Greece: Two members of neo-fascist Golden Dawn shot dead

Who gains from terrorism?

The killing of two Golden Dawn members on the evening 1 November, in New Heraklio, does nothing to aid the anti-fascist struggle, no matter how it is presented in some quarters.

The main winner from this attack is Golden Dawn, which instead of being the usual perpetrators of neo-Nazi violence can now present themselves as victims. Golden Dawn remains a gang of far right and racist murderers but can now hope to win sympathy from people and to increase its poll support. The neo-fascist party will now talk for the necessity of defence against the armed attacks from its opponents and the need for “protection” of its members – all with the aim of carrying out new terror attacks against immigrants, the Left and other opponents.

The terrorism of the far-right and the terrorism of groups like those that attacked GD members on 1November (no matter where they come from ‘ideologically’) leads us to a situation where it is assumed that political differences are just to be resolved with knives and automatic weapons. The working class movement will have nothing to gain from this kind of confrontation; it will be the main looser.

Of course the workers’ movement, immigrants and others under physical attack from the far right and the State have the right to defend themselves. We call for democratically-organised self-defence that unites working people and youth, and which is linked to a programme for fundamental social change.

The “struggle” between armed groups which act in the dark will not solve any of Greece’s big social problems: not economic collapse, mass unemployment or mass poverty and wretchedness that leaves millions of people in despair. And it is this despair which is the social cause both of the rise of neo-fascism and of the re-appearance of individual terrorism in the name of the struggle against the system and the state.

The other big winner of such a kind of confrontation is the repressive capitalist state, which more and more controls our every move and keeps people under surveillance at all times. In the name of combating terrorism, the State will try to legitimise the continuing degradation of basic freedoms and our right to fight back at their policies.

Despite the fact that this attack has no relation to the traditions of mass struggle of the Left, the government will use it to enhance the idea of the “two extremes” in society (i.e. equating the far right and revolutionary Left) and to intensify state repression against the Left and social movements throughout Greece.

Social catastrophe

Those responsible for the social catastrophe that we are living through will again present themselves as “referees” and “saviours” – who will save us from the phenomena that their policies and their system are creating. We will again see the Prime Minister talk hypocritically in tragic tones about his determination to crackdown on crime and violence and to enforce law and order. We will see EU and the Troika leaders demanding ‘determined action’ against terrorism! But these precisely are the people who due to their Memorandums (savage austerity packages) are really responsible for the social disaster that has given rise to neo-fascism and terrorism in its various forms. In similar conditions, in the course of the previous decades in Greece, we saw the intervention of agent provocateurs aiming to pursue the political agenda of those who employ them. [Since the 1 November killings, there is widespread speculation in Greece that it cannot be excluded the two executions were carried out by professional hired killers, perhaps to try to damage the Left and to bring about new repressive measures – Eds].

What should those organisations that represent the interests of the popular masses, i.e. the Left, do under these circumstances? There can only be one answer: to struggle to take power and to carry out a programme of radical policies: ending and reversing all memoranda (cuts); kick out the Troika, repudiation of the debt; bring the banks and strategic sectors of the economy into the democratic ownership, control and management of workers and the whole of society; for massive public investment and planning of the economy for the needs of the whole of society (instead for the profits of a few tens of families and the big multinationals). Only in this way can the economy enter a trajectory of recovery and make it possible to solve the problems that are tearing society apart and causing its collapse. Only in this way can the social base that produces fascism and terrorism, of all kinds, be removed. Only on such a basis, combined with rank and file assemblies and democratically elected (with the right of recall) committees, can the working class ensure real democracy and control in society – an absolutely essential condition for building a coherent alternative society.

SYRIZA (the Coalition of the Radical Left), as the main party of the Left (and the second party in the polls), has the main responsibility to propose to the whole of the Left to follow this path. The rest of the Left has a duty to respond to this need. Those in the Left who continue to refuse any kind of collaboration and united action, in the name of “revolutionary purity” have to understand that this leads nowhere and change course.

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