Thursday, July 2, 2015

Stathis Kouvelakis: "Europe has declared war on Greece" interviewed by Sarah Halifa-Legrand

 

Stathis Kouvelakis, Syriza central committee member and Professor of political philosophy at King’s College London, argues that the Greek crisis marks the end of the illusion of a democratic Europe. "There have been no negotiations", he says. "That term isn’t adequate for describing what has happened."



Why has the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras finally called a referendum?

Even as Tsipras signed the latest set of Greek proposals, the European institutions remained determined to subject him to a genuine humiliation exercise, demanding that he go still further, beyond what he could handle politically: it had become clear that his own party, his parliamentary majority and even a growing part of society were not ready to accept any more concessions.

How have we reached this point, after five months of negotiations?

There have been no negotiations. That term isn’t adequate for describing what has happened. The European institutions have maintained the same line since the beginning: namely, that of imposing an austerity plan on the new Greek government, forcing it to remain within a framework identical to that of its predecessors and thus showing that electoral contests in Europe can have no effect on what policies are followed, a fortiori when it is an anti-austerity party of the radical Left that wins them. What we call the negotiations were merely a deadly trap – one that has closed in on Tsipras. His error was not to have understood this in time. He thought that if he pushed the discussions as far as possible, the Europeans would ultimately decide on compromise rather than take the risk of a rupture. But they have not conceded anything, while he has given up a lot over the last five months: he has made enormous concessions, public opinion has got used to the idea that an agreement was possible, and the public coffers are empty.

Did Tsipras not also make a mistake in thinking that he could achieve less austerity even while remaining in the Eurozone?

I am part of the tendency within Syriza that has believed from the outset that wanting to reconcile a rejection of austerity with staying in the euro is a contradiction.

And with the ECB deciding to cut off the Greek banks’ main means of financing in February, we saw that it was not indeed possible. The currency weapon has served as a means of pressure on the Greek government in order to force it to renounce its anti-austerity policy. The most recent episode in this blackmail was the Eurogroup compelling Tsipras to close the banks for the whole week, by refusing to extend the current programme. The goal is a clearly political one: by taking the Greeks hostage and creating a situation of panic, particularly among the middle classes and the wealthy, they are attempting either to force the government not to go as far as staging the referendum, or else to dictate the conditions in which it takes place and help the "Yes" camp. Europe has declared war on Greece.

Greek society seems very divided…

Yes, two tendencies are now clashing. The "no" camp is based on a whole part of the population that is already very heavily affected by austerity, and which perceives the Troika’s new demands as an attempt to humiliate Greece. But the "yes: camp, strengthened by the fear provoked by the banks closing, is also putting together its forces. There can be no doubt that this referendum is a very brave political act. That’s something that we have forgotten, as politics has been run down all over Europe: that important political decisions are always risky ones.

What are the possible scenarios for after the referendum?

A victory for "yes" would be a major defeat for Tsipras, and it would doubtless force him to organise fresh elections. Conversely, a victory for "no" would strengthen his determination faced with the European institutions, giving him a mandate different from that of the 25 January general election: it would now be a matter of breaking with austerity whatever the consequences – including if that meant leaving the European framework. When he announced that the referendum was going to be held, it was the first time that the word "euro" didn’t appear at all in his speech. That’s no chance thing.

Is this Europe’s death certificate?The whole way that the Greek crisis has played out marks the end of a certain idea, or rather, a certain illusion of Europe. Everyone can see its anti-democratic character, which respects only the law of the strongest, as well as its neoliberalism, with its disdain for any form of democratic control. Everyone has been able to see that even though Syriza sought only a partial, moderate, pragmatic rupture with austerity policies, without challenging the fundamentals of the European framework, the clash has been an ultra-violent one. Simply because this government was not ready to capitulate to the neoliberal diktats. Even if the European Union manages to defeat the Greeks’ resistance, it will, I believe, pay a very heavy price for its attitude. Greece is just the most advanced point of the European crisis: the EU’s project has less and less support among public opinion across the continent.

Interview by Sarah Halifa-Legrand for Le Nouvel Observateur; translated by David Broder.

Source: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2082-stathis-kouvelakis-europe-has-declared-war-on-greece

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Greece: Tsipras must Go and the People must Vote NO



The Reformist Tsipras is getting wobbly and procrastinating, the reverse of what Greece needs at this important hour when decisive leadership is required.

He should be campaigning vigorously for a No vote and if Tsipras and Varoufakis are not up to the task of leading the No campaign and exiting the Euro and to taking Greece on a new path then they must - GO NOW and make way for others in Syriza to lead  the No campaign with an alternative economic strategy.

The word Treason springs to mind about Tsipras behaviour in the last 24 hours. See Letter attached written by Tsipras yesterday

SEE DOCUMENT ATTACHED

http://blogs.ft.com/brusselsblog/files/2015/07/ESM-loan-agreement-prior-actions-amend-30.06.2015-1.pdf

The Alternative which Tsipras cannot and does not want to deliver is outlined here by Costas Lapavitsas a Syriza MP.

There is an alternative path for Greece, and it would include leaving the eurozone. 

Exit would free the country from the trap of the common currency, allowing it to implement policies that could revive both economy and society. It would open a feasible path that could offer fresh hope, even if it entailed significant difficulties of adjustment during the initial period.

The choice ultimately rests with the Greek people. Despite the frequently reported polls presumably showing strong support for the eurozone, the reality on the ground is anger and frustration among workers, the poor and the ravaged lower-middle class. These are the social layers that could put the country on a different trajectory of growth with social justice. 

