Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Whose class interests does SYRIZA 2.0 SAY it represents?

Yesterday, and after meeting with representatives of ESEE and GSVEE, the leader of SYRIZA 2.0, aka "Popular Unity", Panayiotis Lafazanis made the following statement, which is very interesting from the standpoint of the kind of class consciousness it represents, and, of course, the class consciousness it addresses and solicits:
Within the context of the mandate I have received from the President of the Republic [as "third Party", despite never having been elected as such], I had the honor to meet two of the greatest Confederations of our country, GSVEE and ESEΕ. It was especially honoring to me that we sat and talked and exchanged views with honesty, for quite some time, I would say. 
It was a meeting of many hours, but also a substantial and productive exchange of views. What I derived from it is of course well-known, but I will repeat. The Memoranda have two great victims in Greece: the first and great victim is of course our youth, which is unfortunately compelled to migrate in order to survive; the second great victim of the Memoranda are medium and small businesses. Medium and small businesses have been placed in the gallows, in the guillotine. With the Memoranda, austerity, tax raiding, lack of cash flow [bank closure was implemented while Lafazanis and other members of "Popular Unity" were in the government cabinet], the robber bank system, which becomes constantly more rapacious, under these conditions, medium and small businesses cannot survive. They have no future whatsoever. And with them, of course, the Greek economy, Greece and the Greek people have no future.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Europarliament Group of the KKE on the dangerous developments in Ukraine

In a letter addressed to the President of the Europarliament, Martin Schulz, the Europarliament group of the KKE has condemned the adoption of a reactionary law imposing Mass Media censorship in Ukraine as well as the initiative of a Czech MEP, known for his anticommunist activity. The letter is as follows:

"With the present letter we would like, first of all, to denounce the new, reactionary law of the Ukrainian government, which imposes a regime of censorship on the Mass Media, publishing, films and every cultural and artistic creation, in the name of "protecting national security" and preventing the "fomenting ethnic hatred." This law constitutes another dangerous element of the politics of the forces that seized power after the intervention of the USA-EU-NATO in Ukraine, which took place in the midst of competition with Russia and the antipopular schemes of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie.

This is another strike of the Ukrainian government against the people; supported by fascist forces, the government continues to bomb Donbas and has banned the CP of Ukraine, while abductions, persecution and threats against communists and other workers and racist murderous attacks by fascist shock troops continue.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

This is not a hoax: Postmodernism, or the cultural logic of cynical hucksterism

From Akis Gavrielides'* "Was Tsipras ultimately a 'populist' who 'reneged on his promises'?"


As I have already argued in the past, it is time we throw the concepts of promise and acceptance, that is, the concept of a contract, to the garbage bin as tools for the understanding of politics. These are concepts of moral(istic) and legal descent, that don't help us understand the motion of the multitude. It is also time to get rid of an idea with a long past, especially in the discourse of the Left and of social movements: the concept of a demand, and the conception of political discourse as a "plan" that "materializes." Politics is elsewhere; politics doesn't mean that some sovereign subjects meet and delegate to some other, "even more sovereign" subject, the "materialization" or the "satisfaction" of some of their demands [...] This is the scenario of classic bourgeois political philosophy of the 17th and 18th centuries, based on the model of the market and of contracts.

[...] This schema is desperately inadequate. It can account only for normality, normalcy, accountability -- that is  to say, non politics. Politics is not communication; or at least, it is not, and it is not desirable or possible that it becomes, communication based on rules where all messages are transparent, regulated and distortion-free. Politics is that which escapes, that which is not planned. It is noise, the parasite. What is politically interesting is that which deconstructs, not that which institutes palliative equivalences.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Being Panayiotis Lafazanis: Honest, Reliable, Consistent Leader of the New New Left

Panayiotis Lafazanis, Interview with "Eleftheros Typos" [Free Press], 14 March 2015:

Q: You had stated last October that a SYRIZA government will "abolish the Memorandum and its implementation laws in one night, with one legal act, just as they were dictatorially imposed." What has changed, Mr. Minister, and you forgot about this statement? Was the raw reality stronger than the pre-election wishes of your party or do you think the government has backtracked in many of its commitments when faced with the lenders?

