Tag-Archiv für 'democracy'

TPTG: OΝ SYRIZA ΑND ITS VICTORY IN THE RECENT GENERAL ELECTIONS IN GREECE

The dominance within the anti-austerity movement of the nationalist discourse concerning the renegotiation/reduction of government debt – a statist reduction of payments from above (a concern shared also by Golden Dawn) as opposed to the proletarian refusal of payments from below – and the “productive reconstruction of the Greek economy” combined with the dominance of the social-democratic discourse about “citizens’ social rights”, “common goods rights”, “self-management” and the “social-economy” to pave the way for the emergence of SYRIZA as the next ruling party. After actively undermining the potential development of the struggles in the workplaces, the squares and the streets into a proletarian movement that could threaten the rule of capital and its state, SYRIZA managed to transform their defeat into its electoral power. A large section of the working class and the petty bourgeoisie rested their hopes for the reversal of the politics of capital devaluation on the polling success of SYRIZA. The new government coalition is the reconnection of the grassroots “revolt from the left” with the more active and non-fascist “revolt from the right” on the capitalist state level. Normally, this will open up a new round of revendicative struggles of the working class and the petty bourgeoisie.

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DIAS

Notes on the “Fascist” state of Ukraine and many more

LENIN

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A few random thoughts for Ukrainian events.

Note 1

The state of Ukraine is not fascist, but of democratic/liberal. I’ll explain what I mean immediately. First, the assumption that the state of Ukraine is fascist makes a dangerous logical leap.It Identifies the ideological direction of the government with the form of the state,it makes the logical leap of the equalization of government with the state. Although these two are obviously related to each other, yet are not the same, the form of the state has to do with how the state interacts with components of bourgeois society, while the ideological direction of the government is of what wants to do a part of bourgeois society. The naivety of this argument can be seen more clearly if we change just one word: If we have left or communist government that goes to say that we have communist state. Although we do not endorse in any way the meaning of communism as a form of state, even with a “Soviet-style” meaning given to communism, again the above suggestion is clearly misleading, because for example the Soviet state had too many special features and differences from a western state, which go beyond the autocracy of the communist party in government. The above misconception arises from the mistaken view that the national state is neutral instrument for classes, and not a particular specific political form of the entire bourgeois society. The special character of the state has to do mainly with its institutions not only with its government. Now if we look upon the Ukrainian example we wont have a fascist state even if the whole government was consisted of fascists, which is not the case though. For a fascist state we need a radical change in the way the state works. Fascist state means banning parties corporatism, integration and institutionalization of the contradictions of bourgeois society in the state by violence and force, banning of elections when the fascists take power, fragmentation of the working class movement by dividing it in particular revalued and highly undervalued fragments in order to integrate it, to weaken it, to put it back to work. None of this is not the case in Ukraine, the new transitional government came to power in order to “streamline” them all not banning them, and for the act of legalization of any its atrocity the new government announced elections. Beyond the particular form of the fascist state, its special character is to break a vibrant and unruly working class, bringing up a part of it and precipitating another. This in Ukraine obviously is not necessary, as the working class, went through perestroika, and is fully decomposed after 20 years of liberalism and totally personalized social relations. The working class was not in anyway a force, nor an organized threat to the accumulation of capital ,that means that the working class was already split and fragmented. This does not mean that in Ukraine there are no social demands, or Maidan and AntiMaintan not share such a common core of social concerns. The point is that these requests are mediated strongly by politics, personalization and decomposed social relations, so this is the main reason why all of these people meet in the context of abstract bourgeois social relations within that delineations of bourgeois society, therefore there is absolutely no reason for the state to become fascist etc: None ever in Maidan said he does not want state or capitalism, the exact opposite they were accusing the Ukrainian capital and the Ukrainian capitalism that is not “right”. [1] This of course made in response to the wider crisis of bourgeois underlying causes and dynamic contradictions of worldwide financial capitalism, and just this reason produced the conflict produced. But this specific conflict was in character due to the overall crisis of bourgeois subjects in the context of capitalist crisis and not because of the tendency of one pole of capital relation(labor) to dominate throughout the capital relationship. A purely fascist critique for Ukrainian state is irrelevant-unless you expand the meaning of fascism so much that includes everything-as it fails to see all the above. It also ignores the special character that takes the class struggle in Ukrainian conditions-the inclusion of fascist and nationalist phenomenon into liberalism and democracy. Thus making antifascist critique for Ukrainian state shoots blanks as it essentially criticizes the Ukrainian state for not beeing a “right democracy” and a “right liberalism”. So unwittingly perhaps, those who do antifascist critique, they end up to defend another form of organization capital: bourgeois democracy. They essentially do a bourgeois critique -even if it is armed- to Ukrainian state. The social reality of capitalism and the specific activities performed by the people in its context do not exist as autonomous beings but they reproduce one one another, as parts of the capital relation itself. This means that we can not judge things individually but always in direct correlation with the historical context and social relationships in which they are performed. Regardless of the intentions of the participants, the hierarchyzation of forms of capital and the critique only of one form (like anti-fascism does) essentially functions as practical “from below” reconstruction of capital to the form of democracy, that practically, willy-nilly means, in the context of bourgeois social relations the reproduction of capital in its democratic version. Antifascism even if does not want to, just because it ignores the dialectical interrelation of bourgeois social categories, essentially reproduces a version of the bourgeois sovereign state. Besides by ignoring the inclusion of the fascist phenomenon in democracy,by ignoring the particular form which the class struggle takes place in the current situation in Ukraine and elsewhere (eg in Greece) by capital, it is not possible to see the particular contradictory and inconclusive circumstances in which has come, the decomposed proletariat in Ukraine. The antifascist critique in Ukraine has no meaning and it does not say anything to these proletarians who consciously defend their capitals against the future which the regionalization of capital reserves for them, which is the destruction of their local capitals by the more competitive EU capitals. Ukraine does not need an anti-fascist critique but an anticapitalist one:The Ukrainian example shows how vile and barbaric forms can take the bourgeois democracy in order to protect the capital relation,it shows that democracy is no stranger to nationalism or fascism, it shows that democracy is nothing other but the physical capital community and that has no value in itself.

