Category Archives: Europe

Leon Trotsky: The Workers’ Militia And Its Opponents (1934)

As we’ve been going through the always inspiring and illuminating writings of Bolshevik revolutionary and founder of the Red Army Leon Trotsky searching for works that can illustrate the need for multiracial union-based workers defense squads to beat back the rising tide of fascism in the US, we have been learning and re-learning so much that it is amazing.  So many of the 1930s-era arguments against the creation of a workers militia to smash fascism are being repeated almost word-for-word every day on Twitter!  We know that in the USA, thanks to advertising and television and its inducement of short-attention-spans in way too many workers here, the idea that something written about political events of 70 years ago could remain relevant in 2017 seems absurd.  You want “NEW!” and “IMPROVED!” political science, right?  But just as the works of Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein are still considered to be among the finest examples of scientific writing on their subjects to date, so it goes with political science.  And as it is absolutely necessary for a doctor or a physicist to study the history of developments in her field of expertise in order to more fully understand the modern approaches and discoveries, in political science we can obtain a wealth of vitally important information from the writings of the top revolutionaries of the past two centuries and apply that information directly to today’s political challenges.  It may come as a surprise, but the fundamental class structure of a capitalist state hasn’t changed much in the past 175 years or so: we still have the working class majority, a smaller petit-bourgeoisie (middle class small business owners) and a relatively tiny capitalist class to whom the majority of the national wealth is funneled year after year.  The actors change but the roles do not; petit-bourgeois politicians and businesspeople have the same complaints and roles in 2017 as they had in 1917 – with relatively minor differences in scenery and plot.  It’s like seeing a modern production of a Mozart opera, in which the clothing of the 1700s is replaced by hip-hop fashion: it looks very different but the music and lyrics remain the same.  And we are sure that our very perceptive readers will find themselves surprised to hear Trotsky, writing in 1934 (in this case) making incisive comments which, if the names of the old politicians were replaced with current US politicians, you would imagine the article was written last week.

In political science, the famous warning that “those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it” carries full force.  We assure those of you who laugh at us for using the events of 1934 as a warning in 2017 that you ignore these works at your peril.  The options for modern politicians – working class, petit-bourgeois and bourgeois – have NOT changed in the past century.  If the working class does not overthrow capitalism in 2017, and the fascists are allowed to grow, the result will be largely the same as what occurred in Germany in 1933.  The USA has a whole slew of would-be Hitlers jockeying to reprise his role in the 2017 production of “The Collapse of Bourgeois Democracy”.  The working class has its own contingent of feckless, class-collaborationist fake-socialists and pro-capitalist trade union “leaders” eager to show what they can bring to the roles of Scheidemann and Noske.  Today’s anarchists have their Bakunins, Berkmans, Makhnos and Goldmans; and the revolutionary socialists have their own up-and-coming Stalins, Kollontais, Lenins, Maos, Guevaras, and Trotskys.  All of these actors will be vying for the hearts and minds of the masses of workers, without whom there will be no play. 

“History repeats itself: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” We do not intend to fall into the same traps that our ancestors fell into; more than that – we do not intend to lead YOU into those same traps YOUR ancestors fell into!   So that we do not do so, we must study the development of the various class forces in the past who were faced with essentially the same collapse of bourgeois democracy and essentially the same rise of fascism we are facing today around the capitalist world.  In Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s the Communist Party refused to make a united front with the Social Democrats and form armed workers brigades capable of smashing Hitler’s gangs, paving the way for the rise of Nazi Germany.  Fascism then rose in France as well, paving the political road to the wartime Nazi-collaborationist Vichy government.  Why did bourgeois democracy fail throughout Europe in the 1930s?  Was the rise of fascism inevitable?  Is it inevitable now?  By studying the historical record of the workers movement as it struggled to overcome the obstacles hurled into its path during the interwar period of 1918 -1939 we can answer these questions. These tragic errors of the 20th century need not – and must not be – repeated in the 21st century.

— IWPCHI

*********************************

THE WORKERS’ MILITIA AND ITS OPPONENTS

From Whither France?, 1934

To struggle, it is necessary to conserve and strengthen the instrument and the means of struggle — organizations, the press, meetings, etc.  Fascism [in France] threatens all of that directly and immediately.  It is still too weak for the direct struggle for power, but it is strong enough to attempt to beat down the working-class organizations bit by bit, to temper its bands in its attacks, and to spread dismay and lack of confidence in their forces in the ranks of the workers.

Fascism finds unconscious helpers in all those who say that the “physical struggle” is impermissible or hopeless, and demand of Doumergue the disarmament of his fascist guard.  Nothing is so dangerous for the proletariat, especially in the present situation, as the sugared poison of false hopes.  Nothing increases the insolence of the fascists so much as “flabby pacificism” on the part of the workers’ organizations.  Nothing so destroys the confidence of the middle classes in the working-class as temporizing, passivity, and the absence of the will to struggle.

Le Populaire [the Socialist Party paper] and especially l’Humanite [the Communist Party newspaper] write every day:

“The united front is a barrier against fascism”;
“the united front will not permit…”;
“the fascists will not dare”, etc.

These are phrases.  It is necessary to say squarely to the workers, Socialists, and Communists: do not allow yourselves to be lulled by the phrases of superficial and irresponsible journalists and orators.  It is a question of our heads and the future of socialism.  It is not that we deny the importance of the united front.  We demanded it when the leaders of both parties were against it.  The united front opens up numerous possibilities, but nothing more.  In itself, the united front decides nothing.  Only the struggle of the masses decides.  The united front will reveal its value when Communist detachments will come to the help of Socialist detachments and vice versa in the case of an attack by the fascist bands against Le Populaire or l’Humanite.  But for that, proletarian combat detachments must exist and be educated, trained, and armed.  And if there is not an organization of defense, i.e., a workers’ militia, Le Populaire or l’Humanite will be able to write as many articles as they like on the omnipotence of the united front, but the two papers will find themselves defenseless before the first well-prepared attack of the fascists.

We propose to make a critical study of the “arguments” and the “theories” of the opponents of the workers’ militia who are very numerous and influential in the two working-class parties.

“We need mass self-defense and not the militia,” we are often told.

But what is this “mass self-defense” without combat organizations, without specialized cadres, without arms?  To give over the defense against fascism to unorganized and unprepared masses left to themselves would be to play a role incomparably lower than the role of Pontius Pilate.  To deny the role of the militia is to deny the role of the vanguard.  Then why a party?  Without the support of the masses, the militia is nothing.  But without organized combat detachments, the most heroic masses will be smashed bit by bit by the fascist gangs.  It is nonsense to counterpose the militia to self-defense. The militia is an organ of self-defense.

“To call for the organization of a militia,” say some opponents who, to be sure, are the least serious and honest, “is to engage in provocation.”

This is not an argument but an insult.  If the necessity for the defense of the workers’ organizations flows from the whole situation, how then can one not call for the creation of the militia?  Perhaps they mean to say that the creation of a militia “provokes” fascist attacks and government repression.  In that case, this is an absolutely reactionary argument.  Liberalism has always said to the workers that by their class struggle they “provoke” the reaction.

The reformists repeated this accusation against the Marxists, the Mensheviks against the Bolsheviks.  These accusations reduced themselves, in the final analysis, to the profound thought that if the oppressed do not balk, the oppressors will not be obliged to beat them.  This is the philosophy of Tolstoy and Gandhi but never that of Marx and Lenin.  If l’Humanite wants hereafter to develop the doctrine of “non-resistance to evil by violence”, it should take for its symbol not the hammer and sickle, emblem of the October Revolution, but the pious goat, which provides Gandhi with his milk.

“But the arming of the workers is only opportune in a revolutionary situation, which does not yet exist.”

This profound argument means that the workers must permit themselves to be slaughtered until the situation becomes revolutionary.  Those who yesterday preached the “third period” do not want to see what is going on before their eyes. The question of arms itself has come forward only because the “peaceful”, “normal”, “democratic” situation has given way to a stormy, critical, and unstable situation which can transform itself into a revolutionary, as well as a counter-revolutionary, situation.  This alternative depends above all on whether the advanced workers will allow themselves to be attacked with impunity and defeated bit by bit or will reply to every blow by two of their own, arousing the courage of the oppressed and uniting them around their banner.  A revolutionary situation does not fall from the skies.  It takes form with the active participation of the revolutionary class and its party.

The French Stalinists now argue that the militia did not safeguard the German proletariat from defeat.  Only yesterday they completely denied any defeat in Germany and asserted that the policy of the German Stalinists was correct from beginning to end.  Today, they see the entire evil in the German workers’ militia (Roter Frontkampferbund) [i.e., Red Front Fighters: Communist-led militia banned by the social- democratic government after the Berlin May Day riots of 1929].  Thus, from one error they fall into a diametrically opposite one, no less monstrous. The militia, in itself, does not settle the question.  A correct policy is necessary. Meanwhile,the policy of Stalinism in Germany (“social fascism is the chief enemy”, the split in the trade unions, the flirtation with nationalism, putschism) fatally led to the isolation of the proletarian vanguard and to its shipwreck.  With an utterly worthless strategy, no militia could have saved the situation.

It is nonsense to say that, in itself, the organization of the militia leads to adventures, provokes the enemy, replaces the political struggle by physical struggle, etc.  In all these phrases, there is nothing but political cowardice.

The militia, as the strong organization of the vanguard, is in fact the surest defense against adventures, against individual terrorism, against bloody spontaneous explosions.

The militia is at the same time the only serious way of reducing to a minimum the civil war that fascism imposes upon the proletariat.  Let the workers, despite the absence of a “revolutionary situation”, occasionally correct the “papa’s son” patriots in their own way, and the recruitment of new fascist bands will become incomparably more difficult.

But here the strategists, tangled in their own reasoning, bring forward against us still more stupefying arguments. We quote textually:

“If we reply to the revolver shots of the fascists with other revolver shots,” writes l’Humanite of October 23 [1934], “we lose sight of the fact that fascism is the product of the capitalist regime and that in fighting against fascism it is the entire system which we face.”

It is difficult to accumulate in a few lines greater confusion or more errors. It is impossible to defend oneself against the fascists because they are — “a product of the capitalist regime”. That means, we have to renounce the whole struggle, for all contemporary social evils are “products of the capitalist system”.

When the fascists kill a revolutionist, or burn down the building of a proletarian newspaper, the workers are to sigh philosophically: “Alas! Murders and arson are products of the capitalist system”, and go home with easy consciences. Fatalist prostration is substituted for the militant theory of Marx, to the sole advantage of the class enemy. The ruin of the petty bourgeoisie is, of course, the product of capitalism. The growth of the fascist bands is, in turn, a product of the ruin of the petty bourgeoisie. But on the other hand, the increase in the misery and the revolt of the proletariat are also products of capitalism, and the militia, in its turn, is the product of the sharpening of the class struggle. Why, then, for the “Marxists” of l’Humanite, are the fascist bands the legitimate product of capitalism and the workers’ militia the illegitimate product of — the Trotskyists? It is impossible to make head or tail of this.

“We have to deal with the whole system,” we are told.

How? Over the heads of human beings? The fascists in the different countries began with their revolvers and ended by destroying the whole “system” of workers’ organizations. How else to check the armed offensive of the enemy if not by an armed defense in order, in our turn, to go over to the offensive.

L’Humanite now admits defense in words, but only in the form of “mass self-defense”. The militia is harmful because, you see, it divides the combat detachments from the masses. But why then are there independent armed detachments among the fascists who are not cut off from the reactionary masses but who, on the contrary, arouse the courage and embolden those masses by their well-organized attacks? Or perhaps the proletarian mass is inferior in combative quality to the declassed petty bourgeoisie?

Hopelessly tangled, l’Humanite finally begins to hesitate: it appears that mass self-defense requires the creation of special “self-defense groups”. In place of the rejected militia, special groups or detachments are proposed. It would seem at first sight that there is a difference only in the name. Certainly, the name proposed by l’Humanite means nothing. One can speak of “mass self-defense” but it is impossible to speak of “self-defense groups” since the purpose of the groups is not to defend themselves but the workers’ organizations. However, it is not, of course, a question of the name. The “self-defense groups”, according to l’Humanite , must renounce the use of arms in order not to fall into “putschism”. These sages treat the working-class like an infant who must not be allowed to hold a razor in his hands.  Razors, moreover, are the monopoly, as we know, of the Camelots du Roi [French monarchists grouped around Charles Maurras’ newspaper, Action Francaise, which was violently anti-democratic], who are a legitimate “product of capitalism” and who, with the aid of razors, have overthrown the “system” of democracy.  In any case, how are the “self-defense groups” going to defend themselves against the fascist revolvers? “Ideologically”, of course. In other words: they can hide themselves.  Not having what they require in their hands, they will have to seek “self-defense” in their feet.  And the fascists will in the meanwhile sack the workers’ organizations with impunity.  But if the proletariat suffers a terrible defeat, it will at any rate not have been guilty of “putschism”.  This fraudulent chatter, parading under the banner of “Bolshevism”, arouses only disgust and loathing.

[NOTE: “The Third Period”: According to the Stalinist schema, this was the “final period of capitalism”, the period of its immediately impending demise and replacement by soviets. The period is notable for the Communists’ ultra-left and adventurist tactics, notably the concept of social-fascism.]

During the “third period”  of happy memory — when the strategists of l’Humanite were afflicted with barricade delirium, “conquered” the streets every day and stamped as “social fascist” everyone who did not share their extravagances — we predicted: “The moment these gentlemen burn the tips of their fingers, they will become the worst opportunists.”  That prediction has now been completely confirmed.  At a time when within the Socialist Party the movement in favor of the militia is growing and strengthening, the leaders of the so-called Communist Party run for the hose to cool down the desire of the advanced workers to organize themselves in fighting columns.  Could one imagine a more demoralizing or more damning work than this?

In the ranks of the Socialist Party sometimes this objection is heard: “A militia must be formed but there is no need of shouting about it.”

One can only congratulate comrades who wish to protect the practical side of the business from inquisitive eyes and ears.  But it would be much too naive to think that a militia could be created unseen and secretly within four walls.  We need tens, and later hundreds, of thousands of fighters.  They will come only if millions of men and women workers, and behind them the peasants, understand the necessity for the militia and create around the volunteers an atmosphere of ardent sympathy and active support.  Conspiratorial care can and must envelop only the technical aspect of the matter.  The political campaign must be openly developed, in meetings, factories, in the streets and on the public squares.

