Are they to say, well we have our Marxist ideas about the crisis and waht should be done but OK we will forget about all that and for the sake of left unity join together with people who believe something completely inconsistent with our analysis, even though - to make matters worse - we can see the EU inevitably bearing down on us like a bulldozer, whatever we do. I am sorry but I just don't get it.
One way or another the EU will swallow up Greece. Only KKE - like Leonidas - stands firm.
BTW Janos point seems also to reopen discussion of the Bernstein-Luxembourg debate about Reform or Reevolution. Seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Reform_or_Revolution. But I will leave that for others should they wish.
"You have a point here but it does not invalidate the arguments that: social democratic parties and gradualist approaches to achieving socialism have been knocked for six by the demise of the USSR; and that like is not being compared with like when we compare the position of communist parties today with those in the 1930s."
I happen to agree that the position of the KKE is not identical to that of the KPD in the 1930s. Also, and perhaps more importantly, the conditions in Greece are not close to those of 1930s Middle Europe. Yes, we see a worrying trend in the form of ultra-nationalists (seemingly close to fascists of the Mussolini or Metaxis flavour) gaining a large number of votes and we see, too, falling living standards on the horizon. Yet the conditions are far from the same. The Golden Dawn are Also, I am not sure that I see SYRZIA and the SPD as akin. The SPD had a well-thought out programme of moderate (by those days' standards, radical by today's) reforms and strong roots in the working classes (particularly older and skilled workers). SYRZIA is -- kindly to put it -- a rag-bag of disparate groups glued together by opportunism. That is really all that unites our comrades of the former Exterior KKE and the Trotskiysts in my view. That is highly debatable though. What is less so is that -- more importantly -- SYRZIA has no programme to speak of. It hopes to blackmail the Germans into throwing more money at the Greek economy and has no thoughts as to how growth and fiscal balance (at least as important under a socialist economy as a market one I will add) can be returned.
Lest we wring our hands too abjectly over Francis King's sneer about "Social Fascism" it might be worth pausing to remember the disgraceful history of Britain in post-war Greece, in relation to the support given by successive govenments - INCLUDING LABOUR - for the murder, torture and imprisonment of Greek partisans and the suppression of the Greek Democratic movement, whilst letting Nazi collaborators and Fascists go free.
From Notes on the Greek Civil War by Costas Pateras
"A massive protest demonstration was called for Sunday the 3rd of December, as the crowds entered Constitution square the police opened fire killing 15 demonstrators and wounding 100. After this massacre the General Secretary of EAM Dimitris Partsalidis declared that the people will fight for their freedom no matter what the cost And so began the battle of Athens which was fought between ELAS on the one hand and on the other the British army and the collaborationist security forces. EAM made several attempts to negotiate a ceasefire but the British were determined as Churchill put it The basic aim is the crushing of EAM. In order to crush the popular movement British imperialism dispatched 60,000 troops, 200 tanks, planes etc along with units that had collaborated with the Nazis! After 44 days ferocious fighting ELAS units withdrew from Athens, a week later a ceasefire was declared. On the 12th of February EAM signed the Varkiza agreement, which amongst its clauses included the disarming of ELAS and the security battalions as well as other measures to ensure a normalization of the situation.
It soon became clear that only EAM and the KKE would keep their side of the agreement. Paramilitary gangs with the connivance of the security apparatus and the British army launched a campaign of terror. ELAS partisans were murdered, tortured arrested and convicted of crimes. While Nazi-collaborators, when prosecuted, were handed down joke sentences. Some statistics give a flavour of the scale of the White Terror. In the period between the Varkiza agreement and the 31st of March 1946, 1,289 resistance fighters were murdered, 6,671 wounded, 31,632 tortured, 84,931 arrested, 8,624 imprisoned. 677 offices of resistance organisations were attacked, 165 women members of EAM were raped. During this entire period through various combinations of bourgeois parties, the British never stopped attempting to crush the Greek democratic movement and restore the monarchy. It should be noted here that the election of a Labour government had no effect on this policy, something consistent with the pro-imperialist nature of Social democracy internationally, and the Labour party in Britain in particular. In this climate of terror the entirely fraudulent elections were held on the 31st of March 1946, The KKE and EAM in protest at the nature of the elections did not participate.
