The following text is a slightly shortened version of the original article on the result of the Greek elections of September 20 written by K. Maragos. It was shortened by Razumikhin, translated by Razumikhin, FT and PP and finally edited by FT.
The result of the Greek elections in September is definitely a triumph for Tsipras and the remains of SYRIZA, no matter what anyone thinks about him. A party that lost its dynamic left flank and all of its youth yet still succeeded in obtaining approximately the electoral percentage that it had won in the elections of January 25th. This was beyond any guess. The SYRIZA of the third memorandum might have lost a significant part of its influence, but so did almost every party that participated in the elections. Anyway, the losses of SYRIZA were balanced by the losses of its main opponents and, due to that fact, the general picture has not changed substantially.
The Left that continues to acknowledge itself as anti-memorandum Left is limited to rates under 10%. And this is a crystal clear defeat, regardless of their attitude to the referendum, whether we are talking about the Left which participated in the elections with the slogan “No until the end” (Popular Unity, ΑNTARSYA), thinking that the betrayed 62% of the referendum could be represented by them, or the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) which once again wasn’t able to gain anything since the pro-memorandum exposure of SYRIZA. The Communist Party may well feel justified as they might have known that SYRIZA would deceitfully try to mislead the people and compromise with the Europeans for another memorandum, simply maintains its rates. The Popular Unity (Laiki Enotita), as a “SYRIZA number two” was destined to pay for its seven-month participation in the government that paved the way for the third memorandum. But the Communist Party, even though it is justified, instead of having great success, didn’t manage to gain anything from the popular indignation. Why wasn’t this purified party rewarded by the “pure” people? And Antarsya as well, even though they thought that they would gain something from the vast tank of the 62% of the proud NO after its betrayal, they remained limited to their traditional voters. But why? Why did the “struggling” and “proud” people turned their back to the anticapitalist left, which was at the avant-garde of the No campaign?
But let us leave the questions about the Left for the end. Let us begin with how the situation has developed after this electoral result.
The end of the political instability.
The new government of Tsipras no longer brings panic to the international and local bourgeoisie. During the pre-election season, SYRIZA had a very different program compared to the one they had for the elections of the 25th of January. SYRIZA signed the third memorandum before the government resigned without talking about denouncing it afterwards. There weren’t any promises about restoring the 13th pension and the basic salary to its previous level, the collective contracts, abolishing unfair taxes etc. The humiliated SYRIZA is now part of the reconstruction of the bourgeois political scene and a reliable interlocutor for the loaners, who state that they are ready for further cooperation with the government. Another bridge until the crisis of political representation has been surmounted, this crisis being a result of the sudden collapse of the social contract.
Even more disgracefully, SYRIZA now serves as an example that there cannot be an alternative, while nine months ago it was the counterexample to all Europe that there is another way out from the crisis. SYRIZA started out as the bearer of hope for the subordinates in Greece and Europe, but now it has become a symbol of defeat for the whole world. Just a few months ago SYRIZA threatened the world markets; now it is limited to tackling corruption and promising a parallel humanitarian program provided that… the goals of the memorandum are attained.
It is obvious that this parallel program can only exist in fantasy, while the new memorandum demands dramatic pension cuts, establishing new salaries in the public sector, abolition of allowances, tax increases, and rises in retirement age. What fight against corruption are they talking about, when what is left of the public sector is being privatized and plundered by capital! What is the meaning of their so called transparency when they are about to give away 30 billion euro for the recapitalization of bankrupt banks in order to feed the same capitalists who have ravaged Greece all these years since the civil war following the 2nd world war.
