The Greek Election

Published on The Bullet, Socialist Projects e-bulletin no 1071, by Leo Panitch, Jan 23, 2015.

As we enter the eighth year of the long-lingering global economic crisis, it is sobering indeed that it is only in Greece that a political party putting forward a clear, radical democratic alternative to the perverse policies of neoliberal austerity stands on the doorstep of entering the state … //

… Immediate Steps Post Election:

  • Having clung to office for two more years, the governing coalition of the old patronage parties is about to be displaced by Syriza in next Sunday’s election. What Syriza is first of all promising is that it will renege on the reactionary austerity policies. They are promising to reinstate collective bargaining and workers’ basic rights, to raise the minimum wage, to reconnect people to the electricity grid. It is a sad commentary on our times that these have become radical things to do.
  • A good deal of this can be done without resolving the very large question of whether Greece will continue to treat as legitimate and pay all the interest on the enormous debt that was run up by previous clientalist and, in many senses, corrupt governments, who always worked hand in glove with the very small capitalist oligarchy that runs industry, trade and finance. Syriza has costed its immediate restorative policies at some 11-billion euros, equivalent to less than 20 per cent of revenues lost through tax avoidance. Its most popular proposed revenue measure involves finally requiring the big media barons to pay license fees for the use of that very basic public resource – the airwaves.
  • Syriza is not saying that they want to leave the euro. They don’t, and wouldn’t be anywhere near where they are in the polls otherwise. The question is whether they can have the breathing room to undertake basic restorative policies, and to lay the ground for a longer-term economic strategy. This would entail real structural reform of the Greek state, so there could be some real democratic involvement in what’s invested and how it’s invested, so that Greece might come out of the crisis in a progressive manner.
  • The loans Greece has had from European Union, the European Central Bank, and the IMF in exchange for introducing such terrible austerity has not removed its heavy debt burden. The loans were mainly designed to allow for paying interest due to the bondholders, so that Greece could continue to borrow, at exorbitant rates. The insistence that a newly-elected Syriza government – which would be Greece’s first really honest, non-clientalist government – should first of all embrace the obligation to pay such interest rates to either wealthy Greek capitalists or to foreign bankers is nothing less than scandalous.

Overcoming the Crisis: … //

… (full text).

(Leo Panitch is editor of the Socialist Register and distinguished research professor at York University, Canada. He is co-author, with Sam Gindin, of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire, Ed. Verso).


Greek leftist party claims victory in general elections, on Xinhuanet.english, Jan 26, 2015;

Video – Greece: SYRIZA wins! SYRIZA’s 40-point program, 3.52 min, on, also on YouTube, uploaded by Clare Solomon, Jan 25, 2015;

The Real Threat in Europe, on teleSUR english, by Walden Bello, Jan 24, 2015; (see Walden Bello also on his personal blog; on en.wikipedia; and on World People’s Blog);

Drones and the new ethics of war, on ZNet, by Neve Gordon, Jan 24, 2015;

Je Suis Donetsk – Ukraine Army Attacks Bus and Trolley in Center of Donetsk. 13 Killed including Children, on Global, by George Eliason, Jan 22, 2015;

Big Tax Bills for the Poor, Tiny Ones for the Rich, on In These Times, by DAVID SIROTA, Jan 23, 2015: Regressive state and local tax policies don’t just harm the poor—they harm entire economies;

Toni Negri: from the refusal of labor to the seizure of power, on, by ROAR Collective On January 18, 2015 … about class struggle in the contemporary metropolis;

Video: How To Buy a Politician, 8.12 min, on George Monbiot’s Website, by GEORGE MONBIOT, Jan 6, 2015; (also on YouTube, uploaded by Russell Brand, Jan 6, 2015);

Don’t Waste Any Time In Mourning, on Monthly Review /Vol66 no 8, by Daniel Rosza Lang/Levitsky, January 2015;

Video: Dirk Müller in Athen, Schauplatz einer modernen griechischen Tragödie, 38.32 min, von MrSillyLine am 5. Dezember 2014 hochgeladen: Dirk Müller ist am 25. Oktober 1968 in Frankfurt am Main geboren. Ist ein deutscher Börsenmakler und Buchautor. Er wurde international als „Mister DAX“ und „Dirk of the DAX“ bekannt, weil sein Arbeitsplatz auf dem Parkett der Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse unter der DAX-Kurstafel lag und die Medien dies nutzten, um seinen Gesichtsausdruck zusammen mit dem Kursverlauf des Index als Symbol des aktuellen Börsengeschehens darzustellen;

RT second opinion;

Centre for Economic Policy Research; … VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal: /About; /Debates;

… and this:

  • Comment: When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or an European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent?
  • Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind.
  • When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind - Jiddu Krishnamurti.

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