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Greece: Let’s turn our rage into an essential political answer!

18. December 2008

The system murders!

by Vassilis Samaras
Secretary of KKE(m-l) Communist Party of Greece (marxist-leninist)

Not unlike a volcano that has awakened, the rage of the youth and the whole Greek people erupted against the cowardly murder of young Alexis Gregoropoulos.

At the same time, immediately, without hesitation and doubts they raised their hand and pointed at the real culprits.

It is the government, the state and the system that breeds and arms murderers in order to have them available any time against the people. This outburst that acquired features of national uprising with thousands of high school and university students and workers demonstrating their anger in villages, neighborhoods and cities across the country was not something unexpected.

The murder of the young teenager became the detonator of the accumulated anger and rage of years; due to the continuous assault of the system against the people and youth, the abolition of their rights, the burial of their future and aspiration and the deadlocks they could see before them.

And at the same time, they stood watching the real looting by the system. For the real looting isn’t the one projected by the media. It is the one that has been taking place for decades against workers and toilers.

It is the plunder of their toil that turns into the wealth of the few who show it off provocatively to unemployed people and workers that have been driven to misery and indigence.

On the other hand and within a general, international framework of imperialist interventions, slaughter of peoples and smashing of countries, the recent crisis came to accentuate both the anxieties and the anger of the people.

It strengthened the belief that the system burdens their shoulders more, causing greater problems and more hardships. It came to provoke more their anger as they watch the direction of the system, the ones it takes care of and where economic resources are directed.

The same economic resources that don’t “exist” as far as minimum people’s needs are concerned but are more than available when it comes to financing banks.

The people understand all these, despite the way or the depth of this understanding. They understand all the more the essence of the problems they face, their causes and the nature of the system.

At the same time, these given facts define the class character of the people’s and youth’s reaction to the murder. And in this, we should note a very significant and hopeful dimension of the whole issue. It is about a development that had already emerged with the uprising of university students and the taking-over movement. There is already a whole generation that rejects the “values” of the system, a generation that reacts, revolts and fights. It is of secondary importance that this reaction may be characterized by political immaturity, or by useless action or even action that could be used by the reactionaries. The main issue is the fact that a whole generation revolts and seeks its own way. And they will find it.

Conditions and reasons for the phenomenon

The nature, the size, the extent and the character of the development ipso facto sets forth a political question. The answer, the way out, can also be a political question. The problem is in the subjective aspect. From a general point of view the answer, the way out for the system can be sought in the right wing party (ND), in the social-democrat party (PASOK), some “new” bourgeois political entity or the forces of the left. The bourgeois options are none of our concern so the problem is that the forces which refer to the Left neither wish nor can offer such -real- way out.

After the murder, there has been the mass expression of the anger of thousands of people across the country.

At the same time and on a large scale it has taken the form of attack and destruction that gave many sides the opportunity to downgrade the main aspect of the phenomenon. Among them, there are forces of the alleged Left. Hypocrisy and self-delusion. There are very specific reasons for these phenomena.

The first reason is the anger against the system for the facts we aforementioned.

The second one is the fact that this Left neither wishes nor can offer these people a real political way out to; the fact that it has lost -due to its responsibility- its prestige and ability to influence the development.

This goes back decades ago but there are also important recent indications. It was the way, these allegedly left forces, addressed the university students’ movement, the struggle for insurance and pension rights [in 2007], in general the way they addressed the assault of the capital on labour relations and the rights and gains of the workers and youth. We could say that these forces had the opportunity to re-link with the struggling people, to play the role of a genuine left force in the struggles that had been waged, to re-gain at least a part of their lost prestige. Instead, what they did with their political stance, was to encourage the government to escalate its assault.

Today they are talking about provocateurs and agents of the system. Certainly, there are (there were always) provocateurs and agents of the system. Certainly there are various incompetent leaders and gurus of anarchism who saw the opportunity to conform their role. We could also refer to the forces that refuse to open a political front against such concepts and practices but choose an opportunist stance.

But if we insisted on these aspects we would miss the whole picture. And the whole picture is the mass participation of thousands young people who wish to fight, who seek their path and are influenced by such concepts.

The basic conditions of this situation are two:

The first one is the rage against the system.

The second one is the fact that this Left, with its specific features and political stance, its discredit cannot offer a way out to the questions of this youth. This is the main problem.

The political question

There are many serious (even critical) aspects, interrelated in this question.