SYRIZA gives its official letters of credentials to the USA and the EU:
On Wednesday the 6th of June, the President of SYRIZA, A. Tsipras met with ambassadors and diplomats from the member-states of the G20. The newspaper Rizospastis, organ of the CC of the KKE, on the 7/6/2012, made the following comment on this:
Mr Tsipras handed over his letter of credentials, at a really ceremonial event, to an official of the US embassy and diplomats from the planets 19 strongest capitalist countries! The meeting of SYRIZAs President with the ambassadors of the G20 countries gave us a reminder of the recent past, specifically it reminds us of the former Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who has vanished without trace in recent weeks The same slogans regarding a new multi-facetted peaceful foreign policy, the same references to international initiatives for the democratization of the system of international relations and the need to upgrade the role of the UN.
And at the same time, no mention of NATO. The lips are sealed! NATO which recently met in Chicago and took new dangerous decisions for the expansion of its activity, for the repression of every force. of every people that seeks to take control of its own future. Mr Tsipras silence concerning the continuing intervention against Syria was astounding. No mention, as if plans for a military intervention in the region are not being drawn up. As if the use of US base at Suda is not part of the plans regarding this intervention, and the use more generally of the ports, the airspace, and the sea of our country. The President of SYRIZA said nothing as to how the left government, which he promises to form, would react in such a situation!
Why? It is obvious! When it does not pose the issue of the countrys departure from the imperialist plans, from the imperialist organization of NATO, in the name of alliance obligations, the country will be dragged into this new bloody imperialist war, under a left government. But Mr Tsipras did not omit to mention that he would play a leading role in a nuclear-free Middle East, pointing to Irans nuclear programme, which is in any case the pretext which will be used by the USA and Israel to justify a possible military attack against Iran, a new war. Not a word about the nuclear weapons Israel already possesses!
SYRIZAs President made a point of once again declaring his loyalty to the imperialist EU, and the need for Turkeys assimilation into it, something which the Turkish communist and labour movement are opposed to! Finally, he considered it appropriate in front of the foreign ambassadors to unhesitatingly spew his poison against the socialism humanity knew in the USSR and other countries in the 20th century, and which, despite its weaknesses, was for over 50 years an irreplaceable support for the peace and security of the peoples and a thorn in the side of the imperialists.
My general view of Zizek is that his remarks are generally lack any logical argument and instead are composed wholly of rhetoric. For that reason I do not tend to view his opinions as of interest. This is more of the same.
I am honoured to be here, but ashamed that I don't speak your language. So, let me begin: Late in his life, Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, asked the famous question; What does a woman want? Admitting the perplexity, when faced with the enigma of feminine sexuality. And a similar perplexity arises today; What does Europe want?
This is the question you, the Greek people are addressing Europe. Because you know what you want, you want this guy to be your next Prime Minister. Europe doesn't know what it wants. The way European States and Media relates to what is going on now in Greece, is, I think, the best indicator of what kind of Europe they want. Is it the neo-liberal Europe, is it the Europe of isolationist states or maybe something different. Critics accuse SYRIZA of being a threat to the Euro, but SYRIZA is, on the contrary, the only chance for Europe. Far from being a threat. You are giving a chance to Europe to break out of its inertia to find a new way.
In his notes towards a definition of culture, the great conservative poet, T.S. Eliot, remarked the moments when the only choice is between heresy and non-belief. That is to say moments when the only way to keep a belief, to keep religion alive, is to perform a sectarian split from the main course.
This is what happens today with Europe; only a new heresy represented at this moment by SYRIZA, can save what is worth saving in the European legacy; Democracy, trusting people, egalitarian solidarity. The Europe that will win, if SYRIZA is out-maneuvered is a Europe with Asian values - and of course these Asian values have nothing to do with Asia, but with the clear and present tendency of contemporary capitalism to suspend democracy.
SYRIZA is said to lack the proper experience to govern. Yes, I agree, they lack the experience of how to bankrupt a country by cheating and stealing. You don't have this experience. This brings us to the absurdity of the politics of the European establishment; they bring the preach of paying taxes, opposing Greek clientelism and they put all their hopes on the coalition of the two parties which brought to Greece this clientelism.
Christine Lagarde, recently said that she has more sympathy for the poor inhabitants of the Niger, than for Greeks, and she even advised the Greeks to help themselves by paying their taxes, which, as I found a few days ago, she doesn't have to pay. Like all liberal humanitarians, she likes the impotent poor who behave like victims, evoke our sympathy and bring us to give charity.
