Thursday, April 30, 2015

KKE Parliamentary question on Ukraine statements by Min. Kotzias

KKE MPs Giorgos Marinos, Liana Kanelli and Thanasis Pafilis have submitted the following Parliamentary question:

«During his recent visit to the USA, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias stated, after meeting with American counterpart John Kerry (Washington, D.C, 20/4/2015), that he informed his American colleague of the "aid we provide to Ukraine at present."

This statement comes at a moment when:

- The Ukrainian Parliament has approved an anti-historical law that equates fascism and communism and uses this as a basis to obstruct the activity of communists and the propagation of communist ideas.

- Historically legitimated local fascists, belonging to the so-called Ukraine Liberation Army, through another law.

- Dmitro Yarosh, head of the Nazi organization "Right Sector", is appointed as consultant to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

Monday, April 27, 2015

No man's land: On the dismemberment of 14 refugees at the Greece-FYROM borders

Still from Theo Angelopoulos' The Suspended Step of the Stork
The Europarliament team of the KKE condemns the European Union's murderous policy against immigrants and refugees through a question submitted by the KKE MEP, Sotiris Zarianopoulos, to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission. The question was occasioned by the dismemberment of fourteen refugees by a train, on the railway line Beles-Skopje. They had been entrapped in the Greece-FYROM borders, with no possibility of escape.

In his question, the KKE MEP noted the following: 

«Fourteen refugees were dismembered by a train, which rode over a group of 100 refugees approximately, in the railway line Beles-Skopje. Hundreds of refugees from various countries --victims of imperialist aggression by the EU, USA and NATO-- have been trapped in the neutral border zone of Greece and FYROM for months, without the possibility of escape. They cannot move to other European countries.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dionysis Savopoulos: Four songs

The word of Demosthenes
Even if I were to get out of this prison, no one will be waiting for me.
The streets will be empty and my city more foreign.
The coffee shops will all be closed, and my friends will all have gone abroad.
The wind will be blowing me away, even if I were to get out of this prison.

And the sun will go to sleep on the ruins of Olynthos
my friends and my enemies will look like mythical things
The rhetors and the crooks will stand frozen
beggars, concubines and prophets will stand frozen

I will stand in front of the gate, blankets under my armpit
and moving my head slowly, I shall greet the guard.
Without will, without God, like a king in an ancient drama
I will say the word and the letter; I will stand in front of the gate.

Music, Lyrics: Dionysis Savopoulos. From the album Dirty Bread, 1972.

Vietnam, yeah, yeah
In Vietnam, they 've set the rice on fire, they 've set the rice on fire.
In Saigon, you could not live
the air was not enough to live on.

Now, hidden in the river, you breathe
Fo Minh Chi, you breathe
through a straw, through a straw.

Yeah, yeah, yeah....

The weather would have been beautiful in the forest,
would have been beautiful in the forest
if leaves did not go deaf from the explosions
if the sun didn't freeze from the terror
if the children did not eat garbage
if the rain did not set huts to fire
the weather would have been beautiful in the forest.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Fo Minh Chi, what would you really do.
what would you really do,
if the children did not eat garbage,
if the rain didn't set huts to fire?
You would take your girl for a stroll,
holding hands, Fo Minh Chi,
you 'd stroll in the forest holding hands.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Music, Lyrics: Dionysis Savopoulos. From the album Truck, 1966.

Our old friends
Don't tell me, our old friends -- don't tell me --
have gone forever.
Don't! I've learned it by now
the old books, the old songs
have gone forever.

The days that hurt us have gone
the days that hurt us have become
toys in children's hands.

Life changes without caring about your melancholy.
The time comes when you must decide whose side are you on
and who you stand against.

The old ideas, the old loves, the screams
are gone forever
they have become toys in children's hands.

This moment is beautiful. Should I say it again?
It is beautiful. Let me speak to you.

I see fires in ports, in stations
and I am with you.

