Sunday, 5 July 2015

Oxi means Attack! Or How to scare the International Bourgeoisie 101

"But revolutionary solidarity means something other than mere “support” that often seems to become nothing more than charity… it is a continuation of our insurgent practice with a focus on attacking specific institutions and structures…  [Solidarity] only becomes aspects of revolutionary solidarity when they are part of a project of attack against the Institutions… Revolutionary solidarity is, thus, not a matter of defence, but of attack."  - The Marini Trial

"Since 2009, Greece was already a bankrupt country" - Nikos Maziotis, Revolutionary Struggle

The people in Greece are under attack. This is not a revolutionary statement; Greece is under a coordinated assault by the European and International bourgeoisie, via their representatives in the ‘Institutions’.  (SYRIZA’s attempts to rename the Troika to the ‘Institutions’ is nearly as revolutionary as them moving where the ticket inspectors stand in Syntagma Square Tube.) The efforts of the ‘Institutions’ are not in any attempt to solve the ‘Greek Debt Crisis’, (Itself another deliberate intervention by the bourgeoisie to make sure they were able to profit from the latest of Capitalism’s crisis.) rather they are part of a continual effort to crush out anything in the Greek environment that dissents in any way from the Northern European model of Capitalism, (The Greek ‘siesta’ being another unfortunate casualty of Austerity) as to make it more profitable for the international bourgeoisie.

The ‘debt crisis’ began with the so called ‘overspending’ of the New Democracy and PASOK Governments, which Western media attributes to overly luxurious social spending. The reality is that ND and PASOK ‘spent’ their money by giving tax breaks and an array of other ‘incentives’ to large multinational companies in order to attempt to get them to choose Greece over other EU nations. Despite this at the beginning of the ‘crisis’ Greece did not have debt level that were particularly higher than they did in 2000, the ‘crisis’ only came into being when Greece’s Neoliberal Government followed loyally along with states like Britain and the USA and ‘bailed out’ their banks.  The ‘bailout’’ was the movement of Private Debt (That of the Banks and similar Institutions) into public hands. Or in Greece’s case from these banks into the hands of International Institutions, (ECB, IMF) who force the Greek people to pay for the bank’s debt, while also taking a multibillion Euro cut for themselves.

In exchange for the immense service that the institutions offer, to force the Greek people to pay back the debt of the banks at interest, they force the Greek state to impose ‘Austerity’ on its people.  Austerity, imposed enthusiastically by the Governments of Papandreou, Papademos and Samaras, and reluctantly by Tsipras’, is the process by which in order to reduce its ‘deficit’ the State cuts spending and raises taxes. As these ‘Austerity’ measures are imposed by Neoliberal states (May they be ‘left’ or ‘right’), the spending cuts are those that hurt the poor, and the tax raises are those that hurt the poor. As these measures take money from the poor, the poor have less money, and so spend less money (If Austerity does not simply murder them). This reduction in spending means the economy contracts and any movement toward closing the ‘deficit’ is negated. The continued existence of the ‘deficit’ allows for the new round of ‘austerity’ to be imposed, and the cycle goes on. The dream of ‘closing the deficit’, of reducing the debt, is the carrot that is presented to the people, as the stick of austerity whips their back over and over again.

‘Austerity’ has been imposed more drastically on Greece than upon other European Nations, and this eventually led to the election of the Anti-Austerity SYRIZA.  They promised the Greeks that they could get a deal with the ‘Institutions’, without more wage cuts, pension cuts and the ending of VAT exemptions that are essential to the island economy.  SYRIZA have failed to do this. The ‘Institutions’ are not negotiating, they are imposing their will, and they see no reason not to. Greece is not sufficient of a player for them to care. The ‘Solidarity’ they receive from the rest of Europe’s people does nothing to threaten the position of the ‘Institutions’, or the states and private interests that the ‘Institutions’ represent, and so they have no reason to listen to it. One path is that they succeed in their ‘Soft Coup’, and remove those who would offer the slightest resistance to their neoliberal system, and leave Greece in a continual state of austerity and debt, a ‘feeder country’, paying vast sums up into more highly economically developed parts of Europe, like Europe currently treats many African Nations.  This would demonstrate to Europe that anti-austerity movements are doomed to failure, and you may as well not bother.

The other road is that if Greece remains defiant, refuses to bow, to pay the debt and strangle their own people. In this case Greece will be expelled from Euro and probably the European Union and the economic war will start wholesale. No one will lend to Greece apart from at horrifying interest, International Companies will pull out, the Army will begin to grumble about their wages and the need for ‘National Salvation’, the Fascists will suddenly become well organised and funded again and the private media will do nothing but condemn anything and everything the government does. This will continue until Greece is a ruin, or when a Government that is willing to impose the measures outlined in the previous paragraph comes to power. This path demonstrates to Europe that any deviation from the Neo-Liberal system will lead your nation to disaster and ruin, and even if our system is ‘hard to swallow’ it is the only option.

