Contribution for the discussion in the 2nd Antarsya Conference
Tendencia Piquetera Revolucionaria (Argentina)
Paper presented at the preparatory meeting of Antarsya Belgium, Tuesday May 28
The conclusions of the class struggle in 2012 and 2013: Syriza turns to the right and prepares itself to manage the bourgeois state
The positions adopted by Syriza in the class struggle shows it open right turn: they form a front with Independent Greeks regarding Cyprus, they salute Obama´s policy, they stop standing for a “government of the left” to talk about a “national salvation government”, they collaborated with the bureaucracy in the unions (the recent teachers strike is the most high and hot example on that), they didn´t supported the anti-facists and workers demonstrations in Manolada against the fascists attacks of the greek owners against immigrants. Even the “left platform” of Syrizaabandons the common action with the anticapitalist left the 1st May to develop a little rally with the leadership of Syriza.In all these struggles, the forces of Antarsya, and others groups of the left were key. Syriza is preparing to be “acceptable” to manage the capitalism in Greece, instead of developing the class struggle to smash the adjustments. Meanwhile is going to transform itself from a Coalition to a Party, what will strength the power of their right-wing leadership.
Against those who though that Syriza would turn left because of the pressure of social struggle, Syriza showed that it has a core leadership that has a clear aim to achieve. As Costas Isychos said at the Syriza’s Conference in Buenos Aires: “we are in a boat with a clear direction, and if we have to change the crew to arrive where we want, we will do it”.
The pose of revolutionaries towards Syriza
Regarding this, I want to discuss with an article published in the web of Antarsya, from IannisDelatolas (http://www.antarsya.gr/node/1381) which puts the question very clear:
“To think that an electoral victory by Syriza will be sufficient as a response to the rise of fascism in such fertile ground for the far right is problematic. What would a Syriza government do to deal with another racist pogrom by Golden Dawn? Send in the riot police? But the riot police include the Nazis. Clearly a dialectic between the party and the class needs to open up. It will be the most militant and class conscious workers that would respond and challenge the Nazis in such a scenario. But this requires intervention now in the unions to build this type of mutual trust between the left and the rank and file. The current overtures to the bankers, and the walking-back on promises to restore wages to pre-memorandum levels, are not constructive in this direction.”
That is, we have to “guarantee” the government of Syriza, doing what it cannot do (put in motion the forces of the working class) or doesn´t dare to do. To do this, says the author, Antarsya has to be independent of Syriza. So the idea at the end of the day should be: We (anticapitalist) have to be independent to push Syriza to the left when arrives power (or counter back UE attacks). He even said, after pointing an anticapitalist program that “this type of program can set Greece on a transitional period if these arguments are won in the workers movement. Workers councils and workers control can become a reality with this type of strategy.” So, Tsipras will run the country, while we have workers councils? There are strategically opposed outcomes of the crisis, and revolutionaries have to have this clear.
The political orientation addressed in IannisDelatolas article is in my opinion a mistake, as leaves all the political camp to the front-populist formations. To confirm this, the author aims that “the ballot needs to be secondary in this approach and intervention in the movement primary”. I totally disagree. The intervention on the movements has to show what the stalinists (KKE) and eurocomunist (Syriza) do, in order to challenge him and punishing him politically because their policy contribute to defeat the workers’ movement and reinforce the bourgeois apparatuses. And this have to reinforce our electoral intervention.Those are the conclusions of their action in the teachers’ strike (as many others) published in the site of Antarsya as well : “le rejet de la grève par le KKE, les demi-mots (“ouimais…”) de SYRIZA et surtoutleur collaboration avec les syndicats pro-gouvernemental a clairementcontribué à un repli. Il est clair que la gauche de la soumission, la gauche qui souhaite soit un gouvernement de gestion de la crise du system (une solution de gestion par le gouvernement) (SYRIZA**), soit “le pouvoir du peuple*” (KKE**) conduit à une impasse et une défaite du peuple tout en laissant intacte le pouvoir des gouvernements représentant le capital. ” (http://www.antarsya.gr/node/1344).
To use also the hypothetical question rose by Iannis: would be the government of Syriza “neutral” on that moment? Or it would be against to class struggle to smash fascism? And if it’s the second, we will try to push it to the left or fight for our own government?.
Syriza, as also Manos Skoufoglou (leader of OKDE –Spartakus) shows, isn’t an useful tool against fascism: "It is undoubted that the reorientation of some militants towards a supposed immediate solution by a left government is partly a reflex to the fear and repulsion we all feel about the living dead mummy of fascism. But it is not at all certain, even if it would be comforting, that a left government could be an effective barrier against fascism. Let's keep in mind that in most of the cases in history when fascism prevailed, it has done so just following the defeat or degeneration of left governments or of progressive governments in which the left took part. There is also a recent example in Greece: Kaminis, a left social-democrat and current mayor of Athens, has been supported by a part of the left (in the first or in the second round) so as to restrict the rise of the Golden Dawn, who won 5.3% of the vote by that time (2010). How well did this work? One and a half years later, the neonazis nearly doubled their percentage in Athens." (http://4thinternational.blogspot.com.ar/2012/06/manos-skoufoglou-pendulum.html, June 2012).
As Syriza is not contributing to smash the government with the workers struggle, it’s needed and aggressive policy to make the popular base of Syriza break with their front populist leadership, not to try to push Syriza to the left, as it were a question of willings of their militants. There is a front populist policy to defeat and there is no shortcut to walk or question to avoid. This has to be a very important question to make the left of Syriza break with Tsipras’ leadership. The entire “left platform” in Syriza has a responsibility facing the workers struggle and we cannot give them a second without showing that their participating in Syriza is not transforming Syriza but moving them to the right and challenging them to break and develop workers’ struggle against the government.