When our world burns,
when the bridges behind us are cut off,
I will be there
to remind you
of the old days.

Music, Lyrics: Dionysis Savopoulos. From the album Truck. 1966.

What use are your songs?
What use are your songs?
They never tell the truth.
The people suffer and go hungry
and you keep on with the same fairytales.

What use are your songs?
They are too sugary
they are fit for candy-fed kids
but not for me.

Lyrics: Dinos Christianopoulos
Music: Dionysis Savopoulos
From the album Ten years of songs, 1975.

Adventures in errant Marxism

I conclude by saying that in 2015, after five years of a disastrous recession, where everyone is ultimately a victim  (there's only a handful of sharks who have profited from this crisis), the era in which the government of the Left was by definition opposed to the sphere of enterprise is over. If we get to the point where we will have development and an output cap of zero, then we can begin again to talk about the conflicting interests of capital and labor. For now, the two must join together.
Yanis Varoufakis

"Freedom of expression", or the imperialist campaign for the right to both murder and laugh

"The ignorant vote", 1876
"Nigger Milk" 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

No to the murderous migration policies of the EU

Joint Statement of the Communist Party of Greece, Communist Party, Italy, Communist Party of Malta, Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain

At the initiative of the KKE, the Communist Parties of 4 European countries of the Mediterranean, which are receiving the largest waves of refugees and immigrants, denounce the political line of the EU and point to the causes of the problem, as well as the direction of the communists’ struggle on this issue. The joint statement is as follows:

The KKE, CPI,PC Malta, PCPE wish to stress the following regarding the unspeakable tragedy unfolding in our countries’ seas in relation to the refugees and immigrants:

The ongoing tragedy has a “name”: it is the political line of the EU and other countries, like the USA, that is responsible for the wars in the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa. This tragedy is rooted in the capitalist system itself, on this terrain we have the manifestation of poverty, the class exploitation and oppression of the working class and peoples by reactionary regimes, the sharpening of the imperialist contradictions, which cause the imperialist wars and interventions.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On heroism

The following text was written by a Greek comrade, Stergios, as a comment to one of my posts back in 2010. The title here is mine, as is the translation to English.

My sensitivity to your text derives from your words: "when I was young, I thought revolutionaries were special people". I don't remember where and how I published what I am drawing on in my response. It is an extract from a larger, unpublished text I wrote on the basis of a conversation I had with my son (I showed him your post and he smiled, pleased) years ago. That conversation had to do exactly with what your post discusses, the idealist and the dialectic conception of heroism. My son underestimated the struggles of his own generation (on the basis of their results) and thought that "he has done nothing", while for my generation, of the 1960s and 70s, he thought everything was marvelous... "but, you were heroes", he told me!!!

My reaction to this was an immediate dialectical analysis of heroism in its fully human dimension, in contradistinction with the idealist conception of heroism, which regards heroism as something superhuman. The point of my whole argument was that heroism is a possibility in us as we are. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The European Parliament Group of KKE denounces the escalation of the attempts to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine and condemns the anti-communist persecutions by the Ukrainian government

The ongoing acts by the reactionary Ukrainian government which, with a law it voted on, attempts to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine, while at the same time cooperating openly with fascist parties and their armed gangs, are condemned by the European Parliament Group of the KKE through a Question of the MEP, Kostas Papadakis to the High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Vice President of the EU Commission, F. Mogherini. The question highlights the following:

"After the fiasco in which the trial to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine developed in, the government rushed defiantly, shortly before the 9th of May -the 70th anniversary of the Antifascist Victory of the Peoples - to pass a law that, ignorant of history and based on the unacceptable notion promoted by the EU, equates fascism and communism and calls to "prohibit their propaganda". The law aims only on the actions of the communists and the fighters who opposed against the imperialist intervention of the EU - US and NATO in Ukraine. At the same as the trial to outlaw the Communist Party of Ukraine is pending and there was recently a request for the prosecution of its President Petro Simonienko, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, the Ukrainian government is by law making heroes out of the fascists of the so-called Ukrainian Liberation Army, which acted in World War II. The reactionary government of Ukraine is at the same time using fascist parties and their armed criminal organizations, as shown by the recent appointment of Dmytro Yarosh, head of the Nazi organization "Right Sector", at the position of adviser of the Ministry of Defence.

