Workers Vanguard No. 1068
15 May 2015
Greek Trotskyists Say:
Syriza Is Class Enemy of Workers!
Down With the Imperialist EU!
We reprint below an article issued by our comrades of the Trotskyist Group of Greece on April 22 and distributed at May Day rallies in Athens and Thessaloniki.
Syriza’s January 25 election victory raised the hopes of many working people for some relief from the devastation of the economic crisis and the austerity imposed by the EU [European Union] and the IMF [International Monetary Fund]. Less than a month later, Syriza capitulated to a four-month extension of the terms of the [EU-IMF austerity] Memorandum and has reversed numerous pre-election promises. Nonetheless, many working people still hold out hope for some improvement in jobs, wages and pensions and have the perception that at least Syriza is trying to stand up to the Troika [EU, IMF and European Central Bank]. But sooner or later it will become clear that Syriza cannot fulfill its promises. This is because, as we explained in our election statement, Syriza is not only “committed to keeping Greece in the EU, which is a pledge for more hunger and joblessness, but also…does not in any way represent the interests of the working class” (“No Vote to Syriza! Vote Communist Party!” Trotskyist Group of Greece statement, 15 January [reprinted in WV No. 1060, 23 January]).
Syriza has always been committed to preserving the capitalist system and for continuing Greece’s membership in the EU and euro zone. This means submitting to the purpose of the EU, which is to maximize capitalist profit by driving down the working and living conditions of workers and the oppressed throughout all of Europe, including in imperialist countries like Germany. It also means making working people pay for the debts racked up by the capitalists and their bloodsucking banks. It is not only the imperialists, but also the Greek capitalist class who have benefited from the EU’s destruction of labor rights and imposition of austerity.
Our party, the International Communist League, has always stood in opposition to the imperialist EU and the euro—including our sections in imperialist countries like Germany, France and Britain. We understand that the EU is an unstable consortium of capitalist powers—because it is based on bourgeois nation-states—and is dominated by the imperialists, centrally Germany. The EU is therefore a union of the capitalist exploiters against the workers so that they can gain a competitive advantage over their imperialist rivals like the U.S. and Japan. For this reason, the EU cannot be reformed into a “social” Europe that serves the interests of working people, as Syriza and others claim. Down with the imperialist EU!
We gave critical electoral support to the reformist KKE [Communist Party of Greece] in the January 25 election because of our principled, class opposition to the bourgeois Syriza party and to the imperialist EU. But as our propaganda explained, we called for a vote to the KKE while sharply criticizing the KKE’s nationalist populist program, which is an obstacle to the fight for socialist revolution. We opposed any vote to Syriza as well as to any of the reformist leftists who tail it, like Antarsya. And we stand in irreconcilable opposition to this so-called “left” capitalist government. No support to the Syriza government!
Marxists give no support to any capitalist government, whether it is run by a bourgeois party like Syriza or even by a reformist workers party like the KKE. This is true on both a national and local level. In opposition to so-called Marxists who promote the idea that the workers can take over the existing state, Marx explained in The Civil War in France (1871), “The working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made State machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” And as Lenin explained in The State and Revolution (1917), the working class has to “smash the bourgeois state machine” through revolution and replace it with its own class dictatorship, the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” based on organs of workers rule like soviets. In opposition to this understanding, reformists like Antarsya and others promote the illusion that this bourgeois government can be pressured to reform Greek capitalism in a socialist direction. The nationalist populist illusions promoted by the left, including the KKE, are also contrary to Marxism and Leninism because they dissolve the social power of the working class into a Greek “people,” all of whom supposedly have common national interests against the imperialists and the big monopolies.
The Leninist Struggle for Proletarian Class Independence
The precondition to the victory of the 1917 October Revolution, the world’s only successful workers revolution, was the forging of a Leninist vanguard party that fought to guard the complete political and organizational independence of the workers party from all bourgeois and petty-bourgeois political forces. As Lenin put it in a polemic against the Mensheviks: “The thinking worker knows that the most dangerous of advisers are those liberal friends of the workers who claim to be defending their interests, but are actually trying to destroy the class independence of the proletariat and its organization” (“The Liberals’ Corruption of the Workers,” 31 January 1914). The question of whose class interests a party or movement actually represents, even if it has some left rhetoric, is thus a vital question for revolutionaries.
