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One starts the fire, the other fans it
On the stance of the so-called "European Left"
concerning the refugee question
Ms Gabi Zimmer recently spoke in our country on the topic "A left-wing refugee policy for the European Union." Gabi Zimmer is the president of the "left" group in the EU Parliament (GUE/NGL) and an MEP of the German "Die Linke" party which together with SYRIZA is the flagship of the so-called Party of the European Left (PEL).
In her speech, she made the basic observation that "the 21st century will be the century of the refugees", while she also noted that "91 percent of the migrants arriving in Greece are war refugees from countries like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan", she estimated that "Due to civil wars and climate catastrophes many more people will be forced to leave their homes worldwide."
Really, is this the explanation for the refugee problem? Civil wars and climate change? The President of the GUE/NGL's position is very convenient and useful for imperialism...And in Ms Zimmer's speech of over 1,000 words you will not find the words USA and NATO, nor will you read about the stance of the EU and the aforementioned powers in their competition with other capitalist powers, like Russia, over oil, natural gas, pipelines and other transport routes, over the market shares. No reference to the monopolies, the nature of the capitalist system, which gives rise to crises and lights the fire of imperialist war. This "left" seems to be very ready to fan the flames caused by this fire.
For this reason, no one will find a word in Ms Zimmer's speech about the need to overthrow this barbarity, which apart from anything else forces millions of people to abandon the paces they were born and raised, sometimes due to war or the capitalist crisis (poverty, unemployment, destitution) or the other torments caused by the capitalist system. It is no secret that parties of GUE/NGL in the previous period supported the imperialist interventions of NATO and the EU in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic etc. In other words, they added fuel to the fire of the imperialist interventions and wars.
Such a "left", which is represented by Ms Zimmer, conceals the basic dilemma of our era ("Socialism or Barbarism") posed by her fellow German, Rosa Luxembourg, and consequently is a very convenient and useful tool for capital.
In whose service?
The President of GUE/NGL considers this barbarity to be a given and states that she is ready, like all the other bourgeois parties, to manage it. And on the basis of her speech, her management coincides with the exhortations of the German industrialists, who demanded that Merkel "open the borders" to the refugees and immigrants. That is to say, she demands that the mass influx of refugees and immigrants on an annual basis be utilized by the capitalists to rejuvenate the economically active population and to find a new cheap labour force, as has been the case in the USA for many decades and in Russia for the last 20 years. We should not overlook the fact that the average age in Germany is 45.6 years old, and that it is the oldest population group in Europe.
We know that capital sometimes uses nationalism and supports in many ways a variety of racist and even fascist forces in order to divide the workers in the basis of national background, religion, language etc. in order to strengthen the exploitative system and its powers, by putting into practice the tactic of "divide and rule."At other times it resorts to cosmopolitanism with the aim of serving the same plans of the bourgeoisie and to increase its profitability. If in the first scenario it uses fascist forces, like Golden Dawn, and the so-called "eurosceptics", in the second instance the forces of the so-called "European Left", the opportunist formation of the ELP that is now the little brother of European social-democracy, are eager to be utilized.
The Europe of capital is not the only way
However, in her speech Ms Zimmer, apart from her eagerness to support the interests of European capital to renew its labour force, seeks to identify the struggle of the peoples against the EU of capital with the nationalist forces of the far right. Her goal in this instance is the same as that of European capital: So that the EU one-way street is not disputed. This union, like the every other inter-state capitalist union, has been constructed in line with the interests of the plutocracy and is directed against the rights of the workers and peoples.
So, for example, with this rationale Ms Zimmer "gifts" all the working class and popular forces to the far right (which is against the EU from the standpoint of serving the interests of a section of capital) and attacks the communists, who in many countries are struggling politically against the EU of capital. Such a position is no surprise, as it is well-known that the ELP and the forces rallied there strongly support the capitalist EU and declare their willingness to contribute to its "improvement". However, as was stressed in the Founding Declaration of the European Communist Initiative (ECI) which was formed two years ago by many communist and workers parties in Europe, the EU is the choice of capital."It promotes measures in favour of the monopolies, the concentration and centralization of capital; it is strengthening its characteristics as an imperialist economic, political and military bloc opposed to the interests of the working class, the popular strata; it intensifies armaments, authoritarianism, state repression, limiting sovereign rights."In opposition to the ELP, the parties of the ECI assess that "the European Union is the European imperialist centre, supports the aggressive plans against the peoples, and is aligned with the USA and NATO. It has militarism as a structural element."At the same time they stress that "there is another development path for the peoples. The perspective of another Europe, the prosperity of the peoples, social progress, democratic rights, equal cooperation, peace, and socialism are highlighted through the workers' struggles. We believe in the right of every people to choose its own sovereign path of development, including the right to disengage from the multi-level dependencies on the EU and NATO, as well as the right to choose socialism."
Anticommunism is the "icing on the cake" of the European Left.
Ms Zimmer in her attempt to argue in favour of "open borders" resorted to anti-communism, noting the following:"Walls, fences and closed borders will never solve the problem. I can tell this from my own biography in the former GDR. Instead, it will worsen the humanitarian crisis. "
This is a well-established tactic of the forces of the so-called "European Left", i.e. resorting to anticommunism and functioning as "employees" of the EU, which has for a long time now been organizing a similar ideological-political offensive against communists and the socialism that we knew in the 20th century. In any case, Ms Zimmer, wherever she finds herself, seeks to promote the unhistorical equation of fascism with communism, indeed characterizing the socialism that was constructed as "dark chapter in history". She also actively participated in the recent past in the EU's campaign to undermine Cuba. What talk can there be however about a "humanitarian crisis" in the German Democratic Republic?
Much ink has been spilled, much money spent and many means utilized to slander the socialism that existed in the GDR. However, whatever they say cannot change the reality: The overthrow of socialism, the fall of the Berlin Wall is what led to the tearing down of unprecedented gains and rights to healthcare, education, social security, culture etc of the workers in the GDR. At the same time, this development created new class barriers, dividing society into antagonistic classes and giving the reins of power to the few, because in Germany, in the so-called economic "steam engine" of Europe, not everyone is in the same carriage. The vast majority are "shoveling coal" to keep the engine running and the very few are enjoying all the privileges.
For what kind of 21st century are we struggling?
If the representative of the "European Left" stated in her speech that the "21st century will be the century of refugees", the KKE, as is well-known, on its part states that it is struggling so that the 21st century will be the century of a new upsurge of the international revolutionary movement and a new wave of social revolutions.
The KKE stands at the side of the thousands of persecuted people, who are the victims of imperialist wars and capitalist exploitation. It struggles for their just cause and recognize their right to escape the fire of the inter-imperialist competition and for the international law on refugees to be observed. It makes specific proposals to reduce their distress and misery and in this direction it supports specific solidarity activity and at the same time highlights and continues the struggle against the causes of this problem. Because, as was stressed in the Joint Statement signed by 57 CPs "We must organize and come into conflict with the exploitative system that gives rise to wars, refugees, immigration and poverty. So that the conditions can be created that will allow the refugees and immigrants to return to their homelands, with the peoples in charge of their own destiny."
Our weapon in these efforts is proletarian internationalism, which is reflected in the immortal slogan:"Workers of the world, unite", against the ideological currents of bourgeois nationalism and cosmopolitanism, which in differing ways serve the interests of capital.
Member of the CC of the KKE
Responsible for the International Relations Section of the CC
The article was published on 30/4/2016 in “Rizospastis”