The Trotskyists in Syriza

DEA (Internationalist Workers' Left) is one of the two Trotskyist groups active within Greek's left coalition Syriza.

Like all the political components of Syriza, DEA agrees that Syriza should transform itself from a coalition into a “single political body”. Like the majority of Syriza, DEA supports dual membership, so that people will be able simultaneously to be members of DEA (or another political component) and of Syriza.

The right wing of Syriza (ex Pasok members) are asking for the dissolution of all Syriza’s components and disciplinary measures against political deviations from Syriza’s central line by the more radical or revolutionary components.

In fact the problem is that the right wing of Synaspismos and ex Pasok members have wide access to the meida for statements contrary to what has been agreed in Syriza’s central organs.

According to DEA, Syriza should transform itself to a combative and democratic organisation of the Radical Left, which should safeguard the rights, the obligations, and, especially, the opportunity for political initiatives, of its rank and file. Emphasis should be put on the establishment of local organisations, which should be able to effectively intervene at the central level. These local organisations should be directly linked to the neighbourhood community movements.

Syriza should unleash a massive campaign of recruitment in every neighbourhood and every workplace.

The outcome of the current re-invigoration of Syriza and expansion of its rank and file will determine whether or not it can be transformed into a movement able to fulfil the promises and expectations of a government of the Left, as a starting point for working-class self-emancipation.

DEA rejects the view of the Syriza right wing that Syriza, as a "government in waiting", should make its programme more "realistic", more "costed", and more "rounded", and get rid of its spikes (no sacrifice for the euro, non-payment of the debt, unilateral abolition of the memorandum).

There is no “realistic” governmental program of “resolving” the crisis that will reconcile working-class interests and social needs with the needs of the Greek ruling class and the bondholders.

On the contrary, says DEA, Syriza must renew and emphasize its determination to break with the memorandum, the Troika, and the neoliberal framework. The message should be clear to government and Troika: Off with your heads…

DEA believes that Syriza should clearly and unequivocally prioritise the struggles in the streets. Those struggles should be linked with a clear and consistent call for the overthrow of the three-party coalition government.

The escalation of struggle in the European South and the re-emergence of the Europe-wide anti-austerity movement in Spain, Portugal, Italy internationalises the issues. It is time for the working class, the neighbourhood movements, the youth, and the left to raise the level of struggle and form a united front which can overthrow the government. Every city, every village, every neighbourhood, every hospital, every council should become a centre of struggle against the memorandum barbarism.

DEA advocates rolling continuous general strikes and demonstrations and occupations of central buildings (town halls, ministries, etc).

DEA believes that Syriza should clearly state that a left government would not fit within the confines of the parliamentary democracy but would expand this democracy by building and nurturing more direct forms of workers' management and control. The aim of Syriza should be the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a socialist society.

As a starting point, a government of the left should commit itself to a program of transitional demands: the unilateral abolition of the Memoranda; the restoration of salaries and pensions; the re-establishment and expansion of labour legislation and trade union rights; the safeguarding of nationalised hospitals and schools.

According to DEA, Syriza’s stance on the debt is of paramount importance. There are tendencies within Syriza that do not call for the cancellation of the debt but instead place their hopes on negotiations at a eurozone level.

Today's EU and eurozone leaders, whether they are “tough” neoliberals like the Germans or “pale” neo-Keynesians like the French, are in total agreement on tough austerity packages. They want to transform the whole EU into a memorandum!

Syriza should have no illusions about it: all the EU leaders would unleash a relentless class war in order to defeat at its infancy a government of the left.

The abandonment by Syriza’s leadership of the slogan “No sacrifice for the Euro”, is a warning of the battles that need to be fought within Syriza and the illusions of Syriza’s leadership about the benevolence of the EU.

DEA criticises those sections of the left that prioritise the call for Greece to quit the EU and the eurozone and return to a national currency.

Independent of whether a government of the left would end up using drachmas or stay in the eurozone, the priority is to develop international solidarity, cooperation, joint action with the Left and the working class across all European countries.

The major issue for the left is not exit from the EU or the adoption of another currency, but socialism.

Austerity measures and attacks on the working class will be produced by capitalism in crisis, in or out of the eurozone. In Serbia, the debt is only 50% of GDP and there is no euro, but still the finance minister has announced a barrage of austerity measures.

Even in the heart of European capitalism, in Germany, 1.3 million workers need social benefits and state subsidies in order to live just above the poverty line, and a big proportion of the new working class are living on 400 euros per month.

Under the pressure of the ex-Pasok members of Syriza, there is also talk of abandoning Syriza’s stance of legalisation of all immigrants in favour of “rationalisation of immigration via quotas”. DEA says that would be a tremendous class betrayal in the context of the growth of Golden Dawn.

DEA believes that Syriza needs to overcome the illusions of dealing with the fascist and criminal gangs of Golden Dawn through parliamentary legalism. The main field to defeat the Golden Dawn is in the streets, via the formation of united-front defence squads and workers 'militias and networks of social solidarity and self-defence in every neighbourhood.

According to DEA, the anti-fascist united fronts should have a distinct anti-memorandum character: "Down with the memoranda – Down with the Nazis".

* http://www.dea.org.gr/

Publications: 

Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: