This is the second part of the text, covering the period from the early 1990s to the 2008 crisis. For the first part, covering the period from the Greek national liberation to the early 1990s, click here.
Due to living in Greece, we may have considered some terms and historical events and correlations as obvious and self-evident while they are not. If so, post a comment below or send us an e-mail in order to clarify them.
Today, as in the early 1990s, the discussion about the so-called Macedonian question should start from the only legitimate point of departure: Greece’s position in the international, and especially the European, capitalist division of labour. In the 1990s, the relevant investigation was codified as “Greece’s position in the Balkans”, not at all accidentally, since the expansion of Greek capital in almost all the countries of the Haemus Peninsula -countries that resulted from the violent dissolution of the Eastern Bloc- consisted the more dynamic phase of its accumulation for many of the years to come. This was the true basis of the criticism directed towards capital and, more generally, all forms of power, without being dissociated from the everyday life of the proletarians who migrated to Greece and the problems they faced in their reproduction. The need to oppose the choices of the Greek State and the Greek capital occupied an essential place in this investigation, which had preoccupied the Greek anarchist, antiauthoritarian, and especially the autonomia, milieux, and lasted for many years. We must recognise that this type of discussion today shines through its deafening absence. To make matters worse, it looks as if it never happened and only the abstract geopolitical analyses remain. However, the question cannot be answered by leveling or willful oblivion, and propagating that no one day has passed since the anti-Macedonian demonstration of one million protesters in 14 February 1992, where the main slogan was “Macedonia is Greek and its capital is Thessaloniki” is at least disorienting. In addition, it’s very convenient to speak today of a reemergence, as a Second Coming, of the national trunk [a Greek term meaning those people, institutions, organisations, etc., that act in support of the survival and the grandeur of the nation, actively supporting the interests of their national State], when you want to avoid the consequences it would have for your political positions if you were to explain what has changed since then. Others, indeed genuine anti-imperialists, claim that we must support the Greek State in its struggle against Merkel and the Memoranda, because, as they argue, Greece’s position has changed and it turned into a protectorate of the West; and, alas, such a country, suddenly non-capitalist but nationally sanctified, cannot exert expansionist policies on anyone or anything. But nation and nationalism -as the working class, capital accumulation, the State, and other social forms- aren’t substances that appear unaltered at all times, their forms of appearance are transformed over time. The critique of ideology must be in sync with the re-approaching of history, so it’s necessary to historically compare and contrast the two periods. However, the historicisation of the forms of manifestation of social contradictions can be useful only when you are able to accept its political and theoretical implications.
The anti-Macedonian protests of 1992 took place amid a broad restructuring of capitalist social relations. The 3-year period of 1990-1993 is the first period in which a concerted and coherent enactment of austerity policies would be attempted for the benefit of capital; the next period is the current one, the period of the Memoranda. It’s necessary to emphasise from the outset that -as opposed to the period 1990-1993, where the national question, i.e. the definition of the national interest, was put in the midst of restructuring in order to stabilise the Greek social formation- today the Macedonian question is put once again but in a period when the social formation has already been relatively stabilised. The risk is much smaller and in no case would the predominant fractions of the bourgeoisie and the middle-class would risk politically subsidising the continuous recurrence of protests and the disturbance of everyday life, even for this question. This would be all the more likely to result in harsher terms for the EU’s loans to Greece, and hence jeopardising the European course of the country in a period that Greek economy is recovering.
1st addendum: Throughout this all-important historical period, struggles and conflicts break out whose intensity is large and directly proportional to the particular, and thus specifically social, character of their demands. Labour and social struggles never manifest themselves directly as universal, that is to say, as revolutionary aiming to overthrow the capitalist social relations, or as immediately universal, that is, as bodies of a pure political ideology with reference to the State. They start, however, from a social and political condition where, following the struggles of the Regime Change and the victory of PASOK in the elections, the working class has been recognised by capital and the State as an official national partner. In other words, the working class, or at least a considerable part of it, would claim and gain the right to make proposals for the future of the country in the context of a certain nationalism, that of National Reconciliation, and of a certain populism, the social-patriotic “the people in power”. Already since the late 1980s, when the first social reactions against the cuts emerged in the midst of a harsh ideological attack on the part of the apologists of the interests of the bourgeoisie, the now recognised working class will be forced into the contradictory situation of, on the one hand, defending its own interests and, on the other hand, a possible loss of its position as interlocutor at the national level. The integration is very recent, and therefore fragile, but very sweet. At the same time, there are disagreements and competition between fractions of the bourgeoisie about the direction of restructuring and, by extension, the future of the accumulation. Taking into account the general context of the disdain towards PASOK’s party personnel due to the scandals of that time [the Koskotas scandal, with George Koskotas embezzling 32 billion drachmas from the Bank of Crete, even the prime minister Andreas Papandreou was taken to court with the charges of abbetor and passive bribery], it may perhaps be understood that the State was loosing its legitimacy and the reproduction of capital is necessarily achieved through political crisis. In other words, especially when devaluation is needed to ensure the necessary degree of exploitation of labour, the exit from the overaccumulation crisis undermines the identification of the interests of capital with the interests of the society as a whole, and the bourgeoisie ceases to appear as a representative of society as a whole. Within such a situation, where the democratic State is forced to appear as neutral and separated from a civil society that is ravaged by internal divisions in order to be able to objectively define the national interest, what’s at stake is the definition of the people itself. What interests us here is the special character that this redefinition acquires in the eyes of the working class, which appears here more and more identified with the people because, for many years, the social mobility between the classes was secured, especially between the working class and the petty-bourgeoisie and the peasants; because the public sector employees, already numerous, contributed to the connection of the working people with the State; but also because the working class is, to the highest degree, nationally homogeneous. What was sought with the protests of 1992 was, on the one hand, in a more classical way, to ram the social question, which was repositioned by the class and social struggles of that periodo, and make it socially manageable and, on the other hand, to instrumentalise the spontaneous populism , the tendency that the State must listen to the demands of the people. Always within the framework of the negotiations for the new position of Greek capital in the Balkans.
2nd addendum: The close connection of nationalism with the need for the domestic management of the proletariat and of the social antagonism of that period, with the dual meaning of preserving stability and the active two-way process that creates the people, is not incompatible with the integration of the people into the design and implementation of an expansionist State strategy that facilitates the expanded, both in depth and in extent, reproduction of capitalist relations. It shows, however, the order of theoretical and political priority; first of all, in order to conduct a conquest campaign, you have to ensure the domestic social peace and prevent a civil war. Each nationalism, or more accurately, its historical version that prevailed during the reckoning of the intraclass conflicts of the crisis period, translates social and political aspirations into the seemingly non-authoritative and naturalising language of the nation and classifies them in order of priority, allowing some of them to be socially realized while suppressing the rest. This is the violent prioritisation experienced only by the bodies of the subaltern, bodies class, gendered and racially determined. However, it remains wishful thinking as long as it doesn’t adequately prioritise the social classes themselves, the men and women, natives and “foreigners”; as long as it doesn’t sufficiently distributes surplus-value and power. Always, first and foremost, within the territory, where racist definitions are produced with national, State and popular guarantee. Only secondarily does the State export its external contradictions to its regional transnational context, to the vital space of its capital, and seeks to impose them on the proletariat outside its borders.
The hierarchically higher position the Greek State found itself in the early 1990s can be attributed generally to its accession to the then EEC -a unique privilege between the Balkan States at that time- but, besides the already great sums of money from structural aid during the 1980s, Greece isn’t endogenously assisted by a position in a developed European division of labour: the degree of interconnection of European economies is still small, since the Maastricht Treaty, central to the liberalising architecture of the European economies, is voted only in the same year as the first anti-Macedonian protests. Greece, along with Italy, will serve as destinations for hundreds of thousands proletarians from the dissolved Balkan countries of the Eastern Bloc due to being Western, democratic countries, the closest chance of realising years of suppressed expectations. What precede and give a concrete content to the democratic, arbitrarily interchangeable as national or European, ideals of those bourgeois and petty bourgeois who, since 1989, reflected the opportunities created by the disappearance of real socialism, is the presentation of ragged Albanians in Athens’ Omonoia square. The declaration of Macedonia’s independence on December 16, 1991 occurs after the begginings of the immigration, both chronologically and politically. The mass anti-Macedonian protests organised and supported by the Greek State itself, while appearing to mainly appeal to the European political powers, happening in anticipation of crucial European summits, thus appending popular nationalism to State politics, are in essence directed at the Balkan proletariat, being a condensed articulation of the dominant racist national proposal on how they all should be treated: with the Macedonians of Southern Yugoslavia being the metonymy of the Balkan proletariat as a whole, while the first Balkan immigrant workers were already coming in Greece with every way possible, already suffering the consequences of Greek “hospitality”.
1st addendum: The State itself, of course, maintains the relative autonomy of its movements: between the anti-Macedonian protest of 700,000 protesters in Thessaloniki on February 14, 1992, the one of almost one million protesters in Athens on 10/12/1992 and the much smaller rally in Thessaloniki on 31/3/1994, Greece has become the first foreign investor in Bulgaria and Albania and the second in Romania. The Greek State, strengthening financially and diplomatically the expansion of capital in the Balkans, was trying to balance between the European policy of safeguarding the general conditions of expansion and reproduction of capital, which passes through the dissolution of Yugoslavia, and of its autonomous movements, as it systematically violated the embargo on Serbia, seeking the non-dissolution of Yugoslavia and defending only its own particular interests. There was a tug of war: in April 1993, Macedonia is recognised by 63 countries and gained admittance to the UN, in June the far-right former foreign minister Antonis Samaras [the same person who became the Greek prime minister in 2012] overthrowed the government of 151 MPs of ND in which he actively participated, elections are being held in October and PASOK wοn with an extreme nationalist rhetoric, in December six EEC member-states (Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Italy, Netherlands) recognise the Macedonian State; on January 1, 1994, Greece takes over the presidency of the EEC, in early February Russia recognises the Republic of Macedonia, with USA and Australia following after a few days. Finally, on February 16, Greece enforces a 20-month embargo on goods directed to Macedonia via port of Thessaloniki, “with the exception of those goods strictly necessary for humanitarian reasons such as food and medicine”, announcing the embargo 4 days before the expiration of NATO’s ultimatum towards the Serb-Bosnian forces to withdraw from the regions they have occupied. This embargo was an open violation of Articles 224 & 225 of the Maastricht Treaty, which provide for:
a country of the [European] Union cannot, without prior consultation with the Twelve [the then members of EU], close its borders with a third country […] this can only be justified in the event of major domestic problems affecting public order or in case of war or major international tensions constituting a threat of war.
