N. Maziotis, “The values of the West- individualism, the consumerism that lasted until this crisis, and the dominance of technology- have corrupted Western man and stripped him spiritually”


Presentation of N. Maziotis at Atakton Steki in Patra, 7-12-2015, concerning the 2nd trial of Revolutionary Struggle [excerpt]

[Note: this is more or less the second section of the larger text]

. . .In the communique where Revolutionary Struggle claimed responsibility for the attack on the Bank of Greece [in April 2014], the organization deconstructed the contradictory, impossible and unrealistic social-democratic program of Syriza which was then the political opposition and seemed like it might have the potential to take power, and we predicted its transformation into a purely neoliberal party that would faithfully implement the dictates of the international economic elites, just as its predecessors did. This took seven months of Syriza in government, from January to August 2015, when Syriza voted to confirm the third Memorandum against the will of 62% of those who voted in the referendum organized by the government (on July 5) and said NO to the requirements of the lenders.

In the same communique and towards the establishment of a revolutionary movement with clear political positions and proposals, we made a kind of revolutionary platform with positions for non-recognition and unilateral cancellation of all debt, exit from the eurozone and European Union, the expropriation of capitalist and state property and its socialization, the abolition of the state and its replacement by a confederation of popular assemblies and workers’ councils that will manage everything- from production and distribution of goods, to health, education, defense and security of citizens- and proposed a dialogue in the anarchist/anti-authoritarian space concerning these positions.
And now currently there is being conducted the second trial of Revolutionary Struggle for the specific attack on the Bank of Greece, the Monastiraki shootout with police officers where I was arrested in July 2014, and for two bank expropriations made during the period that I was underground. Since being arrested, I have assumed political responsibility for the attack of the organization on the Bank of Greece, and now in the trial have already taken a stand for the attack on the Bank of Greece and the Monastiraki shootout, and I take responsibility for both expropriations of banks in Methana and Klitoria, which in the latter a policeman was wounded and disarmed.
Regarding the appeals court for the first trial of the organization which is also ongoing at this time, I do not expect any change in relation to the penalty nor do I care.

Finally, I would like to refer to the contemporary world and the prospects that exist. As I’ve already stated on the occasion of other events, in the period 2010-2012 a historic opportunity for the radical space was lost because they did not make themselves into a political movement, into an identifiable political current with clear political positions and proposals aimed at conflict with the central authority and for subversion and revolution.
This is due to serious political shortcomings and political incompetence. This political failure is due to the lack of coherent positions and proposals for the struggle against capital and the state, a lack of understanding the importance of the crisis, the era in which we live, the policies of the regime, and the role of the state- and this has led in turn to the lack of proposals for a revolutionary social transformation and correspondingly to an absence of larger social and popular support, besides a section of the youth.
The movement over this same period devolved to dealing with economic themes – which are incorrectly considered as being the exclusive property of Marxists – but they did not understand the very nature and function of capitalism itself which is the paradigmatic economic-centered system. Meanwhile the favored preoccupation with political power, namely the State or even power itself, was limited to mere slogans without depth and lacking knowledge of the enemy we are supposed to defeat. Yet between them, the operation of Capital and the role of the State in today’s world are inseparable.
For years, the main lines of action in the movement consists in the three words of Resistance – Solidarity – Insurrection. So when conditions presented a revolutionary perspective for Greece because of the crisis after 2009 and until 2012, which was the period of big mobilizations against the Memorandum, the anarchist/anti-authoritarian space found itself unprepared and politically disarmed on a theoretical and practical level. So in the years 2010-2012, with the large mobilizations against the Memorandum, with conflicts and a continuous siege of parliament by thousands of people, the opportunity for overturn was unexploited. After the flood tide of these mobilizations with the last being the February 2012 protests- all of which failed to act as even a minumum brake on the attack of the regime, precisely because they were defensive in nature and did not put forward a subversive perspective- now it is the low tide of social struggles, marked by resignation and defeatism, with many not only in larger society but also in the movement depositing their hopes in Syriza by going to the polls in 2012 and 2015. Thus it always has been in history that when people retire from the streets, then criminal professional politicians and the bourgeois parliament take the stage.
After February 2012, we have had a general ebb-tide of social resistance, struggles and strikes. All the strikes that were made since then – the two and a half years of the Samaras government, and those now in 2015 under Syriza as they voted in the summer for the third Memorandum- were small and dispersed. Nothing any longer inspires people, workers, and the youth to take to the streets because the methods of struggle, the 24-hour peaceful strikes controlled by establishment unions and parties, have no real effects and do not even make governments break into a sweat.
At the same time the radical space, along with the larger societal resignation and defeat, is experiencing its own political resignation and defeat, being unable to give answers to the fundamental problems of our time, experiencing an unhealthy state of introversion and with large internal divisions. The largest division which furthest reveals the contemporary deficiencies of the anarchist/anti-authoritarian space was over the coming to power of Syriza and the political investment of some of the space for the ‘first left government’. And now that the last illusions and hallucinations were dissolved with the enactment of the Third Memorandum there still seems to be no prospect in sight to reverse the unprecedented social and class attack going on since 2010. But if we have to find those responsible for this weakness, let us look to ourselves- because while our era is most fitting for subversive action and revolution, because the objective conditions are promising, because the system is in crisis and is discredited- as revolutionary subjects we are unable to rise to the occasion.
But our weakness is a result of a deeper social crisis that capitalism has caused over years. Decades of capitalist development and neoliberalism have finally corrupted western societies: the social fabric is broken, the collective spirit has been lost, solidarity as a key pillar of building human societies has been undermined, self-sacrifice for the collective good is no more. The values of the West- individualism, the consumerism that lasted until this crisis, and the dominance of technology- have corrupted Western man and stripped him spiritually.
So now with the onslaught of multinational capital after 2010 as the result of the crisis, in countries of the European periphery and not only in Greece, societies seem to be unable to resist, as the depoliticisation and individualism resulting from Western culture has undermined collective social visions and hopes, and hence too, resistance. That’s why people commit suicide through despair and loneliness. That’s why revolutionary subjects fail to raise themselves above social defeat to propose solutions, to act selflessly and sacrifice effectively against the regime- and not by means of the comfort, self-sufficiency and self-referentiality of their small political shops.
In other times in Europe like the Second World War and before, radical subjects and people sometimes sacrificed their lives in much more difficult conditions than today, in conditions of war and brutal state violence, against poverty and exploitation and for a better collective future. It was then that social revolution as a process of advancing human progress took flesh, and was not an empty word, as at present.
Today, the society, people, and individuals need victories to revive their morale after so many years of blows and defeats from the authorities. To win these victories, however, we must make war normal, make serious sacrifices, to strike back and pay the bosses for their crimes, for all those who died because of the policies implemented, for all those forced to live out of the garbage, for all who live in poverty and destitution. We need to have proposals for a fairer society. We must be determined to make sacrifices, to risk our own lives, to pour out our own blood for the struggle, for a fight that does not concern only ourselves but a better humanity.

-Nikos Maziotis, member of Revolutionary Struggle