Greece: political conclusions from the general elections of 7 July – part two

This is the second half of our analysis of the 7 July Greek elections, which saw the right-wing New Democracy party come to power, following four years of betrayal and austerity under the SYRIZA government. Click here for part one.

KINAL (the bourgeois shadow of PASOK) – tested from day one

KINAL (Movement of Change, a centre-left federation or ‘semi-party’ with the old PASOK as its main force) got 8.10 percent, 457,519 votes and 22 seats – in essence remaining stagnant in comparison to the European elections, with only 20,793 more votes. The supposedly left-wing move to exclude V. Venizelos (former vice-president of Samaras’ government) from the ballot papers, was in practice contradicted by the statement of Fofi Gennimata (now leader of KINAL) that she would be willing to give parliamentary support to a N.D. government if it failed to gain an absolute majority. For this reason, there was no motivation for the rising anti-N.D., anti-right-wing vote of 7 July to be directed towards KINAL.

As was shown by the exit-polls, the majority of KINAL voters are older people, with its percentage share among pensioners rising to 12.4 percent. The electoral persistence of KINAL, in contrast to the collapse of PASOK during the crisis years of austerity, is due to the deep roots of the old PASOK in Greek society and its strong base within an elderly section of state employees, appointed during the 1980s. Their support is augmented by small or medium bourgeois who benefited in the same period from state and European funds during 1993-2000, when PASOK was again in government in conditions of a Greek capitalist boom.

KINAL Image Party of European SocialistsThe electoral persistence of KINAL, in contrast to the collapse of PASOK during the crisis years of austerity, is due to the deep roots of the old PASOK in Greek society, especially amongst older people / Image: Party of European Socialists

After managing the bourgeois state for many years (introducing a series of austerity programmes and submitting the country to humiliating control by the Troika) PASOK decidedly broke its links with the wide sections of the working class and youth. Its electoral support among these layers on 7 July was between 3-4 percent: half its national percentage. KINAL has definitely lost its mass, working-class character and has kept nothing from the old PASOK other than its dedication to capitalist policies. After changing its name, it is a typically bourgeois party of the centre, whose social composition and ageing social base make it a dying entity.

The fragile political prospects of KINAL are already being tested, immediately after the elections. The original relief felt by Gennimata after the electoral result – that gave an absolute majority to New Democracy and spared her the need to form a coalition government under Mitsotakis – was undermined by the participation of two old cadres in the administration: M. Chrisochoidis and S. Mendoni, who were already expelled from the party. However, the pressure on KINAL is not going to stop there.

N.D. and the ruling class are going to demand the leadership of KINAL agree on the abolition of an election model that is based on a (distorted) proportionality, which was introduced by SYRIZA. They will call for the imposition of an electoral law that will give an enhanced majority to the first party. On the other hand, pressure will also grow from SYRIZA. Tsipras’s plans to “transform” SYRIZA into a “democratic party” include the acceleration of some cadre “transfers” from KINAL, and the eventual absorption of a part of it. The balancing tactic implemented by Gennimata between the two is not going to work and, sooner or later, the leadership of KINAL will have to move in one direction, which will cause splits and departures in the other.

MeRA25 (Diem25): its electoral success and perspectives

MeRA25 (European Realistic Disobedience Front) of Yanis Varoufakis achieved a bigger electoral success compared to the European elections, where it missed out on securing an MEP by a few dozen votes. This time, it managed to enter the Greek parliament with a vote share of 3.44 percent; 194,232 votes and 9 seats. In comparison with the European elections, it increased its percentage by 0.45 percent and got 24,597 more votes. However, it only very slightly benefited from the hundreds of thousands of new, anti-right-wing votes compared to the European elections, from which only SYRIZA gained substantially. We can add some additional causes for this, linked with the politics and decisions of MeRA25 itself.