Note 2

In terms of alternative information there was not any essential effort. The information about the incidents came mostly, directly from regime/mainstream channels-both of west and east- and to the extent that they fit within the existing Greek experience, these information were totally accepted. So we saw a lot of totally mainstream propaganda information republished by dissident / alternative sites and blogs. This combined with what has been said above, shows mainly a failure of analysis of the Ukrainian reality. This failure of analysis just didn’t create the need for alternative information. This lack of alternative information in turn, deepened the weakness of analysis resulting in a catastrophic vicious monologue. So long as the events progressed to increasingly wild situations, the analysis was trapped, and even deepened as such, into the frustrating dipole “democratic uprising against corruption and the oligarchs of Russia, with the support of the democratic countries of the EU” on the one hand, and “proletarian or /and antifascist rebellion in the east against fascism of EU and NATO and the Western imperialists” on the other hand. And finally led to the dipole that if “there is something like fascism” in Ukraine, what resists it “should be something like the left.” This, however, is closer to mythology than reality. There is a huge need for alternative information.

Note 3

Also, was revealed the weaknesses and lack of political relations with Ukraine, which could balance the absence of alternative sources of information. Even more this lack was filled with mainstream info or the even-worse-reduction of situation in Ukraine, to the Greek experience, standards, meanings and symbolisms . So the analysis got a totally nonhistorical character at its core, and created a strange mix with antifascism rhetoric which literally ignores all the peculiarities of Eastern European reality. Thus appeared the need for the greek movement to create stronger political relationships with comrades for criticizing them of course but also for more non mainstream information and to get used about how people think and analyse political situations abroad, which are they contradictions etc . The basic rule is to historicize everything when comes to talk about symbols, statements, parties, organizations, etc., and try to understand the particular historical context. This is not about to relativise the theory, within a post-modern perspective, but to make it possible to find the specific content in the historically specific forms of appearance. So it is to make it valid to the circumstances referred to, and simultaneously possible to associate events with broader processes. In other words, it is not possible to overlook the fact that the class struggle in this area went through the form of the workers’ state, its failure, and after that the emergence of oligarchic state which was facing terrible contradictions in the historical context of the capitalist crisis. This contradictions created the Ukrainian crisis.