Much of the Greek left, including the KKE, falsely refers to Syriza as a reformist or social-democratic workers party. But such parties have a working-class base and a pro-capitalist leadership. Syriza has never been rooted in the working class and openly represents the class interests of the bourgeoisie. Syriza’s base was always among the petty bourgeoisie: students, small business owners, farmers and professionals like doctors, lawyers and professors. Why does this matter? Because, unlike the proletariat, this heterogeneous section of society has no independent class interests. The upper layers of the petty bourgeoisie are linked directly to the big bourgeoisie, while its middle layers are squeezed by the big capitalists. While the petty bourgeoisie’s lower strata are often oppressed under capitalism, it does not have a direct class interest in the overthrow of capitalism and thus tends to follow the bourgeoisie in political outlook.
In capitalist society, what makes the proletariat different is its relationship to the means of production: its labor in large-scale industry is the source of the enormous profits of the capitalist class, which are derived from the exploitation of the worker who owns nothing but his labor power. This gives the proletariat the power to stop the flow of the bourgeoisie’s profits by striking. Moreover, the proletariat can only end its exploitation by destroying private ownership of the means of production—by ripping the factories, mines and banks out of the hands of the capitalists and putting them under the ownership of society as a whole: collectivization. This is why the proletariat alone has both the power and the historic interest to carry out a socialist revolution. Such a revolution would not only end class exploitation, but also lay the basis for eliminating all the different forms of capitalist oppression suffered by the masses, such as women’s, racial and national oppression. Socialist revolution would thus serve to liberate the oppressed layers of the petty bourgeoisie also.
Contrary to the myth promoted by the Greek left that a revolution will be carried out by the “people,” Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto (1848):
“Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class.... The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by chance they are revolutionary, they are so only in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat...they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat.”
Thus, the battle to overthrow capitalism is not a battle between a revolutionary “people” and the monopolies, but between the two fundamental, antagonistic classes under capitalism: the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The proletariat must seek to win oppressed layers of the petty bourgeoisie to its side in this battle. But it can only do so by fighting for a revolutionary solution to the capitalist crisis, by showing that only with the working class in power and the expropriation of the bourgeoisie can the oppression of the masses end.
Reformist Left Joins Orgy of “National Unity”
The Troika has so far blocked Syriza’s plan to give some crumbs to working people in order to stabilize the capitalist order in Greece. So Syriza has had to resort more and more to the ideology of nationalism to line up working people behind the Greek bourgeoisie. Nationalism is a bourgeois ideology maintaining the lie that workers have a shared national interest with their own capitalist rulers. Syriza pushes this poison. Not only did it give the anti-immigrant, anti-Jewish and anti-gay Independent Greeks (ANEL) the defense ministry, but from its first days in power the new government made a big point of demonstrating its nationalist hatred against Turkey—with [Minister of Defense Panos] Kammenos’ Imia [disputed islets off the Turkish coast] trip and [Prime Minister Alexis] Tsipras’ visit to Cyprus to denounce Turkish “provocations.”
Syriza’s pledge to remain in the EU was also a pledge to continue policing the borders of racist “Fortress Europe” and to keep out the desperate victims of imperialist starvation and war who risk their lives to come here from Asia, the Near East and Africa. Syriza’s pretensions that it would help relieve the plight of immigrants are completely exposed by its continuation of anti-immigrant police raids and collaboration with imperialist agencies like Frontex [EU border control agency]. The working class must fight against the Greek bourgeoisie’s efforts to divide and rule by scapegoating immigrants. We say: Full citizenship rights for all immigrants! No deportations!
Far from opposing the government’s “national unity” campaign to save Greek capitalism, much of the left has flocked to pro-government demonstrations, such as the one that took place on February 11 in Syntagma [Square, Athens]. Under slogans that echoed Tsipras’ speeches in parliament, such as “We will not be blackmailed!”, thousands gathered in demonstrations filled with Greek flags to show the imperialists that the Greek “people” supported the government in its negotiations with the Troika. But Greece’s negotiations with the Troika are about maintaining the imperialist subordination of Greece, not ending it. Syriza just wants to renegotiate the terms of oppression.
