A big debate within the Greek Left

Communist Organization of Greece, Statement Nr 7/2009 (24/2/2009)

After the revolt of December in Greece, a big debate develops within the Greek Left concerning the attitude of the communists in front of the bourgeois governments. This heated discussion is part of a greater debate about the tasks, the strategy and the tactics of the left and communist forces in Greece.

The polemical character of the debate is owed to the fact that, during December 2008, the split within the Greek Left became more wide: One part (KOE, the Radical Left Coalition/SYRIZA and the extra-parliamentarian left groups) supported the Revolt. Another part (mostly the Communist Party of Greece/KKE, as well as the right-wingers of the former “euro-communist” current) condemned the movement and labeled it as “violent acts of masked rioters of suspicious origin and of reactionary character”. Thus, indirectly but objectively, aligned themselves with the bourgeois-governmental block of “law and order”. Since January 2009 the debate became very acute, as the KKE leadership attacked repeatedly KOE and SYRIZA with statements and publications in its Press, slandering us as “supporters of the social-democratic PASOK” because of our slogan “Down with this government of murderers!”.

Despite the fact that this debate is unavoidably marked by the ongoing “civil war” within the Greek Left, we consider that it is of interest outside the boundaries of Greeceas well. In reality, the issue is whether those claiming to be communists will use as an excuse the “ultimate goal” (the seizing of power by the working class) in order to limit their “action” in exercises of revolutionary verbalism – while at the same time they let the bourgeois governments undisturbed and present themselves as "responsible” force. We are of the opinion that the reasoning used by the leaders of KKE (“we do not fight for the fall of the right-wing government because if it falls it will be replaced by the equally bad social-democratic PASOK”) is in reality attempting to hide their alignment with the camp of “law and order”, their fear of a mass movement that they do not control, and their refusal to struggle for the building of a popular front that will victoriously oppose the bourgeoisie and its political parties, the ight-wing
Nea Dimokratia and the social-democratic PASOK.

The leaders of KKE are feeling much safer as long as they remain self-isolated in their virtual world, receiving the congratulations and the grateful recognition by the government, the bourgeois Media and even the extreme right-wing party LAOS for their “responsible attitude” . Today they
spend all their energy in the “left civil war”, attacking viciously the Radical Left, sparing the government and even justifying the murderous attacks against the revolted youth. Their actual tactics comes in high contrast with their distant and recent past, for which they have not proceeded to the slightest self-criticism:

(a) in the ’70s and early ’80s they were the staunchest allies of the “socialist” PASOK, accusing the revolutionaries who struggled against social-democracy as “covert agents of the right-wing and of the secret services”;
(b) in the late ’80s they participated in the government formed by the
right-wing party Nea Dimokratia, and immediately after in a “national unity
government” together with both Nea Dimokratia and PASOK; (c) in the late ’90s they were calling for the resignation of PASOK’s government – and this was correct, but then also the “realistic” alternative would be the other bourgeois party, the right-wing Nea Dimokratia…

The leaders of KKE pretend today that they do not understand the dynamics that could be created by a united and radical popular movement, able to overthrow a reactionary government. They pretend to ignore the very realistic scenario (if the Left would act as a combative front and thus gain even bigger popular support) of the bourgeoisie been obliged to form a “big coalition” government by both Nea Dimokratia and PASOK – and the possibilities that such a development would create for the communists and the popular movement. Instead, they continue the revolutionary verbalism while at the same time they put their forces in the service of the government (as they did in December, when, among other… heroic feats, they attempted to block the entrance of the universities in order to prevent the students to hold general assemblies and to continue the occupations…).

And the icing on the cake – just to confirm that sometimes even the formalities are very revealing: No organization of the Radical Left was invited in the opening ceremony of KKE’s 18th Congress. At the same time there were present and addressed the Congress two top-level delegations
from the parties of Nea Dimokratia and of PASOK, as well as the (right-wing)
president of the Greek Parliament. Apparently, the Radical Left deserves to be treated as main enemy, and not the bourgeois parties… The presence of the top-level bourgeois delegations and the… curfew on the Radical Left is indeed another marvelous result of the appeal to “wage war against the opinions supporting ‘the unity or the common action of the Left’, put forward by several intellectuals who, consciously or not, are selling the causes of the ‘progressive’ bourgeoisie and of opportunism” [KKE's daily
organ “Rizospastis”, 18/1/2009]…

As the global capitalist crisis develops and deepens, the big bourgeoisie attempts to “answer” it by transferring its burden on the already extremely exploited, barbarously oppressed and increasingly impoverished popular masses. However, the peoples of the world are developing and radicalizing their resistance, as shown by the mass protests in Italyor France, for example, and by the revolts that break out from Greeceto the Baltic countries and from Icelandto the French colonies in the Caribbean.


Our peoples desperately need a Communist Left willing and able to orientate,
lead and develop the new and increasingly radical revolts and resistances that are urgently necessary. Our peoples desperately need a Communist Left willing and able to organize victorious struggles, which will bring us more near to the overthrow of the imperialist-capitalist system. What they do not need, is a force that claims to be communist but does not believe in the possibility of popular victories, and instead prefers to patiently and “responsibly” wait for the Second Advent (which will bring socialism also in Greece, all the more without “riots” and “without breaking even one glass”, as Mrs Aleka Papariga, Secretary General of KKE, recently declared in the Greek Parliament – only to be enthusiastically applauded by the government supporters…).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s