Thursday, June 24, 2010

Capitalism failed in Greece

After the demonstrations against austerity measures that would make the Greek working class pay for the capitalist crisis, reactionaries here talked about the failure of socialism and disorder caused by the bankruptcy of a welfare state.  Here is an article from Anasintaxi ( about the real failure of the capitalist leaders of Greece, the Greek revisionists, and the predatory, capitalist EU. 
Crisis and the bankruptcy of Greek economy

Anasyntaxi [Movement for the Reorganization of the Communist Party of Greece 1918-55]

In the last five years, a steep deterioration in the condition of the Greek economy has been observed – a destructive course that has eventually led to bankruptcy, contrary to the completely unsubstantiated claims of both the big bourgeois and the Khruschevite parties.
       Side by side with the objective economic laws, the implementation of the most extreme neoliberal financial policy by the reactionary government of Karamanlis intensified even further the already existing problems of the Greek economy, aggravating basic economic indicators.
       In 2009, the condition of the Greek economy became aggravated to the very extreme point that the government of Karamanlis was not able to work out the state budget – an economic situation characterized by very high inflation and successive waves of high prices, rise in mass unemployment to around 15% and rising rapidly, a drop in industrial and agricultural production, a tremendous deficit increase to over 14% of GDP (more than 30 billion Euros), an increase of the external debt to an overwhelming level, around 120% of GDP (more than 300 billion Euros).
       The problems of the Greek economy have deepened even more with the outbreak of the global financial crisis. However, it has to be noted that the crisis of the Greek economy preceded the global financial crisis, since it had already hit, first and foremost, the construction sector, which, as it is known, is linked to a series of industrial branches.
       The overwhelming external debt and the very large deficit led the Greek economy to bankruptcy, resulting in the country becoming the "weak link" of the imperialist European Union (EU) and the object of concerted attacks of international speculative and usurious capital – attacks related not only to the Greek economy, but also to the Euro, in the context of the Euro-Dollar antagonism.
       In 2009, the terrible financial condition and bankruptcy of the Greek economy led to the "changing of the guard," initially the removal of Karamanlis's government and subsequently the defeat of his party in the elections as well as the entry of the country into supervision, initially by the organs of the imperialist EU, and subsequently by the triple austerity plan of the Commission-European Central Bank (ECB)-International Monetary Fund (IMF), that is, it led the country to a new occupation, without military presence.
       The new measures consisted in unprecedented decrease in wages and pensions, increase in indirect taxes, etc. and attack on social security rights (an increase in retirement age limits, low pensions, etc.) by the "troika" of the Commission-ECB-IMF, in agreement with the new social-liberal Papandreou government, which deepened the proletariat's absolute degradation to the extreme and annihilated in one night all the gains of the working class. In response, the working people participated in strikes and massive demonstrations, even though the reformist leaders of GSEE-ADEDY (General Confederation of Greek Workers-Civil Servants' Confederation) declared the first general strike very belatedly, the first on May 5, and the second one on May 20.
       Yet, despite the massive participation of working people in the strikes, there has not been UNITY on the level of gatherings and demonstrations during strikes, resulting in the obstruction of their MASSIVENESS and the undermining beforehand of the working people's struggle against these unprecedented measures. The UNITY of strike rallies is a presupposition of MASSIVENESS. MASSIVENESS cannot be achieved without UNITY, an issue directly connected to the strikebreaking role of the reformist leaders of PAME (the trade union controlled by the "Communist" Party of Greece-"K"KE).
       The strike-breakers-reformist leaders of PAME – through the permanent fragmentation of strike rallies with their separate gatherings – in the past helped the government of the monarcho-fascist party of Nea Dimokratia, with C. Karamanlis as prime minister, to promote and implement all the anti-popular and anti-worker measures; today, by continuing the same disruptive tactic in strike rallies, they are in the service of the government of the big bourgeois PASOK, and they are helping-enabling it to pass the present annihilating measures. For it is not possible for the reformist leaders of PAME to not understand that with their disruptive tactic they immediately break the UNITY of strike rallies, obstruct their MASSIVENESS and thus render the strike rallies INEFFICIENT beforehand.
       The new, even more annihilating measures, that were taken and "sucked dry" the poor, that it are being planned to be passed for the social security slaughter of workers' rights with the further looting of THEIR OWN MONEY, with the elimination of provisions in health and pensions (the class callousness of cutting two pensions per year had already preceded this), those that the extortions of the imperialists will continually demand, cannot be repelled by the working people if there is no MASSIVE UNITY, which are the qualities that can make strike rallies EFFICIENT, that is, capable of defeating or holding back the attacks of capital. This was evident in the case of the great strike rally of the reformist GSEE-ADEDY, which was the only efficient one, forcing Simitis's government to withdraw the draft of the bill for Social Security in 2001. Now, the messages of the spontaneous worker and popular response are the same. The great strike of May 5, with a gathering of 250.000 people in Athens alone, smashed in practice the rationale of isolationism, disruption of unity and strike-breaking. The participation en masse of working people within the union blocs, the gathering was UNIFIED and showed the way for the working class to win demands: the way of militant unity. The militant voice and action of the working people, the unemployed, the youth, the pensioners, was overshadowed by the throwing of a Molotov cocktail into a Marfin Bank branch office, which, regardless of the intentions of those who threw it, caused the death of three young working people: this is a reactionary criminal act, completely alien and hostile to the workers' movement. The responsibilities of the banker Vgenopoulos and Marfin Bank, who must be brought to court, are also tremendous (since they blackmailed the workers to go to work, they "locked" the door of the bank while the workers were inside, etc.).

