[Marxism] Facing bad choices, in or out of the euro, Greece needs our solidarity

Marv Gandall marvgand2 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 10 16:15:07 MDT 2015

On Jul 10, 2015, at 4:35 AM, ioannis aposperites via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

> …Tsipras was clear from the beginning: His government was declared to be a national salvation government. The promises to the proletariat were supposed to be the outcome of a fair class collaboration and were conditioned by that collaboration as long as the bourgeoisie had to be also satisfied. You like it or not, that was Tsipras' game. Of course the greek working class and its other political forces were and are playing a variety of different games, but that does not regard Tsipras' intentions.  Conclusion: speaking of treachery is not even technically correct.

The word treachery is sometimes bandied about too loosely, but let’s not bend the stick back too far in this case. Tsipras was not “clear from the beginning” that his intention, and that of his government, was to implement the most punitive of a succession of austerity packages forced on the battered Greek masses over the past five years. Exactly the opposite, of course. The stated intention of the Thessaloniki program was precisely to put an end to the austerity packages and the country’s debt peonage and to use the state to launch a program of public works and other measures to promote an economic recovery. The program was Keynesian in essence, and it is from that standpoint, not that of revolutionary socialism, that Tsipras’ government wholly abandoned the party program and the tens of millions who rallied behind it. 

Tactical retreats and compromises which fall short of the full realization of a party program are often necessary and inevitable given adverse economic circumstances and the political correlation of forces. Calling on your troops to lay down their arms and surrender unconditionally to the enemy the day after they have won a resounding victory and their confidence and readiness for further combat in pursuit of their objective has been greatly strengthened (as well as that of their allies abroad) is a qualitatively different matter. 

Finally, the Tsipras government was not a “national salvation” or unity government, as the term is commonly understood. Syriza formed a coalition government with the smaller right wing ANEL party which was also opposed to the austerity program imposed on Greece. The two established parties, ND and PASOK, and a new centre party, To Potami, were all outside the government and were consistently critical of its declared intention to repudiate the debt and resistance to so-called “structural reforms”. It was only earlier this week that the Syriza leadership reached out to the discredited leaders of the opposition parties to issue a joint statement in favour of an agreement with the troika on the latter’s terms, precisely those which a strong majority of Greeks had rejected by referendum a day earlier.

More information about the Marxism mailing list