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

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jul 13 06:15:31 MDT 2015

On 7/13/15 7:36 AM, Michael Yates via Marxism wrote:
> 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.

I will be writing something on the North Star website when I find the 
time about why parties like Podemos and Syriza are important and worth 
imitating by the American left.

It can be confusing for some people why we support that position. A guy 
named "purple" just posted this comment on my blog:

"SYRIZA doesn’t exist anymore. The Left Platform is going to be fired, 
and Tsipras will take on PASOK types. There won’t be a Left government 
in Europe for generations because of this rout. People calling for a 
SYRIZA model should take realistic stock, the party failed at every 
single one of its goals in a shockingly short time span."

The confusion has to do with organization versus program. Groups like 
the British SWP and the small groups that are organized like the SWP and 
that have come together in the Antarsya coalition have been "correct" 
from day one but they got just over a half percent of the vote in the 
Greek elections.

Having a correct program is only part of the equation. You have to an 
organizational form and a means of communication that the average worker 
can relate to. By analogy, it is the difference between the Green Party 
in the USA and the ISO. When Ralph Nader got nearly 3 million votes in 
2000, it represented a tremendous opportunity for the left. To give the 
ISO some credit, they were very involved with the Nader campaign.

Was Nader capable of providing the kind of leadership that an American 
VI Lenin or a Fidel Castro could provide? Or for that matter Eugene V. 
Debs? Of course not. But the dynamics of the Green Party in 2000 opened 
up the possibility of important breakthroughs for revolutionary regroupment.

That is the way I saw Syriza. If and when something comes along to 
replace it, it will most certainly not be Antarsya or the KKE.

It will be the same sort of mixture of right and left that will be under 
the same kinds of pressures that Greece is facing today. Furthermore, as 
I have insisted all along, a socialist Grexit will likely lead to just 
as much suffering if not more so than Greece is facing today. The 
drachma is not a panacea. The Greek economy has been dysfunctional from 
the 1930s as all Marxist analysis I have read has emphasized. Trying to 
fix that economy within the framework of capitalism is a challenge of 
Herculean proportions. To go beyond capitalism opens a Pandora's Box of 
other ills. Once a Greek government takes power and nationalizes the 
banks and large corporations, declares a monopoly on foreign trade, and 
institutes a planned economy, its troubles will first begin.

If you need any reminder of what a socialist Greece would have to 
confront, I recommend Karl Marx's "The Civil War in France" or E.H. 
Carr's history of the USSR.

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