There is a conspicuous difference in the discourse of SYRIZA in comparison to the expectations it generated a year ago, not to say just a few months ago. SYRIZA has now a purely systemic discourse, and that s not without its implications. This time people have voted for SYRIZA on this basis and as a result it can’t create any expectation. The political order is thus restored. There is no incongruity in managing the bourgeois political system any more. The popular classes who voted for SYRIZA (after Tsipras’ interpretation of NO, signing the memorandum and the clearance of his parliamentary group from the left-wing dissidents who are now scorned by their former comrades as the lunatic proponents of drachma or even agents of Moscow), regardless of the reasons why they did so, grant Tsipras and especially the bourgeois class with the much sought-after validation that they needed to continue the bourgeois counter- revolution without a hitch, after this left intermission (the so called Left parenthesis) over the past seven months, which has indeed hindered the implementation, the update and escalation of the memorandum set of measures. As a result, the outcome of these elections is not only a personal triumph of Tsipras but also a victory of the bourgeois reaction, which now has a new major pillar of intermediation and parliamentary legitimization.
People in despair
It is true that a vast percentage of those who voted SYRIZA on the 20th of September didn’t become supporters of the memorandum overnight, nor did they stop considering themselves as leftists. It’s also true that these very people might even be furious at Tsipras for signing the memorandum, backing out of the people mandate expressed by the referendum, compromising with the memorandum forces. Even so they voted SYRIZA thinking that any other solution might be worse. Definitely, the people who voted SYRIZA are not the same as those who vote for memorandum forces like PASOK, POTAMI, Nea Dimokratia, and most certainly they have nothing to do with the fascists of the Golden Dawn (Chrisi Aygi). But the reasons why someone voted for this or that party are meaningless in the face of the bourgeois stability that the result of the elections has brought. What is important, as Papadimoulis puts it, is that SYRIZA was elected to implement the deal. And since SYRIZA was elected, Tsipras can claim that the “NO”of the referendum had no other meaning than the one he himself gave.
This is a very good starting point to reconsolidating the relationship of political trust between the subordinates and their bosses. A procedure that runs through mediations and SYRIZA is now its basic agent. If the subordinates don’t see another solution and resign themselves to a fatalistic ending (TINA) then normality has been restored.
The abstention and other fantasy subjects
Quite a few people, including anarchists, believe that the elections are the field where the class instincts are tamed and that the elections are to blame for this. Hence, it is enough to propagate an anti-election stance, in order to avoid the trap set by the capitalists and the state. This stance is a parliamentary fetishism in a reverse sense. Elections truly are the field where the class power relation (as well as the relations of production) is to be validated, except for the fact that this relation exists without the elections. Elections are a tool for the legitimization of the bourgeois authority, but they can’t be a tool for its overthrow. The same rules apply to abstention as well. The referendum proved this, because, even though the 62% voted against the will of the bourgeoisie, which was united under the banners of “Menoume Evropi”(We Are Staying In Europe), this overwhelming majority wasn’t able to change a thing. On the contrary this popular mandate was overturned the next day by a simple statement of Tsipras and the other leaders of “Menoume Evropi”. Likewise, huge abstention doesn’t really challenge anything, but only creates boring conversations about its content.
Unfortunately, apart from the anarchists, a rather wide range of Greek leftists are quite too willing to participate in these inconceivable interpretations, the same who most of the time fail to represent the “true interests”of the popular classes, the proletariat, the proud NO (ΟΧΙ) etc at the parliamentary race. Right after the anti-memorandum, anticapitalist Left was wiped out,we heard that the rise in abstention is due to the people, who didn’t go to vote because they were disgusted by the betrayal of the referendum. So should we presumably think that the 600 thousand voters of the referendum and the 780 thousand of the elections in January, who voted in September constitute a time bomb ready to explode at the foundations of bourgeois stability? Will there ever be a serious answer from those who are searching where the 62% of the referendum vanished, or concerning the whereabouts of the revolutionary subject which is always standing us up at the appointment with history?
Even if we hypothesize that the whole abstention has a left and anti-memorandum orientation, still that doesn’t mean anything. Why despite such staggering abstention the elections they still remain a tool for ‘”democratic” validation of the bourgeois power? Will the left of the sovereign people and the anarchy of the non-intermediate struggle ever come up with an answer to this question or will they continue to ignore reality?
