The Greek Revolution has begun! Vote NO!


02/07/2015 by socialistfight

By Gerry Downing Socialist Fight 2 June 2015

Greek Priminister Alexis Tsipras

Socialist Fight calls on the Greek workers, small farmers and middle class allies to vote NO in the referendum on Sunday 5 July. We think the taking of a referendum was a TACTICAL error but then the whole political orientation of Syriza is a SRTATEGIC error in attempting to negotiate to save Greek capitalism and in opposing the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism in Greece, in Europe as a whole and globally.

Nonetheless it is not just what the revolutionary party or even the most advanced vanguard of the class understands but what the class as a whole, or at least its majority, understands and fights for consciously that informs our transitional demands. Socialist Fights puts this matter at No. 1 in its Where We Stand platform:

  1. We stand with Karl Marx: ‘The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves. The struggle for the emancipation of the working class means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies but for equal rights and duties and the abolition of all class rule’ (The International Workingmen’s Association 1864, General Rules). The working class ‘cannot emancipate itself without emancipating itself from all other sphere of society and thereby emancipating all other spheres of society’ (Marx, A Contribution to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1843).

It is the central task of the revolutionary party to prepare the masses, via its most class conscious vanguard, for the taking of power. All other party tasks are subordinate to that. For this we must develop a political programme via transitional demands placed on the old leaders of the class to expose their vacillations, their bogus leftism and their essential defence of capitalist property relations before the masses. The purpose of this is to move the masses into action so their leadership can be tested out in the practice of the class struggle. It was this method of the United Front that guided the Bolshevik party from at least 1905, it is this method that guided Trotsky in producing the Programme of Action for France (1936) and the Transition Program (1938). It is the methodology of communism.

Those who refuse to Vote No; the KKE and the WSWS/SEP

We will therefore examine a number of putative revolutionary parties and groups in the light of these criteria and then put forward out own programme for debate. It follows from this that the revolutionary vanguard must be unequivocally for a NO vote in the referendum. In fairness the vast majority of leftist groups pass this elementary test with only two major exceptions to our knowledge; the Communist party, the KKE and the WSWS/Social Equality Party.

The Stalinists ultra-left sectarians of the Greek KKE are mirrored by the “Trotskyist” ultra-left sectarians of the SEP. The KKE use a tactic of spoil ballot papers with their demands written in and justify their sectarianism by the same arguments as the SEP; a no vote will not solve the crisis, it will precipitate an equally big crisis as a yes vote, none of the above; let’s go for the revolution! The spoilt ballot tactic is undiluted class treachery and may result in the loss of the referendum if sufficient of their followers heed the advice. The difference being that the No vote is far better calculated to mobilise the masses whereas a yes vote is calculated to mobilise the capitalists and middle classes. This is THE decisive criterion for any half-serious revolutionist. The fact that the fascist Golden Dawn are the strongest party for a no vote cannot deter us, they want a no vote for the purpose of counter-revolution and think they can defeat the organised working class in this coming battle; they want clear battle lines now, so do we. We want a no vote to defeat them and the capitalist state, whose final line of defence they constitute.

This is how the KKE defends their reactionary Europhobic and indeed xenophobic position:

“In these conditions, the KKE calls on the people to utilize the referendum as an opportunity to strengthen the opposition to the EU, to strengthen the struggle for the only realistic way out from today’s capitalist barbarity. The content of this way out is: RUPTURE-DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, UNILATERAL CANCELLATION OF THE DEBT, SOCIALIZATION OF THE MONOPOLIES, WORKERS’-PEOPLE’S POWER.”

The people, through their activity and their choice in the referendum, must respond to the deception of the false question posed by the government and reject the proposal of the EU-IMF-ECB and also the proposal of the SYRIZA-ANEL government. Both contain barbaric anti-people measures, which will be added to the memoranda and application laws of the previous ND-PASOK governments. Both serve the interests of capital and capitalist profits.

The KKE stresses that the people must not choose between Scylla and Charybdis, but must express, with all means available and in every way, their opposition to the EU and its permanent memoranda in the referendum. They must “cancel out” this dilemma by casting the proposal of the KKE as their vote into the ballot box.




