Crackdown on the Golden Dawn

GD leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos under arrest

With the arrest of several party leaders the Greek government has begun a crackdown on the far-right Golden Dawn in the wake of the murder of Pavlos Fyssas.

A crackdown on the far-right Golden Dawn(GD) is under way in Greece. Party leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, and several MPs and party members were arrested this morning with more expected. They are accused of participating in a criminal organisation and will go before court. The crackdown has two main targets. The first is the political party itself and the second target is its accomplices in the security services. All of this comes on the back of the murder of Pavlos Fyssas just over a week ago.

Along with Michaloliakos came the arrests of party spokesman Ilias Kasidaiaris and Giorgos Patelis who headed the Nikaia branch of GD, the same area where the murder happened. The documents presented to the court are said to consist of 33 charges amongst which are 10 counts of murder or attempted murder. The investigation into the security services has so far led to the resignation of several police generals, the removal of the head of the intelligence service and members of the Dias units. The head of the riot police units whose men were seen fighting alongside GD members in the riots on the 18th has also been removed.

It's the first time since 1974 that a party leader has been arrested in Greece and the crackdown has come as something of a surprise. Just over two weeks ago mainstream media were discussing GD's possible inclusion in a governing coalition. In the wake of the murder on the night of the 17th the media and government made a complete turn around and decided to attack GD head-on. This is not the first time that GD members have killed and the violent nature of the group has been evident for years. Many of the incidents for which GD and the security services are being investigated dated back much further than the last two weeks and the speed with which the case was prepared and presented suggest that the evidence has long been known in political and judicial circles. Question is why when the government did so little to stem the rise of GD for so long did they decide to act now?

One answer is that this time the government simply had to act. The murder caused great anger in Greece which quickly spilled over into rage on the streets. For the last ten days GD offices up and down the country have come under attack and antifascist protests have been constant. On the night of the 25th there were again protests in every major city in Greece with as many as 50,000 marching on a GD office in Athens alone. Early attempts by the media to portray the murder as the result of a brawl over a football match failed and so there was no way to down play this one. To not take some action would have but the fragile coalition government in the spotlight. By taking on GD the government has a shot at the limelight as the defenders of democracy.

Another possible reason for the crackdown could be fear. GD has recently risen to become the third most popular party in Greece and until the last few days nothing could seem to dent that popularity. Many of the voters who recently backed GD would in the past have been natural supporters of the right wing New Democracy(ND) the current leader of the coalition government. With much of GD's appeal being based on anti-systematic rhetoric ND may have despaired of ever being able to work with GD and decided something had to be done before they lost more votes.

The government may also have had its eye on the army. Collaboration between GD and the security forces has long been known. Part of the current investigation claims that members of the special forces have been giving GD members military training. A few days ago a statement by a group of special forces reservists called for the government to step down and make way for a national unity government with the army as its protector, in short it was a call for coup. Fearing that if they don't act soon they may lose control of the security services completely the government chose to act first.

After such a long period when the government ignored the actions of GD it's hard to take at face value their current claims to be the champions of democracy and justice. More likely is that ND are taking advantage of the rage caused by the murder of Pavlos Fyssas to curb a political rival. With thousands out on the street and the first drop in GD popularity the government took its chance and hopes that by imprisoning its leaders and possibly banning the party they can win back some of their lost voters. By criminalising the party all of those nationalist but hardly committed fascists who have flocked to GD may return to ND. When fascists were attacking protesters alongside police they were useful auxiliaries but once they started to become a threat to the ruling party itself they had to be reined in.

Even with the leaders of GD in prison and the leading sympathizers in the security forces removed this is far from the end of the far-right in Greece. Whilst the government may be able to win some sort of political victory from this the fascism that they fostered and allowed to grow has gone too deep to disappear in a few days. Any investigation of the police is likely to leave the majority of the 50% of the force who voted for GD untouched. By no means all of the hundreds of recorded racist attacks in Greece were committed by card carrying GD members. The influence the far-right has had over the young is unlikely to just evaporate, indeed the crackdown may only heighten this.