A: There is no statement of mine that we will abolish the Memorandum in one night; it only exists as a total distortion of what I have said at different times. Personally, I always underlined, indeed, that Memoranda and their implementation laws must be abolished by a government in which SYRIZA will participate not "dictatorially", but with normal parliamentary procedures, with respect to the Parliament and with a full observance of the Parliamentary Regulations and Constitution. The first act of our new government was to immediately stop the implementation of the Memorandum that was in process. The austerity measures and the taxes that the ND-PASOK government was about to implement were thrown in the garbage. Our commitment for full abolition of the Memoranda and their implementation laws is still wholly valid; and this commitment, despite the great post-election difficulties and the blatant blackmail from abroad, will be fully honored in the next few months. The full abolition of memoranda is a position equivalent to SYRIZA's identity and the precondition for a new, consistent, progressive, developmental course and prospect for the country.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Comment of the KKE on the intensification of the phenomenon of migration and the government-EU measures

August 19, 2015

In its comment on the intensification of the phenomenon of migration and the government-EU measures, the Press Office of the CC of the KKE notes:

"The KKE had warned, in a timely fashion, that the drama of thousands of persecuted and entrapped refugees and migrants flooding the country, especially the islands of the Aegean, cannot be dealt with through the patched-up measures of the SYRIZA-ANEL government, which, like the previous governments, is looking for "solutions" within the path of the EU migration policy.

The KKE calls on the worker and popular movement to take the lead, intensify its solidarity, isolate racist manifestations and the phenomena of exploitation of refugee needs. The movement should demand: the abolition of the rules of the Dublin and Schengen Treaties, the obtainment of obstacle-free and secure transport of refugees to EU member states, which are their real destination, the immediate hiring of necessary personnel for the services of first reception and refuge, the creation of human reception and hospitality spaces, the abolition of the participation of our country in the imperialist plans of the US-NATO-EU, the non participation in imperialist intervention in other countries, the disengagement from Euro-Atlantic organizations."


Friday, August 14, 2015

Nicos Ploumbides: The letter, the body, the life

Ploumbides' letter, 14 March 1952
14 March, 1952. Nicos Belloyannis, Dimitris Batsis, Nicos Kaloumenos and Elias Argyriades have been sentenced to death as enemies of the state and Soviet spies. A letter arrives in the offices of the newspaper "Proodeftiki Allagi" [Progressive Change]. It is signed by member of the KKE CC and PB and director of the party's organizational structure in Athens and Piraeus, Nicos Ploumbides. He is in hiding from the revanchist post civil war Greek state. It is published two days later. The letter reads (transcription follows original notation):

Dear General Editor,
I am sending you a copy (handwritten) of a letter I have sent to the lawyers of my comrade, Nicos Belloyannis, and I beg you to publish it. I give you and the GREEK PEOPLE my promise to present myself and stand trial if the death sentence on Belloyannis is repealed.
Nicos A. Ploumbides
Member of the CC of the KKE
Athens, 14 March 1952 

What is "the Left"? Ten remarks

SYRIZA MPs sleeping in Parliament during "fast-track" imposition of the third Memorandum by their Party
What is "the Left"? Ten Remarks
Originally published in Greek, in Lenin Reloaded, 21 June 2014

1. In Greece, "the Left" exists since 1951, and the foundation, during that year, of the United Democratic Left (EDA). As a category of political thinking, it had no significance in the country in the period before the 1950s. "Anarchism" was far more important as a designator of ideology at the beginnings of the Greek worker movement than "the Left" -- not to mention the significance, for an anti-bourgeois politics, of terms like "Bolshevism" and "Third International". Structurally, the precondition for the birth of "the Left" was the self-censorship of the self-designation of a sector of the population as "communist" as a result of state terror. "The Left" is born under conditions of state repression as a defensive misnomer and as a pseudo-apellation for purposes of self-protection.