The fundamental cadres of the militia must be the factory workers grouped according to their place of work, known to each other and able to protect their combat detachments against the provocations of enemy agents far more easily and more surely than the most elevated bureaucrats.  Conspirative general staffs without an open mobilization of the masses will at the moment of danger remain impotently suspended in midair.  Every working-class organization has to plunge into the job.  In this question, there can be no line of demarcation between the working-class parties and the trade unions.  Hand in hand, they must mobilize the masses.  The success of the workers’ militia will then be fully assured.

“But where are the workers going to get arms” object the sober “realists” — that is to say, frightened philistines — “the enemy has rifles, cannon, tanks, gas, and airplanes. The workers have a few hundred revolvers and pocket knives.”

In this objection, everything is piled up to frighten the workers.  On the one hand, our sages identify the arms of the fascists with the armament of the state.  On the other hand, they turn towards the state and demand that it disarm the fascists. Remarkable logic!  In fact, their position is false in both cases.  In France, the fascists are still far from controlling the state.  On February 6, they entered in armed conflict with the state police.  That is why it is false to speak of cannon and tanks when it is a matter of the immediate armed struggle against the fascists. The fascists, of course, are richer than we.  It is easier for them to buy arms.  But the workers are more numerous, more determined, more devoted, when they are conscious of a firm revolutionary leadership.

In addition to other sources, the workers can arm themselves at the expense of the fascists by systematically disarming them.

This is now one of the most serious forms of the struggle against fascism.  When workers’ arsenals will begin to stock up at the expense of the fascist arms depots, the banks and trusts will be more prudent in financing the armament of their murderous guards.  It would even be possible in this case — but in this case only — that the alarmed authorities would really begin to prevent the arming of the fascists in order not to provide an additional sources of arms for the workers.  We have known for a long time that only a revolutionary tactic engenders, as a by-product, “reforms” or concessions from the government.

But how to disarm the fascists?  Naturally, it is impossible to do so with newspaper articles alone.  Fighting squads must be created.  An intelligence service must be established.  Thousands of informers and friendly helpers will volunteer from all sides when they realize that the business has been seriously undertaken by us.  It requires a will to proletarian action.

But the arms of the fascists are, of course, not the only source.  In France, there are more than one million organized workers.  Generally speaking, this number is small.  But it is entirely sufficient to make a beginning in the organization of a workers’ militia.  If the parties and unions armed only a tenth of their members, that would already be a force of 100,000 men.  There is no doubt whatever that the number of volunteers who would come forward on the morrow of a “united front” appeal for a workers’ militia would far exceed that number.  The contributions of the parties and unions, collections and voluntary subscriptions, would within a month or two make it possible to assure the arming of 100,000 to 200,000 working-class fighters.  The fascist rabble would immediately sink its tail between its legs.  The whole perspective of development would become incomparably more favorable.

To invoke the absence of arms or other objective reasons to explain why no attempt has been made up to now to create a militia, is to fool oneself and others. The principle obstacle — one can say the only obstacle — has its roots in the conservative and passive character of the leaders of the workers’ organizations.  The skeptics who are the leaders do not believe in the strength of the proletariat.  They put their hope in all sorts of miracles from above instead of giving a revolutionary outlet to the energies pulsing below.  The socialist workers must compel their leaders to pass over immediately to the creation of the workers’ militia or else give way to younger, fresher forces.

A strike is inconceivable without propaganda and without agitation.  It is also inconceivable without pickets who, when they can, use persuasion, but when obliged, use force.  The strike is the most elementary form of the class struggle which always combines, in varying proportions, “ideological” methods with physical methods.  The struggle against fascism is basically a political struggle which needs a militia just as the strike needs pickets.  Basically, the picket is the embryo of the workers’ militia.  He who thinks of renouncing “physical” struggle must renounce all struggle, for the spirit does not live without flesh.

Following the splendid phrase of the great military theoretician Clausewitz, war is the continuation of politics by other means.  This definition also fully applies to civil war.  It is impermissable to oppose one to the other since it is impossible to check at will the political struggle when it transforms itself, by force of inner necessity, into a political struggle.

The duty of a revolutionary party is to foresee in time the inescapability of the transformation of politics into open armed conflict, and with all its forces to prepare for that moment just as the ruling classes are preparing.

The militia detachments for defense against fascism are the first step on the road to the arming of the proletariat, not the last. Our slogan is:

“Arm the proletariat and the revolutionary peasants!”

The workers’ militia must, in the final analysis, embrace all the toilers.  To fulfill this program completely would be possible only in a workers’ state into whose hands would pass all the means of production and, consequently, also all the means of destruction — i.e., all the arms and the factories which produce them.

However, it is impossible to arrive at a workers’ state with empty hands.  Only political invalids like Renaudel can speak of a peaceful, constitutional road to socialism. The constitutional road is cut by trenches held by the fascist bands. There are not a few trenches before us.  The bourgeoisie will not hesitate to resort to a dozen coups d’etat aided by the police and the army, to prevent proletariat from coming to power.

[NOTE: Pierre Renaudel (1871-1935): Prior to WWI, socialist leader Jean Jaures’ righthand man and editor of l’Humanite. During the war, a right-wing social patriot. In the 1930s, he and Marcel Deat led revisionist “neo-socialist” tendency. Voted down at the July 1933 convention, this tendency split from the Socialist Party. After the fascist riots of February 6, 1934, most of the “neos” joined the Radical Party, the main party of French capitalism.]

A workers’ socialist state can be created only by a victorious revolution.

Every revolution is prepared by the march of economic and political development, but it is always decided by open armed conflicts between hostile classes.  A revolutionary victory can become possible only as a result of long political agitation, a lengthy period of education and organization of the masses.

But the armed conflict itself must likewise be prepared long in advance.

The advanced workers must know that they will have to fight and win a struggle to the death. They must reach out for arms, as a guarantee of their emancipation.

[Source: https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1944/1944-fas.htm#p1   Corrected and emphasis added in bold type by IWPCHI]

 

Advertisements

Communist Party of Greece (KKE): Voting ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ Means Same Thing – ‘Yes’

We republish below an official statement of the Stalinist Communist Party of Greece (KKE) denouncing SYRIZA’s bogus referendum scam.  They correctly point out that, in fact, no matter whether Greek workers vote “yes” or “no” in the referendum on the EU’s austerity programme July 5, it will mean the same thing: “Yes”.  That’s because, says KKE, a vote “against” the EU’s austerity proposals will essentially mean a “yes” vote for SYRIZA’s own austerity proposals – which the KKE asserts are “90% identical”!  And they are right about that.  Take a look at the “secret” counterproposal SYRIZA offered up to – and rejected by – the Troika which was leaked to the Financial Times earlier this month.

SYRIZA proposals for restructuring of debt May 2015

These proposals of SYRIZA incorporate almost all of the demands of the Troika, offering up not only the most profitable national assets – sea- and airports – but also the lives of the Greek workers themselves in the form of a gradual raising of the retirement age and other cuts to pensions and what remains of the crumbling Greek capitalist state’s social safety net.

The KKE is a Stalinist party of the Third International which – almost alone among the Stalinist Communist parties of Europe – still defends the USSR and has undergone an incomplete self-criticism of its own counterrevolutionary role as the Greek branch of the Soviet Union’s international “peaceful coexistence with capitalism” betrayal of the working class.  The KKE is a very large ostensibly revolutionary party whose membership boasts some of the finest revolutionary socialist workers of the Greek working class of today; in the Greek legislative election of 25 January 2015 the KKE polled over 338,000 votes, making it the fifth-largest political party in the Greek Parliament.   Unlike the SYRIZA party, inside the Stalinist KKE there still exist actual proletarian revolutionaries with a desire to overthrow the Greek capitalist class and lead a workers socialist revolution.  But in order to do that,the KKE must make a clean break with its appallingly class-collaborationist Stalinist past and embrace revolutionary Trotskyism – which is asking a lot from a party whose leadership consists of dyed-in-the-wool apologists for Stalin – the butcher of Lenin’s revolutionary Communist Party leadership – and millions of Soviet workers and peasants.  The anti-Marxist Stalinist concept that “communism” can be built in a single nation-state must be jettisoned in favor of Trotskyist internationalism.  At the very least, the KKE must jettison every deeply ingrained impulse towards seeking rapprochement with the capitalists of the world – and their demands in the face of the referendum indicate that the KKE is not yet ready to do that:

“The KKE stresses that the people must not choose between Scylla and Charybdis, but must express, with all means available and in every way, their opposition to the EU and its permanent memoranda in the referendum. They must “cancel out” this dilemma by casting the proposal of the KKE as their vote into the ballot box.

  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE EU-IMF-ECB
  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, WITH THE PEOPLE IN POWER”

[Source: Communist Party of Greece, “The referendum on the 5th of July and the stance of the KKE” (no date)]

Although the KKE states earlier in this same article that “the only realistic way out from today’s capitalist barbarity […] is: RUPTURE-DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, UNILATERAL CANCELLATION OF THE DEBT, SOCIALIZATION OF THE MONOPOLIES, WORKERS’-PEOPLE’S POWER”, their “demands” specifically do NOT call for the preparation for a seizure of power by the working class.  And the formula “workers’ – people’s power” implies a “two-class” power-sharing arrangement, not a revolutionary socialist workers government led by the proletariat.

If we had comrades in Greece today, we would seek to sound out the KKE on these questions in an effort to form a “united front” with them and all other revolutionary parties in Greece – especially, of course, the other Trotskyist parties – who seek – at least on paper and in their public pronouncements – to resolve the current crisis of Greek capitalism in favor of the working class permanently through workers socialist revolution.  The vital necessity of close co-operation of all the revolutionary left socialist and anarchist groups is highlighted by the ominous growth and boldness of the fascist “Golden Dawn” party, which polled 50,000 MORE votes this year than the KKE.  It is crucially important that the Greek workers join together in a united front to smash the Golden Dawn scum whenever they rear their heads.  The failure to do so in Germany in the 1930s – a failure caused by the reactionary twists and turns of the Stalinist misleaders of the COMINTERN – paved the way for the rise of Hitler, the crushing of the German Communist Party and the ensuing mass slaughter of World War II.  This, too, is a historical fact which the Stalinist KKE has yet to come to terms with.

Workers socialist revolution is truly the “only way out” for the Greek working class – and all the rest of the workers of the capitalist world as well.  There is simply NO FUTURE FOR THE WORKING CLASS UNDER CAPITALISM!  Capitalism must be overthrown so that the working class may live – it’s really just that simple.  We offer our support (extremely modest as it is) to our working class sisters and brothers in Greece who are organizing the workers to prepare for the seizure of power from the hands of the murderous, morally, politically and financially bankrupt Greek, EU and US capitalist classes.

For workers revolution in Greece and throughout the EU, the Americas and the entire capitalist world! Workers of the World, Unite!

– IWPCHI

**************

[Source: The-referendum-on-the-5th-of-July-and-the-stance-of-the-KKE, retrieved 30 June 2015]

The referendum on the 5th of July and the stance of the KKE

As is well-known, the government of the “left” and in essence social-democratic SYRIZA party and of the “rightwing” nationalist party ANEL, in an attempt to manage the complete bankruptcy of its pre-election commitments, announced a referendum for the 5th July 2015, with the only question being whether the citizens agree or not with the proposed agreement, which had been tabled by the EU, IMF and ECB and concerns the continuation of the anti-people measures for a way out from the capitalist crisis, with Greece remaining in the euro.

 

The coalition government’s officials call on the people to say “no” and make it clear that this “no” in the referendum will be interpreted by the Greek government as approval for its own proposed agreement with the EU, IMF, ECB, which in its 47+8 pages also contains harsh antiworker-antipeople measures, with the aim of increasing the profitability of capital, capitalist “growth” and the country’s remaining in the euro. As the SYRIZA-ANEL government admits, which continues to extol the EU, “our common European home”, the “European achievement”, this proposal of theirs is 90% identical to the proposal of the EU, IMF, ECB and has very little relationship with what SYRIZA had promised before the elections.

 

Fascist Golden Dawn, together with the parties of the coalition government (SYRIZA-ANEL), took a position in favour of a “no” and it also openly supported the return to a national currency.

 

On the other side, the rightwing opposition ND, social-democratic PASOK that governed until January 2015, together with POTAMI (in form a party of the centre, in essence a reactionary party) took a position in favour of a “yes” to the barbaric measures of the Troika, which they state will be interpreted as being consent to “staying in the EU at all costs”.

 

In reality, both answers lead to a yes to the “EU” and capitalist barbarity.

 

During the session of the parliament on the 27/6, the governmental majority of SYRIZA-ANEL rejected the proposal of the KKE that the following issues be placed before to the judgment of the Greek people in the referendum:

 

  • NO TO THE PROPOSALS FOR AGREEMENT OF THE EU-ECB-IMF AND THE GREEK GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU-ABOLITION OF THE MEMORANDA AND ALL THE APPLICATION LAWS

 

With this stance, the government demonstrated that it wants to blackmail the people into approving its proposal to the troika, which is the other side of the same coin. That is to say, it is asking the Greek people to consent to its anti-people plans and to burden them with its new anti-people choices, either via a new allegedly “improved” agreement with the imperialist organizations, or via an exit from the euro and a return to a national currency, something which the people will be called on to pay for again.

 

In these conditions, the KKE calls on the people to utilize the referendum as an opportunity to strengthen the opposition to the EU, to strengthen the struggle for the only realistic way out from today’s capitalist barbarity. The content of this way out is: RUPTURE-DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, UNILATERAL CANCELLATION OF THE DEBT, SOCIALIZATION OF THE MONOPOLIES, WORKERS’-PEOPLE’S POWER.

 

The people, through their activity and their choice in the referendum, must respond to the deception of the false question posed by the government and reject the proposal of the EU-IMF-ECB and also the proposal of the SYRIZA-ANEL government. Both contain barbaric anti-people measures, which will be added to the memoranda and application laws of the previous ND-PASOK governments. Both serve the interests of capital and capitalist profits.

 

The KKE stresses that the people must not choose between Scylla and Charybdis, but must express, with all means available and in every way, their opposition to the EU and its permanent memoranda in the referendum. They must “cancel out” this dilemma by casting the proposal of the KKE as their vote into the ballot box.

