[Marxism] Polls that challenge the mantra that most Greeks want to stay in the Eurozone

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 07:21:36 MDT 2015


On Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 9:18 AM, Marv Gandall via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> On Jul 14, 2015, at 7:12 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
> marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
> > First off, it still seems that Greeks want to stay in the euro. While a
> poll at the end of 2014 by Gallup International found that 52% of Greeks
> would prefer to have the Drachma over the euro, this seems to be something
> of a rogue poll. All other polls have consistently shown Greek support for
> the euro.
> There has been a lot of informed comment in academic circles and in the
> financial as well as left-wing media that Greece would be better off
> leaving the eurozone than continuing to be subjected to the grinding
> austerity and deep depression, with little hope of economic recovery, which
> characterizes its current situation. The argument is that Greece would
> recover if it were free to devalue its own currency - that it could less
> painlessly recover its competitiveness though an “external” devaluation of
> the drachma as opposed to a savage “internal” devaluation based on driving
> down the cost of labour and social benefits. Even the initial shock of the
> transition to a new currency could be eased if Greece were able to
> negotiate an orderly exit with the eurozone powers who, together with the
> US, have a strategic interest in ensuring a stable Greece on their borders.
> Whatever you may think of that argument, this debate has never really
> filtered down to the Greek masses who support Syriza’s social program,
> largely because the pro-euro party leadership has rejected this option from
> the beginning. This is the foremost reason why most public opinion polls
> skew heavily in favour of continued eurozone membership.
> However much the two issues are linked, however, the referendum wasn’t
> about continued eurozone membership but about the austerity package. And
> the deeper issue, as always, is: Who decides these life-or-death issues:
> the people or the party, the leaders or the working class?
> We wouldn’t be having this discussion if the Greeks had voted by 61% to
> accept the austerity package that was proposed to them in the referendum.
> The Tsipras leadership would have had the result it was hoping for, despite
> its cosmetic campaign in favour of a No, and that would be that. It could
> return to Brussels to sign the surrender terms with the mandate of the
> Greek people securely in its pocket. We might still lament the outcome, but
> case closed. It is for the Greeks themselves to decide, not us, not the
> leaders they elected.
> We’re having this discussion precisely because the Tsipras leadership
> chose to ignore the overwhelming rejection of the austerity package. It
> acted as if as the popular democracy did not exist, and the popular classes
> had not decisively pronounced on the issue. It promptly signalled its
> willingness to the eurozone powers that, despite the referendum result, it
> was prepared to continue negotiating the terms of surrender. And it did so
> in concert with the widely despised opposition parties .
> How can we condone this about-face by the leadership, any more than we can
> condone a union leadership arbitrarily and unexpectedly capitulating to the
> employer the day after its members roundly reject an agreement assaulting
> their living standards and working conditions? Even if it were a
> well-intentioned union leadership which considered it was acting in the
> best interests of its poor benighted members who did not really understand
> the implications of what they were voting for?
> As an old comrade once remarked to me, “my first loyalty is to the working
> class, then to the party or trade union which purports to act in its name.”
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