Some days, like this one, are only got through by humming this tune throughout…the Dils 1977 punk masterpiece ‘Class War’…’I want a war, between the rich and the poor, I wanna fight and know what I’m fighting for…’ standing in lines, at demos, walking down the street, at school, sitting in too long political meetings, waiting for the bus, listening to the news, at work- it’s comforting in nearly every situation I find myself in. Do not fear the class war, comrades; it can make us free.
In a class war, class war, class war, class war, class war, class war, class war. In New York and LA, city halls are falling down.
There’s no escape, when a class war comes to town. In a class war, class war, class war, class war, class war, class war.
If I’m told to kill, in Beirut or Salvador, there will be a class war, right here in America.
The crisis in Greece leaps from one crumbling precipice to another. The situation changes from hour to hour. This week’s attempted capitalist coup, where all of the capitalist parties are to unite in government to prevent the Greek people from having a possibility of rejecting the savage austerity about to be imposed, shows just how unstable Greek society has become. A crisis of legitimacy has engulfed all of the traditional parties and organizations.
The Greek working class is inspiringly militant and creative; young folks in Greece rose in rebellion for weeks in December, 2008 over the cop killing of Alexis Grigoropoulos. That generation is now facing the most dramatic political and economic crisis in many decades. Greece is the sight of a real class war; if the Greek working class is forced to succumb to the austerity imposed upon it, it is hard to imagine any working class being able to resist the ruling class assault.
If you are like me, following Greek strikes and street actions has become routine these last few years and nothing warms your heart more than to catch a glimpse of Loukanikos, the Riot Dog, darting through tear gas to safety on the television news. If you are like me, you are constantly trying to figure out who is who politically and organizationally and without much luck at that. There is a bewildering array of organizations and coalitions and just what the politics and alignments are at any given time is sometimes hard to judge without reading Greek (difficult even if you do speak Greek, I imagine). If this week shows anything, it is that the machinations of the capitalist parties in Greece are even more Byzantine.
In the hope of coming to some grip on the situation, here are a selection of links to Greek leftist political and workers organizations followed by links to blogs and other news sources in English. Not all of the organizational links have English language pages, but many do and are all worth checking out for the flavor of the situation. If you know of other good links or information please post them in the comments.
The videos are all really informative, give great background, context and flavor and are in English as well.
The Coalition of the Radical Left (ΣΥΡΙΖΑ or SYRIZA) won a seat in the European Parliament in 2009 receiving 240,898 votes or 4.70%. That same year SYRIZA won 315,627 (4.60%) votes for Greek Parliament taking 13 seats (now down to nine due to four defections). It formed in 2004 and includes:
Synaspismos (SYN) is the largest component of the coalition and emerged as a ‘renewal’ project of Communists in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. They have an English page as does their youth group.
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) If anyone deserves the title of Stalinist it is these unreconstrcuted folks. A major force in Greek politics they are the initiators of PAME All-Workers Militant Front union which has a lot of English resources. In the 2009 European Parliament vote they won 425,96 (8.35%) and 2 legislators. The same year they won 517,154 for Greek Parliament (7.54%) and 21 seats.
Along with the above organizational sties there are a number of places I go to for news and opinion. Here is just a sampling of blogs or news sites that have covered Greece either exclusively or in part. These sites are also entirely, or in large part, English language sites.
Varoufakis Yanis is a professor of political economy at the University of Athens and a well known commentator with some valuable on-the-scene insights.
Reflection on a Revolution has become an indispensable resource on the situation of Europe since it came onto the scene a couple of years ago. Jérôme E. Roos, in particular, has a focus on the Greek crisis in relationship to the European crisis.
The Greek Crisis is a nice aggregate of the English language bourgeois news and commentary on the crisis. For in-depth thinking of the enemy there is no better place than the Financial Times’ special Greek Debt Crisis page.
Always excellent, The Real News has had extensive video coverage of the European debt crisis and the working class response. Some of the best interviews on the subject can be found right here.
Indymedia Athens has been one of the best Indymedia sites for many years. Anarchist in perspective, this is where I go for on the ground multimedia from the strikes and street demos in Greece.
Michael Hudson is a well known, and politically eccentric, economist and commentator on the international debt crisis.
The Rustbelt Radical is a personal blog. It is revolutionary, socialist and internationalist. It comes straight from the ravaged middle of the post-industrial American Midwest and yearns for the refounding of the Marxist project. The landscapes of radical history are my main interest, but other topics might include politics, economy, work, culture, war, theory, travel, music and frequent tubthumping for the free association of producers. Let me know of needed or broken links.
"The realm of freedom...can only consist in socialized man, the associated producers rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind force of Nature, and achieving this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favorable to, and worthy of, their human nature..."
Karl Marx, Capital, Volume III, p. 820.
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