Resolution of the Political Bureau of CPG(m-l) February 2022
A. INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
The world of barbarism paves its way through the massacre of people
1. In the fire lit by the Russian invasion in Ukraine are revealed the threats and nightmares of the capitalist-imperialist system for the workers and the people of the world. For thirty years now this system, which declared that “it prevailed and stopped the history of humanity”, presenting itself as the “eternal future”, confirmed its true self. For thirty years, through the daily “small” and big crimes that it commits at the expense of life and rights of the proletariat and people, it only accomplishes to multiply and deepen its own impasses and to complicate and sharpen its crisis and the rivalries between the imperialist forces. Neither the conditions of modern slavery which were worldwide imposed to the proletariat, nor plunder, division nor did bloodshed of people and countries give the answers to these impasses. They could not form the conditions of a new and expanded reproduction of the capital, a new order and hierarchy of imperialists that will lead at a new cycle. On the contrary, all these crimes and barbarism acted as fuels which ignited the crisis and the rivalries, and brought the planet closer to bigger nightmares.
2. Today and while the war crisis in Ukraine is in full development, the voices of the rival imperialist forces demanding –each one for its own account- “another world” are increasing. Those voices are a confession of the system’s impasses, but simultaneously and mainly are a declaration and preparedness at every level of new circles of blood for the people, even a new European and international massacre. This is the only way for the imperialist forces to alter the “geometry of correlations”, to build their “new” world. This is the only way for the US to eliminate the gap that remained from their incomplete victory in 1989-91, since it was a victory in a cold war. Even more, this is the only way for the US to remove the obstacles set in their quest for international hegemony all these years by their strategic opponents and competitors (Russia-China). But also by “unruly allies”, like France and Germany, each one with its own position in the current correlation, which are pushed and swayed between the American-Russian competition and the escalated imperialist “invasion” of China in the international dashboard. That is also the way for Russian imperialism. Under the suffocating pressure of the US-NATO encirclement, it needs weapons to secure its successes, to control its perimeter and its “courtyard” and to express and support effectively its aspirations to build its own sphere of influence in the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa.
On the basis of these needs of the Russian imperialism, Putin decided the invasion in Ukraine. It is an imperialist invasion of Russia against the Ukrainian people, it is an unjust war which brings wider consequences in the region, Europe and the whole world as it activates directly and indirectly the involvement and mobilization of all imperialist forces. Therefore, this is an invasion which is way “above” the intervention in Georgia in 2008 and all the other interventions and “operations” of Russia (Middle East, Africa, Kazakhstan) in the recent years. It is therefore apparent that Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, that is Europe, geostrategically exposes Russian imperialism to very serious fronts against the US and the West throughout the region. From the Baltic and Scandinavia, to the Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
The explosive blocking of imperialist competition
3. Until now, the developments of the past few weeks and by the first days of the Russian invasion in Ukraine didn’t fall from the sky. They are the consequences of the facts formed in the imperialist competition in the last three decades, highlighting its blockings and its explosive pending issues. In brief:
- The center of the international competition is Eurasia. The US-Russia opposition is dominant in the imperialist competition. It is the ground on which all the other oppositions are shaped and developed.
- USA, the greatest enemy of the planet’s peoples, reaching with NATO expansion to the Russian borders, are in front of their most crucial dilemmas. The blackmails and their internal controversies, which “began” with the twin towers in 2001 and then expressed with successive changes of Presidents and tactics, culminated with the Capitol events in January 2021, but specific answers could not be formulated. Between the centers of power in the USA, the tension of divisions on the question of how they will deal with their relative retreat against their competitors, rivalries and allies, on how they will continue their course towards worldwide hegemony, remains undiminished.
- The Biden administration –given the withdrawal of US from Afghanistan- “restored” the line of frontal pressure to Russia. Since April 2021, through the Ukraine regime and their puppet Zelenski, they revived the demand of Ukraine’s accession to NATO. With this policy they were pursuing a series of interconnected objectives, which carry the risk that the frontal pressure to Russia brings the opposite results from those pursued by the US: a) to brake the compromise of the Minsk agreements of 2014, from which they were kept out, b) to maximize the pressure to Germany and France to align and to present again a united NATO, under their hegemony, c) to present, after the AUKUS agreement, the Anglo-Saxon axis once again, as a lever of pressure to the centrifugal tendencies in the West and to define the role of English imperialism, which, after the Brexit, has problems maintaining its cohesion, d) through the enormous pressure on Russia, to also pressure China so that –if the alignment of European imperialists to the US progresses- it “moves away” from its tactical alliance with Russia.