MeRA25 managed to enter parliament because it reminds a section of left-wing workers and youth of the old, anti-austerity SYRIZA, which they actively supported until the summer of 2015. And some of them – the very young – had some memories from that period and especially the conflicts between Varoufakis and the Troika, while the former was minister of finance. The electoral base of MeRA25 consists mainly of white-collar workers such as teachers and doctors, who draw left-wing, but confused and contradictory political conclusions from the defeat of the massive anti-austerity movement of the past period. They see Varoufakis as a man of academic prestige and a former left-wing technocrat, who resisted the Troika and did not surrender.

A key issue for the success of MeRA25 is that Varoufakis seems to have some international political clout, organising a pan-European political tendency that proposes a Europe-wide solution to the crisis. This answers the concerns of his demanding political audience, which understands that there can be no real solutions for the people’s problems in a national context, and that a wider international struggle is required. MeRA25 is providing a substitute for left-wing, proletarian internationalism (though it is far from a genuine example of this), while the majority of the remaining left appears to ignore the international field in favour of national issues.

DiEM25 Image Flickr agu²Varoufakis's party, MeRA25 (DiEM25) may have a future, especially if it emphasises its connection with radicalised youth and the working class in future movements. The KKE should monitor it closely / Image: Flickr, agu² 

MeRA25’s programme, for which Varoufakis is the main author, instead of clearing away the political confusion of its activists, has only exacerbated it. The programme is (marginally left-wing) social-democratic, which argues that “realistic disobedience” and a mild rupture with the Troika and the Greek ruling class are possible, in order to get the consent of lenders for a milder, “rational” austerity. It proposes a reconstruction of debt, more investment-friendly private banks (always with state guarantees), social policies and lower taxes (including for the big capitalists, as “incentives to invest”). It does not intend to break with the system that gave birth to the crisis, but to reconcile the working people with it or, more precisely, with its imaginary, utopian form, that can only exist in the Keynesian fantasies of the party’s founder.

The programme’s internationalism is limited to supporting a more social and democratic EU, refusing even to denounce the very imperialist, bureaucratic mechanisms and institutions that have proven the EU’s incompatibility with the interests and the rights of working people. This is a programme written by a party leader and founder who, only a few years ago, had his own bitter experience of the EU’s anti-democratic, corrupt and repressive character.

Nevertheless, the appearance of MeRA25 generated mild initial enthusiasm and an increased interest in Varoufakis’s ideas amongst tens of thousands of left-wing activists, given the lack of a visible left alternative. However, this enthusiasm for MeRA25 was undermined by the contradictions of its central political line in the pre-election period and its candidate selections for the 7 July elections.

Varoufakis's insistence on keeping his distance from class politics, in favour of the “national good” – which he stated could compel him to “cooperate even with N.D. if they were in agreement” – has troubled his new supporters. At the same time, well-known careerists from all political backgrounds, from old neoliberals (T. Mihas) to left-wing nationalists (the cartoonist Stathis), came to MeRA25 to gain parliamentary seats, thus multiplying the contradictions and political confusion of the party line, as well as the concerns of its members and supporters. This was undoubtedly reflected in the stagnation of the upward momentum of MeRA25 after the European elections and its inability to take decisive advantage of the tens of thousands of new anti-right-wing votes on 7 July. This was despite the fact that, due to the electoral law, the presence of MeRA25 in parliament was connected to stopping N.D.’s absolute majority, since it reduced the total percentage of non-parliamentary parties, which led to fewer seats for the first party.

It may be the case that Varoufakis and MeRA25 do not adopt a specific class position, but the party's electoral support on 7 July clearly shows its class base. In all working-class regions and municipalities MeRA25’s vote share was consistently above its national average, while in the bourgeois regions and municipalities its influence was the same or lower. Its support is particularly high amongst young people aged 17-24, with a remarkable 5.7 percent, while for pensioners it is only 1.7 percent.

This class and age composition of the electoral base of MeRA25 reveals that the party may have a future, especially if it emphasises its connection with radicalised youth and the working class in future movements. If this is the case, and if real democratic processes, local organisations and conferences are established within the party (as opposed to electronic online voting), then the limits of MeRA25’s programme and the social-democratic policies advocated by Varoufakis will face scrutiny by its members.