 

  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE EU-IMF-ECB
  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, WITH THE PEOPLE IN POWER

[END OF DOCUMENT – IWPCHI]

 

SYRIZA: European Capitalists, Not Greek and European Workers, Have the Power to Determine the Way Forward

Today we publish English translations of the latest statements of Alexis Tsipras, head of the reformist, pro-capitalist ruling party SYRIZA regarding the crisis in Greece precipitated by the latest failure of the capitalist system to achieve economic stability.  Instead of leading the Greek working class on the difficult road of overthrowing the capitalist system in Greece and launching a workers socialist revolution in Greece, Tsipras and the SYRIZA tops seek to pressure the Eurocapitalist banker-thieves to honor “Europe’s democratic traditions” – whatever that is supposed to mean.  This is what “European democratic traditions” look like today – highway robbery!

Tell us more about this “European democratic tradition” you speak of, O! oracle!:

“The Greek people will sovereignly decide–and we will respect their verdict–whatever it may be. Above all, it is our duty is to defend the Greek constitution, popular sovereignty and the national independence of our country. We have a sacred duty to honor the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people. We will defend democracy. We will defend popular sovereignty, but we will also defend Europe’s founding principles. And Europe has a long tradition of democracy, which was neither created by the Eurogroup nor the International Monetary Fund—who seem more intent on dividing Europe.

“This tradition was built by the great European leaders: Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt, François Mitterrand, Altiero Spinelli, Enrico Berlinguer. This tradition was built through the people’s struggles. This tradition is Europe’s undisputed democratic acquis.” [Source: Alexis Tsipras at http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-speech-to-parliament-regarding-the-july-5th-referendum/]

That’s clear enough, isn’t it? By their heroes shall ye know them!

“For this reason, I sent a short extension request again today–this time to the President of the European Council and to the 18 Heads of State of the Eurozone, as well as to the heads of the ECB, the European Commission and the European Parliament.  I am awaiting their immediate response to this fundamentally democratic request. They are the only ones who immediately can–even tonight–reverse the Eurogroup’s decision and enable the ECB to restore liquidity to the banks.” [Our emphasis – IWPCHI.  Source: http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-statement-concerning-on-the-latest-developments/]

That is a lie: the Greek working class has the power to immediately reverse the Eurogroup’s decision – by launching a workers socialist revolution in Greece, repudiating the debt and calling on their fellow workers throughout the world to follow their example!  But this is a course that SYRIZA will not take, because they are not revolutionaries – they are reformist, pro-capitalist politicians who, instead of leading the workers on the road to socialist revolution, are attempting to rescue the morally and economically bankrupt Greek and European capitalist classes and their decrepit, tottering capitalist system.  The means that they seek to employ in the short term: a bogus national referendum on July 5 that will be an attempt to acquire political cover for SYRIZA’s next parliamentary maneuver towards this end.

Unwilling to continue defending Greece from the predatory Eurozone banker-swindlers who seek to seize Greek seaports, airports, and squeeze more concessions and profits from the already suffering Greek workers SYRIZA will (after their EU “partners” – which is what SYRIZA calls those who seek to rob Greece blind: “our partners”! – and their news media spread horror stories for a week threatening an economic catastrophe for the Greek workers)… only after a week of this naked economic terrorism being launched against them 24/7 – ask the Greek people” what THEY want to do!

“Earlier this evening, the Cabinet was convened and I proposed holding a referendum, so that the Greek people can decide.  My proposal was unanimously accepted.” [Source: http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/27/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-address-concerning-the-referendum-to-be-held-on-the-5th-of-july/]  They’re looking for the exits!  This is not the act of a revolutionary socialist leadership but of scared bourgeois politicians who are losing their nerve and looking to buy themselves more time – to figure out what to do next – because they have no idea where they are going!

The referendum SYRIZA seeks to present to the Greek workers – after 7 days of constant EU and ECB threats of all economic hell breaking loose if the Greek workers vote against the EU’s austerity programme – is a truly fine piece of bourgeois political fuckery (please excuse our French).  See if you can make heads or tails out of this:

“Should the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the June 25 eurogroup and consisting of two parts, which form their single proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled ‘Reforms for the completion of the Current Program and Beyond’ and the second ‘Preliminary Debt sustainability Analysis’.”

Got that?  This is the question being posed to the Greek working class by SYRIZA – while SYRIZA’s capitalist “partners” at the European Central Bank (ECB) through their media holdings throughout Europe threaten to destroy the Greek economy if the Greek workers dare to vote “no”!

We’d like to ask SYRIZA: what, exactly, is your plan of action should the Greek workers do as you pretend to urge them to do by voting “no” on this referendum?  Because if they vote “no”, you can be certain that the ECB, IMF and the rest of your “partners” are going to do all they can to punish the Greek workers for their “impertinence”!  They will try, as the US bankers did to Chile in the ’70s, to “make the Greek economy scream” – and will seek to topple the SYRIZA party by any means necessary.  In Greece, the means are already at hand: the Greek Generals will once again be bribed and groomed by the CIA and THEIR EU “partners” to declare a state of emergency, suspend the Greek Constitution and arrest all the leaders of SYRIZA, the Communist Party of Greece and all the most militant trade union leaders, and we will see a new Golden Dawn government installed in Greece while the Greek capitalist class and SYRIZA’s erstwhile Eurozone “partners” “restore order” in Greece!

Tsipras tells the Greek workers: “I personally commit that I will respect the outcome of your democratic choice, whatever it may be.”  These are not the words of a revolutionary working class leader but of a cringing bourgeois politician preparing his alibi to be used to beg for mercy from his Eurobanker “partners” if the referendum should “go against” the wishes of the ECB, IMF and the rest of the capitalist vultures hovering over the Greek countryside!

If you need to convince yourself whether or not Tsipras is a follower of Adam Smith or Marx, listen to whose ghost he summons at this crucial moment for the workers of Greece:

“Yesterday they were blackmailing us with liquidity, today they are blackmailing us with the banks, fear, panic and scaremongering. Eventually, however, even blackmail attempts fail. I would like to remind you today of a great phrase by a politician from the New Deal era in the United States who had stated that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The only thing that the Greek people have to fear today, after so many years of being pillaged, is fear itself.”

That’s not Eugene Debs’s ghost he’s channeling but that of US imperialist President Franklin Delano Roosevelt!  That’s yet another olive branch being laid at the feet of Barack Obama, whose favor SYRIZA vainly sought to curry in the runup to the last series of phony “negotiations” with the Eurothieves.  Obama took the bouquet of roses offered him by Tsipras and threw it on the floor at the G7 meeting, telling Tsipras that is was “time for the Greeks to make some hard choices”.  Incredibly, even now Tsipras is sending boxes of candy to the White House in order to get Obama to put pressure on the EU to come to terms with SYRIZA!  Fat chance!

“‘What it’s going to require is Greece being serious about making some important reforms, not only to satisfy creditors, but also to create a platform where the Greek economy can start growing again,’ Mr Obama said at a post-summit news conference. ‘The Greeks are going to have to follow through and make some tough political choices that are going to be good in the long term.'”

[SOURCE: Financial Times, “Obama says time for Tsipras to make ‘tough choices’”, 8 June 2015]

Once again we say that the only “solution” to the Greek debt crisis is to put an end to the decrepit capitalist system that is responsible for driving the Greek working class into the blind alley it now finds itself in.  The debt should be repudiated; the Greek generals should all be arrested and jailed and the workers of Greece should be armed and prepared to seize power in the next few weeks or months.

But this would take a revolutionary socialist leadership with a revolutionary programme dedicated to the defense of the rights and interests of the working class – not a gang of lawyers for the capitalist class.  SYRIZA is not such a revolutionary party and can not be expected to lead such a struggle.

What they can be expected to do is to distance themselves from any revolutionary parties that WOULD lead such a struggle; to unleash the cops on those parties the moment they take to the streets in protest against SYRIZA’s referendum-swindle.  SYRIZA’s cops can be expected to be unleashed against the revolutionary socialist worker-militants who oppose SYRIZA’s class-collaborationist strategy, thinly veiled as “principled” opposition to the austerity program being imposed by SYRIZA’s EU “partners”!

We warn the rank and file membership of SYRIZA: your leaders, by proposing this bogus referendum are demonstrating their complete unwillingness and incapacity to lead the Greek working class through the current crisis.  You must carefully analyse every statement made by your leaders and ask yourself: do you consider the EU banker -thieves to be the “partners” of the Greek working class? What will the SYRIZA leadership do in the event of a “no” vote? A “yes” vote will be essentially a vote of “no confidence” in the present government and will precipitate calls for new national elections.  Why did SYRIZA’s leadership place itself in jeopardy of facing such an “no confidence” vote just when it had been given the leadership role by the workers of Greece on 25 January?  Why this desire among the SYRIZA leadership not to lead, but to abdicate responsibility precisely at the moment of greatest danger?  Without revolutionary leadership there can be no revolutionary struggle and consequently no revolutionary victory of the workers!

For workers socialist revolution in Greece! No to austerity; dump the capitalist system and fight for a workers socialist government!

– IWPCHI

*******************

The first statement was presented by SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras to the Greek citizenryon 27 June 2015 and can be found here:

http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/27/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-address-concerning-the-referendum-to-be-held-on-the-5th-of-july/

Greek citizens,

For the last six months, the Greek government has been waging a battle under conditions of unprecedented economic asphyxiation, in order to implement your mandate, that of January 25th.

The mandate to negotiate with our partners to bring about an end austerity, and for prosperity and social justice to return to our country once more.

For a sustainable agreement that will respect democracy, as well as European rules, and which will lead to a definitive exit from the crisis.

During the negotiations, we were repeatedly asked to implement memoranda policies agreed to by the previous governments, despite the fact that the memoranda were unequivocally condemned by the Greek people in the recent elections.

We never considered giving in—not even for a moment. Of betraying your trust.

Following five months of tough negotiations, our partners submitted a proposal-ultimatum at the Eurogroup meeting, taking aim at Greek democracy and the Greek people.

An ultimatum that contravenes Europe’s founding principles and values. The values of our common European project.

The Greek government was asked to accept a proposal that will add new unbearable weight to the shoulders of the Greek people, and that will undermine the recovery of the Greek economy and society–not only by fueling uncertainty, but also by further exacerbating social inequalities.

The institutions’ proposal includes measures that will further deregulate the labor market, pension cuts, and further reductions in public sector wages–as well as an increase in VAT on food, restaurants and tourism, while eliminating the tax breaks of the Greek islands.

These proposals–which directly violate the European social acquis and the fundamental rights to work, equality and dignity–prove that certain partners and members of the institutions are not interested in reaching a viable and beneficial agreement for all parties, but rather the humiliation of the Greek people.

These proposals mainly illustrate the IMF’s insistence on harsh and punitive austerity measures. Now is the time for the leading European powers to rise to the occasion and take initiative to definitively end the Greek debt crisis, a crisis affecting other European countries as well, by threatening the very future of European integration.

Greek citizens,

We are facing a historic responsibility to not let the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people be in vain, and to strengthen democracy and our national sovereignty—and this responsibility weighs upon us.

Our responsibility for our country’s future.

This responsibility obliges us to respond to the ultimatum based on the sovereign will of the Greek people.

Earlier this evening, the Cabinet was convened and I proposed holding a referendum, so that the Greek people can decide.

My proposal was unanimously accepted.

Tomorrow, the Parliament will hold an extraordinary meeting to ratify the Cabinet’s proposal for a referendum to take place next Sunday, on July 5th. The question on the ballot will be whether the institutions’ proposal should be accepted or rejected.

I have already informed the French President, the German Chancellor, and the ECB’s president of my decision, while tomorrow I will ask for a short extension of the program -in writing- from the leaders of the EU and the institutions, so that the Greek people can decide free of pressure and blackmail, as stipulated by our country’s Constitution and Europe’s democratic tradition.

Greek citizens,

I call on you to decide –with sovereignty and dignity as Greek history demands–whether we should accept the extortionate ultimatum that calls for strict and humiliating austerity without end, and without the prospect of ever standing on our own two feet, socially and financially.

We should respond to authoritarianism and harsh austerity with democracy–calmly and decisively.

Greece, the birthplace of democracy, should send a resounding democratic message to the European and global community.

And I personally commit that I will respect the outcome of your democratic choice, whatever it may be.

I am absolutely confident that your choice will honor our country’s history and will send a message of dignity worldwide.

In these critical times, we all have to remember that Europe is the common home of all of its peoples.

That in Europe there are no owners and guests.

Greece is, and will remain, an integral part of Europe, and Europe an integral part of Greece.

But a Europe without democracy will be a Europe without an identity and without a compass.

I call on all of you to act with national unity and composure, and to make a worthy decision.

For us, for our future generations, for Greek history.

For our country’s sovereignty and dignity.

[END OF FIRST STATEMENT – IWPCHI]

***************

The next statement was presented by SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras to the Greek citizenry via a television address on June 28.  Our source can be found here:

http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-statement-concerning-on-the-latest-developments/

Yesterday’s Eurogroup decision to not approve the Greek government’s request for a few days’ extension of the program to give the Greek people a chance to decide by referendum on the institutions’ ultimatum constitutes an unprecedented challenge to European affairs, an action that seeks to bar the right of a sovereign people to exercise their democratic prerogative.

A high and sacred right: the expression of opinion.

The Eurogroup’s decision prompted the ECB to not increase liquidity to Greek banks, and forced the Bank of Greece to recommend that banks remain closed, as well as restrictive measures on withdrawals.

It is clear that the objective of the Eurogroup’s and ECB’s decisions is to attempt to blackmail the will of the Greek people and to hinder democratic processes, namely holding the referendum.

They will not succeed.

These decisions will only serve to bring about the very opposite result.

They will further strengthen the resolve of the Greek people to reject the unacceptable memorandum proposals and the institutions’ ultimatums.

One thing remains certain: the refusal of an extension of a few short days, and the attempt to cancel a purely democratic process is an insult and a great disgrace to Europe’s democratic traditions.

For this reason, I sent a short extension request again today–this time to the President of the European Council and to the 18 Heads of State of the Eurozone, as well as to the heads of the ECB, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

I am awaiting their immediate response to this fundamentally democratic request.

They are the only ones who immediately can–even tonight–reverse the Eurogroup’s decision and enable the ECB to restore liquidity to the banks.

What is needed in the coming days is composure and patience. The bank deposits in the Greek banks are entirely secure.

