Coalition of the Moderate Left?

The Greek Coalition of the Radical Left ( Syriza ) won 26% of the votes during the last election in Greece. They marched right over the Pan-Hellenic ''Socialist'' Movement, the main social democratic party that betrayed the Greek workers to EU austerity cuts. The Hellenic Republic is still in crisis. Although weaken the ruling class is still in power, thanks to fear and intimidation by the conservatives around New Democracy and the Pan-Hellenic '''Socialist'' Movement ( PASOK ) who spread fear about more poverty, if the Greek people would oppose EU austerity. Syriza is now the biggest left-wing party in the parliament, but their leader Alexis Tsipras is not a revolutionary socialist. He belongs to the reformist wing of Syriza and is about to turn the coalition into a parliamentary party.

Tsipras does not want Greece to leave to European Union and the Euro. But as a socialist he should know that the EU is not friendly towards anti-capitalist  nations. The EU was created for western capitalists to travel between European nations. Under the banner of free trade, most western capitalists moved their means of production to eastern Europe, because the wages and living standards are much lower in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria then in advanced capitalist nations!

The Coalition of the Radical Left ( Syriza ) was created as a coalition. It became a political party in 2012 after their huge victory. But as a political party, they are faced with a major decision. Should they become a moderate leftist party that supports the EU and the parliamentary democracy? Or become a revolutionary socialist party that opposes the EU and parliamentary rule?

Alexis Tsipras started as a member of the Coalition of Left, of Movements and Ecology ( Synaspismos  ). This political party was founded in 1991 by merging Greek leftists parties into a coalition. Much like Syriza today Synaspismos was a coalition at first, but became a political party in 1991. The new party was plagued with conflicts. It was never able to rally workers around them and PASOK was able to present themselves as the only workers party in Greece!

Synaspismos as a political party was not able to rally the working class, because they lacked a genuine socialist program. The party was reformist like the Party of Democratic Socialism in Germany, it never called for a socialist revolution. Beside Greek workers had more choices during elections then 
Synaspismos and PASOK. The KKE ( communist party ) remains a strong party with a loyal electorate. But what limits the KKE is their Stalinist dogmatism. They have rehabilitated Joseph Stalin and glorify Stalinist states like Cuba. Synaspismos was a new left party in 1991, but not a radical one that could win votes from PASOK. The social democrats had a history of supporting workers since the 70's. Synaspismos score was at its highest in 1996 with 5,6%, but until Syriza victory in 2012, they never won more then 6% of the votes!

In 2004, Synaspismos and other radical leftist parties created Syriza. An alliance of Synaspismos with many leftist groups, some were leftist nationalist and other revolutionary leftist. From Maoist parties to Trotskyist groups, Syriza is a mixture of many leftist ideologies. Some right-wing members of Synaspismos opposed the more radical leftist elements of Syriza and left the coalition in 2010. They created the political party; Democratic Left, a party that would enter the Greek government for a few months, before leaving it again! 

When the capitalist crisis started in 2008, Greece was hit very hard. Right-wing newspapers blamed the ''lazy'' Greek government workers, lies were spread about Greek government workers who all would retire at age 55, a big lie since most Greek retire at age 64. Also the government of Greece was called inefficient, weak and too big. So the capitalist EU said that Greece must undergo major budget cuts. 

When the crisis started, PASOK was the ruling party in Greece. They won the elections after the conservatives were voted out of office. PASOK and New Democracy were used to govern alone. This is also made easy since the winner of the elections would get 30 seats as a bonus in the Greek parliament!

PASOK is a pro-European Union party, their program is social democratic in nature. But like most social democrats they accepted massive budget cuts and started with privatizations of state enterprises. Greek workers soon realized that PASOK was working against them. In May 2012, the elections were a huge defeat for the Greek social democrats, but also for the conservatives of New Democracy. 

For the first time, PASOK and New Democracy were forced by the EU to create a stable capitalist coalition government. But this failed and new elections were held in July 2012. The EU demanded a victory of the pro-EU parties. Many capitalist newspapers wrote that a vote on the radical left-wing would anger the markers and the EU! 

The Pan-Hellenic ''Socialist'' Movement only got 12,26% of the vote and was crushed. The Coalition of the Radical Left became the main left-wing party. Right-wing Greeks all voted on New Democracy. This meant that other conservative parties lost votes to New Democracy. But because of that, they were able to win the election and got their 30 bonus seats. But luck was not on New Democracy's side. They still had not enough seats, so they were forced to talk with PASOK again. A third coalition partner became Democratic Left, the former right-wing of Synaspismos!

New Democracy, PASOK and Democratic Left, presented the EU with a capitalist government. European leaders demanded swift action and massive budget cuts. Syriza opposed the cuts like the KKE ( communist party ). The Communist Party of Greece and Syriza could unite much workers, if they only would start talking. Syriza is called a moderate left party by the KKE and they claim that Syriza will not abolish capitalism. They are right about the reformist nature of Syriza, but that does not mean that the communist party should avoid working with them. Syriza and the KKE have a lot of supporters. A United Front between Syriza and the KKE on a socialist program could triumph over the parties of the EU and capitalism!

Here comes the reformist wing of Syriza in action. Alexis Tsipras want the new Syriza to become a pro-EU and reformist party. During the first congress as a political party, the right-wing was able to defeat the left-wing. All proposals of the revolutionary socialists were voted down as most party members supported reformism. Alexis Tsipras even said he would work with the Independent Greeks, a centrist capitalist political party. This turn to the right-wing will create much anger among Greek workers, when they find out that Syriza wants to work with the EU and those who force poverty upon the working class!

Also this turn to the right will proof to the Stalinist KKE, that Syriza is no ally of socialism as they see it. Yet many Greeks have voted for Syriza and still have hopes of a future genuine left-wing government under Alexis Tsipras. But like many reformist socialists, Tsipras is building strength not outside the parliament  but within. This is the mistake all reformist socialists make. They believe that social changes can be made by compromises with the bourgeoisie. Dutch and German socialists have also made this error and lost support among working people. Like in Berlin were Die Linke lost 195,463 voters since 2001, because they entered a capitalist government with the SPD ( social democrats )!

If Syriza wants to remain a party for socialism and workers rule, then they must abandon this reformist line. But there are signs that Syriza is to become a parliamentary leftist party. They already opposed a strike of the teachers union, who opposed the firing of many teachers. If Syriza is starting to oppose strikes and workers action, then they will lose votes and cause massive disillusionment among workers and poor people who voted for Syriza!

Alexis Tsipras wants a moderate Syriza,
not a revolutionary party for working people!

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism

Struggle, Solidarity, Socialism