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Published by: davebrownz on Jun 28, 2012
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Class Struggle No 100 May-June 2012
Brief Stuff
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...”
What Next? 
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-
Class Struggle No 100 May-June 2012
capitalism means ending capitalism. Street protest willhave to lead to the building of a mass revolutionarymovement to bring the necessary revolutionary change.So if you are a revolutionary you will see the use anddefence of democratic rights as tactics subordinated tobuilding the revolution. While resistance can operateopenly, then street protests, occupations etc are inorder. When the state represses them heavily you knowin advance that other tactics are necessary. In Syria thenon-violent resistance has armed itself for its own self-defence. In Greece, direct action against fascists andpickets to defend strikers and demos are used alongsidewhat remains of parliament. The object is to prove toworkers that the crisis cannot be solved in parliamentwhich is after all a talk-shop for finance capital, but intheir own organisation – councils, militias etc – that cantake power and defend it.So when NZ Finance Minister Bill English challengedprotesting university students to “learn from theGreeks” he probably didn’t have this in mind. Hiscapitalist class interests won’t allow him to get hishead around the logic that defending bourgeoisdemocracy for the masses means overthrowingbourgeois democracy and with it the capitalist system.
Egypt: SCAF still rules
The recent presidential election in Egypt was wonbe the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) candidateMohamed Mursi but leaves the army in power. Therevolution that saw the end of Mubarak never roseto the point of challenging his military backedregime. The most that can be said is that theregime was forced to hold elections, and that bycancelling the parliamentary elections and takingaway most of the powers of the President it hasclearly broken its promise to hand power to acivilian government.Our position from the onset of the revolution inFebruary 2011 was that this was the re-opening ofthe democratic revolution, but that even the mostelementary democratic rights would require theoverthrow of the bourgeois state. We warned thatunless the youth who gathered in Tahrir squarewent back to the factories and built a generalstrike, which could then lead to a split in the armyas the ranks joined the revolution, the militaryregime would not fall.That this was possible is shown by two facts. Firstthe youth were inspired in their rebellion by theprevious several years of labour strikes. Second,that within the ranks of the youth theRevolutionary Socialists (RS) had a voice and couldhave raised and fought for this program. Even ifmass strikes had failed to become a general strikeand split the army, it could have forced the armyto agree to a Constituent Assembly much moreradical and democratic than the MubarakConstitution that remains slightly amended today.Instead the RS never pushed for the youth to goback to the factories to build for general strike.Nor did they demand a Constituent Assembly thatrepresented the masses. Instead they got trappedin the stageist argument that it was a progressivestep to build a mass workers party to contest theelections under the reactionary Constitution.The broad left and liberal candidates lost whilethe MB clearly won the parliamentary elections.The left and liberal candidates who stood for thePresidency were beaten in the first round.Mohamed ElBaradei refused to stand under thereactionary constitution which was used by thearmy to annul the Parliamentary elections. Butthis did not stop the RS for advocating a vote inthe second round for the MB candidate as the‘lesser evil’ to the army candidate.The RS has yet to retract this terrible mistakedespite a barrage of protest from the leftworldwide.http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/swp-backs-revolutionary-moslem-brotherhood-and-faces-torrent-of-criticism/This episode showsthat once it had turned its back on the militantworking class and put its hopes in parliamentaryreforms, it lost its bearings. What does the BritishSWP (parent group of the RS) say today? Theofficial line is that the army is still in control butit’s better to have Mursi in power. His election has“dealt the counter-revolution a serious blow”!http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=28920 Yet an important lesson seems to have beenlearned by the RS. It says the ‘second round’ ofthe revolution must unite all the revolutionaryforces against the counter-revolution.
bit.ly/L3sF3aThe youth of the squares mustunite with the workers and poor peasants. Yetthere is no set of transitional demands on how toorganise and mobilise them for a general strike tosplit the army and bring down the regime. Oncemore we have a lot of talk, but no serious actionprogram to stop the counter-revolution fromsmashing all the gains of the revolution.

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