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Old 03-14-2018, 08:05 PM   #1
Tomche Makedonche
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Default Political Party LEVICA

For anyone curious about the views and objectives of this party, I think you will find the following article should sufficiently cover that curiosity.

https://www.marxist.com/greece-and-m...mmon-enemy.htm

Alek Atevik, a member of the Central Committee of the Macedonian organization Levitsa (Left) and a leading figure in the Yugoslav section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), spoke to Epanastasi [‘Revolution’] about nationalist myths and the need for internationalist class solidarity.

The Greek ruling class claims that Macedonians are not a nation and that the Macedonian language does not exist. What is the truth?

The starting position should be the national liberation movements in in Balkan Peninsula in the 19th century. All of them were directed against either the Ottoman Empire or the Hapsburg Empire, both of which were multinational states with emerging capitalist relations. With the help of Russian, German, English and French, and Austro-Hungarian forces the Ottoman Empire began to decay, starting with the formation of the Greek monarchy. A little later it continued with the setting up of the Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Montenegrin monarchies.

The concept of ‘Megali Idea’ [a Greater Greece], ‘San Stefano Bulgaria’ [a Greater Bulgaria based on the Treaty of San Stefano signed between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in 1878] and similar such ideas can be found in all the Balkan bourgeoisies, which is to expand as far as possible one’s own territory at the expense of one’s neighbours.

The national question, therefore, took on a bloody character, and instead of bringing development and progress, it was a call for perpetual wars, military actions and propaganda, violent changes of demographics… So, it is not only the Greek ruling class that has claims against their neighbours. The same is true of the modern Bulgarian ruling class, and in the past – before the People’s Liberation War and Revolution (1941-44) of the Serbian ruling class.

It took a civil war in Yugoslavia, with on the one side the Communist partisans, and on the other all the different mutually antagonistic sections of the bourgeoisie, to cut across the chauvinist propaganda, so the Serbian ruling class cannot sell this idea to the Serbian people.

For example, even the ultra-Serb nationalist Šešelj denounced the earlier attitudes prevailing in Serbia that Macedonians are southern Serbs. In Greece, we saw similar tendencies during World War Two, but as in the Greek Civil War, the winners were the capitalists, the hatred was intensified. Thus, we can see that the reactionary ideas imposed on the Balkan proletariat will only finally be changed with socialist revolution.

The existence of a Macedonian nation was confirmed after World War Two with the creation of the Macedonian state within the Federation of Yugoslavia. It is true that this nation is small, but can any sane person claim that the Slovaks or the Slovenes don’t exist as nations? As for the Macedonian language, it is a recognised Slavic language, with a separate orthography, unique letters and words, and Bulgarians or Serbs can understand it with a little help, somewhat like the Dutch language for the English or Germans.

What is the general mood in Macedonian society regarding the conflict with Greece, and regarding NATO and the EU?

People in the Republic of Macedonia (RM), no matter their political affiliation or ethnicity, seem to be fed up with this and blame the Greeks (the Greek government) for their irrational policy of demanding name change. They blame Greek policy for the blockade of NATO and the EU, but this is truly seen as one minor factor. The vast majority consider that it is local politics and strategy that are restraining economic development.

So, the ruling parties (the Social-Democrats and the Albanian-speaking Democratic Union for Integration) are willing to bow down and accept some new name just to get NATO membership. This will temporarily strengthen their position, as NATO membership has been a national myth of ‘progress and prosperity’ for the past 25 years.

The open door to the EU will further bring benefits for the government, as the EU has been even more uncritically accepted as a saviour from economic despair ever since the break-up of Yugoslavia. Here, we should also note the pressure of American imperialism on the Macedonian government to integrate the state within NATO, and to present this enlargement as a success for the present-day failing American foreign politics.

Do you think that there is any strong mood among the people for ‘expansionism’ at the expense of Greece? Are there any elements of expansionism in the current constitution?

[Jokingly] There is great interest in Halkidiki, Asprovalta and Platamonas [Greek seaside holiday resorts] for summer ‘expansions’. Thessaloniki is also a centre for regular shopping by the upper-middle classes.

It is a joke that such claims of ‘Fyromian expansionism’ can even be considered. [Note: FYROM, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, is the name Greece insists that Macedonia uses] The country hardly has an army, and NATO came into Macedonia and the country openly collaborates with it, which means that the army of the Hellenic Republic is fully informed of the capacities of the small professional army here.

