„TREASON“

„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

Greek NO to delivery a blow to Euro oligarchy

by Wilhelm Langthaler

Tsipras’s wavering on clear break threatening secure victory

 

The world is looking to Greece. Tsipras’s decision to call for a referendum was a courageous but risky forward defence. A strong NO will mean a significant political defeat for the European capitalist elites and first of all for the German leadership. It will open up the gates for popular struggles against the neo-liberalist Euro regime across Europe and especially the German monetarist dictatorship institutionalised by the EU.

 

But the shortcomings of Syriza’s leadership are obvious and endangering this possible popular victory. They have had nearly half a year to dissolve the widespread paradigm within the popular masses of being able to ending austerity while maintaining the Euro. All Greek attempts to pressurize Berlin into a “compromise with dignity” along the last months clearly taught that this is completely impossible. Instead of helping the people to understand the need of a rupture dissolving the impossible electoral mandate of January, instead of openly and convincingly preparing a plan B, Syriza keeps sticking to the contra factual idea that they can soften austerity within the Euro regime. They presented the referendum as nothing more than the last bargaining chip to threaten the troika into the impossible compromise so far not achieved.

 

The entire last week of mobilisation to the referendum they have been sending ambiguous signals in an apparent attempt to appease the middle classes who live through a terrorising campaign by the media apparatus aligned to the oligarchy. They sent another letter to Brussels repeating a compromise close to surrender – which again and again was humiliatingly rebuked by the creditors. Syriza played with withdrawing the referendum. All in all they did not appear determined adding to the bewildering of the middle classes. Instead of winning them they pushed them into the arms of the old elites. A vast majority for a NO turned into a very tight match.

 

There is, however, a possibility of a compromise – but only after defaulting and initialising the break! By contrast within the Euro regime Greece will have to carry the German yoke of austerity in the name of monetarism for decades.

 

The global capitalist oligarchy fears the default and also the consolidation of a popular government in the European periphery which could well serve as a spark to the subaltern masses of the ailing European south. The US and also the IMF has been pressurising Germany not to exaggerate their fervour which might at the end to starve the Greek people out of the western orbit.

 

While they will all be united in bringing down a radical democratic and social government, they will have differences as to how the shock waves emanating from a Greek rupture can be cushioned.

 

A strong popular mobilisation in concomitance with a broad political front fighting for the democratic and social interests of the lower and middle classes can indeed extract some gains from the global rulers. And it can push the people of Southern Europe to rebel possibly changing the relationship of forces in favour of the popular masses for the first time since decades.

 

All out for a resounding Greek NO!

Break with the Euro regime!

For a plan B outside the Euro (and eventually the EU) led by a popular government!

All out for a Greek NO

Common European Popular Struggle against austerity

Call adopted by the Athens Anti-EU forum June 28, 2015

 

The victory of the NO vote in the referendum will be a victory for all people of Europe and a message of hope, resistance and dignity. The NO vote will be a vote for confrontation with the EU and not for a renegotiation with it.  The delegations and the participants of the Athens anti-EU Forum call for a massive popular NO to old and new memoranda, to unemployment, to austerity, to the infringement of social and political rights, to the abolition of national sovereignty, a NO to debt, to euro and the EU! They call for a common front of struggle of all the popular and democratic forces for a victory of the NO vote.

 

The breakdown of the negotiations of Greece and the EU prove beyond doubt the true nature of the EU and its companion institutions (the ECB and the IMF): They represent the interests of capitalists and bankers. They impose neoliberal policies. They undermine democracy. They suppress popular and national sovereignty.

 

The open and humiliating blackmail of the Greek government, despite the painful concessions the latter had already made and its acceptance of a milder version of the Troika austerity program, is an insult not only to the Greek people but to all peoples and working classes in Europe.

 

Now, it is more than obvious there can be no end to austerity and social devastation inside the Eurozone, inside the iron cage of the neoliberal EU treaties. The negotiations’ breakdown demonstrates the unrealistic character of the position of the Greek government and other governments in the Eurozone for an ‘honest compromise’ with the EU, because the Eurozone and the EU cannot be ‘reformed’. Eurozone is the problem – Exit is the solution! This is the only realistic solution in favor of the popular classes!

