The following document was written by comrades in Greece and as a contribution to the internationalist fight of the working class has been translated in to German. It has been distributed as a bilingual leaflet in several factories in Berlin and elsewhere by comrades of the GIS (German affiliate of the Internationalist Communist Tendency.
“Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur” (“Change the names, and the story is about you”)*
This is probably something you suspect, and maybe already know. If you haven’t thought about it already, consider it now.
What happens here in Greece, also concerns you.
What happens to me here will happen to you there.
We are both working men and women.
We work hard and flexible hours (if we still have jobs). We are not paid much.
They threaten us with wage cuts and dismissals.
Every day you are told that I am to blame for the economic crisis.
Every day I am told that it’s your fault that my living situation becomes worse.
But the facts show a different picture.
Here in Greece:
Wages are falling.
Purchasing power growth is far below inflation.
Unemployment is rising.
Poverty is growing.
One million people are already unemployed (20%) and currently have been abandoned to their fate. And this number is continuously increasing.
Already both parents are unemployed in 10% of families.
Youth unemployment is over 45%.
At the same time, tax rates on capital and high incomes are being lowered.
There in Germany:
The other side of the German “economic miracle” of the last decade are the shrinking wages of thepopulation dependent on employment, because they have paid and are still paying the price of“improving the competitiveness” of the German economy.
Real wages of German workers are falling year by year and companies’ profits “inflate”constantly. Purchasing power is now well below inflation.
7 million (about 20% of the workforce) work part-time under fixed-term contracts (“mini-jobs”), with monthly earnings below 400 euros and without insurance.
While real wages have declined over the last 10 years, banks have increased their profits by 39%.
The prime reason for the external debt is commercial rather than fiscal deficits. This drives countries into financial speculation.
And one last thing: the loans that Greece gets do not come from Germany’s state budget, but come from the financial system itself, which multiplies its profits on its loans. However, the public current account budget (the so-called “tax-payers”) has to take the risk of these financial transactions.
It is obvious. The ruling classes of our countries — using unimportant differences and our fragmentation — are trying to split us.
They are trying to turn us against each other.
While you and I are at loggerheads, we cannot defend ourselves against their oppression.
The idea of the “nation” is their important weapon because it hides the class character of thecapitalist system. It gives the impression that the existing state of things is an expression ofcommon interests of the “people”.
We have nothing between us to make us divided.
They are united, let’s be united.
We are class brothers and sisters.
We will not pay for the crisis they created!
We resist as far as we can, but we need your solidarity.
Let’s fight together for our class liberation!
In order to shake off all oppression and discrimination!
Proletarian Internationalists from Greece
In the preface to the first volume of Capital Marx says to the German reader, even though England is used as the main example, de te fabula narratur (the myth is talking about you)! Anyone who feels that England is a special case hasn’t realised that social forces are now operating on an international scale. According to Marx, England showed the future of Germany and the world.