This holds true for the payment of wages and pensions, as well. We will deal with any difficulties with calmness and determination.

The more calmly we confront difficulties, the sooner we will overcome them and the milder their consequences will be.

Today, we have the chance to prove to ourselves–and indeed, to the world–that justice can prevail.

Once again, we have a historic opportunity to send a message of hope and dignity to Europe and the world.

In these critical hours, as we face history together, we must remember that the only thing to fear is fear itself.

We will not allow it to overcome us.

We will succeed.

The dignity of the Greek people in the face of blackmail and injustice will send a message of hope and pride to all of Europe.

[END – IWPCHI]

******************

The third statement is also by SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras and was delivered to the Greek Parliament on 28 June 2015.  It can be found here:

http://www.primeminister.gov.gr/english/2015/06/28/prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-speech-to-parliament-regarding-the-july-5th-referendum/

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

Today’s meeting has historical significance. I could take time to answer the Leader of the Opposition, but I don’t think it makes any sense to do so—given the important historical nature of the issue before us. A petty confrontation would serve no purpose. There isn’t a single Greek citizen who’s not familiar with your [the Opposition’s] actions and their consequences, your motivation to leave office–and had you remained, the measures you would of signed for: totaling not eight, but sixteen billion euro in cuts, based on the primary surpluses that had been determined by the institutions, at 3% and 4.5%.

But going into detail serves no purpose. Right now, we are making history. Right now, we must assume our responsibilities, and be straightforward and honest. What purpose will yet another parliamentary confrontation serve, well past midnight now, a fact that you bear responsibility for since you insisted that the President not be present during your speech?

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

This day will be remembered as a bleak day in history, a bleak day in our common European, as some who are outside of and beyond any institutional process, outside of and beyond common regulations and treaties of the European Union, chose to convene the Council of Finance Ministers of the Eurozone and exclude one member. This is a very unfortunate development. Our country is a full member, and was excluded from a key process—something that no one has the right to do.

This will be a black mark on European history—a day when one of the Finance Ministers was excluded from a European Council meeting, and the right of a sovereign people to democratically decide their future was called into question.

And what was the main message of the Finance Ministers–with the exception of course, of a few who adopted a different stance? The message was that they do not allow any breathing room for democracy. The Greek people must, therefore, respond with unity.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

In the birthplace of democracy, we will not ask Mr. Schäuble’s or Mr. Dijsselbloem’s permission to allow the Greek people to voice their opinion! We will not ask Mr. Schäuble’s and Mr. Dijsselbloem’s permission to protect and safeguard democracy. The referendum, which allows the sovereign Greek people to decide on their future, will take place as scheduled next Sunday, whether our partners agree or not.

The Greek people will sovereignly decide–and we will respect their verdict–whatever it may be. Above all, it is our duty is to defend the Greek constitution, popular sovereignty and the national independence of our country. We have a sacred duty to honor the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people. We will defend democracy. We will defend popular sovereignty, but we will also defend Europe’s founding principles. And Europe has a long tradition of democracy, which was neither created by the Eurogroup nor the International Monetary Fund—who seem more intent on dividing Europe.

This tradition was built by the great European leaders: Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt, François Mitterrand, Altiero Spinelli, Enrico Berlinguer. This tradition was built through the people’s struggles. This tradition is Europe’s undisputed democratic acquis.

The expression of the people’s will through the use of referendums is not a new phenomenon in Europe. Referendums took place in several countries on the Maastricht Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon and the European Constitution. So, why is a Greek referendum eliciting such a reaction?

Did anyone attempt to sway French citizens when they were deciding on a fundamental European Union issue – what can be more fundamental than the actual European Constitution, which they voted against – against holding a referendum? Did anyone attempt to dictate what the referendum’s question would be? Did anyone tell them that if they voted “No” on the European Constitution, they would essentially be voting in favor of their withdrawal from the European Union? So, why are some people today so afraid of the verdict of the Greek people, and why are they trying to use blackmail to prevent a referendum? They should consider that blackmail sometimes has the exact opposite effect. And I say this, because some people think that the issue of Greece is a game.

The dignity of a people, however, is not a game, ladies and gentlemen, a people that have been pillaged for five years now by unjust and brutal austerity programs. One and a half million unemployed, three million poor, thousands of padlocks, unemployment, young people leaving the country en masse. These circumstances did not come about during the last five months of intense and real negotiation. These occurred during the past five years of the Memorandum, which imposed harsh austerity – a tragedy that must finally be ended. With the verdict of the Greek people on January 25th, and with new verdict of the Greek people this coming Sunday, the stifling policies of the Memoranda must end once and for all.

We should be aware, however, that the greater the extent of the upheaval, of the reactions, or the blackmail, the greater the problem which cannot be hidden, or neatly explained away by the other side.

Perhaps they believe that by employing threats and blackmail, and by trying to create panic, that they will bend the will of a people seeking to live in dignity. They are making a big mistake. Greece cannot turn back, because our people want to live in dignity. What is the value that the credit rating agencies assign to the dignity of a people? How much do they think it’s worth? What is the going price for the dignity of a people on the stock market? With how many instalments, to repay unbearable and unsustainable debts, can one meet this price?

Yesterday they were blackmailing us with liquidity, today they are blackmailing us with the banks, fear, panic and scaremongering. Eventually, however, even blackmail attempts fail. I would like to remind you today of a great phrase by a politician from the New Deal era in the United States who had stated that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The only thing that the Greek people have to fear today, after so many years of being pillaged, is fear itself. And I bring this up because already an incredible propaganda campaign of fear was launched–just last night–that will only escalate in the coming days, as Sunday approaches.

But they should know that sometimes, when the attempts to terrorize are so blatant, the end result is often the opposite of what was desired. People stand their ground. The Greek people – the previous generations – have gone through great difficulties, much worse than today’s. In the course of our modern history, our people have persevered: the Greek people know how to defy fear and resist it. We are a nation that loves peace. But when war is declared on us, we know how to fight and we know how to win.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

For five months, from our first days in office, we have been waging a tough and sincere fight on behalf of our people and our country, to end austerity and change Eurozone policy. We negotiated despite conditions of unprecedented extortion and financial asphyxiation, in order to implement the mandate that we were given.

Despite these conditions, every citizen of this country knows just how hard Greece has tried during these months, and that the Greek Government has made an honest and real effort to negotiate with determination, with dignity.

From day one, we have remained unwavering on the principle of mutual respect as first stipulated in February – if I remember correctly – by the French Minister of Finance, Michel Sapin. Respect for the verdict of the Greek people for change, and respect as well, for the common rules that unite us in the Eurozone. This was our guiding principle.

We negotiated with our cards on the table and with the desire for sincere cooperation, seeking a fair compromise, i.e. to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with our partners. I want to assure you that during these months, I personally did everything I could to attain this. At the end of the day, however, unfortunately, the extreme voices among the partners and the institutions prevailed.

Despite the fact that there were sincere intentions for an agreement – this was especially the case with Mr. Juncker – there was also insistence on the condition that the agreement be approved by the IMF, something that was quite unlikely since the Fund had stopped disbursements for a year. Since the summer of 2014, the IMF has not disbursed funds for the Greek program, because it knows that there is no prospect of the stability and sustainability of the debt.

The stubborn persistence that the IMF be part of the decision, especially since it is obvious to almost everyone that it will not make further disbursements, was a condition that limited, and indeed suffocated, any chance of an honest compromise. I trust that you are all aware that we exhausted the limits on all of our concessions in order to reach an agreement. Perhaps some people perceived this as a sign of weakness or as an opportunity to shrink our political credibility. As an opportunity to seek revenge and punish a different voice within Europe, to make an example of us to other countries so that they would not resist: to create a fait accompli, that there is no breathing room, that there isn’t the slightest expectation or hope for change in Europe and in the Eurozone where hardline conservatives dominate.

You may even remember that even at the last moment – the last moment! – in an effort to reach an agreement, we submitted equivalent measures to the exceedingly high demands of our creditors – exceedingly high demands compared to our assessment concerning the existing fiscal gap for 2015 and 2016 – with the difference being that we chose to allocate the burdens based on criteria of social justice to those who can shoulder them, and not to those who have been shouldering them for the last five years and cannot take it anymore.

Due mainly to the IMF’s insistence, we were asked to remove or mitigate our proposals on the taxation of wealth. We were asked to eliminate the imposition of a special supplementary contribution on business profits over 500,000 euros, and to increase the rate of taxation of corporate bodies by 3%. We were also asked to restore the employers’ contributions to their previous level of 2.9%, which was in place eighteen months ago.

The IMF’s concern is that “non-recessionary” measures be put in place. This is all the more ironic considering that the IMF officially admitted just a few years ago, that they had made a mistake on the multipliers of the recession, a mistake that has condemned our economy to recession for five years now—all in the name of non-recessionary measures. If we ask the wealthiest to shoulder the burden, the IMF believes we will have recessionary measures. However, if we burden pensions and wages, however, we won’t have recessionary measures; if we increase VAT, we won’t have recessionary measures. So, to indulge this obsession of theirs, the IMF asked us to once again have the pensioners shoulder the burden, and that we should decrease pensions–even the allowance for the lowest pensions. Furthermore, they made it clear that they were not interested in additional revenue resulting from controlling illegal wealth, and that they would not include this in their macroeconomic scenarios.

They also asked us to voluntarily opt out of the EU acquis of collective bargaining, which is enshrined in Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and to keep the minimum wage in the private sector at the current, near-poverty levels. They asked us to legislate collective redundancies and employer lock out, conditions that the Troika itself had agreed to exclude from pension reform in 2013.

And while we had agreed to start reforming the pension system in October, the IMF demanded that the reduction in the main and supplementary pensions take place earlier, in order to predetermine the content of the reform. The IMF also demanded a dramatic increase of VAT on tourism, i.e. hotels and catering, from 6.5% to 23%. The IMF’s insistence raises a number of legitimate questions: Whose agenda are they serving? What special interests are they representing? Whose interests are served by condemning the most powerful, competitive advantage of our country internationally—tourism—to sudden death? This is akin to issuing a travel guideline advising tourists to not come to our country.

Furthermore, the IMF did not provide anything more concrete on the issue of the debt, aside from the usual vague promises made to previous governments, that the debt would be dealt with at some point. In addition, they provided an extremely tight schedule of financing, whereas according to the decision of February 20th, the completion of the current evaluation on June 30th automatically results in the disbursement of the last outstanding installment of 7.2 billion euro. By extending the current agreement until December 2015, four monthly evaluations were added.

In short, the IMF told us that they would dispense liquidity drop by drop and under tight supervision, while at the same time they would retain the right to unilaterally decide in October whether or not to disburse the instalments of 3.5 billion euro that have been due since 2014. In other words, they were not asking us to agree. They were asking us to hand over our political dignity. They were asking us to once again attack employees and pensioners. They were asking us to sign another Memorandum with harsh terms that would lead to further recession, and the slow death of the Greek economy.

We did not accept. We refused. This was not a matter of compromise. We refused to hand over our country so that it could serve as a new economic colony to foreign interests, and our economy to a new recessionary blackout.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

Now is not the time for petty arguments between the parties, although I understand that perhaps our stance has surprised you. You were certain that we would surrender. Despite the obvious contradiction, you’ve been saying that we’ll lead the country to destruction if we don’t sign an agreement, but if we do sign, then we’ll be condemning the country to another memorandum. You’ve stated this repeatedly. You were certain that we would cave. There may even be a little envy deep inside some of you because we did what you didn’t dare to do–even though you might have wanted to: to resist!

But now is not the time to fight. We must create conditions of accord, for the widest social and political consensus to defend Democracy and the right of a people to be rid of austerity after five consecutive years. The entire political leadership of the country must, above all, protect the right of our people to be the masters of their decisions and to determine the course of the country. The day following the democratic choice, and a proud ‘No’ to subjugation and to indignity, our country will have a much stronger negotiating position, and it will be the moment of truth for the creditors. They will finally understand that Greece is not going to surrender, that Greece is not a game that is over.

Our intention for a truly honest compromise and for a truly sustainable agreement will permanently remain on the table, but there needs to be sincere desire to negotiate in good faith, not just to engage in blackmail. The wider the social and political consensus of our people who will express their opinion sovereignly as required by the rules of democracy and the stronger the will of our people is, the stronger the country’s position will be in international affairs. Only then will it be possible to achieve an agreement that allows for strong growth, the restoration of social justice and cohesion, and country’s productive reconstruction.

I want to make it absolutely clear that our decision that the Greek people express their will sovereignly is in no way a decision to break with Europe. It is a decision to put an end to extortion and coercion, practices that have become all too common in Europe. It is a decision to return to Europe’s founding values, of respect for the European acquis, a decision to return to the Europe of principles and democracy. And it’s a decision of dignity against practices of raw economic blackmail.

I hear a lot of people saying, both in this room and among hardliners in Berlin, that Europe represents the harsh memoranda, that Europe is equivalent to the constant subjugation to austerity, austerity without a future. Should we accept this? Shouldn’t this be disputed? We have an enormous responsibility both to our people and to all the citizens of Europe who saw the political change in Greece with great hope, hope for the necessary change and transformation of Europe.

If we do not challenge this doctrine now, then we are putting an end to hope. We are putting an end to hope for the necessary transformation of Europe. The peoples’ vision comes to an end, as well as our vision for a Europe of solidarity and social cohesion. We would have to accept, to admit that we have, and will have, a Europe of punishment, a Europe of blackmail, a Europe of ultimatums that its people will not love, but will remain by compulsion and not by choice.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

I am confident that the Greek people will rise to the historical occasion and will reject the ultimatum. In past instances, when an ultimatum was presented to the Greek people, they responded accordingly. It will send a message of democracy and dignity throughout Europe. Because a ‘No’ is at the same time a big “yes”; a big ‘yes’ to the Greek Government’s decision to reject an offensive ultimatum.

It offends not only the Greek people, but also the democratic tradition of Europe, the principles and values ​​of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution. It offends the post-war democratic tradition, whereby the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats – not the Left, as it wasn’t in power – cooperated to help build the European welfare state, which until yesterday, this European welfare state was a global standard and a feature of Europe’s political diversity. It is these principles and values that ​​we are defending: democracy, equality, solidarity, mutual respect, human dignity and social rights.