In this respect, it is incumbent upon Syriza to rethink its strategy and offer fresh leadership to the Greek people. In the coming days a significant intervention by its influential left wing, the Left Platform, can be expected. Greece needs a rapid public debate and a reshaping of policy. The country has the strength to survive and it will.

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/25/greece-blackmailed-eurozone-troika-syriza-common-currency






Greek newspaper headlines on Wednesday

Ta Nea (centre-left): "Fears of levy on deposits" - "The ghost of Maidan [Square in central Kiev, Ukraine] over Syntagma Square: The tension between pro-European and anti-European supporters is mounting as we approach Sunday's referendum, leading to fears of Ukraine-style division"

I Efimerida (left-of-centre): "'NO' ahead" - "But blackmail of bank closure is catalyst for people's decision"

Ethnos (centrist): "Zero hour" - "The country under siege since midnight"
I Avyi (pro-government): "'NO" a catalyst for a new deal

Rizospastis (Communist Party newspaper): "They are asking for a new 'bailout deal' noose for the people!"

Eleftheros Typos (right-of-centre): "Greece defaults and Tsipras plays" - "In confusion, the prime minister asks for a restructure of the bailout and a strict agreement"

See Also :

http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/stathis-kouvelakis-greek-bailout-has.html

http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/greece-tariq-talks-to-stathis.html

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

India: G Naga Saibaba has been granted temporary bail for 3 months by an order of the Bombay High Court.

 
Its official D Naga Saibaba can have three months bail for medical treatment.
 
Saying that it will be failing in its duty in protecting the fundamental rights of Saibaba, the Bombay High Court granted him bail to undergo medical treatment for his failing health condition.
 
           The English professor will walk out of Nagpur Central Prison as the HC felt he needed his family’s round-the clock assistance.
 
He has been asked to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000.
 
 
 

Monday, June 29, 2015

The KKE on the Referendum of the 5th July and Why they are Wrong


Democracy and Class Struggle says this statement below by Communist Party of Greece does not take account of the hard work and position of the revolutionary Left pole in Syriza and the success it has had forcing the derailment of current negotiations by the Greek Government and the calling of a referendum as a new base for a Plan B for Greece which includes default and leaving the Eurozone and Greece having control of its own currency.


The position of Stathis Koulevakis and Costas Lapavitsas of Syriza have been extensively reported in Democracy and Class Struggle as well as position of Communist Organisation of Greece within Syriza.


We recommend you study the work and activities of these comrades in Syriza.


We strongly support the work of the revolutionary Left in Syriza and its growing strength


The KKE falsely poses that the old plan of Syriza will be endorsed if there is a No in the referendum and is blind to the fact that even the old plan was under very serious attack from revolutionary pole in Syriza prior to ending negotiations.

A default and leaving the Eurozone is a most likely result of a No Vote in Greece  this is confirmed by European Union and  is  not some return to same old bankrupt Syriza Reformist Plans.

"So whether the Greek government likes it or not, and apparently it doesn't, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker has said that Sunday's referendum is a vote on whether Greece will stay in the euro".

The KKE is blindly sectarian in calling for staying on the sidelines in the referendum and should be reaching out to the revolutionary Left in Syriza and calling for revolutionary unity in struggle and exit from the Euro..

We have already forecast that real world events caused by the referendum will bypass the reformism of Tsipras and Varoufakis and new revolutionary leadership will be needed in Greece - cannot the KKE at this late hour break with it sectarianism and unite with all revolutionary forces in Greece as the final outcome will be decided by activists on the streets of Greece and not by bystanders.

Democracy and Class Struggle

29/06/2015

N.B.

The poll, conducted between June 28-30 and published in the Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, showed 54 percent of those planning to vote in Sunday's referendum would oppose the bailout against 33 percent in favour.

Interesting are the views of KKE voters 57 per cent will vote no despite KKE calling for abstention

P.S. we also note a similar position to KKE has been taken by KKE ML

 

The referendum on the 5th of July and the stance of the KKE

             
As is well-known, the government of the “left” and in essence social-democratic SYRIZA party and of the “rightwing” nationalist party ANEL, in an attempt to manage the complete bankruptcy of its pre-election commitments, announced a referendum for the 5th July 2015, with the only question being whether the citizens agree or not with the proposed agreement, which had been tabled by the EU, IMF and ECB and concerns the continuation of the anti-people measures for a way out from the capitalist crisis, with Greece remaining in the euro.
 
The coalition government’s officials call on the people to say “no” and make it clear that this “no” in the referendum will be interpreted by the Greek government as approval for its own proposed agreement with the EU, IMF, ECB, which in its 47+8 pages also contains harsh antiworker-antipeople measures, with the aim of increasing the profitability of capital, capitalist “growth” and the country’s remaining in the euro. As the SYRIZA-ANEL government admits, which continues to extol the EU, “our common European home”, the “European achievement”, this proposal of theirs is 90% identical to the proposal of the EU, IMF, ECB and has very little relationship with what SYRIZA had promised before the elections.
 
Fascist Golden Dawn, together with the parties of the coalition government (SYRIZA-ANEL), took a position in favour of a “no” and it also openly supported the return to a national currency.
 
On the other side, the rightwing opposition ND, social-democratic PASOK that governed until January 2015, together with POTAMI (in form a party of the centre, in essence a reactionary party) took a position in favour of a “yes” to the barbaric measures of the Troika, which they state will be interpreted as being consent to “staying in the EU at all costs”.
 