As for the constitution, our readers should know that it was changed with amendments imposed by the Hellenic Republic in 1995. Thus, in the constitution there is already Article 3 which states clearly: “RM doesn’t have territorial pretensions towards neighbouring countries. The borders of the Republic can be changed according to the constitution, on the basis of voluntary action and within accepted international norms”.

Also, Article 49 has the following line, imposed by Andreas Papandreou’s government: “The Republic will not interfere in the sovereign rights of foreign countries and their domestic affairs”.

Any attempt to find irredentism in the written law is very superficial. There are no political forces within the RM that have goals of occupying any parts of the larger region of Macedonia, as there are no political forces outside of Macedonia who wish to occupy the territory of present day RM. It would be nice to hear again from these people what should be changed in the constitution. So far, there are proposals and some political demagogy from the Greek Minister of Defence, Kotzias to change the formulation of ‘Republic of Macedonia’ with some term like ‘Republic of Northern Macedonia’, as if the change of name would stop the mighty Macedonian army and millions of people from conquering the world!

In Macedonia, Is there any room for the development of an internationalist proletarian movement, as part of such a movement across the whole of the Balkans?

What we can see after almost three decades of capitalist development is the decay of almost all the gains of the working class (wages, working hours, working conditions, pensions, holidays and workers’ hotels, allowances and so on). One can observe very weak trade unions and a decrease of the membership, while the labour aristocracy serves the ruling parties. From time to time there is some turmoil within them, but generally speaking they are stable in their reorientation towards any new government – like sunflowers (who always turn towards the sun), we say.

We can expect that a mass, working-class movement will be absent in the near future, but at the same time the workers will realise by themselves that the bourgeois institutions and parliamentary parties are impotent to solve the real burning questions. What we need is a clear socialist programme and strategy to win them over. It is crucial that the small forces of revolutionary Marxism (that have been working for quite some time) are developed, locally, but also in the region. That is one of the reasons why communists from Macedonia joined the Marxist Organization Crveni: a joint group of communists within the former Yugoslav territory.

Given that Levica has emerged as quite a strong force in politics, what is its political line and what is its perspective?

Levica, formally is not at all a strong force, but given the obstructions from the legal system, the pressure on some of its leading members, the financial difficulties, the low level of political culture, and the false use of left-wing ideas, Levica can be proud of what it has achieved.

Example of these difficulties are the four separate cases of prosecution against the party leadership, or the case where some intruders demanded taking over the party by judicial means twice, which we won by the way, or the sabotage two days prior to the elections and so on.

Levica will remain in opposition to the capitalist system, a system created by the bosses’ parties and their rulers, and it will not join any of the large coalitions and time will vindicate our correct tactics. The strategy is to build the party of workers, so we support in different ways individual and collective workers’ struggles, offering both legal help and solidarity actions. The party has a news and information website that promotes anti-imperialist and anti-nationalist ideas. It is developing a network of branches, not at a high pace.

Communists working in the Marxist organization Crveni are actively participating in the Levica party, and they are given confidence with leading positions. I am member of the Central Committee and Coordinator of the Programmatic sector, Foreign policy, Defence and Security.

Levica is the only party that stands against joining NATO, and also the only party that expresses open criticism of the servile Macedonian politics. Thus, we proposed ending the so-called negotiations over the name of the country done by the right wing and the so-called social-democrats. At the same time, we reject the false historical rhetoric that Macedonians are ‘sons and daughters of Alexander the Great’. We are also ferociously against the historic revisionism of the nationalists under the previous government of Gruevski. In Macedonia Levica is attacked for its position on name change, as nationalists or even fascists, but we just cannot side with Greek nationalism or any kind of nationalism.

What is the attitude of the working class and the youth towards the Titoist period and the old unified Yugoslavia?

In all the former Yugoslav republics, more or less, the working class, in particular the white-collar workers, have a positive attitude towards the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia. Their feeling is that it was something good that has now been replaced by something bad. The retired people of today, and who were fully employed 30 or 40 years ago, have suffered the heavy burden of the wave of privatizations since 1989 and have been witnesses to the disintegration of their lives with hyperinflation, embargoes, massive layoffs, literally the decimation of industry, and wars and refugees.