If the party is banned out right its anti-systematic standing will only increase with its leader urging supporters to fight on from behind bars. Freed from the pretence of being a respectable party GD hit squads may be given license to increase the violence. Those who attack immigrants and leftists will still have many sympathizers in the security forces and the population at large. Rather than marking an end to the rise of fascism the murder and the crackdown could led to an escalation of violence and a further polarization of society which could led us to a very dark place. At the back of many people's minds is the possibility that we may be on the road to civil war. The idea seems extreme and certainly there's a long away to go before that but such a catastrophe is no longer unthinkable.

Whatever the result of this political manoeuvre the fight against fascism in Greece will continue for a long time yet.

Comments

Thrasybulus
Sep 29 2013 03:46

If the seats of the mps become empty then there has to be byelections for those seats. In Greece this is unusual and it's possible that a full General election will have to be held, though the government wants to avoid this.

Ablokeimet
Sep 29 2013 10:10

Thrasybulus is correct to argue that the crackdown on Golden Dawn is not the end of Fascism in Greece. The crisis of capitalism is generating widespread desperation and making the traditional political Centre untenable. Drastic solutions are called for and society is polarising to the Left and the Right. In these circumstances, Fascism becomes capitalism's last line of defence. Although they don't want Fascism, the capitalists want Communism less.

Another thing to keep in mind is that New Democracy is no friend of the working class and its crushing of Golden Dawn is not being done for the workers' benefit. Every repressive step that the State takes against Golden Dawn is a precedent for future action against working class organisations.

And we may not have too long to wait.

Steven.
Sep 29 2013 12:25

Yeah, great blog, thanks. I agree with the conclusions. While Golden Dawn are a repulsive lot, this crackdown isn't for workers' benefit, nor will it dent fascism in Greece: it's not a positive move at all.

Tyrion
Sep 29 2013 16:56

It certainly wouldn't be unprecedented for the established ruling class to suppress an uppity fascist group; the Legion of the Archangel Michael experienced this in Romania under the Antonescu government, and the Arrow Cross Party under the Horthy government in Hungary. But, as Ablokimet and Steven wrote, this shouldn't be taken as any indication that ND is an ally of the working class or that fascism in Greece has been put down.

Josef Dodos
Sep 29 2013 13:51

What makes you think that it is not for the workers' benefit? GD apparently did not have any class consciousness at all and they were largely against unions and labour rights. As a gang of thugs they could be employed by bosses for breaking strikes and bullying workers. For example Golden Dawn grew in Perama (a working class area by the port and close to where the murder took place) by promising to put an end to the actions of unionists and communists who have "sent away the honest shipowners of Greece" in the past few years. In the same area a week before the murder they attacked 8 members of the Communist party in an attempt to win hegemony on the streets.

Of course fascism does not finish from one day to the next and I am not saying that workers will be in some way straightforwardly benefited by all this... But let us not be so conspiracy theorists and make the arrests once more to seem like the grand plan of capitalists to smash workers etc. I generally think that it was a positive development for workers and social movements in Greece and beyond.

Steven.
Sep 29 2013 14:07
Josef Dodos wrote:
What makes you think that it is not for the workers' benefit? GD apparently did not have any class consciousness at all and they were largely against unions and labour rights. As a gang of thugs they could be employed by bosses for breaking strikes and bullying workers

That's not entirely true: they do support some workers' disputes like this one-
http://libcom.org/blog/greek-stalinists-welcome-fascist-involvement-workers-dispute-27022012

As I understand it, they try to present themselves as supporters of "Greek" workers, against foreign ones.

Quote:
Of course fascism does not finish from one day to the next and I am not saying that workers will be in some way straightforwardly benefited by all this... But let us not be so conspiracy theorists and make the arrests once more to seem like the grand plan of capitalists to smash workers etc.

this is ridiculous. Who is being "conspiracy theorist", saying it is part of some "grand plan of capitalists"?

What the article above and posters are saying is that it is a conservative, anti-working class government opportunistically using a popular backlash against Golden Dawn to get rid of one of its parliamentary rivals. Which it is.

Quote:
I generally think that it was a positive development for workers and social movements in Greece and beyond.

really? You think that the outlawing of political parties and arresting of dissidents is a positive thing? Can you point to examples where similar bans elsewhere have been effective?