But the problem with you Greeks is that you suffer, yes, but you are not passive victims, you resist, you fight, you do not want sympathy and charity, you want active solidarity. You want and you demand a mobilization, a support for your fight.
SYRIZA is accused of promoting leftist fictions, but it is the austerity plan, imposed by Brussels, which clearly is a work of fiction. Everybody knows that this plan is fictitious, that the Greek state, cannot ever repay the debt, in this way. In a strange gesture of collective make-belief, everyone ignores the obvious nonsense of the financial projection on which the European plans are based.
So why does Brussels impose these measures on you? The true aim of these measures is not to save Greece, but of course to save the European banks.
These measures are not presented as decisions grounded in political choices, but as necessities imposed by neutral economic logic. Like, if we want to stabilize our economy, we simply have to swallow the bitter pill. Or, by tautological proverbial sayings, like you cannot spend more than you produce. Well, the American banks and United States as such, are a big proof, for decades, that you can spend more than you produce.
To illustrate the mistake of austerity measures, Paul Krugman, often compares them to the medieval practice of blood letting. A nice metaphor, which I think should be radicalized, further. The European financial doctors, themselves not sure about how this medicine works, are using you as test-rabbits, they are letting your blood, not the blood of their own countries. There is no blood letting for the German and French banks. On the contrary, they are getting big transfusions.
So is SYRIZA, really, a group of dangerous extremists? No, SYRIZA is here to bring pragmatic common sense. To clear the mess created by others. It is those who impose austerity measures who are dangerous dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think that things can go on, indefinitely, the way they are just with some cosmetic changes. You are not dreamers; you are awakening from a dream, which is turning into a nightmare.
You are not destroying anything; you are reacting to how the system is gradually destroying itself. We all know the classic scene from cartoons, Tom and Jerry and so on: The cat reaches the precipice, but goes on walking, ignoring the fact that there is no ground under its feet, then it only starts to fall down, when it looks down and notices that there is nothing. This is all you are doing. You are telling those in power, hey, look down! and they are falling down.
The political map of Greece is clear and exemplary; In the centre, I hope you noticed it, there is, that, one big party, one party, with two wings, left and right, PASOK and New Democracy. It's like, you know, Cola, which is Coca and Pepsi, an indifferent choice. The true name of this party, if you bring PASOK and ND together, should be something, I think, like NHMAD, New Hellenic Movement Against Democracy.
Of course, this big party claims that is for democracy, but I claim they are for decaffeinated democracy. Like, you know, coffee without caffeine, beer without alcohol, ice cream without sugar. They want democracy, but democracy where instead of making a choice, people just confirm what wise experts tell them to do. They want democratic dialogue? Yes, but, you know, like in the late Plato's dialogues, where one guy talks all the time, and the other only says, every ten minutes, by Zeus, so it is!
And then, there is the exception. You, SYRIZA, the true miracle, radical left movement, which stepped out of the comfortable position of marginal resistance and courageously signaled your readiness to take power. This is why you have to be punished.
That is why Bill Freyja, recently wrote in the Forbes magazine, in an article with the title Give Greece what it deserves: Communism. Here is a short quote:
What the world needs, let's not forget, is a contemporary example of communism in action. What better candidate than Greece? Just toss them out of the European Union, cut off the flow of free Euros and hand them back their old drachmas. Then, stand back for a generation and watch". In other words, Greece should be exemplary punished so that once and for all, the temptation for a radical, leftist solution of the crisis will be blocked.
I know that the task of SYRIZA is almost impossible. SYRIZA is not the extreme left madness, it is the voice of pragmatic reason, counteracting the market ideology madness. SYRIZA will need the formidable combination of principle politics and rootless pragmatism of democratic commitment and readiness to act fast and brutally when needed. If you, SYRIZA are to be given a chance, a minimal chance to succeed, you will also need pan-European solidarity.
This is why I think, you, here in Greece, should avoid cheep nationalism, all the talk about how Germany wants to re-occupy you, destroy you and so on. Your first task is to change things here. SYRIZA will have to do the job, which the other guys should have done. The job of building a better, modern - an effective state. The job of clearing the state apparatus from clientelism. It's a hard job, there is nothing enthusiastic in it, it's slow, hard, boring job.
Your pseudo-radical critics are telling you that the situation is not yet right for the true social change. That if you take power now, you will just help the system, making it more efficient. This is, if I understand it correctly, what KKE, which is basically the party of the people who are still alive because they forgot to die, are telling you.