However, those times are long gone and the present generation of workers cannot connect their experience with that of 30 years ago. The memory of the working class has been smashed to pieces as the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was unable to stand firm. The need for a genuine mass Communist party is thus essential to restore the memory and activate the class struggle on a higher political level.

What is your message for the Greek comrades and the militant workers and youth in Greece?

Up until six months ago, the most important questions of ordinary people, no matter what their ethnicity is, were unemployment, low wages, corruption, poor healthcare system, decaying education system, terrible pollution in Skopje and other cities, toxic gold and silver mines, and huge class divisions between rich and poor.

Today the new government has tried to bury these problems and impose other problems such as the name-change of the state, the language rights of the Albanian nationality, internal territorial divisions, joining NATO and so on. The media are also co-participating in this hysterical propaganda.

Our duty, in both our countries, is essentially the same: to oppose this turning away from class struggle towards nationalism/racism and to help build the unity of working people. We have the task of exposing the real motives of the ruling class in dividing the working class within national borders, but also internationally. We have to explain patiently and we shall overcome.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:21 AM   #2
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Interesting, can commend them for their independent and strong stance but I sense some Yugostalgia in that interview...

What are others' thoughts on this party?
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Old 04-23-2020, 03:06 PM   #3
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My thoughts are this is over 2 years old. In which case, the entire political party is most likely a bunch of pro Serbgarian Greco sycophants by now.
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Old 07-03-2020, 01:05 AM   #4
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This party is really pushing hard this coming election.

Despite claiming to be against the Tirana platform and the implementation of Albanian as an official language, the party's Facebook page is written bilingually in Macedonian and Albanian: https://www.facebook.com/PartijaLevica/. Their Facebook page for their Tetovo branch is also written bilingually (a bit more understandable), though their other branches are written only in Macedonian.
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:38 AM   #5
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https://levica.mk/english/

POLITICAL PLATFORM OF LEVICA

We, as fighters for a world of collective progress based on the availability of opportunities for the free and equal self-realization of every individual, striving for a society based on freedom, equity, solidarity, social justice and democratic governance of the means of production—a society freed from the devastating impacts of nationalism, militarism, authoritarianism, conservatism, corruption, discrimination, labour exploitation and class stratification—and united in the name of shared human values and our common conviction that the radical emancipation of the socially and economically oppressed depends on our personal and collective efforts, pledge ourselves before all citizens of the Republic of Macedonia to fight for collective progress through solidarity, equality and concern for the environment. It is with this commitment that we have formed LEVICA in order to redress the concentration of economic and political power amongst a tiny fraction of society and redistribute it equally and consensually to the people where it belongs—to each individual. Convinced that the situation in which we live today does not correspond to human needs, on a local as well as global level, and aware of the bitter problems that afflict the lives of Macedonian citizens, we lay down the following values as the ideological foundations of LEVICA:

Social justice! The strengthening of socio-economic and labour rights provides the basis for combating poverty and class inequality and the achievement of a classless society. We denounce the perpetual suffering inflicted on citizens, their humiliation and exposure to the harmful consequences of an unruly capitalist system that profits a few at the expense of the many. We advocate for equal access to resources for all citizens, equal treatment in the management of the means of production, as well as for universally accessible public goods and services. We urge the establishment of a functional and comprehensive social security system that will protect and support those at risk in order to overcome hardships. We strongly condemn the privatization and plunder of public services and their misuse for elitist interests and personal gains.

The just redistribution and responsible use of the means and outcomes of production! We fight for essential economic changes, based on the premise that people should not be slaves to capital but that capital should serve the people. We advocate for policies which do not treat the worker merely as a resource in the process of production but as a human being whose life and health are more important than products and profits. We support policies that will stimulate economic growth through the synthesis of science and economics, thereby building an economy based on knowledge that will not jeopardize human lives or the environment. Public resources must be managed responsibly and skilfully. The practice of favouring foreign companies and private capital must be abandoned. We call for the provision of the necessary conditions for a dignified life, for workers not to be alienated from their own labour, as well as for a just redistribution of income.

Responsible governance! We fight to build a society in which those in power will serve the people instead of making the people the servants of a self-serving regime. We advocate for a political system in which the common interests of the people will be superior to the interests of elites. We fight for just, responsible, and competent institutions free of corruption. We are against the clientelism that has become so deep-rooted in all spheres of our society.