As others have commented, this will not help combat widely held nationalist and racist attitudes in Greek society, nor will it stop racist violence. Driving them underground makes recourse to illegal activities such as violent attacks more likely. And it enables them to paint themselves as a genuine opposition movement, as opposed to the conservative lackeys of the bosses and the state that they actually are.

Josef Dodos
Sep 29 2013 14:42
Quote:
As I understand it, they try to present themselves as supporters of "Greek" workers, against foreign ones.

Yes, but that does not have anything to do with 'class consciousness' as far as the latter is understood as international.

Quote:
this is ridiculous. Who is being "conspiracy theorist", saying it is part of some "grand plan of capitalists"?

It is true you did not say anything like that. The comment was mostly referring to many left-wing commentators in Greece who repeatedly do since yesterday.

Quote:
What the article above and posters are saying is that it is a conservative, anti-working class government opportunistically using a popular backlash against Golden Dawn to get rid of one of its parliamentary rivals. Which it is.

Again, I am not sure that this is the case. The government did not arrest Golden Dawn on its own, there has been huge public outrage that led to the decision to bring them before the law. Also the party is not 'outlawed' as you say, but several of its members are facing criminal charges- something that for me should have happened long time ago. Do you think that it should not? In any case, no one is sure about what will happen with the party at the moment.

Also, I am not 100% sure that ND will take GD's voters as many commentators note. In the imaginary of most of them ND are the ultimate traitors (who now are responsible for bringing GD before the law). I find it easier that these people go to the party called 'Independent Greeks' or even Syriza, parties which appear relatively more anti-systemic than ND. But these are all speculations and still everything is very open. In short, I do not think that we can draw very safe political conclusions based on what happened yesterday.

Lastly, of course racism wont disappear in Greece; it is stupid for someone to think that it will. State sanctioned racism is huge, manifested in all the concentration camps for immigrants that currently exist such as Amygdaleza. But I think that mafia-like racist attacks of the type of GD are less possible to continue, at least at the moment. I am not sure if this is can be thought as a positive development for all commentators, but it definitely is for the people who have been repeatedly the victims of these attacks.

Kureigo-San
Sep 29 2013 15:31

Who're the balaclava'd heavies in the photo?

Steven.
Sep 29 2013 16:10
Kureigo-San wrote:
Who're the balaclava'd heavies in the photo?

I assume the police

Kureigo-San
Sep 29 2013 17:34

Thought they'd dress a little smarter than ski masks for high profile publicity government work

hellfrozeover
Sep 29 2013 22:22
Kureigo-San wrote:
Thought they'd dress a little smarter than ski masks for high profile publicity government work

Austerity, innit.

Entdinglichung
Sep 30 2013 09:53

some Greek fascists are looking for another occupation ... weren't there XA-members involved in Bosnia during the 1990ies (on the side of the Cetnicki)?

http://ww4report.com/node/12664

Quote:
The idiotic sectors of the left that are openly shilling for Bashar Assad are in some very strange company. The Greek left-wing blog Glykosymoritis provides an English translation of the boasts in a far-right daily with the perverse name of Democratia that a "National Socialist" organzation calling itself Black Lily has dispatched a brigade to Syria to fight for Assad's regime. Black Lily came to the public eye with their recent fizzy-drink attack on Greek government minister Evangelos Venizelos in Paris. But the group's spokesman Stavros Libovisis told Democratia (awkward English in original) that volunteers now "are fighting alongside our Syrian brothers in arms is to help them defend the soil of a friendly nations people, showing our solidarity in practise against an age-old foe."

This foe is identified in terms that will warm the hearts of many on the "left": the "global dictatorship of the American-Zionist war machine" and the "the bloodthirsty imperialists that want to turn the country into a capitalist brothel and a market for the likes of McDonald's and Starbucks." Next comes the predictable appeal to Syria's besieged Christians: "Syrian orthodox are fighting in the front line for a free nationalist Syria and they are distinguished for their bravery on counter attacking the intoxicated addicts of the mercenary Salafists of Al-Qaeda." And the appeal to an ancient kinship with the Syrians because their country was (2,000 years ago!) part of "Great Greece" (Magna Graecia).

