After Syriza does what Syriza does, we get this from the VIB, Richard Seymour:
It’s a serious retreat, but less on the matter of debt (this bit is just kicking the can down the road) as on the question of troika control. That’s a serious setback. Syriza are, of course, in a fucking awful position and have been trying to hold out a decent position. But the concession on this point is a significant defeat, *even if* the deal doesn’t insist on total austerity and even if it includes reference to the humanitarian crisis and social justice. The reforms they plan have to gain the approval of the troika, and that’s just a terrible situation to be in.
So, yes, now is not a time to be euphoric. It’s a time for the Syriza left and forces to the left of Syriza to push hard for Grexit.
How's that for a penetrating, incisive criticism of Syriza? "Awful position," "decent position"? How's that for a thorough explanation of where Greece has been and where it's going? Ranks right up there, doesn't it, with "Yes, We can" from 2008, and Jesse Jackson's "Keep Hope Alive" from an earlier bygone era?
Awful position, decent position? What bollocks. Syriza was in exactly the position it wanted to be, it campaigned to be.
Our boy Lollipop Seymour thinks that now is the time for the Syriza left to push for a Grexit? I wish I could say Lollipop was just taking the piss, but he's not.
Exactly how is a "Grexit" going to a)be accomplished b)work c)help?
Syriza, whom Lollipop hailed as the materialization of the angels of our better natures, couldn't be "compelled" by its "left" or by "the left" to stand its ground on ending the bailout terms from 2012, and now Lollipop thinks an exit from the EU is in the cards? Any minute now he'll karaoke a rendition of "Tomorrow" from Annie.
Syriza's whole ploy was the attempt to decouple the issues of debt and austerity from the issue of capitalism; to pretend that the former(s) could be mitigated, and reversed, without confronting and abolishing, the latter.
Now Lollipop wants to repeat the performance by "pushing hard" for a "Grexit," pretending that Greece's membership in the European Union can be decoupled from confronting and abolishing capitalism.
To "push" even a little bit for Greece to exit the EU via the parliamentary road, as opposed to class struggle, requires first a vote of no confidence in the Syriza government. So question number uno for all our disappointed Syriza supporters: Do you advocate, support, voting no-confidence in the current Syriza government? I know my answer to that question. I don't know how any supporter of Syriza will answer that question.
If the no-confidence vote does succeed, then what? Usually a new government, or new elections, follow such a vote. So what government will our VIBs, SIPs, etc. support this time around? What parties are capable of forming a government based in and on the current institutions of Greek capitalism that will also compel that "national" capitalism to sever ties with the European Union?
No such party exists. Those without manners, those loud, rude, nasty types, might remind all concerned that New Democracy originally campaigned against accepting the austerity connected with a bailout. New Democracy replaced the PASOK government based on opposition to the requirements of a bailout. How did that work out?
The European Union is not Europe, no more that NAFTA is North America. And, to bring the point home, a social movement in Mexico that proposes disengagement from the NAFTA accords as a "remedy" to the poverty and privation of the people of Mexico without confronting, in fact as a means to not confront, the core relations of capitalism in Mexico is worse than a waste of time.
Wait...there's more. It gets better, I mean worse. We have the peripatetic movie-reviewer Louis Proyect providing the following bit of explanation to one of his list-members who wondered why Syriza would make "such a concession":
On 2/20/15 7:04 PM, A.R. G wrote:You know what I love about this? Actually, nothing. But I do have to point out the distortion of history that our boy Blowhard deploys to justify his adherence to class-collaboration and the eternal capitulation to capital. You see, the Bolsheviks didn't campaign for continuing the war, even on revolutionary grounds. In the struggle to transfer all power to the soviets, the Bolsheviks, and their allies had campaigned for quitting the battlefield. And the Bolsheviks did just that, walking away from Brest-Litovsk and its odious terms, and were then compelled to accept more odious terms in remaining true to its program of ending participation in the inter-capitalist war.
Fine. But why did they make this concession?
Because they buckled under pressure obviously. If you think that Marxism prevents you from accepting rotten deals, you need to read up on Brest-Litovsk. Here's Trotsky on the treaty that was imposed on a war-ravaged and exhausted USSR:
"That we could no longer fight was perfectly clear to me. When I passed through the trenches on my way to Brest-Litovsk the first time, our comrades, in spite of all advances and encouragement, were quite unable to organize any significant demonstration of protest against the enormous demands of Germany; the trenches were almost empty – no one ventured to speak even conditionally of a continuation of the war. Peace, peace at any price! Later, on my return from Brest-Litovsk, I tried to persuade the president of the military section of the All Russian Central Executive Committee to support our delegation by a “patriotic” speech. “Impossible!” he exclaimed, “quite impossible; we cannot return to the trenches; we would not be understood; we would lose all influence.” As to the impossibility of a revolutionary war, there was not the slightest difference of opinion between Vladimir Ilyich and myself."
In Greece today, the enemy is not armed with bayonets but Euros.
Nothing in Syriza's actions is analogous to the events surrounding Russia's withdrawal from the war.
But history is just so much bunk to our game-theorists; our academic economists; our lollipops and blowhards. Stalinists rewrite history; our leftists make it a jingle for self-advertisements. Wankers them. All.
February 20, 2015