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D. Koutsoumbas: Hope lies in the struggle of the peoples

On Saturday 11/2, D. Koutsoumbas, GS of the CC of the KKE, delivered a speech at the 13th Congress of KNE. Below are a few excerpts from his speech, concerning the upcoming election battle and the KKE’s stance towards the proposals for a coalition government.


“In recent years, there has been a particular increase in the number of young people who show a distrust of the political system. Lately, when workers and young people are asked who is the most suitable for the next government, ND or SYRIZA, they answer ‘none of them’!

In fact, regardless of the extent to which this is being realized today, it is clearly a distrust mainly of the parties of the system, the parties that ruled, the parties that agree with this system of barbarity.

They answer ‘none of them’ because they sense that there can be no definitive, real solution to their acute problems under any kind of government within the limits of this policy, of this system.

If once it took almost a lifetime to realize from one’s own experience, without looking at history, that any hope for a more humane management of capitalism leads only to lost time, to loss of rights and achievements, to disappointment and retreat of the movement, today less time is enough to draw conclusions.

Even people of your own age can recall two or even three occasions when they have thought or heard the opinion that ‘we have the worst government ever’...

And each new government turns out, in the end, to be worse than the last one, precisely because capitalism becomes more and more aggressive, more reactionary, because it is rotting but is not overthrown. [...]

These are governments, of course, that our people have brought down, and they were right to do so...

However, they did not get rid of their policy, of those who really hold power.

Today, SYRIZA has reached the point of looking for the lost honour of ND in the previous ‘worst governments’, eventually whitewashing not only the system, i.e. capitalism, as it has always done, but also the entire ND, attributing the problem exclusively to Prime Minister Mitsotakis.

Really, is there a greater admission of this than the fact that these are parties have a common strategy and common goals, despite any individual differences?

We will not be surprised if tomorrow we hear them describing the Mitsotakis government in fine words, to make a comparison with the ‘worst governments’ yet to come.

We even heard Mr Tsipras say that he considers it unthinkable for PASOK to form a coalition government with ND, which has rallied the cadres of the far-right LAOS, meaning that it should form a coalition government with SYRIZA. And he’s talking about PASOK, which voted for the first memorandum together with LAOS; which formed a coalition government with ND and LAOS during Papadimos’ term that brought in the second memorandum; which voted for the third memorandum, brought in by SYRIZA, together with SYRIZA and ND.

Therefore, even deception has its limits!

The young people answer ‘none of them’, because they understand that the bourgeois parties have the same commitments which they will all fulfil the next day, with certain variations. These are:

-The commitments to the EU Recovery Fund.

-The commitments to the country’s business groups.

-The commitments to NATO and the EU.

And, of course, the more obvious their agreement on the crucial, important issues becomes —which was admitted by the new SYRIZA spokeswoman P. Tsapanidou— the more they will be mired in scandals, showing each other’s dirty laundry, sometimes with phone-tapping and bugs, sometimes with suitcases full of money and so on.

In recent years, however, on various occasions, particularly young people, apart from distrust, have really felt disgust for this bourgeois political system, for the society that gives birth to 'monsters', the capitalists and their state.

Young people are disgusted by the phenomena of decay and decline, which sometimes involve the 'prominent' children of the system, sometimes the various 'offspring' of the ruling class and sometimes people who are 'above suspicion'...

In that case, various people are looking to find out which party the various ‘monsters’ were associated with or even accuse the new generation of experiencing a ‘crisis of values’!!!

All of them, however, praise the capitalist system that has at its core the poison of individualism, that fosters the notion that ‘everything can be bought and sold’ and ‘Mors Tua Vita Mea - your death is my life’...

That is to say, they praise precisely those ‘values’ that are the fertile ground for all the ‘monsters’ to emerge.


Young people have seen their dreams and hopes been crushed in the name of ‘realism’ and ‘emergency situations’ invoked by all governments when they legislated the abolition of their rights for the needs of the profitability of the business groups.

Therefore they answer ‘none of them’, and they rightly do so.

However, this is a great opportunity for their thinking to take a step further through our intervention and KNE’s special contribution to the youth.

Let there be more and more of those people who attribute more radical content to the answer ‘none of them’, as they understand that it means ‘none of those managing this decayed system’!

That means showing no tolerance or support for a government on the framework of capitalism, complementing it with our slogan that says ‘Only the people can save the people, on the path of the overthrow of capitalism, of conflict, with a strong KKE’.

Especially in a period when all the bourgeois parties, and particularly the bourgeois staffs, speak of ‘shocks’ and ‘great difficulties’ in doing their work as usual, the conflict with the interests of the capitalists, overall with the bourgeois system and their state, must also be strengthened.

