Greece is today the epicenter of the crisis of capitalism. It is the target of the most vicious attack by capital. The youth and the workers of Greece have answered this offensive with massive mobilization that has discredited the traditional political Greek regime of PASOK and ND. The ruling class no longer controls the situation, but the working class is not yet able to seize power and overthrow capitalism.
Under those circumstances, a part of popular anger has been capitalized by the far right, but it is mostly Syriza that embodies hopes for change just before the elections.
Spanish State and Italy are the next targets of Troïka (then maybe France): the outcome of the ongoing struggle in Greece is decisive for all anticapitalists and revolutionaries throughout Europe and in the world.
There is now a debate about the position the revolutionary should take. Should they support a government led by Syriza? Should they support Syriza? Should they withdraw electorally in favor of Syriza? Or should they propose their own policies, independently from the reformists?
1- Syriza’s program and the declarations of its most famous leaders express both a popular rejection of anti-workers policies, and a will to reach a compromise with the ruling classes of the European Union, as Tsipras’ positions indicate: his categorical refusal to even consider going out of the euro zone or the EU, and his willingness to reform the EU so as to restabilize it.
A government that would abolish the memorandums would be a positive step for the workers and their struggles.
But how can you abolish the memorandums without abolishing the debt? How can you finance the necessary and urgent measures without socializing the banks? In short: how can you improve the Greek masses’ situation at all without confronting the capitalist minority’s power over the economy and society?
For it is obvious that if any government would put in question the program dictated by capital, the banks and the EU would immediately put an end to all sources of financing and all possibility of loan and wouldn’t hesitate to throw Greece out of the EU. In such a situation, one would be forced either to bow down and then go on with the same old disastrous policies, or confront the bankers’ and capitalists’ powers, by taking back what they stole and putting in question their control over the economy.
In terms of measures that need to be taken, a program of confrontation with the Capital is necessary. A program of transitional demands such as the general increase of wages, the radical decrease of working time, the cancellation of the debt, the socialization of the banks and of the key sectors of economy under workers control. Such a program implies a clash not only with the Greek ruling class but also with the European bourgeoisie and its institutions.
2- The only way to put in practice a program of struggle against the crisis and a break with capitalism is a general mobilization of workers and the popular masses.
It is not a slogan or an abstract idea. The pressure of capital is huge. The 24 or 48 hour strikes, the sectorial strikes… have resulted in a grave political crisis for the Greek bourgeoisie but have not been sufficient to stop the capitalist offensive.
It is therefore necessary to lean on the partial struggles, to strive to extend them and systematize the elements of self-organization that already exist and, under certain circumstances, that can be the core of a future dual power. It is through a generalization of the struggles and by federating the organs of self-organization that a worker’s power will rise and face the bourgeoisie. It is with the threat of an extension of their struggle to the rest of Europe that the Greek workers will be able to protect themselves from EU’s pressure. The youth and the working class of Greece have the key to current issues in their hands, they are the ones to be counted on to find a solution.
3- In this situation, the motto “workers’ government” becomes relevant. It is not applicable at once: it is even difficult to imagine its possible composition in the present situation. Nonetheless, it is indispensable to propose an overall political solution and to start to developing an understandable answer to the question: “who must hold power in Greece?”
Such a workers’ government would have to put into practice a program against the crisis, would have to be ready to apply with key transitional measures, such as the socialization of banks and strategic sectors of the economy. A government resting on a general mobilization of the workers and based on their self-organization. A government that would regroup all forces ready to defend the masses’ demands. The revolutionaries would be ready to participate in such a government with other forces on the basis of a confrontational program and of a high degree of workers’ and youth’s mobilization. Because such a government would encourage the possibility for the workers to seize power themselves.
Under the present circumstances, and given the character of Syriza, a Syriza-government would be something more than a mere left parliamentary combination, which is not the same as a workers government.
The evolution of the situation is uncertain: will Syriza be able to build the necessary alliances to form a government, how will Syriza and the masses react to the counter-offensive of Capital… But what is certain is that a global confrontation is necessary. And we therefore need a political instrument to prepare this confrontation and to popularize the program that is needed.
4- If a government led by Syriza took measures favorable to the workers, such as putting into question the memorandums, it is obvious that the revolutionaries would support those measures. However, such a critical and conditional support to a Syriza government does not in any way imply for the anticapitalist and revolutionary left (mainly represented by Antarsya) renouncing its political and organizational independence.
An independent party, whose center of gravity would be the class struggles, not the parliament and the bourgeois institutions. A party able to embody a visible political pole in the elections as in the mass struggles is necessary to defend the only perspective allowing the Greek workers to avoid the catastrophe. A party both able to have a united front policy towards the other forces in workers’ movement and to defend its own political perspective: the break with capitalism and the seizure of power by the workers. We assess that, under the present situation, the creation of such a party depends mainly on the developments within and around Antarsya, despite its contradictions. This project may also include common actions with anticapitalist minorities in Syriza and small revolutionary organizations that work independently.
If a “left wing” government collapsed in failure, the far right would probably be the one to profit from the situation. But it is not an inevitable fate. All will depend on the capacity of the revolutionary left to take the lead in the struggles and to make a program of break with capitalism creditable in the eyes of the working masses.
That is why, we, anticapitalist and revolutionary militants of several countries, call to support the Greek revolutionary left, particularly Antarsya, and to strengthen the links between the militants that share a revolutionary perspective in Europe and worldwide.
Signed by members and sympathizers of the Fourth International
- France / NPA: Gaël Quirante (member of the Executive Committee), Xavier Guessou (member of the National Political Committee)
- Spain / Izquierda Anticapitalista: Ruben Quirante, (member of the Confederal Secretariat), Pechi Murillo (member)
- Greece / OKDE-Spartakos: Charis Mertis (member of the Political Bureau), Anastasia Vergaki (member of the Political Bureau), Panagiotis Sifogiorgakis (member of the Political Bureau/delegate at the 16th World Congress of the FI), Manos Skoufoglou (delegate at the 16th World Congress of the FI)
- Germany / RSB: Jakob Schäfer (member of the Political Secretariat, member of the IC of the FI), Peter Berens (member of the Political Secretariat)
- England / Socialist Resistance: Dave Hill (member of the National Council)
- Ireland / Socialist Democracy: John McAnulty (Secretary), Kevin Keating (member of the Central Committee)
- Belgium / LCR-SAP: Mauro Gasparini (youth sector)
- Denmark / SAP: Jette [Lulu] Kroman (member)
- USA / Socialist Action: Jeff Mackler (National Secretary)
- USA / FI Caucus of Solidarity: Brown (former member of IC of the FI)