Open letter to the EEK on the path to working class power

9.6.2012

 

Dear Comrades of the EEK

 

The world working class stands before a unique opportunity in that there is the possibility for the working class to take power in Greece and thus decisively change the balance of forces in favour of the world proletariat.

 

With 27 national strikes over the past 18 months, the working class in Greece has shown that the attempts by imperialism, Stalinism and reformism to demoralise you, have failed. A revolutionary period has opened up in Greece.

 

What makes the period so significant is that all over the world, including in every imperialist centre, the working class is on the move and the capitalist class is on the back foot. If the Greek working class seizes power, it shows the way to the rest of the world proletariat. In particular, the working class in France and Germany would threaten their own regimes; even in the USA, where the military veterans cast away their medals, the imperialist bourgeoisie will face a serious challenge. The point is that, despite huge efforts to isolate the Greek working class, you are not alone- the whole world proletariat is with you.

 

The rapid growth of the Syriza expresses the desire of the masses to decisively end the austerity programme. Insofar as Syriza is already beginning to move away from its reformist programme, and when the masses see their inability to deliver on their demands, they will turn away from them. It is good and well for the EEK to expose the limitation of the Syriza programme, but a huge section of the working class still has the remnants of constitutional illusions. It is good to call for workers councils but the question is how to set these into motion now to create a dual power situation, especially in the light of the movement of the fascists to become more bold. The setting up of workers councils is not a task to be postponed until after the June 17th elections.

 

We have noted (sorry we may be mistaken as we rely on the very poor version of Google-translate from Greek to English) that your proposed emergency programme is almost identical to that of Antarsya. We propose that you publicly call Antarsya to a meeting to discuss a united front on fighting for this programme. This means that you at all times appear before the masses with your programme and banner with complete freedom to differ with all other groups. Our proposal is that you then , together with Antarsya, but never submerging the EEK as an entity, publicly call for a meeting with the Syriza and the KKE to discuss a united front to fight for your programme. Of course, the KKE will refuse, but their rank and file will see that EEK is the one that wants to unite the working class. The proposal is that you give critical support and call on the working class to vote for Syriza, based on your programme, but with one central condition, namely that there be immediate setting up of workers councils and a call for an armed workers militia to defend the organizations of the masses from the fascist attacks. In this way, still, the entire Greek working class will see that EEK wants unity in action and a real fight for an anti-austerity, workers government. You have to warn even now, that the Syriza may back down from the agreements, may even form a government with the Pasok and ND, so workers need to be ready and not wait until then, but take immediate steps now. We have to make it clear that the anti-austerity emergency programme can only become a reality if the working class seizes political power- only the working class in power can carry out the demands of the masses. This needs workers councils and for the working class, in the birthplace of democracy, to overcome bourgeois democracy. There has to be direct rule by the working class.

 

We need to warn the masses that in this period of capitalist crisis, the world bourgeoisie has to resort to temporary reforms in order to save the system from being overthrown- thus a Syriza-bourgeois coalition may offer some sops to attempt to win time for the capitalists. But this would only be a half-way measure. At the same time, the capitalists would openly prepare their fascist gangs. Imperialism and Stalinism do their best to divide the working class, we say, it would be fatal for us to wait until after the elections. Immediate steps are needed.

 

Please consider the above. The masses in Syria and Egypt face incredibly hard times- a revolutionary beacon from Greece could help give them courage and finally decisively split the base of the army to come over to the masses.

 

We apologise that we send this message via several means as we are not sure if they are reaching you.

 

Lastly it is obvious that there be a call made for the revolutionary organizations of the working class to gather in Athens to refound the Fourth International, based on the programme of working class taking power in Greece.

 

Are we wrong? We await your earnest reply.

 

WIVP

 

Dear Comrades of the EEK

 

We propose an additional point,namely that a call should be made on the PAME, [GSEE] and ADEEDY to also support a critical vote for the Syriza, but on the basis of your programme and , centrally, that there be an immediate call for setting up workers councils, which has to go with armed workers militia (committees for self-defence), firstly for preparing a defence of all workers organization against the fascist gangs. These self defence organs and workers councils would lay the basis for a dual power, namely to turn from defence to offence, once the real Syriza is exposed in front of the eyes of the masses. Thus on the Leninist basis, of extending critical support like a noose for them to publicly hang themselves- in other words to take the masses through the last remnants of electoralism, to expose finally its capitalist nature and thus support the turn to workers councils and the contest for power in the streets.

 

These are for urgent consideration.

