Daily Archives: October 27, 2013

When the State turns Antifa

αναδημοσίευση από cognord

Golden Dawn (GD), as we knew it, is over. Their leader N. Michaloliakos is behind bars, along with other prominent members, while those who survived the first purge are facing added charges that emerged a few days after the first arrests. While this was happening, a number of their offices around Greece have closed down, the state funding they received has been stopped, and reports indicate that many of their members (ex or current) are forming lines outside the High Court to testify against the organization. These testimonies are used as key evidence in the legal proceedings, leading among other things to the finding of hidden weapons[1]. Even if the legal case does not bring most of GD’s members to prison, the inside fighting is bound to create enough damage to forbid the Nazi party from continuing as it has. 

This approach of the collapse of GD is not only based on an analysis of recent events. It is also based on a specific understanding of the nature of the State in the modern capitalist world, and its essentially democratic ideology. Democracy is a system of decision-making and of social relations ideal for the capitalist economy. It creates a subject stripped of any control over the means of production, but abstractly equal to the rule of law, bound by existing class, property and exploitation relations,  a subject which exchanges its need to consume the means of survival with the ability to participate in deciding who will manage these relations. This is the form that capitalism finds more suitable for the continuation of accumulation and the creation of value, and democracy has proven that it has far more tools and elasticity, as part of its social structure, to recuperate struggles and threats to the capitalist order, than the brute force of fascist/totalitarian regimes who require no consensus for their rule. The power of capital does not depend on the brute force of Nazi thugs, nor does it require coercion to further the devaluation of proletarians -in Greece or elsewhere.

As Dauvé has said, everyone would prefer (if given a choice) to live in social-democratic Sweden than being hunted down by Pinochet’s torturers. The point is that the choice is not ours, and it definitely does not depend on a set of forms such as universal franchise, civil rights and the existence of a parliament, however much these forms are fetishised. For regardless of the contingent advance that the existence of such rights might allow, they leave the fundamental social relations of class exploitation intact.

The forces that kick started the persecution of Golden Dawn, were the very same ones that the antifa/Left scene has been accusing all along (and rightly so) of aiding and facilitating the spread of its racist and fascist policies and ideology. And it requires a leap into absurdity to maintain a position under which the same forces that produce and support such anti-social elements are seen as the ones that will save one from them. Yet, this is democracy.

Though far away from the historical and material realities of fascism and Nazism, the modern State will push the limits of parliamentarism to its absolute edges (as has been the case many times in Greece with austerity measures being voted in parliament in the form of Special Acts of Legislative Content [2]), it will extend the powers of the police in ways which resemble totalitarian regimes (redefining legality through the use of anti-terrorist legislation, the Patriot Act or the German Constitutional Police), it will practically justify the emergence of the notion of “State of Emergency” as a permanent feature of modern life etc., BUT, contrary to a common approach found in the Greek anarchist scene, fascism is not a central political choice of the State.

Having said that, in order to understand recent developments in Greece, one should provide a brief trajectory of the organisation (and the extreme right) in Greece, not only in order to properly place its ideological and practical activities, but also to understand the historical context during which Golden Dawn was both supported and suppressed. Hopefully this presentation will show, among other things, that rather than running the risk of being manipulated by the Nazis of Golden Dawn, the State itself has always manipulated the extreme right for its own benefit, ready to sacrifice it when the cost outweighs the benefits.


The dawn of Golden Dawn

Michaloliakos had from a young age created a name for himself in extreme right wing circles: he was arrested for the first time in July 1974 in a protest against Great Britain and its role in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, again in 1976 for attacking journalists who were covering the funeral of two infamous torturers of the dictatorship (assassinated by November 17th), while in July 1978 he was arrested in relation to a number of bombings in Athens along with other prominent members of the extreme right. Though facing serious charges (being part of a terrorist organization, to start with), Michaloliakos only received a 13 months sentence, and reports of the time indicate that he entered into a deal with the authorities –in exchange for informing on his former comrades. A few years later, a document emerged in which Michaloliakos was shown to have been on the payroll of the Greek Secret Service (ΚΥΠ), and though the document might have been falsified, the accusation would make sense. If the secret service were looking for someone to fund, he would clearly be their man.

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