In reality, both answers lead to a yes to the “EU” and capitalist barbarity.
 
During the session of the parliament on the 27/6, the governmental majority of SYRIZA-ANEL rejected the proposal of the KKE that the following issues be placed before to the judgment of the Greek people in the referendum:
 
  • NO TO THE PROPOSALS FOR AGREEMENT OF THE EU-ECB-IMF AND THE GREEK GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU-ABOLITION OF THE MEMORANDA AND ALL THE APPLICATION LAWS
 
With this stance, the government demonstrated that it wants to blackmail the people into approving its proposal to the troika, which is the other side of the same coin. That is to say, it is asking the Greek people to consent to its anti-people plans and to burden them with its new anti-people choices, either via a new allegedly “improved” agreement with the imperialist organizations, or via an exit from the euro and a return to a national currency, something which the people will be called on to pay for again.
 
In these conditions, the KKE calls on the people to utilize the referendum as an opportunity to strengthen the opposition to the EU, to strengthen the struggle for the only realistic way out from today’s capitalist barbarity. The content of this way out is: RUPTURE-DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, UNILATERAL CANCELLATION OF THE DEBT, SOCIALIZATION OF THE MONOPOLIES, WORKERS’-PEOPLE’S POWER.
 
The people, through their activity and their choice in the referendum, must respond to the deception of the false question posed by the government and reject the proposal of the EU-IMF-ECB and also the proposal of the SYRIZA-ANEL government. Both contain barbaric anti-people measures, which will be added to the memoranda and application laws of the previous ND-PASOK governments. Both serve the interests of capital and capitalist profits.
 
The KKE stresses that the people must not choose between Scylla and Charybdis, but must express, with all means available and in every way, their opposition to the EU and its permanent memoranda in the referendum. They must “cancel out” this dilemma by casting the proposal of the KKE as their vote into the ballot box.
 
  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE EU-IMF-ECB
  • NO TO THE PROPOSAL OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • DISENGAGEMENT FROM THE EU, WITH THE PEOPLE IN POWER

Red Salute to Greek People : Song Little People music by Mikis Theodorakis



"LITTLE PEOPLE".

Lyrics: Yannis Ritsos Music: Mikis Theodorakis. Song: Maria Farantouri

LYRICS

Small people and fights
without swords and bullets
for all the world's bread
light and song

Beneath his tongue keeps
their groans and cheers
though he pretends his song
cracks the stones


ΣΤΙΧΟΙ

Μικρός λαός και πολεμά
δίχως σπαθιά και βόλια
για όλου του κόσμου το ψωμί
το φως και το τραγούδι

Κάτω απ' τη γλώσσα του κρατεί
τους βόγγους και τα ζήτω
κι αν κάνει πως τα τραγουδεί
ραγίζουν τα λιθάρια




 
                                                                  Mikis Theodorakis

Saturday, June 27, 2015

On Khruschev's Phoney Communism and its Historical Lessons for the World by Mao Zedong




 
 
Peking 1964.

INTRODUCTION


The theories of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat are the quintessence of Marxism-Leninism. The questions of whether revolution should be upheld or opposed and whether the dictatorship of the proletariat should be upheld or opposed have always been the focus of struggle between Marxism- Leninism and all brands of revisionism and are now the focus of struggle between Marxist-Leninists the world over and the revisionist Khrushchov clique.

 At the 22nd Congress of the CPSU, the revisionist Khrushchov clique developed their revisionism into a complete system not only by rounding off their anti-revolutionary theories of "peaceful coexistence" and "peaceful transition" but also by declaring that the dictatorship of the proletariat is no longer necessary in the Soviet Union and advancing the absurd theories of the "state of the whole people" and the "party of the entire people".

The Programme put forward by the revisionist Khrushchov clique at the 22nd Congress of the CPSU is a programme of phoney communism, a revisionist programme against proletarian revolution and for the abolition of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the proletarian party.

The revisionist Khrushchov clique abolish the dictatorship of the proletariat behind the camouflage of the "state of the whole people", change the proletarian character of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union behind the camouflage of the "party of the entire people" and pave the way for the restoration of capitalism behind that of "full-scale communist construction".

In its Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement dated June 14, 1963, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China pointed out that it is most absurd in theory and extremely harmful in practice to substitute the "state of the whole people" for the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the "party of the entire people" for the vanguard party of the proletariat. This substitution is a great historical retrogression which makes any transition to communism impossible and helps only to restore capitalism.

The Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the press of the Soviet Union resort to sophistry in self-justification and charge that our criticisms of the "state of the whole people" and the "party of the entire people" are allegations "far removed from Marxism", betray "isolation from the life of the Soviet people" and are a demand that they "return to the past".  Well, let us ascertain who is actually far removed from Marxism- Leninism, what Soviet life is actually like and who actually wants the Soviet Union to return to the past.

SOCIALIST SOCIETY AND THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT


What is the correct conception of socialist society? Do classes and class struggle exist throughout the stage of socialism? Should the dictatorship of the proletariat be maintained and the socialist revolution be carried through to the end? Or should the dictatorship of the proletariat be abolished so as to pave the way for capitalist restoration?

These questions must be answered correctly according to the basic theory of Marxism-Lenin- ism and the historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat.  The replacement of capitalist society by socialist society is a great leap in the historical development of human society. Socialist society covers the important historical period of transition from class to classless society. It is by going through socialist society that mankind will enter communist society. The socialist system is incomparably superior to the capitalist system.

