syriza

Marx was adamant: The problem with capitalism is not that it is unfair but that it is irrational, as it habitually condemns whole generations to deprivation and unemployment and even turns capitalists into angst-ridden automata, living in permanent fear that unless they commodify their fellow humans fully so as to serve capital accumulation more efficiently, they will cease to be capitalists. So, if capitalism appears unjust this is because it enslaves everyone; it wastes human and natural resources; the same production line that pumps out remarkable gizmos and untold wealth, also produces deep unhappiness and crises.
—  Yanis VarourfakisHow I Became an Erratic Marxist

Me he fijado en que hay gente enfatizando que Syriza tiene pocas mujeres en su aparato de gobierno…

Si en Grecia las mujeres no han visto a bien dedicarse a la política de más alto nivel, ¿qué culpa tiene el señor Tsipras? Si las personas de confianza que ha decidido tener en el gobierno son mayoritariamente hombres, no sé por qué se le atribuye la responsabilidad de no acercarse a una mínima paridad…

¿No son personas al fin y al cabo?

Syriza ya había avisado que elegirían los mejores sin tener en cuenta su sexo, y además uno de los puestos de mayor importancia se lo quiere otorgar a una mujer: Presidenta del parlamento. Es decir, el tío elige a los mejores, piensa “joder, son todo tíos, ya se me van a echar al cuello por no tener en cuenta su género”. Esto es la “igualdad” amigos, que una persona no piense en meter unas cuantas mujeres para no ser tildado de machista es la igualdad del siglo XXI.

Precisamente esa obligación “feminomoralista” de buscar la paridad es la que denigra a la mujer, rebajándola a un simple número en busca de la paridad, en lugar de dejar que lleguen las mejores en un sistema académico que a día de hoy es totalmente igualitario en occidente.

MEME-RMMBR enviado por @BorneoVlogs.

Lo que sucedió es que las cigarras del Norte y las del Sur —banqueros del Norte y banqueros del Sur, pongamos por caso— se aliaron para crear una burbuja financiera que los enriqueció, permitiéndoles cantar y holgazanear mientras las hormigas del Norte y del Sur trabajaban en condiciones cada vez más difíciles. Cuando la burbuja estalla, las cigarras del Norte y el Sur decidieron que la culpa la tenían las hormigas del Norte y del Sur. “La mejor forma de hacer esto era enfrentar a las hormigas del Norte con las hormigas del Sur, contándoles que en el Sur sólo existían cigarras. Así, la UE comenzó a fragmentarse y el alemán medio odia al griego medio, el griego medio odia al alemán medio. No tardará el alemán medio en odiar al alemán medio y el griego medio en odiar al griego medio”.
— 

Yanis Varoufakis, ideólogo económico de Syriza y ministro de Finanzas.

La Europa de Cigarras y Hormigas se mantiene porque mientras que las hormigas se pelean entre ellas las cigarras se unen para inventar nuevas formas de explotar a las hormigas y seguir riendose de ellas.

Tsipras declares end to ‘vicious cycle of austerity’ after Syriza wins Greek election – live updates

Jan. 25 2015

  • The anti-austerity far left party Syriza has won the Greek election by a decisive margin, but just short of an outright majority. With more than three-quarters of the results in Syriza is projected to win 149 seats in the 300 seat parliament.
  • Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said his party’s victory marked an end to the “viscious cycle of austerity”. Referring to the neoliberal conditions set by the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, he said: “ The verdict of the Greek people renders the troika a thing of the past for our common European framework.”
  • Outgoing prime minister Antonis Samaras conceded defeated by acknowledging some mistakes. But he added: “We restored Greece’s international credibility”.
  • To Potami, the centre-left party could be the kingmakers in the new parliament, with a project 16 seats. Its leader Stavros Theodorakis has not ruled out a deal with Syriza. “It’s too early for such details,” he said.
  • The far-right Golden Dawn party is projected to come third in election, despite having more than half of its MPs in jail. Speaking from prison its leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos said the result was a “great victory” for the neo-fascist party.
  • Syriza victory has been greeted with alarm in Germany. The ruling CDU party insisting that Greece should stick to the austerity programme. But Belgium’s finance minister said there is room for negotiation with Syriza.
  • Leftwingers across Europe have hailed Syriza win. Spain’s anti-austerity party Podemos said Greece finally had a government rather than a German envoy. Britain’s Green Party said Syriza’s victory was an inspiration.