The embargo was lifted after the intervention of special US envoy Holbrooke, i.e., outside the EEC channels, and Macedonia changed its flag and the Article 49 of its Constitution. It is worth noting that the Macedonian Parliament voted unanimously for these changes on October 6, 1995, about a month after the signing of the Interim Agreement between the two countries at the UN, and three days after the attempted assassination of Gligorov, then president of the country. The Greek State appeared to become autonomous from the political environment of European cooperation at the same time as it reestablished its nation through the anti-Macedonian protests, while its nationalism shifted in convergence with the pro-Serbian popular definition of the national interest. For reasons of internal stability, the State cannot appear as inconsistent with its “non-negotiable” attitude in 1992 in relation to Macedonia’s name, nor, of course, can the Greek nation appear to not being confirmed as a nation of resistance against those foreigners who allegedly covet it. Thus, imposition of an embargo on Macedonia and a nationalist way forward for the Greek State to improve its position in the Balkans, while the war in Yugoslavia seems to be heading towards its end and Yugoslavia is divided.
2nd addendum: When you watch something while outside of it, sinkers come more easily to the surface. Especially when you’re interviewed by the director of the Greek program of Deutche Welle:
“After 1974, we have the so-called revenge of the defeated in terms of the memory of the Civil War and the 1940s in general. After the junta, all the ‘celebrations of hatred’ of the nationalists are abolished, the control of the public sphere in Greece is now undertaken by politicians, journalists and scientists with a left-wing approach to things. And especially after the rise of PASOK to power in 1981, the State-directed memory of the Civil War has shifted rapidly. We have a historical ‘restoration’ of the Greek National Liberation Front and its Greek People’s Liberation Army, and a of the Left’s participation in the Civil War in general”. In the new official History, the Macedonian involvement of KKE at the time of the Civil War is silenced and the new generations don’t learn anything about it. Besides, Athens’ foreign policy has, in the meantime, replaced the “threat from the North” with the “threat from the East”, i.e., Turkey. As a result, after 1974 the official History is full of gaps and silences. The official History always casts out anything that’s inconsistent with its psychological and narrative character.
Thus, public opinion in Greece was, in fact, unprepared for the developments in 1991, when Macedonia declared its independence. “Many Greeks, and especially young people”, says Skordos, “didn’t even know in 1991 that Yugoslavia consisted of six federal democracies, one of which was called the Socialist Republic of Macedonia. Especially in the southern regions of Greece, the ignorance of the genesis of the Macedonian ethnicity cultivated in Skopje at the latest since 1944, was enormous. And I don’t even consider whether the genesis of this ethnicity has been historically documented. But we have to examine the fact that in this State a series of generations have been nursed with this ideology, and in 1991 we suddenly came overnigth telling them that they aren’t who they think they are, but they in fact are someone else, someone that we don’t know exactly who is, and that they have to find out on their own who that someone is”. The result was that the public debate in Greece was dominated by old and new “Macedonian fighters”, feeding the debate with exaggerations, falsifications and half-truths. The faltering and tiny Macedonia took the size of a giant that was ready to crush Greece.
Neither Synaspismos nor KKE opposed clearly the hysterical nationalism. For Adamantios Skordos this was a logical consequence of what had preceded: “After 1974, one of the key priorities for KKE was its historical and national restoration. Even ND and its adjoined Press downgraded at that time in their rhetoric and propaganda KKE’s Macedonian involvement during the Civil War, because it could cause a new national schism. The Macedonian question was a sinker for the Left, especially in 1991, when arose the issue of Skopje’s name. KKE and the Synaspismos had to be careful chosing their stance regarding the Macedonian question, in order to not be accused once again with national betrayal”.
Therefore, the priority for the Greek State at that time was to take up again the defense of its left-wing, in order to prevent internal instability and the emergence of new divisions that would break the precious national unity in view of the restructuring. We will simply remind that at the critical council of political leaders of 1992 -after which Samaras was defrocked and emerged a possibility of another version of a definition of national interest, a version much more autonomously nationalist and in the context of the convergence between Papandreou and Samaras as this was expressed on the spot- participated both Damanaki and Papariga, the then leaders of Synaspismos and KKE, respectively. Regardless of the differences between them, especially regarding the participation in the anti-Macedonian protests with KKE abstaining from them while Synaspismos coorganised them, the left parties supported the national unity denying their own historical past. For us, this is nothing to cry over, but it had consequences on the way in which the Macedonian question itself was perceived within the, very small back then, anti-authoritarian milieu. Few were those who would choose to criticise their own State, and some leftists would even be persecuted for their views. For historical reasons alone we will quote here an excerpt from Pandelis Pouliopoulos’s article “Communists and the Macedonian Question”, written while imprisoned at Acronauplia in May 1940, a question for which he and other members of the leadership of KKE stood trial in 1925:
- Whoever refutes the existence, unresolved until today, of a national Macedonian question in Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian Macedonia, is without a doubt a lapdog of the bourgeoisie.
- Whoever refutes the historical liberation movement of the Macedonians, is either ignorant and must learn the history of that movement and its national heroes, or is again a lapdog of one of the three oppressing bourgeoisies.
- This movement until now has been drowned in blood and treason, or has suffered a ruinous for the interests of the Macedonian workers and peasants, exploitation by the (Bulgarian especially) Balkan bourgeoisie.
- This movement can find again a new development under new favourable historic conditions – social, economic (ruthless exploitation of the working Macedonian masses by the conquering national bourgeoisies, land questions, etc), political (internal crises in the Balkan States, war) and cultural conditions.
- Whoever refutes this possibility is blind or turns a blind eye, if he’s not a lapdog of the nationalist subjugators of the much-afflicted Macedonian people.
- Communists do not undertake to “create” national movements where they do not exist in the first place, a chimerical task. They support such movements where they exist.
- Communists, faced with a beaten down or betrayed national liberation movement or with ethnic cleansing and subjugating acts of their national bourgeoisie don’t close their eyes and don’t become worshippers of the “done deed”. They will not deny the reality of the national oppression of a nation and its desire (in the heart and mind of every Macedonian worker) to shake off the national yoke one day. Communists make these liberating desires of the Macedonian people their own, and declare loudly from now its right for self-determination, even breakaway, if they so wish. They defend daily every immediate national demand, economic, political, cultural, and thus they prepare now tomorrow’s revolutionary alliance of the social revolutionary movement of the proletariat with the national revolutionary movement of the Macedonians against the common enemy: the Balkan bourgeoisie.
The historically dominant definition of national interest, rather than the religiously abstract that essentialises the nation as unitary and indivisible, entails the restoration of a social and political hierarchy also between the different intra-national definitions that have failed to be the dominant one. The latter ones, however defeated, maudlin or ludicrous they may appear, shouldn’t escape the anti-national critique that wants to be consistent with itself. But a minority group of voluntarists like the nationalists of the Northern Epirus Liberation Front -who, in April 1994, during the negotiation with Macedonia at the UN, killed two Albanian soldiers at the Greek-Albanian borders- or high-standing extremists such as the then foreing minister Samaras who appeared to accept Milosevic’s proposal for the partition of the Republic of Macedonia between Greece and Serbia, cannot to occupy the whole spectrum of criticism. Some, more or less crowded, circles within the military, the business world, etc., may desired another development, but the Northern Epirus Liberation Front was dismantled and the Republic of Macedonia was recognised as an independent state, albeit with only a temporary name. This had been a global originality for UN, and this demonstrates not only the national oppression that the Greek State exercised over the Macedonian one, but also the tendency of the international system of States to mutate, with the full association between State and nation no longer being structural necessary. The emphasis and priority, of course, is attributed to the existence and operation of the State, in this case the Macedonian one, and the Macedonian nation could wait before it took its final form.
1st addendum: Due to the participation of Greek State in EEC, which dictated that none of its member-States could be involved in land annexations and border changes because that’s incompatible with a simultaneous development of capitalist relations and democratic ideals, the dominant Greek nationalism couldn’t make claims of territorial expansion. There has never been a real question of reviving the Great Idea, although some people dreamed of it. Thus, already back then, Greek State, while maintainting the initiative of its actions as much as it could, chose to adapt to the transnational context of its time playing the game of the autonomous promotion of its own interests up to the point that its actions wouldn’t call into question its participation in EEC, leaving aside prospects which, on the one hand, were promising imperial glamour but, on the other hand, would be detrimental in the long-run. Politics is more than the art of the possible, the attainable, when talking about the national interests of a capitalist country, so it would be naive to attribute the rejection of land annexations to some enlightened and moderate members of the Greek State, supposedly friendly towards the European perspective of the country, contrary to the articulated national goals. Was it really well-founded that the Greek bourgeoisie would have jeopardised the dual prospect of capital expansion in the Balkans and the domestic exploitation of the Balkan immigrant proletarians in order to support a military intervention and annexation of a part of Macedonia? The development of capitalist relations, the tendency to conquer new markets and deepen the existing ones, the need to exploit the new labour power brought about by the enlargement of the markets themselves, form an adequate framework which requires the implementation of certain policiesw and the rejection of others. And the implementation of this framework was indeed nationally subversive, in the sense that it profoundly changed the way of life and the imanary of the Greeks. The question was which definition of national interest would better promote an expanded accumulation of Greek capital both domestically and beyond the Greek borders, and not a supposed transformation of the democratic Greek State into a fascist one. Already with the Greece-Macedonia Interim Agreement in 1995, coupled with the Dayton Agreement which regulated the status of the dissolved Yugoslavia, Greek diplomacy in effect recognised Macedonia’s right to use the term “Macedonia” in its name, and promoted a procedure of finding a compromise, contrary to the assertions of the nationalist protests that “Macedonia means Greece”. And this recognition came with Greek State’s seal of approval. The massive, popular nationalism didn’t succeed in imposing itself as a national strategy, it was simply used by the State as a negotiating tool. It is necessary to take into consideration the eccentricity [using the term here with its mathematical meaning] produced between the State and the nation, especially in times of crisis, and not to naively reproduce neither their full and abstract identity nor the capapability of massive, popular nationalism to be understood solely as being inscribed in State policies. The “national trunk” that emerged in anti-Macedionian protests of 1992 was nothing but the new form taken by the national unity, this time dominated by the massive presence of the old and new middle-classes which are multitudinous and ideologically penetrative in Greece, demanding (and this demand was fullfilled) the non-depreciation of their small capital together with the percentage of surplus-value and privileges corresponding to the new social hierarchy under construction; a hierarchy that included the consolidation of a wage gap between Greek and immigrant workers, as well as the appropriation of the bodies of Balkan women [women immigrants from the former Eastern Bloc as cheap prostitutes and forced into marriage].