Image result for KKE Greek communist party images

No internationalism here, no socialist revolution, only the vague cross-class “people in power” traditional in Stalinist ideology. The SEP, in rejecting a NO vote, proclaims that:

“The only way forward for the working class is to set its policy independently of all the factions of the capitalist class, whose social order has utterly failed. The critical task is to prepare to mobilize the working class in Greece and across Europe in revolutionary struggle against the reactionary intrigues of Syriza and the EU.”

In other words they have no programme of action whatsoever, apart from the old Maximum one of the pre-WWI German SDP, but a little less of the reformism now and a bit more of the revolution later but with no link between the two. This utterly sectarian approach was ably exposed by Frank Brenner in the Permanent Revolution website here:

“Syriza was elected on an anti-austerity program by the votes of millions of working class and middle class people. For the past six months it has tried desperately to find some middle ground between the financial vampires in Frankfurt and the aspirations of its electoral base. But unlike its predecessors, Syriza cannot totally ignore those aspirations. Which is why, in the end, it had to say no to a deal and call a referendum.

To a revolutionary, this matters enormously because it opens up possibilities for the growth of revolutionary consciousness. Workers are learning THROUGH THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES that capitalism and democracy are mutually exclusive, and that only an end to the system will bring an end to austerity. For the first time in generations, socialism can come to be seen as a PRACTICAL PROJECT by the masses. The road to revolution in Greece lies through the electoral base of Syriza. A revolutionary party that can exploit the fissures between that base and the Syriza leadership can win mass support for socialism.

But none of this matters to sectarians. The WSWS reaction to the referendum was that it was “a reactionary fraud, designed to lend a veneer of democratic legitimacy to the looting of Greek workers and middle-class people by the banks.” [2][3]

They have now (July 29) reversed themselves and called for a no vote, without explanation of justification of their previous stance. As Frank Brenner remarks a cult does not have to explains its 180 degree turns to its members or to anyone else! They made the following announcement: “The World Socialist Web Site calls on workers in Greece to vote ‘no’ to accepting the EU’s demands for yet more austerity.” (See “Greek crisis comes to a head” articles/2015/06/29/pers-j29. html).

Syriza’s ‘Socialism’

The first thing to say is that Syriza is a capitalist party, a defender of capitalist property relations and it goes to great lengths to affirm this. Whilst it appears to be defending Greek capitalism against European/German capitalism it remains popular because the masses do not as yet see the need for revolution in Greece and do not as yet accept the possibility that capitalism can be overthrown nationally, Europe-wide and globally. Once the masses embark on a revolutionary course Syriza must save capitalism from them, because, they reason, this is saving the working class from themselves and from the appalling vista of a far right police state. This conservatism is shared equally by the Third Period Stalinists of the KKE. Syriza emerged from the Euro Communist wing of the KKE.

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis

The advanced vanguard of the masses must accept the possibility to make revolution even in Greece. Such was the dialectic of the April Theses of Lenin with which he assailed a sceptical Central Committee of the Bolshevik party when he arrived in the Finland Railway station in 1917. This is the basis of Trotsky’s theory of Permanent Revolution, the April Theses for all lands today; the working class is the only progressive and potentially revolutionary class in society, and it cannot achieve socialism in a single country without the perspective and actual achievement of spreading that revolution Europe-wide and globally. That is the perspective that is desperately needed now in Greece; Down with the EU, the Troika and the IMF, for the Socialist United States of Europe!

We know for certain that Syriza will never achieve this because Yanis Varoufakis, their chief theoretician, makes that clear. The preface to an article by Yanis Varoufakis in The Guardian on 18 February 2015 says:

“Before he entered politics, Yanis Varoufakis, the iconoclastic Greek finance minister at the centre of the latest eurozone standoff, wrote this searing account of European capitalism and how the left can learn from Marx’s mistakes”. [4]

And what do we have to learn from Marx’s “mistakes”?