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Let me tell you a story that marked my pre-electoral campaign, at a personal level. I was being interviewed by a Spanish journalist who was accompanied by a Greek translator, as it usually happens. At the end, the Greek, who hadn’t said a word, asked the Spaniard a moment to speak to me in Greek. He came near me, got hold of me with both of his hands, with his eyes full of tears and told me, ‘You know, I used to teach foreign languages, now I’m homeless. I’ve been homeless for two years, some foreign journalists employ me, but I spend day and night in the streets of Athens trying to pretend that I am not homeless and getting ready for the fortnightly visits to my daughter, in which my only goal is to not let her realise that I’m homeless.” Then he took my hands and said, ‘there is nothing I ask for me. There is nothing you can do. I am finished. But make sure to prevent others from falling into the same abyss as I have.” So, this is the situation we have.
—  Yanis Varoufakis, the new Finance Minister of Greece, when asked why he had described the Greek Crisis as a Humanitarian crisis.

Is SYRIZA Radical Enough? Ed Rooksby | Hamption Institute 

It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but a party of the radical left is on the cusp of power in an EU country. The latest opinion polls indicate that Syriza will triumph in the Greek national elections to be held on Sunday and although it may not win an absolute majority in parliament it would (assuming it can find coalition partners) certainly be the dominant force in any coalition government that emerged.

Unsurprisingly, the imminent prospect of a left government committed to breaking with the brutal reign of austerity has alarmed the powerful within and beyond Greece. In a thinly veiled attack on SYRIZA, for example, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, recently warned Greeks about electing ‘extreme forces’ into power and suggested, rather in the manner of a threat, that they ought to consider 'what a wrong election result would mean for Greece and the Eurozone.’

But what’s remarkable about this is that, for all the warnings of 'extremism,’ SYRIZA’s demands are in fact rather modest and indeed eminently sensible. At the core of its programme are pledges to negotiate the cancellation of 50 percent of Greece’s crippling debt, lift austerity, and boost growth and employment through public investment. These proposals are accompanied by a range of measures designed to address what SYRIZA rightly calls the 'humanitarian crisis’ in Greece, such as promises to provide free electricity and subsidised meals and housing for the poor.

Given the economic and social catastrophe that austerity has visited on Greece - over 25 percent unemployment, an economy that has contracted by a quarter, wages and pensions slashed, soaring rates of homelessness, suicide and infant mortality - these are hardly outlandish or utopian proposals. They pivot on the simple, obvious truths that the national debt is unpayable, that austerity is generating nothing but misery and, further, on the rather basic ethical demand that every citizen should have enough to eat, decent housing, and access to the basic resources that will allow them to live with dignity. There is nothing extreme about this - indeed, surely the real extremists are those who insist on further austerity, further hardship, and humiliation for ordinary Greeks.

It is precisely the moderation of SYRIZA’s stance, however, that has attracted fierce criticism from other left-wing groups.The Greek Communist Party (KKE), for example,denounces SYRIZA for 'opportunism’ while the Front of the Greek Anti-capitalist Left (Antarsya), though much less sectarian than the KKE, refuses to combine forces with SYRIZA , arguing that the latter’s programme is insufficiently radical. Internationally, too, there’s no shortage of left critics issuing dire warnings in relation to SYRIZA’s 'reformism,’ convinced that all it aspires to do is to manage, rather than seriously challenge, the system. Even among many of its supporters, there is a general consensus that SYRIZAis 'not as radical as we would want’ and that backing it in the forthcoming election represents a necessary reining in of the left’s political ambitions under current conditions.