 

Now is the time, for the popular, democratic and progressive forces all over Europe, all over the world, to express their solidarity to the Greek people and its struggle against the EU and the IMF. The Greek people are not alone. All the eyes of peoples and movements are turned towards Greece.

Declaration of Athens against the EU

The international anti-EU Forum moves forward with the meeting in Athens on 26-28th of June. Our goal is the proliferation of popular and forces of the Left that fight for social transformation , which are coordinated through the anti-EU forum, as well as the proliferation of the struggles against EU for the withdrawal of the European states from the Eurozone and the imperialist EU.

1. Seven years since the outburst of the financial crisis, we see the European Union becoming even more reactionary, anti-popular and neoliberal. Austerity is the pan-european recipe, and no-one is allowed to question it. The most anti-popular policies are today inscribed in the EU flag and the euro-constitution. This is not just a coincidental direction. Neoliberalism, austerity, the cancellation of social rights, the degradation of the world of work are deeply inscribed in the nature of EU. European Union was at the center of the global crisis and it proved once again that it cannot change, be reformed or be improved. On the contrary, the member states of EU are imposing increasingly harsher policies for the social majority, and increasingly favorable policies for the banks, the large corporations and the oligarchy. Placing our “hope” on the oncoming recovery and the exit from the financial crisis would conceal the fact that all the policies of ECB and eurozone (Draghi’s package, Juncker’s package, the Fiscal Compact) are just postponing the crisis until a more severe episode in the upcoming years.

2. The official statistics regarding poverty, unemployment and social exclusion are all on the rise. Social inequalities are increasing. Job insecurity is worsening. Wages become stagnant and in reality they are devalued. democratic rights are being eliminated. National and popular sovereignty is being reduced. The gap between the EU leadership and the peoples, who are being socially and financially destroyed, is widening. In today’s European Union there is nothing left to remind the legacy of the European enlightenment, the welfare state, the social protection, the liberal democracy, the friendship and cooperation among the peoples. Working classes and European nations have nothing to lose, instead they have already lost a lot and they will lose even more if they keep on following the catastrophic one-way path of EU.
3. The permanent policies of the European Union are those of a tough and rigid neoliberalism: privatizations, austerity, financial deregulation, attack against workforce, support on the capital, corporate subsidies, shrinkage of the public sector and reduced provision of social services. These policies are at the core of EU and they cannot be reformed. They are imposed either with or without social consensus: through financial blackmail and the constant threat of default. There is not anymore such thing as the democratic pretext of voluntary consent of the national parliaments. Under the pretext of sustainability of banks and continuing to be part of the eurozone, the leadership of EU is blackmailing the peoples of Europe in order to keep them at the slaughterhouse of European Integration.

4. Along with social inequalities, inequality between nations continues to increase. Powerful and weak states, states that blackmail others and states that are being blackmailed, define the image of modern-day Europe. Popular sovereignty is eradicated and national sovereignty is undermined by the supranational capital. The goal of maintaining competition leads to an extermination procedure for the weaker nations and convergence gives its place to divergence. E.U. has all the traits of an imperialistic union: contrasts and competition, social and national repression, the survival of the strongest being enforced using modern financial means, the EU’s stringent regulations, the Brussels bureaucracy, as well as the European Central Bank, which is independent of either governments or parliaments.

5. The euro is the most essential tool for the subordination of the states and peoples of Europe. It is by nature a neoliberal currency, as it is based on the hard-core neoliberal provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact. As the recent public debt crisis has shown, especially for the peripheral states of the Union, membership of the Eurozone equals the complete cession of all financial policy tools to the bureaucracy in Brussels and to the dictatorship of the banks. The euro is thus more than a currency. It is the institutional entrenchment of hard-core neoliberalism in the member-states of the Eurozone. Staying in the Eurozone prolongs social dead-ends, increases the national inequalities and equals the destruction of the working class.