To the extent that a real party with a left-wing youth base is created, thousands of ordinary activists of MeRA25 will inevitably seek more radical, anti-capitalist, and Marxist answers to their questions. That is why the communist movement and its strongest representative, the KKE, should carefully monitor MeRA25. It should seek to create dialogue within the youth and labour movement, and joint action with MeRA25; and, at the same time, persistently and patiently explain the mistakes and dead-ends of its programme and policy, contrasting them with a truly revolutionary, anti-capitalist, communist programme.

With this serious attitude, it would be unacceptable to repeat the slanders and unsupported personal attacks (such as Varoufakis being “a man of Soros”, etc.) that emerged in the pre-election period from forces to the left of MeRA25. Unfortunately, these tactics, for which Popular Unity-LAE cadres were the protagonists, were also repeated in a public statement from the secretary of the KKE. This tactic towards MeRA25 shows a weakness of political and ideological argument against Varoufakis' pro-capitalist political ideas, unbecoming of communists committed to scientific socialism.

Greek solution: a far-right “one-use solution” for the ruling class

The party of far-right politician and businessman K. Velopoulos, Greek Solution (GS), entered parliament with a vote share of 3.7 percent, 208,800 votes and 10 seats, losing only around 30,000 votes from the recent European elections and refuting the bourgeois analysts who predicted that the electoral power of the party would be “absorbed” by the rising N.D.

The rise in support for GS comes a) from exploiting the decline of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, whose former voters refuse to return to the traditional bourgeois political camp; b) because it exploited hypocritical nationalist hysteria created by the Greek ruling class around the Treaty of Prespes [which allowed the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to call itself North Macedonia]; and c) because it had support and funding from capitalists based in Greek Macedonia, connected to Russian imperialism and its interests.

GS is the continuation of the moderate (compared to the Nazis of GD) far-right party of Karatzaferis (LAOS – Popular Orthodox Alarm). It has all the characteristics of a far-right populist party: with clearly nationalist and racist political positions (although without physical manifestations), a mix of religious and metaphysical ideas, and complete agreement on all the strategic concerns of Greek capital, namely remaining in the EU and the Eurozone, compliance with austerity measures and payment of the Greek debt.

Support for GS at the general elections in the regions of Central and West Macedonia increased due to its nationalist rhetoric around the Macedonian issue. It ended up polling more than 5 percent, while its class base, as recorded in the exit-polls, consists of petty-bourgeois, rather than “lumpen” elements, in contrast to Golden Dawn. These are the politically reactionary petty-bourgeois who openly express their positions whenever they have the chance, but are not willing to be active and organised for them.

GS will be used by the ruling class to support the new government of N.D. in parliament, when and where this is necessary; for example, for the change of the electoral law. Furthermore, it will tend to act as an “ally” for the far-right section of N.D. and will absorb cadres abandoning the party from the right and far-right when there is a government crisis, uniting them in a common alliance with former cadres or MPs of Golden Dawn.

However, the inevitable decay of N.D. and the need to establish a stable government in the future will push GS towards participating in a bourgeois government. Then its role will be totally evident: as a far-right supplement of bourgeois governments, which will also be particularly aggressive against its own petty-bourgeois base, for the sake of safeguarding the vital interests of Greek capitalism. And after its usefulness to the system is expended, it will be thrown to the political margins, as was done before, at the start of this decade, with LAOS – the party of Karatzaferis, the political “mentor” of Velopoulos.

The reasons for Golden Dawn’s crushing defeat

The miserable result for Golden Dawn on 7 July, and their expulsion from parliament, is an important, historical event. GD won only 2.93 percent and 165,709 votes. Its vote collapsed from 6.99 percent and 379,582 votes in the parliamentary election of September of 2015: a result that had made them the third party in the Greek parliament. Moreover, they managed to lose 100,000 votes in just 42 days after the European elections were held (down from 4.7 percent in the European elections).