Equality and solidarity! We stand in the way of oppression, disenfranchisement, humiliation and abuse on any basis. We stand for economic, social and gender equality and freedom of ethnic, religious and sexual expression, strongly condemning chauvinism, nationalism and all forms of discrimination.

Against nationalism and ethnic divisions! The citizens of Macedonia have been purposefully poisoned with nationalism in order to detract attention from their impoverishment, while a tiny layer of power elites has been accumulating inconceivable wealth. LEVICA will stand in the way of inter-ethnic barriers and tensions and, as a supra-ethnic party, will work towards uniting people regardless of their social status and against dividing people by their ethnicity. LEVICA opposes people’s confinement within the narrow boundaries of nation-states.

Anti-conservatism and secularism! We support all progressive currents and seek the deconstruction of clericalist, conservative and patriarchal moral codes. We strictly oppose the meddling of religious communities in state affairs.

Anti-imperialism! We stand against the destructive quest of world superpowers for global domination that makes this world such a dangerous place—from the unscrupulous instigation of wars in other countries to the imposition of ‘controlled’ instability and militarization. We oppose Macedonia’s integration and participation in military blocs and inhumane missions. We oppose economic imperialism embodied in creditory vassal-state politics and foreign investments that exploit domestic resources and labour. We fight for a world united in the name of peace, solidarity and equal progress for all peoples—above all for the unification of workers, the poor and the disenfranchised around the world in a universal human front for economic emancipation.

Our is a struggle for a world founded on freedom, democracy, equality, solidarity, justice, peace and effective human sustenance while preserving and improving the environment. In the spirit of the maxim “there are neither rights without obligations, nor obligations without rights” we are convinced that such a world can only be achieved if people themselves take control of their own actions and actively involve themselves in building a society based on these values. Convinced that change hinges upon the political participation of each individual, we declare that our efforts will surpass typical party politics. We fight for the oppressed and we value the role of each individual as a social actor.
I find myself questioning the integrity of their supposed position against a name change for Macedonia given some of the other elements outlined above and the failure to even mention that issue in their platform. At the very least, I don't think it is a priority for them.
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Old 07-07-2020, 02:38 AM   #6
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Just watched a debate from a few days ago between the leader of Levica - Dimitar Apasiev and the disgraced former General - Stojance Angelov. Below is a summary (statements are paraphrased):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RkFyZEtGRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw9RvBKF4ac


- In the coming elections, Apasiev is aiming to get enough votes for at least 5 members of parliament. Although he has and will continue to be critical of DPNE, he is open to discussing a coalition with them. He wants to exclude ethnic Albanian parties from a governing coalition. Basically, he wants Levica to take over DUI as the kingmaker party.

- Apasiev speaks against the Prespa Agreement and has the intention of initiating proceedings for its annulment should he be in government. He speaks against the prevalent nepotism in government and of term limits for judges. He doesn't believe the elections will be fair and suspects there will be many irregularities, ballot stuffing, stolen votes, threats, voter intimidation, etc. He is against NATO. Angelov suggests that Apasiev's positions are more congruent with the right rather than the left side of politics.

- Apasiev speaks against the Islamicization of Macedonia, suggesting the next generation will get into Greater Albania sooner than the EU. Even when they do join the EU, Bulgaria will force Macedonia to concede both Delcev and its language status. He says that Angelov had no issue accepting the Prespa Agreement so why would he complain about Delcev and the language. Angelov says he will not agree to that.

- Apasiev says he is a Macedonian but Angelov is a North Macedonian. Angelov still calls himself a Macedonian but tries to draw a comparison with the Macedonians under the Ottoman Empire with regard to identity of citizenship as opposed to ethnicity, failing to grasp that Macedonia was under occupation at the time (thereby indirectly suggesting the same now).

Apasiev suggests there are more wiretaps or recordings which will be revealed soon and that they incriminate the Zaev regime. He also says that Dimitrov should go to prison for his part in the Prepsa Agreement and for contravening the constitution. Angelov keeps threatening Apasiev that he will be sued for his statements. Apasiev accuses Angelov of scare-mongering and threatening war if Macedonia didn't agree to NATO, the dual-language law, etc.