“Europe’s crisis is far less likely to give birth to a better alternative to capitalism than it is to unleash dangerously regressive forces that have the capacity to cause a humanitarian bloodbath, while extinguishing the hope for any progressive moves for generations to come. For this view I have been accused, by well-meaning radical voices, of being “defeatist” and of trying to save an indefensible European socioeconomic system. This criticism, I confess, hurts. And it hurts because it contains more than a kernel of truth.” [5]

Could not be clearer. And he goes on the reassure the capitalist classes of Europe and the world, from Wall Street to the City of London to the Paris Bourse and Frankfurt:

“I confess I would much rather be promoting a radical agenda, the raison d’être of which is to replace European capitalism with a different system. Yet my aim here is to offer a window into my view of a repugnant European capitalism whose implosion, despite its many ills, should be avoided at all costs. It is a confession intended to convince radicals that we have a contradictory mission: to arrest the freefall of European capitalism in order to buy the time we need to formulate its alternative.” [6]

He then goes on to reproduce the classic reformist gutting of Marx and Marxism of its revolutionary content so that it is simply a bit of advice to ‘progressive’ liberal capitalists on how to manage their affairs better and finishes with this pathetic grovel:

“Forging alliances with reactionary forces, as I think we should do to stabilise Europe today, brings us up against the risk of becoming co-opted, of shedding our radicalism through the warm glow of having “arrived” in the corridors of power. Radical confessions, like the one I have attempted here, are perhaps the only programmatic antidote to ideological slippage that threatens to turn us into cogs of the machine. If we are to forge alliances with our political adversaries we must avoid becoming like the socialists who failed to change the world but succeeded in improving their private circumstances. The trick is to avoid the revolutionary maximalism that, in the end, helps the neoliberals bypass all opposition to their self-defeating policies and to retain in our sights capitalism’s inherent failures while trying to save it, for strategic purposes, from itself.” [7]

Marxist scholars will have no difficulty in identifying the classic two stage theory of revolution and socialism in a single country of Stalinism there. It is the same political theory that guides the Stalinist of the KKE, even if the tactical orientation of Syriza is different because they lack the direct leadership of a radical working class the KKE have in the PAME trade union federation they control.

Those who vote no: the opportunists, the centrists and the revolutionary.

Now to examine the politics of those who correctly call for a NO vote. There are three groupings; Syriza who got 2,246,064 votes, 36.34% and 149 seats in the general election of 25 January. This includes a left oppositionists, of which more below. The Front of the Greek Anticapitalist Left-MARS (ANTARSYA-MARS) got 39,455 votes and 0.64%. It is a front of several leftist parties who stood as an independent grouping. The third grouping, the Maoist Marxist–Leninist Communist Parties of Greece (KKE (m-l)/M-L KKE) who got 8,030 votes and 0.13 % and the two small Trotskyists parties, the Workers’ Revolutionary Party (EEK) and Organisation of Internationalist Communists of Greece (OKDE) the who stood independently and got 2,435 and 2,195 votes respectively, 0.04% in that January 25 election.

  1. The left oppositionists in Syriza

Wikipedia provides the following list of constituent parties of Syriza:

Syriza as a unitary party was formed through the merger of the following parties (in alphabetical order in English):

  1. Active Citizens (Ενεργοί Πολίτες): democratic socialism, patriotism
  2. Anticapitalist Political Group (ΑΠΟ): communism, Trotskyism, anti-capitalism
  3. Citizens’ Association of Riga (Velestinli): patriotism, internationalism, democracy, ecology, social justice
  4. Coalition of Left, of Movements and Ecology (Synaspismós or SYN): democratic socialism, eco-socialism, eurocommunism, environmentalism, feminism
  5. Communist Organization of Greece (KOE): maoism, communism
  6. Communist Platform of Syriza: Greek section of the International Marxist Tendency, communism, Trotskyism
  7. Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI): left-wing nationalism, socialism, Euroscepticism
  8. Ecosocialists of Greece: eco-socialism, green politics
  9. Internationalist Workers’ Left (DEA): revolutionary socialism, communism, Trotskyism
  10. Movement for the United in Action Left (KEDA): communism, Marxism–Leninism
  11. New Fighter: democratic socialism, social democracy
  12. Radical Left Group Roza: Luxemburgism, feminism
  13. Radicals (Ριζοσπάστες): democratic socialism, patriotism
  14. Red (Κόκκινο): communism, Trotskyism
  15. Renewing Communist Ecological Left (AKOA): democratic socialism, Eurocommunism, green politics
  16. Union of the Democratic Centre (EDIK): radicalism, social liberalism, centrism
  17. Unitary Movement: democratic socialism, social democracy
  18. Also a number of independent leftist activists. [8]

