If nothing else, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has shown itself to be resilient. The party was founded in 1918 and almost immediately faced state repression for its opposition to the Greco-Turkish War. It confronted the first of many periods of illegality starting in the 1930s, but managed to regroup and muster a fierce resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II. It suffered defeat in the civil war that soon followed and was continually forced underground, but still remained a significant part of Greek political life.
Even after its brief participation in an unpopular New Democracy-led government and the fall of the Eastern Bloc in the late 1980s, the KKE maintained a substantial vote total, much larger than its official Communist movement peers throughout Europe.
But despite the economic crisis and anti-austerity struggle in Greece over the last few years, its support appears to have stagnated. Many pointed towards the KKE’s hostility to Syriza and criticism of new social movements left it unable to productively contribute to the new environment. Most of those criticisms have been muted after Syriza’s recent surrender to the eurozone, but questions still remain about how the Communist Party views the political situation in Greece today and what role it will play going forward.
In the lead up to Sunday’s elections, Jacobin spoke to representatives of the party’s central committee last week to answer some of these questions.
What level of support does the party expect in the coming elections?
The KKE told the people the truth, it warned them about the course of the developments and predicted what would be the outcome of a Syriza government. It warned that Syriza’s program and the Thessalonika declarations determined the compromise, the agreement with the EU, and the new shameful memorandum.
Its program was an inherently anti-people one, dressed up with some left-wing slogans. Now that the third memorandum has been passed with the votes of the “left-wing” Syriza government, together with the votes of liberal New Democracy (ND), social-democratic Pasok, “centrist” Potami and nationalist ANEL, there is tangible and irrefutable evidence that no government can implement a people-friendly political line in the framework of the EU and the capitalist development path.
Capitalism and its international unions, such as the EU, cannot have their character changed by negotiations, referenda, allegedly left-wing governments. Any government that functions on the terrain of the capitalist economy is obliged to observe its immutable anti-people laws that bleed the people in order to reinforce capital’s competitiveness, profitability, and investments.
In addition, in the last seven months after the January elections, the KKE has unwaveringly fought against the anti-people measures and at the same time has proposed the development path that is in the people’s interests and belongs exclusively to them.
We fought against the real causes of the memoranda which are none other than the strategy of the EU and capital that aims to overcome the capitalist economic crisis by creating new avenues for capital’s profitability, with an even cheaper labor force.
The KKE was the only party that tabled a draft law in parliament to abolish the memoranda and the four hundred application laws. All the MPs of Syriza — including those that have now split away and founded “Popular Unity,” Syriza mark two — are responsible for the fact that this draft law was never brought to the house for discussion or a vote.
The KKE consistently organizes the struggle for immediate relief measures for the people, for solidarity, for the abolition of the anti-worker, anti-people laws, for the recovery of the losses, for the satisfaction of the people’s needs today, in a trajectory of rupture with the EU, capital, and its power.
So, in conclusion, we believe that the KKE should be further reinforced in the elections this September, without setting specific numerical targets. And this is because at a time when the bourgeois political system is spawning new political parties, i.e. in conditions of more general realignments and the recomposition of the political system, it is not helpful to adopt specific numerical targets in the elections.
The political goal of the KKE is to strengthen itself comprehensively in every field, politically, ideologically, organizationally, in the movement, and electorally. Particularly now, when the people have tried every form of bourgeois government (social-democratic, right-wing, left-wing) and as we note in our central slogan: “You have tried them . . . Now the solution is to be found on the path to overthrow the system, joining forces with the KKE.”
Within the trade union movement, in what sectors is the party strongest?
The KKE has significant, historic, enduring blood ties with the working class and its trade union movement. The Communists have the political obligation, an obligation which is also included in the Party’s statutes, to actively participate in their trade unions.
In Greece, in contrast with some other countries, there is a unified trade union structure, i.e. there are no confederations formed on the basis of political convictions, but two confederations of trade unions (one in the public sector and one in the private sector).
This does not mean that there is not a robust ideological-political confrontation within the ranks of the trade union movement. Two lines come into conflict inside the labor and trade union movement. On the one side, the line of “Social Dialogue”, class collaboration, i.e. the subjugation of the working class. This line is expressed by the government and employer-led majorities in the confederations.
And on the other side, there is the line of class unity and struggle — the Communists play the leading role in promoting this line, which has been expressed in Greece by the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) for the last sixteen years.