6. The absence of an alternative forms the central dogma of the European Union. Social-democratic and labour parties early on accepted the neoliberal hegemony, introducing policies essentially identical to those of conservative, right-wing and Christian-democratic parties. The participation of the communist and radical Left in such governments proved disastrous for the popular classes, while at the same time blurring the historic divide between the Left and the Right. The EU framework never allowed for any policy shifts benefiting the popular classes. At the same time, the support for both the EU and the euro from the part of the vast majority of radical and communist left parties cleared the way for the rise of the far-right and of populist and fascist-leaning parties, who have tried to masquerade themselves as supposed champions of national independence and dignity against the social and economic destruction brought on by the EU. Those parties are also those that appear most Eurosceptic and critical towards European integration. This can explain their dramatic rise in the past few years.

7. The non-negotiable European policy of austerity, financial constriction, primacy of the market and of capitalist interests has been clearly demonstrated in the case of the new Greek government. Despite its statements for moving Greece (and the whole of Europe) to the left, and despite being elected on an anti-austerity and anti-Memoranda platform of ending austerity and putting an end to the “Memoranda” policies, the SYRIZA government tried to compromise with the EU. It accepted the core principles of the Troika austerity program with privatizations, social security cuts, wage cuts, increases of indirect taxes that hit the poorest classes. It accepted fiscal budget surpluses that aggravate economic depression and deepen austerity. The Greek government entangled in its myth about progressive solutions within the EU failed to challenge its framework, did not fight for the exit and disengagement of Greece from the EU and condemned Greece to follow neoliberal policies. However, even this ameliorated version of the Troika austerity program was unacceptable for the EU. The simmering popular discontent against these capitulations obliged the SYRIZA government to break the negotiations and call for a referendum against the Troika proposals. The referendum presents a very important opportunity for a massive vote of NO, not only to the creditors proposals but also to the Euro and EU and send a message of hope and struggle all over Europe.

8. We need a program in behalf of the rights of nations, people and the working classes:

I. Exit from the eurozone, enforcement of barriers on capital flows, price control policy.

II. Radical redistribution of income and wealth, in favor of the working classes, peasants, and middle classes and against big capital.

III. Economical social planning by the state, productive reconstruction, nationalization of banks and of strategic enterprises. Improvement of public health, social security, public service, natural environment

IV. Recuperation of popular and social sovereignty. Abolition of every regulation, institution and law that removes from the people the possibility to decide.

V. Denial and cancellation of the public debt

VI. No to the TTIP agreement.

VII. No to the imperialist policies of the EU and NATO against the peoples. Solidarity with the struggling people in Donbass, Ukrain. Solidarity to the anti-imperialist struggles for national liberation in the Middle East.

VIII. Exit from suprarnational organizations that preserve the neoliberal status quo such as NATO, IMF, World Bank, the WTO and of course the European Union and the Eurozone. Soli

9. The International anti-EU Forum that took place in Athens is committed to the further development of coordination initiatives between movements, fronts, political parties and organizations that fight against the European Union. Such an initiative for the next few months could be working towards a a pan-European campaign called „EU dissolves Europe- dissolve EU“ that will be completed at the next meeting of the International anti-EU Forum that will be organized the winter of 2015-2016.

NATION AND EMPIRE: The Left and the Contemporary State

Delphi, 20th / June 21st, 2015

Nation and Empire

The Left and the Contemporary State

Intellectuals were the true janissaries of nationalistic chauvinism in the early 20th century. Today, liberal intellectuals are almost unanimously embittered enemies of the nation and fervent partisans of the supra-national state, the empire.

The Left is trailing them.

This presentation is a short summary of a voluminous study on the emergence of the nation and its trajectory today. It argues that the nation evolved out of the fusion of the idea of people’s sovereignty with the need of social integration at a wider, supra-regional scale. This was based on earlier, more local forms of ethnic solidarity and identity. This way, it formed the very basis of the demos in parliamentarian democracy. Rightest forces succeeded in hijacking this political concept in the two great transformative crisis of capitalism.