Note 4

Consequence of all this, is something really of an oxymoron. While the left and the anarchists seem particularly strong with a criticism of capitalist crisis, all other historical experiences of the Greek reality of the class struggle and history seemed to be attributed as analogies in Ukraine, often arbitrarily, the fact is that the experience of the capitalist crisis as a contradictory process of value was not the starting point of analysis. That is how the Ukrainian bourgeois society, is experiencing the crisis, not just as an economic crisis, but as a capitalist crisis within the worldwide frame, a crisis of bourgeois social roles, as a contradiction with itself. This again is not for reasons of theoretical fidelity but for practical political reasons. An analysis without the crisis as a starting point is outside our historical reality, and it can not catch the variations of the present situation in relation to the past, and therefore can not lead us to “on the point” political thesis. Such an analysis misses a key point. If an analysis is not starting from the dialectic of crisis as a contradictory process of bourgeois subjects constituted by value, it cant see the historically specific subjects involved in the processes and sees no contradictions on them, as possible changes to “worst” or “best” directions . So the Maidan and AntiMaintan fit easily under homogenized а priori identities and categorizations,so the degree of their heterogeneity and contradictions, limits and chances of development are not being visible. Thus the conviction “against” or the defense of one or the other side of the conflict, within a homogenization of everything becomes easy. Also this lack of “crisis” theory leads to this: the totality, ie the relation of state-bourgeois society is not perceived as a contradiction between two regions of capitalist accumulation that was “set on fire” by the capitalist crisis of our time, but results in an interpretation of events in Spinoza tautological formula eg “the fascist state of Ukraine does what it does because it is fascist and is consisted by fascists “or the liberal analysis that are really favoured at dig mainstream channels that say that the conflict is at its core of” cultural ” differences(!;). The tautology and essentialism to analyze the tactics of the state and the forms it takes the class struggle is the common core shared by the Stalinist / non dialectical version analysis of vulgar Marxism and clearly bourgeois analysis (so it is no coincidence that bouth of result in a distorted bourgeois critique) . For example, the fact that the proletarians are protesting with requests which have as horizon their capitals, the fact that they defend their capitals, or the fact that the Lugansk miners do not side with nor the Maidan or the AntiMaintan is not analysed. Based on the dominant discourse or the above analysis, these workers who are buried under the earth, just do not know what they are, they don’t have a “revolutionary conscious” and they may not realize the stakes, between Maidan and antiMaintan conflict, fascism/antifascism etc. Nevertheless, they themselves simply saw the truth in the eyes: The dilemma of staying or leaving Ukraine, namely in what region of accumulation they will be a part of, and this means, is not ok with them. The dilemma of whether ,they will die through unemployment, or exploitation inside the Russian federation is the crisis of the wage relation and reproduction of the working class. So this workers see no future neither with the West nor with the East. Thus the reading of the heterogeneity of these movements and the social relations that dictate the limits and the reasons for this heterogeneity is a key point. A more dialectical examination of AntiMaintan as a mirror of the Maidan is crucial, and there has not been such an examination on even greater extent than about the Maidan.

Note 5

There is a need in relation to the above, to explain the phenomenon of ultras fans and their role in the events, the way in which historical relations formed in stadiums interweavewith issues of nationalism, state, gender, etc. For example in both on April 13 in Kharkiv, and the brutality of Odessa, the presence of hooligans was crucial, as a marginalized and undervalued youth.This should be considered separately and specifically as they seem to have played a central role in one way or another. We usually underestimate this social part as “hooligans” and give up the analysis of them, and we usually tend to understand the youth movement only in terms of “students”. But this is historically determined criterion of ours. There it seems that the student strikes and occupations had little relevance to the big picture of the events, and played little role. On the other hand, hooligans appear to play a key role, and not being completely negatively stigmatized by society: as the Maidan, and the AntiMaintan actively collaborated with ultra right-wing hooligans on both sides. This in our opinion, has to do with the history of the structured society in Ukraine. The university was not a privileged field of class confrontation, even before the dissolution of the USSR is neither now, while the football hooligan social space, in response to intense state repression experienced and the “nationalistic shift” of these countries, it was a place of “anti-cop” activity and spreading of nationalistic ideas. [2] after perestroika.

Note 6

We are really disgusted about the conflict which takes the form of national idea conflict, and we have a real agony for all those who are trapped within their own contradictions, within the limits of a conflict that is seen by them as necessary and foreign at the same time. So we have a small but important request to all of us. In Ukraine is produced a quirky collision, two national ideas collide and are produced, two bourgeois societies with all their beings, and their components, collide. The forms of this conflict are diverse, but also inhumane and destructive. Within this conflict, they have an organic position, fascists, and all components of bourgeois society, the two sides remain “internal” democratic, their bourgeois categories remain united [3] . Let’s not make the mistake to support either side of the conflict, as did some in Yugoslavia, and become apologists for nationalism and civil war, nor call ​​them all a priori fascists, but to see the atrocities for which they are able Capital and bourgeois democracy,let’s make an anticapitalist critique and simultaneously see the internal contradictions and diversities between the two sides of the conflict as the possibility of their own overcoming. In Ukraine we have nationalism, we have fascism, as parts of bourgeois democracy, as two sides of bourgeois societies in conflict. As said an Ukrainian blogger some time ago, “Maidan is the birth of a nation within another.”