Another sign of a re-emergent "Red-Brown Alliance"?

Entdinglichung
Sep 30 2013 10:00

wouldn't it be possible that the recent crackdown on XA was simply carried out because things became to messy (especially if you want to attract foreign investors) and uncontrolled and that the state needed to assert its monopoly on violence ... the Nazis in Germany had during the period of 1990-93 a lot of space to act (being especially utilized by CDU/CSU to put pressure on FDP and SPD to change the political asylum article in the constitution) but from late 1992 on, federal and state governments adopted a harder line after the pogrom in Rostock and especially after the arson attacks in Moelln and Solingen, banning most militant Neo-Nazi orgs because things became embarrassing and uncontrollable

ocelot
Sep 30 2013 12:54

Also, let's not forget the EZ/Troika angle. Already voices were raised in Brussels last week that Greece should not be allowed to take its turn at the EU presidency until the GD issue was "sorted". I imagine there were some fairly stark ultimatums made through diplomatic channels from Berlin/Frankfurt, Paris & Brussels. The Greek government is at the moment trying to gather support for a writedown on outstanding debt (as backed by IMF and some others) as part of the next bailout. It's bad enough trying to overcome resistence from Schäuble (assuming he retains his post in the new government, which seems likely) and the German TV-viewing public, without the nightly news from Greece being wall to wall coverage of neo-nazi murders and rioting. In these circumstances the old-school strategy of tension thing can get counterproductive. Looks like they'll have to find a different set of dirty tricks to disrupt the Syriza vote (and at least in this latter project they can be assured of more unified support from the US and EU).

Nate
Sep 30 2013 14:10
Steven. wrote:
it's not a positive move at all.

I don't understand. Are you saying it's a negative move, or a neutral one? As in, does this mean "it's not a step forward, it's a step backward" or "it's not a step forward, it's a step sideways"?

ocelot
Sep 30 2013 15:39

more:

Quote:
this crackdown isn't for workers' benefit, nor will it dent fascism in Greece

The evacuation at Dunkirk wasn't for the Nazis benefit either. Doesn't mean it wasn't a victory for them.

I'm not posing these events in as clear a win/lose light as that example (I broadly agree with Josef D, its too early to see full repercussions). But I am questioning the general logic of the argument. Sure ND are odious and cynical and therefore none of their acts are designed to be "for workers' benefit". But it does not follow that it is not the result of pressure from popular outrage from the streets.

The problem with the one-way "class struggle as capitalist conspiracy" logic that sees every move by the class enemy as yet another advance for it, is that it deprives the working class of any agency and the class struggle of being a two-way fight - and ultimately any chance of progress in any direction other than the bosses' chosen one, never mind eventual victory.

Quote:
What the article above and posters are saying is that it is a conservative, anti-working class government opportunistically using a popular backlash against Golden Dawn to get rid of one of its parliamentary rivals. Which it is.

Here "opportunistically using" means that even the possibility that they might have been forced into it against their will, is dismissed apriori. The assumption that obviously the only "radical" interpretation starts from position that the class enemy can never be forced into anything - is an argument to never resist, to never campaign, to never go on strike.

Also - while it's certainly not the end of anything, I suspect having all their leaders locked up and their legal immunity lifted (or even just temporarily impaired) actually will "dent" GD's operations for the next while. In fact it already has, in terms of locales shut down, demos cancelled etc.

Movements that rely on the leadership to do all the thinking and the followers mainly for muscle, are quite vulnerable to decapitation. Also, as AFA demonstrated time and again, the appeal to youth that the appearance of invulnerability gives, loses a lot of its potency when first punctured. Even if it turns out to be a temporary set-back, I'd be surprised if it didn't knock them back a bit in the short-term.