Left Platform leader Panagiotis Lafazanis, Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy

Of course Synaspismós or SYN, the faction of Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, itself a coalition of various tendencies, is the dominant group. If you think the whole thing is a dog’s dinner you would be right. But there is an organised opposition. It is the Left Platform led by Panagiotis Lafazanis who is the Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy. He was in the KKE until the 1992 formation of Synaspismos, where he served as a member of the Political Secretariat. He demagogic rhetoric is impressive, as Wiki tells us:

“Lafazanis is the leader of Syriza’s Left Platform and has been involved in a number of disputes with the more moderate party leader Alexis Tsipras. He has called “for SYRIZA to [be] swept by a new wave of radicalization in all areas, ideological, political, programmatic”, opposing “the Troika, memoranda, neoliberalism and finally capitalism itself”, and has spoken against continued Greek membership of the euro, describing the European Union as “totalitarian”. [9]

This in turn has left wing opponents in the Communist Tendency of SYRIZA, for one. This is the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) section, and produce various criticisms of Syriza and the Left Opposition. Indeed it sounds far more radical but is constrained by the reformist outlook of its parent organisation so all proposals are couched in terms of what is legally possible under capitalist property relations. All its proposals are made in the way, for instance the statement on 29 June, in In Defence of Marxism:

They say:

“We already find ourselves fighting in a bitter class war that has been declared against the vast majority of the Greek people by the “black front” of the Troika and the Greek oligarchy. Wars are not won with passive “serenity”, but with militancy and a proper plan. The time has come for mass action and radical measures.” [10]

And then go on to tell us that:

“The current task of the government is to wrest the banks away from the hands of the Troika and the Greek ruling class. As long as the banks remain under the control of the Troika and the Greek ruling class, the safety of wages, pensions and the deposits of small savers is in no way ensured, and acts as a noose around the necks of the people, constantly tightening and preventing any possibility for a free expression of the people’s will in the referendum. It is therefore imperative that the entire banking system is nationalised as quickly as the law possibly allows. The government must now to proceed towards the creation of a single, unified state bank, that to be administered not only by its representatives, but also by delegates appointed by the employees of the banking sector and from the different mass workers’ and people’s organisations. This is in order to establish a transparent banking system that functions in a socially beneficial way, as opposed to the current form of management, which is profit-driven, non-transparent and corrupt.” [11]

But to criticise Syriza for its passivism, its “calmness and serenity”, and assert the need for decisive action by nationalising the banks under workers’ control without pointing to the dangers from the state and the fascist Golden Dawn is very leftist sounding but is nonetheless still criminal reformism. The total failure to make any serious criticism of Syriza and the Left Platform on the basis of their two stage theory of revolution and their socialism in a single country clearly shows that the Communist Tendency’s programme is simply a leftist version of the British or Greek Road to Socialism, via parliament with the working class called in as a stage army to frighten opponents but not to perform their historic task as the gravediggers of capitalism itself. And where is the demand to expel the xenophobic Minister of Defence Panos Kammenos leader of the far right Independent Greeks (ANEL), with their close connections to reactionary state forces that WILL be used to crush the working class, from the coalition?

Logo teliko mikro.gif

  1. ANTARSYA, The Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow

ANTARSYA describes itself as “Front of the anticapitalist, revolutionary, communist left and radical ecology”. It is also a coalition but has not become a unitary party like Syriza. As Wiki informs us:

“It was founded in 20009 in Athens by 10 organisations and independent militants involved in the Radical Left Front (MERA) and United Anti-Capitalist Left (ENANTIA) with the exception of the Workers Revolutionary Party (ΕΕΚ). These organisations come from different left wing currents ranging from ex-Communist Party (KKE) and KKE Interior members to Maoism and Trotskyism.”