In socialist society, the dictatorship of the proletariat replaces bourgeois dictatorship and the public ownership of the means of production replaces private ownership.  The proletariat, from being an oppressed and exploited class, turns into a ruling class and a fundamental change takes place in the social position of the working people. Exercising dictatorship over a few exploiters only, the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat practices the broadest democracy among the masses of the working people, a democracy that is impossible in capitalist society.

The nationalisation of industry and collectivization of agriculture open wide vistas for the vigorous development of the social productive forces, ensuring a rate of growth incomparably greater than that in any older society.  However, one cannot but see that socialist society is a society born out of capitalist society and is only the first phase of communist society. It is not yet a fully mature communist society in the economic and other fields. It is inevitably stamped with the birth marks of capitalist society.

When defining socialist society Marx said:

What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally and intellectually, still stamped with the birth marks of the old society from whose womb it emerges.

 [Marx, "Critique of the Gotha Programme", Selected Works of Marx and Engels, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1958, Vol. 2, p. 23.]
 
Lenin also pointed out that in socialist society, which is the first phase of communism, "Communism cannot as yet be fully ripe economically and entirely free from traditions or traces of capitalism".
[Lenin, "The State and Revolution", Selected Works, FLPH, Mos- cow, 1952, Vol. 2, Part 1, p. 302.] In socialist society, the differences between workers and peasants, between town and country, and between manual and mental labourers still remain, bourgeois rights are not yet completely abolished, it is not possible "at once to eliminate the other injustice, which consists in the distribution of articles of consumption ‘according to the amount of labour performed’ (and not according to needs)", and therefore differences in wealth still exist.

[Ibid., p. 296.] The disappearance of these differences, phenomena and bourgeois rights can only be gradual and long drawn-out. As Marx said, only after these differences have vanished and bourgeois rights have completely disappeared will it be possible to realize full communism with its principle, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".  Marxism-Leninism and the practice of the Soviet Union, China and other socialist countries all teach us that socialist society covers a very, very long historical stage. Throughout this stage, the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat goes on and the question of "who will win" between the roads of capitalism and socialism remains, as does the danger of restoration of capitalism.  In its Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement dated June 14, 1963, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China states:

For a very long historical period after the proletariat takes power, class struggle continues as an objective law independent of man’s will, differing only in form from what it was before the taking of power.

After the October Revolution, Lenin pointed out a number of times that:

a) The overthrown exploiters always try in a thousand and one ways to recover the "paradise" they have been deprived of.
b) New elements of capitalism are constantly and spontaneously generated in the petty-bourgeois atmosphere.
c) Political degenerates and new bourgeois elements may emerge in the ranks of the working class and among government functionaries as a result of bourgeois influence and the pervasive, corrupting influence of the petty bourgeoisie.
d) The external conditions for the continuance of class struggle within a socialist society are encirclement by international capitalism, the imperialists’ threat of armed intervention and their subversive activities to accomplish peaceful disintegration.

Life has confirmed these conclusions of Lenin’s.
 
In socialist society, the overthrown bourgeoisie and other reactionary classes remain strong for quite a long time, and indeed in certain respects are quite powerful. They have a thousand and one links with the international bourgeoisie. They are not reconciled to their defeat and stubbornly continue to engage in trials of strength with the proletariat. They conduct open and hidden struggles against the proletariat in every field.  Constantly parading such signboards as support for socialism, the Soviet system, the Communist Party and Marxism-Leninism, they work to undermine socialism and restore capitalism. Politically, they persist for a long time as a force antagonistic to the proletariat and constantly attempt to overthrow the dictatorship of the proletariat.

They sneak into the government organs, public organizations, economic departments and cultural and educational institutions so as to resist or usurp the leadership of the proletariat.  Economically, they employ every means to damage socialist ownership by the whole people and socialist collective ownership and to develop the forces of capitalism. In the ideological, cultural and educational fields, they counterpose the bourgeois world outlook to the proletarian world outlook and try to corrupt the proletariat and other working people with bourgeois ideology.

The collectivization of agriculture turns individual into collective farmers and provides favourable conditions for the thorough remoulding of the peasants. However, until collective ownership advances to ownership by the whole people and until the remnants of private economy disappear completely, the peasants inevitably retain some of the inherent characteristics of small producers. In these circumstances spontaneous capitalist tendencies are inevitable, the soil for the growth of new rich peasants still exists and polarization among the peasants may still occur.  The activities of the bourgeoisie as described above, its corrupting effects in the political, economic, ideological and cultural and educational fields, the existence of spontaneous capitalist tendencies among urban and rural small producers, and the influence of the remaining bourgeois rights and the force of habit of the old society all constantly breed political degenerates in the ranks of the working class and Party and government organizations, new bourgeois elements and embezzlers and grafters in state enterprises owned by the whole people and new bourgeois intellectuals in the cultural and educational institutions and intellectual circles.

These new bourgeois elements and these political degenerates attack socialism in collusion with the old bourgeois elements and elements of other exploiting classes which have been overthrown but not eradicated. The political degenerates entrenched in the leading organs are particularly dangerous, for they support and shield the bourgeois elements in organs at lower levels.  As long as imperialism exists, the proletariat in the socialist countries will have to struggle both against the bourgeoisie at home and against international imperialism. Imperialism will seize every opportunity and try to undertake armed intervention against the socialist countries or to bring about their peaceful disintegration.

It will do its utmost to destroy the socialist countries or to make them degenerate into capitalist countries. The international class struggle will inevitably find its reflection within the socialist countries.  Lenin said:

The transition from capitalism to Communism represents an entire historical epoch. Until this epoch has terminated, the exploiters inevitably cherish the hope of restoration, and this hope is converted into attempts at restoration.