There are many complex processes accompanying the rallies of 1992 and 1994: the continuation of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc countries and their gradual stabilisation in the most inferior positions of the capitalist hierarchy, the conduct and completion of two wars in the former Yugoslavia until 1999, a rebellion in Albania in 1997, the war against terror from the early 2000s onwards, etc. It is crucial, however, not to lose the peculiarity of the period under an infinite abstractive list of events and processes. On the one hand, the Greek State is doing everything it can to help the Greek capital find stable positions of valorisation in as many Balkan States as possible, combining local military presence with intensive diplomacy with other State-backed Western European capitals; and, above all, to give access to the Greek banking system to cheap money from EU, transforming the Greek banking system into the backbone of gradual expansion across the Southeastern Europe, beyond the Balkans. The dominant version of nationalism, which will, above all, frame the deepening of the relations of exploitation both inside and outside the Greek borders, will be able to keep up with earlier versions of nationalism, with references to the Orthodox Christian religion, giving them a certain capitalist meaning. Immediately after the independence of the Albanian State in 1991, which was officially atheist allowing, however, the informal survival of a moderate Islam, there was a controversy between the Albanian and the Greek State over the reorganisation of the Albanian Orthodox Christian Church, because the Albanian authorities, while accepting the appointment of the Greek moderate Archbishop Anastasios, rejected the ordination of his three Greek Metropolitan Bishops, due to the sensitive so-called Northern Epirus question [the controversy between Albania and Greece over the part of Epirus territory that’s part of the Albanian State]. On June 24, 1993, in the course of negotiating with UN over the Macedonian question, the Greek Archimandrite Chrysostomos Maidonis is deported from Albania because he distributes notices and maps propagating the integration of Northern Epirus to Greece. It turns out that this particular fascist was regularly going to Gjirokastër (an Albanian city) to carry out his propaganda. With the pretext that Albanian authorites exerted violence during his deportation, the Greek State, within a few days, deports about 10,000 Albanian immigrants, whether they’re documented or not. The disciplining of the Balkan proletariat is therefore regionalised, getting directly integrated into international relations; a premiere of a policy that will translate migration flows as a pressure lever and a political currency for redemption, sealing up the Greek people by removing the factors that could transform its composition.
1st addendum: In the first Yugoslav War, the Greek State was combining secretly sending in volunteer combatants to Bosnia, who also participated in the Srebrenica massacre, to fight beside Serbian forces, with an official neutral position vis-à-vis the war. The State nationalism, for the sake of internal consistency, was relatively autonomised and blended in with the popular nationalism that considers the Serbians as siblings of the Greeks because of the common Orthodox Christian faith. However, the State nationalism isn’t binded by the popular one. Thus, a few years later during the Kosovo War, the Greek State gave the port of Thessaloniki to NATO troops headed to the front of Southern Yugoslavia against Milosevic. The Greek State took a clear position vis-à-vis the Kosovo War, showing how much it has politically shifted towards a common European position vis-à-vis the Serbian regime, also showing how seriously it was accused of violating the embargo on arms towards the Serbian army during the first Yugoslav War. A few years earlier, it’s Denmark’s “no”, after a referendum, to the Maastricht Treaty on June 3, 1992, that probably saved Greek State from being pressed further by the other member-states of the then EEC, which doesn’t want to open a second front within it, leaving that critical room for a relatively autonomous political mobility. That’s why the decision of the Lisbon Summit on 28 June 1992 was able to be presented by the then Greek Prime Minister as a victory and vindication of the anti-Macedonian protests, while in reality the decision was an acceptance by the European partners of a temporary balance of forces. Things changed when, after a second referendum, Denmark approved the Maastricht Treaty on 18 May 1993, paving the way for the settlement of the Macedonian question by UN and then within the EEC, which will lead to the recognition of the Macedonian State by Greece with the Interim Agreement of 1995, although under the provisional name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. For the sake of preserving regional stability, which establishes the dominant national policy on the Macedonian question, the Greek State recognises the necessity for the existence of a Macedonian State. However, Greece separated the recogniton of a Macedonian State from the recognition of a Macedonian nation, undermining in the long run its very demand for regional stability. Firstly the State and then the nation, or otherwise, the formation of a national State in small doses: this is the contradictory European policy implemented, not without discontinuities, for the post-war settlement in the Western Balkans. And it’s the relatively autonomous existence of the nation after the collapse of the post-national Yugoslav identity that was proved to be a major political problem to date, due to the great weight it continues to exert in the lives of the citizens. Especially with regard to Greece, as it’s considered that noone should be able to manage the symbolic capital of the Greeks beyond the Greek borders, even if the Vergina Sun and the other nation-creating references to ancient Macedonia are then the only way to overcome the opposition between the two main ethnic identities within the Republic of Macedonia: the Slav-Macedonian ethnic identity and the Albanian one. At the expense, of course, of the latter, which will do everything it can to change the balance of forces: from the Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇK) attacks on the Macedonian police in early 2000 to the Albanian party in Macedonia demanding, inter alia, the recognition of the Albanian language as an official language of the Macedonian State as a last minute bargaining during the final negotiations between the political powers of Macedonia for the ratification of the Prespa Agreement. And the Albanian ethnic identity finally succeeded, thus changing the character of the Macedonian State, which is now officially inter-ethnic at all levels. From the point of view of the specifically Albanian-Macedonian nationalism, the Prespa Agreement is a follow-up to the 2001 Ohrid Agreement, which ended the armed confrontation between the specifically Albanian-Macedonian nationalism and the specifically Slav-Macedonian nationalism. Albanian nationalism, within the new framework of the war against terror, seems to seek an increase of its influence by emphasising its secular features and seeking to join Euro-Atlantic institutions, aiming to limit the influence of the Islamic factor on the Albanians of Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo.
2nd addendum: Already in the first years after its independence in 1991 and the policy of neutrality followed by then president Gligorov, the Macedonian State understands and promotes itself as a model of cooperation and peaceful resolution of disputes, unlike the nationalisms of the other countries of former Yugoslavia, who have clearly manifested themselves more aggressively. The small size of the country doesn’t seem to be considered as an obstacle by its ruling classes, which historically have chosen the prospect of an autonomous Macedonian State without its absorption by a neighbour State since the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising back in 1903. The fact that in the current phase they have been tied to the international factor in order to achieve their goals doesn’t deprive the endogenous character of Macedonian nationalism or its relative freedom of movement. In the words of a member of the Macedonian minority in Greece, from a Facebook post of his:
The word “nation” actually existed since antiquity and we meet it for the first time in ancient Greeks. But it didn’t have the meaning of the present-day “nation”, back then it meant ethnicity. For example, Arrian of Nicomedia wrote in The Anabasis of Alexander: “In addition, the two nations, both Greek and Macedonian, dig their heels in”. In this passage there’s no mention of two nations tending to create their own national States. It’s about two separate nations each of which is composed by many States, while there’s no tendency of their integration into a central national State. The same applies to the Bulgarian kingdom during the Middle Ages. Neither their State was national, nor was there a Bulgarian nation. And of course, this State, like the rest of its time, was multi-racial. Later, in the period of national awakenings, revolts, revolutions, etc., one after another ethnic groups began to organise themselves through the ideology of nationalism and the concept of a separate nation with the ultimate purpose of creating its own national State. Thus, the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria were “awakened”, that is, they organised and created the Bulgarian nation, which claimed via riots the creations of its own national State and succeeded, and a few years later the Slavic populations of Macedonia were also “awakened” and organised into a Macedonian nation, also claiming their own national State via riots. The Macedonian nation didn’t spill through the Bulgarian. They were created through two separate processes of nation-genesis. The positive perspective in the future is considered necessary for even better international relations and, more broadly, Greek and Bulgarian nationalism-ideology proceeded with ideological reforms the main parameter of which was the recognition and respect of the particular Macedonian national identity, and by extension of the modern Macedonian nation.
3rd addendum: The support provided by the Greek State to NATO-EU synergy, for the first time in history, in the 1999 Kosovo War shouldn’t be seen only as a reinforcement of the modernised definition of national interest over traditional backward-looking approaches. The Greek economy is rapidly internationalising, binding the Greek State in this direction, while entering EMU is already very close. Inclusion in international alliances of this magnitude requires not only practical support in a material way, but the corresponding endogenous ideological investment and justification; and the alignment with the pro-Serbian nationalist beliefs of a large part of the Greek people cannot support this necessary political transformation. That’s why the Greek State actually supported the Macedonian State when it accepted a large number of Kosovar refugees of the war conflicts by sheltering them in suitable camps. In the context of the “humanitarian” treatment of the uprooted proletarians, and always under the high supervision of the institutions of the International of capital, the Greek and Macedonian States cooperated by acquiring valuable know-how on refugee management; on a hierarchical basis, as host-camps couldn’t be built inside Greek territory. The reason for this distance from the earlier phase of non-cooperation of the early 1990s is the need to replicate the rapid capitalist development of the period and the moralities that accompany it, which at the end of the 1990s began to pronounce their presence. The new position of the Greek State in the regional division of labour must correspond to the expansion of the extraction of surplus-value both within Greek territory and beyond, which must be communicated in a single language that adequately formulates the internationalised nationalism of the State, expressing the unified capitalist reality within and beyond Greek territory, which maintains the existing borders and at the same time exceeds them. In front of the language of commodity and democracy, the religious-style nationalism (refering to Orthodox Christianity) lags behind and gradually began to get marginalised in the public sphere.
