Τετάρτη, 28 Αυγούστου 2013

GREECE, EUROPE AND THE LEFT


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FREE STATE” Movement of Resistance and Subversion a

 

WHO WE ARE, WHAT WE ARE AFTER,

WHY WE ADHERE TO SYRIZA-EKM

In a tragic moment of our trajectory in History, having full awareness of the undeclared but full blown and ruthless War we are facing as a people, as a state, as a nation by the “International of the Finance”, the emerging “Totalitarian Empire of Globalization”, fully conscious of the fact that this war is not but part of a much wider, all-European and world attack of the forces of the financial capital and of every sort of oligarchies of the Wealth and the Power, which want to demolish the main democratic, social, national rights humanity has won, as a result of its victory over Fascism, in 1945, of the same forces which threaten Middle East with a military holocaust, we are meeting, as free and independent citizens, to create the movement of Resistance and Subversion “Free State”.   

 

From where we come and where we go – Greece as a “destroyed debt colony

 

We set off from different starting points, we crossed different paths, to meet in the common struggles for the defense of the most elementary social rights and conquests, of the very notion of democracy and our national independence during the last three tragic years. We contributed where we could, as individuals, or throught the collectivities we were participating, to the organization of the practical and theoretical resistance to the course of social catastrophe and national enslavement, that began under the Papandreou government with its act of treason of May 2010 and was continued under the Papadimas and Samaras governments.

 

We met in the strikes and demonstrations against the measures provided by the Memoranda signed with the Troika of EU, ECB and IMF. We were present in the battle of ideas in order to comprehend and explain the real content and the goals of the Greek “rescue packages”, of the Memoranda and the Loan Agreements. We were among the first who underlined that those measures and programs are not only reactionary economic reforms but means of destroying and enslaving our state. We underlined that these programs are organizing in the medium-long term a course towards an oligarchic turn in all Europe, using Greece and then the whole “periphery” of Europe as Troian horses.

 

We were among the first to underline the importance of putting Greek sovereign debt under the jurisdiction of English colonial law, which was the real reason behind the formation of the Papadimas government. We struggled for the creation of a common antimemorandum-front, “from Kammenos to ANTARSYA”, based on the principle “we attack together, we march separately”. We did give the struggle for the awakening of European peoples, on the basis of the “appeal for the saving of peoples of Europe”, launched in October 2011. We worked for the success of SYRIZA at the elections of 2012, exactly because we wished to provide the Greek people with a political tool to stop and deny the memoranda. We defended without any concessions democracy, including democracy in the internal life of the collectivities to which we have participated.

 

Memorandum and Loan Agreements


For us, the Memorandum and the Loan Agreements are not a simple program of economic and social policy; they are not only a “mistaken”, socially “senseless” or “reactionary” economic and social policy. They are all of that, but they are also something much more important. The Memorandum was not devised to “succeed”, even according to its own stated aims; it was devised to “fail”, creating  exactly what its “failure” provokes. It is a comprehensive and consequent to itself program, creating, in its own terms, the mechanisms which provoke and consequently use its “failures” to achieve its actual but hidden agenda. For this reason, the recession is not abating, having smashed all records; this is why the so-called “last” measures are never the last measures, and for that reason the debt, the indication of the economic strength or weakness of a country, is constantly skyrocketing; for that reason, a primary surplus is not being created, nor will it ever be created under these circumstances and this is how every mechanism of popular sovereignty is being curtailed. The Memorandum and Loan Agreements are not a mistake, because if they were a mistake, they would correct them; they are a crime, a mechanism of programmed enslavement and self-destruction of a nation-state, a “pilot programme” of pan-European and worldwide significance.

The  system of the “Memorandum and Loan Agreements” is an attempt to:

-        confirm, as much as possible, the fundamental, internationally important principle of  “paying debt in its entirety”, in other words, the claims of the holders of capital against societies and peoples, at all costs and without limits, even if the big banks and the rating agencies themselves overwhelmingly contributed to the creation of this “mountain of debt”. Among other things, by usurping, through the industry of derivatives and other schemes, the fundamental state function of issuing money. In other words, to institutionalize the subversion of the principle of popular sovereignty and of national independence, of the foundation of the civil organization of modern bourgeois democracy, in favour of the principle of the sovereignty of Money. It is certainly true that Finance never felt quite comfortable in the clothes of popular sovereignty and national independence. It went along with it only as long as it was not able to wear its own: of the oligarchic, plutocratic organization of society, through unrestrained markets and uncontrolled supranational structures