This crushing defeat of GD confirmed precisely the estimations made by our tendency, since the neo-Nazis started to show signs an upcoming entrance to parliament, i.e. a few months before the elections of May 2012. This also defied the predictions of the sectarians and left reformists, who were talking about a certain mass turn of Greek society towards fascism and the rise of GD to power, anticipating a repetition of the collapse of the Weimar Republic.

We explained back then that the phenomenon of GD occurred as the result of the anger of the most reactionary and politically backward petty-bourgeois elements, created by the crisis, the Troika and the memorandum. Such anger couldn’t be expressed by the main far-right force up until that time, i.e. the LAOS.

Golden Dawn members at rally in Athens 2015 Image DTRocksGolden Dawn was smashed at the elections and thrown out of parliament. This is an event of historic significance / Image: DTRocks

The participation of Karatzaferis in the pro-memorandum government of Papadimos, which escalated the offensive against the already crushed petty-bourgeois, revealed the nature of LAOS as an agent of the system, and created a convenient vacuum for the neo-Nazis to fill. GD, having already distinguished itself as a genuine force after acquiring 5.29 percent of the votes in local elections in Athens, and exploiting the reactionary sentiments among bourgeois and petty-bourgeois elements against the massive arrival of impoverished refugees in Athenian neighbourhoods, seized this unique, historical opportunity. With funding and support from extremely reactionary capitalists and state officials, the party inserted itself dynamically into the electoral scene.

GD’s rise wasn’t the result of the creation of a mass fascist movement, as was the case in Germany and Italy during the Interwar Period, but had rather fleeting and passive support. We pointed out back then that the thousands of GD voters were expressing (in a reactionary fashion) an anti-establishment discontent. They had no intention of participating in the rallies or any fascist-terrorist actions by GD. We noted that any attempts by GD to create a mass fascist movement were doomed to end in failure, because, first of all, in present-day society, not only in Greece, there is not a favourable class balance of forces for a repetition of the phenomenon of Mussolini and Hitler.

We explained that, on the one hand, the classic social basis for such a movement – the petty-bourgeois of the cities and the countryside – is now smaller than ever, and the vast majority of them are closer than ever to the social forces of revolution, i.e. the working class and their movement. On the other hand, the bourgeoisie themselves are not going to trust the fascists in power in the near future, fearing the revolutionary response of the working class and the youth, but also having learned the lesson from the historical experience of the inglorious, fascist adventure in Europe (which resulted in the Soviet Union controlling half the continent). We predicted that, ifr the neo-Nazis of GD were to show impatience and any intentions of gaining complete autonomy from the ruling class and the bourgeois state, moving in a terrorist direction and with attempts to carry out a coup, the bourgeoisie would step in and give them a lesson.

That was exactly what happened in 2012-13. GD, blinded by its rising electoral influence and despite being unable to transform itself into a force able to mobilise the petty-bourgeois masses for fascist goals (i.e. to crush the working class and their mass organisations), started to carry out more and more fascist attacks against immigrants and left-wing activists. This was probably part of preparing a (completely adventuristic) coup in order to rise to power.

The murder of the anti-fascist hero musician, Pavlos Fyssas, was the peak of the first phase of that tactic. At the same time, however, the mass political influence of GD started to decline. The spread of anti-fascist sentiments in society, with the youth as the focal point, alarmed the ruling class and their government, who were immediately forced to indict GD as a terrorist-criminal organisation, even detaining their leadership for a time. The capitalist press was full of commentaries about the terrorist actions of GD. The until-then discrete process of legitimisation of the neo-Nazis in the consciousness of society by the mass media was reversed, with a process of guilt-tripping GD voters, which was continued with a daily bout of “revelations” during the trial.

