Thursday, April 2, 2015

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For Democrats To Refuse To Support Syriza In Their Time Of Need Is Equal To Deserting The Field While Under Fire.

Mick Hall with a ringing endorsement of Syriza. Mick Hall is a veteran Marxist activist and trade unionist who blogs at Organized Rage.

The Greek military junta of 1967–74.

The main problem with some on the left is they neither have the patience nor the political ability to build a viable left alternative which would gain mass working class support. We have seen an example of this in the last week. Syriza have been in power for just over a month yet already some on the left are saying "You don't wanna do it like that Comrade Tsipras."

All is still to play for, but for many of these blowbacks to 1917, if it doesn't follow the master plan laid down by Lenin and the old beards it must be a sell out.

When they claim Syriza are not keeping to their manifesto commitments, it borders on the ridiculous, Syriza made no manifesto commitment concerning any negotiations with the EU, why would they, how could they? As to do so would have sent them into the negotiating chamber naked. Tsipras and his comrades are in this for the long game, yes they have conceded ground but I doubt they're surprised about that.

What did these dissatisfied naysayers expect at the first whiff of gunpowder, Syriza
would have gone down all guns blazing. If they had made such a grand and pointless gesture, the thieves and tax dodgers would have been back in power within the week.

Syriza know better than anyone they're not engaged in a game of dominoes down the local working men's cafe. Given Greece's traumatic and often violent history, they tread cautiously as this could well turn out to be a life and death struggle. They are dealing with a Greek and European neoliberal elite who are not prepared to accept any change to its preferred social order which is designed to increase and ring fence the wealth of the richest people in the world at the expense of the majority populations. The members of the Troika were never going to roll over onto their backs and say "My dear boy Yanis, tickly our tummies you're now one of us."

These neoliberal business and political thugs have a long history of getting away with murder, quite literally, along with theft from the people on a colossal scale. Until very recently no major party within Europe's parliamentary chambers, left or right, have been prepared to say enough, and stand against them and those they represent.

Whenever the European electorate voted against their dastardly schemes they have simply called a rerun of the election until they get the vote they demand. As the Irish people found to their cost when in June 2008, they rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum by 53.4 percent votes to 46.6 percent. Turnout was 53.1 percent.

But no sooner had the ballot boxes been dusted down and put away, the EU political elite declared the Irish electorate had given the ‘wrong answer’ and to hell with the democratic will of the people, like it or not, they would damn well have to vote again. The Irish government first claimed they had no intention of making people vote again, but eventually gave in to 'pressures' and organised a second referendum. What these pressures were the Irish government never said, but if history is anything to go by it was in all probability a mixture of threats and bribes all carried out below the radar, as former Blairite Foreign Secretary Jack Straw might say.

This is not the first time EU leaders have refused to take no for an answer:

The Lisbon Treaty was originally called the Constitutional Treaty. In referendums in both France and the Netherlands voters said ‘no’ to the wretched Treaty in 2005. Turnout was even higher than in the aforementioned Irish referendum. But instead of respecting the no vote in these two founding states of the EU, Europe's neoliberal politicians pressed ahead with the Treaty anyway. In one of the most dishonest exercises in recent European history, EU politicians changed the layout of the text, tinkered with some of the language, and renamed it as the Lisbon Treaty. We have recently witnessed similar sleight of hand behaviour over the introduction of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which has provoked massive opposition within the EU, with over one million people having signed a petition against the treaty being ratified.

Yet rather than taken note of this and scrap the treaty, the EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström is claiming no worries, all it needs is a spot of fine tuning, and the contentious areas can be renegotiated. Renegotiated I might add, not scrapped. Once again these negotiations will take place "below the radar" and I would bet my pension unless there is massive opposition it will be ratified whether the people of the EU like it or not. The lessons of the TTIP are the same as that which Syriza faces.

Unless there are massive public demonstrations in support of the Syriza government throughout Europe, the unelected EU elite will crush all Greek opposition to austerity, even if that means instigating a coup in Greece. The democratic will of the Greek people as expressed in the 2015 Greek general election must be defended, and defended vigorously.

Naysayers should keep their thoughts to themselves, for left radicals and democrats to refuse to support Syriza in their hour of need is equivalent to deserting the field under fire, a betrayal of the democratic mandate issued to the Syriza government by the Greek people.


AM said...


I think this type of perspective feeds into undermining oppositional politics: that people should get a free pass to make all the dishonest promises they wish in opposition and not be held to account. What Syriza did in Greece is remarkably similar to the Pat Rabbitte position here: promise them anything in opposition. People need to know what they get when they pay for it. Anybody wanting to invest support in Syriza has at least a right to know why they made promises in opposition they had no intention of fulfilling. I think you should be demanding explanations elsewhere not form those who feel let down by the false promises.