If these paths seem similar it’s because they are. The ‘Institutions’ and the interests they represent are perfectly willing and able to smash Greece into pieces, and the only solution to this is Radical Militant International Solidarity. We cannot sit and wait for Podemos or whoever else to ‘turn the tide’; we need to intervene directly before the Greek attempt at defiance is strangled in the cradle. There is clearly the mood for this among the Europeans that reject Austerity, but it is currently being funnelled, by organisation’s  like the London ‘Greece Solidarity Campaign’,  into pointless actions which involve doing nothing more than crowding Trafalgar square. If we take action in Solidarity with the Greek’s people struggle against the ‘Institutions’, we cannot see our actions as being done ‘For Greece’; we are not providing charity or moral support, we are taking these actions for ourselves. If we want a way out of Austerity in Britain, or anywhere else, we need stop the Institutions from destroying Greece.  If the ‘Institutions’ want to wage an economic war on Greece, then we need to bring this war ‘home’.

And how do we do this? Writers like David Graeber believe that the ruling class are a people in fear. [1] From our perspective as Revolutionaries in North America and the European Centre it may feel like the ruling class has nothing to be afraid of, that what little we are doing provides no real challenge to structural capitalism, and everything else our rulers can safely ignore.  But this does not seem to be a reality, accounts from Bourgeoisie pigs like Johann Rupert [2] show that the ruling classes are literally being kept awake with fear of us, and we need to leverage this.  We need to scare them; we need to show that for every blow they strike against the Greek people we will strike one back.  We cannot let this War against Greece simply be ‘business as usual’, they need to think that if they keep along this path then soon ‘the mob’ will be banging on their windows, nooses in hand. If we can create Militant Networks of Solidarity in the nations from which the economic dictates originate, we can force them to back down. For if they feel like they truly are at an existential risk, then they will do anything to avert it, and this includes a retreat from economic war against particular states.

Graeber believes this is what happened in Argentina in the early 2000s. A massive economic crash in 2002 had driven Argentina into chaos, ‘’battles in the streets, popular assemblies, the overthrow of three governments in one month, road blockades, occupied factories…’’ The political class had to do something radical to maintain even a sliver of legitimacy, and this was to go into partial default. The private companies that were losing out went to their customary enforcer, the IMF, in order to get their money back, but the IMF balked. This is for a combination of several factors. The first being that the Argentinian economy was already in dire straits, and there was relativity little the ‘’credit boycott’’ (The IMF ensuring that no one would lend to Argentina, making government functioning very difficult) could have done . The second was that the Argentina had a very popular, committed and militant popular movement that rejected the very principle of debt, and that if the IMF continued with its economic assault it could lead to a situation in which Argentina ends up with no government entirely, or certainly one with no interest in paying back any kind of International creditors. The third was that this was at the height of the Anti-Globalisation movement, where meetings of the IMF, G8, World Bank etc. were being shutdown, or so heavily policed and militarised that the delegates barely had any time to talk to each other, and each one was just more and more media cover for Horizitonal Direct Action Movements, while what actually went on in each one was generally a sideshow. If the IMF had attempted to Punish Argentina at this time it could have led to a real explosion, this could have been the spark that ended them, so they decided to back down and leave Argentina. [1]

Greece has to some degree similar factors, they have already been punished with more than half a decade of horrifying austerity and so there is little left to ruin compared to other nations, and Greece has what is commonly seen as the largest and most militant Anarchist movement in the world. What they lack is the kind of International Movement against institutions like the IMF that existed in the early 2000s. While the ‘Anti-Summit’ movement still exists it is not nearly as large and powerful as it was in the early 2000s, and is focused purely on large convergences of International leaders.

We need action like that was taken outside the Irish Parliament a few days ago, (Though while this action was taken in Solidarity with Greece it was also part of the rejection of the privatisation of the water system in Ireland, the Irish media attempts to alienate the general populace from this struggle by naming them ‘Greek Solidarity Protests’, while in fact they are protests that recognised the commonness of our struggles) where politicians who had been smugly denouncing Greece in Parliament found themselves  blockaded outside of it, and only managed to leave through the application of police violence. Or just yesterday when a speech by Merkel was interrupted and disrupted by Pro-Greece supporters. We must demonstrate that what our ‘leaders’ are doing to Greece, is not happening with our consent, and that we will oppose their actions forcefully.

Why are we standing in Trafalgar square when there is a European Commission office a few tube stops away? We must break out of this passivity that has us doing nothing while our compatriots suffer. If you desire something then fight for it, and if that is a Europe free of Austerity, then you need to fight for Greece.

For Radical Interventions against the Institutions and the forces they represent!

For Greece, and for Ourselves!

A single spark can start a Prairie fire!

‘The only solution is social revolution and the people in arms’ - Nikos Maziotis, Revolutionary Struggle

(via angry tumblr person)