PAME is a front which seeks to include in its ranks the liveliest and most militant forces of the labor and trade union movement.
PAME is organized on a nationwide basis and focuses, without exception, on all the workplaces and production sectors in the public and private sector. The common agreed position of these forces is to follow a line of struggle against capital, the European Union, and the government. PAME’s forces oppose imperialism and its wars.
Sectoral federations of workers, employees and pensioners, labor centers (geographical associations of trade unions), hundreds of local unions, elected trade-union officials, struggle and coordinating committees of workers-employees participate in PAME. The activity of PAME extends to every sector of industry and education, construction, transport, tourism, retail, and banks etc.
Today, PAME has substantial forces in nearly every sector, especially in the private sector. It has the majority, for example in the federations in construction (the largest federation in Greece), the pharmaceutical industry, textile-clothing, accounting, beverages, food processing, print, the paper industry, and it has a very strong presence in the metal industry, tourism, restaurants, maritime transport, local government, and telecommunications.
It has the majority in many labor centers and a very strong presence in the largest labor centers: Athens, Piraeus, and Thessalonika.
How large do you estimate your active membership is — cadre, level of support in the student movement, and so on?
As you may be aware a large part of the nearly 100 years of our party’s existence was characterized by persecution, imprisonments, exile, torture, executions.
Today, we might operate in conditions of parliamentary democracy, but we do not forget that this is one of the forms of capital’s dictatorship, which uses many forces and mechanisms for the repression of the labor and Communist movement.
For this reason, we do not consider it prudent to announce the number of members and cadres. However, we can inform your readers that in the recent elections in January 2015 our party received 338,000 votes, about 5.5 percent, and had fifteen MPs elected to the national parliament. In the recent EU elections it received 349,000 votes, about 6.15 percent, and had two MEPs elected to the EU Parliament.
As regards the student movement, every year elections are held for the councils of the student unions. In recent years, “Panspoudastiki”, the electoral list supported by KNE, the KKE’s youth organization, has steadily increased its vote and this year emerged as the second largest group, receiving 19 percent in the universities and 22 percent in the Technological Institutes.
How did the party relate to the movement of the squares and view the class composition of many of the social movements that came to fore during the early years of the crisis?
The so-called “movement of the squares” that designated itself as being “non-party aligned,” was highly publicized by organizations of the bourgeois mass media that are owned by the capitalists. Its rationale concerning the issue of democracy at the least indicates hypocrisy, just as their effort to unite the people supposedly beyond the issue of class does, projecting a vague anti-memorandum content.
In practice, the position “outside of the parties,” “outside of the unions” on the part of the “square movement” was nothing but a reactionary position. They position themselves against the memorandum and its horrific measures, while they say nothing at all against the government, the EU, or the political forces that align themselves with these policies.
On the contrary, they attempted to speak in general terms about politicians that they characterized as “traitors,” lumping the KKE together with the bourgeois forces and lumping the class-oriented trade unions together with those that follow a policy of compromise.
It’s not by chance that this movement was utilized by the fascist Golden Dawn party, among others, that saw their electoral support shoot up rapidly after the movement appeared, which ideologically-politically prepared the ground in order for the criminal organization Golden Dawn to sow ideologically reactionary seeds of fascist deception.
In terms of social composition, this movement was directed at petty-bourgeois sections of society that are being violently destroyed under conditions of the capitalist crisis, at politically backward sections of the working class, and at lumpen elements.
It was supported as well by sections of the bourgeois class, the bourgeois mass media that publicized the “movement of the squares” and other similar movements, such as the “movement of the potato” with the goal of disorienting the working people, distancing them from the organized class struggle that has an orientation of rupture with the monopolies, with capitalism and the EU; in order for the popular strata not to comprehend what is happening and not to struggle against those who are responsible and against the causes of the capitalist crisis; to not see that the only alternative solution in favor of the people, proposed by the KKE, is found in the socialization of the means of production, unilateral cancellation of the debt, central planning of the economy, disengagement from the imperialist unions of the EU and NATO, with the people in power.
In what ways, concretely, was the movement of the squares utilized by Golden Dawn? Was it just a matter of the party feeding off of vague stirrings in the middle classes? Wouldn’t “vague anti-memorandum content” possibly mean the movement could be won over to a more radical line?
