[Marxism] KKE on the Greek elections

Mike Hogan falparsi at gmail.com
Tue May 8 13:15:33 MDT 2012

Hi Michael

You clearly know a lot more of the history of both SYRIZA & KKE than I, and
I take your point re the possibility of the failure of SYRIZA leading to a
fascist putsch - but I disagree on the conclusion of sectarianism.  I think
we all jump on the rump communist parties in Europe too easily and as
Melenchon has shown, they represent forces that can be utilised.  (not
saying this is true of yourself, don't know enough, but I have noticed this
previously on this list with ref to eg PCF, PTB* etc)

If a SYRIZA/KKE front were to fail spectacularly, then the hard right would
face a situation where the entire spectrum of left opposition is
discredited.  Currently, if SYRIZA are seen by the Greek working class as
attempting to do something positive but unable to do so - due to the nature
of the beast as it were, then a more radical solution has an opening.  This
would provide the right opportunity for a left front to take power on a
radical program.

Of course, one could also say that by explaining this and still entering a
coalition would show both a willingness to serve the people, and the
correctness of their analysis; and still hold out the possibility of
gaining from any openings provided by an EU refusal - I honestly don't know
- I do respect the KKE for their stance, and think that their analysis
rings true and that this directs their actions rather than sectarianism,

I can see no way that a deal can be struck that allows SYRIZA to do
anything within the EU as it is currently compsed.  So, what then?  Either
leave the EU as the KKE desire, or strike a compromise that will leave the
austerity measures essentially in place, even if somewhat altered.  This
would leave SYRIZA as PASOK+, no?

>As for the claim  by Mike Hogan that the KKE expects any government
>headed by Syriza to fail and thus wants no part of that, this really is
>up to the KKE as well. If the KKE had a genuine left critique of aspects
>of Syriza's program (it doesn't), it should now be actively putting it
>to Syriza as a basis for discussion to unite the left forces to take
>power on the kind of program necessary today. The fact that they are not
>even propagandistically trying to do this reveals the bankruptcy of its

Again, I disagree here - my reading of their rejection of SYRIZA is that it
is essentially a recapitulation of social democratic forces - more Hollande
than Melenchon as the following extracts from their websites' English pages

"2. The reforming of the bourgeois political scene, which still finds
itself in a transitional phase, serves the attempt to inhibit the tendency
of radicalisation, and the liberation from the bourgeois and political
influence. Its main characteristic is the restoration of the centre-right
and centre-left, the *recomposition of social democracy with the forces of
Syriza initially as its core*. The power of the monopolies needs the
renovated bourgeois political system, and possibly with the creation of new
parties, to provide the respective alliances and coalition governments.
This possibility to attempt the renovation of the system is based on the
fact that the forces of the “EU one way-street”, the forces that serve the
interests of capital, of the capitalist system, were not reduced in terms
of their overall vote...

...> SYRIZA, which has a social-democratic programme, bears immense
responsibilities in relation to the people for the blatant lies that it
told before and during the election period, for the* illusions it fostered
and fosters that there can be a better situation for the people without a
confrontation with the monopolies...*

...The largest section of the discontented and angry workers and unemployed
submitted to impatience and the pressure of the illusion of an immediate
positive result, the immediate solution without having acquired the
required direct experience from the participation in the organization and
waging of the struggles. It submitted to the generalized propaganda that
there can be no radical change or that this will occur in the “second
coming”, a beloved slogan of Syriza that is dangerous for the people."

>The idea that they will gain from a second wind as the
>masses see the failure of Syriza is almost beyond comprehension in its
>sectarian reasoning. More likely a failure of the left to unite at such
>a crucial moment for Greek society will really open the door to fascism
>of some kind. They will be judged harshly by history.

I really didn't explain myself properly there and I think Marv said it
better than I in a later post.  I don't believe that they are cynically
standing aside and hoping for such a collapse, simply that their analysis
shows this to be inevitable.  There is a real danger of the fascists
breaking through, whichever way KKE jump.  By standing by their analysis
that no future exists that involves a compromise with Capital as
represented by the Troika, they have a clear and alternate programme to

"For the KKE to agree to participate in a government, the party would not
have to simply carry out a small retreat, but it would have to turn its
programme and political line upside down, and make unacceptable compromises
regarding the present and future of the people’s interests. The people do
not need such a KKE."

>Is the KKE a revolutionary party??? Also, there is quite a difference
>I think between "taking power" and a "genuinely revolutionary advance"
>-- Some might say there is even a contradiction between the two ideas,

My wording could certainly be improved, yes - but it is possible that
taking power could be a revolutionary advance and that preparing for either
could involve the same actions, no?  (I would suggest that, to quote from
their site again "disengagement from the EU and the unilateral cancellation
of the debt, the *socialization of the means of production*, the productive
cooperatives of the people , the *nationwide planning for the utilization
of the development potential of the country with workers’ and people’s
control from the bottom up*." is a pretty revolutionary aim and that it
will involve taking power to enact same.)

>especially if by "taking power" you mean building an electoral
>alliance to form a government, popular frontism.

I don't.  Final quote from the CC statement:  "The political proposal of
the KKE regarding the struggle for working class-people’s power will find
itself at the core of the people in the next period, *as the difference
between a government and real people’s power will become even clearer,* as
well as the overall proposal concerning the immediate issues of the
people’s survival and working class popular power. From this standpoint
political electoral activity of the KKE in harmony with its strategy, as is
proper, constitutes an important legacy for the years to come."

All quotes from http://inter.kke.gr/News/news2012/2012-05-08-cc-statement


(*in the interests of disclosure, I am a member of PTB/PVDA here in
Belgium, where I have been accused of outright Trotskyism :-))

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