Greece: When the state turns antifa

Greece: When the state turns antifa

A detailed history of the rise and fall of the Golden Dawn, and the Greek government’s complicity.

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.

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