Antarsya made its illusions in Syriza’s government clear in its call for people to join the protests on February 11: “The government must immediately meet the demands of the mass movement.” Also joining the orgy of “national unity” with Syriza, the Workers Revolutionary Party (EEK) saluted the pro-government protests in February as “a proud militant response to the capitalist Troika” (“No to Imperialist Thieves’ Blackmail!” New Perspective, 15 February). The EEK falsely claims the heritage of Trotsky’s Fourth International, which from its founding stood in opposition to “popular front” alliances between workers parties and bourgeois forces. But a popular front is exactly what the EEK called for when it demanded that the bourgeois Syriza form a government together with the KKE, a reformist workers party (“The Greek People Has Shaken the World,” 3 February).
The KKE did not participate in this orgy of national unity and opposed the coalition government’s “national concord” demonstrations. But when it comes to the defense of capitalist Greece’s borders, even with a far-right Minister of National Defense in power, the KKE puts its rhetoric against national unity back into its Stalinist closet. In its 8 March Rizospastis, the KKE complains that the government is weakening Greece’s national interests against Turkey (“The Turkish Notification (NOTAM) and the Government”). This is poison for the consciousness of the working class and does nothing other than deflect the anger and the desperation of the working masses away from the real enemy, the Greek bourgeoisie, and toward the workers of neighboring countries like Turkey.
For Proletarian Internationalism!
The Syriza government has ratcheted up the campaign begging the German bourgeoisie of Auschwitz to pay billions in reparations for the horrors inflicted on the population of Greece under Nazi occupation. The Greek bourgeoisie uses this campaign to whip up nationalist hostility among Greeks against all Germans. We oppose the lie that the German “people” are collectively responsible for the crimes of the German imperialists. Germany is a class-divided society in which the capitalist rulers exploit and oppress their “own” working people, as capitalist rulers do everywhere.
For the Greek bourgeoisie to call for reparations is pure hypocrisy. A large section of the bourgeoisie collaborated with the Nazi occupiers while the other wing of the bourgeoisie allied with the “democratic” British and U.S. imperialists who butchered the revolutionary worker and peasant masses of Greece, including by using the fascist security battalions. Syriza’s campaign is a nationalist maneuver to divert attention from the bankruptcy of their “anti-austerity” politics and has nothing to do with real justice for the victims of imperialist war crimes. Such crimes include not only massacres like those in [the Greek villages of] Distomo and Kalavryta, but also the Holocaust in which most of Greece’s Jewish population was wiped out. The victims of forced labor and the families of those massacred should of course receive any financial compensation they claim.
Workers in Germany have also seen their wages slashed and living conditions undercut in the name of profitability in recent years and a staggering 12.5 million people are classified as poor there. It is toward the working class of imperialist countries like Germany that the Greek workers must look for allies in the struggle against the imperialist EU and all the exploiters. As our comrades in Germany wrote: “Class struggle in Germany as well as France in solidarity with Greek, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese workers would not only broaden their struggles against austerity but also would help workers throughout Europe to free themselves from nationalism and break from their own bourgeoisies” (“Economic Crisis Rips Europe,” WV No. 992, 9 December 2011).
To the degree that organizations on the left here call for Greece to get out of the euro zone and EU, it is from a nationalist and reformist perspective. If Greece were to exit the EU as the result of militant workers struggles, this would be an important step forward, allowing Greece to devalue its currency and helping to shake up the imperialist order in Europe. But this is not a solution in itself. As a small country, with a low level of industry and resources, Greece will always remain dependent on imperialism under capitalism. Furthermore, the economic crisis Greece is suffering is part of a worldwide economic crisis of the imperialist system. The only way out for workers and the oppressed is the struggle for socialist revolution here and internationally, including in the imperialist centers. For a Socialist United States of Europe!
The KKE’s call for Greece out of the EU is based not on internationalism, but nationalism. In opposition to a revolutionary internationalist perspective, the KKE maintains: “In Greece there exist the material conditions for socialist construction” and that such “can safeguard the satisfaction of the people’s needs” (“Programme of the KKE,” 19th Congress, April 2013). For Marxists, socialism means a society of material abundance premised on the collectivization and qualitative development of the most advanced productive forces, which are today centered in the imperialist countries. As Engels wrote in his “Principles of Communism” (1847):
“Question 19: Will it be possible for this revolution to take place in one country alone?
“Answer: No. Large-scale industry, already by creating the world market, has so linked up all the peoples of the earth, and especially the civilised peoples, that each people is dependent on what happens to another.... The communist revolution will therefore be no merely national one.... It is a worldwide revolution and will therefore be worldwide in scope.”