Today, the political scene bears some similarities to this setting again. The crisis of the income distribution, the financial crisis and the Euro-crisis are the background. This time, however, the elites have chosen another strategy, the supra-national, the global one. Thus, once again the Right offers itself as the saviour of the national frame. As the life-world of the big majority of the population centres on the welfare state at the national level, the chances of the Right are good, if the Left continues to neglect this vital problematic.

The question of the nation and, on the other side, the supra-national bureaucratic empire is once again a core issue of emancipatory policies and politics.

–.–

Since Plato drafted his Republic and tried to persuade Dionys to realize it, intellectuals were ambitious to be „kings“, to dominate society and to rule. In the dark ages of European feudalism, however, their role was an extremely small one. As monks and priests they gave support to conflicting elite factions. Only in the period of enlightenment they started again to claim a stance of their own in the political process. They did so as speakers of a slowly emerging new class which eventually became the dominant one.

People’s sovereignty was a promising tool in the ideological contest, in the struggle not only for dominance, but also for hegemony in the society to come. In the upcoming complex society only those could claim legitimacy who credibly would aim to represent „the people“, that is: the historical strata standing for cultural, technical and social progress. But who was „the people“? Surely this was a bounded collective. But to determine the boundaries of this collective was a tricky affair.

Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau did not even consider this basic issue of the boundaries. Herder, who has to be seen as the German Rousseau, thought to have discovered the fundamental units of world history. He gave „the people“ a special shade and delimited the boundaries of the peoples („Völker“), in plural, by the languages they spoke. In fact, this was a rather fuzzy way to identify the peoples.

Southeastern Europa at this time was under the sway of Ottoman despotism. As the Ottomans and their core population, the Turks, were Muslims and claimed superiority as Muslims, another way to mobilize the subjects was rather naturally. The nation as a political concept for freeing the people of Ottoman despotism there was not based on the linguistic facts by the first theoricians importing Western European ideas. As Christians, Adamantios Korais (living in Paris) and Rhigas Pheraios / Velestinlis (executed at Belgrade) based their humanistic project upon religion. All the Balkan populations, speaking whatever language, would constitute a single nation.

The political practice of the French Revolution toppled these ideas. The troops of the different anciens regimes attacked the revolutionary forces and were routed by them. The kingdoms and principalities in the German speaking Central Europe were on the brink of extinction. At this moment, a handful of German intellectuals, aiming to resist the victorious French armies, transformed Herders programme for human emancipation into a narrow ethno-national concept. Fichte and Jahn succeeded in giving this progressive project a decidedly reactionary taint. Since that time, we speak of the German approach to nation and nationalism and identify it as a conservative ideology.

It was this framing of the nation which was accepted at the end of the 19th century, after the Prussian – French war and the defeat of France, by Maurice Barrès and a generation later by Charles Maurras as their version of the national idea. It became a device to embattle libera­lism and socialism at the same time. They saw society as a sort of old-fashioned community led by elites and intellectuals, this time not by divine grace, but by their natural, racial or biological superiority.

Italy at this time was a late-comer in nation building. The imperialist race for colonies to exploit them was almost over, and Italy had none. It felt disadvantaged in this competition. Furthermore, as a sort of Third World country at the fringe of Europe, many of its intellec­tuals saw it as an underdog also in a social perspective. Giovanni Pascoli, a half-mad neo-Latin writer, and Enrico Corradini, a facist avant la lettre, took over the reactionary French halluzinations and gave them their own brand. They formulated a fierce chauvinist construction and called it the Proletarian nationalism.

Thus, at the turn of the century, before WW I, all the elements of a reactionary cocktail were assembled: „Nationalism“ had been the other side of democracy at its beginnings. Now it became synonymous with retrogression and reaction.