We are defending – and will continue to do so at any cost – the right of every European citizen to choose their governments, to make crucial strategic choices concerning their future, to choose their governments regardless of whether they are liked by the bureaucratic elites that unfortunately rule Europe today and have led it to these impasses. For this reason, I ask of the Parliament now to approve yesterday’s Cabinet decision to hold a referendum on Sunday, July 5th, while assuring the Greek people once again that this government will not betray their expectations, it will not kill their hope.

And I am confident that everyone, both inside and outside the country, will respect the democratic right of a people to assume responsibility and decide for themselves on the critical issue before them. I say this, because I have the feeling that many would like to do everything in their power to prevent this option. Some have characterized this inherently democratic process as “coup”. The choice to uphold democracy…a coup! Some have even called for the President of the Republic himself to violate the Constitution and the Parliament’s regulations. Those of you who are appealing to the President of the Republic, what exactly are you requesting? A request that is also a dangerous civic choice? Are you asking that the President of the Republic violate the Constitution and the Parliament’s regulations?

In these critical times we all need to assume our responsibilities. And when the responsibilities are heavy, strong shoulders are required to bear them. Courage is required. Bravery is required. Virtue is required. Patriotism is required. And I assure you that the current President of the Republic has all of the above.

Irrespective of everyone’s political beliefs, all of us will be called upon to fight the battle for democracy, dignity and hope. We pledge that from Monday 6th July, with the strength of the popular verdict, we will continue our efforts.

And of course – perhaps I do not need to repeat this – all of us remain absolutely committed to democracy. The results of the democratic choice of our people will be respected, whatever their choice may be. But I want to make this clear: Any attempt for this referendum to be converted from a referendum to reject the new Memorandum to a referendum on the country’s currency serves to undermine the democratic process itself, and reveals the hidden and underlying aspirations of the Memorandum supporters.

This is exactly what the most extreme and conservative memorandum forces want—those who are mainly outside the country, as well as those who blindly repeat their views here. I want to reiterate that it is neither the intention nor the decision of the government or of the Greek people to equate the memorandum with our country’s membership in the European Union.

Greece is neither a visitor nor a guest in the European project. We are equals among equals. No one has the right, not even institutionally according to the European Treaties that we all signed, to show us the to the door to exit from our common home. We do not intend to concede this right to anyone for any reason whatsoever.

Ladies and gentlemen Members of Parliament,

The political change and the popular mandate of January 25th actually provided Europe with an opportunity to change course. Let’s not give up on this. It provided the Troika with an opportunity to transform, to become institutions that will respect the democratic acquis. They did not embrace this. They chose to remain the Troika, which kills democracy in Europe.

The crucial choice of the Greek people today concerns the future of Europe, as well as the future of Greece. I am certain that the Greek people will not be distracted by threats, blackmail, scaremongering, and provocations, and that next Sunday, they will choose bravely, with courage and virtue–exactly how they define the conditions of their freedom. They will seize this moment in history and will send a strong message across Europe, a strong message of dignity worldwide.

In these hours, Europe is looking to Greece. It is awaiting the “No” vote that upholds the dignity of the Greek people, and we have a strong responsibility to not disappoint these hopes.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to say that the Parliament today must support sovereign choice regarding a democratic process. For every citizen of this country, this is a choice to move forward. We have no right to go backwards. We have no right to disappoint the hopes and expectations of the Greek people that our country not be condemned to being a debt colony for decades to come.

We do not have the right, with our choice and our signature, to put an end to democracy in this region, where democracy has been alive for 2,500 years. We do not have the right to afford the opportunity to technocratic institutions, to organizations with no accountability and that have not been elected by European citizens, to prohibit a sovereign people from having the sovereign right to determine the affairs of its territory and future.

The choice lies with all of us, and it is mainly a choice of hope, dignity and democracy. We owe it to our children, we owe it to the future generations, we owe to the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people so that this country can be sovereign, its people free, so that it can be a country with democracy, popular sovereignty and pride.

We are accountable to those proud struggles, to history, to the future, to the future of our people who deserve to live with a prospect, with hope.

Be well.

 

In Wake of “Charlie Hebdo” Murders – Capitalist Media, Nationalists, Fascists, Liberals Spread Twin Lies of “Christianity Under Attack” and “Imminent Islamicisation”

The enemy of the working classes of Europe and the US are not our working-class sisters and brothers of the “Muslim world”: the mortal enemies of the working class are the bloodthirsty capitalist classes of Europe, the US and the Middle East who are committing mass murder against our working-class Muslim and Arab sisters and brothers every day! US/UN/NATO: Out of the Middle East, Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria! Keep your bloody hands off the world! Workers of the world: let’s unite and overthrow our capitalist masters; for international workers socialist revolution! Oppose anti-immigrant attacks scapegoating immigrant workers for the many failures of the capitalists and their crumbling greed-based economic system! For full citizenship rights for all immigrants! Unions: Create antifascist workers defense guards to crush the fascist vermin in the egg! Build a revolutionary internationalist workers party to fight for a global socialist workers republic!

– IWPCHI

*******************

11 January 2015

This past week, a pair of self-proclaimed “defenders of the Prophet Muhammad” stormed into the editorial offices of vulgar, anticlerical French “satire” magazine “Charlie Hebdo” and murdered a dozen members of the editorial, creative and security staffs. Absurdly driven to commit multiple murders by Hebdo‘s childishly insulting satirical portraits of the Prophet Muhammad and His followers, two lunatic religious fanatics who happened to be Muslim, utterly opposed to any concept of “freedom of expression” when it comes to their own religion, sought to “redeem” what they believed to be the sullied name of Islam by butchering a handful of cartoonists! Even Hollywood couldn’t invent such an outlandish tale – such are the sad realities of life on our Planet Earth in the 21st century under the auspices of a global police state “led” by the financially and morally bankrupt “civilized, Christian” United States of America and the EU!

The way these Islamic fundamentalist wackos act, one might think that Islam was a religious sect so frail and poised on the brink of extinction that creating and broadcasting a popular satirical sketch of the faith on Saturday Night Live might be all it would take to consign it to the long list of once-popular religious faiths that have vanished from the face of the Earth. In fact, Islam needs no repulsive mock-hero heretic-killers to “defend” it: with over 1.8 billion women and men counting themselves among the followers of the Prophet Muhammad, the religion is today the second-largest in the world, only slightly behind Christianity – and growing rapidly.  But of course, rational thought is now and always has been alien to the fanatics of every religion that ever existed; these are not the kind of people who allow objective reality to intrude upon their infinitesimally narrow world-views.

The bourgeois press and the capitalist-financed nationalist and fascist political parties of Europe and the Christian “West” wasted no time in latching on to the Hebdo murders as “proof” that Islam is not, as its adherents claim, “a religion of peace” – like what, Christianity? – but is in fact a religion whose believers, secretly or openly, espouse the doctrine that all who do not accept Muhammad as being a prophet of God are heretics who should be put to the sword. If all Muslims actually did believe this to be true, the world’s 1.8 billion followers of Muhammad would have finished off the world’s 2.2 billion Christians long ago. Of course none of the claims of fascists that the “Hebdo” killers represent “Islam” are based in reality; nor do the resulting frantic and opportunistic cries of the fascists in opposition to the imaginary threat of imminent “Islamicization” have any basis in reality outside of their own appetite to acquire state power for themselves, after which their supposedly much less murderous “Christian” nation-states would presumably embrace the entire world in their egalitarian, peace-loving arms.  Which is what would happen if these “civilized, Christian” fascists came to power, right?

**********************

The propagandists of the endless “War on Terror” led by the United States capitalist class and their allies in NATO are portraying the conflict as one in which a “civilized” Christian world “dedicated” to the defense of freedom of religion and freedom of speech is being wantonly attacked by those in the Muslim world, who all – openly or secretly – seek to impose their world-view and religious beliefs upon the Christian world by force.  Anyone who can take even a cursory glance at the centuries-long history of conflict between Islam and Christianity can see what a farce it is for the “Christian West” to pose in the robes of the “messenger of peace” Jesus Christ. “Christian Europe” fired the first shots in this war during the Crusades long ago, and engaged at that time in brutal, unprovoked attacks on the then relatively far more “civilized” and tolerant Muslim world in which the Christians gave no quarter to the “heretic” Muslim masses, man, woman or child. European Crusaders – (very much like today’s US/NATO crusaders) – bragged in letters they sent back home of heroic “battles” in which they slaughtered unarmed civilians seeking shelter inside Mosques until the blood ran ankle-deep. This was back when their primary weapons were hand-held; swords, spears and clubs; their heavy weaponry consisted of wooden siege engines and catapults.  The only difference between the “civilizing forces” of the “Christian world” of then and now is to be found in their modern capacity to kill far more people in far less time without necessarily having to even personally be on the same continent as their victims!

The Crusader-fanatics of the “civilized, Christian” world of the Middle Ages, who all believed that by forcing their own religious belief system upon the Muslim world through their own Medieval version of NATO-style terrorism they were doing “God’s Work”, find their spiritual descendants in mirror image in the Muslim “terrorists” of today; they can find their predecessors among the religions fanatics of every major religion going all the way back before the dawn of written history.  Killing in the name of religion wasn’t invented by the Muslims on September 11, 2001, nor was it invented by the Christians in the Middle-Ages. And in recent years it hasn’t been the “terrorists” of the “Muslim World” that have been responsible for the vast majority of the indiscriminate slaughtering of non-combatant men, women and children with impunity – as those keeping body counts for both “teams” know all too well.  It is the so-called “civilized, Christian World” that has been at work torturing and butchering Muslims from Egypt to Indonesia for most of the 20th and all of the 21st centuries. It’s only in the last 40 years or so that the “Muslim World” has begun to organize to fight back effectively. In this as well, we see a parallel with the Crusades: after initially being taken by surprise by the unprovoked and furious assaults that came out of Europe over the most flimsy pretexts, the Muslim world organized itself and counterattacked, eventually driving the Christians not just back to the borders of their own countries but driving Christian Europe almost to the brink of its own extinction. It wasn’t until the 1600’s that the wave of Muslim conquest in Europe fell back, receding eventually to its present-day borders in Eastern Europe, Turkey, to the Levant and the shores of North Africa.

When the “civilized” Christian world reconquered its territory in places like Spain and Italy, the “civilized” Christians didn’t create new polities where religionists of all kinds were welcome to worship as they pleased; the Christians either forced Jews and Muslims to convert to Christianity, drove them out of the country – or burned them at the stake! “Christian civilization” only allowed the freedom of worship to those who were Catholic – everyone else was a heretic who could be set upon, beaten or lynched at any time. When these same “civilized Christians” first journeyed to the New World, they brought their “one, true faith” with them; and their God, in their rather convenient interpretation of His will as revealed through the  events that were to follow, seemed to smile indulgently upon their mindless butchery of the “heathen” native populations – a butchery that was carried out largely with the consent and acquiescence of the Catholic – and later, the Protestant – clergy. Millions were slaughtered or enslaved by these “civilized” Christians over the next 400 years. When the native populations proved to be unwilling to be used as forced labor on the slave plantations of the “civilized Christians”, these followers of Jesus Christ started kidnapping African “heathen” and selling them into slavery. The number of Africans who died on the slave ships taking them into captivity is unknown but believed to be at least 2 million.

We’ll skip a bit of the long, bloody history of “civilized Christianity” to take a look at how the “civilized Christians” of Europe and the Americas have treated the Muslim and Arab populations of the world since at least the late 1400s. Colonizing the whole of Africa and the Middle East, as well as large parts of Asia and India, these “civilized Christians” enslaved, tortured and murdered their way to the seizure of the most valuable lands, raw materials and human labor of two and a half entire continents. Tribal communities were summarily driven off lands they had occupied for millennia; nation-states that had existed for as long or longer were cut up like so much cloth and distributed to the “civilized, Christian” European plunderers, out to stuff their pockets with gold – by any means necessary.

After World War I, these emissaries from “civilized, Christian” Europe sat down in drawing-rooms and pored over maps of the Middle East and North Africa, chopping up the regions into gerrymandered nation-states ruled over by colonial governments or satraps who plundered these new nation-states wantonly. Anyone who tried to oppose them faced beatings, torture, long-term imprisonment, assassination or execution. These policies continued throughout the 20th century and continue to the present day, in which the massive war machines of “Christian, civilized” USA, UK, France, Germany, the rest of the NATO states and their local proxies have tortured, murdered and bombed civilian populations from Gaza to Iraq to Iran to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over a million and a half Iraqis alone have been murdered in TWO major wars in the past 20 years – wars inflicted upon the people of Iraq by the “Christian, civilized” United States of America. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the “Christian, civilized” US President Bush authorized mass bombings of civilian areas in Iraq and Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children as well as the mass torturing of thousands more; “Christian, civilized” President Obama has authorized remote-controlled drone attacks that have killed thousands of women and children as well as the assassinations of hundreds of men whose only “crime” was simple association with “suspected terrorists”.

In spite of all of this well-known and massive human carnage committed by “civilized, Christian” Europe and the USA against the Muslim world, we are supposed to believe that it is not the Muslims that are being subjected to mass murder at the hands of the “Christian world” but vice versa! What could be more absurd? The US and its NATO allies have mass-murdered well over – WELL over! – 1.5 MILLION Arab and Muslim people in the past 20 years alone!  The “civilized, Christian” world hails the soldiers who committed these monstrous crimes as “heroes”; the churches of the US and Europe sing hosannas to their memories every Sunday and sports stadiums full of brainwashed “civilized, Christian” citizens salute the military organizations that plan and carry out these mass-murders every day; but when a handful of religious fanatics claiming to represent Islam kill a dozen “civilized, Christian” satirists, it’s the crime of the century – and “proof” that Islam, not Christianity is the religion of fanatical murderers!

This monstrous falsification of the historical record is presented to us 24/7 via the “civilized Christian” bourgeois press, which simply ignores the entire history of the “civilized, Christian” world and its many many crimes committed against Muslims all over the globe, and spreads the lie that these obviously retaliatory strikes were “unprovoked attacks”! They tell us with straight faces that the very existence of “civilized, Christian” Europe is at stake unless… more massive military assaults are unleashed against the “uncivilized Muslim world”!  As if we, the “swinish multitude” of “dumb workers” are unable to remember the history of the past 50 years, and the war crimes we and our children were forced to commit as conscript soldiers in the imperialist armies!

