Only by the working class seizing political power, dispersing the capitalist regime can the Greek masses have a future

From Tahrir to Wisconsin, Puerta del Sol and Syntagma squares

Greece to show the way to the world Socialist revolution


Most of the world’s ‘left’ and imperialism try to characterize the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Jordan as an ‘Arab Spring’ or as a revolution in North Africa and the Middle East. What they are consciously hiding is these uprisings are expressions of a world revolutionary process, where uprisings of the working class and fellow poor are threatening every capitalist regime on the planet- the entire world capitalist system is under threat from the prospect of a world Socialist revolution.


The 2007 crisis is still with us. In 2008 the socialization of the debt of the major banks, with the dismissals of millions of workers around the world, has only deepened the crisis- already food, housing and energy prices were high. The suffering of the world working class was rapidly increased. There is accelerating hatred for the regimes that act for world capitalism- it is this which has caused, in regions of extreme suffering, for the working class and lower middle class to explode onto the scene against their regimes. The world economy has not grown- the housing bubbles grow in India, China, Spain, Greece and many other areas around the globe. Imperialism has tried measures of reducing interest rates to still encourage housing loans at the speculatively high rates. But these measures are reaching their maximum- the world wide resistance of the working class has placed a limit on certain food prices and on how far imperialism was able to cut social benefits. But even the imperialist Bank of International Settlements acknowledges that the cuts in wages, in pensions and other benefits, taken so far, is not enough- in the USA the regime needs to cut trillions of dollars of benefits. 2012 is an election year so the Republicans and Democrats are jostling with each other (with similar programmes) over who appears as taking responsibility for the attacks [The Republicans want to raise the new bailout funds for the banks with 85% from cuts and 15% from raising taxes, while the Democrats want to raise the funds with 83% from cuts and 17% from raising taxes]. Either way, both stand for a huge attack on the gains won by workers over many years. Imperialism is acutely aware of the mass uprising in Wisconsin when the attacks were accelerated against the masses- they want to avoid an explosion all over the USA, that the mass occupation of Tahrir square does not reach Washington and tears apart the imperialist beast from within. Already the imperialist agencies are talking of raising interest rates and the possibility of large imperialist banks that have their tentacles all over the globe, such as JP Morgan Chase, collapsing under the weight of fake balance sheets based on non-existent wealth. The imperialist agencies acknowledge that every large imperialist country like France, Britain, Germany, USA, Japan are all at risk as are indeed the larger semi-colonies such as China, India, Brazil.


The crisis placed on the working class in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, is nothing else but a reflection of the crisis of the main imperialist banks of the world- the supposed bailout of Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland are nothing but bailouts of the US, German, British and French banks, selectively carried out country by country. Eastern Europe has been reduced to semi-slave regimes of imperialism.


So now we have a process of imperialist banks lending funds to Greece to bail themselves out- a process which is unsustainable. Imperialism has to collect it at some stage through a massive attack on the working class. As the imperialist Economist puts it- what imperialism needs in Greece is to smash the unions. (in other words, they need to smash the working class in Greece). In other words imperialism is starting a process, where to continue increasing profits (and really their crisis is not that they are making losses, but they have reached a limit of growth of their profits), they are prepared to enslave not only the Greek working class but the working class of the entire planet, for generations to come. The attacks by imperialism in Greece will be repeated country by country, across the globe. Thus the battle for Greece takes on an important character- a working class victory in Greece would not only reverberate in Europe but across all the semi-colonies around the globe. On the other hand, a defeat of the working class in Greece would embolden the imperialists to go on the offensive further around the globe- even in this case the working class would still meet imperialism with the most determined combat, so the further victory of imperialism is by no means guaranteed.