These criticisms are mistaken, however, for three closely related reasons.

Firstly, it is not at all clear what serious alternative most of these critics propose. In fact, for many of them, the underlying dispute with SYRIZA is not so much over the details of reform proposals as it is with the party’s very intention to form a government within the political institutions of the capitalist state. Such a strategy, they warn, leads inexorably to betrayal since any party that seeks to utilise capitalist institutions will become trapped within the logic of the system. But years of intense social struggles in Greece - including mass demonstrations, occupations of government buildings and more than 30 general strikes - have failed to stop austerity, much less usher in socialist transformation. It is clear that social mobilisation in itself is not enough and that the question of political power must be confronted. Greek workers require a political instrument to lead in actually implementing their demands.

In this regard, many of SYRIZA’s Marxist critics invoke the need for soviet organs of workers’ power. The obvious problem here, however, is that in circumstances where such organs show little sign of emerging even after years of intense social struggle, such invocation remains entirely abstract - it is, for the time being at least, wishful thinking rather than the identification of a serious, concrete alternative in the here and now. Indeed, typically, such critics cannot specify in anything but the most hand-waving and vague terms how such organs of workers’ power might possibly emerge. SYRIZA, however, grasps that the struggle, as it currently is, requires a government of the left that utilises existing political institutions and, for all the undoubted risks, problems and dilemmas that this will bring, are prepared to take on this responsibility. As such, only SYRIZA proposes a serious and concrete plan to confront the urgency of the situation in Greece. In comparison, many of its left-wing critics seem to offer little but evasive posturing, which of course offers little of practical value to people currently struggling to feed their families and pay their rent - this, indeed, is one reason why the KKE and Antarsya will struggle to win more than derisory shares of the vote in the forthcoming election.

Secondly, SYRIZA’s proposed reforms correspond to the immediate needs and demands of ordinary Greeks - for jobs, better wages, affordable food and housing, and so on. Indeed, it’s precisely because of this correspondence that SYRIZA’s programme has resonated so successfully with Greek voters, bringing the party to the brink of office and thus putting imminent, real change on the agenda in a way that ostensibly 'radical’ but wholly abstract revolutionary demands with little political traction never could.

Thirdly, it’s clear that, for all its sober pragmatism, SYRIZA’s manifesto is likely to bring it into direct confrontation with the forces of domestic and international capital. It’s certainly not a programme for the management of capitalism on capital’s terms. A SYRIZA government is likely to face intense hostility in the form, for example, of serious capital flight, bank runs, an 'investment strike’ and threats of withdrawal on the part of multinationals together with various methods of blackmail and obstruction on the part of the EU. It will also face a dangerous struggle within the Greek state itself - not least in relation to an unreliable and hostile police force in which more than half of all officers voted for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in the 2012 national elections.

It’s likely, then, that on taking office, SYRIZA will, very quickly, be faced with a stark choice: either to renege on its commitments in the face of powerful opposition or to press ahead, which will mean being prepared to take counter-measures to defend its initial reforms: cancellation of the debt, nationalising banks, and expropriating closed factories. Of course there’s nothing inevitable about which of these two options SYRIZA will choose, but given the popular hopes generated by its promises, to retreat on its core commitments would certainly be to consign itself to future electoral oblivion. Much here would depend on mobilised mass support seeking to push the government on and to force it to stick to its promises - indeed a SYRIZA victory on Sunday will probably unleash a new wave of popular struggles.

The key point here is that determined, consistent implementation and defence of SYRIZA’s pragmatic election promises is likely to lead to measures that go far beyond the party’s current objectives. We could say that SYRIZA’s apparently modest programme conceals an inner dynamic of radicalisation.