- Angelov compares Apasiev's current zeal and idealism with the coalition he made with people he referred to as "Vojvoda Georgievski" and "Brat Ljube". But now he is very much a hardcore supporter of the Zaev coalition and endlessly praises that traitor. Angelov is visibly upset when Apasiev speaks negatively about Zaev and how he has the support of the West but not of the people.

- Angelov says our country has never been stronger than now (presumably since joining NATO). Angelov promotes NATO but Apasiev criticises him for supporting NATO when they helped the terrorists he was fighting against in 2001. Angelov says that NATO will not support terrorists in future now that the country is a part of that organisation. In response to why he didn't finish off the terrorists in Arachinovo, Angelov says NATO would've bombed the country. Apasiev states that if NATO are for democracy, why would they bomb Macedonia? Angelov responds with "who said NATO is for democracy". Apasiev uses this to highlight Angelov's hypocrisy.

- Angelov says that DPNE were also in negotiations with Greece about the name, that they didn't deploy their membership to protest, that they didn't encourage people to vote 'no' in the referendum and that if they win they will not try to annul the Prespa Agreement. Apasiev says the general understanding during DPNE's negotiations with Greece was a dual name formula, Macedonia for the world and North Macedonia with Greece.

- At one point, Angelov was asking Apasiev's opinion on certain historical figures. Apasiev seemed partial to Gligorov but not to Trajkovski. Angelov asks Apasiev if Goce Delcev was a quisling because he was against the Ilinden Uprising. Apasiev says he wasn't, instead he had the sense to assess the challenges of such an uprising. Then Angelov responds by saying maybe Zaev is the new Delcev. Apasiev said the comparison is an insult.

- At one point (11:39), the moderator of the Samo Vistina show (which always seems to have repeat footage of the signing of the treacherous agreement in the background), interjects in the discussion and tells Apasiev "nie sme severna".
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Old 07-07-2020, 02:54 AM   #7
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Based on that Dimitar Apasiev is a stand up guy and Angelov is yet another Northadonian who represents normal thought over in that pathetic country nowadays.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:07 AM   #8
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I posted the exchange because there appears to be some noise about Levica. There is not much to fault Apasiev's views in the debate regarding the name betrayal, diminishing sovereignty and assault on our culture. His partiality to Gligorov and his perspective on DPNE's intentions with respect to the dual-name formula are topics that may require further clarity. The debate was largely related to politics and corruption, so, intended or not, Apasiev came across as a nationalist. They didn't spend much time discussing social (or economic) issues, although these are outlined in Levica's platform. Based on this debate, their platform and other statements, it appears that they are nationalist on culture, socialist on economy and progressive on social issues - in some ways, almost reminiscent of Yugoslav times. That is a very broad spectrum of voters to seek. In their platform, they have expressed the following:
Quote:
Against nationalism and ethnic divisions! The citizens of Macedonia have been purposefully poisoned with nationalism in order to detract attention from their impoverishment, while a tiny layer of power elites has been accumulating inconceivable wealth. LEVICA will stand in the way of inter-ethnic barriers and tensions and, as a supra-ethnic party, will work towards uniting people regardless of their social status and against dividing people by their ethnicity. LEVICA opposes people’s confinement within the narrow boundaries of nation-states. Anti-conservatism and secularism! We support all progressive currents and seek the deconstruction of clericalist, conservative and patriarchal moral codes.
Statements like these may easily discourage some people from voting, because most Macedonians who are against the name change are also conservative, or at least lean in that direction. Further, it may prove problematic to align those statements with what Apasiev was saying during the debate. Nationalists and progressives are hardly a match made in heaven. So, the question remains, if they join another party as a junior coalition member, on matters relating to culture, the economy or social issues, which one takes priority?
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
if they join another party as a junior coalition member, on matters relating to culture, the economy or social issues, which one takes priority?
I don't want to sound negative just for the sake of it. But I genuinely believe that once any political party achieves success in Macedonia, it is destined to corrupt itself and as a consequence, any kind of treachery is possible thereafter.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Risto the Great View Post
I don't want to sound negative just for the sake of it. But I genuinely believe that once any political party achieves success in Macedonia, it is destined to corrupt itself and as a consequence, any kind of treachery is possible thereafter.
For the most part, that's an unfortunate truth in Macedonian politics. It would be terrible if the somewhat conflicting messages of Levica turn out to be an indication that they're using patriotism merely as a vehicle (to be discarded afterwards) to further some type of far left agenda.
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