Class Struggle No 100 May-June 2012
Greece - What Next?
Greece has proved to be a real test for the left. Mostfailed the test miserably because they have no belief inthe historic mission of the working class to overthrowcapitalism. Rather, they have only a self-belief as asubstitute. And that self-belief can only be sustained byopportunism and its reverse fear of opportunism –sectarianism. Some do both because they are theterrible twins of pseudo Marxism. So the British SWPamong its several factions in Greece could not agree onwhat is to be done. The opportunists look to SYRIZA totake the leadership of resistance to austerity, while thesectarians shunned them because they could not leadthe resistance. But it turned out that the majority ofGreek workers, and German imperialism did thinkSYRIZA would fight austerity. So between GermanImperialism and the ultraleft Stalinists and Antarsya aswell as other asserted self-proclaimed Trotskyists suchas EEK, the working class was split, the ‘left’ fell short,and a centrist Bonapartist type government formed byNew Democracy and PASOK took power.As Trotsky said of Germany in the lead up to Hitler’svictory in 1933, a united front against fascism includesan electoral united front: “
The Social Democracy together with the Communist Party would not beable to seize power. There he stands, thesnobbish, educated, petty bourgeois, an utter coward, soaked from head to foot with distrustand contempt for the masses. The SocialDemocracy and the Communist Party together hold about 40% of the votes, despite the fact thatthe betrayals of Social Democracy and themistakes of the Communist Party drive millions into the camp of indifferentism and even NationalSocialism. Once a fact, a joint action of these two parties alone, by opening before the masses new perspectives, would incommensurably increasethe strength of the proletariat...”
p151Pathfinder EditionSo it was correct to call for a united front to get SYRIZAelected ("the fact") and call on the workers aligned toPASOK and KKE to push their leaders to give criticalsupport to an anti-austerity left united frontgovernment.http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/greece-no-electoral-solution-for.html This proves again that the absence of a revolutionaryparty of sufficient strength to force PASOK and KKEworkers to take up this program to elect a SYRIZA-led‘left government’ means that revolutionaries missedthe vital opportunity to put this government into power"opening to the masses new perspectives... toincommensurably increase the strength of theproletariat."Those ‘perspectives’ would have been to speed up theprocess by which the reformist workers illusions inSYRIZA were smashed, and to speed up the formation ofworkers councils and militias independent of thecapitalist state. Having missed that opportunity wehave to have a perspective that mobilising workers onthe streets and organising the workers councils andmilitias etc can build for an unlimited general strikethat would probably put enough pressure on enoughPASOK and KKE MPs to bring down the government.That would probably bring in a left government undereven more internal tension capable of "opening up newperspectives".So, What Next? What is our position on the currentsituation and on a new election that could come withinmonths if not weeks? Here is an interesting statementfrom the Revolutionary Communist InternationalTendency well worth reading.
Students Protest like Greeks
Students are marching and striking in many places –Greece, Chile, Quebec, Australia, and recently inAotearoa where fees are being raised and subsidies cut.We are now in a global capitalist crisis imposingausterity on the masses. The student fight-backs aregrowing around the world. Despite 20 years of neo-liberal attacks that largely succeeded, they haveultimately failed to stop the inherent fall in the rate ofprofit and so the capitalist powers in their historicdecline are provoking big fight-backs globally. Whatdoes this tell us about these attacks? Why are studentprotests met with police violence and new anti-protestlaws?http://www.marxist.com/quebec-political-profiling.htm The short answer is that the attacks on education arepart of the drive by capitalism in crisis to make thenext generation of workers to pay for its crisis. Theescalating repression signifies that unemployed,educated youth are widely recognised as a hugepotential threat to capitalist survival.We have to expect capitalist governments in NZ toreact like any capitalist state to suppress opposition to‘reforms’ that are imposed to solve their crisis. If youare Keynesian you will see these as the result of greedycapitalists imposing ‘wrong’ economics on the masses.This brings a reformist perspective of street protests toreclaim democracy in a sort of Chomsky-type anti-capitalism to clean out the corrupt institutions. If youare a Marxist then the cause of crisis goes deeper, anti-