Cooked
Sep 30 2013 20:22

Have no way of verifying this but

Entdinglichung
Oct 1 2013 11:12

from http://www.enetenglish.gr/?i=news.en.article&id=1511

Quote:
It seems that the police are not only active against Golden Dawn and, since the crackdown on the neonazi party, there have been a number of so-called sweeps in central Athens targetting migrants. Last night, in an operation in the Agios Panteleimonas and Omonia areas, police detained 483 people, arresting 46 of them for the possession of false documents and violations of the immigration law. Those arrested will be led before a prosecutor today.
Quote:
Α crime godfather, pimp and extortionist – this is how the he country's secret service identified Golden Dawn MP Yiannis Lagos from as early as 2011 – but nothing was done about it. According to a report seen by daily Ta Nea, the National Intelligence Service (EYP) had evidence that Lagos was involved in protection rackets, blackmail, trafficking of women for prostitution and in moneylaundering.

it's of course not new, that fascists are into pimping & protection rackets

ocelot
Oct 1 2013 10:40

For anybody interested in following the mediatized public spectacle of the GD "investigation" in English, the Eleftherotypia anglophone website is doing daily blow-by-blow live-blog coverage at
http://www.enetenglish.gr/

one bit worth noting from today's blog

Quote:
11.20 It seems that the police are not only active against Golden Dawn and, since the crackdown on the neonazi party, there have been a number of so-called sweeps in central Athens targetting migrants. Last night, in an operation in the Agios Panteleimonas and Omonia areas, police detained 483 people, arresting 46 of them for the possession of false documents and violations of the immigration law. Those arrested will be led before a prosecutor today.

And for laughs, pix from the GD deputy leader Chrisos Pappa's gaff
http://www.astynomia.gr/index.php?option=ozo_content&lang='..'&perform=view&id=32506&Itemid=1171&lang=

Ablokeimet
Oct 1 2013 13:17
ocelot wrote:
The problem with the one-way "class struggle as capitalist conspiracy" logic that sees every move by the class enemy as yet another advance for it, is that it deprives the working class of any agency and the class struggle of being a two-way fight - and ultimately any chance of progress in any direction other than the bosses' chosen one, never mind eventual victory

Ocelot is quite right. This denies working class agency and is a bad way of reasoning. When I said that crushing Golden Dawn wasn't being done for the workers' benefit, that doesn't mean that it is, in itself, a defeat for the working class. It is an analysis of the Government's intentions. Whether it is a victory for the workers or a defeat depends on how the working class understands what has happened and responds. If the workers gratefully embrace New Democracy as a protector of their rights against Fascism, this will be a defeat for the workers. if, on the other hand, the working class concludes that the Government was caught between a rock and a hard place and has acted to save its own skin, it will be a victory for the workers.

ocelot wrote:
Also - while it's certainly not the end of anything, I suspect having all their leaders locked up and their legal immunity lifted (or even just temporarily impaired) actually will "dent" GD's operations for the next while. In fact it already has, in terms of locales shut down, demos cancelled etc.

Movements that rely on the leadership to do all the thinking and the followers mainly for muscle, are quite vulnerable to decapitation. Also, as AFA demonstrated time and again, the appeal to youth that the appearance of invulnerability gives, loses a lot of its potency when first punctured. Even if it turns out to be a temporary set-back, I'd be surprised if it didn't knock them back a bit in the short-term.

This is also quite correct. The Government has acted to crush Golden Dawn, with spectacular pictures of GD's Nazi regalia being splashed all over the media. In a country which suffered massively under Nazi occupation during WWII, this will hurt GD very badly and perhaps be a death blow.

Finally, an essential point. Even if Golden Dawn is wiped from the face of the Earth, that does not put an end to the danger of Fascism in Greece. As I mentioned above, the objective situation is deteriorating and the political Centre is disintegrating. In these circumstances, society polarises to both Left & Right. Fascists will be a last line of defence for capitalism. And if Golden Dawn does not exist, some other organisation will emerge. It should be remembered that historically, Fascism in Greece has been anti-German (and therefore pro-British). Fascists who hark back to General Metaxas will find their propaganda falling on more fertile soil than those who glorify the Third Reich.

Josef Dodos
Oct 2 2013 10:15
Steven. wrote:
...this crackdown isn't for workers' benefit .... it's not a positive move at all.

OK, you can rest assured, finally some good news for the workers. Today three of the most notorious GD MP's are released and are back in their positions.

Uncreative
Oct 2 2013 15:22
Josef Dodos wrote:
Steven. wrote:
...this crackdown isn't for workers' benefit .... it's not a positive move at all.

OK, you can rest assured, finally some good news for the workers. Today three of the most notorious GD MP's are released and are back in their positions.