 [Lenin, "The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky", Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, Vol. 2, Part 2, p. 61.]
 
He also pointed out:
The abolition of classes requires a long, difficult and stubborn class struggle, which after the overthrow of the power of capital, after the destruction of the bourgeois state, after the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, does not disappear (as the vulgar representatives of the old Socialism and the old Social-Democracy imagine), but merely changes its forms and in many respects becomes more fierce.

 [Lenin, "Greetings to the Hungarian Workers", Selected Works, FPLH, Moscow, Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 210-11.]
Throughout the stage of socialism the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the political, economic, ideological and cultural and educational fields cannot be stopped. It is a protracted, repeated, tortuous and complex struggle. Like the waves of the sea it sometimes rises high and sometimes subsides, is now fairly calm and now very turbulent. It is a struggle that decides the fate of a socialist society.

Whether a socialist society will advance to communism or revert to capitalism depends upon the outcome of this protracted struggle.  The class struggle in socialist society is inevitably reflected in the Communist Party.

The bourgeoisie and international imperialism both understand that in order to make a socialist country degenerate into a capitalist country, it is first necessary to make the Communist Party degenerate into a revisionist party. The old and new bourgeois elements, the old and new rich peasants ad the degenerate elements of all sorts constitute the social basis of revisionism, and they use every possible means to find agents within the Communist Party.

The existence of bourgeois influence is the internal source of revisionism and surrender to imperialist pressure the external source.  Throughout the stage of socialism, there is inevitable struggle between Marxism-Leninism and various kinds of opportunism – mainly revisionism -- in the Communist Parties of socialist countries. The characteristic of this revisionism is that, denying the existence of classes and class struggle, it sides with the bourgeoisie in attacking the proletariat and turns the dictatorship of the proletariat into the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.  In the light of the experience of the international working- class movement and in accordance with the objective law of class struggle, the founders of Marxism pointed out that the transition from capitalism, from class to classless society, must depend on the dictatorship of the proletariat and that there is no other road.  Marx said that
"the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat".
["Marx to J. Wedemeyer, March 5, 1852", Selected Works of Marx and Engels, FLPH, Moscow, Vol. 2, p. 452.]
 He also said:
Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. There corresponds to this also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.

 [Marx, "Critique of the Gotha Programme", Selected Works of Marx and Engels, FLPH, Moscow, Vol. 2, pp. 32-33.]
 
The development of socialist society is a process of uninterrupted revolution. In explaining revolutionary socialism Marx said:

This socialism is the declaration of the permanence of the revolution, the class dictatorship of the proletariat as the necessary transit point to the abolition of class distinctions generally, to the abolition of all the relations of production on which they rest, to the abolition of all the social relations that correspond to these relations of production, to the revolutionizing of all the ideas that result from these social relations.

 [Marx, "The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850", Selected Works of Marx and Engels, FLPH, Moscow, Vol. 1, p. 223.]
In his struggle against the opportunism of the Second International, Lenin creatively expounded and developed Marx’s theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat. He pointed out:
The dictatorship of the proletariat is not the end of class struggle but its continuation in new forms. The dictatorship of the proletariat is class struggle waged by a proletariat which has been victorious and has taken political power in its hands against a bourgeoisie that has been defeated but not destroyed, a bourgeoisie that has not vanished, not ceased to offer resistance, but that has intensified its resistance.

 [Lenin, "Foreword to the Speech ‘On Deception of the People with Slogans of Freedom and Equality’", Alliance of the Working Class and the Peasantry, FLPH, Moscow, 1959, p. 302.]
 He also said:
The dictatorship of the proletariat is a persistent struggle – bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative – against the forces and traditions of the old society.

 [Lenin: "‘Left-Wing’ Communism, an Infantile Disorder", Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, Vol. 2, Part 2, p. 367.]
 
In his celebrated work On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People and in other works, Comrade Mao Tse-tung, basing hismelf on the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism and the historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat, gives a comprehensive and systematic analysis of classes and class struggle in socialist society, and creatively develops the Marxist-Leninist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat.  Comrade Mao Tse-tung examines the objective laws of socialist society from the viewpoint of materialist dialectics. He points out that the universal law of the unity and struggle of opposites operating both in the natural world and in human society is applicable to socialist society, too.

In socialist society, class contradictions still remain and class struggle does not die out after the socialist transformation of the ownership of the means of production. The struggle between the two roads of socialism and capitalism runs through the entire stage of socialism. To ensure the success of socialist construction and to prevent the restoration of capitalism, it is necessary to carry the socialist revolution through to the end on the political, economic, ideological and cultural fronts. The complete victory of socialism cannot be brought about in one or two generations; to resolve this question thoroughly requires five to ten generations or even longer.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung stresses the fact that two types of social contradictions exist in socialist society, namely, contradictions among the people and contradictions between ourselves and the enemy, and that the former are very numerous. Only by distinguishing between the two types of contradictions, which are different in nature, and by adopting different measures to handle them correctly is it possible to unite the people, who constitute more than 90 per cent of the population, defeat their enemies, who constitute only a few per cent, and consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The dictatorship of the proletariat is the basic guarantee for the consolidation and development of socialism, for the victory of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie and of socialism in the struggle between the two roads.  Only by emancipating all mankind can the proletariat ultimately emancipate itself. The historical task of the dictatorship of the proletariat has two aspects, one internal and the other international.