 

-        to provoke a violent and rapid impoverishment, unprecedented during peaceful times in Europe, of an entire people, as well as the demolition of an underdeveloped social state which Greece possessed, and the return to the social status of the 19th century (under even worse conditions, because we no longer have the mechanisms of production and survival available to an agricultural society with the large families of the past)

 

-        to achieve a continual transfer of  both surplus and wealth, public and private (through larcenous taxation), to the Creditors

 

-   to deprive popular sovereignty and the most basic state functions of their content using debt, imposed economic policies and a transfer of wealth and sovereignty  in order to institutionally transform Greece into a “debt colony” – and not even a stable one, but enfeebled and unsustainable as well. The great western powers, Britain, America and now the Financial Empire would never accept Greek independence – but this is the first time that a type of “unsustainable protectorate” has been created, in a process of an ongoing “death spiral”, in order to use it, among other things, as a tool for dismantling Europe.

The Loan Agreements and Memoranda undermine the capacity of Greek social formation to reproduce itself, render the Greek “nation-state” itself largely unsustainable and directly threaten the economic preconditions for a bourgeois parliamentary democracy as well as  the international position of Greece, including its participation in the Eurozone and the European Union.

In the long run, if these processes are not controlled, they could even endanger the territorial integrity of the country and result in a “Greece without Greeks”, intensifying the emigration of the most dynamic, young and educated people abroad, at the same time that the greater portion of the waves of migrants from Asia and Africa toward Europe are being concentrated in Greece. The erosion of Greece’s demographic, ethnic composition, from a critical point on, has major political, not simply ethnic, implications. The masses of destitute immigrants, with distant cultural determinants and roots, cannot easily be assimilated into the framework of a state and of a social and urban network which, even before it was plunged into the current process of decomposition and collapse, had no policy for the reception and assimilation of migrants. Ethnic and religious differences have contributed to an environment of intense social and class conflicts and of general decomposition, making race riots ever more likely, contributing to the dissolution of social cohesion. Most of all, however, they shatter the basis of Democracy, which isn’t and cannot be other than the collective, conscious “Demos”, as defined by Pericles in his Funeral Oration. The Greek people are in danger of suffering in the end, at the hands of international Capital, what the Jews suffered under the emperor Titus in 70 AD, in other words, being scattered to the four winds by economic means rather than through violence and arms, leaving behind “brand Greece” and its symbols a mere shadow of its former self, and leaving in the hands of multi-national managers a country which has been transformed into an empty shell.

 

Patriotism, Internationalism, Democracy


For these reasons, resistance to and subversion of the Memorandum is our greatest ethical, social and patriotic duty, the precondition for the dignified and secure survival of the Greek people as well as the most important contribution which our people could make to the global process of realization and development to the thoroughly misunderstood and distorted principle of internationalism. We are internationalists supporting our homeland and nation - not just because we belong to it, and not because we believe that it is superior to others, even though our History has done us a great honor, Greeks having contributed to some of the greatest and most fundamental achievements of universal civilization. But also because the nation-state is today the only islet of any democratic potential and social protection. We are both patriots and internationalists, because we cannot be one without the other. We are both patriots and democrats because we cannot be one without the other.

We are inter-nationalists because our goal is to unite the nations, peoples and societies against the totalitarianism of the Empire, whether it is expressed through economic or military means. And we are struggling, first of all, to unite the peoples of our continent, Europe. Doing so, we are contributing to the creation of international conditions which will permit the salvation and the rebirth of our own homeland.

Only by being patriots can we be democrats, because if we cannot protect the state, our society, our homeland against the attack which they are suffering, we will lose every possibility of becoming citizens; we will be turned into new slaves of global imperial power. Only as democrats can we defend our homeland and our nation, because the state is the “demos” (the people), as we learned from ancient Athens, from the fighters in the national resistance of 1941-1945 as was underlined in the program of EAM (National Liberation Front) and as was penned by Glinos, namely that: “the national is popular, and the popular is national”. 

Only the Greek people can defend its state, and in order to defend the state they must feel that it is their own. This is a universal truth as well as the fundamental lesson of modern Greek history, of our rebellions and, especially, of the history of so-called Greek “nationalism” of the right (made historically in USA), which resulted in the treachery and tragedy of Cyprus. For Greece and the Greek people, the special tradition of the tremendous heritage of the Ancients - a tradition which has at its centre the notions of Man,  Citizen, Democracy and Freedom - must be at the centre of our identity. Without it, if we do not defend it as a priceless treasure, if we abandon it, we will inevitable be lost as a people.