4th addendum: In December 1991, on the occasion of the celebration of Christmas and the New Year, the Pope made his wishes in the Macedonian language, which caused the angry reaction of the Orthodox clergy in Greece. Throughout that period of anti-Macedonian protests, the Church is omnipresent, as in the very everyday life of the population itself. Together with local governments, Church was the apparatus that supported the most the anti-Macedonian protests and defined the content of their nationalism. However, the attack on the Vatican and the Catholics, not negligible at that time, was completely absent from the mouths of the speakers in the current anti-Macedonian protests, and its position has taken the attack on Muslims and Islam, much more intense and complex. This is mainly due to the massive presence of immigrants from the Middle East and African countries in Greece. The adaptability of the religious content of nationalism doesn’t bear something ridiculous to it, but is a consequence of the universal nature of religion that not only crosses the borders but, through its only legitimate expresser, the Church, has its own organisational structure that runs through throughout the Greek territory and is autonomous from the population. Only the military can be compared to the Church from this point of view, but the military cannot easily and quickly adapt ideologically to a new order, since its own nationalism is adapted to a territorially determined State and hence less flexible. Both in the Church and in the military, although politically linked to the right-wing and therefore more rigid according to the Left’s narrative, can historically manifest, and did have manifested, phenomena of Bonapartism and transformation of their leaders into unsolicited mouthpieces and advocates of the popular will, aiming to defend and/or overthrow the established order. The Greek State, though bound by the Maastricht Treaty, wouldn’t choose to open the question of the abolition of the religion of the citizens being written on their IDs in 1993, failing its European obligations. It will take about ten years, after Greece’s entry into EMU, until the Council of State vote in favour not only of the abolition of the religion being obligatory written on IDs, but also of the against an optional indication of religion on IDs.
Referring to the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the Anarchists from Zagreb wrote that:
By the end of the 1980s, the conditions for a bloody conflict had been prepared; the only that wasn’t complete was the distribution of the new posts and the introduction of the “new” (in fact, old) actors who would lead the “people” to a new “national success”. At the same time, the whole preparation seemed like “the people” were looking for an outlet through nationalism and as if it was an authentic grassroots movement. In fact, however, there were a number of actors that created, or enabled the development of, this situation due to their own interests and the interests of the States to come. For States, this is a perfectly normal way to act. Of course, the process of starting the conflict wasn’t easy because a large part of the population didn’t want the war, nor thought that nationalism was good, nor thought that war was a solution to the problems accumulated. Threats, massive “national assemblies”, the emergence of barricades, armaments (both independent and organised by this or that democratic government or military), murders of people who opposed war at the institutional level, destruction of anti-fascist monuments, arson of the houses of your neighbours because the belonged to the “wrong” ethnic group, the diffusion of fear, systematic nationalist propaganda through the media and many other abominations were part of an apparatus that gave rise to a new level of nationalism and hatred against one another. At the time the war began, when the grenades exploded everywhere and the war operations involved the destruction of more and more lives, nationalism had been normalised and was ubiquitous to the point that criticism was almost impossible because noone was willing to hear.
In keeping with the historical analogies with the former Yugoslavia, this dystopian workshop of the use of nationalism for ramming the social question, which the Greek bourgeoisie were certainly aware of, we can say that in the anti-Macedonian protests of 1992 this mass search for a way out through nationalism was present, this sense of emergence of a relatively independent grassroots popular movement, but a movements which cannot be considered detached from State’s planning. Neither the definition of national interest is something given once and for all -in fact it must be constantly redetermined- nor the popular masses are so passive as to adopt any nationalist project proposed to them. The desire to abolish the distinction between nationalism “from above” and grassroots nationalism, results in constantly treating the State and the people as moments of the nation, essentially abolishing them as forms created by the class struggle itself and, more generally, by social antagonism, giving the nation the same powers and capabilities as those of the State. The people, as the sume of the citizens of a State, is defined by the State and have no meaning without it; the people will be constituted as a nation only when its previous relation with the State is disturbed and so the people seek to redefine it: either the people will be identified with their State in a case of war, which may also mean its elimination, or the people will demand from the government to bring the State to the people, transforming the State into a popular State through elections. The changing relation between the elements of the quadriptych “people-State-nation-government” is the matrix of the successive, parallel, and many times opposing nationalisms within a social formation, whose bearers are, everytime, historically specific social classes and class fractions. However coherent and elaborate each version of nationalism may be, it cannot be normalised and “omnipresent”, that is, dominant, unless in case of war, when every internal conflict must cease. After the 1992-1994 period there won’t be any similar anti-Macedonian protests, and this is not only due to the fact that the Greek State no longer seeks to similarly utilise grassroots nationalism; it’s also due to the fact that throughout the 1990s, and without interruption until today, a war was actually carried out, a social war, therefore invisible, against the immigrant workers in Greece. The racism of Greek supremacy towards immigrants, the naturalisation of their inferior position through murders, sexual exploitation and heavier devaluation of their labour power by the locals, constituted the real “new level of nationalism” towards which converged and redefined all other nationalisms. From now on, there can be no definition of national interest that can ignore the urgency of racism and its utilisation for the proper functioning of the State and the vitalisation of the nation.
On 1 January 2001, when Greece officially joined the eurozone just two years after its establishment, the Regime Change slogan “EEC and NATO are the same syndicate” is already light years far away from the political and social reality of the period and appears as it really is: a remnant of a short era, when prevailed a limited version of the Fordist model of economic growth, a relatively closed environment of accumulation with national borders and a national market. The gradual adoption of measures of structural adjustment since the mid-1980s, with the rapid expansion of the domestic market and, above all, the dual opportunity of exploiting the labour power of Balkan workers both abroad and domestically, resulted in the social and political avoidance of a widespread devaluation of capital and the overaccumulation crisis was temporarily overcomed. The growth model is transformed by acquiring a more internationalised character, it’s “globalised” according to the new mainstream terminology. The main bearers of this transformation are the multinational corporations that establish or transform interdependent production processes that were formerly exchange relations between independent corporations, into in-company relations of a multinational corporation. The influence of this global change in the global division of labour will be important for in Greece and will lay the foundations for the escalation of the contradiction between the control exercised by multinational corporations over their productive processes and the control that the State have to exercise over the production. Of course, multinational corporations seek to operate with the least possible constraints on the part of the State, as capital accumulation is now understood as the ability to cross national borders and search for more favourable conditions of profitability. The exit from the crisis of global Fordism may have caused the adoption of an equally global policy of diversification and flexibility in terms of production methods and consumption norms, but the “final blow” to the State’s capability of economic and social regulation will prove to be just wishful thinking. For example, the new valorisation process and accumulation process were increasingly in conflict with the remnants of the Fordist regulatory model, i.e., with a State based on corporatist and monopoly structures that managed to adapt to the new conditions rather than be voluntarily deregulated. In any case, there are created the conditions to shake off every traditional notion of whatever is now possible to be thought as “national” in the economy, but also in the society in general, as the valorisation of capital and the reproduction of labour power are disconnected from their necessary Fordist convergence in a nationally unified geographical territory:
Against the previous cycle of struggles, the restructuring abolished all particularisation, status, “welfare”, “Fordist compromise”, division of the global cycle into national regions of accumulation, into fixed relations between centre and periphery, into zones of domestic accumulation (East/West). The extraction of relative surplus-value must constantly overthrow itself and abolish every obstacle in respect to the direct production process, the reproduction of labour power, the interrelation between capitals (equalisation of the rate of profit) […] Where there was a combined localisation of the interests of industry, finance and labour power, it’s possible to establish a decoupling between valorisation of capital and reproduction of labour power. On the one hand, portions or fractions of the international circle of capital at global level create a “surplus world” in terms of investment, production process, credit, financial capital, circulation of surplus-value, competitive framework. On the other hand, the “people bellow” have the right to be supported because of pity, and the “subaltern” have the right to be controlled by police operations and have the support of humanitarian missions.
1st addendum: In order to better understand the Greek case, where the internationalisation of the economy is associated with an unprecedented development of trade, the banking system and the tertiary sector of services in general, we need to look more specifically at the question of the integration of national markets into a single European market and the creation of the single currency. In the 1980s, the problem of the then EEC was how it could at the same time achieve within it free trade, capital mobility, independent national monetary policies and fixed exchange rates. The first two problems were solved with the Single Market program and the liberalisation of capital mobility. The two latter issues, however, were incompatible one to another, with the result that independent national monetary policies must eventually be abandoned by the creation of a monetary union with a single currency and a single central bank. It’s important to stress that in its conception, and regardless of how it evolved, EU appears as a monetary rather than a political union. Within such a framework, the role of the States had to change radically without abandoning their nominal sovereignty over their national territories. State policy must abandon any concern for territorial expansion, and therefore, above all, any logic that making the national territory and the national population its pivotal axis, and turn to strengthen the competitive economic advantages of each administrative region and support the inernational expansion of their national capital. Therefore, States must contribute to the enhancement of the density and unity of the global market and global economic networks, a task incompatible with protectionism – at least, in principle. This meant that the mediating role of the State in the negotiation of the conditions of class exploitation was basically removed; as the workers’ identity ceases to be recognised by the State, the satisfaction of class demands may well be out of the national interest. This is the official State vision behind PASOK’s slogan “We, all together, create a New Greece” in the national elections of 9 April 2000. PASOK, the same party that, nineteen years ago, was expressing a different popular Social-Patriotic anti-European social majority. Now, however, things have changed irrevocably, the national interest cannot be conceived outside the European perspective, itself in great prosperity, since in the Copenhagen Summit in 2000, ten more States joined EU (Cyprus, Malta, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia), while Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia would soon follow.