What is very important to understand is that the vague anti-memoranda slogans which were dominant in these demonstrations in the squares, it is quite a stretch to characterize this phenomenon as being a “movement,” concealed the fact that the memoranda are a part of the EU’s and capital’s strategy. This was also exploited by Golden Dawn, as we have already noted.
The “squares” were an activity that was backed and promoted by the bourgeois mass media against and in opposition to the organized class-oriented trade union movement.
For a section of the people, their participation in the “squares” not only did not deepen their understanding of the causes of the capitalist crisis but added to their confusion, which was exploited by political forces like Golden Dawn. The hatred of anything organized, whether politically or in the trade unions, that was prevalent clearly did not create favorable conditions for popular masses, who participated in these demonstrations, to be won over to a more radical direction.
However, it should be noted that in the same period we witnessed the significant activity of the labor and people’s movement, with major strikes, occupations of roads and state buildings etc. However, the mass media, both local and international, insisted on advertising the essentially harmless for the system “movement of the squares,” despite the fact that in the overwhelming majority of instances the mass participation of the people in the mobilizations of PAME and the other organizations of the People’s Alliance was many times greater than the participation in the “squares.”
Was the KKE able to relate better to the solidarity networks that sprang up during the same time, such as Solidarity 4 All, or does a similar analysis hold?
The communists of Greece actively participate in the various solidarity actions of the trade unions and people’s committees that exist in nearly every neighborhood and workplace in order practically support those in real need, to help the workers stand on their feet. The people’s committees supported those who could not pay their electricity bills and had their electricity cut. They organized interventions in order for the electricity to be reconnected to these homes, with great success.
Trade unions and people’s committees collected and continue to collect and hand out food and medicine. Another example was the organization of solidarity during the nine-month strike of the steelworkers in Aspropyrgos. Many labor centers and people’s committees have created free night schools to help the children of the unemployed with their schoolwork. They are also intervening so that the managements of the hospitals agree to carry out operations/medical examinations for people who cannot afford to pay etc.
At the same time, we are opposed to structures that are being utilized as “substitutes” for public and free health-welfare structures, which are and should be the responsibility of the state. For example, public health units that were responsible for — even if very basic — health checks for a number of illnesses have closed and programs being managed by the municipalities in partnership with private companies and NGOs have sprung up in their place. We are opposed to this development.
Unfortunately, forces from Syriza (especially in the municipalities) have played an unacceptable role in relation to this development, as a kind of “trojan horse,” by opposing the demands of the people’s movement for public and free social services.
How does the party view its experience in government in 1989? Why did the party join a bourgeois coalition with New Democracy then? What has changed in its analysis since?
The KKE has experience from its very specific participation in two successive governments in 1989-90; in the first case with the liberal party (ND) and in the second case, together with the social-democratic party (Pasok) as well.
Its participation in these governments occurred for very specific reasons. In this period, following the elections, no party was able to form a majority government and if elections were to take place again a political-economic scandal would have passed its statute of limitations that — according to the indictment — the social-democratic Prime Minister and other PASOK leaders were involved in.
Our party paid dearly for that participation, even though from the nature of those two governments — that were both transitional until new elections could be held — it was not forced into destructive compromises. Despite this, however, a section of the people — guided by the social democrats — accused the party of a policy of unholy alliances.
We did experience a loss in votes, but this was not the most important issue. There were two even more damaging aspects to the party’s participation in these governments: 1) the strengthening of the idea (during a period when opportunism had reared its head within the party) that it is not a matter of principle that the party should not participate in a bourgeois government, 2) even more negative was the strengthening of the view that at some climactic moment when the bourgeois political system faces obstacles and difficulties the KKE should set aside its strategy and support the formation of a government with the logic of a so-called minimum program which in reality, in all cases, cannot create a rupture in the bourgeois political system; on the contrary, it allows the system to regroup its forces.
Recently in mid-2012 immense pressure was exerted on the KKE to participate in a government of “the Left” as it was called, with the forces of opportunism that suddenly became a significant parliamentary force, as a result of the collapse of social democracy under conditions of rising poverty due to the capitalist economic crisis that broke out in Greece and the eurozone.
The sudden increase of opportunism’s parliamentary presence did not take place exclusively due to great popular dissatisfaction but in combination with the mass transfer of votes corralled by a large number of social-democratic leaders and their apparatuses.
In the transfer of forces towards opportunism (Syriza), sections of the bourgeois class participated, seeing the need for a new pole of social democracy to be created before the workers and popular masses were drawn towards real radicalization.