****************

Do not misunderstand us: the senseless and cowardly murders of the “Charlie Hebdo” staff are repulsive to us and to every decent human being on this planet of every religious stripe – or lack thereof. The “Hebdo” killers represent the very real threat that exists, incredibly, here in the 21st century from the religious fanatics of EVERY organized religion, whose most deranged and fanatical followers think nothing of butchering men, women and children – without regard to the religions of their victims – in the name of their completely imaginary “gods”!  The threat to human civilization is not just coming from Muslim religious nuts; Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist religious zealots – to name but a few – have all committed mass murders in the past 20 years – with the forces of the supposedly “civilized, Christian” West responsible for the vast majority of murders of civilians by far.  The religious zealots of the world can be expected to continue to keep on killing “heretics” until the working class creates a real 21st-century civilization in which the basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter, education and health care – including mental health care – are guaranteed to all; and until the workers of the world overthrow the warmongering capitalist class and put an end to their phony “War on Terror”!  Only once all human needs are being met in an egalitarian socialist future will the futile practice of begging “God” for food, water, shelter and everything else no longer be necessary for the long-suffering workers of this tragic human race.   Only then will we see religious extremism “wither away” – finally – after thousands of years in which organized religion and its most fanatical adherents have caused at least as much human suffering as they have managed, with their meagre superstitious methods – to relieve.  The inauguration of that glorious religious-zealot-free future will definitely require the overthrow of the greed-based capitalist system, in which religion is a necessary prop keeping the system from toppling over.  The capitalist classes of the US and EU are right now seeking to destabilize the “Muslim world” in order to facilitate massive profit-stealing via their seizure of the easy pickings of the Middle Eastern oil fields.  They plan to lock down the entire planet in a global police state run by the USA and their (for the time being) junior partners in the EU.  It’s in the best interests of the workers of the world to stop the capitalists before they kill again.  No one else can do it.

************************

The men and women committing the terrorist attacks against civilians “in the name of Islam” no more represent “Islam” than the Christian fundamentalists who bomb abortion clinics and torture and murder as soldiers in the US imperialist military represent “Christianity”, the Hindu fanatics who kill Muslims represent all Hindus or the fascistic, murderous Zionist lunatics represent all Jews.   All religious zealots who murder in the name of their religions are, first of all, INSANE; secondly, they are mere criminals. To elevate the murderers of the  Hebdo staff to the level of “terrorists” who represent the will of millions of Muslims all over the world is to give them far more credit than they deserve. Killing these religious fanatics only turns them into instant martyrs; they should be captured, arrested and tried as common criminals, because that’s what they are. They are criminally insane, with delusions of being “messengers from God” who they truly believe sanctions the murder of non-believers in “His” name.   The fact that people like this still exist in the 21st century is stark testament to the failure of the capitalist system to bring real “civilization” to the world.  It is also a tragic reminder of what happens when the efforts of more than a century and a half by the working classes of the whole world – including our sisters and brothers in the Middle East – to overthrow the capitalist system have been driven back by capitalist classes all too willing to commit any crime against the workers. In order to maintain their class rule and to defend an economic system that has robbed the workers of the world and transferred that stolen wealth into the hands of a tiny number of human beings – who now  possess more than half of the world’s wealth, the capitalists have murdered revolutionary worker-leaders all over the Middle East and Asia, from Afghanistan to Iran, from Sri Lanka to Egypt.   It is capitalism and its endless insane quest for more and more profits that financed Islamic fundamentalism as a force with which to batter the workers movements of the Middle East into submission;  it is the capitalist classes of the US and UK that financed, trained and unleashed these religious fanatics on the world in order to crush the USSR in Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union successfully fought Islamist fundamentalism starting in the 1920s, freeing women throughout Central Asia from the bondage of the chador, the bride price and complete social isolation.  We are proud to have been part of the Trotskyist Spartacist movement that proudly declared “Hail Red Army in Afghanistan!” in 1980.  That intervention had the potential to spike resurgent Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan which – had it not been for the CIA’s terrorist training camps that sponsored Osama Bin Laden’s anti-Soviet efforts that eventually drove the USSR out of Afghanistan – might have prevented the rise of fundamentalist Islam throughout the Middle East in the 1980s and ’90s, and the shit-train of human suffering that was ushered in by it.

******************

In the wake of the “Charlie Hebdo” murders, the long, disgusting history of the brutalities the “civilized, Christian” world has heaped upon the Muslim world have been simply erased from the memory banks of the bourgeois press by the fascist and nationalist apologists for bloodthirsty “Christian civilized capitalism”; the capitalist-owned politicians and media hacks are also spreading the ridiculous fraud of the imminent “Islamicization of Europe” which allegedly threatens to destroy “civilized, Christian European” “principles” of “tolerance” and “love for one another” so close to the bloodless hearts of the warmongering “Christian, civilized” capitalist classes of Europe and the USA! Josef Goebbels would enjoy this spectacle of hypocrisy, wouldn’t he, if he was alive today? Stalin, whose “historians” were so adept at erasing national heroes like Leon Trotsky from the pages and photographs of Soviet newspapers and history books – and whose regime was roundly condemned by the “civilized, Christian” west for doing so! – would enjoy this charade as well!

The fact is that in today’s modern world, human beings can easily move across the face of the planet and are – or should be – free to settle anywhere their hearts desire without any obstacles being placed in their way.  We, as revolutionary Trotskyists, consider all workers to be our brothers and sisters; we repudiate the capitalists’ assertions that foreign-born workers are “aliens” and we fight for full citizenship rights for all immigrants!   (Anti-immigrant legislation and propaganda serve to cloak the inherent inability of the capitalist system to provide jobs for all able-bodied workers with the lie that there would be work for everyone if it wasn’t for the immigrants “stealing” “our” jobs!  In fact, the capitalist system, in order to function profitably, maintains a reserve army of the unemployed so as to keep ALL workers’ wages down; the capitalists use the immigrants as scapegoats).

Those who yearn for “the good old days” of national isolation, where natural boundaries like mountain ranges and oceans fostered unique cultural identities – as well as hideous economic, political, cultural and intellectual backwardness –  are yearning for a world that is gone and which – happily for the working classes – isn’t coming back.  The population of the United States represents only 4.5% of the world’s population; “White” Europeans are a tiny minority of the global population as well.  The world is moving rapidly in the direction BACK to the status of a much more homogeneous “racial” makeup that ended maybe 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, when the entire human race was just emerging from Africa.  To revolutionary socialists – THIS IS A GOOD THING!  The increased “racial” mixing via intermarriage should eventually destroy every vestige of racist ideology, bringing all the world’s people much closer together again.  Globally, today, believers in Islam make up approximately 25% of the world’s population.  If all our Muslim brothers and sisters were evenly distributed in every nation, 25% of the population of, say, France, would be Muslim.  But that is not the case; French Muslims make up just 7.5% of the entire population of France!  The French nationalists and fascists screaming that France is being “Islamicised” are crying wolf, desperately attempting to hold back an evolutionary trend that can only be brought to a halt through vicious racist immigration quotas that will not stop the natural global migration of our fellow human beings all over the world.  In other nations where the fascists and nationalists are trying to stoke irrational fears of impending “Islamicization”, the Muslim populations as a percentage of the total populations of those countries are as follows:

Germany: 5.0%

UK: 4.6%

US: 0.8%

Sweden: 4.9%

Netherlands: 5.5%

Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_by_country

Obviously, the Muslim immigration to Europe is going to have to increase exponentially in order to simply reach global parity in our lifetimes.  The massive exodus of people from traditionally Muslim countries to Europe has been driven in the first place by the “Global War on Terror”, which has deliberately destabilized majority-Muslim countries merely in order to facilitate the plundering of those nation-states by the US and EU multinational corporations that dictate US/NATO foreign policy and which seek to make profitable investments in the region – without regional strongmen taking their “cut” of the plunder – or threatening to kick the imperialists out on their asses.  The overthrow of capitalism in the US and EU states would lead to the overthrow of the brutal dictatorships in North Africa and the Middle East, which would result in a cessation of immigration to Europe and quite probably the return of many immigrant workers now living in EU countries to the lands of their birth.  To believe that the rapid influx of immigrants from North Africa into Europe due to the “Global War on Terror” is permanent and irreversible is to believe that the highly unstable political and economic status quo in Europe is also “permanent and irreversible”, which is inherently contradictory.  Workers socialist revolution is both possible and desirable – and necessary! – in Europe and everywhere else; and if the working class can make that happen, the likelihood of a long period of peaceful and rational development of the entire human race becomes a probability instead of highly unlikely under a more and more xenophobic and nationalistic capitalism.

********************

The lies we are having heaped upon us in desperate defense of the tottering capitalist status quo in the EU from the mouths of the bourgeois journalists and the press attaches of the “civilized, Christian” governments of the west require the most strenuous efforts of those of us in the revolutionary socialist workers movement to oppose them and to provide the working classes of the world with the truth about the hideous crimes that the ruling classes of the “civilized, Christian” world have committed against our brother and sister workers in the Muslim world.  The reactionary, anti-immigrant and cynical “Je Suis Charlie” campaigns – orchestrated by the racist and fascist apologists for US/NATO war crimes carried out throughout the Muslim world – must be avoided like the plague by workers all over the world. The capitalist classes of Europe and the Americas are seeking to terrify the working class into giving their approval for more vicious military attacks on our fellow workers in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan – and throughout Europe and the whole world – in order to crush any opposition to the capitalists’ plans to destabilize and re-colonize the Middle East.  The only resource the “civilized, Christian” capitalists care about is the oil under the lands now occupied by our working class brothers and sisters who, in the majority, “happen to be” Muslim. The capitalists know that they will never obtain a green light from the workers to butcher our own Muslim sisters and brothers with impunity until they can turn them in our eyes into cartoonish, hate-filled religious wackos hell-bent on mass murder of civilians in Europe and the Americas. In other words, the capitalist classes that run the US/NATO military murder machine want us to believe that the people of the Middle East are about to do to US what the US and NATO have been doing to THEM all these years, and are using the “Hebdo” murders to justify more war against our sisters and brothers throughout the Muslim world! The enemy of the working classes of Europe and the US are clearly NOT our fellow workers in the Muslim-majority nations; our enemies are the capitalist classes of the entire world who make their billions through the endless mass-murder of their “War on Terror”!

Don’t fall for the lies of the capitalists: our enemies aren’t our sisters and brothers in the “Muslim World” but our capitalist masters here in “civilized, Christian, capitalist” USA and Europe!  Workers of the World, Unite!  For workers socialist revolution in the US, Europe, the Middle East and throughout the capitalist world!

IWPCHI

UPDATED: Get your copy of the US Army’s New “Civil Disturbances” Manual for 2014

[Note: We have added another document – 2007’s “Military Intelligence – US Army Intelligence Activities”  to the end of the article – IWPCHI]

Until recently, US citizens have been spared the kind of savage military response to attempts by workers to defend their rights such as we have seen this year meted out so brutally by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) against the Palestinian people in Gaza. But as the State of Missouri’s response to the uprising against police state murder in Ferguson shows, it looks like this kind of military intervention is going to be increasingly used against dissidents here in the US as well.

It is a little-known fact that throughout the civil rights struggle in the US, the FBI, whose own savage COINTELPRO tactics wantonly violated the Constitutional rights of US workers who legally fought for their rights, routinely kept the US military districts all over the US informed of their plans and activities.

In this document, the FBI, which is spying on both the anti-Vietnam War Movement and the late wife of Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, notes that the referenced memo (LHM means “Letterhead Memorandum” in FBI-speak) will be disseminated to several US military intelligence divisions in the various military districts…

as has been done with the rest of the world

(as has been done with the rest of the world)

…which the United States is divided into.

US Military Intelligence spied on Coretta King and antiwar activists

The U.S. Army Intelligence Command (USAINTC) is “the Army counterintelligence element formed in 1965 to conduct operations in the continental United States. The command had been allotted substantial personnel to carry out its mission. Its seven Military Intelligence groups controlled a network of 300 field and resident offices across the nation.” [Source: globalsecurity.org: “U.S. Army Intelligence Command and the Home Front“] In the FBI document above, we see that the 111th Military Intelligence Group, as well as the Naval Investigative Service [NIS – now known as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)] and the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) were being kept informed by the FBI as to the activities of the antiwar left and the key civil rights activists legally exercising their constitutional rights to protest and organize. Since the end of the Civil War, the US military has been used most significantly on behalf of the US capitalist class in order to smash labor strikes whenever the oligarchs’ private security forces have been overwhelmed by working class militancy.

The National Guard was famously used against black workers in the uprisings that broke out across the nation in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King as well as in the efforts to quell the antiwar protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.

In a 2009 article for the US Army’s “Joint Center for Operational Analysis Journal” entitled “The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Law Enforcement“, Retired Col. John R. Brinkerhoff provided a concise historical overview with a couple of surprises:

“Federal military troops have been used often to enforce the laws of the Nation. In the past two hundred fifteen years, the Army and, to a lesser extent, the Marine Corps has enforced the laws in over 167 incidents, or about 0.75 times per year on the average. Federal troops have been called on to quell insurrections, enforce unpopular federal laws, govern the seven states of the defeated Confederacy, protect minorities from harm, quell race riots, police the lawless West, guard the borders, break strikes, protect key assets against sabotage, seize and operate war plants, enforce civil rights laws, operate the postal service, and protect the population from lawless elements. (See U.S. Army Center of Military History, The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1789-1878 (1988).)

[…]

“A major source of confusion is the Posse Comitatus Act, which many people believe-incorrectly-prohibits the use of federal troops to enforce the law in the United States.

“What was originally no more than a way to prevent US attorneys and local sheriffs to require federal troops to enforce the law has become, in popular myth, a general proscription of any use of federal troops to enforce the law. This general belief is belied by the fact that despite the Posse Comitatus Act, Presidents after 1878 have used federal troops to enforce the laws when they saw fit to do so. Presidents have used the Posse Comitatus Act as an excuse to reject or avoid actions they did not want to do, but have not hesitated to work around the act to do what they wanted to do. During the labor riots of the late 19th Century, Presidents used federal troops to intervene in labor disputes under the pretext of protecting federal property. During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson breached the actual terms of the Posse Comitatus Act by allowing his subordinates to use troops without first obtaining his authorization. During World War II and for three decades thereafter, federal troops were frequently involved in law enforcement actions, such as surveillance, search, detention, and arrest in the course of authorized domestic operations. Federal troops not only enforced the law of the land, including making arrests and detaining lawbreakers, but they were expected to do so by a generally grateful public. The real intent of the original Posse Comitatus Act was to restore to the President sole authority to authorize the use of federal military forces to enforce the law in the United States.

