The European Troika is happy with the victory of SYRIZA in yesterdays elections. The so called ”radical-leftists” of the former; Coalition of the ( pseudo ) Radical Left, got 35,46% of the votes. SYRIZA won the elections in January on a anti-austerity program. They even organized a public referendum, in which the Greeks rejected austerity, forced on them by the European Union. However prime minister Alexis Tsipras betrayed the NO vote and capitulated before the Troika, led by Dutch Minister of ”Austerity”; Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The second election for the Greek parliament led to a massive low turnout, only 56,55% of all Greeks voted. Proofing that many have lost their believes that you can change society by voting!
Popular Unity, the political party that split from SYRIZA has not won any seats. This is very unfortunate as it leaves the Communist Party of Greece ( KKE ) as the only principal leftist force in the Greek parliament. The KKE won no extra seats proofing that the Stalinist party has not profited from SYRIZA’s betrayal. It seems that the social democrats of PASOK are the ones who gained seats. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup is very happy with the Greek elections results. Alexis Tsipras can return to power with the full support from pro-austerity SYRIZA members. Since the left-wing of his party split away and did not win any seats, all elected officials of SYRIZA are now in favour of austerity!
This election is a defeat for true revolutionaries. The low turnout proofs why there is little change in the parliament. SYRIZA remains the biggest party, although they lost a few seats. New Democracy remains the biggest opposition party, with the social democratic alliance of PASOK and Democratic Left behind them. Far-right nationalists of the Golden Dawn won a extra seat and are now stronger then ever, thanks to the massive anger of the Greek people. Golden Dawn abuses this hatred into racism and ethnic nationalism. Foreign workers are blamed by the fascists, they blame Albanians who fled their homeland in the 1990’s, as capitalism created massive poverty and instability in the former People’s Socialist Republic of Albania!
Still this does not mean that Greek workers must abandon hope. SYRIZA’s betrayal only proofs that moderate socialists are unable to brake with capitalism. Revolutionary socialists gave a critical vote on Popular Unity, which has the potential to grow into a massive opposition force outside the parliament, if it adopts a clear socialist program. It would require them to brake with the logic of Alexis Tsipras. But the leaders of Popular Unity have been part of the SYRIZA leadership for a very long time, which also fuels suspicion from ordinary people. Finally we must not forget that there is a massive disillusion in socialist ideals, thanks to the betrayal of Tsipras. The widespread hope that many Greeks had in January is gone, destroyed by the inability of SYRIZA to build a Hellenic Socialist Republic, free from the barbaric capitalist: European Union!
Greece is standing at a crossroad and it seems they head right into the butchers arms. It comes to no surprise that Jeroen Dijsselbloem is very happy with the victory of Alexis Tsipras. He knows that the SYRIZA leader will impose austerity, deregulations and privatisations. The goal of the Eurogroup is to strengthen Greek capitalism at the expense of workers and poor people. Tsipras claims TINA ( There Is No Alternative ), but there was a socialist alternative. He and SYRIZA choose not to follow it, instead they betrayed their heritage and the whole reason people used to vote for them. The only reason they won this elections is because many Greeks choose the lesser evil ( those who did vote )!
The social democratic alliance of PASOK and Democratic Left, are not the only winners. Centrists from the Union of Centrists also won nine seats. This political party never entered the Greek parliament until now. They are led by Vassilis Leventis a centrist who has used populist rhetoric against political corruption. Some may see the Union of Centrists as a political alternative, but only because of Leventis deep criticism of the Greek political establishment. Until SYRIZA came, he and his party were marginalized by New Democracy and PASOK, who ruled the political arena. Vassilis Leventis finally got more support as many Greeks started to rebel against the establishment. His victory in yesterdays election shows that his ideals are winning support. Still revolutionary socialists think the Union of Centrists are not force for revolutionary change, as they do not oppose the fundamental reason why there is poverty in Greece; the capitalist system!
With less then 56% voting, it is now clear that most Greeks have abandoned trust in their politicians. It is very possible that future elections will be seen as façades. Unless a mass workers party is build on a socialist program, this is a dark possibility. Although the Communist Party of Greece remains in the parliament, they are a small sectarian force. Unable to see beyond their Stalinist ideology and dogmatism. Popular Unity did not win anything due to TINA, the low voter turn out and massive disillusion in anti-austerity parties. Jeroen Dijsselbloem and his Troika can celebrate their victroy, but win out the betrayl of Alexis Tsipras it would not have been possible!
Still revolutionary socialists will keep fighting for a mass workers party and a Hellenic Socialist Republic. This battle is lost, but the war against austerity will continue. It is our job to show the Greek workers that there is a alternative and that Tsipras betrayal was only possible, because he was too moderate and lacked a clear understanding of how to build a socialist alternative. SYRIZA’s turn to the right-wing is a defeat for the Greek working class, like the capitalist restorations in Eastern Europe!
For moderate socialists, let this defeat be a lesson. The European Troika cannot be reformed or changed. From the beginning they demanded austerity and neoliberal politics from Alexis Tsipras. He must have been desperate as he tried to save capitalism on the one hand and using anti-capitalist rhetoric on the other. Like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, SYRIZA never abolished capitalism and did not led a movement to genuine democratic socialism. All because they lack a class consciousness. The Stalinist KKE was right in criticizing SYRIZA for their weakness in dealing with the Troika. But the communist party cannot become a force for socialism, if they remain sectarian and dogmatic. This is why they did not win any extra seats in yesterdays election. The electorate of the KKE is loyal, but small!
Building a massive workers party is what the radical left should do now. There are three leftist anti-austerity forces in Greece;
- Popular Unity, ex-SYRIZA members of the Left Platform
- Communist Party of Greece, Marxist-Leninist ( Stalinist ) party, old style!
- Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow. A political coalition of radical leftist parties to the left of SYRIZA. Problem is that they too are sectarian and not united around a common socialist program!
These three have both the potential to offering a socialist alternative to the millions of workers and poor people in Greece. Political sectarianism and ideological dogmatism stand in the way. Popular Unity may have broken with SYRIZA, but are not calling for a socialist Greece. The KKE may be more anti-capitalist and has good criticism of Alexis Tsipras, but their unwillingness to work with other socialist forces keeps them small. The Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow is growing but do not call for a Hellenic Socialist Republic!
Revolutionary Socialist Media can offer the following alternatives for a socialist society!
- Full end to austerity and all privatisation plans!
- Expropriate all millionaires and billionaires and take their money for social programs!
- Nationalize all major industries who control Greek society, compensations only paid on proven needs. Full nationalization of the financial sector!
- Dissolve the police and armed forces, they are to be replaced by workers run militias of land, sea and air forces!
- Ban all fascist and neo-nazi parties!
- Greece out of the European Union!
- A minimum wage of 1.500 euros, a maximum wage of 5.000 euros
- All nationalized enterprises must be run by workers councils, not by state managers!
- All members of the workers councils earn a average workers salary!
- Build a economy based on the needs of people!
- A Hellenic Socialist Republic will stand against the EU, against NATO, against Russia and China. For a united socialist world federation!