The internal task consists mainly of completely abolishing all the exploiting classes, developing socialist economy to the maximum, enhancing the communist consciousness of the masses, abolishing the differences between ownership by the whole people and collective ownership, between workers and peasants, between town and country and between mental and manual labourers, eliminating any possibility of the re-emergence of classes and the restoration of capitalism and providing conditions for the realization of a communist society with its principle, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

The international task consists mainly of preventing attacks by international imperialism (including armed intervention and disintegration by peaceful means) and of giving support to the world revolution until the peoples of all countries finally abolish imperialism, capitalism and the system of exploitation.  Before the fulfilment of both tasks and before the advent of a full communist society, the dictatorship of the proletariat is absolutely necessary.  Judging from the actual situation today, the tasks of the dictatorship of the proletariat are still far from accomplished in any of the socialist countries. In all socialist countries without exception, there are classes and class struggle, the struggle between the socialist and the capitalist roads, the question of carrying the socialist revolution through to the end and the question of preventing the restoration of capitalism.

All the socialist countries still have a very long way to go before the differences between ownership by the whole people and collective ownership, between workers and peasants, between town and country and between mental and manual labourers are eliminated, before all classes and class differences are eliminated and a communist society with its principle, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", is realized.  Therefore, it is necessary for all the socialist countries to uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat.  In these circumstances, the abolition of the dictatorship of the proletariat by the revisionist Khrushchov clique is nothing but a betrayal of socialism and communism.

Historic Speech of Alex Tsipras answering the blackmailing ultimatium of the Eurogroup - Democracy of the People and a Referendum




NEWS UPDATE TRIOKA PROVOKING BANK RUN IN HOPE OF CREATING CHAOS AND GETTING REFERENDUM CANCELLED



The historic speech of Alexis Tsipras

Fellow Greeks,

 For six months now the Greek government has been waging a battle in conditions of unprecedented economic suffocation to implement the mandate you gave us on January 25.

The mandate we were negotiating with our partners was to end the austerity and to allow prosperity and social justice to return to our country.

It was a mandate for a sustainable agreement that would respects both democracy and common European rules and lead to the final exit from the crisis.

Throughout this period of negotiations, we were asked to implement the agreements concluded by the previous governments with the Memoranda, although they categorically condemned by the Greek people in the recent elections.

However, not for a moment did we think of surrendering, that is to betray your trust.

After five months of hard bargaining, our partners, unfortunately, issued at the Eurogroup the day before yesterday an ultimatum to Greek democracy and to the Greek people.

An ultimatum that is contrary to the founding principles and values of Europe, the values of our common European project.

They asked the Greek government to accept a proposal that accumulates a new unsustainable burden on the Greek people and undermines the recovery of the Greek economy and society, a proposal that not only perpetuates the state of uncertainty but accentuates even more the social inequalities.

The proposal of institutions includes: measures leading to further deregulation of the labor market, pension cuts, further reductions in public sector wages and an increase in VAT on food, dining and tourism, while eliminating tax breaks for the Greek islands.

These proposals directly violate the European social and fundamental rights: they show that concerning work, equality and dignity, the aim of some of the partners and institutions is not a viable and beneficial agreement for all parties but the humiliation the entire Greek people.

These proposals mainly highlight the insistence of the IMF in the harsh and punitive austerity and make more timely than ever the need for the leading European powers to seize the opportunity and take initiatives which will finally bring to a definitive end the Greek sovereign debt crisis, a crisis affecting other European countries and threatening the very future of European integration.
Fellow Greeks,

Right now weighs on our shoulders the historic responsibility towards the struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people for the consolidation of democracy and national sovereignty. Our responsibility for the future of our country.

And this responsibility requires us to answer the ultimatum on the basis of the sovereign will of the Greek people.

A short while ago at the Cabinet meeting I suggested the organization of a referendum, so that the Greek people are able to decide in a sovereign way.

The suggestion was unanimously accepted.

Tomorrow the House of Representatives will be urgently convened to ratify the proposal of the Cabinet for a referendum next Sunday, July 5th on the question of the acceptance or the rejection of the proposal of institutions.

I have already informed about my decision the President of France and the Chancellor of Germany, the President of the ECB, and tomorrow my letter will formally ask the EU leaders and institutions to extend for a few days the current program in order for the Greek people to decide, free from any pressure and blackmail, as required by the Constitution of our country and the democratic tradition of Europe.

Fellow Greeks,

To the blackmailing of the ultimatum that asks us to accept a severe and degrading austerity without end and without any prospect for a social and economic recovery, I ask you to respond in a sovereign and proud way, as the history of the Greek people commands.

To authoritarianism and harsh austerity, we will respond with democracy, calmly and decisively.
Greece, the birthplace of democracy will send a resounding democratic response to Europe and the world.

I am personally committed to respect the outcome of your democratic choice, whatever that is.
And I'm absolutely confident that your choice will honor the history of our country and send a message of dignity to the world.

In these critical moments, we all have to remember that Europe is the common home of peoples. That in Europe there are no owners and guests.

Greece is and will remain an integral part of Europe and Europe is an integral part of Greece. But without democracy, Europe will be a Europe without identity and without a compass.

I invite you all to display national unity and calm in order to take the right decisions.
For us, for future generations, for the history of the Greeks.

For the sovereignty and dignity of our people.

Athens, June 27, 1 am.