2nd addendum: Now, it can be rightly argued that the Greek State that joined the club of Europe’s powerful – then twelve and today nineteen member-States in the eurozone- was not legally single, as all those thinking of law as nature beyond history and politics, but twofold. Since the arrival of immigrant workers in Greece had continued unabated throughout the 1990s, the working class as a whole is no longer part of the people in order to be able to dissolve within it; a part of the working class coming from the Balkans and the Eastern Europe in general wouldn’t have political and social rights and would either remain in a regime of invisibility and illegitimacy or would gain access to a very limited percentage of the privileges of the Greek citizens; without ever ever becoming full citizens. Along with a neoliberal capitalist strategy that ceased to recognise the working class as a formally equal interlocutor, the State created a conspicuously blurred legal status, an arbitrary and suffocating zone around what is not, and cannot be, according to a racist logic, parf of the Greek people; so, the State transformed itself into a dual State: a normative State for “ordinary” citizens and a State of State of emergency measures for non-ordinary, i.e., for the non-citizens and non-Greeks. And a competitive security State for all. The need for reproduction of differential racist exploitative conditions for every part of the working class undermines internally the unity and continuity of the State, as it increases the likelihood of autonomisation of its individual functions while creating the need to abolish the friction between them. At the same time, it has to maintain social cohesion by regulating the competitive relations between the two parts of the working class. It is easier the logic of preserving and reproducing the differentiality of exploitation to be imposed on the State as a whole, as long as the majority of the Greek people gets a share of the social wealth as a petty-bourgeois citizen and can run his life seamlessly in distance from his State. While the real subsumption of labour and life under capital and State -under value, law, politics and gender-based oppression as fundamental forms of socialisation- is deepening, the racist hierarchical stratification in the distribution of rights and wealth is proven to be successful as it stabilised the Greek social formation by reducing the number of hours lost by strikes and the outbreaks of class struggle; with the exception of the 1998-1999 period, but again it won’t reach the level of the early 1990s. Within this enviroment of crisis of the movement, but also in full continuity and consistency with its structurally anti-imperialist orientation, the Left, silently but with profound implications for itself, participated in the formation of the historical conjucture in at least two ways: on the one hand, defining the national interest in the terms of the people, standing with the Greek people against the imperialists, multinational corporations, foreign powers and the elites, getting to the turn of the decade at the anti-globalisation protests to give a positive and insurgent meaning to the nationalism of the weak peoples against globalised capitalism; on the other hand, it contributed to the further transformation of the right to difference into differential racism, which has since prevailed on the basis of the insurmountable incomparability between “us” and the “others”, either between “Greeks” and “immigrants” or between the “Greek people” and the “foreign oppressors” that covet them. In the patriotic speech of the Left, popular nationalism and differential racism find their most sophisticated connection, and this isn’t a coincidence, because the seizure of national State power is inherent in the historical horizon of the Left. From that perspective, the perspective of structural change in the position of the Greek State, the conditions that make obsolete the juxtaposition of left-wing and right-wing are made clear. It continues to survive only thanks to those who continue to believe that the revolution will be done by “Greeks”.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the position of the Greek State in the European division of labour already had different qualitative characteristics. The internationalisation of capital deepens and along it the need to adapt the State apparatus to the new irrevocable demands of disciplining the “multinational”, i.e. “nationally” stratified, proletariat within the State’s territory. The “Albanian”, the dominant racist reference for every social use throughout the 1990s, will never be accepted as an Albanian (without quotation marks) by the Greek State; in order for the Albanians to be properly depreciated as “foreign” labour powers, structurally alien to the rest of the national body, they shouldn’t be formally recognised as Greek citizens, with everything that involves, for example, about the need to teach the Albanian language at schools for children of Albanian immigrants and their integration as equal citizens. Far from being considered a return to conditions of slavery, the modern extraction of absolute surplus-value, and with it low-productivity jobs, requires the partial denationalisation of the proletariat; socially “Albanian”, politically non-existent even as such, given that the shadow of the non-recognition of the workers’ identity burdens everyone. Some proletarians, however, are recognised as Greek citizens, above and beyond the (non-)recognition of their labour rights. Against the increasing precariousness of life, the domestic section of the working class acquires in practice “national” attributes by having access to social benefits as those are cut and restored again, loans from credit institutions, milder police repression, convenient and comparatively inexpensive rapes of immigrant women who are prostituted by force; an access which the “foreign” section of the working class is more or less lacking. While the Greek economy is growing rapidly till the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, the State moves without substantial friction within the contradictory function of reproducing the hierarchical, i.e. racist, stratification of labour power – on the one hand, by coordinating the execution of immigrants on the borders with the murders of immigrants across the Greek territory by petty-bourgeois and lumpen proletarians; on the other hand, by ensuring that the arrival of sufficient labour force will continue, despite the extreme opposition to immigration by a part of the domestic working class and of the population in general, which recognises the “outsiders” as a threat. In fact, Greek State even reaches the point of actively participating, with continuous police operations of searching for and arresting undocumented immigrants, incarcerating them in football fields, in the international disciplining of the proletariat, the Albanian proletariat in this case; the interests of both the Albanian State and Greek State were converging to the disciplining of the Albanian proletarians after the social, and not national, 1997 uprising in Albania. This fundamental convergence -which also had an international dimension, since support for the independence of Kosovo’s Albanians from Serbia in 1999 helped the nationalisation of the social question within the Albanian nation- was made possible due to the form taken by the internationalisation of the capital relation in the region. Capital and labour power go beyond national borders, and the States must, transforming their operational logic, be able to cooperate despite the different positions the two States had taken in the Yugoslav Wars, despite the different degrees of development of their capitals, etc. There’s a need for regional cooperation, dictated mainly by the disciplining of the proletariat, but also by the more general demand for the stabilisation of the conditions of accumulation. Such cooperation is not based on an abstract conspiracy between government officials, but on the basis of the unequal degree of accumulation of capital within each social formation and the different needs of managing the internal enemy. This doesn’t exclude the possibility of an intensification of the competition between them when that’s required by the hierarchisation needs of the States themselves on the regional national State scale. There are differences in the way in which are stabilised the national States whose working class is nationally homogeneous and coincides with their people, and those national States that are partially denationalised with a stratified working class, divided labour market and differentiated reproduction of the proletariat. There must found the new, internationalised grammar of domination, which will regulate the different conditions so that they can be dealt with by regional cooperations of States. The management capacities of each individual State are insufficient. This new condition, in which the Greek State participates and co-shapes along other States, goes hand in hand with the successive limit-ups of the stock market, but also with concurrent self-production processes of the Greek people as a “national champion”, processes which can now be autonomised, deviating relatively from the internal logic of the State. The rapid capitalist growth till the 004 Summer Olympic Games required the full subsumption of a proletariat -which can no longer be considered as single, Greek, male and indivisible- and slowly but steadily intensifies the divergence between State policy and the national preference of the people. The pogrom, worthy of its name, against Albanian immigrants after the Greek-Albania football match on September 4, 2004, is much more a work of popular racism which, violently reminding the order to those who believed that they could participate on equal terms in the national development, wants State, capital and society to be only its own.
With the declaration of “war on terror” in 2001, the devaluation of the planetary proletariat goes on another scale of violence, as the military and the war become inherent in its management. The adoption by the Western powers of the new doctrine may have proven its bloody utility over the years, but perhaps unexpectedly contributed to the further undermining of nationalism as a tool of State policy at the international level; what position in the establishment and definition of national interest could have the defense of any Greekness, when global redeployments are strategically perceived as a conflict of universal ideologies, religious or otherwise -as in the case of humanism and the military interventions made in its name- penetrating nations and borders? Popular nationalism in Greece might always had an international, i.e. anti-American, component, but its revitalisation in the 2003 anti-war protests against the intervention in Iraq could not, despite the despondent efforts of the Left, revive Greek nationalism at its 1992 level. However, the massive, for that time, participation in the anti-war protests, will highlight, on the one hand, the tendency of internationalisation of Greek nationalism itself and its growing support for elements that go beyond “Greekness” and have global/universal reference; and, on the other hand, the possibility of a renewal of nationalism included in the very left-wing and progressive movements: who doesn’t remember the big protest of the 4th European Social Forum in May 2006 and its anti-neoliberal anti-war characteristics? Irrevocably, any reference to national interest must refer to global processes and take a position in relation to them. With a time lag and in an orderly manner, popular nationalism follows State nationalism as to how to perceive and invent the national interest. The particular cultural references (language, religion, customs, a tradition of struggles, symbols), the core of the formation of the old nationalisms, are temporarily detached from their national framework to prove their validity in a globalised context and to find the appropriate cohesive ideology that would unite the individual elements into a new amalgam; then returning to the original frame of reference to reinforce the need to engage in defending the national specificity lost in the internationalised environment. When people feel threatened, they perceive themselves more as a race, as an identity, as a cultural particularity threatened by extinction; when the people turn to their State to reduce the distance between them, then it becomes a movement that asserts the political and economic community in the name of the nation as status quo, as natural order, while naturalising all racist divisions and hierarchies.
1st addendum: In contrast to the immigrants from the Balkans and Eastern Europe in the 1990s who came from social formations where atheism was widespread and politically recognised by the single-party State, the immigrants who begin to arrive en masse in Greece from the Middle East and Africa in the beginning of the 21st century, and since then, will be defined by their religion as their basic characteristic, since this is the main norm for the management of the proletariat in their countries of origin, beside the nation. From Morocco to Afghanistan, State nationalism coexists inseparably and contradicts with Islam, which contributes decisively to the disciplining and hierarchisation of the population with its own criteria based on gender, etc. These criteria not only deviate from the democratic norms of a typical national State but also internally structurally destabilise its own autonomous existence, since they have strong references across and beyond national borders. The historical defeat of Pan-Arab ideology -the par excellence version of Arab nationalism promoted even by certain Arab States and tried to unify the Arabs everywhere- from Islamism is suggestive in this regard. It included, among else, the elimination of leftist and communist references in these countries. The “war on terror” is the codename for a globalised ideology and practice that underestimates, to death if necessary, the bodies and aspirations of all those who will endeavor to emigrate to Europe by all means. Europe needed their labour power, but also its structural excess, to continue to reproduce seamlessly. Their position in the bottom of the barrel isn’t reserved for them because they are bearers of certain religious beliefs; on the contrary, an internationally recognised method to characterise their social position is required, since for the creation of their social position is necessary a cooperation between bosses, cops, State apparatuses all over the world. The Greek State -although the political, social and military know-how it had accumulated over the past years in managing immigrant workers who arrived via the Balkan route, and not only- would need to be restructured again in order to be able to respond to its new position in the global division of labour as a frontier-State of EU. The Greek State transformed to fullfil this role, and not to become a leader adn protector of Greek Orthodox Christianity and Greekness, which, allegedly, are threatened by an invasion from the East. This rhetoric about the “threat from the East” concern only some marginalised fascists and is only for “second-class” internal consumption. The social shift from the period when the word “Albanian” became a swearword to the now trendy scornful references to “Pakistani” has only to do with the dynamics of capitalism as the first global mode of production and its adaptation to particular national State forms.