Inspired by the mass mobilizations in Tahrir square, the Spanish youth started to occupy the central square, Puerta del Sol in Madrid and other squares in cities around Spain from the 15th May 2011 onwards. They were soon joined by pensioners and their worker parents. These gatherings marked the beginning of a decisive break by the masses from the control of the traditional parties such as the right Popular Party, the Social Democratic PSOE, and the Stalinists. The PSOE and the Stalinists nevertheless treacherously kept the organized working class demobilized and out of the squares- leaving the masses isolated. The fake Trotskyists and anarchists applied the same mechanism as the youth groups in Egypt- banning criticisms of any party, and indeed banning all parties from the gatherings- in so doing their objective was to prevent a revolutionary proletarian entity from emerging, not only this, but it was through this mechanism that imperialism, through the petty bourgeois youth groups and the fake Trotskyists, were able to prevent a dual power from emerging. The SEP helped to isolate the masses by writing off the gatherings as merely being undemocratic and being controlled by the fake Trotskyists and with no policy to strengthen the proletarian wing against the petty bourgeois. The FLTI correctly called for the formation of factory committees and for worker delegates to go to the squares to contest leadership with their demands. Although the occupation of the squares in Spain has subsided for the moment, there is still the possibility that they could re-emerge in the near future. It is our task to prepare the working class vanguard to defeat the pro-imperialist forces in the coming battles.


The struggle for Greece

Inspired by the Tahrir Square struggles and the Puerta del Sol mass occupations, the masses in Greece started to occupy the squares in central Athens (Syntagma square) and other city centres around the country since the 25th May 2011.


Greece is different from other countries in Europe in that here the resistance has been the most sustained and ongoing. Over the past 2 years there have been 15 general strikes. This shows that the Greek masses have not been defeated. It shows that the masses are starting to break with the Pasok  ( the Greek social democratic party), other bourgeois parties and the Stalinist KKE. In the early part of May the regime sent fascist gangs into the streets. In the aftermath the masses responded by from the 25th May occupying the main squares across the country. Again the treacherous Social Democrats, the fake Trotskyists and Stalinists, who control the unions have deliberately kept the organized workers away from the People’s Assemblies. And again the fake Trotskyist groups have attempted to impose from within the assemblies a policy of destroying and neutralizing any attempt to develop an alternate power to the bourgeois regime. The fake left want to turn these assemblies into endless discussion groups, pressure tools for the masses to blow off steam, to water down the demands of the masses, to contain the threat of revolution. The SEP dismisses these assemblies as being controlled by the petty bourgeois and has no policy for the proletariat to contest and dominate the Assemblies. Thus from different angles the fake left, the Stalinists, the social democrats work with imperialism against the masses.


In the beginning of these assemblies, the petty bourgeois were dominating- this was demonstrated by the masses chasing away striking workers from a state company that was being privatized. This no longer happens- those who now attempt to shout anti-immigrant slogans are shouted down by the masses. This shows that the proletarian trend within the assemblies is getting stronger.


The start of mass assemblies in Greece marks a qualitative new phase in the struggle against the imperialist attacks; it places on the agenda the seizure of power by the working class and the dispersal of the imperialist bourgeois regime.


On the treacherous role played by the EEK leadership

The role played by the leadership of the EEK (Revolutionary Workers Party of Greece) leadership is really the most dangerous because they raise the banner of the Fourth International together with a programme that self-limits the revolution and, despite its call for soviets, leaves the bourgeois regime intact. The leadership outlines a progamme calling for a ‘social’ revolution not a socialist revolution. Comrades, how can we change the social relations of production without the working class seizing political power? To put it clearly, the workers need to seize political power in order to change the social relations- the abolish the capitalist class and capitalist relations. The EEK leaders further outline, despite the opportunist use by the fake left of the call for a Constituent Assembly (CA), that it is necessary to still call for it as a means of mobilizing the masses. The very turning of the masses to the streets and to the squares shows a break from bourgeois parliamentarism- there have been 15 general strikes and each time the parliament has turned their backs on the working class and implemented the bourgeois attack. Under these conditions, to raise a call for a Constituent Assembly can only mean to turn the masses away from their own organs of power, away from the squares and back into a bourgeois trap. The call has to be for the dispersal of the bourgeois regime, all power to the people’s assemblies- this is the path to the working class taking power into its own hands. Further, the task of dispersal of the bourgeois regime requires the immediate setting up of a workers’ militia and work over the base of the army, to break it from the capitalist officer caste- the EEK leaders raise no such task, even in the face of the rise of fascist gangs which imperialism unleashes because they feel the proletariat breathing down their necks. The only conclusion that we can come to is that, despite its revolutionism, the EEK leaders policy stands for the preservation of the bourgeois regime, through a constituent assembly- and this at a point where they claim that Greece is imperialism’s ‘weakest link’. In other words, at imperialism’s weakest point they play the role of a band-aid on behalf of imperialism- this is where their policy leads.