There is no point in hiding behind the abstention and searching for its deeper class and «unmediated» meaning. It is even more futile to try to appropriate it and transform it into a sleeping revolutionary subject. In fact, abstention is the definition of passive stance. It essentially consists in the depreciation of politics in general and not just the elections. And of course by this we don’t refer to the inevitable abstention of people who live abroad οr far away from their voting districts. Also abstention does not take into account the elderly, the sick or the deceased (who may still be registered in the voters catalogues). The actually active body of voters does not exceed 8.2 million native people. Thus, the actual abstention is not 45% but 32% at most and if we consider the transport difficulties, it may even drop below 20%.
So we are talking about the people who can get to the ballot boxes, but choose not to. If all of them really wanted to get a message across through abstention, don’t they see that this message is nonexistent and can be fully incorporated? Don’t they see that abstention can be interpreted in various ways and that it doesn’t rock the basis of the system? And most importantly, if someone wants to send a conscious and clear message by abstaining why choose to mix his message with this blur muddle thereby debasing their allegedly remarkable opinion? Finally, why do the revolutionaries, who call in favor of abstention, put so much stress on something which cannot cause the downfall of the covered-up bourgeois dictatorship?
The abstention in the absence of any other social events doesn’t have any special significance. It is worth as much as one vote. It is a statement of opinion without any specific content. There is nothing that unifies all those who abstain, and that is why even vast abstention can’t bring about any major political event. Anyone can interpret it as they like. But the Left is used to drawing revolutionary optimism literally from nothing and chasing mythical revolutionary subjects; the abstention is merely one more of such subjects. One can fool themselves as much as they want to, but that doesn’t really affect the ruling class, just as it isn’t affected by the rates of abstention.
But what happened to the massive NO vote?
The part of the Left that insisted on the anti-memorandum line received the greatest defeat, although they thought that they would be rewarded for their consistent and principled stance in pursuing the “NO until the end”. This part of the Left believed that the 62% of the population who voted for NO at the referendum continues to exist and, in a natural way, will abandon the «remains of the mutated» SYRIZA and support the consistent Left. However, the election result did not show anything like that. Why did this happen? What happened to the massive NO vote?
A way to try to answer this question is by pointing towards the high level of abstention and claiming that the people who voted NO chose to abstain. While this argument helps soothe the feelings of frustration, it is certainly incapable of giving a serious explanation. Moreover, it fails to explain why a large – and probably the largest – part of the people who voted NO voted again for SYRIZA, a smaller part probably abstained and that the political forces that expected to express these people got 2.8% (LAE) and 0.8% (ANTARSYA). 3.6% in total. Clearly, something is wrong here.
In reality the people who voted NO disappeared as a subject a week after the referendum, when Tsipras turned NO into YES. And then, Tsipras was forced to sign the prerequisite measures and, in the end, the third memorandum. At that point, the contradiction of Syriza as well as the impasse of the reformist strategy was lain bare. Without an alternative to Tsipras, the people who voted NO accepted their defeat. At the same time, SYRIZA – except for some limited internal grumbling – had no alternative strategy against the president.
LAE and ANTARSYA mistakenly thought that the battle of NO continues. That there had been no defeat, that the people would continue to be ready to fight and that Tsipras just betrayed the struggle. On this basis, these forces believed that they could gain influence by using the slogans and dilemmas of the period before the referendum. But the battle had been lost. And when a battle is lost and someone claims that it continues, they are more likely to ridicule themselves than to appear as relentless, consistent fighters. When you suffer a defeat, you re-organize your forces, organize your defense, try to figure out what went wrong, what mistakes you made. You definitely do not rush again to suffer more blows. More importantly, you try to address the vanguard of your camp and start the re-organization from them, realizing that most people are very likely to have been disappointed and to have accepted defeat, thereby believing that for the moment nothing can be done. Both the LAE and the ANTARSYA ran an election campaign as if nothing had happened, therefore seeming not to perceive reality after the defeat. They were addressing an audience that was no longer at the forefront. An audience that was mostly preparing to vote again for SYRIZA, because a part of it now believed that Tsipras did all he could, while another part of it was in such frustration that they did not want to hear anything and probably abstained from the elections (instead of responding to the calls of the executives who insisted on last year’s declarations of SYRIZA).