“The real effect of the Posse Comitatus Act has been to slow down the response time for the use of federal troops.” [ibid.]

More information on this subject can be had by looking up the term “Operation GARDEN PLOT” which is “the DoD Civil Disturbance Plan, the generic Operations Plan [OPLAN] for military support related to domestic civil disturbances.”

This April, the US Army published a new “Techniques Publication” on how to handle civil disturbances. This document lays out in no uncertain terms just how our “heroes in uniform” have been handling “disturbances” created by our working class brothers and sisters courageously fighting for their rights under US military occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

We have confirmed that this document is genuine and comes from the US Army’s own website. In it are described many of the most notorious tactics used by the military and cops against political activists, including “extraction teams” and methods to “establish lethal overwatch” by placing snipers on tall buildings overseeing the likely sites where “disturbances” might take place.

Army Techniques Publication 3-39.33 – Civil Disturbances

This all sounds very scary, but even this extreme example of police state terror has its limitations, as has been belatedly discovered by every despot who was overthrown in a revolution led by an enraged working class and/or peasantry. After all, the National Guard and the rest of the armed forces of the US are composed of our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, and and also of poor and minority workers, who join the military not out of love for the ruling class and its government but out of desperation to find means to survive, especially at times of high unemployment. The army, therefore is very unlike the cops who more consciously hire on as the front-line defenders of capitalist private property, knowing in advance that they will be used to break strikes and to brutalize workers on a daily basis as part of their “jobs”. To the rank-and-file members of the military appeals can be made that they refrain from opening fire on their fellow workers.

Using the military to quell domestic disturbances can very easily lead to a rapid demoralization of the working-class members of the armed forces, their joining the insurrection, arresting their officers and turning the heavy guns of the military against the ruling class itself. If led by a revolutionary socialist vanguard party dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system, this can lead to the collapse of the government and the accession of the working class to power. In the great Russian Revolution of 1917, almost the entire Czarist army went over to the side of the Bolsheviks, who alone among all the opposition parties had promised to end the bloodbath of WWI – and who followed through on that promise upon their seizure of power. Brute force is an effective deterrent to attempts at the overthrow of the government – until it finally fails to work… at which time, as we have seen repeatedly throughout history, the end finally comes for the hated government and ruling class that has dared to attempt to extend their tenacious hold on to power by slaughtering “their own” workers in the streets of “their own” cities.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

UPDATE:  We’ve run across another interesting unclassified US Army document entitled: “Military Intelligence – US_Army_Intelligence_Activities“.  It’s a good overview of the extent of the US Army’s domestic and international espionage activities. – IWPCHI

 

DEFEND UKRAINE! DEFEAT RUSSIAN IMPERIALISM! SMASH FASCISM: FOR WORKERS SOCIALIST REVOLUTION IN UKRAINE! US/EU/UN/NATO HANDS OFF UKRAINE!

Well, that was easy!  Yes, writing that headline was quite straightforward; over the past few days, the political formulae fell into place as we watched the ominous events unfold on the Crimean peninsula.

So what does it all mean?  “Defend Ukraine”?  But the Ukrainian government is teeming with rabid Ukrainian nationalists and outright fascist scum!  “Defeat Russian Imperialism”? Isn’t that the slogan of the US/EU/NATO/UN brigands who you want to keep their “hands off the Ukraine”?  Is Russia an imperialist country?  Aren’t there still many in the Russian government and military who honor the USSR?  And aren’t the Russians moving into the Ukraine because they are upset at seeing Ukrainian fascists tearing down statues of Lenin and beating up Russian-speaking Ukrainians?  Aren’t the Russians standing up against the fascists by defending the memories of the heroic Red Army soldiers who kicked Hitler’s Nazis out of the Ukraine and sent them back to a fiery and well-deserved death in Berlin?

The main crisis facing the revolutionary workers movement of today is the crisis of leadership!

We are not Marxist theoreticians of the calibre of Lenin and Trotsky – not by a long shot.  But we should have learned enough Marxism to take a crack at parsing this not very complicated political question posed in Ukraine.  (By comparison, the war in Syria is much more complicated). A socialist party should be composed of worker-militants every one of which can step forward at any time and lead the party in a revolutionary Marxist manner in a time of crisis.  The idea that some “great leader” must arise before the working class can even begin to take a step forward is commonly-held… hogwash!  The purpose of a revolutionary Trotskyist party is not to elevate a handful of “infallible leaders” to a ridiculously lofty position above the entire population of the world.  We have seen far too much of that kind of political ladder-climbing in the past century and a half!  Most of the once-revered “great leaders” turn out to have been not at all great – in fact they were downright repulsive when you look at them up close.  There have been notable exceptions, all of whom have been slandered and whose names have been traduced – even by honest working men and women, in the most shameless fashion  – Lenin and Trotsky to name two of the greatest; but for a successful workers revolution to take place it must have, not leaders who seek some day to have monumental sculptures erected in their honor in public squares everywhere, but humble fighters who dedicate their lives to the struggle for the emancipation of the working class worldwide and who seek no personal glory or fame whatever.  Marx, Engels, Liebknecht, Luxemburg, Lenin and Trotsky were men and women of this type.  They all earned their honors through their lifelong, selfless work on behalf of the working class and peasantry all over the world; as great as they were even they made mistakes – some very serious.  They were not afraid to make mistakes, and they never pretended that they were infallible; and when they made mistakes, they frankly admitted them, corrected themselves publicly and renewed their journey on the new path.  We too will make mistakes and we are not afraid to admit that; we hope that we will be able to honor our illustrious predecesors, if not by achieving the level of their brilliant theoretical work, then at least in their fundamental honesty..  We do not have all the answers to all the world’s questions in a trophy case in our offices; nor will we find answers to all the world’s future problems in the century-plus-old writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky.  They proved their mettle and their intelligence and the overall correctness of their political leadership through battle after battle – and to victory over Tsarism.  No socialist in the US has ever led such battles as they did.  Revolutionary Trotskyists do not seek personal glory and immortality, we are seeking the emancipation of the world’s toilers from capitalist wage-slavery!  And in the case of the crisis in the Ukraine, we must determine, not the path to the most widespread popularity through flattery and lies, but the most promising political road for the workers in the US, Ukraine and Russia and the rest of the world to follow in the long term – a path on which every single step taken by the working class of all these countries, working in closest revolutionary internationalist co-operation, will blaze a trail towards the victory of the workers and peasants of the world over capitalism!  We must find that political road to follow along which the workers movement of the world will surge forward, smashing fascism, racism, imperialism along the way, blocking every attempt made by the capitalists to pit worker against worker in predatory wars  and avoiding all the many other snares being constantly set before the revolutionary socialist workers movement.  THAT is what we have tried to do with these slogans.  As heroic whistleblower Edward Snowden told an interviewer last month when he was asked “Why did you do this?”: “It was the creeping realization that no one else was going to do this.”  That is why we formed this party: because the United States doesn’t have a revolutionary Trotskyist party worth a damn, sadly.  There are parties out there, but they have proven to be absolutely incapable of inspiring the workers of the United States with the majesty of the original Marxist ideal: to create a world where the exploitation of man by man no longer exists.  Where war, poverty, homelessness, and needless human suffering is relegated to “the dustbin of history”.  So here we are, suddenly become “Marxist theoreticians”!  Somebody’s got to do it; and anyone CAN do it who has studied and learned the lessons of the great workers revolutions of the 20th century and who believes, as we do, in spite of all the disasters that have befallen the Marxist movement in the past 100 years of its “success”.  While it may be true that all the edifices that have been built so far by Marxist construction workers (utilizing tools and methods that had never been utilized in the real world before!) have proven for the most part to have been poorly built and faulty, we have examined the blueprints and find that it was not the original architects of Marxism/Leninism that failed, but its construction superintendents.  We can and must do better – either that or we can just count the days until the capitalist greedheads launch WWIII.  Sitting around wringing hands will accomplish nothing; begging the capitalists’ bought-and-paid-for politicians to “do the right thing” is a waste of time.  The working class must produce Marxist leaders who, learning from all the errors and tragedies and betrayals committed by our predecessors, will do the job RIGHT this time!  It CAN BE and it MUST BE done!

“The workers of the world have no country” so long as they live under the wage-slavery system of capitalism.  This law of Marxism – which was written before the great proletarian victories in Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba and Vietnam – is the formula that the revolutionary socialist workers movement raises upon its banners in order to destroy nationalism and petty national chauvinism, and to unite all the workers of the planet as the sisters and brothers that we truly are.   Revolutionary socialists, if they are truly Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist – do not rally to the national flag of any capitalist state.  Marxists seek to overthrow “their” bourgeoisie, who are the true “owners” of every capitalist country.  In the US, this means that we do not support the US military, no matter where they go and no matter what they do, because we realize that the US troops – though they include our own sons, daughters, brothers and sisters – do not answer OUR orders, but instead answer the orders given by our mortal enemies: the US capitalist class, the  US billionaires, in whose service our children and grandchildren have been either economically drafted into the military or  forced to enlist.  The American capitalists and their counterparts in every other capitalist nation-state use THEIR military forces, not to benefit the workers here or anywhere else, but to DEFEND THEIR INVESTMENTS, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC!  The US imperialist capitalist class doesn’t give a shit about “the rights of the Ukrainian people” any more than they care about the rights of any other group of workers anywhere, including the United States!  All the US capitalists see in the Ukraine are raw materials, land and an exploitable workforce, which, if it was in the hands of the US capitalist class, would be filling the US billionaires’ vaults with even more money instead of all that wealth going to their economic and political counterparts in Putin’s Russia.

So, it is the duty of revolutionary Marxists in the US and Russia to say: “down with our ‘own’ bourgeoisie and its government and military!”  That means we as revolutionary workers in the US give not one iota of support to the US capitalist military killing machine that is using OUR CHILDREN to murder our SISTERS’ AND BROTHERS’ CHILDREN all over the world!  We want to rip the military forces of the world out of the hands of the capitalist classes of the world and place them “under new management”: the revolutionary working class!  And so, in the Ukraine we say: DEFEAT RUSSIAN IMPERIALISM! and we call on revolutionary Marxists in Russia and the Ukraine to say the same thing!  We say to “our” bourgeoisie: “US/EU/NATO/UN HANDS OFF THE UKRAINE!” because we KNOW that the US and European capitalists are all too willing to engage in the bloody slaughter of our Russian and Ukrainian brothers and sisters in order to seize the raw materials in those countries and to enslave the survivors of the war, placing the workers of Russia and the Ukraine into vassalage under the greedy capitalists of the US and western Europe!  This longstanding Marxist/Leninist policy is called “revolutionary defeatism”: it is very unpopular while the workers of the world are still under the spell of nationalism and while they still reflexively salute the flag of their capitalist masters and slavishly “rush to the colors” whenever the capitalists see an opportunity to seize some new territory, and enroll the workers of their respective nations to slaughter their brother and sister workers in every other nation!

To our Ukrainian brothers and sisters we offer the hand of friendship by opposing the Russian imperialists’ intervention into the Ukraine in search of  raw materials, profits, and to secure the markets for Russian goods that exist in the Ukraine.  But we do not hold out the hand of fraternal friendship to the Ukrainian fascists, whose racism and vicious nationalism, whose anti-Semitism and love for Nazi war criminals like Bandera places them outside of human civilization! So we say to the Ukrainian workers: yes! we will fight side by side with you against the Russian imperialists: but we will not have fascists in the ranks of the revolutionary socialist workers!  Drive the Nazis out of your organizations!  “SMASH FASCISM! FOR WORKERS SOCIALIST REVOLUTION IN THE UKRAINE!”

“For workers socialist revolution in the Ukraine”? YES!  This is the only real solution to the economic and social crisis in the Ukraine; capitalism not only has no solution to the problems of unemployment, poverty and war, it is the chief cause of all these things.  Only when the greed-based system of capitalism is overthrown and replaced with an egalitarian, democratically-run socialist workers republic can workers finally be freed from the endless struggle for survival that characterizes life under capitalism.  Ukrainian nationalism has no solutions for the economic crises facing Ukraine: on the contrary: their “Ukraine for the Ukrainians” nonsense and their “Ukraine uber alles” philosophy would serve to cut Ukraine off from the rest of the world economically and politically and would exacerbate the economic hardships facing Ukrainians.  The Bandera-worshipping Ukrainian fascists would turn the Ukraine into an ethnic cleansing zone, pitting workers of different nationalities against each other in a fratricidal bloodbath.  Marxism, which recognizes the scientific fact that every human being on this planet is actually a “long=lost-relative” of every other human being on the planet, and which seeks to unify the working class population worldwide is the ONLY political philosophy that makes sense in a globally interconnected world.  SMASH FASCISM!  WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!

SYRIZA Head Tsipras: “Lest there be any doubt… Syriza is committed to keeping Greece in the eurozone.”

URGENT:  GREEK WORKERS:  A VOTE FOR SYRIZA IS A VOTE FOR THE CONTINUATION OF DECREPIT CAPITALIST CLASS RULE IN GREECE!  THE Independent Workers party of Chicago calls upon all of our working-class brothers and sisters in Greece to withhold their vote – do not vote for the class-collaborationist SYRIZA coalition!

Well, the leader of the SYRIZA coalition in Greece isn’t hiding his class-collaborationist light under a barrel.  In a letter to one of the world’s most prominent pro-capitalist business newspapers, the Financial Times of London, Alex Tsipras announced to the world’s bourgeoisie that he intends to be a loyal member of “Team Capitalism”, stating baldly:

“Lest there be any doubt, my movement – Syriza – is committed to keeping Greece in the eurozone.”

This fulsome expression of loyalty to the defense of the decrepit capitalist system in Greece shows clearly that voting for SYRIZA is a trap for Greek workers.  The Independent Workers Party says:  NO VOTE FOR SYRIZA!  Capitalism must be overthrown by the Greek working class and replaced by a workers government.  That is the only way out of the blind alley Greece finds itself in right now.