- Russia, having these tactical successes in the previous years, feverishly upgrading and constantly demonstrating its nuclear and conventional arsenal, but mainly having the great US-NATO pressure on its borders, didn’t stay with the recognition of the two regions in Donbas, but finally decided the big step of invading Ukraine. This decision underlines with the most intense and belligerent way, that its “red lines” that consider its perimeter are real. This decision sends a signal of determination and power to the regions where it is already present, claiming a leading role against the US and European imperialists. But also, this decision includes high risks as it is based on the exact opposite assessments and aspirations from those of the US, which we noted above.
- The stance of Europeans in general in the competition between USA-Russia, but also in the ongoing war crisis is crucial. The war crisis within Europe does not allow any power (Germany, France, but also Italy) to fully remain within the limits of the doctrine “we are the western alliance but we don’t do a frontal confrontation with Russia”. On the other hand, a fully and true alignment with the policy and the strategic ambitions of the US degrades the EU to the EEC, it cuts the critical energy, financial and trade bonds of Europeans with Russia, but also with China, and produces an entire block of “dependencies” from the US. Moreover, such a choice in short term leaves the US to lead the dealing of critical problems (France-Mali), critical settlements (Germany-Turkey) or even more comprehensive issues (EU-Balkans-SE Mediterranean) which “burn” all European imperialists, each individually or even “all together” within the context of their oppositions. Oppositions which didn’t allow the declarations about “common foreign policy” and “euro-army” to become something more than declarations.
- The importance of China’s stance in this war crisis in Europe is apparent. It is taken into account by all the imperialist sides, because Beijing is the “upcoming” imperialist power in the international dashboard. It has formed an important tactical alliance with Russia and has strong economic relations with the West, the imperialist European countries and the Balkan countries. For these reasons what prevails in Beijing, is not to risk their successes by getting too involved in the crisis. China faces a lot of pressure in the Pacific and in its immediate environs, from the US imperialism and the alliances it forms in the region for the detriment and for overthrowing the Chinese ambitions. That is why Beijing sees its tactical alliance with Russia as a counterweight to the pressure from the US and the Russian moves in Central Asia and Europe as an opportunity to find the space needed for the new Silk Road. Simultaneously, however, the cautious stance it has particularly taken after the Russian invasion in Ukraine certainly reflects Beijing’s consistency in the tactical alliance. However, at the same time it marks the distances that Beijing wants to keep from the development of this war crisis and the dangers it could bring in the case of more active and clear Chinese commitments in this crisis.
The Russian invasion opened the door to nightmarish developments
4. The critical developments on the battlefield of Ukraine will have a major effect in the progress of world affairs.
- One possibility is the continuation of the relatively unhindered advance of the Russian military forces, the withdrawal, resignation, neutralization of any forces and mechanisms available to the Zelensky regime. In such a fast-paced version, Putin's Russia will have increased potential to advance its aspirations for Ukraine:
o To secure the annexation of Crimea, to control and "close" the Sea of Azov, to annex territories of Eastern Ukraine, and even to "unite" the "meteoric" Transnistria with parts of the South East Ukraine (in the Odessa region) in order to close its exit to the Black Sea.
o To oust the Zelensky regime and all its American supporters in the country and to seek a compromise with the Europeans regarding the "government" of western Ukraine.
This is -at first- the "neutral" Ukraine that Putin is targeting to with a military operation which is based on the fact that NATO cannot be involved militarily in Ukraine, but also on the need of the Europeans to be the ones -on behalf of the West, but without the US- who will reach a compromise with Russia.
A crucial political element and question in this first possibility is the stance of the Europeans. That is, whether they will actually agree to co-sign a compromise with Russia, which will in fact validate, albeit temporarily and even relatively, its military success in Ukraine and with the United States "outside" of this compromise. Or if they will choose not to co-sign the "closure" of the war crisis, staying opposite of Putin and leaving him alone with the burden of managing his military success. In the first case, the European imperialists appear to have distinct and even competitive positions to the US on a critical front. In the second case, they keep the war crisis within Europe open and active, and therefore the possibility of its escalation, while they do not have the terms to face the blackmails exercised mainly by the US on the basis of the intensification of their rivalry with Russia.