At the same time, they were unable to give an answer to the most concerned militants, who felt the defeat but wanted serious answers regarding the mistakes that had been made, what went wrong, what we could do from now on. The militants who believed in the rupture from the beginning, or even understood it along the way. But the rupture does not happen just because someone proclaims it. Unless we are talking about the necessity, not the possibility of a conflict to the bitter end. Or would it have been a walk in the park? Everyone understood that this conflict would take a toll. That the forces of the domestic and international bourgeois counterrevolution would not just sit and watch. The real battle would begin after the referendum and almost nobody was prepared for that battle. SYRIZA because they rejected that battle in principle, while the executives who would later form the LAE because, beyond speeches of commitment to the declarations of SYRIZA, they had no idea how to cope with the bourgeois counter-revolution, thinking that the whole thing would be an issue of coping with the consequences of a new currency.
But the real problem was neither the currency nor the adaptation difficulties over the first 5-6 months, but the violent reaction of the bourgeoisie and the deep state to the disturbance of its blood ties with European capitalism. Anyone who tries to present the confrontation as if it were limited to the currency is simply replicating illusions just like SYRIZA. The question after the referendum was which class is in charge within the country. Whoever challenges the country’s bosses should either be ready for a civil war or shut up. And the reformist Left shut up, because this is what they do at the crucial moment. And we are not talking only about SYRIZA, but for virtually the entire identifiable Left. The Communist Party of Greece abstained from this battle all along, while the executives of the LAE are charged with supporting the strategy of SYRIZA that led to defeat, even if they refused to put their signature to the capitulation in the end. While this fact has its value, it does not reduce their responsibility for the defeat. The new “Treaty of Varkiza” (the capitulation) did not come out of the blue. It was preceded by the partial capitulation of February the 20th, and the partial capitulation of the 47-page proposal that the government had presented to the lenders. But even as we were heading towards the «Treaty of Varkiza», all the executives of the LAE did was claim that Tsipras would not dare to sign. Their reactions after the capitulation no longer have the same weight – they only have a propaganda function, easily dismissed by most people.
Therefore, since the majority of the people understood the defeat and came to a conclusion along the lines of “the battle was lost, we said NO but nothing different could have been done, or else we would have been thrown out of the corral and the wolves would have eaten us”, the dilemma of the September elections was not “yes or no to the memorandum”, but whether those who will implement it will show some sensitivity to the victims of the memorandum. Tsipras once again played his role well, pretending to be most sensitive in that regard, while at the same time admitting that the memorandum is unfair and will lead to a further deterioration of the lives of the poor popular strata and promising to do everything to soothe the wounds. In this dilemma, those who have suffered a defeat clearly select Tsipras, the lesser of two evils. It is so simple. There is always time to take care of all the other pending issues, and there are other days to do so apart from the Sunday of the elections.
The ratification of defeat
The new parliament consists of 90% pro-memorandum MPs, unlike the previous one which consisted of 65% anti-memorandum ones (in declaration at least). However, it was not the elections that brought about the defeat; they merely ratified it. The defeat actually took place in the days after the referendum. Although the non-SYRIZA Left keeps talking about moralistic lessons (betrayals, proud NO’s, struggles that continue in perpetuum etc), what matters is the outcome of the battle and its repercussions on the opponent camps. The battle of NO concluded with a defeat for our class camp, regardless of the fact that the “NO until the end” Left only understood that during the night of the elections, seeing their electoral influence below 3%. Whether the defeat was the result of a betrayal or simply the result of a reformist strategy that had been trying to postpone and avoid the final confrontation all along is a secondary issue. Of course, for those who believe in the notion of “perpetual struggle” that “continues indefinitely” without turning points (thus choosing to dwell in a world of their imagination), there has been no defeat. Space and time have no limits. Unfortunately they do.
