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Greece

OKDE–Spartakos statement on the upcoming elections

Wednesday 9 September 2015, by OKDE-Spartakos

This statement was issued by OKDE-Spartakos on 29 August 2015, and published in English on their website 3 September.

1.The government of SYRIZA-ANEL agreed, planned and voted for the third memorandum, provocatively ignoring the OXI movement and the undoubted result of the referendum. SYRIZA has undertaken the duty of applying a major series of austerity measures and privatizations on behalf of the bourgeois class of Greece and the bourgeois classes of Europe, the pressure of whom did not allow for anything like “honest compromises”. And they decided to impose these measures at all costs, just like all governments with a similar duty: with oppression, police violence and trials against the anti – memorandum militants.

This situation did not come out of nowhere. This is the normal and predictable outcome of a deeply rooted political management of the bourgeois state and of class collaboration policy, which together lead to the benefit of the stronger side of the tug of war, the side of the capitalist class. Militant parts of the working class are breaking from their illusions on the policy of SYRIZA or on the alleged subversive developments that would be the result of their government. SYRIZA’s own mechanisms are being disintegrated by the daily withdrawals of members of the base and the leadership.

2. The crisis of SYRIZA is part of wider deep crisis of the political system, which is directly linked to the continuous international capitalist crisis, which had an extremely violent outbreak in the country. The allied bourgeois parties of the previous memoranda block do not seem capable of taking advantage of the SYRIZA crisis. Nea Dimokratia is postponing their attempt of reconstruction under the transitional leadership of Meimarakis, who is no more but a temporary conciliator among the opposing fractions. PASOK of the post-Venizelos era has lost any chance to return to its former glory, in spite of the attempt by F. Gennimmata’s leadership to convince former leading members of the Papandreou era to get back to the party. Potami, the youngest and most favorable party of the bourgeois, are preparing themselves to participate in the government, but they do not have the potential to lead a government. No one remembers DIMAR, and ANEL will probable suffer the same fate.

In this context, the bourgeois class at the moment has no alternative but a class-re-orientated SYRIZA, in the framework of a government of collaboration with more reliable parties.

3. The OXI movement, despite SYRIZA’s intentions, showed a very clear class dissension of society. In spite of a first passive stance due to parliamentary illusions, which acted as a distraction for the movement for some time, the movement of the workers and the oppressed came back to the frontline. It caused a new rupture in the system and left an important legacy for the future struggle against the memoranda measures. In the frame of this potential, strategy is of essence. The logic of opposition towards memoranda and austerity, without clash with the institutions of the bourgeois state, the EU and capitalism itself, has shown its limit. It was not Tsipra’s political charlatanism which led to the new memorandum, but the policy of clash with austerity without a clash with the system. Capitalism in crisis means austerity and attacks against the workers, and this will be the policy of any government that tries to manage the system, regardless of any initial “anti-memoranda” declarations. Today this means that an “OXI” front or even that of “OXI until the end”, as necessary as it may be on the level of common action in strikes and everyday struggle, it would be completely inadequate on a political level.

4. The most important thing for the anti-capitalist left to say is that there is an actual necessity for a new round of movements, which will make the connection with the workers and youth struggles of the last years. Unity in action and the coordination of all those wanting to fight is of paramount importance. We need local committees, self-organization and a central coordination, that is liable to the base. In these structures would be welcome all currents willing to participate in the struggle: KKE (regardless of their stubborn refusal), Popular Unity, the organizations of the non-parliamentary left, the anarcho-syndicalist and anarchist collectivities. ANTARSYA, with the important legacy left by the central role played in the OXI movement, can and must lead this movement. At the same time, it can and must sustain their political and organizational independence, the anti-capitalist character and its program. We strike together in the movement, we walk separately politically – there is no sectarianism in demanding one’s right to be a distinctive pole in a wider movement.

5. Solidarity with immigrants and refugees must be an important and central target for the movement. They are our class brothers who are risking their lives to avoid war and economical suffocation. The demands for asylum to refugees, legalization and full rights to all immigrants, open borders and decent housing and feeding are elementary duties of class solidarity. The movement must raise a wall of class unity with the foreign workers against the racism of the State, the EU and the fascists. No space should be left for Golden Dawn, which is trying to make a political comeback by spitting their racist poison.

6. The new round of movements, however, is in danger of reaching a stalemate. That is the dead-end of a patriotic inter-class orientation, for the regrouping and “the good for the country”, as if the country does not include opposing classes. The dead-end of new parliamentary strategy, which, to be clear, is the chance for some people to enter or remain in the parliament. These dead-ends are expressed, as it seems, by the new front of “Popular Unity” under P. Lafazanis.

It is an undoubted positive evolution for the P.U. to abandon SYRIZA, on their left, and their intention to resist against the new memorandum. It seems that the new front will have some numbers in the base and will be in touch with the unions (and their bureaucracies at the same time). But the political character of P.U. will not be judged by their good intentions, just as the political character of SYRIZA was not defined by them. The anti-memoranda, patriotic, democratic, progressive front of Lafazanis is programmatically too much behind the real needs of the workers, the unemployed and the oppressed. They oppose to the memorandum and the euro, but they do not reject any of what led to the total devotion of SYRIZA to the memoranda and the euro: governmentalism, management and reform of the State, the logic of national unity, the electoral program of SYRIZA itself. Besides, it does not even seem so democratic, as it seemingly copies the leadership structure and the loose composition of SYRIZA. Consequently, regardless of declared intentions, the objective function of P.U. is the containment of the radicalization of the people leaving SYRIZA.

