Greece: Statement on the attack of former minister Yannis Papathanasiou against the newspaper Revolution on state TV

The attempt of the ruling class to terrorise the working masses has escalated. The majority of it appears determined to attempt to marginalise their political enemy. The “media”, subservient to the big business, broadcast daily propaganda of a civil war type. The Marxist paper, Revolution is the latest target, being publicly attacked by New Democracy MP Papathanasiou.

In the ruling class’ dirty war of propaganda, SYRIZA is being presented as a “great national danger”. It is argued that if SYRIZA is elected to government, then Greece will automatically return to the Drachma (Mr Samaras and Mr Venizelos repeated this in their latest statements), the country will descend into chaos with gangs of immigrants preying on the cities (Mr Chrysohoides statement) and a civil war will break out (statement of the director of the newspaper Kathimerini, Mr Alexis Papahelas).

The same people who last week, like common political crooks, were inviting SYRIZA to enter a coalition government, or vote in support of one to “negotiate the Memorandum,” now publicly declare war on the supposedly “nationaly hazardous” political trends that exist in the party. It is a great honour for us that in this propaganda war of the ruling class, since Thursday the newspaper of the Marxists of Synaspismos and SYRIZA Revolution, is featured prominently.

In last night's broadcast on the television channel NET entitled “Elections 2012”, the discussion was heated, as is customary these days. The MP representing SYRIZA on the panel, comrade Zoi Konstantopoulou, was attacked by the representatives of New Democracy (ND), PASOK and Democratic Left (DIMAR). A representative of the bourgoise demagogic party Independent Greeks, well-known lawyer Mr Kapernaros, once again attempted to take advantage of the political prestige of SYRIZA by saying that “his party is open to collaborations with all the anti-memorandum forces” (meaning Syriza). This was the moment for a dirty attack. Former Minister of Finance and MP for ND, Mr Papathanasiou, from a folder that he was given by the press office of his party, pulled out a copy of the newspaper Revolution and addressed himself to Mr Kapernaros. He asked, rhetorically: “Do you know with whom you are going to co-operate? I'll tell you right now!” Then he started reading extracts from the positions of the newspaper with the look of a military judge: “Repeal of repressive state forces and replacing them with a popular militia, which would be under the control of the mass organizations of the workers”. “These are not my positions”, continued the Minister. “The members of SYRIZA who issue the newspaper Revolution, wrote these things in their newspaper”. There was turmoil amongst the panel, until the moderator of the show was quick to state that “obviously this is not the official positions of SYRIZA, but the views of one of the trends of it”.

The editorial team of Revolution publicly welcomes Mr Papathanassiou’s attention and takes it as a compliment. The editorial team recognizes the increased interest, fear and anxiety of the ruling class for the ideas and the program of the Marxists, who are an integral and organic part of SYRIZA. The political representatives of the banks, the ship-owners and the other parasites of capital have every reason to fear and worry about the ideas and positions of the Marxists. Those who have no reason to worry are the ordinary people to whom this black propaganda of the ruling class is targeted. Only the working class and the poor masses can benefit from the ideas and program of Marxism, including, in particular, the petty bourgeois strata of the cities and the villages.

It is necessary here to recall that through their struggles over the last two years, the broad masses have made two indisputably central demands: decent living conditions and true democracy.

Regarding the first demand, Mr Papathanassiou and his colleagues, have shown for decades that they can only offer mass poverty and unemployment. The real terror for the people is not the Marxists but the anarchy of the capitalist market. The programme of Marxism is the only that can guarantee a decent life and work for all, through a democratic, centrally planned economy. Especially for the petty bourgeoisie of town and village, a democratically planned economy can provide relief from unsustainable taxes, forgiving of usurious debt, cheap credit and relief from profiteering middlemen.

People like Mr Papathanasiou also have no answer to the demand for democracy. These politicians are defenders of slavery to the Troika with its commissioners and they are the political heads of the murderous riot police who started a chemical warfare against the people. The hysterical reaction of the minister to our demand for democratic control, by the mass organisations of the workers, of the institutions responsible for the public order, reveals the deeply authoritarian character of his class. We will remind him that the demand for a popular militia was a demand of his own class at the time of its historical youth, placed high on the program of the great bourgeois revolutions in order to combat the oppressive institutions of feudal absolutism. But times have changed - especially in Greece with its backward capitalism and heroic, revolutionary, communist traditions. Today, the class of Mr Papathanasiou needs a whole army of informers and armoured sadistic mercenaries in order to be kept in power.

Any honest ordinary working person can understand what the real danger is. The choice is between the mercenary forces of repression of the people that defend any Mr Papathanassiou, and militias, bodies of fighting workers, which the Marxists argue for. Especially for those who inhaled tons of asphyxiating chemicals in Syntagma Square in the past two years, we think that the choice is not difficult at all.

So, Mr. Papathanasiou, continue the dirty propaganda war with your colleagues. We, the Marxists, and the tens of thousands of activists of SYRIZA and the Left, are not afraid. We are prepared for the public trials that you are preparing to judge us. We welcome them, because they will enable us to explain our ideas and to win, through them, more and more of the people who suffer under the boot of your power.

In this war, we, the Marxist revolutionaries, have with us the tide of history and the honest and unerring judgment of millions of workers. The time of their lawful hatred and revenge is approaching, and it will marginalise your dirty propaganda tricks and we will carry out our program, the program of the revolution which so much scares you.

Stamatis Karayannopoulos - editor of the newspaper Revolution and the magazine Marxist Voice