Note 7

The Ukrainian state is attacking and treats the eastern provinces in the most brutal way, while inside the west and center of Ukraine is prevailing bourgeois normality(more or less…). Why is that? Why also the Ukrainian state characterizes the eastern provinces as “terrorists” (sic)? The question must be answered as to bourgeois democracy as the natural political form of state of bourgeois society. Fascism and the loss of democracy come as a historically reply of Capital to a strong working class within one bourgeois csociety, which tends to break or spoil the plans of capital accumulation.In Ukraine we do not have something like that. On the other hand, the eastern Ukraine does not belong to the same bourgeois society(this was and the main contradiction of the Ukrainian state) with the rest of the country-the west- and for this the reason, why as to this “western” government, eastern Ukraine is something else, an externality that must be dealt with. This can be done within a democratic form (with frontline fascist security forces, where else can you find such good killers….) as well as Kiev and the separatists not consider themselves part or component of this one bourgeois society but of another (Russian) and they even raise the flag, they ask for a referendum etc. Thus we see Kiev treats those who resist in the east, as elsewhere are treated the marginalized (those who no longer participating in bourgeois social roles but live in their margin as externalities of circulation of value), the insurgents immigrants or the “foreigners invaders “, the treatment is completely hostile. The democratic state has the “obligation” (although this form of state now it is in crisis in the context of financial capitalism) to be consistent in its own bourgeois society, not the externalities of its. The term “counter-terrorism operations” used by Kiev is quite enlightening to see how the movement of antiMaidan is viewed by the West

footnotes.

[1] As we were told by Ukraine comrade “the Maidan was a liberal revolt that solved the hands of a big part of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie” A very important element in the whole analysis in our view is that both sides have fascists, actively in the service of the state(s), so far without changing the form of the state.

[2] The university is not a privileged place for class confrontation first of all because it works in an intense insecurity codex, that is, the relatively easy way to get kicked out or expelled when there are violations of regulations or if there is a failing to the exams. Secondly, the Ukrainian universities, have some very interesting features: There are a lot, so there is a large number of graduates,they have a plethora of educational fields, but they are corrupted as to their management and to teaching methods. Additionally, the majority of Ukrainians replied that basic criterion for finding a job are “acquaintances” and “political” connections, and only after these two factors, they consider education in itself, as an important factor for professional restoration.All this when combined with the relatively low unemployment until recently (average approximately 9.5%) means that graduates in Ukraine study relatively little, and they could find a job without giving much significance to the degree. Therefore the university not only was a privileged place for class struggle because of strict policies, but did not create a tradition of struggle in universities as it seemed to have no direct relation to trade market.

[3] The components of bourgeois society remain united and reproduced as such in the context of the conflict in Ukraine. By the term “united social components” of bourgeois society we mean the general practice of the nation and the national idea, which takes the political form of bourgeois democracy. Only when there is a revolutionary proletarian movement as a threat to the unified bourgeois elements, fascism emerges. So there is no coincidence that both sides use fascists in the context of conflict, but neither repudiates Democracy, unlike both sides accuse the opponent as anti-democratic, fascist rebel etc. Democracy is no stranger to the national idea or nationalism, but in different variations, is the political form of their practice. The basic capitalist contradiction of our time and the Ukrainian state contradiction, produces a conflict in Ukraine as a civli war and not as an internal rift between bourgeois subjects, as a revolution. For more information see our texts “Maidan as the pattern of unrest” and “songs of the Black Sea” .There, there is an attempt to explain the broader contradictions of Ukrainian reality and where they led.

