K.Maragos | Avantgarde | translation: PanPap
Bourgeois reaction issuing call to arms
With each passing hour, the bourgeois reaction is escalating its counterattack. Prominent members of the pro-memorandum right and center-left are all over at the mass media (media that belong to the shipowners and other big capitalists who have been preying on the country for decades, that survive based on state-subsidies) screaming in terror because the 1.7 billion Euros to the IMF was not paid. Their identification with the usurers lenders is bordering on ludicrosity. Supposedly productive associations, employer organizations, professional chambers, mayors and prefects, farmers federations, what remains of GSEE (General Congress of Greek Workers), intellectuals who previously supported a Keynesian-type management and singers are roaring in favour of a last-minute compromise, calling at the same time for a YES vote on Sunday – a yes to eternal austerity and the crushing of the subordinate classes.
Anyone who does not understand that the YES vote is supported by the united front of the entire bourgeois counterrevolution is either an idiot or a fifth column within the ranks of the Left and the proletariat. Everyone who attended the rally on Syntagma square on Monday knows very well that the people who gathered massively were against any memorandum. At the same time, everyone also knows very well who attended the next day’s pro-capitalist rally. One cannot but understand in the clearest manner the nature of the class camps that are currently clashing.
Ready for a Varkiza Treaty
And while the bourgeoisie is gathering its forces, threatening and consciously organizing the economic sabotage from within, the government appears ready to surrender unconditionally. Just three days before the referendum, officials and pro-government media are leaking that the government is ready to cancel the referendum if the lenders make some kind of symbolic concessions. A new proposal by Tsipras is being leaked, which includes nothing more than the postponement for a few months of the tough measures proposed by the Troika and the exemption of the VAT for islands, while requesting for a two-year memorandum in exchange for 28 billion Euros from the ESM. Government officials and individual members of the majority appear in the various bourgeois media and, in complete awkwardness, are making declarations of repentance to the TV-courts which the super-rich journalist are staging together with entrepreneurs acting as prosecutors (who are supposedly being destroyed by the referendum). This image is both ridiculous and outrageous. In the time of battle, Dragasakis suggests that he has always been in favour of the agreement, Varoufakis does not stop declaring that he is ready to sign even now and Mardas (the man who manages the public treasury) openly states that in case of a return to the drachma he will resign immediately. It is obvious that, through the humiliation of themselves, the government circus are pursuing the defeat of NO so they can leave through the back door.
The developments of the last few hours also confirm something else. And that is that the conclave around Tsipras did not actually want the referendum. They just wanted to sign a deal, but at the same time realized that this would mean the end of Syriza. The complete collapse of all the illusions about reforms, mutually beneficial solutions, making the system more humane, mild adjustments, other paths within capitalism, the strategy of the democratic road itself (having long ago forgotten where this road was heading to) would put a definitive end not only to this type of leftist government, but also to the careers of hundreds of executives and officials who make a living – and possibly a career as well – from the crumbs that occasionally fall from the table of the bourgeois democracy. There was only one way for the nostalgic fans of the social contract and class collaboration: to leave though the back door, but without losing their heads. At the same time, such a development would ensure that they would be okay with the left opposition within Syriza, since at the end of the day they would be able to say «we did everything we could, but the opponents fought fiercely» (yes, sure, as if you didn’t know that this would happen, poor inexperienced ones), “the people gave in to fear” (although the people as an entity is always wise, yet always deceived in the end) and life would continue until the circumstances would “be ripe again”.
Now the government conclave understands that there is no easy way out of this situation. Although they thought that a referendum would help them in the negotiation (by using a NO answer as a tool in order to bring back on the negotiating table their 47-page proposal) or simply that they would lose and step out of the way, they now understand, judging from the mobilization of the bourgeois reaction backed by the entire Western Empire, that even a suspicion of a victory of NO on Sunday is a reason for war.
The bourgeoisie and its courtyard no longer tolerate games that affect their vital interests. The geopolitical and essentially imperialist orientation of the country is non-negotiable for the winners of the civil war. A victory of NO, even in the form in which this is put in the referendum, means the disruption of the Holy of Holies for Greek capitalism: its relations with international capitalism, its solvency towards its imperialist allies and the dominant international institutions (EU, IMF, banks). A potential NO vote together with the defaulting to the IMF is a real shock to the international financial system. Even before the referendum, the bourgeoisie in cooperation with the international suffocation are imposing a coordinated lockout. Businesses are sending their employees into compulsory leave, they refuse to pay wages as well as any payment to the state and the bosses are taking open action, going as far as to demand that Tsipras steps out and delivers the government directly to them. The insurgency of the «market» is in full swing.
