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A Statement by internationalist comrades in Greece

On the occasion of the shut-down of the State broadcaster ERT ...

Let’s stop being spectators!

Let’s take life in our own hands!

The shutting down of the signal of ERT did ring the bell that the country is well on the way of questioning democracy itself. The demand for “Greek public broadcasting” dominates and the big slogan that unites everyone calls for the defense of democracy and information as a public good. Scenarios for elections are firing up.

But what is unfolding before our eyes is nothing else than the escalation of the frontal attack on workers that we have experienced over the past three years. This attack is not unleashed by a military dictatorship but by elected governments legitimized by a “people’s mandate” who are implementing successive austerity packages in order to manage the needs of a capitalism in acute crisis. We are confronted with the true face of a system that is not prepared to make the slightest concession precisely because it is immersed in a deep crisis. The bourgeoisie is unrelenting and prepared to commit the greatest crimes in order to protect its profits because it is a matter of life and death.

We stand with the workers of ERT as with every worker, employed or unemployed, who suffers the depreciation of his life because of this situation and wants to connect himself to the wider class struggles. So far the workers of ERT are the first who have succeeded in stopping the attacks that every group of workers that resists has to put up with.

We note however that this struggle by the workers, who are carrying out a first promising attempt at self-management and production of a television program on a 24 hour basis without managers and bosses, is monopolized by “TV personalities”, professional bourgeois politicians and union bureaucrats. What can be observed in front of ERT these days is, on the one hand, a competition for “on air time” and camera exposure (in view of eventual elections) and, on the other hand, the mass movement showing up to express its solidarity. The latter limits itself to acting as a pressure lever without actively participating in the struggle, its procedures and decisions.

The demand for a “Greek public broadcaster” is nothing else than the acceptance of the idea that state ownership means ownership to all citizens. It thereby hides the fact that the broadcaster is a part of the bourgeois state itself (that is not class-neutral), articulating and reproducing the views of its representatives. The appeal to national sentiment intrudes once again, obscuring the class nature of this workers’ struggle. Under capitalism there are no common goods; there are only commodities, goods that you can buy and sell. Common goods can only exist in a classless society, with real equality and common ownership. In a society where everything that is for everybody is not a commodity, is not sold and purchased, but belongs to everyone. In such a society we can have real public broadcasting, which will be a source of objective information and promotion of a universal high culture. As for journalism, the only way for it to be a vocation is to no longer be a profession.

The “defense of the citizens’ right to information as a public good” leads to the acceptance of the idea that information is a social good and not a merchandise within the capitalist system.

The “defense of democracy” comes down to accepting, and in the end succumbing to, the myth of the parliamentary system as class-neutral. It means strengthening the state, subjecting oneself to its power and robbing oneself of every possibility of self-activity. Parliamentary democracy is bourgeois democracy, a democracy in which the bourgeois class governs through its political representatives – right or left – with the consensus or tolerance of voters. The parliamentary system is the democratic dictatorship of capital. We can only have true democracy in a society without exploitation of one human by another, one in which governance is practiced directly by equal citizens.

The demand for the “lay off of the prime-minister Samaras and not of workers” cultivates populist illusions. Elections cannot change anything. Even if a government of the "Left" is formed, it will have to manage the crisis of the system. And the management of this crisis can only be done for the benefit of the system. Besides, all examples of such "leftist governments" in history confirm this claim. So it is a big lie that it is possible to stop the policy of austerity by the establishment of a "left government".

A real change in the situation will not just be a change of government, the change of the form of capitalist exploitation, but the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system itself. Capitalism cannot be gradually improved, nor can it be managed in a human way. As strange as it may seem, today it is infinitely easier to overthrow the system itself and replace it with a new social order in which money and exploitation will no longer exist, rather than to reverse its policy.

The overthrowing of the system cannot be achieved without the self-organization by the working class, without its rupture with the bourgeois ideology, without breaking all ties with the unions and the bourgeois parties - including the Left parties of capital - without the formation of the most conscious elements of the class into a revolutionary political organization that will unify their struggles and give a political orientation in times of social crisis.

Only a strong and subversive class movement that will dynamically organize the resistance against the anti-worker onslaught, that will forge the unity of all workers against capital, that will defend the weakest strata of the proletariat and the oppressed in general – first and foremost the immigrants – will build its own instruments of struggle, confront the brutal violence of the repressive forces and crush murderous Nazi gangs, will be able to pave the road towards the final rupture with the system of capitalist exploitation and the overthrow of the bourgeois state.

Internationalist Comrades, Athens, 16/06/2013

Let’s take our life in our own hands!

Let’s organize ourselves!

For the overthrow the system of exploitation and social impoverishment!

For a classless society!