2. The defeat of the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE), in combination with state terror and repression, however, also created the preconditions for the pseudo-category of "the Left" (as a nominalist abstraction, rather than as a concrete designator of a tendency within a worker-socialist party -- a use with an entirely different genealogy) to acquire its own substantive meaning. It created, to put it more simply, the possibility for a section of the communists to really (and not just superficially) make the transition to "democratic ideology", which in conditions of unshakeable capitalist domination necessarily means the transition to the side of bourgeois democracy. "The Left" is the product of the effective surrender of a section of the communists to the victorious bourgeois state.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Comment of the KKE on the taxation of MP income

Using the government legislation [on taxing MP income] as an opportunity, the KKE reiterates its position for a drastic reduction of monetary compensation for Members of Parliament, for the abolition of a tax-free bracket for them, for the full abolition of MP pensions and other income related to the function of a Parliament member.

Instead of this, the government signs the slaughter of remaining labor rights and at the same time tries to dazzle and distract, by announcing a reduction of the wages of the MPs and other cadre of the government, while fully retaining parliamentary rights to monetary compensation, in an effort to make the new Memorandum more palatable.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Announcement of the KKE on the Third Memorandum the Government signed with the Institutions

The third Memorandum, agreed upon with the Institutions by the SYRIZA-ANEL government, and coming to the Parliament for approval, must face the greatest possible reaction on the part of workers and the entire people. It contains measures of such harshness and cruelty that no government in the past dared implement, fearing popular reaction. This is the great contribution of the SYRIZA government to the system. Using the fairytale of the "left government" and of the "Prime Minister who tried but was prevented", the government is moving ahead with the implementation of barbaric measures, that were permanent demands of big capital and of EU directives, and that demolish whatever was left standing of worker and people's rights.

The third Memorandum and its accompanying implementation laws include the continuation of all previous Memoranda and the commitment that anti-popular measures will be implemented to the letter. It contains new, painful measures on labor rights, insurance, the self-employed, small and middle farmers, making their survival even more difficult. At the same tie, it contains the implementation of measures aiming at the improvement of competitiveness and profitability of capital, the concentration of wealth into even fewer hands, through privatizations, OECD directives, the recapitalization of banks, the further liberalization of the energy market, the fund to which 50 billion euros worth of state property will be deposited.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Interview with Dimitris Koutsoumbas, GS of the KKE, 8/8/2015

Q: - You say that whether on the drachma or on the euro and with Memoranda, the people will suffer under present conditions. Is it possible that this line demobilizes citizens since the prospect you offer does not seem to have contemporary relevance?

A:- You are grossly mistaken. The political proposal of the KKE is and remains contemporary. The other proposals, those of the current and the former governments, are the ones pointing to a "Neverland" of exit from the crisis in the interests of the people. Those are proposals that satisfy only big capital and its sectors. The proposals of the other parties refer either to new agreements of the Memorandum type or simply to a change of currency through Grexit. Both proposals, adopted for different reasons by the present government and other parties on the one hand, and by Golden Dawn and various extraparliamentary formations on the other, are mathematically calibrated to lead the people to total bankruptcy. The KKE proposal, conversely, is the only realistic and authentically pro-people proposal, since it links disengagement from the Eurozone and the EU to a comprehensive plan and program for the economy and society, including the socialization of the concentrated means of production, national central planning, abolition of the debt, with the people organized and determined, in the framework of an authentic worker-popular power. The people can move in this direction actively, utilizing the experience of what the KKE has been saying yesterday and says today, in plain language.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The KKE denounces the new crime in the West Bank

The KKE denounces the murder of a Palestinian infant, tragically killed in an arson by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Press Office of the CC notes in its comment: "This event is a result of the constantly rising aggression of the state of Israel in the region. Part of the share of the responsibility for the perpetual crime against the people of Palestine belongs to the EU, the USA, but also the Greek government, all sustaining and extending political, financial and military cooperation with the murderous state of Israel."

Rizospastis, 1 August 2015.