The KKE’s program thus rejects a fundamental premise of Marxism.
For Mass, Proletarian Mobilizations to Stop the Fascists!
By promoting reactionary Greek nationalism, Syriza and the reformists are reinforcing the ideology that nourishes the fascists. Anyone with eyes can see that the [fascist] Golden Dawn and other right-wing forces are preparing for Syriza’s failure in order to step in and be the “saviors” of the nation from the EU and from its destruction by the “left.”
If the ruined petty bourgeoisie and masses of unemployed do not see the working class fighting for a program of radical demands to end mass unemployment and poverty, they will be increasingly attracted to the “radical” solutions offered by the fascists. The fascists divert the indignation and despair of the petty bourgeoisie away from big capital and exploit the masses’ disgust with the parliamentary politics of the “left.” As Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky wrote in the 1930s when the fascists were on the rise in France: “Big capital ruins the middle classes and then with the help of hired fascist demagogues incites the despairing petty bourgeois against the worker.” (Whither France?, October 1934).
This underscores the urgency for the organized workers movement to fight to stop the fascist menace before it gets any larger. Despite its anti-fascist rhetoric, the Greek left is in practice politically disarming the workers and oppressed in the fight against fascism. For example, you have the criminal passivity of the trade-union misleaders, including the KKE’s PAME union front, in response to the fascists. The historic purpose of the fascists is to destroy the organized workers movement and suppress political liberties when the capitalists can no longer govern with the help of the “democratic” machinery of the state. Tens and hundreds of thousands of workers are regularly mobilized in the streets by the unions and PAME for all kinds of demonstrations. Yet this social power is not mobilized when it counts the most—to prevent the much smaller forces of the Golden Dawn from holding their mass rallies, which serve to give the fascists the confidence to carry out bloody attacks on immigrants, leftists and gay people.
A massive, united-front show of force by the workers who have the power to shut down the capitalist flow of profits would not only send the fascists back into their holes, but would also give the workers a sense of their own power. In this way, the proletariat can demonstrate in action that it has confidence and can win over sections of the oppressed petty bourgeoisie to its side. Thousands of workers must also be organized through their unions into defense guards to protect the victims of the fascist gangs in the neighborhoods. The workers united front poses the fact that the struggle is not about “democracy” vs. fascism, but class against class. It provides a vehicle for revolutionaries to fight for leadership of the working class in struggle, and must therefore be based on the principle explained by Lenin: “March separately but strike together.” This means revolutionaries continue their polemical struggle to expose the reformists and trade-union misleaders from within the united front.
The central obstacle to a powerful, united-front struggle against the fascists is the profound illusions promoted by the left in the “democratic” capitalist state. The most explicit in promoting these illusions is the Socialist Workers Party (SEK) and its Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat (KEERFA), who relentlessly call for “prison for the neo-Nazi murderers.” The SEK even calls on the minister who oversees the police to “clear away the Golden Dawn enclaves that exist inside the police” (Workers’ Solidarity, 11 March). These are calls on the same capitalist system that gave birth to the fascists to stop them. As Trotsky wrote in opposition to such reformist illusions in the state:
“Suppose the police of Daladier-Frossard [French Radical and Socialist Party leaders] ‘disarm the fascists.’ Does that settle the question? And who will disarm the same police, who with the right hand will give back to the fascists what they will have taken from them with the left? The comedy of disarmament by the police will only have caused the authority of the fascists to increase as fighters against the capitalist state.”
The SEK and Antarsya may talk about building a “united front” but what they mean is a class-collaborationist movement with the bourgeois Syriza. While a mass, working-class united front must include all anti-fascist workers, including those who still support Syriza, PASOK or other bourgeois parties, we do not call on these parties to join the struggle against fascism. This is because we understand that fascism is an outgrowth of the capitalist system itself and that calls on the capitalists to stop the fascists can only serve to divert workers from revolutionary struggle. The united front is a tactic for carrying out a common action around specific concrete demands—such as stopping a fascist provocation—and not an ongoing political bloc of the kind the SEK and Antarsya build.
Not “People’s Power” but Workers Power!