It should be reminded that the political question has been set forth long ago within the frames of the system. We believe that for quite some time there has been a situation where an attempt is made to undermine Karamanlis (both as Prime Minister and leader of the right wing party ND), to promote the social democrat party, PASOK, and support Papandreou. This is not related with the scandals that exist. The scandal that emerges in the agenda each time is related to political choices.

These political choices are related directly to the strong opposition of the US (and the simultaneous withdrawal of support by the European imperialists) to choices of the Karamanlis government in regards with the gas pipes and the buying of military material. Here are the basic reasons why we don’t accept that the movement should set forth as the prime goal the “fall of the government”. (This slogan could be set forth probably under different conditions).

This doesn’t mean that there is a “preference” for the rightwing Karamanlis government. Instead we refuse the involvement of the movement in an already developing reactionary inter-bourgeois, inter-imperialist game. And despite the opportunism we see (particularly in regards with elections) we cannot ignore this aspect.

Therefore the basic elements of the whole question are:

The assault against the people and youth will continue more fierce and ruthless in every field.

It is the involvement of our country in the inter-imperialist rivalries. We don’t mean a ship in Persian Gulf or troops in Kosovo or Afghanistan but a lot more dangerous development for the people and the country.

In regards with the crisis, we believe that it will aggravate the situation in both fields, the assault against the people and the sharpening of inter-imperialist rivalries and the consequences and danger they imply. These dangers are increased by the shortcomings of the bourgeoisie and its political staff.

The responsibilities of the Left

The answer to the question remains on the Left again, although it cannot be given immediately. However the Left – at lest theoretically – could move towards the direction of forming the conditions and gradually becoming capable of providing answers. Only, in this case things aren’t optimist at all, at least in regards with the Left we know.

Undoubtedly, CPG [KKE] is the strongest and more organized among these forces. The problem is that the KKE leadership is not willing to undertake such a role, but essentially it has resigned every actual intervention in the development. They dig themselves in a stance of self-preservation, hoping and wishing that more favorable conditions will come for it. And their only concern is not to be surpassed by (a party with euro-communism features) SYN-SYRIZA (Coalition of Radical Left – coalition between SYN and radical left organizations). In vain. What is coming requires real exercise of real politics and no “fortification” can work.

Regarding SYN-SYRIZA and in contrast with KKE, it is being activated, is involved, exercises politics and seems to seek a way out. The problem is they seek the way out within the system, in collaboration with forces of the system and for the system. Everything else is included and served this logic and this direction.

There are also other forces that in these conditions seem not to understand the real given facts. They have declared revolution and are preparing for … communism. We won’t be surprised if they “land” on the great goal of “euro-elections” very soon.

We will also say a few things in regards with anarchism-autonomy. The movement that erupted had the strong support and solidarity of the great majority of the Greek people. We could add that the perspective of the movement can seek only this connection to find a support basis. Nevertheless, actions that block this support or even turn a part of the people against the movement provide arguments to the system and undermine the perspective of the movement.

Regarding the forces of the Left that are characterized by coherence and a correct political concept and direction, these for the time being, have limited range and capacity to determine the course of the struggle.

The perspective of the situation and our tasks

Although things don’t seem so optimistic there is also another aspect, the basic one.

It is the “change” taking place not today but for quite some time. It is the fact that for years the people have started understanding the nature and the goals of the system for the future. It is the fact that a whole generation of young workers and students has been released from the influence of the system and turns against it. At the same time they refuse to accept the logic of a conciliatory Left. There is no doubt that there are shortcomings and weaknesses due to the kind of the Left that has existed for decades.

But the main element is that here lie the seeds of the future. In these conditions the fighters will emerge and rise and within the struggle they will realize their role and responsibilities and they will lead the movement.

In regards with the role of the existent political subjects of the Left, the ones who understand, want and can, that is to contribute decisively in the development of this process and towards this direction.

What takes place these days is a movement of anger, condemnation and denouncement of a policy that arms killers.

The necessity and capacity to go further requires some basic preconditions. Whether this movement will be able to link with the people and youth on the ground of the specific problems they already face. The question is if this movement will be able to link with these problems, with the resistances that exist and the many more resistances that should develop. The question is whether these efforts will manage to orientate towards a whole Front of Resistance and struggle against the assault the people and youth face, against a system that kills, against capital, against imperialism. It won’t be easy, particularly due to the existing conditions. However, the better we understand what is really taking place, the more decisively we can move towards such a direction with the confidence that this direction is correct. The more correctly and decisively we move, the more we will develop the conditions for what is coming.

Since the most serious things are yet to come.

Edited version of the main article published in Proletarian Flag (newspaper of the KKE(m-l) on 13/12/08.