For the first time US and Israeli military forces will participate in the exercise of the Greek armed forces “Iniohos 2015”

The SYRIZA-ANEL government, operating in the same framework as the previous ND-PASOK government, is also taking further steps in the connection of the Greek armed forces with those of the USA and Israel.

So from Monday the 20th to Thursday the 30th April, the joint, medium-scale exercise “Iniohos 2015” will be conducted in combination with the Navy’s “Astrapi” exercise. The exercise provides for the conduct of complex aerial missions over the entire Athens FIR, with the participation of a large number of airforce-naval forces, as well as units of the army, while, for the first time, military forces from foreign counties, specifically Israel and the USA, will take part.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Letter of KKE GS Koutsoumbas to Ukraine President Poroshenko

Thursday, 16 April 2015

To the President of Ukraine Piotr Poroshenko

Mr. President,

On 9 April 2015, one month before the 70th anniversary of the antifascist victory, the Parliament of your country approved Law 2558, "on the condemnation of communist and nazi totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and the prohibition of their propaganda and symbols." On the same day, the Parliament of your country approved another law, which glamorizes the local Nazi collaborators.

These decisions are a provocation for those who fought against the fascist monster. They are blasphemy against the millions of people who gave their lives in the struggle against fascism during the Second Imperialist World War. They aim at the unacceptable equation of the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany, whilst the contribution of the USSR, under communist leadership, in bearing the principal burden of the war against fascism, is well known. These decisions are an insult against the communists of other countries, such as Greece, who stood at the forefront of the struggle against fascism and imperialism, for popular rights and freedoms.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Carl Schmitt
The pseudoelevation of problems specific to politics (that is, problems specific to the organization of relations of production and their political mediation) to problems of "ontology", "ethics", and "philosophy" is in fact a drastic measure against radical political thought, a measure of demoting the revolutionary significance such problems might otherwise obtain. The investment of politics with a false theoretical dignity (in the form of endless philosophical pomp) is in fact a thoroughly counter-revolutionary measure, invented in the twentieth century by Nazi ideologue Carl Schmitt and propagated by a host of supposedly "leftist" acolytes of the idea of the "primacy" and the "autonomy" of "the political", however hypostatized (ethically, ontologically, pseudo-anthropologically, "structurally", etc): Hannah Arendt, Cornelius Castoriades, Claude Lefort and Ernesto Laclau, to name but a few. That most of these neo-Aristotelian propagators of the "dignity of the political" were expressly anti-communist is anything but an accident; it was precisely such "dignity" that was explosively refuted by Marx's demonstration of the impotence of a merely "political" emancipation when the question is that of exploitation and inequality within so-called "civil society" -- the sphere where "Man" is not a "political" being but one defined by painful need and the competition for resources. Nor is it accidental that Marx demolished centuries of Platonic and Aristotelian thinking in a youthful essay ostensibly written "On the Jewish Question": the "Jew" was his own time's antisemitic synonym for what, bound as it is to the despised and enslaved world of "matter", cannot ascend to the Olympian realm of the "dignity of the political." After him, the insistence on ignoring his rigorous de-construction of bourgeois political self-heroicization could not but take the form of an anti-Semitism that could for some time forego explicit reference to the "dirty Jew" by haughtily castigating the "external determination of the political" via "concerns that do not belong to it" (cf Schmitt, The Concept of the Political); after Schmitt, the reaction against every and all effort to demystify the philosophizing mystique around "the political" could continue only by proclaiming its unwillingness to see through the genocidally fascist implications of a position for which only those willing to "risk their being" are entitled with the right to comprehend the decidedly Occidental arcana of bourgeois "political freedom" (cf Arendt's regression to Aristotelian hypostatizations of slave-owning "freedom" and "autonomy" against Marx's "economism" in The Human Condition).

