„Treason“ is not a category of modern politics. It is a word not truly apt for analysing social and political patterns of today’s societies. It smells of feudalism, of personal commitments in times long foregone. Structural analysis may be hindered rather than furthered by such a vocabulary.
Alexis Tsipras went to the referendum in a truly difficult situation. He wanted to alleviate his own political burden, feeling no more able to bear responsibility for the far-reaching decision: how to go ahead with Greece’s relations to Germany and to EU? He declared firmly to accept the verdict of the electorate whatsoever. If the Greek people would vote to submit, he would submit and step down, he told. He would give in and leave office.
But the Greek people did not give in. The population voted NO with a huge, a truly impressive majority. It was unexpected not only to the European centre, but to the Greek Left, and to the government, too. The Greek people said „όχι„, very loud and very clear. It commissioned him: Say NO! NO to the austerity! NO to the national humiliation! NO to EU-policy and politics!
And Tsipras, his government and his party now say YES! YES to austerity; YES to complete submission; YES to Schäuble, Dijsselbloem and Juncker!
If ever the word treason made any sense, then it is now! This action of Tsipras and the majority of his party is treachery in every sense of the word, morally, politically, and historically. It is one of the dirtiest political manoeuvers in the history of the Left. And besides being a baseness, it is a foolish to the utmost. Tsipras was on its knees before June 26th. Now he lies face down on the earth – it is not enough for the EU-criminals. He has to kiss their asses.
To have a parallel to such a political twist, we have to go back a century. As World War I started, the German and the Austrian social-democracy, and in fact the European social-democracy as a whole, had demonstrated against war and imperialism. On August 4th, the German social-democrats voted the war, the imperial aggression and the butchery in the name of militarism and profit. Now, Tsipras and the majority of his party, together with the compradors of Nea Demokratia and To Potami, votes the most complete submission of Greece, and they vote against their comrades of the left wing.
Let us have a look at the wreckages of SYRIZA-politics of the last five months.
SYRIZA got a relative majority. Thanks to the fraudulent Greek election law, devised by the conservative parties, Nea Demokratia and PASOK, to assure a parliamentary majority by a minority of votes, they got such a majority. However, their first movements were resistance to EU-policies. Thus, if they had gone to a new election, they had got a honest majority, for many more Greeks supported them.
Latest at this time, Germany an its allies decided to topple this government or to crash it. This was no surprise, by no means. But the naive SYRIZA-men – I have seen no woman – were quite astonished. Instead of caring for the future, they gave in, step by step.
Varoufakis was a provocation in his outfit to the mummies of financial oligarchy and their political puppets. Perhaps this was a merit for a short time. However, it was not enough, as Varoufakis seemed to believe. He was a lousy minister, completely unable to do his job.
For his job had to establish immediately, on January 26th, control of capital flows. Only in the last minute, as it proved nearly fatal to Greece and its government, he established such controls. It made no more sense, and it was done in the most stupid way it could be done.
He must start from the first minute to build up a new and effective apparatus for collecting the taxes, for controlling Greek oligarchy and for letting them pay at least their due share. He did nothing.
It was a must to prepare for the attacks of the ECB. It would inevitably come, for using the weapon of cash in such a deep crisis is standard for the sharks of the financial markets and their political personal in the central banks. He did nothing, or in fact, by his silly remarks about the scrapped printing machines of the old Drachme he invited them to attack most brutally.
After less than half a year, SYRIZA’s political results are a catstrophy for Greece and for the rest of Europe. We have to ask for the consequences, for Greeks as well as for the European Left.
*) The Left in Greece will be discredited within short a call. With hindsight, KKE can congratulate itself. They refused to make politics, and now they seem justified. Probably, they will win some votes. However, such a non-programme and non-politics can be no alternative.
*) The left wing of SYRIZA declines desperately to confront reality. If there was ever a necessity to break away, this are these days. They have the chance to establish an alternative policy, but only for a very short period.
*) The catastrophe for the European Left is, if possible, even greater. This Left has identified completely with SYRIZA. The events of the last days are a godsend for Renzi, Hollande and Rajoy. SYRIZA had provided them with the best arguments they could imagine for the coming elections in Spain, and for the political conflicts in Italy.
To end in a more fundamental way:
Left politics has always fluctuated between electoralism and putschism. Both strategies have proved to lead to nowhere. To look exclusively for electoral success resulted always in a complete resignation in political regard. To reject frivolously electoral politics resulted in authoritarianism. We have the historical example of the Bolshewiks in 1917 / 18. This was the very first move to the discomfiture of 1989.
Blanquism is surely not an alternative. Aside from basic concerns, it is simply impossible in present times. Armed resistance to even a modest army did result almost always in being routed. The only exceptions were the complete disorganization of the army before the confrontation, as, f. i., in Russia 1917.
SYRIZA’s defeat was easily to presage, unfortunately. We could not foresee that it would elapse in such a dirty and ignoble way. This shows us in a way completely without any doubt that a debate on left strategy is quite indispensable. We have to start it at the spot.
Albert F. Reiterer – 13. Juli 2015