A proposed way forward

To the rank and file of the EEK and other working class fighters we propose the following programme:


  1. The central theme in these assemblies (which should be raised again in Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Libya) is what steps are to be taken for the working class to take power, how to disperse the bourgeois parliament, and once power is gained, how to maintain it.
  2. The occupation of every workplace and the immediate setting up of factory committees there, electing delegates whether they are immigrant, local, permanent or contract worker, unionized or not; For the setting up of workers committees in every street and block in the working class neighbourhoods; expelling the bureaucracy from the unions, reclaiming them to support the process in the squares for the working class to seize power
  3. For all factory committees and street committees to send their delegates to the mass assemblies in the squares in the cities around the country- for the working class to place their demands and to contest for them;
  4. All power to the ‘people’s assemblies’ (or whatever term the masses have chosen for them), based on delegates of workers from the factory and street committees and the rest of the impoverished masses. This takes the notion of ‘our dreams don’t fit the ballot boxes’ of the capitalist parliament, to the end. For a workers government based on these assemblies. Elected representatives must be subject to instant recall and not have the salary higher than an average skilled worker. This means the active dispersal and dissolution of the bourgeois parliament and regime; this means the immediate setting up of a workers militia which is subordinate to the assemblies and which incorporates the rank and file soldiers- the dissolution of the police and the army- the general arming of the masses- this is particularly necessary as imperialism is likely to intensify their sending of fascist gangs and all their repressive forces against the masses.
  5. Outline of demands: - no repayment of the debt- repudiate it; nationalization of all the banks, centralizing it into one state bank, expropriating all imperialist and capitalist assets without compensation, placing the bank under workers’ control; no retrenchments, nationalize all industries, expropriating the capitalist without compensation, placing these under workers control; share all the work among all who can work; confiscate the riches of the capitalists. For the sending of arms and supplies to the Libyan masses in their fight against the Gaddafi regime and the Nato forces. For material support for the Palestinian masses. The central question is who will implement these demands? The capitalist parliament? A Constituent Assembly that is based on the repressive apparatus, the police and army of the Greek state? No! It is only a workers government based on the people’s assemblies, that takes power in its own hands, that can meet these demands.
  6. The experience of Libya shows that when the masses, arms in hand, are about to take power and smash the bourgeois regime, that imperialism will try to infiltrate the movement and destroy it from within and they will use every effort to smash the revolution, including military invasion. Thus the question of extending the revolution across Europe, from Portugal and Ireland to Russia, is immediately posed. Thus the question is posed of the masses, uniting immigrant and local workers, taking to the squares in Berlin, Paris and London and indeed across Europe, taking forward the Greek revolution as its example, combating the Stalinists, the social democrats and fake Trotskyists, posing the question of the working class taking power. [it follows that the capitalist EU must be abolished through revolutionary means and in its place the Union of Soviet Socialist republics of Europe be fought for]. Indeed the same example needs to be followed in Washington and Tokyo. It is through the working class taking power in the imperialist centres that will open the way for the real liberation of the working class in the Americas, Africa and Australasia. The enemy is at home! For a congress of workers delegates from Europe and North Africa and the Middle East, in Athens to strengthen, centralize and co-ordinate the fight for workers power in Greece and in the entire region. This is not to say that the explosions that are occurring in the semi-colonies and colonies should wait for the working class to take power in the imperialist centres. No. These uprisings should be taken to the end, with the working class taking power there, realizing that for Socialism to develop, we also need the working class to take power in the imperialist centres.
  7. Based on the above programme, for a committee to refound the Fourth International, meeting in Athens.