- The other and opposite possibility of developments is that the advance of the Russian military forces is stopped. Such a version would require a bigger scale of military barbarism from Russia, which would be pressed by the time factor, as it is invading a European country! But in addition, in such a version the cohesion and activation of NATO and the West will rise from the level of sanctions and complaints to a real and active confrontation with Russia. The compromise that would emerge in such a case would be far from Russia's pursuit of clearing the Ukrainian field from the direct and active presence of the US.
5. What is particularly important is that any of the above two or any intermediate possible outcome of the Ukrainian crisis will trigger new dangerous developments in the region, in Europe and around the world. The Russian invasion itself has already affected imperialist rivalries worldwide, and is generating procedures, preparations, and blackmails across the scale of forces. Ambiguous attitudes -such as in Turkey but also in a number of Balkan countries- will be severely tested, while those consistent in their submission, such as our country, will be called upon to become more consistent and to be used more by those who give them the orders. The main issue, the "starting point" of all these new developments that are coming, is again in the USA. The US centers of power are again in front of the need, as in 2016, to seek and formulate adjustments in their tactics, which will serve the goal of world hegemony from which they won’t give up. Adjustments that will obviously take into account the specific outcome of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, adjustments that are already being sought and manifested with the various splits between Republicans, but also with the possible defeat of the Democrats in the midterm elections. The other imperialist powers will look for adjustments accordingly. And above all, Putin's Russia, which, even with the best outcome of its invasion, will need more forces and bold "allies" to defend its success. Developments are and will be even more pressing for the European imperialists, with "unarmed" Germany being perhaps the most typical case. Soltz's hasty announcement of a "100 billion euro" defense fund is a typical manifestation of German imperialists’ concerns on how to stand in the "new world" of the much fiercer, even warlike, inter-imperialist rivalries brought about by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Workers and peoples are entitled to their own socialist world!
6. The workers and the people, living in conditions of fierce exploitation, mass impoverishment and increasingly cruel oppression, are the ones who really need an "other world". They need and deserve a world of their own. A socialist world! This is the only real way out, which is increasingly called upon by reality itself to build. To build it by fighting in the fire of war crises and the greatest war threats, in the daily hell of their capitalist barbarism and the imperialist plunder they experience.
The workers' resistance, which is increasing worldwide from the metropolises to the periphery and the dependent countries, the popular outbursts and uprisings in a number of countries and regions are the testimonies of the need and the trend that is born in the myriads of workers, peoples, oppressed of the planet. These uprisings and struggles need to "take a stand" on the front lines of the anti-war, anti-imperialist struggle, which is absolutely necessary for the very life of the peoples, for the labor, social and democratic rights of the workers, the people and the youth. But the strengthening of the anti-war, anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples is also inextricably linked to the causes of the working class, the revolutionary causes of the forces of the peoples.
This necessary "Great March" of the workers and peoples towards the revolutionary socialist path will not be carried out "objectively", based only on the strong demands of the class struggle which is always defined by the political-ideological struggle, today in a truly painful negative correlation. That is why the "Great March" has an inviolable precondition for the "subjective factor", the formation of the communist movement required by our time. The organization and the ideological-political upgrade of the forces, which the class struggle highlights, against the scattering and resignation to which the current correlation pushes and enforces, have an inviolable precondition. The struggle for the formation of the communist movement, of the pioneering revolutionary communist organizations and forces, is therefore not a matter of the future, but a matter of the present agenda. The formation of these forces is in a dialectical relation to the mass struggle, the struggles and the movement. But at the same time these forces can be formed and developed "anisometrically" from the immediate results of the struggle, insofar as these forces are indeed pioneers, insofar as they formulate answers to the capitalist restoration and to the conditions required for the new “storming of heaven”, for the new revolutionary confrontation.
B. DEVELOPMENTS IN OUR COUNTRY
Our country is entering a state of turmoil
1. The ruling class, the government of New Democracy (ND) and all the bourgeois parties and forces of the system are facing a mixture of deadlocks that are accumulating on all key issues and are leading to “explosions”. These deadlocks refute the basic government declarations with which ND was elected in 2019. But at the same time, they concern all the bourgeois forces since they stem from the very nature of the dependent bourgeoisie, from the limits of the bourgeoisie politics in the given conditions of crisis and competition and within the complications introduced by the pandemic. On this basis, the deadlocks do not belong to the "politics of ND", but to the system of dependence and exploitation. Their manifestation, already sets and will set in the future the political system into test. They are the basis of the political problem, of the terms of governance that have already been set open.
