Other illusions about Syriza & Greece

This is an interesting article on the rise and fall of Syriza in Greece:


It is a bit heavy-going and lacks any ecological insight but it still makes several good points. It is all the more useful given how starry-eyed many people have been about Syriza. At the Green Party conference in Liverpool last year, for example, the session on Greece, with a Syriza contributor, gave the impression that Syriza was the best thing since sliced bread. 

Of course any radical party in Greece risks being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Furthermore, Syriza was better than its socialist predecessor PASOK, It would be naive to see the Greek crisis purely as some foreign concoction and nothing at all to do with popular lifestyles and behaviours inside Greece pre-meltdown.

That said, Syriza did embody legitimate disgust at the ‘Troika’ (some background: https://corporatewatch.org/…/greek-debt-what-they-dont-tell…) But that should not mean that rose-tinted spectacles must be worn when looking at what Syriza represented and what it was doing. The same applies to Podemos in Spain and a certain Jeremy Corbyn closer to home.

Yet, overall, none of these tendencies ‘get it’ when it comes the really big challenges of climate change and general ecological overshoot. All are little more than a radical Keynesianism, with in some cases, an extra dollop of technocracy added.

The widespread illusions about Syriza and co entertained inside the Green Party reflect a certain ‘anti-intellectualism’, with, in particular, a disdain for ‘theory’ It is often treated as little more than medieval-style disputation, as opposed to a ‘get-on-with-it’ activism. But activity not guided by good theory is likely to round and round in fruitless circles. That in turn will breed disillusion and despair. New Left Review might suffer sometimes from a certain ‘ivory tower’ theorising, divorced from any kind of useful activity, but, as this article shows, careful analysis and rigorous debate are still vital if we are to make sense of the world iso that we can change it.

Why did the Tsipras government sign up to a third Memorandum, within days of the massive popular rejection of austerity in the July 2015 referendum? Stathis Kouvelakis tracks Syriza’s repositioning since 2012 and its self-imprisonment inside the single-currency regime.

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