Saturday, June 9, 2012

Statement by the PB of the RSB (Germany): "Workers Government" in Greece?

The issue of government involvement is still intensively debated in leftist organizations. But only those who have forgotten what role Oskar Lafontaine played as former prime minister of the Saarland and as Federal Minister of Finance can believe that just he is one of the opponents of government involvement within the Left Party.

In times of a “normal functioning” of capitalism the participation in government means to undertake the management of the capitalist state, which operates in the interest of the ruling class of capital owners. A vast state bureaucracy, the bourgeois parties and ideological apparatuses sabotage any real reforms. A "hostile takeover" of the state apparatus by the working class is not possible. For this reason, not the revolutionaries who advocate the destruction of the bourgeois state are the Utopians, but those "left" parties who spread the illusion that a "leftist" government could carry out “leftist” policies under capitalist conditions.

Within the French labor movement the government question is also controversial. One faction of the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA), which was founded a few years ago with high hopes, has split and joined  the “Left Front” (the Parti de Gauche - PdG), and one of the reasons for this decision was the attitude regarding  the government question.
Here in Germany, at least those comrades, who consider themselves perhaps not as revolutionaries but as anti-capitalists, will widely agree that the new government appointed by socialist prime minister Hollande is not a “left” and much less a “workers government”, but one of the leading imperialist states on earth. In a time of rather local disputes and strikes, the support for a “left” government in France with the participation of socialists, communists and the PdG, can only stir up illusions and paralyze the will to fight against new attacks on wage earners.

In Greece, the old bourgeois parties currently lose many of their voters and their decisive influence. Fascism is growing on the right, left reformism in the shape of the SYRIZA alliance. Is it not reasonable to argue for a "workers government" of the communist party KKE and SYRIZA under such circumstances? Or, to put the question more cautiously: Is SYRIZA not “entitled” to establish a "leftist" government if they have the chance to do so?

Firstly, even the best election result of SYRIZA will not be sufficient to capture a parliamentary majority. With the undemocratic Greek electoral system, SYRIZA could come close to a parliamentary majority only thanks to the 50 “extra-” seats in case it will be the strongest party on June 17. SYRIZA would need the votes of the Communist deputies, however, who formed a coalition government with the corrupt conservative New Democracy decades ago, and with smaller, completely bourgeois parties.

SYRIZA may be to a very high degree the last hope of many people in Greece - in fact it is one of the last chances of the Greek bourgeoisie to save the capitalist system. Without building a revolutionary workers' party with mass influence it is impossible to repel the offensive of the Troika of the EU Commission, the ECB and the IMF successfully. Only such a party will promote the self-activity of the working class, which is the basic requirement for a system change. Because a socialization of the enterprises under workers' control can be enforced only from below.

The Political Bureau of the RSB - June 1, 2012

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