One justification for the KKE’s passivity in response to the fascists is the argument that the “only road to abolish fascism” is socialist revolution, which is true. But does this mean workers don’t have to defend themselves and the oppressed until then? Aren’t unemployment, women’s oppression and racism also inherent to capitalism? Should the workers not fight against these in the here and now? Should the workers allow themselves to be slaughtered by the fascists? Who will then lead the socialist revolution? The struggle against fascism today must necessarily be linked to the struggle to eliminate fascism once and for all through the overthrow of capitalism. The KKE’s refusal to fight to defend the workers movement against the fascist threat demonstrates that their program is not to organize the workers for a revolutionary seizure of power.
The KKE might say it is for “isolating” the fascists ideologically, but when they appeal to a national interest of the people, they echo the populism of the right: “Men and women of the Military and Security Forces, we call you to support the KKE, for the interest of the people, for the interest of our country” (KKE statement of April 2014 about the European elections). Didn’t the Communist Manifesto declare: “The workingmen have no country” [emphasis added]? The KKE’s nationalist appeals to the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state have nothing in common with Marxism or Leninism. The KKE’s Communist Review No. 1 (2015) contains a long article on the “bourgeois state and government” in which they endlessly quote Lenin on the oppressive nature of the state and the need to overthrow it. But these words are exposed by the KKE’s deeds. Didn’t the KKE run as an election candidate Giannis Douniadakis, a former admiral of the Greek navy and member of the Movement for National Defense (KETHA), which fights for “the patriotic orientation of the armed forces” of capitalist Greece? And hasn’t the KKE repeatedly sent delegations to show solidarity with reactionary police organizations falsely called “unions”?
Cops are not part of the workers movement. They are the hired thugs of the capitalist state, and their role is not to “protect the citizen” but to keep the bourgeoisie safe from the struggles of the proletariat. Their role is to arrest and torture immigrants, to smash picket lines, to break strikes together with scabs hired by the big and small capitalists and to defend their private property, and to suppress campus protests. This was seen on April 17 with the arrests of anarchists at the University of Athens, under the orders of Tsipras. Hands off the anarchist protesters! A prime example of the strike-breaking role of the cops was shown by their attack on the months-long strike at the steel factory in Aspropyrgos. Yet the KKE leadership has no problem offering its “solidarity” to the police organizations whose cops broke this strike—a strike in which PAME was part of the leadership! Cops, prison and security guards out of the unions!
What is really behind the KKE’s talk of “people” vs. “monopolies” is an accommodation to “small capital” vs. “big capital.” Greece has a very small industrial proletariat and correspondingly large urban petty bourgeoisie. The Greek private sector overwhelmingly consists of small enterprises, in which workers are largely not unionized. Revolutionaries should fight to win the unions to a massive campaign to organize these workers and overturn the law barring the formation of a union in workplaces of less than 21 employees. But the KKE in its “For the Self-Employed, Small Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants—Theses of the Central Committee of the KKE” says that the party needs to organize the “self-employed with personnel,” i.e., the exploiters of these workers! This political orientation to the small exploiter is a concrete example of how the KKE dissolves the working class into the “people.”
Where the real social power for a revolutionary transformation rests in Greece is not in a broad front of the people as the KKE maintains, but in the small but militant proletariat, i.e., seamen, longshoremen, mass transit and rail workers, miners and electrical workers. This is the class that has the power to shut down production, stop the flow of profits, seize the means of production and overthrow the bourgeoisie. The relative weakness of the Greek proletariat, due to its small size, underscores the necessity to look for allies outside the country. A workers revolution in Greece would inspire support from the powerful proletariat of larger countries from Turkey to Spain to Germany.
It was the working class, and not the “people” who took power in Russia in October 1917. It was a proletarian revolution that established the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat supported by the mass of oppressed peasants, not “people’s power.” Lenin argued in “The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution” (10 April 1917), for “pouring of vinegar and bile into the sweet water of revolutionary-democratic phraseology,” “preparing and welding the elements of a consciously proletarian, Communist Party” and “curing the proletariat of the ‘general’ petty-bourgeois intoxication.” It was with such a sharp, independent class program that Lenin and Trotsky led the proletariat to power. This is the opposite of what the KKE leadership did in the 1940s in Greece when it betrayed a revolution by subordinating the workers to the Stalinist alliance with the “democratic” imperialists in World War II (see “Greece 1940s: A Revolution Betrayed,” Spartacist [English-language edition] No. 64, Summer 2014).