It is true, that your political elite demonstrated its inability to rule, but there will never be a moment when the situation will be fully right for the change. If you wait for the right moment, the right moment will never come. When you intervene, it is always immature. So, you have a choice: Either comfortable wait and look how your society is disintegrating, as some other parties of the Left suggest, or heroically intervene, fully aware of how difficult the situation is. And SYRIZA made the right choice.
Your critics hate you, because, I think, secretly, they know you have the courage to be free and to act as free people. When you are in the eyes of the public, those who observe you understand, at least for the flash of an instant, that you are offering them freedom. You dare do what they also dream about. For that instant, they are free. They are one with you. But it is only for a moment. Fear returns and they hate you again, because they are afraid of their own freedom.
So, what is the choice that you, the Greek people, are facing on June 17? You should bear in mind the paradox that sustains the free vote in democratic societies: You are free to chose on condition that you are making the right choice. Which is why, when the choice is the wrong one, for example when Ireland voted against the European constitution, the wrong choice is treated as a mistake and you know, they want to repeat the voting, in order to enlighten the people to make the right choice. And this is why the European establishment is in a panic. They see that maybe, you don't deserve your freedom, because there is a danger that you will make the wrong choice.
There is a wonderful joke in Earns Lubifish, classical comedy, Ninoxka: The hero, listens carefully, visits a cafeteria and orders a coffee without cream. The waiter replies Sorry, but we have run out of cream, we only have milk, so can I bring you coffee without milk? So, in both cases, you get coffee alone, but I think the joke is a correct one. You know negation also matters. The coffee without cream is not the same as the coffee without milk. You are in the same predicament today; the situation is difficult. You will get some kind of austerity, but will you get the coffee of austerity without cream, or without milk? It is here that the European establishment is cheating. The European establishment is acting as if you will got the coffee of austerity without cream. That is to say that the fruits of your hardship will not profit only European banks, but they are effectively offering you coffee without milk, it is you who will not profit from your own sacrifice and hardship.
In the very South of Peloponnese, round Mani, I was there, I know it, the so-called weepers; women that you hire to cry at funerals. They can do the spectacle for the relatives of the diseased. Now, there is nothing primitive about this. We, in our developed societies, are doing exactly the same. Think about this wonderful invention, I think maybe the greatest contribution of America to the world culture, the so-called can-laughter. You know, the laughter, which is part of their sound track on TV. Like, you know, you can go home tired, you put on TV some stupid show like Cheers or Friends and you just sit and the TV, even laughs for you. And, unfortunately, it works.
That's how those in power, the European establishment, wants to see, not only Greek people, but all of us: Just staring at the screen and observe how the others are doing the dreaming, crying and laughing. There is an apocryphal but wonderful anecdote about the exchange of telegrams between German and Austrian army headquarters in the middle of the First World War: The Germans sent a message to the Austrians; Here, on our part of the front, the situation is serious, but not catastrophic. The Austrians replied; Here, the situation is catastrophic but not serious.
This is the difference between SYRIZA and others: For the others, the situation is catastrophic, but not serious, things can go on as usual, while for SYRIZA, the situation is serious, but not catastrophic, since courage and hope should replace fear. So, what is ahead of you is to quote the title of an old song of the Beatles, a long and winding road. When decades ago, the cold war threatened to explode into a hot one, John Lennon wrote a song, you remember it, if you are old enough, all we are saying is give peace a chance. Today, I want to hear a new song all around Europe, all we are saying is give Greece a chance.
Allow me just to conclude with a reference to one of your greatest maybe, the greatest classical tragedies, Antigone: Don't fight battles, which are not your battles. In my idea of Antigone, we have Antigone and Creon. These are just to sects of the ruling class. This is, a little bit, like PASOK and New Democracy. In my version of Antigone, while the two members of the royal families are fighting each other, threatening to ruin the state, I would like to see the chorus, the voices of the people, stepping out of this stupid role of just wise comment, take over, constitute a public committee of people's power, arrest both of them, Creon and Antigone and establish the people's power.