In the meantime, an alternative concept aiming at the emancipation of the subject classes in general and the proletariat as a special case had come up. Socialism as a political project for historical progress and the liberation of the lower classes realized that capitalism was a global system. Internationalism, as a counter-project, was therefore one of the basic tenets of Mar­xism. (This did not hinder F. Engels to lean heavily to German nationalism.) As the focus of this presentation is not the history of socialism in its diverse strategies, I have to shorten the reflections regarding the workers movement and its relation to nationalism and internationa­lism. But let us be clear on one principle. The life-world of the lower classes is centred around the local, the regional and the national. Therefore, a non-authoritarian version of socialism has to depart from these levels: the local, the regional, the national. Of course, it has to transcend immediately those starting levels. But we cannot and must not neglect them. Doing this, we are punished by the utmost failure of our political project. The nation state remains the extremely important, the essential arena of left politics and policies.

Let us continue our path in recent history.

The crisis of imperialism led to WW I. It was used by the elites to push their populations and polities into a frenzy war which brought the collapse of Old Europe. After a brief recovery, the crisis recovered, too. But again, 1929 and its consequences were exploited by reactionary forces, this time by fascism, not by the workers movement and its organizations. Again, the strong Socialdemocratic Party in Germany stood aside, and the Communists were not able to counter effectively, for other reasons.

After WW II the political elites and their „organic intellectuals“, as A. Gramsci would say, realized that capitalism had escaped narrowly its doomsday. Fierce national competition between European elites was obviously a recipe for catastrophy.

In the Interwar period Julien Benda had urged them to unite. Now, in the aftermath of war, Alexandre Kojève drafted a new political order. In the 1950s, in line with such inputs and instigated by them, bureaucrats and politicians began to put into practice these drafts. The ECCS was the first rather modest product. As it worked in a satisfying way, the EEC was drafted and put into existence. The former nationalist intellectuals soon realized that there were chances for them hitherto undreamed of. They became „internationalist“ almost without exception and almost independent of their wider allegiance – as liberals, conservatives, socialdemocrats, later on as green-„alternatives“.

The first and original target of E(E)C was to build up a competitive ensemble of European economies – competitive especially vis-à-vis the USA – while at the same time taming aggressive German-national imperialism. This appears quite clear from the documents of the 1950s. And in fact, in this regard EC was a huge success onto the 1990s.

In 1914 Karl Kautsky published an article exactly as WW I started, in which he spoke of ultra-imperialism as a new possible peaceful way of capitalism: the joining of national capitalist classes under one common imperialist umbrella. As exactly in this moment war was chosen by these groups, Lenin had an easy way to scornfully deride Kautsky. Indeed, Kautsky had not understood that to come to such a ultra-imperialist cooperation there was need for a common state or something similar.

A century later, ultra-imperialism has become reality. It is embodied in a state which has retained the semblances of states for its constituents.

To obtain this, there were needed two socio-political processes and events of truly historical importance.

In Western Europe, the welfare state after WW II has reached what socialist took for impossible: the integration of the lower classes in the most affirmative manner into the capitalist system. However, this was a costly affair for the elites. For the first time in history, income distribution became a bit more equal, and the working classes and their dependents had some benefits. The upper classes became dissatisfied, and they started a roll-back. This needed the rebuilding of the political system.

General enfranchisement was instituted in most of Europe after WW I. Fascism abolished it soon after. At the end of WW II again this experiment started. Getting acquainted with this instrument, the population soon became more demanding. National politicians had to give way if they aspired to be re-elected. The elite became angry and sought for an alternative to this process as well as to fascism which was never more viable.

The solution was simple and yet genial. Political decisions had to be taken at a level where the population could not influence, and by a body, an authority which was independent of natio­nal populations. EU with the European Court and the Commission as a government was devised. As this proved insufficient, the Monetary Union with ECB as the ruling body was added.

This was made possible by the breakdown of the USSR and its allies in Eastern Europe.

But not only the Soviet Union broke down. The Western European Left followed suit. Its most influential parties and organisation had seen their guide in the Soviet Union and its political strategy. This sort of „internationalism“ proved fatal. The PCI changed into a socialdemocratic and centre party of most conservative stance; the PCF almost disappeared into political oblivion. The scarce rest of the groups and organisations independent of Soviet communism was reduced to intellectual circles or, worse, to political sectarianism.