The Fifth Column
Yet there are forces within our own class camp that still refuse to understand what this is all about. Giving a recital in cretinism, they are telling us that a NO vote means yes to the 47-page proposal and Tsipras, because the proposals of the lenders are 90% similar with the Tsipras’ proposals. Let us clarify this once and for all. If the proposals of the lenders are 90% similar with those of Tsipras, then a NO will be a simultaneous rejection of the compromise plan proposed by the government. Indeed, Tsipras is desperately trying to convince us that a NO verdict would help him start a new round of negotiations under better conditions. But in reality a NO leads to an impasse. The texts circulated by the government in which they explain the reasons why the people should vote NO also include the government’s own proposals for the ENFIA, the zero-deficit clauses, the phasing out of EKAS, the increase in the retirement age to 67 years by 2016, the penalties for early pensioners, the privatizations, the basic pension of 360 Euros and even the new wage system for the public sector, the suspension in the recovery of the basic wage and collective agreements. We do not know what the government and Syriza were thinking when they were publishing this text, but we are not interested in the issue. The issue is that this is a clear confession that a NO includes the 47-page proposal of the government as well – end of story.
Yet, there are forces in the Left that fail to understand this simple thing. First and foremost the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), which chooses to spoil the ballot, putting its own ballot in the ballot box (“two no’s”, to both the troika and the government). This is a pure fraud. Such a NO ballot is simply invalid. Such an invalid NO by people of the Left, who fight and have been fighting for five years now against the bourgeois onslaught on the verge of physical extermination, is actually a vote for YES. It means that they choose to abstain from the battle. Such a supposedly double NO does not create any problems to the bourgeois reaction in any way, and only serves to weaken the class front of the NO to any memoranda (as this plain NO means no to any memorandum, including the government’s proposal).
Let those who are trying to remain pure as angels from heaven understand this, even now: a NO is a bomb in the foundations of austerity. This is why the CNN together with all the international bourgeois media are screaming with what is currently happening in Greece. Why could this possibly be? If the memorandum proposed by Tsipras was the same as the one proposed by the troika, then where exactly is the problem? Why are they screaming so fiercely? Why are the heralds of doom foreseeing the destruction of their world, why are they acting like crazy? Could one of the great Marxists who support the “double no” explain this to us, or will he/she repeat the usual “arguments”, as if the world consisted of him/her and five members of SYRIZA, as if the whole issue was not about a battle against the bourgeois block but an internal confrontation with reformism and opportunism? Let this part of the Left open their eyes and see what is happening around them. Let them see the hyenas howling in favour of yes, let them see the capitalists who threaten and blackmail their employees to vote for YES, otherwise they will not get paid. Let them have a good look at the bourgeois media prosecutors, whose businesses only survive due to state subsidies, screaming while putting members of SYRIZA under trial against 15 supporters of YES (politicians, businessmen, people of the “real economy”, employees who are supposedly too scared they will not get paid – as if the kind-hearted bosses had been paying them so far, pensioners fearing that they will not receive their pension again and waiting for hours in queues outside the banks for 60 or 120 Euros, depositors whining that their deposits will turn into drachmas if NO prevails). Lying bourgeois politicians and people pretending to be economists confirming that even the individual loans will have to be repaid in Euros in case Greece returns to the drachma, since the ECB will be asking for this (since the loans have been used as collateral in order to fund the banks).
Anyone who sees this orgy of bourgeois reaction cannot possibly believe that yes and no are the same thing, that this is just an inter-bourgeois conflict. But if it is indeed an inter-bourgeois conflict, then where is the bourgeoisie that represents the NO camp? We challenge those who claim that this is the case to show as one such member of the bourgeoisie, else we urge them to shut their mouths and to assume battle positions along the lines of the proletarian defense, along the lines of the anti-memorandum resistance. This is where the class camp is. In any case, those who will not vote for NO are simply letting the bourgeoisie win this battle. Behind their supposedly revolutionary and “pure” declarations they are nothing but supporters of Varkiza. They do not support a compromise, but complete defeat.
