[Marxism] Fwd: Replace facile criticism with criticism of the facile: Guest Post from John Game on Syriza | AnotherCountry

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jul 12 09:20:19 MDT 2015


By John Game

The difficulty with many (not all) of the left critiques of Syriza is 
not their program but the lack of evidence that their argument has a 
social base. This doesn’t mean that I have confidence in the Syriza 
leadership in all they do but it does mean that I think the difficulty 
is not so much that they’re holding back an insurgent consciousness so 
much as they reflect it (and those who like to denounce reformism ought 
to know that this is always an aspect of how it works). And I think that 
poses all sorts of difficulties.

Too many of the denunciations are formalist in the sense that they 
imagine just being ‘logical’ and having the right ‘program’ is all. If 
you cannot connect your program to an actual historical movement its not 
really worth the paper its written on.

The whole dilemma as well as miracle of Syriza today stems from the 
creation of radical politics at the head of a class which neo-liberalism 
has atomised and dispersed. The depth of the crisis in Greece allowed 
this form of politics to exist-this paradox has a bad as well as a good 

However I agree with what Costas (Lapavistas- ed.) has apparently 
said-this delays rather then ends the prospect of an exit from the Euro. 
In a lot of ways the basis of the development of social radicalism in 
this situation is hugely uneven and neccessarily paradoxical. Its not a 
crisis that’s over yet either for the European capitalists or for Greek 
Society-or for Syriza.-Ultimately I think we have to be careful about 
telescoping these events-expecting final denouments around every 
corner-one danger is that the arguments of a left frustrated by its lack 
of a social bases join hands with the arguments of the right-they are 
‘incompetent’, ‘stupid’ or, as I heard one commentator say delightfully 
‘reformist bozos’. In reality this is a round about way of attacking the 
existing level of consiousness of those already bearing the brunt of 
European capital’s depredations-far better is to talk about the 
political and social contradictions involved and understand that the 
arguments are likely to be protracted and extend over a long period-its 
not about persuading Tspiras what to do-its about persuading most 
Greeks-clearly this won’t happen on the basis of calling (or indeed 
believing) that they’re dumb.

Importantly this is not an argument against criticism. Its an argument 
for good criticism rather then facile criticism.

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