In many containing many of the same forces as the Syriza but tending to be more radical but equally confused and confusing. Wiki tells us the 9 organisations which are members of ANTARSYA are:

  1. Alternative Ecologists

  2. Left Anti-capitalist Group (ARAS)

  3. Left Group (A.S.)

  4. Left Recomposition (ARAN)

  5. New Left Current (NAR)

  6. Organization of Communist Internationalists of Greece–Spartacus, Greek section of the Fourth International (OKDE-Spartakos)

  7. Revolutionary Communist Movement of Greece (EKKE)

  8. Socialist Workers’ Party (SEK)

  9. Youth of Communist Liberation (nΚΑ) [12]

The Organization of Communist Internationalists of Greece (OKDE, [not Spartakos]), split from ANTARSYA in May 2009 and stood as independents as did the EEK in the January election. Like Syriza ANTARSYA has a reformist programme; the diversity of its membership makes for a lowest common denominator type of politics, although its most prominent members at least, the Mandelite OKDE-Spartakos and Cliffite the Socialist Workers’ Party (SEK) produce their own literature and act relatively independently outside of elections. Wiki tells us that:

ANTARSYA calls for defaulting on Greece’s debt, and nationalization without compensation of major industries. The party also calls for a banning of lay-offs, a minimum salary of 1,400 euros, a reduction of weekly working time to 35 hours without reduction of wages, the disarmament of the police, full political and social rights for immigrants, and an ecosocialist answer to ecological crisis. [13]

This programme is purely reformist and does not question the dangers from the state forces at all. They tend to be more radical but still very popular frontist in politics, rejecting clear class lines in fighting fascism as the Unite against Fascism does in Britain, taking reactionary positions on Libya, Syria and Ukraine, refusing to give unequivocal support to the Donbass and equating coup-imposed the fascist-infested, US/EU Nato sponsored regime in Kiev with the desperate struggles of the Donbass in defence of their national and social rights. All this in the name of the thirds campist “neither Moscow nor Berlin but the working class”, a cop-out defence of US led global imperialism.

  1. Those who appeal directly to the working class to make Revolution

The refusal of the EEK to join and the break of the OKDE from ANTARSYA and their decision to appeal directly to the working class and place demands on Syriza is a healthy development. But let us first look at those who shout for revolution without transitional demands. In Britain the Workers Revolutionary Party (until shortly after 1985 still in the same organisation, the International Committee of the Fourth International, as Savas Michael’s WRP) produced an editorial comment and in its daily Newsline on 29/6/15 and its Greek section the Revolutionary Marxist League Athens, also produced a comment Saturday 27/6/15.

The RML correctly say that:

“The refusal of the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government to sign the ultimatum proposed by the troika institutions EC-IMF-ECB last Friday, is due to the tremendous mass resistance to austerity by Greek workers and youth. The ‘NO’ vote will be a huge blow to the European Union-imposed austerity and will strengthen the struggles of all workers throughout Europe against poverty, unemployment and the wars of EU, NATO and USA.” [14]

After warning that workers must place no confidence in the Syriza coalition they go on to demand:

“They (the working class) must prepare, through a united front, popular assemblies mobilisations and occupations to organise an indefinite general political strike and go forward and overthrow the SYRIZA-ANEL government and capitalism, to go ahead and establish a socialist workers’ and poor farmers’ government, for the Socialist United States of Europe and for World Revolution.” [15]

With no mention of demands on Syriza, on the KKE or anyone else that is just a pious aspiration. However the WRP (News Line), after its usual failure to address real forces on the ground, does finish their appeal on 29/6 with a good internationalist flourish:

“A Greek Workers’ and Small Farmers’ government will quit the EU and NATO and will link arms immediately with the workers of France, the UK and Germany, in fact with all of the workers of the EU states, to begin the historic struggle for the Socialist United States of Europe, run and controlled by the working class, with the bankers and bosses expropriated and replaced by planned production to satisfy the needs of the people of Europe.” [16]

However the Greek EEK sets out the solutions best:

(ΕΕΚ) – Trotskyists: banks in the people’s hands – no to the speculative bankers of the troika

Banks in the people’s hands – no to the speculative bankers of the troika

Workers-popular control over the banks and flows of capital abroad

No loss for wages and pensions

Direct nationalization of the banks under workers’ and the poor people’s control

Class war against the unorthodox war of the troika EU/ECB/IMF and the domestic troika ‘New Democracy-Pasok-muddy “river-potami”‘

At the referendum we vote no

No to the thieves of IMF-EU-ECB

No to the Greek collaborators of the troika

ND, Potami, Pasok

The game is over:

Cancelation of the debt

Banks and strategic economic sectors in the hands of society.