Translated by Stathis Kouvelakis

Some Comments from Paul Mason Channel 4 Television on Greek Referendum

  1. Where now? The ECB cannot pull ELA unless Greece is out of the programme. They will likely extend the programme to 5 July, but some will push to end it Monday. The Greek right on twitter is even now trying to spark a bank run
  2. So the question is: does the referendum take place in an atmosphere of calm and democratic functioning, or is there chaos outside parliament enough for people to panic and vote Yes, even if there are enough mainstream parties prepared to vote yes?
  3. If Greece votes no to a quasi-Troika deal, the north European electorate are staring at the loss of €320bn taxpayers money, and the ECB will be seen as non-credible, and the IMF will have lost the biggest amount of money in its history.
  4. If the ECB pulls ELA early, I have no doubt Greece will immediately default on €27bn SMP bonds issued under Greek law.
  5. It may come down to: who has the biggest social power on the streets — the Greek left, inclduing the KKE, Syriza, the unions etc — or the right. Which is what Greek history has always tried not to ask since 1974




Democracy and Class Struggle says the time must now be seized to promote plan B and default and exit the Eurozone and start the process of rebuilding the Greek Economy.

A Europe of Peoples will outlast the capitalist neo liberal European Union which has ceased to be even a bourgeois representative democracy.

Direct democracy for the Peoples of Europe is the only way to finish off the undemocratic neo liberal European Union and start rebuilding a People's Europe.

Tsipras has not ceased being a reformist but a political space has opened up for revolutionary politics both within and without Syriza - comrades in Greece must seize the time and change politics in Greece and Europe forever  - we cannot fail this time as the final decision as Paul Mason says will be made on the Greek Streets.

Forward to the National and Social Liberation of Greece.









Friday, June 26, 2015

Free Dr GN Saibaba Now ! Picket Indian High Commission London on 28th June from 1pm

URGENT NEWS UPDATE : HIGH COURT SET TO RELEASE DR GN SAIBABA ON BAIL FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT IN DELHI ACCORDING TO REPORT IN TIMES OF INDIA

FREE DR GN SAIBABA NOW HIS ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT IS AN OUTRAGE AGAINST JUSTICE AND DECENCY.



Join the picket at the High Commission of India, Aldwych, London , WC2B 4NA
From 1pm on 28th June 2015
 
Dr GN Saibaba, a professor of Delhi University and a versatile democratic rights champion was clandestinely abducted on 9th May 14 by plain-clothes Indian policemen. Since then, charged under the draconian anti-terror law the ‘Unlawful activities Prevention Act’ (UAPA), he has been kept under solitary confinement in a dark cell of Nagpur Central Prison in the Indian State of Maharashtra.

Dr Saibaba, who is wheelchair bound with 90% disability, has been in the forefront of democratic rights movements across the Indian subcontinent. He campaigned tirelessly against ‘Operation Green Hunt’ - the Indian State’s war on the poorest of the poor of India, such as Dalits, Adivasis and peasants of Central and Eastern India, who are struggling to safeguard their lands, forests and rivers from being grabbed by the mighty and powerful  multi-national corporations – both foreign and Indian – in the name of ‘development’. For questioning the model of this so called ‘development’, Dr Saibaba is incarcerated. Expression of one’s views on political and socio-economic issues is not a crime but a very basic democratic right granted by the Indian Constitution to all its citizens. Perhaps Dr Saibaba’s only “crime” is that he stood in solidarity with the sons and daughters of the soil, who are on the verge of extinction, thanks to the corporate assault on their lives and livelihood.  

Dr Saibaba suffers from a heart ailment and degeneration of the vertebrae for which he needs constant expert medical attention. After his incarceration, his health has seriously deteriorated in the prison. The Indian State has ensured that Dr Saibaba’s bail application was rejected thrice. The trial has not started even after a year, and the authorities are denying him the necessary medical attention, which suggests that the Indian State is slowly letting Dr GN Saibaba’s health deteriorate to point of no return. Imprisoning a 90% disabled violates the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Persons with Disabilities Act, and the UN Conventions. This is just a glaring example of a complete travesty of justice which happens far too often in the Indian subcontinent. There are 300,000 prisoners waiting for trial in the Indian jails, languishing for years without legal access, majority of them hailing from the most deprived communities.   

We appeal to all intellectuals, lawyers, students, workers and trade union activists of Britain and Europe to condemn the incarceration of Dr Saibaba and thousands of many others by joining the Campaign for the Defence and Release of Political Prisoners. 
  
Indian Workers Association, GB (Central Organising Committee)
Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), UK
Tohum Cultural Centre – London
International Campaign for Release of Political Prisoners




I am not sure if my husband will come out of prison alive: Professor Saibaba’s wife

 

Vasantha, wife of Delhi University professor Saibaba, says his health is failing for lack of access to basic facilities after being jailed for alleged Maoist links.


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Vasantha at her home on the university’s North Campus. (Source: Express photo by Oinam Anand)
Written by Aditi Vatsa | New Delhi
 
In the one year since her husband has been incarcerated, A S Vasantha has got to visit him only five times. They have been communicating mostly with letters. In one, he wrote, “I feel like boiled flesh being cooked in a pressure cooker.”

Vasantha’s husband, Delhi University English professor G N Saibaba, was arrested on May 9 last year for alleged Maoist links. He has been kept in solitary confinement in an anda cell at Nagpur central prison. “At the time of his arrest, Sai was 90 per cent disabled due to post-polio paralysis. Now, his condition has deteriorated to such an extent that only his right hand is working. I am not sure if he will come out of prison alive,” she said.