Those who have attacked us know very well what they have done in choosing Greece to begin their assault against Europe and Mankind. We must, here and now, on pain of individual, social and national extinction, succeed in defending our independence and popular sovereignty, this time facing not military, but political-economic violence. We must do again, with other methods and in a different environment, what we did in 1821, with the thunderbolt of the Greek Revolution, which lit up the European night of the Holy Alliance; as the European night of the Third Reich was lit up by the Greek resistance to the Nazis in 1941-1945 and the victory of the Greek people, the first against fascism in Europe, in 1940.

Of course, it’s not possible to make a simple mechanical transfer from the past to today’s conditions and modern threats, which are infinitely more difficult and dangerous, even if less immediately dramatic in form, at least until now. Greece did not become the object of a military invasion, but of a “communication”, “political” and economic “war of debt”. The subjugation and corruption of Greece’s ruling classes and of its political and state personnel have placed us in the first line of fire. We don’t have any previous experiences or models to follow; we have no ready recipes or solutions. As with every struggle, bravery and honesty are sine qua non, but for David to beat Goliath a better mind is needed as well. Unfortunately, today’s situation has been prepared by decades of spiritual, ethic and political decline, which has permeated Greek society, not only its upper classes, and without its reversal no salvation can be possible.

The European and global importance of the Greek struggle


By resisting and reversing the catastrophic course on which we have entered, we are not only defending our identity and dignity, we are not just laying the foundations for the rebirth of our homeland; we are simultaneously joining the first battle in the fight against the new, global totalitarianism in Europe. This is because the Memorandum signals the passage from neoliberalism to the capitalism of catastrophe; moving more and more from “American” to “financial imperialism”, to a new, purely financial capitalism, a feudalism of capital; to the institutionalization of economic, political and, sooner or later, police and military violence, where needed, as the dominant form of “governance”; to the dismantling of the political and ideological superstructure which characterized post-war Europe and the world.

Perhaps, for the time being at least, this new totalitarianism is using, in Europe, “peaceful” and “economic” means, but it is just as deadly and even more dangerous than the military violence used by its predecessor, the Nazism of Adolph Hitler. While Hitler tried to subjugate peoples with raw violence, this one uses means of deception and manipulation; it takes advantage of the most extraordinary achievements of 20th-century science and technology, hiding its real agenda, the program of destruction and the ideology of Death, which characterize it, within the complexity of modern economic and financial mechanisms, impenetrable not only to the average person but to most “experts” as well.

Today’s attack is the fourth and most dangerous wave in a global attempt to dismantle the most important social, democratic and cultural achievements of the 19th and 20th century, if not the most fundamental moral imperatives of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, which was the effort to allow Man to be the subject of his own History.

The course of deconstruction began three or four decades ago, with the violent introduction of neoliberal dogmas by Thatcher and Reagan. There followed, twenty years ago, under pressure from the same powers, the collapse of the Soviet Union, which was really not what it claimed to be, but the collapse of which turned this huge country into “mafia-style capitalism”, demolishing in its course the insufficient but quite real social and cultural achievements of its peoples and creating the preconditions for a global monopolistic dictatorship. Authoritarianism, “the culture of power”, “the strong Leviathan state controlling a weak society” - which characterized the Soviet experiment, perhaps the most significant social experiment in the history of mankind  - easily served the interests of the oligarchic and mafiosi post-Soviet neocapitalism, which did little to expand the empowerment of Soviet citizens to influence the course of their own country. A series of wars broke out in the region comprising the former USSR, and Russia itself was threatened, at one point, with dissolution into a number of “province-statelets”. It would be difficult for someone to find a trace of “socialism” in the USSR of 1991, and its disappearance dissipated a great historical misunderstanding. However, at the same time, the lowering of the Red Flag from the Kremlin in December of that year was experienced as an historic defeat of the idea of “socialism” – and it was - to the degree that we refer specifically to ideas.

Ten years ago, an enormous operation of complete re-colonization of the Middle East began, with wars supposedly against “terrorism” and the “Axis of Evil”, in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, which continue to this day in Libya and Syria, and which tomorrow may include Lebanon and Iran, extending at the same time to the south, toward the African continent.

With the attack against Greece in 2009 – 2010, the “Empire” now threatens the “heartof the western world, beginning with the “periphery” of this “heart”; it threatens the societies which, after 1945, owing to their struggles, but thanks to their international position as well, had gained the most important democratic and social achievements in the modern world. The empire aims either to turn the European Union into a complete “dictatorship of the markets”, or to dissolve it into a series of quarreling nations, embroiled in economic and political wars between each other without the means or size to resist the totalitarianism of the markets.