Production and power in the hands of workers!

A workers’ government- with workers’ power. [17]

The EEK is far more transitional and serious in its demands and focuses on those forces on the ground who hold the allegiance of the most important sections of the working class, Syriza and the KKE:

“We call the popular rank and file and the fighting forces supporting SYRIZA to demand from their leadership to cut the ties of class collaboration with the imperialist institutions, the EU and the IMF, foreign and local capitalists and their political officers.

We call the leadership of the Communist Party of Greece to stop covering with left phraseology the partnership with the domestic troika. The position for a protest vote –in practical terms an invalid vote- in the referendum strengthens the most reactionary bourgeois forces.

A Nationwide Congress of the elected representatives of the entire labour movement, social movements, self-organized people, must be immediately prepared to discuss the alternative program of the way-out of the crisis. So as to prevent others from deciding for us without us.

A United Class Front of all the political and social organizations, movements, collectives, organized and unorganized masses of the working class and the poor popular strata is required, against the class enemy, inside and outside the country.

No to “national unity” Governments. Workers’ Government with workers’ power.” [18]

Finally let us look at the statement of the Internationalist Group (LFI) attacking both the EEK and the International Communist League section in Greece, the Trotskyist Group of Greece. Coming from the ‘Spart Family’ in 1996 it has the traditional aversion of James Robertson, at least in his later years, to any form of transitional demands on the working class leaders. This is how they attack the EEK on the question of their advanced transitional demands:

“Following the election, Savas declared bombastically in a February 3 article that “The Greek people has shaken the world” and claimed that in the Greek context a “government of the left” meant a government of revolutionaries. While he saw in the SYRIZA-ANEL government “some features of a Kerensky type of government,” a subsequent statement on the agreement with the Eurogroup declared that if the election of SYRIZA was “a leap forward of the popular movement,” the February 20 agreement and election of the rightist Pavlopoulos to the presidency constituted “a step back,” and called to “oust the nationalist and pro-capitalist ministers.” Yet the ministers are “pro-capitalist” as members of the bourgeois SYRIZA-ANEL government.” [19]

This attack denies the political significance of the election of Syriza on 25 January; Savas, they say; “declared bombastically” that “The Greek people has shaken the world” and claimed that in the Greek context a “government of the left” meant a government of revolutionaries. The piece does not supply us with a direct quote including the “government of revolutionaries” claim because it is a lie; that claim was never made. After outlining the history of brutal repression of the left and communism in Greek history the actual quote is “a ‘government of the Left’ means, in the popular social consciousness, a government by the political representatives of the defeated revolutionary movement of the Partisans”. [20] Having outlined the character of Syriza and its Stalinist origins and its class treachery to then examine how the masses see this government and why they voted for it is the vital insight that enables us to forge a programme of transitional demands.

It is bone-headed in the extreme to claim that the election of Syriza was of no political significance. And the case they make that because it is a bourgeois SYRIZA-ANEL government one cannot demand to “oust the nationalist and pro-capitalist ministers” is entirely wrong.  The Kerensky government was a bourgeois government, all Social Democratic governments are bourgeois government, although their parties are bourgeois-workers’ parties. If we cannot put these demands on such governments then the communist methodology of the United Front and the Transitional Programme are redundant, the clear position now taken by the IG here. And of course the attack fails to include the very next bullet point of transitional demands: “Government based on mass organisations of workers, the unemployed and retired workers and poor bread-winners of city and village.”