 

Note that as Syriza is a coalition, the imperialists are pressuring it from the right. Our proposal is to support the left tendency within it, with the central aim of exposing finally, the remnants of electoralism as a capitalist fraud, helping to break the masses finally from the capitalist trap and towards workers councils.

 

 

12.6.2012

Dear Comrades of the EEK

 

A further note of clarification:

The discussion on the Greek crisis has made us return to re-study Lenin’s Left Wing Communism –an infantile disorder (the chapter on ‘Left wing’ communism in Britain); we would suggest that you have a look at it again, and perhaps you may be able to get an even closer approximation of what is required, than what we are suggesting, to take the masses through the experience of the Syriza to discredit them and parliamentarianism once and for all.

 

We can only say that Lenin’s text argues rather strongly for critical support of the Labour party which was at that time rather to the right of what the current position of Syriza is. We say that the lessons show that we cannot disregard the necessity for huge sections of the masses, including its backward sections, to go through this experience with Syriza. The question is how can we use this moment to help decisively discredit parliament once and for all. 

 

The programme of the EEK and the Antarsya appear in essence to be the same (even though both of you fall short on directly calling for the closure of the Nato bases, which Syriza is calling for). Even if the name of the EEK cannot appear on the ballot paper, but there is agreement that in all platforms of the Antarsya, the EEK has the freedom of criticism and freedom of agitation as the EEK, inside and outside Antarsya, this should have been sufficient to form a united front with them. The idea is not to haggle over the number of EEK candidates. EEK does not stand for the purpose of winning parliamentary deputies but to use the platform to discredit parliament. We would argue that the EEK (whether inside or outside of a united front with Antarsya), should in any case have limited its candidates and should be mobilising for a critical vote for the Syriza. This is to say to the masses, here is the EEK programme which we should be fighting for, we know that the Syriza is already having secret meetings with the bankers and imperialism, they would not want an overwhelming victory because they would have no excuse not to carry out their minimalist programme; we will mobilise workers to vote for Syriza, What we want to emphasize is that a workers government based on workers councils, the dictatorship of the working class is better than parliament, which is a form of the dictatorship of the handful of capitalists; we will defend a Syriza government from attacks from the ND, Pasok and the fascists but we cannot take any iota of responsibility for its actions. We think the Syriza will betray- you do not believe us now, but when the Syriza government turns its back even 1 millimetre on the masses, there has to be a confrontation with it and the entire Greek regime. This time, it will not be through parliament, but in the streets. It is for this result that we invite all workers to start preparing for NOW.

 

So while you are preparing for elections, we call on the working class to help build workers councils and self-defence committees- already the fascists are mobilising- we dare not wait for after the elections. History is full of half-way regimes, such as Allende in Chile in 1973, that faced a coup and a brutal crackdown, not forgetting your own experiences of fascist dictatorship.

 

The leadership of Syriza may disagree to meet with EEK (and Antarsya)- then you can clearly show that they are closer to the bankers than to the fighting organizations of the working class. Even then the EEK should still call for a critical vote for Syriza- raising all your criticisms.

 

It is unlikely that the Syriza will agree to the entire EEK programme- if they do, they would have to change their party programme. But your mere approach to meet them will remove their highground of posing as willing to form an anti-austerity workers government. EEK will have the high ground.

 

Even if the Syriza does not agree to all of the EEK programme, but only part of it- they can be exposed on the reasons where they differ. For example, you can unmask them by saying- you gained the majority in Athens, why don’t you put your programme of direct democracy into practice right now. Indeed EEK could then, over the heads of the Syriza leaders, call for direct democracy, ie workers councils to be set up in Athen and elsewhere, through a process of exposure of the Syriza leaders.

 

Unless there is a massive experience before the elections that makes the masses see through the reformism of the Syriza, we would argue that there is still grounds, even in cases of partial or no agreement, of calling for a critical vote for Syriza.

 

The overnight bailout of Spanish banks with billions of Euros, supposedly without conditions, is being used by imperialism to bolster support for the ND-Pasok and even a Syriza government to argue that loans should continue. However already the Greek masses have paid 600 billion euros- really, they owe no-one, yet imperialism insists that the masses pay more and borrow more. Postponing payment is just delaying a debt which was not of the making of the Greek masses- the Syriza regime will turn its back on the masses at some stage to make them pay.

 

Further, we want to emphasize that we do not call for a critical vote for the KKE- its leadership has for the past 60 plus years played a counter-revolutionary role against the working class- we should call on the rank and file KKE members to break with it and to join the EEK/Antarsya.

 

Time is running out, but we hope that you may still be able to make a decisive intervention. We are ready to assist.

 

S Mahomed

For the political committee

WIVP