Why the KKE is not an alternative for Greece

Why The KKE Is Not and Alternative For Greece

An outline and critique of the Greek Communist Party (KKE)'s politics by RageAgainstCapital from an Anarchist perspective.

The Greek Communist party, or "KKE" is famous for it's activity in the Greek Civil War, but I am willing to bet that there are some people who didn't even know it still exists. The old KKE was categorized by Stalinist politics and struggle for "national liberation" where the imperialists would be cast out from the country by the united force of workers, peasants, and the national bourgeoisie and an independent Greek state would be constructed. There is plenty we can and should criticize about the old Greek Communist Party, even ignoring it's ideology it's questionable leadership and battle tactics lead to it's eventual defeat in the Civil War. However, I think criticizing the modern KKE is of much more importance today. Many Stalinists or "tankies" ideologically support this party and will ruthlessly defend it from any criticism. Since the Greek crises is an ever deepening one with mounting serious social rectifications I think it is important to analyze the KKE as a political force in Greece today.

Some History:

The KKE was founded during he Greek Civil War, a war that was the result of different imperialist powers trying to claim Greece for themselves, such powers including Mussolini's Fascist Italy. The KKE was designed to be a communist response to this imperialist war and in many ways, despite it's numerous faults, was. At least in the sense that for a long period it was the primer venue for worker and peasant struggle against the occupying forces. As mentioned above it's poor leadership and battle tactics ended up leading to it's eventual destruction. The original KKE ideologically was Stalinist through and through. One of the party heads had visited Stalinist Russia and reported back with wonderment cementing the KKE as another party seeking to replicate Russian politics.

What Has Changed?:

You could say their ideology is quite different. Being that the Civil War is long over and Greece is now an independent nation of it's own the KKE is no longer a party dedicated to waging struggle for national liberation. In fact it no longer seems to care very much about waging a "struggle" in the first place. The were part of the left coalition that Syriza was, i.e. they participate in electoral politics, and on their website they boldly state that what they want is to take power and begin negotiations with other EU countries. They do participate in quite a few clashes with police, but on one occasion in particular collaborated with riot police to keep Anarchists from taking a government building. It's also worth noting that the KKE's union branch presided over a strike where they allowed the Fascist party "Golden Dawn" to pass out pamphlets and openly promote themselves to the workers. The KKE did release a statement against SYRIZA calling it out for it's social democratic ideology and tactics, however this was mostly the result of SYRIZA leaving the party high and dry in the polls. To me at least, it seems unlikely that if the KKE had seen the success SYRIZA had that they would be complaining to much about social democracy.

Critique:

I think revolutionaries ought to criticize, but have great respect for the old KKE which really was a venue for radical, worker/peasant resistance to imperialist domination. However, the modern KKE is completely undeserving of this respect. The party has not only engaged in class collaboration to beat back resistance, but also openly allowed fascists a platform to advertise themselves to workers acting almost as silent endorsers of Fascism. It retains it's old Stalinist ideology, where "socialism" and "communism" are two different things and where national liberation is viewed as a viable tactic to defeat imperialism, but has added a reformist twang that allows them to participate in elections and essentially act as a more radical and less successful version of Syriza.

Conclusion:

Put simply, the KKE is an opportunist, Stalinist, and reformist party that has aged terribly, once a militant beacon of hope for the oppressed in a desperate time, now almost completely absent from any social struggles and working to preserve it's own career political aims. The KKE is no longer a revolutionary organ, but another reactionary party, not dissimilar to SYRIZA.