In the United States, the Trotskyist Spartacist League, US section of the International Communist League has called upon Greek workers to vote for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), since they are the only revolutionary party in Greece that opposes the Eurozone and everything it stands for.  However, the treacherous opportunism of the Stalinist KKE gives us in the IWP reason to oppose this call by the ICL for support to the Communist Party of Greece.  The KKE has betrayed the working class of Greece far too many times to be trusted in such an important time as this – a pre-revolutionary situation exists in Greece.  This is not the time to seek short-cuts to power; this is the time for real Leninist-Trotskyists to stand up and make a bold, principled stand upon a revolutionary program to lead the working class to power!  This is a time when a revolutionary party, no matter how small, can, by taking a principled stand on behalf of the working class, win thousands of disaffected workers to its banner!  We call on the Trotskyist ICL and their Greek section to present their own slate of candidates as a pole of working class opposition to the pro-capitalist program of SYRIZA and its coalition member parties as well as the KKE’s decades of betrayal of the Greek working class.

Most importantly to us, the KKE’s incredible inability to understand that the police are the enemies of the working class – described so well in the ICL’s own press! – is proof enough that the KKE must not be held up to the working class as some kind of revolutionary Leninist party!

Also, the KKE’s treacherous policy in regard to the fascists of “Golden Dawn” poses a real and present danger to the Greek working class.  The KKE’s repulsive attempt to make nice with the members of “Golden Dawn” – as if they were merely exhibiting political backwardness – shows that the KKE is far from possessing a revolutionary party leadership in the mold of the Bolsheviki!  Trotsky’s formula for dealing with the fascists: “Acquaint their heads with the pavement!” is the watchword of the hour in Greece.  The IWPCHI calls on the Greek working class to immediately form “Workers Militias” to defend immigrant workers from attacks by the “Golden Dawn” fascists, as well as for these workers militias to go on the offensive at the earliest opportunity to crush the fascist threat “in the egg”!  There is no time to lose in this regard; the KKE is marching in the other direction!

IWPCHI

Read Tsipras’ Financial Times essay here (Synaspismos English-language website):

Tsipras: “I will keep Greece in the Eurozone and restore growth”

(to be continued)

GREECE – A Survey of English-language Resources from SYRIZA Coalition Party Websites

In the run-up to the Greek national elections to be held this Sunday, we present to our readers a selection of available English-language articles taken from the websites of the left-wing coalition parties that make up the SYRIZA coalition in Greece.

We do not endorse any of these parties, nor do we call on our working class brothers and sisters in Greece to vote for SYRIZA.  We believe that the aim of the SYRIZA coalition is to create a “responsible left alternative” to the “traditional” parties administering Greek capitalism.  This “left alternative” SYRIZA coalition would, from all indications we can see,  try to create a form of left-wing “capitalism with a human face”, while attempting to maintain the position of Greece within the Eurozone.  SYRIZA’s leadership has repeatedly stated that they intend to “keep the Euro” but to dump the austerity programme being demanded by Greek and international bankers.  “Keeping the Euro” means “keeping the capitalist system”.  We are completely opposed to this.  Unless the Greek workers take power for themselves and depose the Greek and foreign capitalists who are trying to strangle the working class – and abolish the capitalist system itself – the Greek working class will face a long period of protracted economic crisis.  Only through the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a Greek working class government, directing a democratically planned economy can the Greek workers hope to provide jobs, food, housing and education for every single Greek worker.  If they stick with capitalism, then the economic crisis will certainly get worse, with the Greek capitalist class, angered at the workers for tampering with their profit margins, unleashing reprisals against the workers unions and political parties.  The public meetings being held between the “mainstream” capitalist political operatives of Greece and the fascists in “Golden Dawn” represent the threat that if the Greek bourgeoisie cannot make the Greek workers sit down and shut up, then the bourgeoisie will turn to the fascists to crush the workers movement in the same savage way that their fellow capitalists did it in Germany in the 1930s.  The Greek working class must dump their class-collaborationist leaders and go forward on the road to workers revolution: organize workers militias to defend the workers from fascist attacks; then go on the offensive and physically crush the fascist scum in Golden Dawn and prepare to overthrow capitalism and take power into the hands of the working class.

We have used the list of SYRIZA coalition members presented by the SYRIZA website as our guide to the coalition parties’ own websites; you can find a Wikipedia article on SYRIZA here:

Wikipedia: “Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)”

IWPCHI

*****************************************

SYRIZA Website (In Greek)

COALITION OF THE RADICAL LEFT (SYRIZA): (No English-language website available)

*****************************************

[Introductory text is largely taken from the Wikipedia entries for each party – IWPCHI]

ACTIVE  CITIZENS: (No English-language website available) Founded in 2002.   “Its most prominent delegate is Manolis Glezos, former member of the Hellenic Parliament.”  Glezos (born in 1922) is a much-admired man and a veteran of the resistance against both the fascist occupation of Greece in the 1940s and participated in the Greek Civil War that took place at the end of World War II.  He was tortured by the Nazis; imprisoned by the Italian fascists; sentenced to death three times by the Greek neo-fascist government after WWII and because of his lifetime of struggle against oppression is held in very high regard by the Greek working class.

******************

Anticapitalist Political Group (In Greek)

ANTICAPITALIST POLITICAL GROUP (ΑΠΟ): Wikipedia characterizes this party as a Trotskyist party, i.e., followers of Russian Revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky, leader of the Left Opposition against Stalin.

Their English-language website is here:

Anticapitalist Political Group (English)

******************

KOE Website (In Greek)

COMMUNIST ORGANIZATION OF GREECE (KOE): “Is a left-wing Greek political party of Maoist origins that was founded in 2003. The KOE’s ideology is revolutionary Marxism, supporting Marxist ideology with all the historical experience of the communist movement.”  Originated in the Stalinist Communist Party of Greece (KKE); after a series of splits and/or realignments (1956, 1964, 1984) reached its present political form.  Publishes articles from contributors including American political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal in its newspaper, “Drómos tis Aristerás” (Road of the Left) in collaboration with the “Movement for the United in Action Left” or KEDA party, which is also a member of the SYRIZA coalition.

The KOE, for all their typical convoluted Maoist mumbo-jumbo pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric, is clearly a reformist organization – their presence in SYRIZA – since 2007- is proof of this.   Fortunately, thanks to the KOE’s “internationalism”, we also have very own words as evidence:  “The ‘Greek peculiarity’ concerns first and foremost the emergence of a people’s movement that gets political characteristics: A movement that is connected with the Left and constitutes a Red Wedge in the ‘soft underbelly’ of Europe. All policies and all practices should now lead to the strengthening, and maturing of this progressive people’s bloc.” [Emphasis added by IWPCHI.  “Progressive people’s bloc”, of course, refers to the pro-Euro reformist SYRIZA coalition.  Quoted from “Greece: a field of conflict and of international balances’ redeployment” by Rudi Rinaldi 26 May, 2012, KOE website.]

An English-language version of the KOE website can be found here:

KOE International

********************

DIKKI Website (In Greek)

DEMOCRATIC SOCIAL MOVEMENT (DIKKI): (No English-language website); “a Greek democratic socialist political party. The party was founded in 1995 by Dimitris Tsovolas and several ex-members of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), the then ruling social-democratic party.”  Possibly a left split from the PASOK (or maybe an attempt to broaden PASOK’s representation in Parliament by creating a fake “left” group that could ‘kill two birds with one stone’ by preventing votes from going to more radical left groups and if elected provide votes for PASOK policies in Parliament.)

The party essentially took itself to court when their founder, Tsovolas, tried to sell DIKKI’s assets to the Greek state!  The court sided with DIKKI against Tsovolas.

DIKKI has pretended to make love to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) (and the KKE even started looking at apartments), only to leave the KKE crying at the altar when DIKKI decided in 2007 to form a coalition with SYRIZA instead.

DIKKI seems to be some kind of cynical fake-left “party” set up by PASOK to wreak havoc among the “radical left” organizations seeking seats in Parliament.

***************************

Ecosocialists of Greece (In Greek)

ECOSOCIALISTS OF GREECE: (No English-language website; no Wikipedia article).  They have a Greek website; unfortunately no English translations are available.

***************************

International Workers’ Left – DEA (In Greek)

INTERNATIONALIST WORKERS LEFT (DEA): (No English-language website); “is a revolutionary marxist [sic] organization in Greece, founded in 2001, having split from Socialist Workers’ Party-International Socialist Tendency (SEK-IST). It is particularly active in the Greek Social Forum and Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). It maintains a sisterhood relationship with the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in the United States. Through the ISO, DEA has developed connections with Socialist Alternative (Australia) and Movement for Socialism (Switzerland).”  Again, the fact that they call themselves ‘revolutionary Marxists’ does not make them revolutionary; and their presence in the reformist, pro-EU coalition SYRIZA proves this.

It is, of course interesting to see that they are allied with the reformist, anti-communist, fake-Trotskyist International Socialist Organization (ISO) in the United States.  [BTW: those aren’t gratuitous slanders; they are precise, descriptive adjectives. For a real working class party, like the one we wish to build, clarity is incredibly important.  We must never lie to the working class, no matter how unpleasant the truth may be.  There are brave and decent workers in all of these groups; it is the political program of their leaders that we criticize. – IWPCHI]

DEA has participated in the SYRIZA coalition since 2004.  Wikipedia provides the following translation, from DEA’s website, that explains the DEA’s party principles:

“DEA fights for:
“Socialism through the independent action of the working class

“Workers create all the wealth within capitalism. A new society relieved from exploitation – socialism – can only be built when workers collectively take control of the social wealth and plan production and distribution according to human needs.
“Revolution and not reformism

“Capitalism can’t be fixed. It must be overthrown through workers’ action. There is no parliamentary road for such a change. The parliament, the army, the police, justice, the entire bourgeoisie state functions in order to protect the interests of the ruling class. The working class will need its own state, based on direct democracy, on the councils of delegates from the working places, as well as on the workers’ militia.
“Internationalism and not “socialism in one country” or “socialism with national colours”

“The experience of Russia proves that even a victorious socialist revolution, like the 1917 October, cannot survive in isolation. The regimes of USSR, after the establishment of Stalinism, as well as the regimes of China and the rest of the Eastern Countries were or continue to be state capitalisms, where the exploitation and repression of the working class is no different from the West. This is why we support all workers’ insurrections against the bureaucratic ruling class of these countries.

“We also support all national liberation movements that resist imperialist oppression. The power that will totally smash imperialism is the unity of the working class on an international scale, from New York to Seoul and from London to São Paulo.

“We oppose all forms of chauvinism, racism or sexist discrimination that threatens to divide the workers. Against the anti-Turkish warmongering of “our” ruling class, we support the slogan “Greeks and Turks workers united”. We oppose the oppression of the minorities in Thrace and Macedonia and the measures that restrain immigrants.
“Revolutionary Party of the most militant workers

“The working class can liberate itself and all the oppressed through its own action. In order to convince all the parts of the class to join this fight it is necessary for the most determined and militant parts to organize in a revolutionary socialist workers party. Such a party can persuade the workers for the revolutionary perspective, by intervening in the mass struggle. We oppose every perception of substitution of the class, wherever it comes from.”

********************************

MOVEMENT FOR THE UNITED IN ACTION LEFT (KEDA): (No website); “KEDA was formed in the early 2000s, by a splinter group of major party officials of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), most prominently Yiannis Theonas (former MEP for KKE) and Mitsos Kostopoulos (ex-president of the parliamentary group of the KKE and ex-secretary general of the General Confederation of Greek Workers). However, Kostopoulos, left KEDA in May 2007.”

******************************

Radical Left Group ROZA (In Greek)

RADICAL LEFT GROUP ROZA: (No English-language website; no Wikipedia article);  The “ROZA” in this group’s name refers to the great Polish-born communist leader of the German working class Rosa Luxemburg.

*******************************

Radicals (In Greek)

RADICALS (Ριζοσπάστες): (No English-language website; no Wikipedia article).

********************************

RED (In Greek)

RED: (Κόκκινο):  (No English-language website; no Wikipedia article).  Wikipedia calls this a communist, Trotskyist group.

********************************

Renewing Communist Ecological Left (In Greek)

RENEWING COMMUNIST ECOLOGICAL LEFT (AKOA):  (No English-language website).  “AKOA “was formed mostly by members of the late eurocommunist-influenced KKE Interior.”  In other words, this is another spinoff from the Communist Party of Greece.  Wikipedia describes them as “democratic socialis[t], eurocommunis[t], green politics.  In the 2000 parliamentary elections the AKOA supported Synaspismos. Since 2004, the AKOA has been part of the Coalition of the Radical Left.  She [sic] has the status of observer in the European Left Party.  The party is affiliated with the weekly newspaper Epohi.”

*********************************

Synaspismos (In Greek)

SYNASPISMOS (SYN):  English-language website is here:

Synaspismos (English)

From the Wikipedia article: “SYN is the largest party of a left-wing coalition formed in 2004 called Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).  The Coalition of Left Movements and Ecology (Greek: Συνασπισμός της Αριστεράς των Κινημάτων και της Οικολογίας, Synaspismós tīs Aristerás tōn Kinīmátōn kai tīs Oikologías) is a Greek political party of the radical new left. It is commonly known simply as Synaspismos (Greek: Συνασπισμός, Synaspismós, “Coalition”) and abbreviated to SYN (ΣΥΝ). Until 2003, it was called the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Greek: Συνασπισμός της Αριστεράς και της Προόδου, Synaspismós tīs Aristerás kai tīs Proódou).

“Synaspismos emerged initially as an electoral coalition at the late 1980s, with the two Greek Communist Parties (the pro-Soviet Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Greek Left, the successor to the eurocommunist Communist Party of Greece (Interior)) as its largest constituents. The disintegration of USSR brought the Left into disunion, and the traditional majority within KKE purged all non-hardliners from the party – almost 45% of the Central Committee members, including ex-general secretary Grigoris Farakos, and majorities in many Local Committees (named by the KKE majority as revisionists and by the press as the renewers), and also split from the coalition.”

*************************************

Unitary Movement (In Greek)

UNITARY MOVEMENT (Ενωτική Κίνηση):  (No English-language website.)

*************************************

The remaining members of the SYRIZA coalition are described by Wikipedia as “several independent leftist activists”, for whom no Wikipedia articles or website addresses are given; the SYRIZA website, so far as we can tell, not being able to read Greek, gives no website addresses for these folks either.

[If any of our readers can provide us with English-language websites for of any of these parties, please send along the information either by commenting at the end of this article or via email at iwpchi@rocketmail.com]

IWPCHI