A fiasco that turned into a nightmare
Το κείμενο στα Ελληνικά βρισκεταί ΕΔΩ
THE CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION IN GREECE:
A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE SYRIZA GOVERNMENT
After the 10-month SYRIZA-ANEL governing, we do not know what the future will bring. But we certainly know what the future will definitely not bring: all those laws that the government repeatedly pledged to set. So, not only do we share the feelings of loss and frustration, but we are also disgusted by the stench of deception. We are now certain that this maximalist government will not fulfil its promises about: restoring minimum wage to 751 euros, collective labor agreements and the 13th pension; controlling the labor jungle; diminishing employer despotism; establishing the basic rights of the lower classes by strengthening the health and education system.
So, what does this government really promise to bring? Development — all in good time! Until then, they suggest patience to the millions of the unemployed, the millions of poor people, the great social majority that is already devastated. This is the so called “parallel program”, as far as we can tell.
Nonetheless, this situation is not only hopeless, but also grotesque. There are two ideas that SYRIZA has always considered to be the basis of neoliberalism: The first one is the trickle-down effect theory, according to which only private investing and development can ensure the workers’ well-being. The second one is the idea that social welfare provides only for the “disadvantaged minorities” and that any other social service beyond this “humanitarian assistance” is an impermissible burden to the economy; it is anti-developmental and, therefore, prohibited. If someone believes that the government policy actually differs from such ideas, they are welcome to deploy their arguments; but nobody has done that up until now.
The last so-called argument left, is that –given the balance of power– this particular outcome was a one-way situation. Consequently, the point is whether we will support the government in order to tackle the right party’s rhetoric on the “left parenthesis”. This is a ridiculous argument: the full implementation of the fierce memorandum measures and the continuation of the Greek lab rat’s (i.e., the Greek society) six-year torment constitute the creation of the worst type of “left parenthesis” that could ever exist. Furthermore, unless militant counteracting forces take action, this “parenthesis” might be long lasting and combine with a large part of the lower classes’ representation by the most horrifying Nazi gangs.
Do the government supporters attach enough importance to this risk? Not at all.
Therefore, it is very important to keep on stating that the events were not inevitable neither “objective”.
Additionally, we cannot overlook the actions of those who undertook the confrontation of the “balance of power” by celebrating the upcoming victory. Worse still, they did not prepare the workers for the inevitable forthcoming social and political conflict, but for entering the markets and for reaching a favorable agreement with Merkel as sure as hell.
What we mean to say is that the government adopted an adventuristic strategy, by justifying “normalcy” (without the official assent of the SYRIZA party members), assuring people that social regularity would be maintained and defending «legality» at all costs. This strategy foreshadowed an attitude towards the “balance of power” which did not prepare us for the forthcoming events. This is not a post hoc conclusion; it had already been apparent for quite a while. Nonetheless, whoever touched upon these matters, was considered as uncommitted to the “left government” cause.
We believe that the basic element of what we currently call “forbidding balance of power” is the obsession with having a government rain or shine and no matter what. Moreover, a government that keeps reassuring us that not much will change “in the state and the markets”; that takes a road to nowhere by accepting that Greeks pay “all our debts”, while our European “partners” do not keep their promises; that agreed to avoid one-sided actions, committing to the wonderful 20th February agreement (though Draghi is allowed to perform one-sided actions); and, finally, that claimed that we were “gaining time” while it was clear that we were getting more and more trapped in a suffocating situation.
As a result, the first “disobedience” acts were made under the worst possible circumstances* and lead to volatile contradictions. The most important contradiction is that, after the 5th July-referendum loud “No”, the government went –unasked– after an agreement with the ESM; an agreement that foretold the upcoming disaster.
We believe that whoever claims that these events were inevitable and “objective”, is judged in terms of rationality, and not of commitment to the left movement. Even on the 13th July, there were better possibilities: the government could have quitted (just as the majority of SYRIZA party suggested) and, finally, inform Greek people about the perils and the range of possibilities. That way, they would legitimize the confrontation with the creditors’ demands and the Greek Capital’s tyrannical purposes.
Even though we could have certainly followed another path, these are the actual facts. They prove that the arbitrary actions, the policy of coup d’ état, the cretinous parliamentarism and the faith in delegation definitely lead us to loss. Not to defeat, but to loss. That is because a democratic collective and people who are informed and aware of the situation are able to find ways of handling a defeat. These events were much worse than a defeat.
This means that the reinforcement of the people can only be possible by organizing the frontal attack to the current social destruction policy– and, obviously, to its agents.
*While, during the previous months, the government did not take any of those actions that even the most moderate neo-keynsians considered as basic actions of a government that is determined to fight neoliberalism: capital controls, banks public control, parallel currency, enough firmness to face the “frightening” option of exiting the EU…
Network for the Political and Social Rights