2. These deadlocks concern both basic and interrelated issues (economic, social and geopolitical) to which the ND government aspired to new management and answers, which would restore some necessary for the bourgeoisie political and social balances. And they would thus satisfy the bourgeoisie’s desire for an upgraded role in the region against Turkey's rival bourgeoisie. However:
a) The "growth" that would correct the subsidence of the middle classes and create better socio-economic conditions for the upper classes, neither came nor is coming. Instead, there is a very dark horizon ahead:
- Tightening of the lending terms and real threats from the EU for new memorandums on the basis of the overall crisis, but also the political issues that European imperialists have due to the growing alignment of the Greek bourgeoisie with the United States.
- On the same basis, the inflows from the Recovery Fund are constantly postponed to the future and the coveted return on investment (needed for the markets to see some money coming in) is moved for after the elections!
- Beastly surges in energy prices, which multiply the deadlocks of medium and large companies. At the same time, in the name of "green growth", demanded by the imperialist interests of the EU, the production of electricity in the country is being dismantled and destroyed, increasing its energy dependence.
In addition, the war crisis in Ukraine will exacerbate all these issues and on the other hand "undermine" the expectations that the "tourist industry" will help recover the losses.
b) The US "non-paper" that formalized the sinking of the EastMed pipeline, showed how much of a naive ambition it was, a policy that for years was supposed to "multiply Greece", would make it an "energy hub" and would isolate Turkey. The "victory" in the reactionary competition is not confirmed, the steps for the declaration of the EEZ with Italy and Egypt remain meteoric, while the "northern front" that was "closed" with the Prespa agreement, is more open than ever with the declaration of the common border zone between Albania and Kosovo and with the entire imperialist invasion in the Balkans intensified by the war crisis.
3. An important matter in all of this is the fierce rivalry to the Turkish bourgeoisie, a rivalry that sharpens as the war crisis unfolds. The West, and mainly the US, have all the more reasons to demand the complete reinstatement of Turkey into the US-NATO side. For this purpose, they blackmail, they demand and they “offer”. Turkey on the other side tries to bargain up to the last minute. On this basis, the matter of “demilitarization” of the islands of the eastern Aegean Sea has been brought up. The bourgeoisie and all its political forces in our country are far from unanimous against the prospect of an agreement with Turkey. When the matters of dispute are on the table (Aegean Sea, extension of Greece’s Territorial Waters to 12 miles), everyone realizes again and again that our “national pursues” will once again not be satisfied. In addition, the fact that for the near future, Turkey’s accession in the EU seems unlikely, significantly narrows their tactical maneuvers in the context of the discussion-rivalry. What remains as their option is the growing attachment to US policies. But even this "shift", which has been served by all the governments of the last many years and is escalating, produces side effects, which shake the balance of the double dependency from the European and US imperialists and create numerous questions and problems about lending terms, for the recovery fund and so on. SYRIZA’s grumbling in the Parliament -which alerted Pyatt- echoes those worries. But of course they remain only grumbling, which very characteristically expresses the impasses of dependence and subordination. At the end, the bourgeoisie hastens, again and again, to become the "first soldier" of the US and NATO, putting the country and the people on the front lines of the war crisis and between the imperialist millstones, even sending war material to Ukraine, and hoping that this will prevent their protectors from neglecting them.
4. Ultimately, the reality that remains from all the plans and declarations of the ND government and the policies that this system pursues, is the savage and comprehensive attack on the working class, the people and the youth! An attack that is in full swing and will intensify, since this is the only real project that the government has to show to the local centers of power and to the foreign bosses. A project that transports stolen wealth "from those below, to those above and outside", a project that although does not make -due to crisis and war rivalries- Greece "attractive for investment", makes it suitable for military bases and deadly weapons, makes it a base for imperialist campaigns, their useful geopolitical pawn.
What is certain is that the robbery of wealth and rights does not stop, that workers, people and youth are in dire straits loaded with explosive impasses of work, survival and prospects for their lives. Out of the main issues that are in progress we cherry-pick:
- The issue of price increases that is already creating conditions of mass misery and is expected to grow even bigger. This is an issue that is linked first and foremost to the low wages and pensions, but also to the spike in energy prices, which are dragging the prices of all basic commodities and to the enormous tax increases (mainly of indirect taxes) that further shrink the meager people's income.
- The issue of the rapid implementation of law 4808 (known as Hatzidakis’ law), which handcuffs workers and toilers and denies unions and strikes. The system and its government are in a hurry to create a new dark landscape in all workplaces, where the law will be the submission to the bosses and the state. They are in a hurry to prevent the resistance of workers and toilers, which is already affecting further developments. In this reactionary-anti-labor enterprise, they have the support of the government employers' unionism, but also the political and practical attitude of the reformist CPG, which is aligned with the former and quickly translates the false line of "non-implementation of the law" into a practice of silent acceptance and implementation of law 4808.