Under these circumstances, the electoral growth of GD was halted, the internal conflicts inside their leadership intensified, and the pressure from the state and public opinion brought to the fore the cowardice of the neo-Nazis, which led to the shutting down of their offices in one city after another. Through this process, we eventually saw them smashed on 7 July, which rightfully gave left-wing activists feelings of joy and satisfaction. Now, GD has reverted to type, as the controlled, marginal “mastiff” of the bourgeois state, which will be used as and when it is needed to terrify working-class and youth activists.

However, in those seven years, GD found themselves at the centre of the political scene. This should be borne in mind by every left activist, as a warning to the Greek, European and global working class about the nightmarish forces capitalism can bring to the fore during its deep, historical crisis.

The crisis of Greek capitalism has not come to an end. On the contrary, in the coming years we will see even more brutal economic, social and political expressions of the crisis. Although the fascists are withdrawing from the parliamentary scene, they are going to attempt to come back and play a counter-revolutionary role in future. Most probably they will prove incapable of creating a mass fascist movement with a clear road to power, but they will nevertheless subject the working-class movement and the youth to even more brutal attacks and new murder attempts. This will likely occur under a “re-baptised” fascist formation, with a different name, but still the old GD at its core. This will try to penetrate the new mass layers of frustrated petty-bourgeois, crushed by the crisis.

Meanwhile, as “Fuhrer” Mihaloliakos said in his statement after the elections, “GD is going to go back immediately to where they grew, in the streets”. This is not just an emotionally charged formulation, but a clear promise of bloody revenge against the “Bolsheviks” (as they were referred to in the statement), i.e. the left-wing and communist activists. We should prepare, sooner or later, for a new intensification of, at least sporadic, terrorist actions by the GD. This is the only way for them to manage to maintain an active (if small) core of activists, who are going to lay the foundations for a new political counter-offensive in the future.

Thus, building a united front of anti-fascist action by all the organisations of the working-class movement, the youth and the left, remains an imperative, despite the electoral defeat of GD. This front should be massive and militant, with no illusions about the role of the bourgeois state in supporting the fascists. It must be able to act preemptively, but also be determined to respond firmly to each attempt by the fascists to terrify the movement. Such a tactic, in order to be effective, must spread to every workplace and neighbourhood to counter every terrorist action by the fascists. This demands, together with the active participation of every left-wing and anti-fascist organisation and activist, the decisive and leading participation of the only mass, working-class, communist party in the country: the KKE.

Self-destructive tactics of small left-wing organisations

In this last section of our analysis, we also include Plefsi Eleftherias (Course of Freedom), despite the fact that the party of Zoi Konstantopoulou long ago renounced any left-wing identity, adopting the deeply reactionary slogan “Neither right-wing, nor left-wing: forward”. This tactic (aside from being an insult to the left-wing voters who made her a SYRIZA MP three times in as many years), proved utterly useless in getting Plefsi Eleftherias into parliament. The party gained only 1.42 percent and 82,672 votes and saw their vote decrease by about 8,000, compared to the European elections.

This failure to enter parliament (the second in a row) puts into doubt the party’s continued existence. Because of the confused, semi-nationalist, petty-bourgeois ideas and methods of their leadership (i.e. that of Zoi Konstantopoulou), this party, since its foundation three years ago, proved organically incapable of not only connecting with vanguard layers of the working class and the youth, but even of giving the impression of a real, organised party.

The electoral results for the other political formation originating from the old SYRIZA, LAE (Popular Unity), were catastrophic. LAE won only 0.28 percent and 15,930 votes, losing in 42 days half of their electoral percentage compared to the European elections (0.56 percent). They will surely be nostalgic for the 2.87 percent they gained in the parliamentary elections of September 2015.

The leadership of LAE clearly faced disapproval from left-wing voters for their slipping into more and more nationalist views. However, firstly and above all, they continued to pay (as was the case in the former parliamentary elections) for their role when they were the left wing of SYRIZA. Their unwillingness, during the first semester of 2015, to fight to prevent the signing of the third memorandum has been indelibly recorded in the consciousness of the working class.

