Socialist Party USA: Solidarity with the Protests in Greece

Passed by the SPUSA International Commission May 25, 2010

The Socialist Party USA resolutely supports the workers and students protesting against the IMF/European Union imposed austerity package. Greek trade unions and socialist organizations have acted swiftly and correctly by using one of the most powerful tools available to workers, the general strike, to combat this process. The crisis in Greece may come to head in the coming period and we join other international socialist and radical political organizations in extending our promise to support our comrades in Greece.

Greece shows the current crisis of international capitalism in its harshest form. This crisis is an attack by global capital on the weakest link in the European welfare states. Since the fall of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, capitalism has sought to break the power of the European working class, impose a neo-liberal agenda, and end decades of welfare state benefits. The current global economic crisis has allowed the ruling layer of capital, the so-called FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) to strike, refusing to lend Greece any more money, creating the possibility of a Greek default.

The continued attack on the Euro, despite a trillion dollar international bailout shows that capital cannot be appeased or negotiated with. If Greece refuses to bow, it will be forced to default on its debts, and have no choice but to impose the austerity measures demanded by capitalism, unable to borrow money to pay its workers. Greek workers are thus confronted with a stark choice: a crushing defeat or socialist revolution.

American workers have been subjected to a series of lies about the Greece. Claims that Greek workers are overpaid and retire at the age of 53 are false: the average retirement age in Greece is 61.4 years, later than the average European. Greek wages, already the lowest in Europe, were slashed by previous governments to 1984 levels. The average wage, including social security and taxes: a measly $1,063. Despite claims that Greek government was irresponsible, that its debt is unsustainable, the cost of servicing Greek debt is now less than half of what it was in 1993, a mere 6% of GDP.

The Socialist Party USA rejects these lies and stands in solidarity with the Greek workers, socialists, communists, and anarchists. We urge the protesters to move further, not merely to reject the despicable policies of the IMF/EU, but to overthrow capitalism altogether. Only by abolishing capitalism can the Greek workers defend their way of life.

4 thoughts on “Socialist Party USA: Solidarity with the Protests in Greece

  1. Livy Merchant

    I joined the SPUSA in 1965 and recently renewed my membership. I happen to be a university professor who resides in Greece and works at Bilkent Univ. in Turkey. From my point of view, some of your statistics are questionable – certainly the idea that the servicing the debt here in Greece is only 6% of GDP. Please document this.

    It is wonderful to speak of “overthrowing capitalism”, but I have no idea what that would look like. Overthrowing the capitalist criminals here would be welcomed by most Greeks, but going to state collective farms and state ownership of all means of production would just not go down. What happened to the wise doctrine of socially controlled means of distribution?

    Comrades, don’t be carried away. Don’t fall into the trap of the Trotskyites, who welcome every revolution and then are crushed by its consequences.

    Fraternally,

    Livy Merchant

  2. paulie Post author

    From my point of view, some of your statistics are questionable

    I’m not sure what you mean by “your” here. I don’t know if you are familiar with how IPR works, but we print articles and statements by and about all kinds of smaller parties and independent candidates with a variety of different political views. Someone from the SPUSA may or may not read these comments, but all we are doing here is reporting the text of a statement their party committee put out.

  3. Nexus

    I find this amusing and ironic…seeing how it’s a Socialist government in Greece that is implementing the budget cuts.

  4. Peter M.

    Hi Livy,

    The point about revolution in the statement is simply to argue that unless the cycle of capitalism is broken- ie, though socialist revolution- crises like these will continue, and probably get worse and worse. To be honest, we don’t know what a socialist revolution, or the structure of a socialist society in Greece would look like, and it would be pretty arrogant to say that we did.

    Also, welcome back to the Socialist Party. You’ll probably find it to be a rather different organisation than it was 45 years ago. Considering its positions then (not opposing the Vietnam War, more or less uncritical support of the Democrats, etc), I’d say we’ve come a long way.

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