7. This potential radicalization, after the collapsing of the illusions on SYRIZA, makes it possible for forward leaps of class conscience, which will have to do with the movement experiences in the immediate future. ANTARSYA, in spite of political orientation and functional problems in the last period, has managed to attract some important militant elements, to gain the recognition and audience in the movement and to become the center and reference point of the anti-capitalist left. It is the duty of the anti-capitalist left today not to allow the parts of the working class who are getting radicalized to be nailed in the middle of their course, as may happen with the reformism of P.U.. At the same time, it must inspire and gather all these new layers of militants, who are against the negotiations with the time-worn leaderships of reformism.

8. At the same time, the pressure of the political logic represented by P.U. is strong inside ANTARSYA as well. This is not a matter of luck. As a matter of fact, this is the logical outcome of the same strategy that had already imposed the alliance with MARS and the Plan B of Al. Alavanos (it is also notable that these were the first forces to immediately join P.U., disappointing all those in ANTARSYA who had imagined until that moment that they had managed to prevent this course ). It is the strategy of the Popular Front, which OKDE-Spartakos has long described and combated. MARS was no more than a step towards Lafazanis, and all those who did not see that clearly the previous period should now look into that direction. The notion of “common course” was based on the idea that anti-capitalist fronts are overcome, and that we now need a wider left front – today this could be the political front of OXI. This orientation is no longer compatible with the plan for a politically independent anti-capitalist pole.

9. It is clear that political and electoral collaboration with P.U. is not possible. Anyway, there are no terms as far as the program is concerned and this became clear during the discussions between ANTARSYA and P.U. This does not only have to do with their declining of raising the demand to leave the EU, where some comrades focus their critic, although the anti-EU struggle is very important today. The main problem has to do with the central orientation of P.U., which virtually is no more but a return to the original SYRIZA and their electoral governmental tactic, plus the demand for national currency. The perspective of P.U. is a stage of self-sufficient national productive reconstruction, inside capitalism, something which can certainly be confirmed by all their renowned members. The argument that an anti-memoranda, anti-euro program today cannot be accepted by any part of the bourgeois class, and so P.U. will objectively have to move towards an anti-capitalist orientation, is of no more validity than the argument of the currents that supported SYRIZA in January thinking that the intolerance of the creditors would force its government to proceed to a rupture – and everyone saw what happened.

Beside the predictable programmatic incompatibility, the political character of P.U. itself would make a political alliance with them detrimental, as it would undermine seriously the anti-systemic image and character of ANTARSYA. The leaders of P.U. have a long history of service in reformism and syndicalist bureaucracies, and notably they recently were seriously implicated with the bureauracy of the State. The 6-month service of four ministers, implicated in the cases of EL.PE. (greek oil company), of the Skouries gold mine case, the Cosco investment in Pireas port, the military alliance with Israel, as well as the voting for the governmental collaboration with far-right An.El. and the voting for the election of the oppression leader against the December 2008 movement P. Pavlopoulos in the position of the Greek President are enough on their own. For these reasons, we as OKDE-Spartakos disagreed with the proposal for political and electoral collaboration with P.U. from the very beginning, even with programmatic prerequisites, and we counter-proposed a call for common action in the streets against the new measures.

In any case, the collaboration with P.U. does not make any sense on a tactical aspect. P.U., contrary to SYRIZA of January, does not contest for the government, so no one can invest upon them to change the general class balance of forces (even though we don’t share this criterium). Besides, the anti-capitalist left does not face any chance of gaining political weight in contesting for the hegemony in the front, as everything, like the leading person, the name, the leadership etc are under discussionfor them.

10.In the oncoming elections, the main target for us is the coming forward of the anti-capitalist left, combative and independent from any kind of reformism, useful for the struggles to come. The circle of electoral expectations and parliamentary illusions must close. An independent ANTARSYA (or hopefully broadened with revolutionary organizations which are currently not participating in it), with the slogan of returning to the streets and the necessity of the workers and the oppressed to stand on their own feet, for the complete clash with the system. It goes without saying that if ANTARSYA chooses an independent electoral campaign, members and organizations who chose to participate electorally in P.U. can no longer belong to ANTARSYA as well. ANTARSYA has no room for those playing double political games, as it is a space for militants who understand that the fight for our rights today means war against capitalism itself.

Without any illusion for electoral forward leaps, an electoral campaign on the basis of a truly anti-capitalist transitional program, with the orientation of workers power, can lead ANTARSYA to the left and help overcome the tergiversation of the previous period. Knowing, that for the majority of the leadership this orientation will be chosen with empirical and unstable criteria, thus it will be a threat in the future, just like we have seen in the past, we fight for the formation of an anti-capitalist/revolutionary current inside ANTARSYA, in agreement with the general direction of the collective written work “For an anti-capitalist and revolutionary ANTARSYA” which has been presented.

29 August 2015