A comment on Greece and Syriza

Seymour, Richard
Date Written:  2012-10-09
Publisher:  International Socialism
Year Published:  2012
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX15638

This analysis is a rebuke to the notion that there is nothing between the far left and social democracy. That diagnosis may have been appropriate in the period of revolutionary growth beginning in 1968. This period, marked by the long-term decomposition of once dominant social democratic parties, is quite different.



The key problem posed by this conjuncture is how we can, as Stathis Kouvelakis put it, articulate a series of “workable intermediate objectives” between reformist minimum programmes and revolutionary maximalism. This journal’s debate on “transitional programmes” represents one possible attempt to square the circle. However, no one on the left has as yet alighted on a coherent solution. In practice, we are all pursuing “left reformist” agendas, in the hope that the ensuing class struggles and crises will provide the means (popular self-organisation, workers’ rebellion) to turn them into tools for transition. Until such a time as institutions of popular power develop which are capable of posing a threat to capitalism, the question will recur, and it will focus mainly on the question of governmental power.

In this context, I think that Syriza’s attempt to answer the question by proposing a united government of the left is a valuable step in a pedagogical process.

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