The fact that forces dressed in the mantle of the “left” hasten to offer a last hope to the capitalist system was commented on extensively by Aleka Paparigha.
“Reading the keynote text by Bertinotti, head of a party that plays a significant role in the ‘Party of the European Left’ and president of the PEL, I saw the phrase ‘Europe is dead’! They consider us utopian because we say that we have to fight for socialism and that socialism is the answer. But it is not utopian of them to say that the two referendums and the German elections are leading to the death of Europe, and that now another Europe is possible! Of course, this possible Europe that they are promoting does not differ substantially from today’s Europe of European capitalist unification. Such concepts can nevertheless adulterate the radicalism of youth. Moreover, the Party of the European Left chooses consciously to play this role in undermining an existing radicalism, is boosted and can be further boosted in the future.
For example, Bertinotti talks about the existence of two Lefts in Europe! There is, he says, the ‘alternative Left’ of the PEL and then he describes another Left that is social democracy, that betrayed its left slogans and adopted neo-liberal options! Sharper criticism is aimed at the fact that the ‘greatest’ experiment that could have taken place in Germany, with Schroeder collaborating with the PEL, failed. So, what is the strategy of these parties under present-day conditions? It is that of a temporarily independent presence. They temporarily abandon the schemes of collaboration with social democratic parties (in Italy it has not been abandoned), but anyway they talk about the independence of these Left formations from social democracy, the main goal being to exert pressure either to correct social democracy or to form a new grouping with the forces of social democracy. For a social democratic party without the traditional social democratic leadership. The Gysi-Lafontaine experiment is an example of this.
I have stressed this because we should not underestimate the question of what reply we should give today to the policy of imperialism. And the reply cannot be a ‘slightly’ more progressive social democratic programme or a social democratic programme with some left tones, but constant struggle in an anti-monopoly anti-imperialist direction whose outcome must be the overthrow of the political power of the plutocracy.
No other political choice is possible in the context of capitalism. It is something else to extract some gains from capitalism, which is possible under specific conditions. But they regard this as an alternative strategy. Our differences with these forces are not only that we have more radical slogans. We could understand reformism among labour and working class masses that have broken away from social democracy or from the neo-liberal parties.
But what is the body and foundation of PEL? It is opportunism. It is not social democratic reformism. These are the forces that left the ranks of the communist movement and rejected the scientific theory of socialism.
Therefore, you cannot judge them in the same way as forces that will break away from PASOK or ND, working class forces, that will carry with them petty bourgeois viewpoints. These are problems of a different quality. For this reason, the ideological front against opportunism and disguised ‘revolutionary’ slogans must be strengthened. Otherwise the front against the bourgeois ideology, which is our main adversary, will be weak.”
Athens, 31. 10. 2005
Czech translation can be found HERE