In 2008 the financial crisis first, then the Euro-crisis started ravaging especially the peripheral societies of Europe, at the Southern and the Eastern fringe. After some trials and errors, this stimulated a new era of left politics. In some countries, f. i. in Greece, parties with roots in the classical, the „proletarian“ left, came to the fore. In other areas, f. i. in Italy, a new and fascinating development stimulated some sort of a Plebeian Left. By many militants of the old left this was completely misunderstood and misinterpreted. Nevertheless, a new political debate on the Left popped up.

It is a wide, indeed a confuse scene which we are observing now. This is unavoidable after years of standstill, and I would say, it is most fruitful.

One of the main issues, in fact a core argument in this new debate is the question of the supra-national in Europe and the future role of the nation-state. The reformist Left and also part of the radical Left have not abandoned their illusions. The main strategy of them (f. i. in the majority of SYRIZA, in the German party DIE LINKE, but also in Spain’s PODEMOS) is called Social Europe. They dream of the transformation of EU into a benign association of a new, transnational welfare state.

It is almost ridiculous.

Lenin, who surely committed fatal errors in his structuring of revolutionary Russia into a USSR which made possible Stalinism, nevertheless was an admirable theorician. He did not admit the least doubts about the old and the new state. A stately apparatus constructed for hedging the oppression and exploitation of the working classes cannot be transformed into an innocent instrument of these same masses. What else is the EU other than a powerful apparatus of such a brand? What is ECB (and the other „institutions“) doing in Greece?

To this policy we have to oppose quite a different strategy. But to have a dim chance to come to such policies, we have to restructure Europe. Re-nationalization, going back from this oppressive apparatus to the national state as a space for alternative policies and politics is an indispensable first step. Only in this space we can re-start the debate for a new internationalism, for new forms of international cooperation, for a new political agenda in general.

 

Barrès, Maurice (1987), Scènes et doctrines du nationalisme. Paris: Editions du Trident.

Benda, Julien (1993 [1933]), Discours à la nation européenne. Paris: Gallimard.

Corradini, Enrico (1922), L’unità e la potenza delle nazioni. Firenze: Vallecchi.

Cunsolo, Ronald S. (1985), Enrico Corradini and the Italian Version of Proletarian Nationalism. In: CRSN, Vol. XII, 47 – 63.

Cunsolo, Ronald S. (1985), Enrico Corradini and the Japanese Prototype of Proletarian Nationalism. In: CRSN, Vol. XII, 207 – 214.

Fichte, Johann Gottlieb (1978), Reden an die Deutsche Nation. Hamburg: Meiner.

Herder, Johann Gottfried (1982), Werke in 5 Bänden. Hg. von Regine Otto. Weimar: Aufbau Verlag (insbes. Bd. 4: Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit).

Kitromilides, Paschalis M. (1994), Enlightenment, Nationalism, Orthodoxy. Studies in the Culture and Political Thought of south-eastern Europe. Aldershot / London: Ashgate (Variorum).

Kautsky, Karl (1914), Der Imperialismus. In: Die Neue Zeit 32.2, 908 – 922.

Lenin, W. I. (1975 [1916]), Der Imperialismus als höchstes Stadium des Kapitalismus. Werke 22, 189 – 309.

Lucy, Florence de (2007), direction, Hommage à Alexandre Kojève. Actes de la ‘Journée A. Kojève’ du 28 janvier 2003. Paris : Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Here also Kojèves Esquisse d’une doctrine de la politique française).

Maurras, Charles (1903), L’Avenir de l’Intelligence. Minerva, 1er et 15 février 1903. http://maur­ras.net/pdf/maurras_avenir-intelligence.pdf

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1989), Œuvres politiques. Edition de J. Roussel. Especially [1762] Du contrat social, 239 – 358, and [1771] Considération sur le gouvernement de Pologne, 411 – 504.

Woodhouse, C. M. (1991), Modern Greece. A Short History. London: Faber & Faber.

Woodhouse, C. M. (1995), Rhigas Velestinlis. The Proto-martyr of the Greek revolution. Limne, Evia: Denise Harvey.

albert.f.reiterer@univie.ac.at