We repeatedly called on the Left Platform (the current leadership of LAE) to refuse to support the coalition government with Kamenos (former minister of National Security and head of the far-right party ANEL, i.e. Independent Greeks). They should have remained outside the government, and after 20 February 2015, when it became clear that the government was ready to sign a new memorandum, they should have launched a campaign for an extraordinary congress, which would have decided not to sign the memorandum. Had these steps been taken, then the history of the past few years could have been different.

With such tactics, the memorandum might not have been signed, and the clique around Tsipras would have been removed from the party, which could then have been brought under the control of its left wing. And even if the Left Platform had lost the battle, they would have stood out in the consciousness of the working class as a serious political force, that not only refused to sign the memorandum in parliament, but fought with every means at its disposal to prevent its signing.

However, the leadership of LAE proved to be incapable of rising even to the current, fundamental task of preserving their diminished forces. Although it was clear for a long period that LAE didn’t have the necessary support in society to enter parliament, they “closed their eyes”, stood in the European elections and faced electoral collapse. And after the withdrawal of Lafazanis from the presidency, they supplemented that mistake with an even bigger one.

Instead of supporting a class vote for the KKE, opening a serious internal discussion over the mistakes that led to their collapse, and preserving the morale of their few hundred active supporters, they proceeded with one more independent candidacy in the parliamentary elections. This led to an even further demoralisation of their activists, and further damaged the viability of the formation. This outcome wasn’t the one that LAE left-wing activists deserved, but their leadership is 100 percent deserving of its fate.

Panagiotis Lafazanis Image LeftgrRather than calling for a class vote for the KKE, various formations of the left took the suicidal route of standing independently / Image: Leftgr

The ANTARSIA (Anti-Capitalist Left-Wing Cooperation for the Overthrow) front, and the other left-wing organisations that chose autonomous candidacy in the elections, i.e. EEK (Working Class Revolutionary Party, Argentinian PO supporters), OKDE (Organisation of Communists Internationalists of Greece), M-L KKE (Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Greece) and KKE M-L (Communist Party of Greece Marxist-Leninist) faced a crushing defeat, even taking into consideration their typically very weak electoral influence.

ANTARSYA went down from 46,096 votes and 0.85 percent in September of 2015, to 36,361 votes and 0.64 percent in the European elections of May. On 7 July they continued to decline, winning 23,191 votes and 0.41 percent. The two Stalinist-Maoist M-L parties won 0.14 percent (KKE M-L) and 0.05 percent (M-L KKE), EEK won 0.04 percent (1,993 votes) and OKDE 0.03 percent (1,675 votes). Those results speak for themselves.

The Communist Tendency (Greek section of the IMT) had long since supported the need for all communists to call for a class vote for the only mass, working-class, communist party in the country: the KKE.

We explained that, if all the left-wing organisations adopted that tactic, they could contribute to preserving the morale of the working class by securing third place for a mass, declared communist party for the first time since WW2, moreover, for a party with an officially anti-capitalist programme, as decided by its congress. Any supporting organisations would naturally preserve their own political programmes and retain their right to criticism. Instead of using this tactic, however, and despite their disheartening results just 42 days previously in the European elections, these organisations once again followed the same tactic of autonomous candidacy, which is completely pointless from the perspective of the working class and its struggle.

The result of this tactic was that a total of 53,358 votes (including the votes for LAE) were wasted for the communist movement (almost 1 percent), that could have reinforced the KKE’s battle to get to third place, instead of the corrupt KINAL. It also weakened the morale of several hundred good activists, who participated in the electoral campaigns of those organisations, having had their expectations raised by their leadership.

Even worse, the tactic of the autonomous candidacy was harmful, not only for the communist movement, but also for the working class as a whole. It was known in advance to the leadership of the aforementioned organisations that, according to the current electoral law, the higher the percentage of the parties outside the parliament, the lower the percentage required for the first party to form a majority government. This fact should be enough by itself to remove any thought of autonomous candidacy in the elections, when there was no prospect of these formations and organisations entering parliament.

