Links to the old web pages of KKE
CHAPTER E. DEVELOPMENTS IN THE BOURGEOIS POLITICAL SYSTEM
31. In the years since the 20th Congress, during the last two years of the SYRIZA government and the change of government between SYRIZA and ND, the consensus between the key forces of the bourgeois system regarding the strategic goals and objectives of the bourgeoisie and its corresponding political choices has been further confirmed.
These uniform objectives are:
- The effort of the Greek bourgeoisie to upgrade its geostrategic position through its active role in the US–NATO–EU plans and the strengthening of its positions in the Balkans, in Southeastern Europe, in the Eastern Mediterranean.
- Support for deepening EU integration.
- The course of recovery of the Greek economy, with the creation of a more favourable environment for attracting investments, with the promotion of a new “productive model”, “green” economy, “digital transition”, etc.
- The stabilization of the bourgeois political system and the further safeguarding of the bourgeois state against possible shocks and mainly against the struggles of the labour–popular movement.
Key manifestations of this consensus were:
- The Strategic Agreement with the USA, signed and inaugurated by the SYRIZA government, and by ND government
- The Prespa Agreement, dictated by the goal of strengthening the NATO and EU presence in the Western Balkans.
- The successive legislative interventions for the further flexibilization of the labour market, for the support of capital assets and the various investment plans.
- The strengthening of the reactionary arsenal of the bourgeois state with measures against strikes, trade unions, etc.
It is also characteristic that the during the ND and SYRIZA governments, strategically important bills, as well as changes in fundamental clauses of the Constitution, especially those concerning governmental stability and the undisturbed implementation of the ruling policies, were successively voted in, by both parties, together with PASOK / KINAL.
The common goal of stabilizing the bourgeois political system is promoted through assimilation and repression. A general invocation for “national unity” is alternated with the need for a “new social contract” in order to assimilate the labour–popular forces in the aims of the bourgeoisie, with the implementation of new and more advanced methods of state repression.
The bourgeois political system places special emphasis on the assimilation of the youth, promoting bourgeois democracy as a form of government that guarantees individual freedoms and rights, respecting individual diversity, as opposed to the “state repression” of socialism as we knew it in the 20th century. At the same time, it promotes the image of a “tolerant” capitalism, which with proper management and utilization of new technologies can become socially fairer and more environmentally friendly, a “smart”, “green”, “humane” capitalism.
These common aspirations do not negate existing differences between the bourgeois parties, regardless of the fact that these differences are absolutized and overemphasized to support disorienting dividing lines of confrontation, such as “Right–democratic forces”, “free market–reinforced state intervention”, “neoliberalism–social democracy”. These actual differences mainly reflect contradictions within the bourgeois class of the country, but also contradictions among the bourgeois classes of its allies in the international imperialist system and mark all bourgeois parties. However, most of the time they are also over-emphasized by the respective forces of opposition, depending on the so-called political audience and the aim to approach certain social strata for the elections, as well as due to the historical backgrounds of each party.
The differences are mainly related to the manner and the formula of bourgeois management of the capitalist economy, the degree of state intervention, etc., so as to achieve capitalist reproduction and the assimilation of labour–popular forces depending on the phase of the economic cycle. They are also significantly influenced by the international alliances and choices of the bourgeoisie, especially in conditions where the inter-imperialist contradictions are intensifying, and the Euro-Atlantic orientation of the bourgeoisie and its parties always ensured.
ON “DIGITAL GOVERNANCE”
32. Taking advantage of the pandemic, the ND government, with the consent of the other parties, accelerated the promotion of a series of “reforms” mainly concerning the so-called “digital transformation of society, government and the state”, etc.
It is attempted to conceal the class character of these changes by overemphasizing the modernizations that are necessary for the functioning of state services. The notions about a “more effective state”, “improvement of state–citizen relations” are used in this framework.
However, breakthroughs mainly concern the establishment of a more friendly investment environment, by way of, for example, the acceleration of investment licensing and do not concern the needs or the protection of the people.