The KKE estimated at that point that the Syriza government would serve the needs of the EU, NATO, and big capital in the end just as has happened. We had serious electoral losses due to our refusal to support such a government and to take part in it as a section of our voters turned towards the opportunist party because they preferred a more immediate, as they thought, political solution. They decided to try the “first time left” government with its alluring slogans that turned out to be just hot air.
What was shown in practice? That the “left” SYRIZA government that has at its side its “patriotic” partner, the nationalist ANEL party, not only refused to abolish the previous anti-people measures, but thrust new ones onto the backs of the people with the third memorandum.
In addition, it proved to be a faithful ally of the imperialists, the USA, NATO, the EU. It even reached the point of proposing to the USA and NATO the creation of a new military base in the Aegean (on Karpathos), something that no right-wing government ever dared to propose in the past because of the popular outcry that would have ensued.
Despite this, the “Left Platform” of Syriza that split and became SYRIZA mark two under the name “Popular Unity” did not raise any substantial objection. On the contrary, its party leaders in governmental positions, e.g. the Minister of Energy, the Deputy Minister of Defense, etc., supported the implementation of the anti-people measures, the launching of new ones and the further harnessing of the country to the US-NATO “tank.”
In conclusion, there is now much more evidence that a government within the framework of the capitalist system, formed based on universal suffrage, cannot constitute a starting point for a form of governance that will benefit the working class and the other popular strata.
Capitalists cannot be compelled to accept attacks on their profitability in favor of the workers, especially when the capitalist system is in a difficult phase where it cannot achieve expanded capitalist reproduction in the same way that it managed to do in the past.
Communists under conditions of capitalism must constitute a constant force of workers’/people’s opposition inside and outside of the parliament in order to strengthen the class struggle and to mobilize workers and popular forces to overthrow the system. That is to say, they must not be pulled behind any government of bourgeois management.
As long as a government manages the fate of the people and the country, trapped in the shackles of the EU and the capitalist development path which is on its last legs and is rotting, we will constantly be led towards new anti-people governments, regardless of their labels (“left” or “right”).
The people need to be liberated from all of the anti-people governments and their policies and to take power in their own hands. We are fighting for a higher form of organization of the economy and society. With social ownership, central planning, workers’ control. Of course it is at this point that the KKE will have the leading role in the governance of the country.
How does the party view the eurozone? Is it for a break from the euro, even if only to put Greece in a better position to pursue more radical socialist transformation?
The KKE has a consistent, well-grounded political proposal, based on the scientific worldview of Marxism-Leninism. Clearly, a Greece of workers’-people’s power, for which we are fighting, outside the EU and NATO, where the means of production are socialized, i.e. they will be the property of the people, where the economy will operate on the basis of the planned satisfaction of people’s needs today, and not on the basis of the profitability of capital, it will have its own popular currency, not the euro.
However, this is something completely different from what is being proposed by sections of the bourgeoisie in Greece and the EU, even in Germany, where they are openly discussing the possible withdrawal of Greece and possibly some other countries from the eurozone and a return to a national currency.
What will a return to a capitalist Greece with a national currency mean today for the workers and other popular strata? It will mean the impoverishment of the people, the rapid deterioration of living standards. Who will benefit from this? Again, as today with the euro, it will benefit sections of the bourgeoisie, for example, those who have taken care to transfer their deposits abroad, or those which believe that the rates of profitability will recover through the return to a national currency.
Therefore, it is a false dilemma. They are using the dilemma of the euro or the drachma to exculpate the capitalist development path. The capitalist development path, either with the euro or with the drachma, leads to crises, unemployment, poverty for the many, wealth and privileges for the few.
The drachma that Schauble, Le Pen, Soros, the British eurosceptics and various other fascists in Europe such as Golden Dawn in our country hope for does not constitute a way out for the people. The people will continue to sacrifice their needs at the altar of competitiveness for the monopolies, which will continue to hold the keys of the economy in their hands.
Is this not the case in the capitalist countries that have a national currency (Bulgaria, Romania and elsewhere) or that participate in other alliances? In all capitalist countries, inside or outside of the eurozone, the people’s rights are under attack, the capitalist crisis is in full swing.
