Written by Gabriel Huland
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 19:35
“False socialists from Syriza have now retreated from their promises to end austerity and offered to return every penny to international creditors sharks.” An inattentive reader would identify the above statement with Syriza’s Left Platform, Antarsya or KKE (Communist Party of Greece), which are left critics of the agreement between the new government in Athens and the Eurogroup.
But it is not. The statement, published on Golden Dawn’s website is a reflection of demagoguery with which the Greek neo-fascist party seeks to attract desperate sectors of the petty bourgeoisie and the unemployed.
This party, led by Nikolaus Michaloliakos, a Greek veteran politician since his teens linked to Pan-Hellenic extreme-right and ultra-nationalist ideology consolidated in the last election as the top three in Greece, acquiring 6.3% of the vote and 17 MPs. In the last European election (May 2014) it came to get 9.4% of the vote, and in the previous election to the Greek Parliament 6.9% (18 MPs). It is the first openly Nazi-character party with mass influence since World War II.
Michaloliakos and 5 other MPs of Golden Dawn are in prison since September 2013, and will stand trial on criminal charges of participating in a criminal organization. Another 12 lawmakers and 54 members of the neo-Nazi party also face criminal charges. They have acted with impunity up to October 2013. Their savage attacks on immigrants were tolerated by the government of New Democracy and constituted a supplement to the official campaign of criminalization and deportation, which had the approval of the EU. The crimes they are charged with are attacks on immigrants, activists and leftist political organizations. The most serious of all, which caused large protests and led to the arrest of Michaloliakos, was the murder of the rapper Pavlos Fyssus in September 2013.
Violence and ultra-nationalism to create “a new man and society”
Golden Dawn is defined as a nationalist party, “as opposed to the universalist internationalist communism and liberalism.” For the Greek neo-Nazi, “nationalism sees people as a synthesis of social groups with the same biological and spiritual heritage.” They say they want to form “a new type of society and of man.” In order to attract the ruined small bourgeoisie they appear as defenders of the small family property and use the words “kleros” and “temenos” referring to small portions of land of ancient Greek city-states. They represent a radical sector of the Greek bourgeoisie displaced by the semi-colonization of the country at the hands of the European financial capital.
Golden Dawn members constantly express their admiration for the former Greek dictator Metaxas Ionnis, who established a fascist regime between 1936 and 1941, until the Nazis invaded the country. Its leaders are linked to the plot that resulted in the coup that established the dictatorship of the colonels (1967-1974). They use Nazi symbols and claim to be fans of Hitler’s Germany figures. They are rabidly racist and xenophobic. It also claims the Pan-Hellenism, an ideology that seeks to create a state that unite all territories inhabited by people of Greek language and ethnicity.
It has also important international links with neo-Nazi organizations in other countries, as the Fascists of MSR and Platform for Catalonia in Spain.
Golden Dawn, police and armed forces
Again, on January 25, the police voted overwhelmingly for Golden Dawn. High ranking police and military officers are charged with party affiliation with Michaloliakos’ party, maintaining deep -family, ideological and economic – bonds with many police and military cadres.
It is proved that within the party there are armed detachments receiving military training. Whenever they have deemed necessary and have felt protected, they attacked the immigrants and the labor, student and popular movement. As the classical fascism, Golden Dawn is an armed gang in the service of the ruling classes. A gang lover of extreme violence, imbued with an extremely reactionary ideology and ready to attack when they have good opportunities.
The confusion Golden Dawn generates among sectors of the desperate petty bourgeoisie and unemployed is great because it uses, as any Nazi movement, social and nationalist demagoguery that apparently faces the interests of the financial oligarchy and foreign capital. While a sector of Greek ship-owners funds Golden Dawn, the bulk of the Greek bourgeoisie and even clearer, the European imperialism don’t bet their chips, in this period, in this party, even if it’s used as shock troops to intimidate the workers’ organization and keep it as a backup option if the situation openly gets out of control and basic interests are directly threatened.
Syriza’s policy and Golden Dawn
Before the election, Syriza listed four core commitments in relation to the security apparatus, including the immediate demilitarization of the police, banning the use of firearms and masks during demonstrations and the dismantling of public order riot police. They have taken some steps, such as removing the fence that used to protect the Parliament at Syntagma Square and the prohibition of certain practices by the police. They are important measures but primarily symbolic when comparing with defeating fascism and dismantling state enforcement agencies.
Expectations and hopes placed by the Greek people on Syriza are great. As great as the risk of frustration following the submission of the new government to the blackmail of the Eurogroup and the Troika. This frustration, if not capitalized by the Left facing the capitulation of Tsipras, is a fertile ground for Golden Dawn’s fascist demagoguery.
It must be fought politically, with a program of social and national liberation of Greece, relying on mass mobilization and self-organization of the working class and the people. This struggle must necessarily include the organization of self-defense detachments ready to defend the mass movement and forcefully defeating any provocation of the fascist gangs of Golden Dawn.
– Demilitarization of the police, dissolution of the public order riot police and deposition of all police and military commanders linked to Golden Dawn!
– Prison for all Golden Dawn members involved in violent attacks on immigrants and the left!
– Organization of self-defense against neo-Nazi gangs