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The character of SYRIZA and why it is supported by the bourgeoisie

The question of clarifying the character of SYRIZA and the reasons for the support provided to it by the bourgeois class arises from the references in Thesis 28 of the Theses of the CC of the KKE for the 20th Congress.

The definition of SYRIZA's political identity requires first of all the clarification of the relationship between bourgeois politics and the opportunist current. In respect to its class essence, the opportunist political line is a bourgeois political line, but as it is manifested in the ranks of the labour movement. While it is a political line which supports the strategic objectives of capital in the economy and politics, it appears with a socialist mantle and slogans. The fact that the opportunist perceptions objectively have a common "core" with  bourgeois ideology and politics is expressed both in the occasional convergences between opportunist and bourgeois parties as well as in the conversion of opportunist parties into parties of bourgeois governance, especially in times when this is considered necessary for capitalism.

When an opportunist party is called on to manage the general interests of the bourgeois class from governmental posts, then it de facto becomes subject to a series of political, ideological and organisational adjustments that are characterized by the retreat of its opportunist features and reference points without, of course, meaning that these do not continue to be utilized to trap popular forces in the aims of the bourgeoisie.

These processes are also evident in SYRIZA's history. The "backbone" of today's SYRIZA comes from the "Coalition of the Left and Progress" which was formed when the coalition of parties bearing the same name was transformed in 1991 into a distinct political organization, with many members and cadres who had left the KKE joining it. In the following years, the Coalition (Synaspismos) and since 2004, the SYRIZA party (which began as an electoral alliance of opportunist parties), constituted the major vehicle of opportunism in Greece. As such it acted in open confrontation against the KKE and took the side of bourgeois strategic options, e.g. the vote in favour of the Maastricht Treaty, participation in the nationalist rallies around the "Macedonian Issue", enthusiasm for the counter-revolutionary overthrows of the period 1989-1991, support for social partnership etc.

The long-term transformation of the bourgeois political system on the territory of the deep capitalist crisis reserved new tasks in terms of defending capitalism for SYRIZA, through its "upgrading" into a party of bourgeois governance. This fact imposed a series of adjustments at all levels (conversion of SYRIZA into a single party which attracted PASOK members, adaptation of its ideological references, etc) in order to be able to perform adequately in its new role. The "violent maturation" of SYRIZA- according to the words of its own members- on the road to governance and the first period of its government, was a result of its gradual transformation from an opportunist to a bourgeois social-democratic party of government, which, nonetheless, maintains its opportunist characteristics in order to extract popular consent for anti-people policies.

The bourgeoisie in Greece as well as internationally  foresaw in a timely fashion the benefits of utilizing SYRIZA in order to ensure the smooth alternation of governments in conditions of economic crisis, popular mobilizations and relative "depreciation" of the old bourgeois parties. SYRIZA's opportunist manoeuvring, its manipulation of the popular strata, the mass dissemination of illusions about a pro-people reorganization of capitalism were particularly appreciated by the bourgeois class. These expectations of the bourgeoisie, combined with the assurances provided by SYRIZA to the domestic and international bourgeoisie (e.g. the visit to the US, speeches at "Brookings", at the "Como Forum", at the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), etc) led to its ascending to government.

After taking over the government, the anti-people measures which were imposed, the management of the crisis in favour of capital, accelerated the adjustments within SYRIZA.A product of these adjustments was the more open support of capital's strategic choices, the muting of any pro-people slogans, the glorification of entrepreneurship, the passage from anti-memorandum rhetoric to the position that the implementation of the memoranda is a prerequisite in order to open the way for people's prosperity; while, recently, the appeals to other bourgeois political forces for convergence and consensus in the anti-people strategy multiply. The above, of course, prove that the dividing lines within the bourgeois camp ( antimemorandum) are very blurred.



[1] In the framework of the pre-congress procedures of the 20th Congress of the party, a series of articles are being published in “Rizospastis” in a special column “Question-Answer” around ideological-political issues contained in the Theses of the CC.

This article was published on 3/2/2017