Saibaba, who was suffering from high pressure and a heart ailment until last year, has developed stones in both kidneys and the gall bladder. “Sai’s left hand is barely functioning and his backbone has been dislocated. These ailments have crippled his body. Because of the heat and lack of medicine, he has fainted several times and his nose and ears often bleed,” his wife said.

Professor Saibaba. Taking cognisance of his health, Bombay High Court last week pulled up the prison authorities for “working blindly” and treating Saibaba “like an animal”. The court directed them to allow Saibaba’s brother and wife to accompany him to a hospital of his choice.

In jail, Saibaba has allegedly been struggling to get access to basic facilities. “For 72 hours since he was arrested, they did not provide him access to a toilet or relieve himself elsewhere. His wheelchair broke and he could not operate it himself,” Vasantha said. “Until recently, we were not allowed to provide him things like books and fruits. We have fought several battles to get small things done — meeting him for more than a couple of minutes, providing him a wheelchair. They treated him like a piece of luggage, lugging him around from prison to court. When the wheelchair could not enter the cell, they would pick him up and throw him inside.”

In April, when Vasantha reached the intensive care unit of a hospital in Nagpur to see her husband, she said she found a policeman with an AK-47 pointed towards her husband. He was sitting on one side of his bed while a drip stand stood on the other side.

“He is an accused, not a criminal. At that point, he could not even have moved on the bed without help. Is this how you treat a person who has spent his entire life working for human rights, raising a voice for indigenous people?” she said.
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Greece is being blackmailed Exiting the Eurozone is the only way out by Costas Lapavitsas




A few days ago the Greek government submitted a list of proposals hoping to break the deadlock with the “institutions” – the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. The government basically agreed to tough primary surpluses: 1% in 2015 and 2% in 2016. To achieve these targets it proposed to raise VAT on a range of widely consumed goods as well as imposing a host of taxes on enterprises and families of “high” income. It also proposed substantial savings on pensions. The measures added up to roughly €8bn over 2015-16, and would be immediately implemented.

The package is certainly deflationary at a moment when the Greek economy is again on the threshold of recession. There is little doubt that it would contribute to output contraction and higher unemployment in 2015-16, particularly as there is little prospect of being offset by an investment programme funded by the EU. It is a major retreat by the government of Syriza.
To general astonishment, the response of the “institutions”, led by the IMF, was to demand even tougher measures to achieve the same targets. These include more severe increases in VAT, a lessening of the tax burden on enterprises and greater pension savings. If these demands are met, the government will not even be able to claim that it has shifted some of the increased tax burden away from workers and the poor.

For Greece as a whole, the prospect of a deal achieved on this basis would be simply appalling. The country would be forced to adopt harsh austerity measures dictated by the lenders, without any realistic possibility of substantial debt relief, or of a significant investment programme. The “institutions” are once again attempting to impose the policies that have failed abysmally since 2010, causing huge contraction of GDP, vast unemployment and mass impoverishment. It would be a national disaster accompanied by the complete humiliation of the Syriza government.
The real question is, will the government of Syriza accede to these extraordinary demands? Will it submit to blackmail? Syriza won the election in January 2015 with a strategy that promised to lift austerity and bring radical change to Greece, while remaining within the eurozone. It believed that its strong democratic mandate would help it succeed in tough negotiations with the lenders. Reality has proved to be very different as the lenders have used the framework of the eurozone to create a liquidity and funding shortage that has crippled the Greek side. At the same time, both the lenders and the domestic forces that wish to continue with the policies of austerity – including, mostly, the rich and the financial elite – have been scaremongering shamelessly about Grexit. Faced with the power of the purse, the strategy of Syriza is unravelling.

Greece and the government of Syriza have now come face-to-face with the ruthless reality of the eurozone. To keep the country in the monetary union, the lenders are demanding that it should submit to blackmail and accept policies that would lead to national decline. Greek society would face low growth, high unemployment, entrenched poverty and emigration of its skilled youth, as the experience of the last five years has shown.



There is an alternative path for Greece, and it would include leaving the eurozone. Exit would free the country from the trap of the common currency, allowing it to implement policies that could revive both economy and society. It would open a feasible path that could offer fresh hope, even if it entailed significant difficulties of adjustment during the initial period.

The choice ultimately rests with the Greek people. Despite the frequently reported polls presumably showing strong support for the eurozone, the reality on the ground is anger and frustration among workers, the poor and the ravaged lower-middle class. These are the social layers that could put the country on a different trajectory of growth with social justice. In this respect, it is incumbent upon Syriza to rethink its strategy and offer fresh leadership to the Greek people. In the coming days a significant intervention by its influential left wing, the Left Platform, can be expected. Greece needs a rapid public debate and a reshaping of policy. The country has the strength to survive and it will.

SOURCE: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/25/greece-blackmailed-eurozone-troika-syriza-common-currency

Democracy and Class Struggle welcome the efforts  of Stathis Kouvelakis and Costas Lapavitsas to avoid an historic defeat for the Greek Left if Syrizia does the proposed deal with European Union and the Institutions which is still rumoured to occur..

The 21st Century in Europe demands that the revolutionaries in Syriza especially the Communist Organisation of Greece comrades step forward and exercise revolutionary leadership - the revolutionary communist pole in Syrizia and the Left in Syrizia must be bold and not hesitate to overthrow the reformists.

The 20th century was a century of reformist betrayal by social democrats we cannot afford a repetition of this in the 21st Century.

Varoufakis and Tsipras are already part of reformist history - but Greece and Europe must have a future and revolutionaries must fight for it on the streets.