Greece and Europe


If this analysis is correct, then it suggests the right policy for us with regard to Europe. The European debt crisis and its method of dealing with have confirmed the deeply reactionary character as well as the unsustainability of the “Europe of Maastricht”, they confirmed the correctness of all those who criticized that way of “European construction”, but, also, they have showed the weakness of this structure. The practical solutions proposed today are either the transformation of the EU and above all the Eurozone into an open dictatorship of the markets or its dissolution under conditions of chaos and suzerainty of the markets and the USA throughout the continent. For us, both are unacceptable and catastrophic.

We share the criticism of many friends concerning the current structure of EU; what most concerns us, however, is to move to a better, rather than worse, situation from where we are now. In the USSR, for instance, there was no trace whatsoever of socialism; however, it remained a contradictory structure because it referred ideologically to socialism. Its dissolution in favour of  mafia-capitalism was a strategic defeat for socialist ideas and a major historical regression. In the mechanisms of the EU there is not a trace of democracy, but the EU remains a contradictory structure to the degree that it refers ideologically to the principles of humanity, enlightenment and democracy. Its dissolution in favour of a fragmentation of Europe into opposing statelets threatens to lead, under these conditions, to a complete dismantling of bourgeois democracy and major achievements of global and European importance; it threatens to take us back to before 1945, en route to the Middle Ages. If we remain on this course and if we do not reverse it, it threatens to turn into the greatest global catastrophe of human civilization since the Renaissance and the Enlightenment after the English and French Revolutions.

The euro and its architecture are fundamental contributors to the crisis which Greece is facing - but not the only ones. The debt crisis struck not only the Eurozone, it also reflects a new phase of financial capitalism and it is a consequence, among others, of the total liberation of the flow of capital and goods, the ongoing tendency to exempt capital from taxation and the abolition of all protectionist regulations, that is of globalisation. On the other hand, additional contributing factors to the Greek crisis included the serious weaknesses of the Greek structure, specific geopolitical pressures and the existence of a “kleptocratic capitalism”, which has poisoned with its contagious “exhalations” the entire Greek society, our culture and mentality. A crisis of such magnitude and an attack of such severity cannot be confronted satisfactorily only or largely using the tool of monetary devaluation. It can only be confronted by gathering an alliance of European peoples and nations against the uncontrolled actions of the Markets and Capital.

This is even more true when the subject under attack is a deeply exhausted country, in steep decline for decades, a state which can’t even fill a pothole in a road, let alone organize an effective return to a national currency under conditions of national destruction, especially when it has converted the bulk of its debt into euro through the PSI and loan agreements.

Some consider it utopian to pursue the formation of a European alliance against the Markets and the organization of a popular struggle for a different Europe. They underestimate, however, the inevitable awakening of the European peoples, given the visible dismantling of their major social and political achievements. If we accept their assumption, in other words, if we too assume that all of Europe will accept without protest its destruction by the Markets, then what chances do we have at all by ourselves to successfully resist such an attack, inside or outside euro and/or EU?

The drama of Greece’s situation, thanks to the great strategic brilliance of those who planned the debt wars, lies in the fact that we are now obliged to proceed toward rupture, toward conflict, because we are the first in line to be destroyed as a country. Greece stepped into the line of fire and became a target thanks to the betrayal, corruption and incompetence of the Greek elite, the acceptance of the memorandum and the Loan Agreement being one of the biggest crimes committed by the ruling class and its politicians against their own nation in modern Greek history. However, before we are led to a compulsory exit from the euro, which under the current circumstances we cannot exclude, we must exhaust all possible means, policies, institutional capabilities and weapons - and these are not insignificant - provided through our participation in the EU. If we must, let us “sell our hide” dearly, but let us also create the kind of policies and international alliances that will support our existence as an independent state, outside the euro.

We must immediately organize an enormous, international communication and political counterattack in Europe and throughout the world. Let us charge the upper classes of Germany and of Europe, as well as global Capital, with the responsibility which they certainly bear for the Greek social holocaust and the danger of European-wide catastrophe. Let us be the first in the creation of proposals which will gather forces around a progressive solution to the European crisis. At the same time, we must prepare the people and country on all levels: political, social, economic, diplomatic and technocratic, for the exigencies of the War that must be fought for their salvation, even if it means entering and adopting an “emergency economy”.