But their leadership pressed on, knowing in essence that every vote they gained for their own narcissistic cause potentially meant more seats for the N.D.! That attitude, regardless of any pure or “revolutionary” intentions of the leading cadres of those organisations, is effectively conscious adventurism against the interests of the working class itself!

To the undoubtedly selfless, militant comrades who advocated this tactic in the name of ”Trotskyism”, we have to say the following: comrades, the fact that you are justly recognised as good and selfless activists within a milieu of a few thousand people doesn’t mean you have the right to ridicule and discredit Trotskyism and its name to the masses of million workers!

Political perspectives

The new, right-wing, neo-liberal government was formed with a strong participation of technocrats, in order to be ready to proceed quickly with attacks on the working class and poor layers of society. This has been clearly announced by the new prime minister and the other cadres of N.D., without taking into account the political cost.

The Eurogroup of 8 July repeated even louder the call of the European Commission that the agreed goals of the memorandum for the primary surplus be respected, and its higher official stated to the new government that it must press on with the decrease of the tax-free limit, as decided by the former government had decided. As a result, 4 million working people and pensioners are threatened with losing another months’ wage annually to taxes. All the reactionary “players” – the Troika, the Greek ruling class and the new government – are now jointly signalling the start of a new offensive.

We say again: without this offensive, Greek capitalism – which is yet to recover from the crisis and memorandum, and has even bigger debts than when it first acquired them (334.573 billion euros and 181.1 percent of GDP in 2018, compared to 300 billion euros and 126.7 percent at the end of 2009), can’t avoid bankruptcy and the exit from the Eurozone. Furthermore, the level of investment in the country is at the lowest levels in the Eurozone, and is only 40 percent of that in the period before the crisis. At the same time, Greek capitalism is committed to targets of extreme austerity for the primary surplus until 2060, as agreed by the Tsipras government.

Strike protest greece 19th may 2017In the next period of intense struggle, the new generation will be drawn to revolutionary ideas! / Image: own work

This dire situation of Greek capitalism may have led the working people of the country into a nightmarish situation of mass poverty (the latest figures estimate the percentage of poverty in Greece at 46.3 percent of the population); and unemployment (about one million people). But the new government will oversee even deeper poverty and unemployment, to ensure the profits of their class are protected and increased.

At the moment, of course, the working class is in a state of disappointment after the electoral victory of the N.D. This sees the return to government (thanks to the leadership of SYRIZA) of precisely the same bourgeois leaders they had kicked out with mass struggles and big electoral victories just a few years ago. However, the “whip” of the reactionary attacks of the N.D., sooner or later, will wake up the working class and push it back to the struggle, beginning with its younger layers, which are less demoralised and tired from the defeats of the past.

The elections showed that more than 50 percent of the voters of this new generation voted for parties that are, or are considered to be left-wing. The entrance of this generation into the political scene is going to change the situation by finishing off the old, corrupt bourgeois parties; a process that started in 2012, but which was left unfinished by the older generation.

This new generation will be more open to the ideas of genuine revolutionary Marxism, otherwise known as Trotskyism, which the Communist Tendency, the Greek Section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), consistently puts forward. Our forces are still small, but we have great enthusiasm and maintain an inseparable connection with the mass communist movement in the country.

The legacy of the Communist Tendency (recorded in the consciousness of thousands of left-wing activists), is as the most consistent, honest and insightful tendency from the old SYRIZA. Its intense work in the last few years of propagating Marxist ideas in the universities and schools; the remarkable and systematic publication it conducts with meagre means; the very successful Anti-Capitalist Youth Festival it recently organised; and the positive reception it received in the gatherings and rallies of the KKE during the recent electoral battles, are all valuable steps forward in our struggle.

Those steps show that, during the next period, Trotskyism (genuine revolutionary Marxism) can increase its forces and influence decisively, and start finding a way to the masses. Because it represents the ideas which tens of thousands of militant working class and youth are instinctively searching. These ideas are going to lead, sooner and more surely, to the revolutionary, socialist transformation of society. This is how it must and will be done!