“We have a party system, which is narrower than the scope of the problems and narrower than the scope of the society” pointed out the former deputy prime minister, professor of constitutional law, Evangelos Venizelos at the presentation of a book by political science professor Nikos Marantzidis, entitled: “In the Shadow of Stalin”, in the auditorium of the Society of Macedonian Studies.

“I believe that the three systemic parties, inside and outside the quotation marks, have the greatest connections. Those that produce the sharpest and most toxic conflict” said Mr. Venizelos and continued: “I believe that in the major issues of strategic orientation of the country there are no essential differences between the ND, SYRIZA and PASOK. Beyond this systemic spectrum, you have very great difficulty in getting answers, which will be clear and which can support a national strategy. ‘Well, for me the question is always if, regardless of how the issue of governance, the formation of the government, will be resolved, consensuses, understandings, codes of communication can be formed, which will allow us to talk about the real agenda. Because now we are not talking about the real agenda of the country”.

Mr. Venizelos explained that for the three largest parties that have a governing experience, they are “finally pro-European”, have made “concessions in relation to the corporate cooperation of Greece with the US” and “follow a policy model, similar, with variations “. Such an approach to a real policy agenda for the country would be ideal, he said, but added: “If the question is: ‘Can this happen?’ The answer is no. It won’t happen, because the Greek political system freezes the society, the society is underrepresented, that is, we have a party system, which is narrower than the scope of the problems and narrower than the scope of the society. Now, if this is relevant and with our communist tradition, it may have, in the sense that Greek political life is oppressed by syndromes that have historical depth”.

In a discussion with the author Nikos Marantzidis, Mr. Venizelos referred to milestones and critical decisions of the KKE’s historical path, from its foundation up to 1956, which the author deals with in the book, such as the KKE’s stance on In December, in the Greek civil war, his controversial positions at that time on the Macedonian, saying that the ideological and political conflicts at the time affect Greek political life to this day. He added that, although both the SEKE and the KKE initially resisted the perception of the Soviets and the institutions of the international communist movement about the Macedonian, the category of “inconsistency” in relation to national issues is attributed to him, with the result that he is built in the country as rival awe the ideology of “patriotism”. This conflict, as Mr. Venizelos said, is “paid for like nothing else” by the Greek Left and the Center Left, constantly finding itself in an apologetic stance on national issues, just like today’s KKE, in its attempt to balance the new conditions. As an example, he brought the “guilty” and “embarrassing” position of the KKE regarding the Prespa Agreement.

Mr. Venizelos emphasized that the ideological conflicts of the period to which the book refers also affect today’s political life and added: “Until now we live with these syndromes, we cannot form national consensuses, we cannot go beyond stereotypes, we cannot to think in a more progressive and inclusive way”. He pointed out that in our country there was, because of them, a different development from other European countries, which after the war formed a different political and cultural culture of consensus and consent in their political life.

N. Marantzidis observed that the conversion of his ex-Soviet party (CPSU) from the idea of ​​”world revolution” to the doctrine of “socialism in a single country” during the interwar period significantly influenced the sister communist parties of other countries, partially turning them into instruments for promoting the interests of the foreign policy of the former USSR on a global scale, with the Greek KKE nevertheless “autonomizing” and differentiating itself in the decisions about the December elections and the civil war, moving along a “revolutionary” line and in choices which initially did not have the approval of the Soviet regime.

Mr. Venizelos noted that, as all world conflicts are distinguished by a “political theology”, respectively the global and domestic communist movement had its own “political church”, with faith in the goal, with martyrs, with “schismatics”. and “heretical” opponents – all that made up the structures of an “anti-society”. Not even the European social democracy was historically unaffected by this trend, especially in Germany and anyway less so in France, he noted.

Finally, Mr. Venizelos pointed out that the Russian Federation, as the successor state entity of the former USSR, claims both its imperial and Soviet past, isolating from the latter “whatever it wants” and leaving the rest aside , building her narrative on the basis of a national ideology. This is also seen in the Ukraine war, as Russia, in order to justify its position, criticizes “mistakes” by Lenin and Stalin, in various aspects of the Ukrainian issue during the last century.

“In Stalin’s Shadow”

The book “In the Shadow of Stalin” is based on fifteen years of research by the author in unpublished and published archival material in Greece, Russia, Eastern and Western Europe, as well as in the Balkan countries. The book traces the interactions of the Greek communist movement with sister parties in neighboring states and with the centers of power and decision-making in Stalin’s Soviet Russia. N. Marantzidis investigates the way in which international institutions, Soviet geopolitical interests and the strategies of the sister parties influenced the party life of the Greek Communist Party in the period 1918-1956 and shaped in a substantial way the personality and leadership of the KKE, the its character as a party and its decision-making, as well as the lifestyle of its supporters over time.

The book is published by “Alexandria” publications.