Statement by OKDE-Spartacos
(Greek section of the Fourth International)
1) Αll hopes that the working class can get rid of austerity by voting and electing a “government of the left” collapsed very soon. SYRIZA won the election and formed a government. Not a government of the left, of course, but a collaboration government along with the extreme right nationalist party Independent Greeks (ANEL) and with various social democrats.
However, SYRIZA is the primary determinant of the governmental policy. And this government of “national salvation” (this is the term for class collaboration in the language of politics), after some bravado, entered an endless game of negotiating with creditors, with the troika, with imperialist institutions and with capitalists both in Greece and Europe.
2) There are conflicts in this negotiation between the government and the troika (IMF, ECB, and EU). However, none of the two sides represent the real interests of working people, the unemployed, the oppressed, and the poor.
3) Definitely, the cadres of capitalists and the political leaders of the EU have no intention to loosen the rate of applying austerity; neither do they intend to permit the slightest hope that one can escape this cage.
The established Greek bourgeois parties, New Democracy and PASOK (alongside them the newly born POTAMI), have every reason to defend the brutal austerity and the terrorizing authoritarianism which their own governments have imposed. They gather out of the parliament to demand that Greece stays in the euro-zone and to ask for further cuts and for the abolition of unionism.
The nazis of the Golden Dawn are waiting for their golden chance, to hypocritically denounce the submission of SYRIZA to the creditors, in order to apply the most cannibalistic version of capitalism, which is fascism.
4) On the other hand, the SYRIZA-ANEL government aims at a softer version of austerity, being backed by some parts of capital who realize that they have already exceeded the limits of social tolerance, as well as of the capitalist economy itself—which cannot survive without any demand for goods, i.e. wages nobody can buy anything with.
However, the government does not try to repeal any already imposed measures, by no means. On the contrary, their own proposals to the troika include further attacks against working people: a reform of the pension system that will mean cuts in pensions and raises in age limits for getting retired, raises in basic goods consumption taxes, privatization of harbors and airports, etc.
5) Nevertheless, it is not just SYRIZA’s submissiveness to the creditors that it is to blame, as fair as the indignation is about their capitulation after the election. The new austerity pact to come is the inevitable outcome of a political logic that rejects a rupture with the interests of bank owners and industrialists, with the rules of the capitalist game and with the institutions of the state, which is made for the shake of the bosses.
The magical recipe that SYRIZA (as well as other left forces) is seeking in order to reconcile the interests of the capital with the needs of the workers, so that we, “our country,” can get out of the crisis all together, is simply non-existent. Our interests are incompatible with the interests of capitalists and with the “realism” of their economy. It is either them or us.
6) Therefore, there is no technical way, no good negotiation or clever handling that can get us out of the crisis. Neither do we want capitalism, this savage system of oppression and exploitation, to get out of its crisis. We want working people, the unemployed, and the oppressed to get out of the crisis of their lives. And this can’t be achieved but by confronting the institutions, domestic, European or international. It can’t be achieved but by confronting private property over banks, factories, and big enterprises, where thousands of people work for the profit of a handful of bosses.
7) Any agreement with the troika must be prevented, no matter what “realism” dictates. And the only way to do this is through our own mass mobilization. Through the strikes that are being planned against the new agreement. Through the massive demonstrations that are already fighting back against the provocation of the reactionary neoliberal gatherings.
We have to walk on the path of strikes, occupations, massive demonstrations, assemblies in our neighborhoods, schools or workplaces. Working men and women, foreign and domestic, along with the unemployed and the youth, we must all fight for our right to decide on our own and to rule ourselves.
The lesson given may be bitter, but it is also valuable: no electoral expectation and no government, in the framework of the system, will save us. It is only ourselves, though the unity of our action and through the workers’ independence, we that we will achieve everything.
- No new austerity measures, no new agreement, no negotiations
- Reduction of working hours, along with raises in wages and pensions
- Stop paying off the debt and fully cancel it
- Expropriation of banks and big enterprises, with no compensation for capitalists, and operation under workers control
- Self-management of closing factories and enterprises
- Disengagement from the euro and the EU, for an anticapitalist internationalist perspective
- For the self-organization, the government and the power of the working people