In policy, as in physics, vacuum don’t exists. If Antarsya don’t address a political answer to the political crisis, it will be finally (independently) politically subordinated or neutralized. There is also a strategic discussion beyond this: we do believe we don’t have to be just anticapitalits, but socialists, revolutionaries, that means, to fight openly for Workers Power.The bankruptcy of NPA in Franc has to warn us about this. They collapse under the pressure of the European Left Party (Melénchon, Front de Gauche) and now there are proposing a “left opposition” to the government, in the terms of the reformist, after several parts of the party directly integrated Front de Gauche.
As part of those who fought against centrist anticapitalism from the beginning, the CRFI, we want to discuss openly and comradely the consequence of the lack of a revolutionary policy. The open Conference of CRFI which be in Athens the 9 and 10 of July is a good opportunity to do that.
So we have to raise our political alternative, and that can only be a government based on the overthrowing of the memorandum and the government, based on the development and to develop the workers’ struggle: that is a workers’ government, a government born of the common actions of the parties of the left that fight against the troika government and to overcome the bureaucracy, based on a United Workers Front. Agitating openly these slogan, challenging all the left and forces within the working class and showing practically their accurateness in the situation is that we will be able to overcome the illusions in Syriza. Otherwise, those broken illusions will lead to demoralization.That’s why while we have strongly criticized the refusal to integrate Antarsya in the last elections made by EEK, we support the EEK’s slogans of United Workers Front, Workers Government and Socialist United States of Europe and we do believe that there is a practical tool to build a revolutionary outcome of the crisis in Greece.
The front-populist anti-euro positions of the European Left and its influence in the anticapitalist left
The developments in Cyprus, and also the big pression of the adjustment in Greece has strengthen some anti-euro positions, in the stalinist left, and also in the capitalist parties, as Independent Greeks shows. This lead to a reorganization of some left organization around Alavanos (ex-Syriza), who seeks to group the left behind a nationalist (i.e. capitalist) way out of the crisis. This is also doing an important pressure over Antarsya.
We can see that in the recent article of Panagiotis Sotiris, who salutes the “(…) recent interventions in the debates within the European Left in favour of a strategy of exit from the Eurozone, are more welcome. The decision of AKEL to consider the possibility of Cyprus exiting the Eurozone, the report by HeinerFlassbeck and Costas Lapavitsason the crisis of the Eurozone, and the public intervention by Oscar Lafontaine in favour of a potential “Grexit,” all these represent a welcome change and open up the space for a real discussion of radical alternatives” (http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/829.php#continue, 28th May). And it goes even further saying that “Regaining monetary sovereignty, as a form of democratic social control of an important aspect of the economy is a necessary precondition for any potential progressive solution to the Greek problem.”
As I am Argentinian, I cannot avoid saying the following, what is based in the recent history of our country. The “monetary sovereignty” can be a strong tool in the hands of the national bourgeoisie to smash salaries and pensions and increase exploitation of workers. This “change” in the European Left is not a left turn of them, but the fact that they are seriously thinking about a capitalist anti-euro policy as some sections of the bourgeoisie start also to think on it. So we don’t have to salute it but combat it fiercely.
Alekos Alavanos, who is leading the coalition Plan B, said it clearly: “we need a currency that can help Greek exports and help us reconquer a part of our internal market. So there is not any other solution” (EnetEnglish.gr, May 20th, http://www.enetenglish.gr/?i=news.en.article&id=968). What’s that but a nationalist and capitalist way out of crisis?
The best way to combat this position, and make a revolutionary line progress is to address a workers front policy to these formations. This will solve the question: they propose a front to develop the class struggle against debt, against memorandum, against EU policies? Or they are seeding illusions about an “Argentinian” (i.e. devaluation and renegotiation of the debt) way out of the crisis?The aim of the current represented by Alavanos is clearly the second one. The slogan of Socialist United States of Europe is a timely question to pose in order to overcome these currents with a revolutionary perspective.
For a united workers’ front to kick Samaras out. For a workers’ government and the United Socialists States of Europe
The policy of Alavanos has also a political aim: to gain influence among the KKE (which is crisis as its 19th Congress showed) and Syriza, as the Lafazanis faction has taken anti-euro positions. Antarsya, to overcome this, has to reinforce it on the left (calling EEK, OKDE ErgatikiPali, anarchists and all the organizations that are not in Antarsya). In the unions, many of these organizations work together, so we have to try to project this in a political stage. It’s needed to address a policy to break Syriza and KKE orientation with a revolutionary policy:
Motions to the Conference
1. Not electoral “anti-euro” front. Not to dissolve Antarsya in a national broad popular coalition. Anti-euro can also be a land for class collaboration.
2. Against any collaboration with PASOK, New Democracy and Independent Greeks. We call the Syriza militants to break collaboration with bourgeois parties and the bureaucracy in unions.
3. For a United Workers’ Front to kick Samaras Out, in order to oppose the popular base of Syriza and KKE against the orientation of their leadership
4. For a Worker Government.
5. For the United Socialists States of Europe.
6. To participate in the Open Conference of CRFI in Athens, 9 and 10 of July (http://www.eek.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1671:european-labour-conference-in-athens-on-the-9th-and-10th-of-june&catid=79:englishtext&Itemid=76)