Congratulations on understanding people's points so well.

Josef Dodos
Oct 2 2013 18:12
Uncreative wrote:
Josef Dodos wrote:
Steven. wrote:
...this crackdown isn't for workers' benefit .... it's not a positive move at all.

OK, you can rest assured, finally some good news for the workers. Today three of the most notorious GD MP's are released and are back in their positions.

Congratulations on understanding people's points so well.

What is it exactly that I do not understand? Please help me find out and in case I misunderstood I will gladly recall.

Mike S.
Oct 3 2013 01:39

If some sort of actual communist "revolution' in Greece was on the horizon the state would let the dogs loose. I think the arrests may be to keep things from boiling over. I'm not from Greece so I can't really comment on the situation with certainty. Historically speaking, as we all know, capital uses the far right to combat communism or the threat of communism becoming even a legitimate threat. The threat of becoming a legitimate threat....aint that something.

teh
Oct 4 2013 01:11
ocelot wrote:
Looks like they'll have to find a different set of dirty tricks to disrupt the Syriza vote (and at least in this latter project they can be assured of more unified support from the US and EU).

Why do you think that the US and EU are trying to disrupt Syriza's vote?

Ed
Oct 4 2013 08:16
Josef Dodos wrote:
Uncreative wrote:
Josef Dodos wrote:
Steven. wrote:
...this crackdown isn't for workers' benefit .... it's not a positive move at all.

OK, you can rest assured, finally some good news for the workers. Today three of the most notorious GD MP's are released and are back in their positions.

Congratulations on understanding people's points so well.

What is it exactly that I do not understand? Please help me find out and in case I misunderstood I will gladly recall.

Well, you seem to be implying that Steven thinks that freedom for the Golden Dawn MPs is "good news for the workers". That wasn't his point. His point was that in Greece (and under capitalism in general) the battle isn't left vs. right or workers vs. fascism and therefore just because something hurts the biggest fascist party doesn't necessarily mean it's good for the workers.

For example, if the state strengthens itself by attacking a far-right party this doesn't improve the situation that the far-right party thrived in (either by reducing racism or increasing class struggle). What it does do, however, is increase the power of the state over society as a whole.

To certain extent, and correct me if I'm wrong, it could be that during the high point of struggles in Greece from 2007-2011 that the GD were useful to the state. Now that those struggles have waned a bit, maybe now the GD are a bigger threat to Greece's political class than the workers' movement and are now just a pain in the arse for them (killing people that spark riots, building up their own structures in competition with the state's monopoly of violence etc)..

So yeah, no one's campaigning for "Freedom for the GD 3!" or whatever, just seeing that the struggle is against the state as well as fascism.

Ocelot wrote:
And for laughs, pix from the GD deputy leader Chrisos Pappa's gaff

Wow, yeah, that guy seems like he likes fascism quite a lot..

Josef Dodos
Oct 4 2013 11:11
Quote:
Well, you seem to be implying that Steven thinks that freedom for the Golden Dawn MPs is "good news for the workers". That wasn't his point. His point was that in Greece (and under capitalism in general) the battle isn't left vs. right or workers vs. fascism and therefore just because something hurts the biggest fascist party doesn't necessarily mean it's good for the workers.

Of course no one knows what will happen in the future, so it does not necessarily mean that is a bad thing either. In fact, when an openly criminal, racist, anti-workers, anti-immigrant organization is decapitated and goes to jail one can at least assume that some weak, potentially revolutionary, groups of the population can be empowered. Sans papier will be able to go out for a walk for example without the constant fear of attack. Saying straightforwardly that "it's not a positive move at all" closes off the discussion, implying that the opponent has already planned everything in advance i.e. that the crackdown was consciously brought forward only to crash the workers movement (when GD was around and strong a common view among many anarchists/ leftists was that they exist only to crash the workers movement. Claiming after the events that "yes, they used them then and now that they do not need them they threw them away" does NOT offer a convincing interpretation. If they were so effective why not keep them to crash the workers in the first place with whatever political cost?). In short, if we presuppose that the "rulers" always have full awareness over what they are doing (and that's why "it is not for the workers benefit"), we diminish contingency and, for me, agency, the capacity to tactically intervene upon the things and open spaces of possibility.