The difference between those that fondly envision a national currency from those who are committed to the eurozone is that the former call upon the people to sacrifice themselves for a capitalist recovery through a — both domestically and abroad — devalued currency, while the latter, including all governments to date, utilize measures to devalue the currency domestically, which is why they need the memoranda within the eurozone.
This applies to Syriza mark two, “Popular Unity,” which defends capitalist property and power, like the rest. They confess that they want a national currency as a tool for anti-people capitalist development.
There are of course some other small leftist groups in our country, such as Antarsya, that present the exit from the euro, together with various Keynesian management measures, as a “stage” on the way to a radical socialist transformation.
Let us ask ourselves, however, whether it is possible that by aligning ourselves with a bourgeois choice, with a choice of the bourgeois class that concerns the currency and capitalist management measures, we can lend impetus to radical social change? In our opinion, the answer is no. No formula of bourgeois management can prevent the outbreak of the capitalist crisis, nor can it abolish capitalist exploitation.
The overthrow of capitalist barbarism cannot take place through a simple change of currency and a change of the management formula (whether it be Merkel’s formula or Obama’s) of capitalism.
The counterattack of the labor movement can only take place only through a line of rupture with the EU, with capital and its power. It requires the defeat both of the standard-bearers of the euro and the standard-bearers of the drachma that obscure the real opponent of the people and the working class.
How does the party relate to other “official” Communist Parties on the continent, particularly the Portuguese Communist Party that has seemed more willing to work with Bloco than the KKE has with Popular Unity for instance?
The KKE maintains relations with dozens of Communist and workers’ parties. It contributed and continues to contribute to the realization of the International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties, which began in Athens and were hosted by our party on many occasions.
The KKE supports the joint activities of the CPs that are decided on at the International Meetings, as well as the website Solidnet that provides information about the activity and positions of the participant parties.
In addition, our party has taken a number of initiatives at a regional level, in the Balkans, in the eastern Mediterranean, in Europe. The “initiative of Communist and workers’ parties in order to study and elaborate European issues and to coordinate their activity” was founded at the initiative of our party.
European Communist and workers’ parties participate in this European Communist initiative. In addition, our theoretical journal Kommounistiki Epitheorisi together with the theoretical journals of ten other parties jointly publishes the International Communist Review.
Of course, all these initiatives on their own can not overcome serious ideological and political differences that exist within the ranks of the international communist movement, which — something we do not conceal — has been undergoing a serious ideological-political crisis.
In our opinion, this crisis will be overcome in the direction of defending Marxism-Leninism, the contribution of the USSR and the other socialist countries and at the same time drawing useful conclusions from this historical experience and that of the communist movement as a whole. It requires the militant defense of the scientific laws of the socialist revolution and socialist construction, of proletarian internationalism.
What is needed is the creation of a pole of CPs, which defend Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary strategy. Of course, this does not exclude our party’s cooperation on issues like the struggle against NATO, against the imperialist powers, against anti-communism, on matters of solidarity etc. with those CPs with which we have serious ideological-political differences.
Does the KKE believe that there are progressive elements within the Greek bourgeoisie?
Many CPs in the past (our own party was no exception) chose an alliance policy that included forces from the bourgeois class, those they characterized as being “nationally conscious/patriotic,” as distinct from the so-called “subservient” (“comprador”).
Sometimes they argued that the bourgeois class had “monopoly” and “non-monopoly” sections and sought an alliance with the latter. We assessed at the 18th Congress of our party that such a distinction is mistaken and has no basis.
Of course, there are differences inside the bourgeoisie and often fierce intra-bourgeois conflicts over the formula for the management of the system, fiscal policy, its international alliances, etc. However, these differences inside the bourgeois class have nothing to do with the working class.
We assess that the political line of looting the weakest countries and of abandoning sovereign rights is not the result of the political immorality of a section of the bourgeoisie or a matter of servitude and cowardice on the part of a country’s bourgeois class.
It is something that flows from its position in the international capitalist market, from its economic and political-military position in the international imperialist system.
This is related to unequal relations of interdependence, uneven capitalist development, which both characterize the imperialist system. So, a bourgeois class that feels its strong partner does not treat with it on equal terms knows that it has no other choice, because apart from anything else the alliance with the stronger partner ensures that it has strong political protection inside its country against the threat of the sharpening of the class struggle.
In addition it is not possible for the bourgeoisie or some section of it to defend the sovereign rights in the people’s interests. It will only do so to defend its own interests. And if necessary, it will ignore some of its specific interests as a price worth paying in order to maintain power for as long as possible.