Sectarian blues

Given the fact that "sectarianism" originates in the study of religious factions and the violence that sometimes characterizes their attitude to antagonistic groups, it's supremely ironic but no less revealing how the term is used by political ideologues of the "New Left" today: the position that capitalism is, as an economic system, subject to a number of laws that cannot be bent or changed at will or by fiat of "good intentions" is the primary target of accusations of "sectarianism." One is "sectarian" because one is indiscrete enough to remind others that "democracy" is as much the alternative to capitalism as scissors are an alternative to computers; it is "sectarian" to not pretend to ignore that a form of political administration can never be an "alternative" to a system of organizing production (which is why the slaveholding US of the American Revolution, for instance, was certainly anything but less "democratic" than its postbellum industrial or its post 1890s imperialist counterparts). It is "sectarian" to not pretend to ignore that "distributive justice" is severely limited by the determinate form of specific relations of production and can never transcend them. It is "sectarian" to remind others that "justice" itself is never independent of these relations as far as its actual content is concerned. It is "sectarian" to insist that an economy founded and regulated by the law of competition can never be changed as regards its nature and consequences by not wearing ties or by proclaiming the rights of transgendered persons, or by espousing ecological causes. It is "sectarian" to not pretend ignorance at the fact that a falling rate of profit can only be recouped through the intensification of the exploitation of labor or through the destruction of forces of production. And it is "sectarian" to argue against the possibility of a "conciliation" between labor and capital that does not take the form of the submission of the former but is somehow achieved through the good offices and dialogical finesse of an "open minded" and "impartial" enough Left government.

In short, "sectarianism" consists in the proclamation of the existence of regulatory laws specific to the economic realm which are not suspended or abolished by personal ethics, appealing posters, catchy slogans and heartfelt speeches, and which shape the form of imaginable political practices. It is a derisive word for "respect for science", which becomes unpalatable when it makes visible necessities the petty bourgeoisie wishes to obfuscate and mystify (sometimes, through the crackpot positing of some imaginary Quantum law of political and historical "indeterminacy"). "Sectarian" are those who refuse to invest petty bourgeois placebos and fetishes with the magical efficacy the petty bourgeoisie demands. They are precisely those who refuse to proclaim their faith to the regressively religious, pseudo-transcendental heart-on-its-sleeve mode of responding to reality that masquerades as "ethics", "philosophy", and "politics" today.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The SYRIZA infomercial

An infomercial is a shamefaced commercial, whose shamefacedness compels it to appear as presentation of "information" in order to sell a product more effectively. It is therefore a fusion of two genres of discourse that is at the same time a pseudo-fusion: the discourse of "information" is merely a carapace, whose purpose is to protect and reinforce the discourse of advertising.

Writing on politics, traditionally another genre of discourse than informercials, generally falls under two categories: journalistic writing, whose characteristic is the production of the illusion of a reporting "objectivity", and explicitly political writing, characterized by a more explicit foregrounding of the writer's own political principles and ideas. 

Marxist political writing is by its nature the most explicit of the subgenres of political writing: since Marxism is, among other things, a critique of the dominant ideology, ideological presuppositions, both on the side of the writer and on the side of that which the writer discusses and argues for or against, must be visible and consciously expressed.

My argument here is that a great deal of the writing that postures as political writing, and even --implicitly or explicitly-- affiliates itself with Marxist political writing these days is in fact an instance of the extension of the discourse of the infomercial in the arena of political expression. It is, additionally, that, at least when it comes to international writing on Greek politics, this is nowhere more frequent than in writing on SYRIZA, whether as a rising political force, or, since 25 January, as a government partner.