The working people showed once more the way to confront the crisis:
·       Capitalist industrialists and bankers must pay from their fabulous profits, along with all tax evaders
·       Business taxation must be increased from 20-25% to 35-40%, with a further increase in taxation when businesses fire workers and do not invest productively
·       The fabulous landed and other property of the Church, which does not belong to it, must be taxed in its entirety
·       Indirect taxes hitting exclusively the broad lower masses must be decreased
·       Direct taxation must place the burden on the capitalists, also natural persons, without affecting the tax exemption of the poor
·       Military expenses must be decreased drastically

We demand unilateral suspension of usurious debt payments – Withdrawal from the EMU-EURO with an immediate prospect of withdrawing from the EU

In contrast to the fabrications of the government and bourgeois politicians that "the country has not gone bankrupt, along with the Khruschevite social-democrats "K"KE (Khruschevite-Brezhnevites) and SYN (Coalition of the Left of Movements and Ecology – Euro"communists"), who are also disputing the existence of bankruptcy (Papariga – "K"KE: "they are bringing back the scarecrow of bankruptcy," "R" April 23, 2010, p. 6, Tsipras – SYN: "the tale about the dragon of bankruptcy is nice," "Eleftherotypia" March 14, 2010), bankruptcy is a concrete and painful fact.
       An analysis of the relevant economic data can only reach the conclusion that the figures show indisputably the bankruptcy of Greek economy:
1. an overwhelming external debt of more than 300 billion Euros, or about 120% of GDP (with a minimal to nonexistent industrial production, while even the "production" of waiters decreased with the fall in tourism since last year),
2. a huge deficit of more than 30 billion Euros or 14% of GDP,
3. a usurious 7-10% interest rate with spread of 500-700 bps (an interest rate that only bankrupt countries borrow at),
4. inability to service the external debt,
5. the triple austerity program by the Commission-ECB-IMF and designation of financial politics not by the elected government but by the delegations of the imperialist organizations, and
6. recourse to the so-called EU-IMF "support mechanism" for a further loan of 5%.
       The ND was the party that had been leading and led the country's economy to bankruptcy with mathematical precision, by doubling the external debt (more than 300 billion Euros) and multiplying the deficit by five (more than 30 billion Euros), leading to the country's triple supervision by the Commission-ECB-IMF, and has the first and major responsibility for this reason. But the then-opposition parties, the big bourgeois PASOK, and "K"KE and SYN (the Nazi-fascist LAOS had identified with the politics of ND), are tremendously responsible as well for not revealing to the Greek people this destructive financial course, which, for at least the final two years of ND's governing, was completely clear to the naked eye.
       The condition of the bankrupt Greek economy of today is bleak, and its prospect within the framework of EMU-EURO is at an impasse. The current bleak condition of the Greek economy has obviously led to the exposure of a series of bourgeois and revisionist myths (old and new) about the relationship between Greece and the EU, regarding 1) "equal participation in the EU," 2) "permanent growth within the EU," 3) "convergence of the EU member states' economies," 4) "permanent prosperity," 5) "decrease in interest rates," 6) "safeguard from bankruptcy," etc.
       With these negative developments in the Greece-EU relationship, the current complete deadlock of the bankrupt Greek economy, along with the fact that the big bourgeois PASOK government will not only multiply the annihilating anti-popular and anti-worker measures, but with the "gospel" of neoliberal financial politics in its hands, it intends to satisfy even more the lust of the speculators and loan-sharks and the IMF for the total looting of any remaining profitable sectors and savage looting of the country's overall wealth with the proportional destructive consequences, known to tens of other countries that fell into their clutches. The working class and the people must fight for the country's withdrawal from the EMU-EURO and the declaration of unilateral suspension of external debt payments (an issue discussed in "ANASYNTAXI" No. 313, January 1-15, 2010), in combination with the general struggle for Greece's withdrawal from the imperialist EU, a withdrawal that for the social-democrat Papariga (general secretary of "K"KE), at this moment "is not a solution in itself" ("R" March 5, 2010, p. 10) (it is the first "unwary"(?), but delightful and characteristic strip-tease by Papariga in favor of Greece staying in the EU, since the leadership of "K"KE claimed until now, of course for reasons of demagoguery, that they were in favor of the country withdrawing from it).
       The working class, the youth, the city and village poor, must fight everywhere, in each workplace, each space of education, residential area, and gathering place against the awkward Khruschevite social-democrats "K"KE-SYN, who deny the existence of bankruptcy and say not even one word about the tasks that derive from it, for the creation of a broad antifascist and anti-imperialist front, which will unite in the aforementioned goals of confronting the anti-worker whirlwind and in the struggle against suppression, the curtailment of democratic gains, the fascistization of public life, which are the necessary "tools" of capitalists and their political representatives in order to pass the measures of sordidness.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Events this week against Israel, rendition, and the US wars