Just allow me now to finish with a personal note. I hate the traditional, intellectual left, which likes revolution but the revolution, which takes place somewhere far away. This is why when I was young, the further away it is, the better; Vietnam, Cuba, even today, Venezuela. But you are here, and that's what I admire. You are not afraid to engage in a desperate situation, knowing how the odds are against you. And this is what I admire. You know, there is also a principled opportunism, opportunism of principles. When you say the situation is lost, we cannot do anything, because we would betray our principles, this appears to be a principled position, but it's really the extreme form of opportunism. SYRIZA is a unique event of how precisely that left -in contradiction to what the usual extra-parliamentary left does, that cares more if some criminals' human rights are violated, than if thousands are dying- gathered the courage to do something. So I conclude now with a great honor to give the word to your future prime minister.
Solutions outside the framework of peoples power serve capital
Elisseos Vagenas - Member of the CC and Responsible of the International Section of the CC of KKE
Interview with the Turkish newspaper Evrensel
1. The results of the elections demonstrate that the two-party system has finished. What developments led to this and what do the political balances show us today?
Answer: The result demonstrates that they are seeking to make an effort to give the two-party system a face-lift. They placed old blackmailing dilemmas before the workers in a new package. The bourgeois class, in order to maintain its power seeks to get rid of or give secondary roles to the most worn-out parties and political figures. It is preparing a restructuring of the political scene, due to the political damage the basic bourgeois parties have suffered, the social-democratic PASOK and the conservative ND. There is an attempt to form a centre-right pole around ND and a centre-left pole around the social-democratic SYRIZA. The attempt to reduce the electoral strength of the KKE is a part of this plan.
2. What did the KKE argue for and propose in the elections? What was its general line and what does it say today?
Answer: The KKE, in the May 6th elections, promoted in a comprehensive way its political proposal which highlights the need for working class-peoples power and economy, with disengagement from the EU and unilateral cancellation of the debt, with the socialization of the concentrated means of production, the peoples producer cooperatives, nationwide planning for the full utilization of the production potential of the country, with working class and peoples control which will operate from the bottom up.
3. The parties of power lost many votes. The indignation was expressed through parties that did not take a frontal stance against the Troika, EU, IMF, while the KKE every day is in the midst of the struggle, at the side of the workers, unemployed, self-employed, farmers etc. Why did the KKE not receive a corresponding result?
Answer: The KKE had a small increase in this election. Specifically it received 536,072 votes or 8.5%, that is to say +18,823 votes or +1%. The KKE elected 26 MPs (of the 300 in Parliament), 5 more than it had previously. In working class neighbourhoods the KKE received almost double its average percentage. Indeed in one of the 56 electoral regions (Samos-Ikaria) the KKE came first with 24.7%. It should be noted that 8.5% is partys the highest percentage in parliamentary elections of the last 27 years, since 1985.
The KKE has no parliamentary illusions in the sense that it does not expect to gradually increase its vote until one day it will have a majority in parliament and form a communist government. We are struggling for socialism-communism and if this could occur via bourgeois elections then the bourgeois class would have abolished elections.
From this standpoint it is incorrect to compare the electoral results of the KKE with those of a social-democratic formation, such as SYRIZA.
We should remember that 2,5 years ago PASOK, the other social-democratic party, received 44% while this time it received just 13%. This decline, which took place in conditions of political fluidity boosted SYRIZA, its closest ideological relation.
4. The KKE argues that without peoples power and socialization of the means of production, a government which is in favour of the workers cannot be formed. Today, when the conditions for this direction do not exist, i.e. for peoples power, what does the KKE propose? What demands does it promote in todays situation?
Answer: From the moment when our country remains tied to the imperialist unions, NATO and the EU, and the power belongs to the capitalists, there can be no pro-people government. The position of the KKE is for the organization of the struggle of the workers, the poor farmers, the lower-middle popular strata against the anti-people measures which will be taken by the government (whether centre-right or centre-left). We believe that through this struggle forces will be liberated from bourgeois ideology and a social alliance will be formed that will pose the question of power.
5. What is the minimum programme of the KKE, which answers the demands and struggles of the workers?
The KKE insists and is firmly oriented to the necessity and timeliness of socialism. It considers that the material preconditions for the creation of the socialist-communist society exist. In addition, having studied the historical experience of the Greek and international communist movement, the KKE has arrived at the conclusion that the views concerning an intermediate stage between capitalism and socialism were mistaken. In our opinion, this assessment has not been vindicated anywhere!
Power will be either a bourgeois power or workers peoples power; there cannot be any power which has an intermediate character. On this basis, the KKE does not fight today for any intermediate stage and therefore it has no minimum programme. Of course this does not mean that it has only a strategy and no tactics. The tactics of the KKE promote the need to rally the working people around goals of struggle, both for the defense of the workers, peoples and democratic rights as well as for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people. We have well-elaborated positions and goals of struggle for all the problems of the people, however, we openly declare that under the conditions of capitalism any achievements that the working people may gain will be temporary without the acquisition of the workers-peoples power.
