Vote KKE! No Vote to Syriza!

Spartacist League

The Greek section of the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) calls on workers, minorities and all opponents of capitalist austerity to vote for the candidates of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) on June 17. The central issue for the working class in Greece today is rejection of the devastating attacks dictated by the troika [the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund] and imposed by the Greek bourgeoisie. A massive vote to the KKE—which opposes the EU—would deliver a slap in the face to the imperialists and their Greek lackeys and could give a boost to the defensive battles of workers across Europe.

The KKE rightly stands against Syriza’s perspective of keeping “Greece in the EU and NATO and the capitalist relations of production untouched” (KKE Web site, “Between Two Tough Battles,” 23 May). Despite intense pressure for unity, the KKE has rejected Syriza’s appeal to form a “left” (bourgeois) government. Syriza stands in favor of the imperialist EU and the euro, while claiming it can “renegotiate” the austerity package. As proletarian internationalists, we oppose the imperialist EU on principle (as well as the single currency) as part of our perspective for the Socialist United States of Europe. A socialist society cannot be achieved within the borders of Greece alone.

The KKE correctly notes that the central force within Syriza, the “Coalition of the Left” (SYN), voted for the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, is a supporter of the EU and “joined the anti-communist campaign against the USSR” (“Between Two Tough Battles,” 23 May). Today, the pseudo-Trotskyist groups who also hailed counterrevolution in the Soviet Union—including the Socialist Workers Party (SEK) and Xekinima—place themselves to the right of the KKE, whom they denounce for rejecting Syriza’s call to join them in government. We say: Down with the EU! No vote to Syriza!

Our call for a vote to the KKE in this election is an application of the tactic of critical support outlined by Lenin in “Left-Wing” Communism—An Infantile Disorder in 1920. While supporting KKE candidates, we have fundamental differences of program. Our program is proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist. In contrast, the KKE panders to Greek nationalism, the chief obstacle to building a revolutionary party in Greece. Their perspective of “people power” liquidates the proletariat—the only class with the power to overthrow capitalism—into “the people” and obscures the class line, the central division in capitalist society. The KKE’s populism—expressed as “the people” against “the monopolies”—is counterposed to the class independence of the proletariat from the bourgeoisie.

The violent racist attacks on immigrants by rampaging mobs of Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) fascists pose the urgent need to mobilize contingents of workers to defend immigrants and to sweep the fascist vermin off the streets. The KKE has the social weight in the trade unions to do this, but its nationalist populism is a barrier to it. Rather than mobilizing workers and immigrants against Golden Dawn, which represents a threat to the whole of the organized working class, the KKE appeals for votes from among the same backward layers of the population who voted for the fascist scum, demanding: “The working people who voted for Golden Dawn must correct their vote” (KKE Press Office statement, 2 June).

The KKE admits that: “During the 1950’s and 1980’s, the KKE formed ‘left’ alliances” and claims that it “has drawn valuable conclusions from its experience regarding the policy of alliances and it does not intend to repeat similar mistakes” (“Between Two Tough Battles,” 23 May). These were not mistakes but betrayals that flow from their Stalinist program. Despite the KKE’s refusal to participate in a coalition government at the present time, they have not broken politically with the program that led them to join bourgeois governments in the past.

Our international tendency actively fought, to the limit of our resources, for defense of the Soviet Union against counterrevolution. We also stood for a proletarian political revolution against the Stalinist bureaucracy, whose politics of “socialism in one country” and of “peaceful coexistence” with imperialism undermined the defense of the USSR and ultimately led to the triumph of counterrevolution in 1991-92, a defeat for the world’s working masses.

With this call to vote for the KKE we are mass-distributing the article, “Banks Starve Greek Working People” [Workers Vanguard No. 1002, 11 May], to introduce to a wider audience our broader political views. We seek to coalesce into a political formation those forces who agree with the politics expressed there.

— 5 June 2012

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