[Marxism] Fwd: Greece as Rashomon | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jan 2 11:38:36 MST 2016


Like Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”, the story of Syriza is also one about 
a rape told from different, self-serving and contradictory perspectives. 
For both the sectarian “Leninists” and the anarchists, Tsipras’s failure 
was ultimately a failure to smash the state and proceed rapidly toward 
the construction of communism. For a post-Keynesian like Jamie 
Galbraith, there was not that much of a failure. As a Nation Magazine 
wrap-up on the deal between Syriza and the German bankers put it, 
Galbraith summed it up as one in which “it was the German authorities 
that had blinked” and a “deal makes no dramatic concessions to the 
pro-austerity camp”. For other post-Keynesians like Mark Weisbrot, there 
is more of an emphasis on what was lost even if there is a reluctance to 
admit that it was a full-blown defeat. As for the capitalist ideologues 
at the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal, you get more or less 
the inverse interpretation of the ultraleft. Greece was a tragedy caused 
by Tsipras’s hubris.

Since the last version of what happened is so patently absurd, there is 
no point commenting on it. It is the clash between the first two that 
interests me especially since they both strike me as undertheorized. 
Probably the best presentation of the Marxist analysis can be found on 
Michael Roberts’s blog in an article titled “Greece: Keynes or Marx?” 
that was written before the infamous deal that amounted to a new round 
of debt and austerity. Referring to an interview that Sebastian Budgen 
conducted with Costas Lapavitsas, he finds fault with Lapavitsas’s 
confession that he remains committed to Keynesianism despite being a 
sharp critic of Alex Tsipras: “Let me come clean on this. Keynes and 
Keynesianism, unfortunately, remain the most powerful tools we’ve got, 
even as Marxists, for dealing with issues of policy in the here and now.”

full: http://louisproyect.org/2016/01/02/greece-as-rashomon/



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