- The issue of the attack on youth and education rights, which forms a reactionary and class environment and crushes all the rights of the new generation and every prospect in its life. In the midst of the pandemic, broken schools and half-closed universities, this attack continues on all fronts. From the implementation of law 4777 in universities and the preparation -through temporary postponement- of a new law that will create a framework for the universities, to the promotion of strict examination procedures for the admission to the university.
- On the issue of the pandemic, on one hand the policies that abandon people to their own fate continue and on the other hand the large-scale attack on the right of the people to full and free healthcare is planned and scaled by the government according to the requirements of the 13th enhanced surveillance report.
The war crisis on Ukraine was presented on top of all of the above, affecting them in the worst way for the people. This crisis multiplies the dangers that already existed in the policies of the system that transformed the country to a US-NATO bridgehead. The country is directly involved in this war. Its relations with neighboring countries and peoples (Turkey, Balkans) are dominated by US-NATO plans and aspirations and the developments of the war crisis in Ukraine will in any case bring the worse for the people in all aspects of its life.
5. The war in Ukraine will undoubtedly, or even decisively, affect the political issues that were already open. The issue of the arrangement of the political forces, in connection with the obvious decrease of ND’s popularity and the inability of SYRIZA to receive the credit, the operation to promote "new" pillars of the system (PASOK-KINAL), the questions of who will express the far-right and how much of it can be on the central political stage, the question of an "instant" change of government, the question of the time and direction of the elections. All of these, that were being under configuration by local and mainly foreign centers of power, are now under new consideration.
There can only be one and only certainty with relation to all of that. The developments that the war crisis brings will only amplify the reactionary direction of the political system and will demand even more anti-people and anti-labor policies.
The parties of the system, if they wish for something, is for the war crisis to end quickly and without much turmoil. However, this "wish" has no value! They do not define anything not only in the field of Ukraine itself, but certainly not in all the waves that it produces internationally. They can neither influence, nor even know the adjustments that the US will choose, whether the developments will reduce or enlarge the distance between the two imperialist powers that they depend on (US and European imperialists), which directions their patrons will form in each of these cases.
These anxieties are reflected in the clichéd phrases that are heard more and more often: "the EU's stance should be united and active", "US and EU should act together". At the same time with these wishes they demand from the people to be obedient and ready to sacrifice for the West, no matter how this will finally be translated according to the contradictions and disputes of their masters. Moreover, and in all the vastness of their subordination, they remain opportunist. Within a scenery filled with the blood of the peoples, they seek the "opportunity" to "prevail" over Turkey – no matter what this may demand and whatever dramatic and tragic consequences it may bring to both peoples in the region.
On the other hand, as far as the leadership of the CPG is concerned, it is certain that these developments are making it too difficult for them. First of all, they derail them of their pre-election program, in which they had committed themselves with all their forces, and on the basis of a right-wing party line. A line that aimed to gather at the ballot box those who are discontent, employing a social-democratic rhetoric, which stays far away and against the demands of the class struggle for the workers and the people. Even the great struggle of the
workers in the oil refineries in Kavala, who defended their right to work, they wanted and sought to subjugate and politically "suffocate", within the "proposal of CPG for energy in Greece". While in the struggle of the farmers, who are threatened to be permanently left without any land, their S.G. Koutsoubas himself pointed out in practice that the "culmination" and "completion" of the struggle is the meeting of its delegation with the prime minister! With this line of compliance and submission to the system, the leadership of the CPG made its prolonged election campaign on all other critical issues (Hatzidakis’ law, education-youth, healthcare, price increases), exorcising the struggles and setting up pre-election tours and activities. Even the 70th anniversary since the country joined NATO, they only "remembered" the day after -and while the crisis in Ukraine had already manifested itself- and were thinking if "dealing" with it with an election campaign of their youth organization.
Now the developments stemming from the war crisis -which obviously surprised the leadership of CPG- bring to the forefront "other" issues. Issues that are difficult to fit into social democratic-approaches and "analysis". Analysis that has erased the imperialist dependence of the country and "interpret" the world on the basis of "competition of business groups". But above all, the mass popular anti-war and anti-imperialist struggle required against these developments, on one hand surpasses the political legitimacy set by the system and, on the other, cannot be replaced by strictly party-member mobilizations.