Democracy

What on Earth could be better than democracy, the power of the sovereign people? As the word “capitalism” assumes more pejorative connotations, “democracy” gains adherents. The whole world is for democracy, whether constitutional monarchy or republic, bourgeois or people’s democracy. If there is one thing everyone accuses their enemies of, it is that they are not democratic enough.
Anyone who criticizes democracy can only be, in the best case, a nostalgic apologist for the old absolute monarchies. Generally the appalling label of “fascist” is the preferred epithet reserved for such people. The most fanatic mudslingers in this regard are often the Marxists and Marxist-Leninists who forget what the founding fathers said about democracy, and who praise democracy so much in order to conceal their own taste for power and dictatorship. Ironically enough, it is certain elements tainted with the brush of Stalinism that will hypocritically accuse us of being Stalinists.
Democracy seems to be the antithesis of capitalist despotism. Where everyone knows that it is a minority that really rules, it is common for people to set against this minority rule the power derived from universal suffrage.
In reality, capitalism and democracy go hand in hand. Democracy is the fig leaf of capital. Democratic values, far from being subversive, are the idealized expression of the really existing and somewhat less than noble tendencies of capitalist society. Communists are no more eager to realize the trinity of “liberty, equality, and fraternity” than that of “work, family, and fatherland”.
If democracy is the consort of capital, why do dictatorship and capitalism so often coexist? Why do most people live under authoritarian regimes? Why is it that, even in democratic states, democratic functions are so often hindered?
Democratic aspirations and values result from capitalism’s tendency to act as a solvent in society. They correspond to the end of the era when the individual had his place in a stable community and network of relations. They also correspond to the need to preserve the image of an idealized community, to regulate conflicts, and to reduce friction for the good of the whole community. The minority yields to the will of the majority.
Democracy is not merely a lie or a vulgar illusion. It derives its content from a shattered social reality, which it seems to reunite into a totality. The democratic aspiration conceals a search for community and respect for others. But the soil in which it is rooted and attempts to grow prevents it from successfully attaining these goals.
Even so, democracy frequently poses too great a threat to capital or at least to certain powerful interests. This is why it is always encountering impediments to its existence. With few exceptions, these constraints and even unadorned dictatorship are presented as victories for democracy. What tyrant does not pretend to rule, if not through the people, at least for the people?
Democracy, which during calm periods can appear to be a useful means to pacify workers struggles, is shamelessly abandoned when this is required for the defense of capital. There are always intellectuals and politicians who are very surprised when they are so easily sacrificed on the altar of the interests of the powerful.
Democracy and dictatorship are two contrasting, but not totally unrelated, forms. Democracy, since it implies the submission of the minority to the majority, is a form of dictatorship. A dictatorial junta may very well have recourse, in order to make decisions, to democratic mechanisms. (mehr…)

»How did we get some this? Some first thoughts on the decision for the social onslaught ahead of us in Greece«

The sold-out, far-right government of the bankers is a political and historical fact; the “state of emergency” has jumped from the TV screens blasting the messages of propaganda of their ship-owners, straight to this government of dummies.

The System, as complete sovereignty of the parasitic Bourgeois Class, hands authority directly to the para-statists (to begin with, the bankers) — the final refuge for the scum of parliament and Capital.

The manipulations without the people and against it have reached an apogee, all coming from the Unity of the System…

All the parasitical parliamentary powers (PASOK, LAOS -the far-right-, New Democracy, the Communist Party, SYRIZA) of the Bourgeois Class, after criminalising the popular expression-referendum and played it down as a “false dilemma”, moved into an even more reactionary path…

They set up, under the command of bankers and shipowners, a new authoritarian hyper-structure of puppets that will respond to absolutely no [popular] expression, not even the most humble one, as is the electoral result.

A government of “national unity” with plenty of plaster [a reference to an infamous quote by the dictator Papadopoulos, that the country was sick and needed be placed in „plaster“ --trans], with a sold-out chief banker as a prime minister, and a top priority of validating the Brussels agreement, which ordered the bankruptcy of the people and the rescue of the bankers and their shares. Puppets from across the parliamentary scum range, PASOK-New Democracy-the Communist Party-SYRIZA-LAOS, decided, either with a bang or with a whimper (scorning their institutions), the execution of the people in Greece, immediately and without the pretense of the humble, and equally scorned democratic intentions of the Constitution…

The takeover of power by para-statists (bankers and other puppets) is a political choice of the unity of the system (political parties, shipowners-mass media, embassies, foreign centres of power-EU, etc) as this has been established in Greece after the war.

Only hours after the reference to a referendum, which should have been a demand of the society in order to halt the hordes of the puppets turning against the people, an unprecedented unity of the system made its appearance. All bourgeois parties became a solid body of power, which even for a few hours was forced to abandon its supposed ideological reference and to turn into a solid, Class body against society… It is within those exact hours that we were brought into the “state of emergency”.

The photo-frame of the coalition would fit the smiles of all the corrupt and corroded parties of the parliament, PASOK-LAOS-ND-KKE-SYRIZA, the bankers, the shipowners… National unity has shrunk into the far-right parts of the system, which are nowadays ready to commit any crime against the people. The choices had been made for a while, and from today political life changes. Authority, by nominating these puppets, shows the path of resistance beyond the prissiness of the morons of the left. Society will respond, even if it is now startled in face of the social onslaught. The massiveness of social counter-violence can overthrow them as a whole, as it threatens them in their entirety and it can send the – so precious for them – social peace and systemic balance to hell.

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Mario Tronti – »Towards a Critique of Political Democracy«

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[Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 5, No 1 (2009)]