[Marxism] [SocialistProject] Bullet: Requiem at an Empty Grave? Syriza's Momentous Day

Michael Yates mikedjyates at msn.com
Mon Jul 13 05:36:51 MDT 2015

The agreement reached between the troika and Tsipras puts the absolute lie to the nonsense offered by Leo Panitch. 

A journalist friend (and former student) asked me for comments on the situation in Greece. He asked specifically about Varoufakis. Here is what I said:

"With respect to Greece, the deal cut hours ago between
Tsipras and the troika represents a total capitulation to the latter. Greece
has agreed to austerity measures worse than those recently rejected by Greek
voters, and especially by the broad working class. The problem for Syriza is
that it did not have what negotiators call a “best alternative to a negotiated
agreement,” which would have been, in my view, exit from the Euro and the EU.
To have such an alternative would have required planning and a mass education
campaign to prepare people for such an alternative. This Syriza failed to do.
It failed to even try to deepen democracy and to empower those who voted for
it. It behaved just like any other modern political party. The consequence now
is an admission that there is no defying the neoliberal market gods, namely the
rich nations and their richest citizens. Capital rules and as Thatcher said, “there
is no alternative.” For the Greek working class, poor, unemployed, pensioners,
the results will be more suffering and more death. Greece is in worse shape
than the US in 1933, and things will get worse. What growth might occur will be
tilted overwhelmingly toward the rich. Greece is now formally a colony of
Germany and the other rich EU nations. The troika has taught the Greeks a
lesson in power and sent a message to any that would defy them.

As for Varoufakis, he was in way over his head, believing
that his grasp of game theory would win the day, vastly underestimating what he
was up against, a bit too taken with his dashing persona. He didn’t even show
up to vote when Tsipras demanded allegiance to his upcoming capitulation. Instead
he retired to his summer home. He may now have political ambitions, to the left
of Tsipras, but to the right of the left that has rejected austerity all along.
We shall see."

Louis has said that his interest in Syriza lies only in what lessons it can teach those in the US trying to build a radical party. What I would say is that what is needed is a radical re-conception of democracy, one that takes seriously the development, through both education and action, of the people's capacities to govern themselves. Meszaros and Michael Lebowitz have much to teach us about this.  


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