And the EEK fought with transitional demands against the inclusion of the ANEL in the government, appealing to both the followers of Syriza and the ranks of the KKE with the following demand:

“Out with the far right nationalist bourgeois ministers- for a Syriza/KKE government of the Left, based on the organizations of the working class, and with a socialist program to exit from the crisis”. Our call found a great response among the members and supporters of Syriza, even in the ranks of the KKE which remains dominated by bureaucratic sectarianism and blindness to the change in the situation. The main pro-Syriza evening daily Efimerida twn Syntaktwn published (28/1/15) in a prominent place in its centre pages our Call against the class collaboration of Syriza with the   far right nationalist party ANEL.” [21]


The IG entitled its attack on the EEK ‘Centrists Waffle in Greece’. What we got was a sectarian rejection of actual engagement in the class struggle itself with real workers in real struggles, not the idealised workers that exists only in the heads of those like the KKE, IG and the SEP who likewise dismissed the political significance of the election of Syriza that has led to the current crisis. To paraphrase Frank Brenner we must deal with the working class in reality and not in fantasy.

We will leave it to another occasion to join the dots on why there is such close agreement between the Third Period Stalinists of the KKE and the supposed orthodox Trotskyists of the WSWS/SEP. Suffice to say for now that Third Period Stalinism (1928-34) was a result of the final abandonment of the methodology of Communism in the United Front and Anti Imperialist United Front as outlined by the first four (revolutionary) congresses of the Comintern at the Sixth Congress of the Comintern in 1928. The abandonment was begun at the Fifth Congress by Zinoviev in 1924 in alliance with Kamenev and Stalin, later joined by Bukharin.

The SEP emerged as a rejection of Trotsky’s Transitional Programme (the elaborated version of the United Front for modern times) in declaring that trade unions were no longer part of the workers’ movement and that there were no national liberation movements or any opponents of imperialism in war that Marxists are obliged to give temporary military but not political support to, denying the Leninist distinction between oppressed and oppressor nations. If that is the sectarian side the opportunist side emerged as the apparent victor with the essentially right wing turn of the last, the Seventh Congress of the Comintern in 1935. Georgi Dimitro’s speech signified the turn towards the Popular Front (The People’s Front Against Fascism and War) and class collaboration which has been essential Stalinism ever since. It sees its reflection even in many self-proclaimed Trotskyist groups that advocate a no vote in the Greek referendum. The heartening emergence of politically clarification on the methodology of communism amongst the revolutionary no voters in Greece and elsewhere signifies that that crucial ideological battle is being fought out in earnest on the ground in Greece.


[1] Communist Party of Greece, The referendum on the 5th of July and the stance of the KKE,

[2] Permanent Revolution, The working class in fantasy and reality, by Frank Brenner,

[3] See the WSWS article Greek prime minister calls for referendum on EU austerity demands.

[4] Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist, The Guardian on 18 February 2015,

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Syriza,

[9] Panagiotis Lafazanis,

[10] International Marxist Tendency, Greece: Let’s take the banks and the power out of the hands of the blackmailers – No to passive “serenity” – For mass action and radical measures!,

[11] Ibid.

[12] ANTARSYA, Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow,

[13] Ibid.

[14] Greek revolution statement, statement by the Revolutionary Marxist League Athens, Saturday, 27/6/15,

[15] Ibid.

[16] Monday, 29 June 2015 Vote ‘NO’ and organise Greek Socialist Revolution!,

[17] The Workers Revolutionary Party (ΕΕΚ) – Trotskyists, Athens, 29 June 2015, -eek-trotskyists-banks-in-the-people-s-hands-no-to-the-speculative-bankers-of-the-troika

[18] Ibid.

[19] Internationalist Group, Centrists Waffle in Greece,

[20] Savas Michael Matsas,  The Greek people has shaken the world!,

[21] Centrists Waffle in Greece.

2 thoughts on “The Greek Revolution has begun! Vote NO!

  1. […] Nonetheless it is not just what the revolutionary party or even the most advanced vanguard of the class understands but what the class as a whole, or at least its majority, understands and fights for consciously that informs our transitional demands. …more here […]


  2. […] article by comrade Downing is a good one. [7] We agree with the criticism he makes regarding the positions […]


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