2nd addendum: The Greek State, continuously increasing its involvement in networks of international cooperation in various parts of the world, is now aiming at undermining the very possibility of mobility of the new immigrants from Middle East. The emergence of the first detention centres across the territory in the mid-2000s was intending to stack bodies bare of any other definition, matter as a pure object. At the same time that the racist social hierarchy is further differentiated by the downward addition of devalued positions, the constant rise in the standard of living for all citizens will multiply the social upward mobility. The consolidation of this reality, from wider social strata, would be from then on synonymous with the gradual establishing of the perception of national interest as synonymous with the European perspective of the country. State and civil society will converge, more than ever before, into common definitions of what constitutes optimal management of national advantages, with the now strengthened State remaining the pole which makes proposals and shapes the scope of action, effectively expressing the collective interest of the Greek social formation and the expectations of the middle-class. In this sense, the people don’t have to protest as a nation and complain to the government about the latter’s handling of the Macedonian question. In 2008 NATO’s summit in Bucharest, the Greek State feels so empowered and relatively autonomised that, on the one hand, vetoed,, for the first time in NATO’s history, the launching of negotiations for Republic of Macedonia joining NATO -abiding by the national policy which, even back in 2008, it didn’t seem to have any particular meaning for the international position of Greece, it’s more of an indicator of the sense the Greek State held about itself and its expecations of bigger trade-offs- and, on the other hand, it didn’t need the democratic legitimacy of the masses protesting against Macedonia, i.e. the Greek people as a bargaining tool, as back in 1992.
3rd addendum: With the prevalence of capital, all previous modes of production become “backwards”, “infantile”. History acquired a direction and orientation, and through it the social formations are registered in a hierarchy whose top and integration is capitalism; not, however, only as a particular system superior to all others, but as a system beyond and above each particularity. Capitalism appears to be the abstract and universal form of every society, as does the individual-man who lives in capitalism. Humanism exists only as an ideological distillation of the universality of capital and the universality of the rights of the citizen of the bourgeois revolutions. Humanism is incompatible with the exclusivity of any particular nationalism and cannot be easily used for the sake of satisfying interests of a particular State except within the internationally recognised hierarchical State-system. As the Parisian protest against the Charlie Hebdo attack in 2015 has shown, not all capitalist social formations can present the enemy within as an enemy of humanity, having more than 40 State leaders from all over the world in the front line of the protest.
4th addendum: The historical limit of racism, concerning both its emergence conditions and its modern differential version, is the categories of the capitalist mode of production. As with previous modes of production, without domination the exploitation cannot be effective, cannot be realised. The capitalist system may seem to rely solely on the economic power, but since capital presupposes and mediates itself as a social relation, oppression and domination are developed as the very object, the reason for existence of all the unclear economic moments of the capitalist mode of production. These moments-institutions define inherently the proletariat and fragment it hierarchically. It is a process of violent reproduction of a social relation where at the end of the day everyone should be in the position that corresponds to him/her. In this sense, the action of all the moments, even the State and the individual capitalists, is part of the structural condition where the capitalist relation itself is a prerequisite for its expanded reproduction, and this action cannot be perceived in terms of externality and instrumentality. Apart from the existence of relations of domination within the factory and the, under strict suveillance, extraction of surplus-value they imply, the exploitative relation involves three moments: the encounter between labour power and capital potentially offered for valorisation; the subsumption of labour under capital; transformation of surplus-value into additional capital. The articulation and reproduction of the single character of the three moments is not given, it contains ruptures and discontinuities, violence and depreciation. Racialised relations can emerge in each of these phases and be detached, appearing as autonomous, self-sufficient and self-reproducing; especially insofar as educational, repressive, legal, ideological, religious and cultural institutions are involved. In addition, even more structurally regaring the reproduction of the racist social hierarchy, capital, because of its fetishism, appears not as a social relation but as an economy, as objectivity, as the inevitable nature and order. And racism as a distinction based on simple phenotypic traits. All non-strictly economic institutions act in this direction, and they are the most appropriate to deal with the struggles of immigrants as they’re considered to not be part of the working class and thus not a part of the people. But these institutions cannot determine the global dynamics of capital unless they become denationalised and autonomous themselves, becoming embedded in the apparatuses of international cooperation.
27. Théorie Communiste writes that: “Populism is essentially defined as the desire to remove, within politics, the distinction between social movements and political action, the desire to abolish the separation between State and society, between State and class struggle. Against democracy, populism refuses to recognise as non-reducable the contradictions and schisms of society and to accept their peace within the State and the mediation of the citizen. For populism, society is a community which is represented as such within the State that is directly responsible for it. The community is the people against, on the one hand, the social classes and, on the other hand, the citizen. In addition, this people as a community is not a state, a given, it must be built by the unification of what was separated, disintegrated: society and religion, public and private, economy and ethics, technique and culture, the masses and the elites, etc. As a political and ideological movement, as we have just described, populism is built on the boundaries of the struggles of the proletariat and is directed against it. It is the action of the proletariat within its struggles pushing the State, as well as its efforts to organise the society according to its needs and interests, that produces the people, and the people, not admitting its inner contradictions, conflicts and schisms, is turned against the proletariat. But this people, it we said, is not a given, is not a social class, not even a sociological group, it is something to build and to represent. Through it, it becomes a privilege of the only class that’s able to unify the social contradictions and reproduce them, because it keeps the keys to the self-justification of capital: the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie may entrust, sometimes in a confrontational way, the direction of the movement to the middle-classes, or to social classes more ready to represent them because they are sufficient in terms of its content, such as the priests, otherwise the military or the trade-unions” (Théo Cosme, De la politique en Iran, Senonevero, 2010, p. 69-70). In this sense, and with the risk of oversimplification, the history of the development of capitalism in the Greek social formation in the 20th century -from the Goudi coup in 1909, passing through the National Schism, the Civil War, the Royal Coup of 1965, the military junta of 1967–1974 and the the rise of PASOK after the Regime Change- can be seen as a confrontational coexistence of different definitions of the national interest between the State and the people, with successive phases of emergence and retreat of populism represented in various institutions. This shows the relative inability of the State and its officials to “broadcast” clearly, and impose, what the nation is and how it should be built.
28. Here, we already have the first manifestations of modern differential racism, which can coexist with more classical forms of racism.
29. The planning of the organisers for this rally, the local government of (Greek) Macedonia and Thrace, with the support of the church and the bigger parties, predicted that it would be the demonstration of the decade. For that reason, they mobilised TV channels to broadcast advertisements for the demonstration a week prior to it, means of transport for people to arrive from all over Greece to arrive in Thessaloniki in order to demonstrate, the schools closed in order the students and the teacher to attend the demonstration, and so also did shops and businesses. A then municipal councilor of Thessaloniki admited that: “Participation is lower than a couple of years ago, it’s normal, people are tired of the crisis”. A Le Monde‘s journalist highlighted the festive atmosphere and the strong presence of the Greek tradition in the protest. A Greek scholar, member of Synaspismos, criticised “the conformism and apathy” that the Greeks have already demonstrated in relation to national questions, considering that “nationalism is in decline and has weakened”. Despite the mobilisation of a helicopter platoon, three hot-air balloons, many fishing-boats and other ships in Thermaic Gulf, and a multitude of priests, the demonstration was over within just 1.5 hours. The direction in which the “social dissatisfaction” would be relieved was the prospect of a capitalist and racist exploitation of the Balkan proletariat, but also within the Greek territory, and not a nationalism of the political kind.
30. It’s the period when the mass parties had members of a wide range of political tendencies, and ND especially could, until the recent period of the Memoranda, to embrace within it a pure extreme-right tendency. More generally speaking, the political differentiation of parties, which reached a higher level with the emergence of single-purpose parties (e.g. in favour of free access to the internet), is in line with the development of capitalism and the diversification of commodity production.
31. According to his programmatic statements in the Greek Parliament on 23 October 1993, Andreas Papandreou will argue that: “The Policy of National Defense is based on the unity of the Greek space (Cyprus, the Aegean Sea, Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus). It has a dissuasive character. Our strategic orientation is based on the fact that the main enemy comes from the East [he was referring to Turkey]”. The then publisher of Vima newspaper, Richardos Someritis, stated that “those who led once more the socialists [PASOK] to power are the middle-classes influenced by the crisis, who want to work less and earn more”. This is the diction used by the State nationalism to indicate to the people the position of the nation under the new conditions, certainly away from the regions that the Greek capital was extending and in any case after the liquidation of the non-productive capitals, the closure of the companies in difficulty and the privatisations done by the “cursed right-wing”. The excerpts come from Le Monde‘s articles of that period.
32. In his statements in early 1994, Pangalos characterised Germany as “a giant with brutish force and a mind of a child”, considering Germany responsible for the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Anti-Germanism in Greece also has profound roots, deeper than anti-Americanism, as is evident today. Nevertheless, in the so-called anti-Memoranda struggles, no anti-German pointed out Germany’s attitude of that time, indicating that nationalism from below is based today on other grounds in order to be formed.
33. In a recent interview entitled “Αν είχαμε τη Συμφωνία των Πρεσπών το ’90 θα μιλούσαμε για θρίαμβο” [“If we had the Prespa Agreement in the 1990s, we would be talking about a triumph”], Lianis, former MP and former minister in PASOK’s administration, a person fully aware of the conditions of the Macedonian minority in Greece, pointed out that the embargo “did not work” as “the only result of this policy was to impoverish parts of Greek Macedonia, while the money given as compensation for the embargo went to the hands of ten wealthy hoteliers in Chalkidiki and five intermediaries”. More generally speaking, SYRIZA’s media and intellectuals, due to their own long-standing involvement, did everything they could by their hand to give a new meaning to the course of the Macedonian question since the protests of 1992-1994, offering the “left sensitivity” and the scientific justification to the State’s repositioning of Greek nationalism on modernising rails. “Forgetting”, of course, about the nationalist position that the then Synaspismos held back then.