Several events are coming up locally to demonstrate against Israel's massacre of internationals attempting to help the people of Gaza and the Obama Administration's support for Israel's actions, the lack of accountability for US policies of rendition and torture, and the US government's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the 1000th US soldier was recently killed, and the hidden wars in neighboring countries.  Korea should come up too, where the rightist south Korean government, the US, and Japan are working to renew the the Korean War, without much evidence that the DPRK is at fault.  There has been less attention to the recent incident in which Israeli soldiers destroyed the left eye of a non-violent American student from New York in the Occupied Territories.
6/3 in Durham: 
Stop Israeli Aggression! Break the Siege of Gaza! End U.S. Military Aid to Israel!
Jews For A Just Peace

Join us as we protest

Thursday, June 3
5 - 7 p.m.
Corner of Main and Gregson, Durham
(Brightleaf Square) 

Show your support for the Freedom Flotilla, violently attacked by Israeli military forces
as its ships headed for Gaza carrying thousands of tons of humanitarian relief supplies.

Protest this latest in Israel's long line of violations of human rights and international law,
resulting too often, as it did again this week, in the deaths of innocent people.

Demand an end to the billions of U.S. tax dollars given to support Israel's military.

Bring friends, bring spirit, bring signs.

This call to protest is being organized by Jews for a Just Peace- North Carolina and friends.
Please distribute information about this protest far and wide. 

[Since I wrote this, other demonstrations have been announced. Friday, 6/4 there will be a protest against the Israeli attack and the Gaza blockade at Peace & Freedom Plaza (in front of the Post Office on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. This is sponsored by WILPF. And in Raleigh:

Join us as we protest in Raleigh

Friday, June 4
2:20 PM to 5:00 PM

Corner of Western Blvd. and Gorman St.

Starting from the Islamic Center of Raleigh we will walk down Ligon St.and Gorman St. ending up at the corner of Western Blvd. and Gorman St. where we will remain up to 5PM holding protest signs and calling out slogans against the Israeli aggression, arrogance, and violation of international laws, human rights, and for freedom of the Gaza strip.

For more information contact: Waleed Elhentaty at 919-369-8686

NC Stop Torture Now vigil Saturday, June 5 2-3:30 at the southeast corner of the intersection of Swift Creek Road and Business Highway 70, next to the Johnston County Airport, home of Aero Contractors, Ltd., which flew prisoners to countries where they could be tortured for the US government. 

[This has been moved to downtown Clayton, see]

6/6 in Fayetteville: Join us for a peaceful, legal vigil and protest of the Israeli military assault on the Gaza flotilla, and the endless, pointless US war in Afghanistan.

Time: Sunday June 6 2010 - 3PM-6PM
Place: Fayetteville NC Market House downtown.
Sponsor: Quaker House
NOTE: RAIN OR SHINE-- the Market House has a covered atrium in case of a shower. (It's kept us dry before!)
Plenty of parking nearby. Map link:
Special Guests -- Drummers!
Exciting drum group "Original Nature" to highlight Fayetteville Peace Rally Sunday June 6 2010.
3-6 PM at the Market House downtown -- Spread the Word!
Favorites of Fayetteville's "Fourth Friday" evening festivals, ORIGINAL NATURE makes music for the heart, the mind, and the soul.   This "eclectic orchestra" utilizes drums, flutes, blocks, chimes, and a variety of  other indigenous instruments to invoke the 'natural ' spirit of music.  ORIGINAL NATURE'S performances are enlightening, motivating, and inspiring, with each song being created in tune with the moment and emotions of the group.   Therefore, each performance is different, and each song has the distinction of being made just for you---the audience.   The nature of the performance is  presented in its purest form, thus the performance is truly "Original."

Regular events:

There are weekly peace vigils Fridays 5-6pm at the corner of South Elliot Road and East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and Saturdays 12-1 at Brightleaf Square in Durham.  There does not seem to be a weekly vigil in Raleigh now, but Mondays 5-6pm there is a vigil against the death penalty in front of Central Prison.   

In two weeks anti-war speakers will be addressing meetings in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh.