“I asked the political leaders to explicitly condemn the acts of violence. It is the responsibility of both the government and of all the political forces to immediately isolate, socially and politically, those who promote violence, illegal actions and antidemocratic attitudes”.
Declaration of Prime-minister Kostas Karamanlis, after his meetings with the leaders of parliamentary parties
“The leadership of the Coalition of Radical Left must cease petting the rioters”.
Declaration of Aleka Papariga, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), after her meeting with the Prime-minister
“There are political forces who display responsible attitude, and there are others who are petting the rioters, as I heard someone saying a while ago”.
Declaration of Georgios Karatzaferis, head of the extreme right-wing party “LAOS”, after his meeting with the Prime-minister
“Tell me who praises you, so I can tell you which errors you fell into”.
V. I. Lenin
Why so much loyalism?
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leadership rushed to declare to the government of K. Karamanlis its compliance with the rules of “law and order”. It jumped at the chance to accuse the Coalition of Radical Left (SYRIZA). The “Party of Struggles and Sacrifices” (in other ages, when it had a different leadership) degraded itself to the point of receiving the congratulations of the whole government and of the mainstream Media for its “responsible stand”…
In times of social tension and political instability, the duty of the communists is not to stabilize the system. On the contrary, they try to further wound it and to limit its power, thus creating the preconditions that are necessary in order to topple it. The KKE leadership has divorced from this practice. Even more, it became a repeating relay of the government’s claims about “the new asymmetric threat against Greece and public order”. The KKE leadership stood by the side of K. Karamanlis when he demanded the political parties to “display responsibility and consent in order to get out of this difficult situation”.
But, since when the “difficult situation” for the government is also a “difficult situation” for the people and the Left? The “difficult times” for the big bourgeoisie are perhaps “difficult” for the workers’ movement as well? Suddenly, the “pure class analysis” of the KKE is taking a stroll!
When, on Wednesday 10 December, the government asked the trade-unions not to organize a march towards the Parliament, the KKE leadership obeyed: “PAME”, the trade-union fraction of KKE, “demonstrated” to the other end of the city, outside the old building of the Employment Ministry (which is nowadays located elsewhere!). When, on Friday 12 December, dozens of thousands of students became a sea that filled the Constitution Square in front of the Parliament, the KKE leadership sent its members strolling in small alleys, kilometers away. And then, there is also the violent and arbitrary attempt of the members of KNE (the KKE Youth) to get under their control the Universities buildings, in order to prevent the students entering and holding General Assemblies! Definitely, the “uncompromising class struggle” waged by KKE becomes quite problematic…
The Party of the Working Class? Or the Party of “Law and Order”?
The KKE leadership talks a lot about the working class, the class consciousness and the class struggle. But its practice proves once more that it is the party of “responsible attitude”, the party of “loyal goodmen”. A party that wishes to keep everything within the “institutional frame”.
Three years ago, the daily organ of KKE “Rizospastis” made the revolt of the youth in the French suburbs a central issue. At that time, KKE was writing in “Rizospastis”: “The French government and all those who talk of gangs of rioters are trying to diminish or sweep under the carpet the reasons and the content of the revolt, as well as the despair of the rebellious youth”. And also: “The KKE expresses its warmest solidarity to the contemporary Miserables of Paris and of whole France”. That’s what KKE was saying then – when the revolt was taking place in another country. Now, all this proves to be (once more) cheap “revolutionary” verbalism…
Now, that the explosion of the youth takes place in Greece, what is the KKE leadership doing? They are accusing us that “we pet the rioters”! An MP of KKE, a certain Ioannis Gkiokas, arrived to the point to accuse SYRIZA during an interview in the state radio station that “this party may cover common criminals and human traffickers”!
Are, all these, results of KKE’s spite against SYRIZA? Are, all these, results of KKE’s will to continue the “civil war” within the Left movement? No! What is central in the practice of KKE is not its hostility towards SYRIZA. It is the role that the KKE leadership has undertaken, as “guardian of the social peace and stability”. Its practice is the result of its role as right hand of the government and of the government’s manipulations.
This government should be chased away by the movement? Or not?
The KKE leadership does not support the demand “Down with this government of thieves and murderers”. And, of course, it has not a policy that would lead to this result. The permanent, supposedly “pure” position of the KKE leadership is: “We do not want to change manager”.
We ask: Since when, in which theoretical works, in which practice of the Communist Movement, they discovered that it is a bad thing to have a rebellious movement obliging a government to resign? Since when the “Party of the Working Class”, while it can demand the resignation of the bourgeois government, does not do so? Especially when this demand is in the lips of the broad progressive masses of the revolted youth and of the people?
We ask: Why don’t they put in practice the big words (“Insubordination and Counter-Attack”) that they use in their propaganda? Especially when the so called social-democratic “opposition” of PASOK not only does not put any pressure on the government to resign but, on the contrary, it is asking from the right-wing to “rise up to its responsibility and exercise its governmental role”?
We ask: In case this government falls under the pressure of the social unrest and of the youth rebellion, which can become a mass political movement in schools, universities and workplaces, wouldn’t that be (irrespectively of whom has less or more electoral gains) a great achievement for the people’s movement? Wouldn’t that be a confirmation of the people’s power and ability to break down governments and reactionary plans?
The KKE leadership defames once again communism. It did it in the past when it was uncritically supporting the (in)existent socialism, and when it formed “national unity” governments together with the right-wing party and the social-democratic PASOK. It does it again now, by slandering the youth rebellion, thus pushing the youth away of the Communist Left.
In order to change the things, we all need a Left and a Communist Movement that is dedicated to the overthrow the actual situation. We do not need those who excel in verbalism, yield to the bourgeois blackmailing, declare their loyalism, and do not try to become a force of revolt!
15 December 2008
Communist Organization of Greece (KOE)