34. From the interview of the Greek-Australian historian Adamantios Skordos entitled “The Skopjan question was a sinker for the Greek Left”. In Greece, the Republic of Macedonia was usually reffered to as Skopje, its capital, or as FYROM, since its name wasn’t legitimate in the eyes of Greek nationalism. After the official ratification of Prespa Agreement, most Greek media now refer to it with its new official name, but the people in general keep callin it Skopje or FYROM (with the latter being a paradox, since the M in FYROM means Macedonia, but by using always only the acronym and never the full name, one can pretend that the acronym isn’t an acronym anymore but the real name of the country). The “Macedonian fighters” were the name given to the Greek armed forces that fought in the Macedonian Struggle, a conflict between Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs over Macedonia.
35. As it was made public 25 years after the fact.
36. In its most advanced version, the pro-SYRIZA propaganda, by mouth of the self-proclaimed anti-nationalist Tasos Kostopoulos, will accuse KKE that during the debate of the Prespa Agreement in the Parliament it made a “post-dated declaration of repentance” because “if something marked deeply the three-day parliamentary confrontation, it was the KKE’s piteous compliance with the hard core of the arguments of the nationalist right-wing about the Macedonian question, at the expense of its one hundred-year history”. Accordingly, he implies that SYRIZA’s State policy isn’t only the vindication of the struggles of the Macedonian minority for recognition and respect, as Tsipras also highlighted in his historical speech in the Parliament by referring to the first person exeuted during the Civil War, the Macedonian communist Mirka Ginova, but also the most advanced version of the revolutionary movement in Greece. For our part, we leave to those considering themselves as Macedonians and reside in Greek territory to choose the politicians that better represent their interests. In our view, the Prespa Agreement is driven by a deliberate contradiction: on the one hand, it recognises the existence of a Macedonian nation and a Macedonian language within the political territory of the Republic of North Macedonia while, on the other hand, it refuses to admit the existence of a Macedonian minority in Greece and doesn’t solve the chronic issue of the Macedonian refugees of the Civil War. In other words, it links the fundamental priority of the (North Macedonian) State to the definition of the (North Macedonian) people by limiting the Macedonian nation within its borders, which is not the case. Democracy in its current enclaved party version has proved to be a system of distribution of privileges, power and votes, against the backdrop of the seemingly contradictory and always unfulfilled promise of freedom, recognition/integration and parity of the excluded and oppressed. The President of the Parliament, Voutsis, member of SYRIZA, had that in mind when he stated, back in autumn 2018, that “I do not know of any Macedonian language to be spoken in Greece” when SYRIZA itself has an MP, Kostas Seltsas, who in 1997 had appealed to the European Court of Human Rights a case against Greece for failing to officially recognise the association “House of Macedonian Culture” in Florina. However, Kostopoulos is right when he says that the solution to question of Macedonian’s name, which wasn’t achieved so far despite the fact that more than two decades and several successive administrations have passed, could only be achieved by a voluntaristic government that would set as frontispiece of its propaganda the pro-Europeanism of the most advanced fraction of the capitalist class and middle-class. Revealing, at the same time, this pro-Europeanism as the last shelter of a modern, far-left rhetoric, which does whatever it can to “Syrizise” any social struggles, looking after, first of all, its own reproduction as a mediation. Always erga omnes.
37. For example, beyond the heretical, for their time, texts, in the third edition of the pamphlet entitled Η Κρίση στα Βαλκάνια, το Μακεδονικό κι η Εργατική Τάξη [The Crisis in the Balkans, the Macedonian Question and the Working Class] by Εργατική Δημοκρατία [Workers’ Democracy], one can find a reference to the 5 people who were persecuted for the release of this pamphlet. Kostas Papadakis, in his article “Δίκες Πολιτικών Διώξεων Αντιεθνικιστικού Λόγου για το Μακεδονικό, 1992-1993” [“Trials of Political Persecution of Antinationalism Discourse regarding the Macedonian Question, 1992-1993”, outlined the three major trials that were held at that time in Athens: the aforementioned 5 people, the Organisation for the Reconstitution of KKE, and the Anti-Military Anti-Nationalist Association. In the same article there’s also a reference to the persecutions in Florina of those who openly defended the existence of a Macedonian minority.
38. One can read the entire article at the following url: https://www.marxists.org/archive/pouliop/works/1940/05/commac.htm.
39. As Evangelos Venizelos says in one of his speeches, in 1992 the protests were organised and supported by the State “in order to support the negotiation on a national position that proved to be inaccurate, and it became precise only in April 1993 and thereafter”. In 1992, the Greek State wasn’t accepting any use of the term “Macedonia” in Macedonia’s name, but in 1993 the new Greek national position became an erga omnes complex name using the term “Macedonia” or its derivatives.
40. The analogies with the case of the Katsifas, a Greek fascist that opened fire with an automatic rifle in an Albanian village in Northern Epirus in 2018, are more than obvious. These fascist circles lack imagination, repeating age-old slogans and acts. However, nowadays the conditions for the emergence of a new Northern Epirus Liberation Front with serious political demands are lacking. Greek fascists prefer going to Southern Albania with buses and holding public protests rather than getting into terrorist actions, since they’re nowadays socially strengthened and can be something than a tool of Greek secret services.
41. “Between 1,000 and 1,500 Albanians are refouled every day from the [Greek] army at the Greek-Albanian borders. Recently, this time at the Greek-Bulgarian borders, six Romanians stepped on a mine, two of them killed. For three weeks, 77 Iraqis are trapped between Chios and Bodrum (in the Aegean Sea) […] From the west to the east, passing through the north, Greece, which wants to be presented as the regional showcas of the Western world, has to face the massive arrival of economic migrants […] Mrs. Virginia Tsouderou, Greek General Secretary of the Foreign Ministry for the Balkans, member of the conservative government, estimates that at this stage there are between 350,000 and 500,000 illegal economic refugees in Greece. They account for about 5% of the population. The majority of them are Albanians (about 150,000), then are the Bulgarians (50,000), the Polish, the Filipinos, the Kurds, the Romanians, the Iraqis, the Pakistans, the Ethiopians […] ‘Before the Albanian economic catastrophe and the mass exodus from this country’, says Mrs. Tsouderou, ‘there was a certain tolerance in our policy with regard to economic migrants. We were calm, they did not create difficulties or security problems. They were also very useful in economic sectors where Greeks no longer wanted to work. Mainly in the agricultural sector and construction. But now, they are indeed too many, and this creates social problems and internal security problems’. […] The social cost is equally ‘huge’, notes Mrs. Tsouderou, quoting the amount of 2.5 billion drachmas for medical and hospital expenses attributable only to the first nine months of 1991, the first period of the mass arrival of Albanians immigrants” (excerpt from a Le Monde‘s article, 19/2/1992).
42. In TPTG #8, published in May 2000, there’s an extensive analysis of the Kosovo War and the bombings in Serbia, an analysis highlighting, among other things, this dimension of Greek foreign policy from a more general perspective of the abandonment of the old-fashioned Greek nationalism and its replacement by seeking out the best possible position within the international-regional blocs formed in the region. However, while TPTG have come to recognise how, for example, the Slovenian nationalisation of the social conflicts involved postmodern metropolitan characteristics, that is, that nationalism is a relatively autonomous form of socialisation, they continue to talk only about the nationalisation of the social question. Conversely, the socialisation of the nation and its exclusions is given low priority. “The nationalist turnaround of the ‘here and now’ social demands into a promise of participation in a future social wealth resulting from the strengthening and expansion of ‘our own’ national capital” (TPTG #8, p.14) doesn’t have as single, or even as main, condition of existence the neoliberal deregulation.
43. Sašo Ordanoski and Aleksandar Matovski, in their article “Between Ohrid and Dayton: The Future of Macedonia’s Framework Agreement”, Südosteuropa Mitteilungen, issue 4, 2007, argue that, unlike the Bosnian multinational model that provided for the territorial separation of ethnic groups and their distinct representation at government level, the Macedonian multinational model of ethnic integration under a single territorial state proved to be more successful at that time as a proposal for a policy to rebuild social formations after the war.
44. In a Le Monde‘s article on April 7, 1999, we read that “some 400,000 people have fled Kosovo since bombings began on 24 March. Of these, 226,000 found shelter in Albania, 120,000 in Macedonia, 35,700 in Montenegro, 7,900 in Bosnia, and 6,000 in Turkey. According to UNHCR, the flow of persecuted Kosovars continues to increase by ‘30,000’ everyday”, while in a previous article it’s reported that Greece was thinking of welcoming 5,000 refugees. Within a month, the number of refugees in the Macedonian camps will exceed 200,000, and reports of poor living conditions and maltreatment will soon be reported by Macedonian monitors.
45. In 1983, the PASOK administration voted a law permitting civil marriage. For many years, only a minority of the population turned to it, indexing inter alia the influence of religion on Greek mores and customs. Nowadays, according to statistical data for 2017, civil marriages are more numerous than religious ones, while a small portion of the population turns to a cohabitation agreement. Although there are economic reasons making couples prefering a civil marriage from a religious one, this development is a clear example of the modernisation of Greek civil society and the weakening of religious consciousness.
46. Theories about Jewish conspiracies, however, remain fixed benchmarks, showing that antisemitism remains deeply rooted in Greece.
47. This is an excerpt of their contribution to a public discussion entitled “From the Balkans of exploitation and nationalism to the Balkans of solidarity and struggles”, organized by the Balkansolidarity network at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on March 10, 2018, shortly after the end of the Panbalkan demonstration of solidarity.
48. The thousands of Greek corporations, multinational or not, that relocated to the Balkans since the early 1990s also contributed to the loss of State control over the process of accumulation.
49. Roland Simon, “La Restructuration telle qu’en elle-même”, Théorie Communiste, no 22, February 2009, p. 21-22 & 84-85.