Teleworking is a prime example of how new technologies —especially digital ones— are adapted to the needs of capital. Digitization is used as a tool to intensify labour and state repression. The “personal data protection net” invoked by the bourgeois staff is corrupt, as it is always available to monopolies, public and private security services. Data trading is a very lucrative business on a global scale.
At the same time, bourgeois parties are presenting their digitization as a modernization in their functioning. Regardless of the —up until now— failure of such attempts in our country (see i-SYRIZA), such changes will accelerate, forming even more “personalized” parties, parties with members – “digital followers”, in complete contrast to the more democratic profile which they invoke.
It is attempted to impose such changes on trade unions, student associations (electronic voting, registries of trade union executives), etc. The fact that the younger generation in particular, is highly familiar with communication, as it has been developed today, and the distorted socialization it has created, is being exploited so that these reactionary changes appear to be self-evident. In reality, they are becoming new tools of the state and the employers to manipulate workers and other forces, their youth, in order to undermine participation, debate, mass democratic processes, etc.
ON MUNICIPAL AND REGIONAL ADMINISTRATION
33. The changes in municipal and regional administration, which are part of the state apparatus, are part of the reform and the processes that take place within the bourgeois political system.
The network of reactionary restructurings in Local Administration starting in the 1990s (“Kapodistrias”), deepened in the decade of the capitalist crisis (“Kallikratis” – “Klesthenis”), having consolidated the local and regional bodies as essential administrative units and links in the state apparatus of the bourgeoisie. The new responsibilities and administrative functions they have taken on strengthen their class character and role, alongside that of the central organs of the bourgeois state. Their budgetary and operational responsibilities have been strengthened institutionally and functionally, and the profound negative effects on the life and income of working-class households are obvious.
The transfer of certain central state responsibilities to the responsibility of local authorities is directly linked to the drastic reduction in funding from the state budget, the intensity of taxation and the burdening of people’s income. It is also linked to the commercialization and degradation of basic social structures and services as well as the abolition of labour relations and rights.
In this new cycle of the economic crisis, the ND government is stepping up its efforts so that Local Administration and its bodies play a more active role. The aim is to direct in a more targeted way a large number of state/ EU resources towards regional networks and infrastructure in order to attract funds, facilitate, and enhance their profitability. Local Administration is being reinforced with new business and financial tools to boost the utilization of local resources by businesses, waste management based on business groups’ priorities, replacement and “rehabilitation” of lignite areas, promotion of RES, commercial utilization of public and local land tracts, forests, coasts and other infrastructure by tourist and other capital.
The institutions of the so-called Social Economy, of the “volunteering” networks, under the umbrella of and in partnership with Local Administration, are being utilized as a lever to promote and “legitimize” the goals and aspirations of capital among the people.
The “modernization and reorganization” measures of the bourgeois state and its local institutions, implemented to respond uniformly and effectively to the rapid changes in the needs and priorities of capital, constitute a strategic direction of all bourgeois governments and parties. It has become a dominant strategy in the bodies of Local Administration. This course will be strengthened over the next period through the new institutional interventions and responsibilities that have been announced by the ND government.
The bourgeois system as a whole is utilizing the more direct relationship of local administration with the working-class masses flexibly and in various ways. The Regional and Municipal Bodies, as state institutions that are closer to the labour–popular forces, are used to defuse popular reactions, and to assimilate them more easily. The Party needs to monitor more systematically and in depth their intervention and actions. The struggle and the demands of the labour–popular movement must focus on the activity of these organs. From this perspective, the responsibility of the Party organs to provide more substantial and comprehensive guidance to our representatives in the bodies of Local Administration is increased.
Elected communists, as well as those who cooperate with them, selflessly and against the character of these organs, fight for the relief of popular families, for the development of the struggle and the demands that will pave the way for the social alliance and rallying of forces in an anti-monopoly direction, with the political goal of workers' power. This action, as that of all communists, regardless of whether they are in Parliament, the European Parliament, the regional or municipal authorities, whether they are in the minority or the majority, such as in Patras, has a steady oppositional character against the anti-popular policies emanating from the central organs of the bourgeois state and which are interlinked with regional–municipal bodies.