The very possibility of this dynamic however is rooted in the moderation of the initial demands - in the way in which these articulate the everyday concerns of the mass of the Greek population. What anti-capitalist forces operating within SYRIZA grasp is that revolutionary social change must emerge from ordinary people’s collective experience of the way in which modest, common-sense measures to improve their lives and defend their dignity run up against the limits of what the current order will allow. This experience thus reveals the system’s essential inhumanity - in a sense we might say its extremism - and demonstrates concretely, in a way that abstract declarations of 'the need for socialism’ simply do not, the imperative to push beyond capitalist limits in order to secure the very basic conditions for a decent and humane society.

Editor’s note: This article was written prior to Sunday’s election in Greece. In the election, SYRIZA, an acronym which translates into “Coalition of the Radical Left,” defeated the ruling coalition, securing 36% of the popular vote and 149 out of 300 seats in the Hellenic Parliament.

Yeah, I guess all eyes and media attention are on Greece right now and on the radical leftwing party that has won the elections over here and seem to be living the dream, but being someone who lives in Greece and suffers from the consequences of a 5-year economic crisis and has also seen all sorts of twists and turns in greek politics over the last decades, allow me to remain sceptical and point out just one thing:

Don’t get fooled by the romanticized casebook-study-media version of some heroic young radicals who have come a long way from struggling to get into the greek parliament, just a few years ago, to actually getting hold of the country’s government.

During this process and in order to appear attractive to more people and win the elections they have undergone a transformation from an anti-authoritarian leftwing coalition into a somehow much more “conventional” political party (they even teamed up with a bunch of populist rightwing demagogues)  and the real question now is how much of their initial radical left identity has remained, so that they can truly defy the humiliating and painful austerity policies and reclaim the country’s sovereignty and greek people’s dignity, as promised.

I don’t know if the result of the Greek elections will have the impact expected far beyond this country’s borders or if it will create a political earthquake in the Eurozone but there will definitely be a whole lotta political rock ‘n’ roll taking place and it is in that spirit that I welcome your good luck wishes thedragnet, because we’ll surely need it ;)

…And now, back to our regular programme

Alexis Tsipras pays homage to Greek communists at site of Nazi atrocity

Few places in Greece conjure the spirit of resistance as much as the war memorial in Kaisariani. It stands on the spot where 200 political activists – mostly communists – were executed by Nazi forces on May Day 1944. The monument in a rifle range in one of Athens’ “red” suburbs, is redolent of defiance but, perhaps more than that, the battle against tyranny. That Greece’s new prime minister Alexis Tsipras, Europe’s first radical left leader, should elect to visit the memorial minutes after being sworn in, is rich with symbolism – and defiance too. Red roses in hand, resistance veterans looking on, the young firebrand paid homage to the victims in his first act in office. “It represents national resistance to German occupation,” says Panos Skourletis, spokesman of Syriza, an alliance of far-left groups ranging from Maoists to greens. “But also the desire of Greeks for freedom, for liberty from German occupation.”

If explanation were needed, he adds: “It was purely symbolic.”

Tsipras, who at 40 becomes Greece’s youngest post-war leader, is a deft communicator with an army of (mostly) US-trained advisers. For a nation battered by German-inspired austerity and humiliated by international focus, standing up to Europe’s paymaster by whatever means plays well with the gallery.

As the TV cameras rolled, Greek commentators couldn’t help themselves: “It’s another ‘up yours’ to the Germans,” one said.

Tsipras told thousands of supporters in a victory speech on Sunday that he would seek to restore “their lost dignity”. For Greek leftists, widely persecuted after their defeat in the bloody civil war that followed the Wehrmacht’s withdrawal from Greece, such gestures are hugely significant.

The men and women who were shot dead at dawn that day were killed in reprisal for the guerrilla ambush of a German general, Franz Krech, and three of his aides at Molaos, near Sparti, in the Peloponnese.

Famously they began to sing – giving an uproarious rendition of the Greek national anthem – as they were lead to their deaths from the notorious SS-run camp at Haidari, then a suburb on the outskirts of Athens. German soldiers looked on astonished as the Greeks broke into song. Once at the range, the hostages refused to undress – insisting that they go dressed with dignity. It was an act of resistance that in austerity-whipped Greece resonates greatly today.