[Marxism] Fwd: Greek Elections and the dangers of Pyrrhic Victories
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jan 24 17:08:40 MST 2015
What does SYRIZA’s programme not do?
There is no call for wholesale nationalisations, no call for a worker’s
government, there is no call for abrogation of the debt (instead they
are asking for renegotiation on 50% of the debt) or leaving the euro,
and there is no call for socialism. It appears to be a simple and
reformist plan for national reconstruction of Greek capitalist economy.
So why are the European ruling classes so worried?
What is the fear of the European ruling class from a SYRIZA victory?
Unlike the last election in 2012, finance capitalism (both the
individual European and multinational banks are mostly covered from
disaster of debt abrogation, repudiation, or relief (the Greek debt has
been purchased by European governments and the ECB; see also:
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/…). So the issue of bank failures
solidifying fears of a spike in the crisis is not the issue as much.
Yet, international financial markets are reacting rather negatively to
the strong possibility of a SYRIZA victory. A Greek exit from the
Eurozone and debt repudiation from the election of SYRIZA is not as
worrying for the European ruling class, but the question of how can
that influence others in Europe is the issue.
Tsipras has not called for leaving the Euro and has asked instead for
renegotiation of the debt to get 50% of an unserviceable debt relieved.
So Greek exit is not a demand of SYRIZA, but that does not mean that the
Eurozone will not ask them to leave. Also, if they get the renegotiation
and still remain in the Eurozone, the question of the rules underlying
the Euro come into play as they require caps on fiscal deficit and debt
and hence limits to government spending. This is then compounded by
economic fears of debt renegotiations affecting the financial markets as
they find instability nerve-wracking and fears of what may happen lead
The issue is one of a domino effect whereby Italy (on deflation and why
financial markets are worried, see: http://uk.businessinsider.com/…),
Spain and Portugal will the same thing following the election of a left
that has raised the issue of a rejection of austerity and debt repayments.
That is the fear of the ruling classes, a popular rejection of austerity
and neo-liberalism; that is a political fear of the ruling class in
Europe and in the advanced capitalist world.
So should the left support SYRIZA?
Yes, it will represent a significant defeat of the austerity agenda
which is essential for the fightback against neoliberalism and the
attack on the working class since the crash in 2007-8.
Is this all that we on the left want? By no means, but it is a major
first step. The support of the left and support of the organs of the
working class in Greece will force them further to the left and to keep
their electoral promises. The end of the struggle is not the election
with a victory (hopefully a majority one).
SYRIZA needs the support of the left inside and outside Greece if this
is to be a real victory and to keep them on track. If they are not
pushed, then this may turn into a Pyrrhic victory where a left party
wins and is forced into more and more concessions by the ruling class
rather than fulfill its potential and be the beginning of an electoral
and mass fight-back against neoliberalism.
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