In conclusion, the historical contribution of the bourgeoisie belongs now to past centuries. It is futile for someone to search for fragments of “progressiveness” in the bourgeoisie. It is now a 100 percent parasitical class and its power is the source of crises and wars.
We live in the era of the necessity of the transition from capitalism to socialism, as the material preconditions for the socialist organization of production and society have matured. And the counterrevolutions of recent decades can not change this. Our century will be the century of new social revolutions.
What’s the party’s “minimum program,” the minimum conditions that it would participate in any broader left coalition?
The KKE since 1996 (its 15th Congress) has moved past the rationale of “stages” to socialism, which were from time to time accompanied by similar minimum programs.
We have assessed that in the era of the transition from capitalism to socialism there is no room for political positions that trap the working class inside the management of the bourgeois system, through forms of intermediate stages between capitalism and socialism.
There is no room for political positions that advocate support for or participation in the various governments that manage the system, which have a “left-wing” or “progressive” label. Power will either be held by the bourgeois/capitalist class or by the working class. The means of production will either be socially owned or owned by the capitalists.
Solutions within the framework of the system, regardless of intentions, do not constitute forms of approaching a socialist solution but assist the perpetuation of capitalism, by affording it time and fostering illusions amongst the workers.
Today, the party’s program, which was adopted at its most recent 19th Congress assesses that:
The Greek people will be liberated from the bonds of capitalist exploitation and the imperialist unions when the working class together with its allies carries out the socialist revolution and moves forwards to construct socialism-communism.
The KKE’s strategic goal is the conquest of revolutionary working-class power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, for the socialist construction as the immature phase of the communist society.
The revolutionary change in Greece will be socialist.
It also notes that:
The motor forces of the socialist revolution will be the working class as the leading force, the semi-proletarians, the oppressed popular strata of the urban self-employed, the poor farmers, who are negatively affected by the monopolies, and for this reason have an objective interest in their abolition, the abolition of capitalist ownership, in the overthrow of its power, in the new relations of production.
Based on the above, we think that it is clear that the KKE does not follow a political line of “left alliances” and does not have parliamentary illusions about the role of “left-wing” governments.
History has taught us that the rationale of reforms and the rejection of the revolutionary path, the rejection of the socialist revolution constitute a painful retreat from and denial of the most central feature that characterizes a Communist Party.
So, the KKE works in the direction of preparing the subjective factor for the prospect of the socialist revolution, even if the specific period of time when it manifests itself is determined by objective conditions, by the revolutionary situation.
Today, in non-revolutionary conditions, our party prioritizes the regroupment of the labor movement, so that it can become capable of responding to the needs of the class struggle, so that the working class can fulfill its role as the leading class in society, the vehicle of revolutionary change.
The regroupment of the labor movement means strong, mass trade unions that will struggle in a class direction, based on the workers, on the young working people, the women, the immigrants, through collective procedures that safeguard the participation in decision-making and the implementation of the decisions.
Strengthening of PAME, of the class-oriented rally in the labor movement, the change of the correlation of forces at the expense of the forces of reformism, opportunism, employer and government-led trade unionism, the vehicles of social partnership are basic features of such a regroupment.
It requires strong party organizations in the factories, in enterprises of strategic importance.
The labor movement must struggle in a militant and organized way concerning all the problems of the working class based on the criterion of the contemporary needs, achieving the orientation of confrontation against the forces of capital for the overthrow of the capitalist exploitation as well as a high level of class unity.
The working class with its vanguard stance must play the leading role in the construction of the people’s alliance that provides an answer to the question regarding the organization of the struggle to repel the barbaric anti-labor, anti-people measures, to organize the people’s counterattack.
The People’s Alliance expresses the interests of the working class, the semi-proletarians, the self-employed and the poor farmers, the young people and the women of the poor popular strata in the struggle against the monopolies and capitalist ownership, against the assimilation of the country into the imperialist unions. The People’s Alliance is a social alliance and struggles in terms of the movement, following a line of rupture and overthrow.
Today it is being formed on the basis of the common struggle of PAME, the class-oriented rally in the labor movement, of PASY among the poor farmers, PASEVE among the self-employed, MAS among students, OGE among women.
It struggles for salaries, pensions, for an exclusively public and free system for healthcare, welfare, education, for all the problems of the workers and the people.