In fact, the fact that the opponent has NOT planned everything in advance is spectacularly manifested in what happened the following days of the arrest. The day before yesterday three notorious MP's, among them Kasidiaris, were released. Yesterday, after huge public outrage and rumors that the government will collapse under the threat of a fiasco, the trial examiner sent the leader, Michaloliakos, to jail. Someone could similarly interpret all these, and there were many who did so, as predetermined moves of an opponent who knows very well what they are doing. In reality what we saw was a government in panic, which had little control over the situation.

Quote:
To certain extent, and correct me if I'm wrong, it could be that during the high point of struggles in Greece from 2007-2011 that the GD were useful to the state. Now that those struggles have waned a bit, maybe now the GD are a bigger threat to Greece's political class than the workers' movement and are now just a pain in the arse for them (killing people that spark riots, building up their own structures in competition with the state's monopoly of violence etc)..

From 2007-2011 GD were a small insignificant party of 0,0+. They were born out of the crisis and the resistance to it, expressing a particular strand of ethno-populism that largely existed in Greek society before. It was a little before and mainly after 2012 May elections that they became so strong.

ocelot
Oct 4 2013 15:13
teh wrote:
ocelot wrote:
Looks like they'll have to find a different set of dirty tricks to disrupt the Syriza vote (and at least in this latter project they can be assured of more unified support from the US and EU).

Why do you think that the US and EU are trying to disrupt Syriza's vote?

Because that's what I'm hearing from people in the know. By which I don't mean lefties but people who work in areas that deal with this sort of thing. One of the advantages of Ireland being such a small country, so densely connected by family networks, is that the informal circulation of information reaches sources that would be closed in other countries.

The reason that information doesn't surprise me is that it seems fairly obvious (at least to me) that the current situation in the Eurozone is such that the powers that be, at least in the EU, would find the election of an anti-memorandum party completely unacceptable. From the US perspective, that it would be a - from their perspective (Obama's a quasi-socialist from their perspective, remember?) - dangerously left-wing and anti-NATO* party, would be unacceptable as well. The whole point of "There Is No Alternative" is that not even the appearance of an alternative to neoliberal austerity - or rather that people might be able to opt for an alternative - can be allowed to pass. TINA says "No pasaran!" to alternatives (even ones we communists might dismiss as illusory ones). The example might give other people ideas. And that would be A Bad Thing.

* NATO? I know, *so* 1980s, right? Except... if you think the US doesn't care about NATO (and NATO in the Mediterranean) the way it used to back then, think again. Ask the Turks...

ocelot
Oct 4 2013 15:16
Josef Dodos wrote:
In short, if we presuppose that the "rulers" always have full awareness over what they are doing (and that's why "it is not for the workers benefit"), we diminish contingency and, for me, agency, the capacity to tactically intervene upon the things and open spaces of possibility.

Word.

S. Artesian
Oct 5 2013 01:36

Ocelot, that may be, but Syriza has stated, or stated during the last elections that intends to keep Greece in the EU and "honor" the debts.

I don't doubt the US will do what it can to disrupt a vote for Syriza-- US worked to overthrow Allende, Goulart, Arbenz etc. etc.

The US may think Syriza is unacceptable, and a "threat,"-- but that doesn't make it a threat-- no more than Blum was a threat in France; no more than Allende was in 1973.

I would think that left-coms, lib-coms, com-coms would not endorse the New Democracy expelling and arresting Golden Dawn, as we left-lib-com-coms know that such an action by New Democracy is a sham-- not because of collusion and conspiracy-- but because the government can do nothing to remedy the underlying predicament of capital that spawns the GD.

The government actions, more likely than not, are taken to pre-empt the organization of a response by the working class-- that is to say, using this opportunity to create committees for defense-- defense of immigrants, defense of strikers, defense of the poor. Such committees would undertake the dispersal of Golden Dawn under its own authority, linking it to part of an overall program calling for the cancellation of the debt, and all agreements to service the debt, immediate expulsion of EU/IMF "oversight" (monitors, auditors, etc.), withdrawal from the EU, etc. etc. etc.