Human | 02.09.2009 07:01
The need to mediate proletarian anger politically, even if it is to mediate it with an armed mediation, was not something that stemmed from the struggle itself but it was something that was being imposed on the struggle from the outside and afterwards. In the beginning, there were two attacks by the so- called "armed vanguard", one on the 23rd of December after the peak of the rebellion and one on the 5th of January, when the resurgence of the rebellion was at stake. From a proletarian point of view, even if these attacks were not organized by the state itself, the fact that after a month all of us became spectators of those "exemplary acts", that had not at all been part of our collective practice, was a defeat in itself. The "armed vanguard" evades admitting not only that they were not the first ones to target the police but also that no "armed vanguard", nowhere and never, has achieved to make the police literally disappear from the streets and to make individual cops not dare carry their official identities with them for a few days; they evade admitting that they were surpassed by the movement. Claiming that there is "a need to upgrade" violence, the so-called "armed vanguard" essentially tries to downgrade the socially and geographically diffused proletarian violence and violation of the law; the latter are the true opponents of the "armed vanguard" within the movement and as long as such practices go on no interventionism of "upgrading" things can find a fertile soil. It is on that basis that the armed struggle allies with the state: both are challenged by the proletarian subversive activity, the continuation of which constitutes a threat to the existence of both of them.
The proletarian subversive activity in the rebellion gained a temporary but not so superficial victory: an insubordination which weakened the security-surveillance state for a month and proved that we can change the power relations. This became possible since the rebels targeted the social relations in which they are forced to live, something that no "armed vanguard" has ever managed to do.
Considering the range and the intensity of all the December events, the state repressive apparatus proved practically weak. Since they had to deal with a delegitimization of the institutions of control and not just bullets and grenades, the infamous zero tolerance became a simple tolerance towards the rebels’ activities. The state counter-attack could actually become successful in January only when it made use of the "armed vanguard" operations: first, on an ideological level, by equating the state murder with the wounding of a riot police cop, thus relegitimizing the police and the security-surveillance state in general, and, second, on an operational level intensifying its repression. They even exploited the place of the attack (Exarchia), presenting the rebellion as a spectacular vendetta between cops and "anarchists", as a grotesque and banal performance staged in a political ghetto.
As the rebellion was dying away, there was a notable proliferation of attacks against banks and state buildings by several groups, which cannot be placed in the same category with the "armed vanguard" "deeds", since most of them do not claim to be ahead of the actual movement (although they do not necessarily lack a voluntaristic, arrogant posture). However, the return of the "armed vanguard" proper with the execution of an antiterrorist-squad cop in early June, when even the memory of the rebellion had weakened, has given militarism and the escalation of pure violence a pretext to present themselves as an attractive alternative to a (small?) part of those who participated in the rebellion, if we are to judge by the political tolerance of the anti-authoritarian milieu towards this action. The limited class composition of the rebellion, its restricted extension beyond the level of the delegitimization of the security-surveillance state and the gradual weakening of several communal projects in the centre and the neighbourhoods –mostly in Athens– led to the flourishing of a separated kind of blind violence as a dangerous caricature of "struggle" or rather a substitute. As certain important subjects of the rebellion were gradually leaving the stage (the high school students, the university students, the immigrants), its social content got weaker and weaker and political identities became again strengthened as was the norm before. The "armed vanguard" violence is just one of these political identities, even in its naive and nihilistic form, appearing in an era of a generalized crisis of reproduction where the state and the capital are unable to offer any social democratic type of "remedies" to heal the wounds of the rebellion. It’s not important for us now to doubt about the real identity of these hitmen with the ridiculous but revealing name "Revolutionary Sect"; what causes us some concern is the political tolerance of some quarters towards them, given the fact that it’s the first time that in a greek "armed vanguard’s" text there’s not one grain of even the good old leninist "for the people" ideology but instead an antisocial, nihilistic bloodthirst. The crisis of neoliberalism as a certain phase of the capitalist accumulation and legitimization crisis seems to lead to a deeper crisis (even to serious signs of social decomposition) and not to any signs of revival of reformism. Even the recent electoral failure of the governing party combined with the high percentage of election abstention (the highest ever in an excessively politicized country like Greece), which was an indirect result of the legitimization crisis that the rebellion expressed and deepened, have not led to any concessions on the part of the state. With all its own limits, the rebellion made the limits of capitalist integration even more visible than before. The slogan "communism or capitalist civilisation" seems timely more than ever. "
From the longer analysis of the recent Greek uprisings - ''The rebellious passage of a proletarian minority through a brief period of time' - by TPTG.