And this is also up to us.

We can and must reach many more young people than we have done so far by utilizing all channels available.

We must reach all those who follow us and appreciate our action; who, in one way or another, understand that the KKE and KNE are different from the others but may have not identified the real cause of the problems or have not found that the way out lies in the organized struggle yet.

It is us who must show and light the way to all of them.

Therefore, it will be understood by many more people that with a stronger KKE, with a stronger KNE, with a strong labour and popular movement, with a strong people that will follow the path of overthrow of capitalism and at the same time, with as weak anti-popular bourgeois governments as possible, we can achieve a lot, we can conquer everything!!!


There are moments in history when developments seem slow or are slow, almost static. Or it seems that when important developments do take place, they are not immediately reflected or cause a radical change in the consciousness and the stance of the working class and the youth.

These are the moments when the opponent seems invincible, when the negative correlation of forces casts a heavy shadow on the efforts of all those who strive to change things...

Undoubtedly, we are living through such a period today —which is a small moment in the grandeur of the historical development. We are living in circumstances where, as we have assessed, the counter-revolutionary period that manifested itself with the overthrows of 1989–1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union has not yet come full circle.

Based on this, some people are led to the conclusion that the people, the movement, the KKE, must submit to this negative correlation and that today the KKE should thus show support or at least tolerance, they say, to a government in the framework of capitalism in order to allegedly provide relief to the people.

We know that many people think about this in a well-intentioned manner. That is why we tell them clearly and honestly that in this way, not only will the goal of the struggle for a true workers’-people's way out be continually postponed and distanced, but the people will count more and more losses, more lost years, and they will come under more and more attacks, unable to repel them.

We have gained a lot of historical experience concerning this issue as well.

The KKE, although it has never compromised or collaborated with the class opponent, it has paid dearly whenever it has participated in bourgeois coalition governments.

Either in so-called democratic governments, which would ostensibly lead to progress and smooth development, as after the liberation from German fascism-imperialism in 1944 that led the people to defeat and finally to the unacceptable surrender agreement with the bourgeoisie and the British due to the Varkiza Agreement, or in ‘special or extraordinary purpose’ governments, as they are called, in order to supposedly solve some immediate problems of scandals, transparency, democratic order and so on, as in 1989, within the framework of the then SYNASPISMOS, initially with the New Democracy for three months and then with PASOK for another three months, which led to a major crisis in our Party, but also to a retreat of the labour-popular movement overall.

The KKE, however, drew conclusions.

It studied and continues to study its history, to learn from it, to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Our Party studied its strategy and its new programme, as it was crystallized at the 19th  Congress in 2013.

In 2015, the Party managed to resist and did not fall into the trap of supporting or tolerating a SYRIZA government, which at the time put forward slogans such as ‘we will tear up the memoranda’ with a single article, a popular slogan of that period, only to hide the anti-popular nature of its positions, since it was a slogan incompatible with the very programmatic positions of SYRIZA anyway.

However, this stance of the KKE was been forged over a long period of time. Besides, we should not forget the Party’s corresponding stance in 2012, when SYRIZA called for a coalition government based on five points during the pre-election period, and the Party refused and resisted, recording a great loss of its electoral power in the second round of the elections. The CC and the Party cadres had already been prepared for this; we had already held a Nationwide Conference in 2011, where we collectively discussed the historical experience of the transitional stages etc., and had begun the preparation for the formulation of the positions of the new programme, through an intra-party process. Therefore, we took the right stand by rejecting any cooperation with bourgeois governments, despite the great pressure that was exerted at that time. However, this had not yet been assimilated in its full extent by the whole Party, let alone by friends,  supporters, and Party voters who were taken by surprise, since most of them were not sufficiently informed about our positions on the so-called transitional governments etc., and remained influenced mainly by earlier elaborations of the Party and the international communist movement.

Today the KKE, from a much better position, throws itself into the electoral battle with maturity, with ideological and political competence. Our position has been broadly analyzed, only a few people today do not know that the KKE will not show tolerance or support to a bourgeois, anti-popular government, whatever its hue may be or however it may be called.

The Party has a proposal for a people’s power-governance, a proposal for radical fundamental changes, for the overthrow of the system and the dictatorship of the monopolies.

Because the KKE, which has suffered unspeakable sacrifices, has always held a principled position regarding the workers’-people’s interests. Its goal and purpose is to lead the workers’-people’s majority truly to power.

The honest people of our country, the militants, the fighters of life and struggle, can understand our positions and programme today. [...]

The path of great radical overthrows is always opened by some uncompromising people!!!!

Hope lies in the struggle of the peoples!”.