It supports the view that the struggle for a pro-people way out from the crisis is inextricably linked with the struggle for the disengagement from the EU, the unilateral cancellation of the public debt.
The struggle for the disengagement from the EU is linked with the struggle against the power of the monopolies and the struggle of the working class and its allies, for working-class and people’s power.
The People’s Alliance adopts the socialization of the concentrated means of production, central planning, workers’ social control.
The rallying of the majority of the working class with the KKE and the attraction of leading sections of the popular strata will pass through various phases. The labor movement, the movements of the urban self-employed and farmers and the form that their alliance takes on (the People’s Alliance) with anti-monopoly and anti-capitalist goals, with the vanguard activity of the KKE’s forces, in non-revolutionary conditions, constitute the first form for the creation of the revolutionary workers’ and people’s front in revolutionary conditions.
In the conditions of the revolutionary situation, the revolutionary workers’ and people’s front, using all forms of its activity, can become the center of the popular uprising against capitalist power.
It must prevail in the basic regions, particularly in the industrial-trade-transport centers, communications and energy centers, so as to achieve the full demobilization of the mechanisms of bourgeois power as well as their nullification, the overthrow of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, so that revolutionary institutions created by the people can emerge and prevail, institutions that will undertake the new organization of society and the establishment of revolutionary working-class power, which will be based on the productive unit, the social services, the administrative units, the producer cooperatives.
Then the proposal of the KKE for people’s power with the socialization of the monopolies, disengagement from the EU, and unilateral cancellation of the debt can be implemented.
This is the only realistic and hopeful proposal for the people that can finally put an end to the memoranda and the sacrifices imposed on them which aim to serve the needs of the capitalist development path.
The realization of this depends on the will of the people. The path of rupture with the EU and IMF, local and foreign capital, requires that the people join forces with the KKE.
It is the only true alternative solution capable of utilizing and further developing the country’s productive potential in favor of the people. Greece has preconditions (industrial and agricultural production, mineral wealth, specialized labor force, and scientific personnel) to produce the majority of the products the people need. And on this basis to develop mutually beneficial relations with other countries. Today this potential is either being restricted or utilized in a distorted way, at other times it is actually undermined because it is subordinated to capitalist profits, uneven capitalist development and the commitments to the EU.
The utilization of this potential requires their emancipation from the shackles of capitalist ownership and power. It is the only proposal that can safeguard permanent and stable work for all, exclusively public and free services in education, health, and welfare.
It is the only way to prevent our country’s dangerous participation in the anti-people military plans of NATO, the USA, and the EU. The only way to ensure that we do not become entangled in the web of contradictions between the imperialists, which are fighting amongst each other over how the oil and gas transport routes will be shared out, transport routes which are always drenched with the people’s blood.
Such a path to overthrow the system will not be lonely or isolated as all the parties that defend capitalism claim. It will be supported by the struggle and solidarity of other peoples, movements and countries which are marching on the same path.
Today, better preconditions for the organization and regroupment of the labor movement and the strengthening of the people’s alliance can be formed. Fissures can emerge in today’s negative correlation of forces that exists in Greece and internationally.
What is needed is that the people utilize their experience and use it to empower their struggle for the overthrow of the system.
So, there is a way and a plan for our proposal to be realized and for the working class to see better days, as they should, as they deserve, on the basis of the potential that society has today. And this path requires the formation of a strong popular social alliance which will fight against the new anti-people measures and will have the struggle against the monopolies and capitalism as it stable compass.
Its formation and strengthening today can help change the negative correlation of forces, empower the organization, combativeness, and militancy of the working class and the other popular strata. It can counter submission and fatalism, the subjugation of the people to the old and new managers of capitalism’s barbarity.
An even more powerful KKE is needed for this course, in the parliament and — above all — in the workplaces, in the big factories, in the popular neighborhoods, in the rural areas, in the youth.
The KKE is the only force that can support the struggle of the people against poverty, unemployment, and a degraded life whether inside or outside the eurozone, with the euro or with a national currency.
The KKE is the only force that fights for a rupture with capitalist exploitation and power. It is the force that can lead the people to a truly different and higher form of the organization of society as a whole and the economy.
This entails social ownership of the means of production, central planning, workers’ control. These are the preconditions for the real liberation from the vice-like grip of the markets and capital, for a unilateral and complete cancellation of the debt, for disengagement from the chains of the EU.