Varkiza is over
As for Tsipras and his ludicrous efforts to reach an agreement with the “partners”, trying to avoid (as a genuine follower of class peace) the battle which he has entered against his will, let us do everything in our power to ruin his plans. While the conclave around Tsipras, unable to carry the burden, would really love to vanish into thin air, the workers’ movement has every reason to insist that the referendum takes place, to not allow its cancellation, to not leave any room for compromise. A NO vote will be a punch to the stomach of the finance bubble, the dictatorship of the banks, the shackles of debt. Let this become the beginning of the proletarian counterattack. The crisis in Greece is the crisis of global capitalism. It is the point where the bubble bursts, and the crisis that lurks under the surface and is covered so far by the controlled destruction of surplus capital together with healthy production forces (and labour above all). Greece is the backdoor from which the capitalist crisis, currently being defused at the periphery (Syria, Libya, Iraq, etc.), will enter metropolitan Europe. The bubble of Greek debt as part of the international bubble was about to burst anyway. A choice was made for this bubble to burst into the hands of Syriza. The important issue is to welcome this bursting of the bubble out in the streets. To not allow the bourgeois human dust to impose their solution. To unfold our own class, communist plan against the clearly capitalist bloc that is already assuming battle positions.
The declaration of the referendum puts an end – once and for all – to all the illusions about the “national negotiations” and all the myths about “the Greeks who join forces when faced with hostile foreign forces”. It has now been proven that the ruling class together with its courtyard is not willing to leave the national affairs at the hands of Tsipras – or anyone who may undermine its international relationships. It has now been proven that, in the bottom line, there is no such thing as a “national negotiation” – only clear-cut class interests. The bourgeoisie is abandoning all the anti-German talk, and together with the hordes of the Holy Alliance and “Prussia” demands the restoration of order. Their main target is not so much to overthrow Tsipras, but to crush once and for all the class resistance of the last five years, the resistance against the murderous plans of extermination of the working class and all those resisting the dictatorship of the bankers and the “market”.
If NO prevails, the pressure by the bourgeois counterrevolution will escalate sharply. The bourgeois sabotage will expand everywhere. As common black marketeers, they will attempt to withdraw food from the shelves of the supermarkets, close the gas stations, spreading their own bourgeois strike across the country. They will possibly try to stage a Euro-Maidan in the Syntagma square, gladly accepting the expertise developed during equivalent velvet and orange counter-revolutions “from below”. Wages will stop being paid everywhere and bourgeois bullying will assume the character of an organized movement. They are already declaring that the recourse to the people’s verdict is a… coup. They are obviously fantasizing an intervention by the army in order to “restore democracy”. These scum are ready for everything.
In such circumstances, no complacency is allowed during the days before and after the referendum, even if NO should prevail. Wherever the bourgeois reaction attempts to impose its will, the movement must intervene immediately. Where wages are not being paid, where businesses are being closed, where people are terrorized, where terror and false news are spread causing chaos. Where the capitalists will try to hide away food or fuel, where they will profiteer. Committees of action must be formed in the neighborhoods, labour sectors and workplaces that will safeguard the interests and existence of the working class from the bourgeois sabotage, and that will require that the government ensures and guarantees the access of workers, pensioners, youth and unemployed to the necessary means of survival, transportation and healthcare.
The government will continue to retreat against the pressure of the bourgeoisie. It is possible that the “pro-Europeans” of the parliamentary majority will decide to change sides at the crucial moment. As long as the movement – which showed its strength at the huge rally on Monday (three times larger than that the pro-YES rally on Tuesday) – remains mobilized, the space for retreats and defections will be limited. Should NO win, it will be very difficult for the government to accept the troika proposal – but also to even present its own. But even if the government dares to do so, then we will be talking about a coup by Tsipras against the majority who voted for NO. It is certain that the government will try to interpret the results as a mandate for a new round of negotiations. They may even sign the shameful agreement against the popular sentiment of July the 5th. We cannot think of any way for this to pass in the same way in which they failed to pass it now. Perhaps the shock caused by the closed banks and the fear for the day after will help them. But this is not the time for speculations. We are not interested in foreseeing the future; we are interested in shaping it the way we want it in the heat of today’s battles. And the battle that must be fought and won at the moment is the victory of NO.
PS. Just now it was announced that two “citizens” have resorted to the State Council to cancel the referendum. The State Council will convene on Friday – in record time. The safeguards of the deep state are getting ready. The president for democracy – who was selected by SYRIZA – is following his own agenda, making speeches about the positive role of the US to world peace and declaring that he cannot possibly imagine Greece outside the EU. A civil war in slow motion is already underway. The ruling class are sharpening their knives. The movement, the Left, the people of resistance and struggle have no choice but to fight.
Original article by K. Maragos here.