In order to accomplish this, we cannot succeed by spreading illusions about the insignificance of the problems we face, nor by raising the “flag of the drachma”, but only by defending the values, ideas, imperatives and symbols of Europe, a Europe which belongs much more to us and to our tradition than to the grey Chancellor of Germany and those she represents. Our Europe is the Europe of Aristotle and Plato, of Pericles and Protagoras, Goethe and Beethoven, of Rousseau and Voltaire, of the Enlightenment and Socialism, of the Greek Revolution of 1821 and of our National Resistance. Even if we are led, willing or not, into open “war” and rupture with the ruling powers of Capital and of “Euro-Germany”, we should do so holding high these banners, because only with them can we create the conditions for European and international political and social alliances; only with them can we make clearly known, both globally and throughout Europe, the meaning of the struggle of the Greek people.

From the necessary “Revolution” to the necessary “Self-Management” – Socialism of the 21st century


To be a radical in modern Greece it is not enough to repeat the analysis and program of Marx concerning English industrial capitalism of the 19th century.  One cannot be a radical while at the same time participating in, or at least not exposing, the party of the small and large privileges which comprise the economic base as well as the political and cultural “superstructure” of Greek “kleptocratic capitalism”. Obviously, as much as one might search “Das Kapital”, nowhere can one find the word “rousfeti” (nepotism, piston).

The productive reconstruction of Greek society and the economy as well as its resistance to external attack cannot be realized without a “moral” and “cultural revolution” inside the country. Our challenge is to fight against kleptocracy and corruption in order to re-found our state and make it deeply democratic, to cease being slaves and to become citizens, because it is by changing the world we change ourselves (Marx, Third Thesis on Feuerbach). We must wage a relentless struggle against all forms of corruption both inside the Left and among all kinds of “anti-memorandum-ists”; we must focus practical emphasis on collective actions and institutions of every kind as the best possible means of resisting the crisis, we must encourage the young and the unemployed to be represented and to play their autonomous role on every level, from the base to the top. This is an integral element and necessary condition for the country’s salvation. No other road is possible.

“European Socialism of the 21st century”, whose necessity was referred to by the President of SYRIZA’s Parliamentary Group, must take into account the great lessons from the epic struggles and tragedies of the Twentieth Century, combining an emphasis on collectivity with an emphasis on human character, personality. There are no free societies without autonomous individuals. Neither can autonomous individuals exist in unfree societies. This new European Socialism must also recognize the need for a long transitional period of antagonistic co-existence between economic planning and the market. For us, Socialism in the 21st century can only be defined as a system of generalized social self-management, and self-governance on all levels, returning to the basic, fundamental moral demand of a Left which was destroyed whenever and wherever it has forgotten it. Self-regulation of society or totalitarianism and destruction: this is the historical dilemma of mankind in our age.

Why we are adhering to SYRIZA-EKM


Today, through the agitations and actions of the past two-and-a-half years, the Coalition of the Radical Left – United Social Front (SYRIZA-EKM) has emerged as the main political tool of the Greek people in its attempt to change the catastrophic course dictated by the Memorandum and in order for our homeland to be re-born. This coalition concentrates and represents the majority of the forces which clearly and consciously espouse this goal. By undertaking a transformation into a united, democratic party, allowing for difeerent tendencies inside, it is attempting to transform itself into a democratic, progressive, political vehicle, which we so desperately need at this present juncture, in order to claim hegemony. This coalition will also probably take a position of de facto leadership in the fast approaching fight for the salvation of our homeland, a fight of historic, definitive importance for Greece and all Europe. We believe that participating today in SYRIZA-EKM and its efforts, taking part in the fermentation of ideas, dialogue and actions it is undertaking, we are contributing in the most effective way possible to promoting our aims. We are contributing to the titanic duty and challenge that confront the Greek Left, the Greek people and all of the living, patriotic forces of our nation. This participation of ours does not mean that it is only in SYRIZA-EKM that there are forces already fighting or which could potentially be part of a wider social, patriotic, European front, which must be assembled in order to join the fight of social salvation and rebirth of our homeland. With our participation in SYRIZA-EMK we hope to facilitate dialogue and joint actions with forces outside SYRIZA-EKM as well; we hope to widen this party’s appeal, and contribute as much as we can to the creation of a wider front of social and national salvation and rebirth.

 

                                                        Athens, 13 November 2012

                                                          THE TEMPORARY COORDINATING COMMITTEE

                                                           OF THE “FREE STATE” MOVEMENT

 

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