50. In Milios & Ioakimoglou, Η Διεθνοποίηση του Ελληνικού Καπιταλισμού και το Ισοζύγιο Πληρωμών [The Internationalisation of Greek Capitalism and the Balance of Payments], Εξάντας, 1990, is described the way in which the internationalisation and growth of capital go together for the whole 1960-1989 period, under the necessary condition of overcoming the overaccumulation crisis in two phases. It’s noteworthy that one of the writers’ conclusions for this period is that “[t]he strategy of [Greek] capital against the crisis is, let us stress it again, the capitalist restructuring. In this direction, the Greek total capital (as every total capital of every other capitalist country) also resorts to the means and ‘opportunities’ provided by the internationalisation of production […] In conclusion: Restructuring of the production by utilising the international economic conjuncture, mooring to the strategy of the upgrading of Western European capitalisms, further improvement of the indexes of accumulation of capital […] these are the main axes of the policies of Greek capitalism in today’s conjuncture and for the years to come” (Ibid., p. 207& 209-10). According to the data of Hellenic Statistical Authority for the 1995-2017 period, it is evident that after the restructuring of the 1990-1993 period and the exploitation of immigrants’ labour power of both inside and outside the Greek borders, for the whole 1995-2008 period the GDP and all economic indixe are growing. A recent report by the highly credible Bloomberg, which assesses the impact of the euro on the eurozone countries, shows that, despite the long-term recession, the Memoranda, the GDP decline of about 30% in the 2008-2018 period, etc., Greece ranks among the countries with a good score (B), higher than countries like France, Spain or Italy. The long-term positive impact of the single currency on Greek capitalism is undoubtedly reflected in Eurobarometer statistics, where supporters of the single currency have significantly outperformed the “Euroskeptics” since the outbreak of the crisis, while support for the single currency has been steadily declining since its adoption in 2001 until 2008. Bloomberg’s report can be found at the following url: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-euro-at-20/. We are still waiting for the fans of the militant “no” vote in the 2015 Greek bailout referendum to say something about the “hardcore” pro-European majority that has formed in the Greek social formation, which obviously includes large parts of the domestic working class. Of course, they utter no word about the crucial role played by the European perspective in the lives of immigrant proletarians, since they don’t belong to the Greek people in order for them to pay attention to their struggles.
51. “After the first period of development of the real subsumption of labour under capital, the crisis beginning in the early 1970s resulted in the restructuring of the capitalist relation of exploitation. This restructuring abolished and overcame the contradiction which supported the previous cycle of struggles between, on the one hand, the creation and the development of a labour power produced, reproduced and used by capital in a collective and social manner, and, on the other hand, the forms of the appropriation of this labour power by capital either in the direct production process (labour in the production chain, the ‘big factory’ system) or in the process of the reproduction of labour power (welfare) or in the interrelation between capitals (national regions of equalisation of rate of profit). It was there, in the previous cycle of struggles, where the conflictual condition manifested itself as the workers’ identity affirmed in the very reproduction of capital, an affirmation now abolished by the restructuring. It was the manner in which they were architecturally structured, on the one hand, the integration of the reproduction of labour power and, on the other hand, the transformion of surplus-value into additional capital, and finally the accumulation of relative surplus-value within the direct production process, which became obstacles for the valorisation on the basis of relative surplus-value” (Roland Simon, “La Restructuration telle qu’en elle-même”, Théorie Communiste, no 22, February 2009, p. 20-21.
52. The concept of double or dual State comes from Ernst Fraenkel’s book The Dual State which, while first published in English in 1941, is in fact the corrected version of a manuscript of the writer’s experiences on his stay in Berlin in the 1933-1938 period before fleeing abroad. First of all, we quote an excerpt from the preface to the German edition of 1974, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, p.13, because it’s always important from what position one speaks: “Although being Jew, I was allowed to work as a lawyer even after 1933 [the year the Nazis took power] because of my involvement in the [First World] War. The dichotomy of my bourgeois existence made me particularly sensitive to the contradictory character of the Hitlerite regime […] Based on the supervision of the operation of the Hitlerite regime offered by my law practice, I believed that I found a key to understanding the Nationalist-Socialist sovereign order in the coexistence of a ‘normative state’, which generally respected its own laws, and a ‘state of emergency measures’ that disregarded the same laws”. In addition, Fraenkel was organised in the Social Democracy during the Weimar Republic and was politically active. That’s why, apart from the centrality of the concept of law, his analysis won’t miss the association of the dual state with the development of German capitalism: “Given the choice between an essential rationality and an essential irrationality, German capitalism decided in favour of the latter. It’s ready to adapt to any essential irrationality, as long as the important conditions for its technical-rational order are preserved. German capitalism preferred an irrational ideology that maintains the given conditions of technical rationality, but at the same time it destroys all forms of essential rationality. When such an essentially irrational ideology uses capitalism, capitalism is ready to accept the programmatic goals of this ideology. This coexistence between capitalism and National-Socialism finds in the dual State its institutional expression. The social conflict is expressed in the dual nature of the State. The dual State is the necessary political form of a post-war period rich in tension. The way in which tensions will be resolved depends ultimately on ourselves” (Ibid., p. 241). For our part, however, we believe that the concept of dual State can be combined on an fruitful basis with the concept of the partial denationalisation of the State mentioned earlier, while it’s incompatible with simplifications referring to the capture of the State by private interests.
53. The way that racism stabilised the capitalist social formations in the West with the arrival and integration of immigrant workers has both to do with the simultaneous capitalist growth and with the structure and functions of the capitalist state. The great reaction that the Visegrád Group’s countries show towards the possibility of the relocation of refugees to them, and consequently the possibility of their destabilisation due to grassroots nationalist reactions, has to do with the fact that their proletariat is still nationally homogeneous (the existence, e.g. in Czech Republic, of a large proportion of German-speakers doesn’t negate this reasoning). The “social compromise” there embodies elements of the cover-up of brutality by which the workers’ identity from the former Eastern countries was exposed, where it was part of the State socialist ideology and State nationalism. The State in these countries isn;t yet sophisticated to such an extent that it can promote the deepening of exploitation without resulting in shockwaves. Or, rather, with the State utilising immigrants as “absorbing the shockwaves”, subjected the most extreme forms of exploitation. For example, in Orban’s Hungary, the other aspect of the extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric is that the new labour law cannot pass without major social reactions, a law giving employers the right to demand up to 400 hours of overtime per year from their employees. The national States in Eastern Europe retains definitions of national interest that are up to date and common with the corresponding popular ones, they haven’t yet completely eliminated the past character of the people’s State.
54. Labour migration is linked in principle to the question of being a citizen of a State, and not to the question of the recognition of the immigrants as a national minority. Before we can even consider the recognition of immigrants as a national minority within a national State, they must first be attributed citizenship from the State. That is why, from the point of view of capitalist exploitation and state management, the Greek citizens of Macedonian ethnic origin are hierarchically “above” the Pakistani, Albanian, etc., immigrants. However, the lives of all of them are subject to a devaluation and repressive management that’s socially and politically unthinkable for the “purely” Greek citizens.
55. Regarding the Albanian uprising of 1997 there is an, at least informative, extensive text of TPTG that can be found in the following url: http://www.tapaidiatisgalarias.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Upheaval.pdf.
56. Year 1999 marks not only the time when the Greek stock market reached its highest historical point, but also the year that Kurdish leader Ocalan was handed over to Turkey. Against every popular belief of national interest, and confirming its distance from the Greek people, the Greek State promoted its own national interest on the basis of a “patriotism judged in international relations”. Various versions of Greek nationalism, both popular and State, both left-wing and right-wing, are expressing their solidarity to the Kurds either in the name of the right of a people to self-determination or as a tool to apply pressure to the Turkish State, or both.
57. On the concept of the production of the people, but also on a fundamental approach of the nation-form, see Étienne Balibar’s article “The Nation Form: History and Ideology”, Review (Fernand Braudel Center), vol. 13, no. 3, Summer 1990. For our part, we consider Balibar’s critical remarks as regards the use of the concept of “social formation” and the distinction between social/political that seems to imply. As we try to show throughout this text, the political form of the State and the nation-form are inevitably tools for studying a historically specific social formation.
58. For symbols as ideological constructions and their role in processes of nation-making, see the remarkable text “Το ΑντιΜαϊντάν, το Μαϊντάν και άλλες περιπέτειες” [“Anti-Maidan, Maidan and other Adventures”] in the following url: https://aruthlesscritiqueagainsteverythingexisting.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/το-αντιμαϊντάν-το-μαϊντάν-και-άλλες-πε/. Also, in the text “Η Γιουγκοσλαβία ως το σημείο μηδέν του νεο-συντηρητισμού μέρος 3ο – Κάνοντας (μη-)κριτική” [“Yugoslavia as the Zero Point of Neo-Concervatism, part 3 – Making (Non-)Criticism”] (in the following url: https://ourbabadoesntsayfairytales.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/η-γιουγκοσλαβία-ως-το-σημείο-μηδέν-του-3/) can be found an extensive comment on the reproduction of capital and national ideology, and of hatred against Bosnians. We watch with interest the connection between the fetishism of social relations, national ideology, symbolic systems, and the constitution of the subject that the comrades suggest, yet we cannot accept that capital only works “like a community-building force”. The analysis lacks the way in which the dynamic elements of capitalism, inter alia class struggle and inter-capital competition, interfere historically to the formation of national ideology.
59. Nikos Kotzias, former Greek foreign minister and architect of the Prespa Agreement, stated that: “While the Greek government in 2008 managed to build a great alliance on our positions and to celebrate for this great alliance it made, as it managed to make 17 out of the 26 then NATO member-States to aggree with the positions of the Greek government, it created another ‘schema-legend’. The minutes of the Bucharest summit in 2008 show that Sarkozy was the first to speak, and Merkel was the third one to support the Greek positions. That is, we went out and celebrated for a veto that we didn’t need to raise. And then we were condemned by the Hague Tribunal and we were are burdened with a conviction on our shoulders for something that we didn’t, to put it politely, exactly do, and which the other side now pleads we did. Because, any future difficulty wouldn’t only be a difficulty in interpreting the Interim Agreement, it will also be a difficulty of turing around a decision of Hague Tribunal that’s anything but in our favour”.