On July 13 the political and financial oligarchies of Europe imposed, with the knife at the throat, a program to Greece that the same mainstream economists call simply “impossible to enforce” even under capitalistic standards.
Which was their real goal? They wanted to and had to demonstrate that there can be no viable alternative outside of the field of possibilities defined by their policies. To reach it, a faction of them led by Finanzminister Schäuble, was and is willing to make reversible even the process of integration in the Eurozone that the same oligarchies had pursued for decades. To hit Greece, excluding it from the single currency, to avenge the crime of “high treason”, punishing those who dared to raise their heads, and to educate everyone else, especially the moltitudes of South, East and North Europe which could have the insane temptation to put in discussion the Austerity regime, in the squares and by the ballots.
Nothing is allowed to disrupt the “status quo” created in the past five years by the continental Große Koalition rule: more cuts in social spending on welfare, more structural precarization in labour market and working conditions, more privatization of public assets and commons, more redirection of money flows to investments in favor of financial income, more mass impoverishment and redistribution of socially produced wealth upward and to the few at the top. In Greece and everywhere in Europe. In this way, the current crisis is not solved at all but once again intensified and at the same time deferred in its consequences.
But it doesn’t matter for the lords of governments across Europe sitting at the table in the “night of shame” in Brussels. For them it was decisive simply to reaffirm their rule, to show their command through the exercise of naked force, to prove using the tools of threat and blackmail that there is no possibility of escape the framework of their crisis regime. Millions of people have immediately understood it, spreading everywhere the cry #ThisIsaCoup. For these reason we beg everyone to focus on the analysis of our enemies’ moves and on the search of most effective weapons to fight them. We do not need to be spectators of a show staged by others, cozily blaming “naivety”, “yield” or “betrayal” of those who are on our side. Instead, we need to develop our own strategy, to make plans, to accumulate and exercise strength.
For many commentators the Greek and European events of the last month pose essentially a question of democracy. We must be clear: we believe that, even in its temporary and provisional epilogue, emerge instead and above all the problem of the social balance of power, that means the consistency and the forms in which it develops, here and now in Europe, the struggle between the classes, between exploiters and exploited. A power relationship that today is dramatically unbalanced in favor of the former. And that should be our main target to overthrow. So we are interested in the “democratic issue” to the extent that democracy be not considered an abstract ideal, but a weapon in the hands of the many. Moreover, by claiming that the Eurozone is made by nineteen countries and not just one, democracy has been fenced as a set of formalistic procedures confined in a narrow national dimension that we refuse.
This shows the systematical strategy to put workers and pensioners in Europe one against the other, by imposing a national framework on social issues such as wages, welfare and privatizations. But austerity measures, cuts, privatizations and precarization of life and labour are imposed all over Europe, while employers, companies and banks keep accumulating enormous wealths. It means that we share the same interests as the Greek workers and pensioners.
In this respect the “social waterboarding” of an entire country can not erase the historical fact of powerful OXI pronounced July 3 in Syntagma Square, in the results of referendum of July 5, in the hopes and energies that it aroused throughout Europe achieving a new mass politicization of the public opinion debate, in the many forms of resistance, self-organization, cooperation and struggle since then have continued to develop everywhere. This means that our NO could be stronger than any of their blackmails.
Our OXI can be stronger if it is repeated in all the languages in Europe. The stand off between Greece and EU institutions has shown once again that there is no chance to overturn the current balance of
power in the isolation of single national political spaces. That the “extremists of the center” in government in Berlin and Brussels are the main instigators of the stinking growth of every possible revanchism and nationalism. That the struggle against a Continental regime of oppression can be conducted in effective terms only if it is immediately transnational on the European level. And if on this scale it demonstrated its ability to enhance all of our conditions of social and territorial homogeneity and heterogeneity, which were hitherto used to divide and to beat us. Building an open process of continuous connections between a plurality of local social struggles, the daily construction of alternatives and transnational moments in which to hit our enemies, by the practice of mass civil and social disobedience to their authoritarian rules.
The OXI from Syntagma Square in Athens is not dead. As it’s not dead from Puerta del Sol or in Lisboa. Neither from Blockupy Frankfurt. No compromise by blackmail can destroy it, if we take it up and turn it into our Europeanwide OXI, in many different places, in all our struggles and everywhere in our daily lives. Because our NO simultaneously is a YES to a radically different kind of Europe, which has nothing to do with the rotten Europe of the powerful oligarchies, but which needs to be rebuilt completely from the bottom.
We have the opportunity to turn the OXI into a powerful political weapon by intensifying our struggles, recognizing our commonalities and our common enemies, by filling the NO with concrete demands that can resonate from one place to another, from one struggle to another. Against the continuous attempt to put workers and people one against the other, we need to turn the hierarchies and differencies in wages, welfare and pensions across Europe into a new transnational battlefield. Ideas and proposals for an European minimum wage, an European basic income, an European common welfare and against any form of istitutional racism should circulate and be discussed towards this goal.
What to do now? First of all developing a strong visible mid-term plan for raising our common voice in face of our enemies, when and where they meet. After the success of March 18 day of struggle in Frankfurt, the next big Blockupy, the next large European mobilizations targeting the two Headquarters of the oligarchies, are coming soon: next October 15-17 in Brussels surrounding the summit of European Council, where government leaders will discuss again their policies of misery and racism; next May in Berlin, Hauptstadt of “German Europe” as center of the ruling executive power of Austerity regime and in same time city of multiple social resistances and alternatives. These are the main stages of our “one year march” for freedom, democracy and equality in Europe. These are the plural ways in which we will “vote with the feet” our continental OXI. With which, from below, we’ll put back down to earth the constituent political decision for another Europe.
Among these many initiatives, the transnational strike process will organize its first meeting in Poznan (Poland) on October 2-4. This moment is an important step towards a reinvention the social efficacy of strike as practical tool of the OXI.
But right now we are concerned with more than an action proposal, more than the next call for a demonstration. We want to spread the OXI. We want that all actions and struggles taking place everywhere in Europe, from every corner of social life, take up this NO. We want to make it our own and shout it out in a thousand different forms. This is a long-term task, with which we have to start today. The temporary defeat of the Greek upheaval, which is a defeat of all of us, unmistakably has documented once again the power relations of European capitalism. However it demonstrates that the rule of those in power can only be defended in an authoritarian way. But this situation reveals also limits and contradictions of their rule. And opens lot of possibilities to fight. Once again if they want to enforce a “capitalism without democracy”, the desire of a “democracy without capitalism” can be nourished. The authoritarian move may turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory for the “German Europe.” Let us therefore develop our commonality, our solidarity and our strength in this OXI.
The political and financial oligarchies of Europe have tried on July 13 to repeat that obscene provision they most wish to come true: “The End of History.” But we learned long ago that there are no victories and even less defeats that are definitive. That the History never ends. Sure not in Brussels. And that the game is still completely open. In any possible direction. “Who fights can lose. Who doesn’t fight has already lost” told somebody somewhere some time ago. He was right. That history does not end, depends on us. And we will continue to fight.