6. How will the popular discontent and indignation be organized by the party?
Answer: The communists are in the vanguard of the struggle regarding every problem the people face. We seek to rally the workers and the poor popular strata on the path of struggle through the trade unions, the All-workers Militant Front (PAME) which is the class-oriented pole in the trade unions, as well as through other forms of organization, like the Peoples Committees in the neighbourhoods.
7. What are the dilemmas which they are placing before the people and what does the party say about this?
Answer: The bourgeois class and its parties pose false dilemmas before the elections in order to trap popular forces and to prevent them from approaching the KKE. But we cannot explain this in an analytical way due to the lack of space. We can briefly mention one of these dilemmas: euro or drachma? We consider this to be a false dilemma. To begin with, whether Greece stays in the euro or not depends on the development of the capitalist crisis in the country and in Europe. In addition, the question of the currency alone without the overthrow of the power of the bourgeois class, without the socialization of the basic means of production, the central planning of the economy and workers control, cannot guarantee a better life for the workers.
8. What is the political line of the party regarding alliances?
Answer: The KKE has an alliance police which has a social basis. It believes in an alliance of the working class, the popular strata in the city and the countryside that will come into conflict with the monopolies and imperialism. This alliance is being formed today through the respective peoples rallies with the perspective of calling into question the power of the monopolies.
9. Why has the KKE rejected the invitation of SYRIZA for a left government? What is the class character of SYNASPISMOS and what classes does it represent?
Answer: We believe that a left government is incapable of solving the peoples problems and on the contrary it will worsen them. Of course this cannot be understood by all the working people and other strata such as the small businessmen who are being destroyed by the crisis. SYRIZA has been chosen by a part of the bourgeoisie which sees it as the basic force in a government that will do the dirty work of the capitalist crisis,that will manage a possible bankruptcy.
10. What do you predict for after the 17th of June?
Answer: Any government in the conditions of the capitalist crisis, in the framework of the capitalist system, with the country trapped in the EU and NATO, will take anti-people measures.
The KKE is a party for all seasons and it has proved that in its 93-year history. Nevertheless it is important to thwart the plans for its weakening in the June elections so that it can to play a leading role in the workers and peoples counterattack with as much strength as possible.
"The KKE insists and is firmly oriented to the necessity and timeliness of socialism. It considers that the material preconditions for the creation of the socialist-communist society exist. In addition, having studied the historical experience of the Greek and international communist movement, the KKE has arrived at the conclusion that the views concerning an intermediate stage between capitalism and socialism were mistaken. In our opinion, this assessment has not been vindicated anywhere!
Power will be either a bourgeois power or workers peoples power; there cannot be any power which has an intermediate character. On this basis, the KKE does not fight today for any intermediate stage and therefore it has no minimum programme. Of course this does not mean that it has only a strategy and no tactics. The tactics of the KKE promote the need to rally the working people around goals of struggle, both for the defense of the workers, peoples and democratic rights as well as for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people. We have well-elaborated positions and goals of struggle for all the problems of the people, however, we openly declare that under the conditions of capitalism any achievements that the working people may gain will be temporary without the acquisition of the workers-peoples power".
Has the KKE spelled out anywhere exactly what it means by "socialism"? What sort of political structure and economic mechanisms does the party have in mind? Something like Cuba? I wonder whether and how that would work, given the geographical peculiarities of Greece. Hitherto, all attempts at building "socialism" in a hostile environment have involved closing the borders and trying to isolate the economy from the surrounding economies, with a state monopoly of external economic relations. A quick glance at a map of Greece shows some of the difficulties that would entail - lots of bits of Greece are far from Athens and a rowing-boat ride away from Turkey. Or does the KKE have an alternative model of socialism, which wouldn't require state control of all traffic with countries abroad? If so, what is it? Given the importance of tourism for the economy, would it involve state or public ownership of every little hotel and taverna? If so, does the KKE have any kind of plan for how to take them over and run them? As there are no intermediate stages between capitalism and socialism according to the KKE, they'd have to be pretty quick about it.
The question of replacing capitalism by a consciously planned and publicly administered economic system is above all a practical question. Has the KKE really thought it through in concrete, practical way?