We in the ICL, genuine Leninist-Trotskyists, fought to defend the gains of the October Revolution until the end despite the Soviet Union’s degeneration under Stalinism. We unconditionally defended the Soviet Union against the forces of internal and external capitalist counterrevolution. We uniquely fought on the ground in 1989-90 in the deformed workers state of East Germany, and in 1991-92 in the Soviet Union, to stop the unfolding of capitalist counterrevolution. We called for workers political revolutions to oust the Stalinist bureaucrats and establish regimes of workers democracy as well as for the extension of revolution internationally. The KKE, in contrast, backed Gorbachev, supporting his economic reforms which opened the road to capitalism. In a lame self-criticism, the KKE admits: “The Conference of 1995 criticised the fact that our party uncritically accepted the policy of perestroika, assessing it as a reform policy which would benefit socialism” (“Resolution on Socialism,” 18th Congress, February 2009). Contrary to the KKE’s claim that it carries the flag of Red October, what it actually carries is the rotten banner of Stalinism, which dug the grave of the October Revolution.
The Fight for a Revolutionary Leadership
One of the recent issues of the KKE’s theoretical journal contains a polemic against the Workers Struggle (EA) and New Seed (NS) groupings that dishonestly associates the Trotskyist Fourth International’s 1938 founding document, popularly known as the Transitional Program, with its distortion by reformists. The KKE argues: “All the Transitional Programs are based on the direct or indirect acceptance of the position that the workers movement can—under conditions—to a decisive degree enforce its will on capitalist rule in the framework of capitalism, without the overthrow of the bourgeois state and without the power of the dictatorship of the proletariat” (Communist Review No. 1). In fact, the Transitional Program clearly states: “The strategic task of the Fourth International lies not in reforming capitalism, but in its overthrow. Its political aim is the conquest of power by the proletariat for the purpose of expropriating the bourgeoisie.” It is a cheap trick to smear Trotsky, who led the October Revolution together with Lenin, by citing the reformist politics of groups like EA, NS and Antarsya. The Transitional Program was formulated during the Great Depression and on the eve of WWII, and laid out “transitional demands, stemming from today’s conditions and from today’s consciousness of wide layers of the working class and unalterably leading to one final conclusion: the conquest of power by the proletariat.” This was in opposition to both the social-democratic illusions in a peaceful reform of capitalism and to the Stalinists’ popular-front alliances with bourgeois parties. The KKE rejects transitional demands because its program is reformist and it therefore does not need a “bridge” between its minimal demands like “restoring legally the minimum wage to at least 751 euros for all” and the fight for socialist revolution.
What is urgently needed today is not just to restore wages and conditions to pre-Memorandum levels but transitional demands which by their very nature cannot be met by a bourgeois society in crisis. In response to massive unemployment, especially among the youth, we demand jobs for all through a shorter workweek with no loss in pay! In a society where the minimum wage leaves the working poor to burn firewood for heat and send their children hungry to school we demand a sliding scale of wages to keep up with the actual cost of living. If these demands are “unrealistic” for the bourgeoisie, then it shows to the masses that the whole system of capitalist slavery should be overthrown.
In the struggle to defend all those ruined by the capitalist crisis, the working class must fight to organize the many unorganized workers into the unions and to defend immigrant workers, who are a vital component of the urban and rural proletariat. In opposition to Syriza’s begging for crumbs from the imperialists, we say: Repudiate the debt! Expropriate the banks! These demands provide the basis for the systematic mobilization of the masses for proletarian revolution.
The main obstacle to bringing the working class to revolutionary consciousness is not the “objective” conditions, but the opportunist character of the existing leadership of the workers movement, and in particular the KKE. What is needed is a revolutionary party like Lenin’s and Trotsky’s Bolsheviks. Such a party will lead the working class based on an understanding of who the real class enemy is and will act as a Leninist tribune of the people, reacting against any manifestation of exploitation and oppression. It will be forged through the struggle against capitalist ruin and fascist reaction. Such a party cannot be a “national” party, but must form part of one international revolutionary party, with sections in each country. As our Trotskyist forebears wrote in 1934: “As yesterday, so today, we shall continue to work with all our strength for all the fundamental theories of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, which have been tested through and through and confirmed a thousand times over and from every angle” (“For the Fourth International!” New International). It is the perspective of the TGG to fight for such a party as part of a reforged Fourth International.