The 62% of the population who voted for NO had indeed formed a social subject until the referendum; they actually became a subject exactly because of that referendum. It is important to note here that before the referendum, both the part of the Left (ANTARSYA and those who would later form the LAE) that would later turn the outcome of the referendum into its banner, as well as the other part of the Left whose only ambition is to have its prophecies fulfilled (KKE), had initially denounced the referendum, because it would supposedly provide popular legitimacy to the upcoming third memorandum. They were sure that this would be the case! Of course, those who believe in God and determinism have nothing to fear. But the 62% that voted NO, part of which took the streets and gave the fight there as well, rallied under the leadership of SYRIZA – maybe even the leadership of the government. When the government was blackmailed by the lenders, it chose to call for a referendum, thus hiding behind the people in order to escape its responsibility, hoping that the panic (closed banks etc.) and the terror-hysteria would make the people vote for YES.
Officially, however, Tsipras was obliged to call for a NO vote and the people, seeing the bourgeois human dust of “We stay in Europe” rallying their forces, realized that this was the time of the confrontation. The dynamics of the NO were huge and this became apparent during the massive and passionate rally of July 3 in the central square of Athens. The hopes of the people were sincere; not enough, though. This conflict could not end with a simple demonstration or a vote. The troika would not retreat, neither would the Greek bourgeoisie accept a referendum that put its vital interests at stake. No Tsipras could stand up and give a struggle of such magnitude. Not because he is a traitor, but simply because he is a reformist. Simply because the man is not a revolutionary, and one does not turn into a revolutionary at the last moment. This applies to the entire SYRIZA. Why did this awesome party, the “party of its members”, with such great expectations, after realizing a 10-year «recomposition of all the historical currents from different origins», suffer a complete paralysis? Even the central committee of the party was unable to convene. And when they did manage to convene, nobody challenged Tsipras. Not even the prominent members of the party, who formed the Popular Unity (LAE) shortly after (when Tsipras decided to push them out of the window), managed to react in a manner that would prevent the government from signing the new memorandum.
And what about the people? Is the leadership the only one to blame for the defeat? The perspective in which the people had invested their hopes was very specific and it was called SYRIZA. Their expectations were real, but intermediated by SYRIZA, obviously with a bunch of illusions. Illusions about the end of the memoranda while at the same time remaining in the Eurozone, fantasies about the end of austerity but without the expropriation of the bourgeoisie etc. Were these expectations contradictory? Absolutely, but at a certain moment the dilemma would reach its breaking point: either the end of memoranda or the Euro; either the end of austerity or capital; finally, either the bourgeoisie or the proletariat.
But from that point on, the fight could not continue spontaneously. After a specific point, what counts is the conscious forces that are determined, know what to do the day after, the forces that are ready to fight against the organized forces of the counterrevolution – which will show no mercy to those who defy the country’s bosses. Despite the fairytales that a return to the drachma would simply cause a certain devaluation of the currency and maybe a shortage in foreign currency, fuel and drugs, after which the “productive reconstruction” of the economy would begin and we would all live happily ever after, the “NO until the end” could only be achieved through a relentless struggle against the bourgeoisie and its state. Those who believe in these fairytales are merely replicating the illusions of the “mutually beneficial solutions” of SYRIZA, except this time they are not trying to convince Merkel and Hollande, but the local bourgeoisie which, in their imagination, is also harmed by the memorandum and the «foreign rulers». In terms of the coexistence and collaboration of the classes within a more sensitive capitalism, the comrades who support the ideas of “patriotic fronts” are indistinguishable from the «mutated» SYRIZA. Everything for class peace: this is the absolute limit in the thought of every reformist. The restoration of the social contract, the collaboration of classes, a reconciliation that may even lead to surmounting exploitation relations in the end. Fantasies that always end tragically.
A mutation of SYRIZA?
It is a fact that SYRIZA signing the memorandum was a shock, an even greater one to the executives within SYRIZA who had believed that it was different from a standard reformist party within the framework of bourgeois legality. Those executives thought that upon reaching a turning point, SYRIZA would be forced to join the correct side. What can the forces that joined SYRIZA bearing in mind that this party can go beyond its reformist limitations say right now? Are they going to assess what happened or are they in a hurry as the struggle is going on? How come their influence is negligeable following Tsipras “betrayal”? Why is it that even members of the Left Platform have voted for Tsipras at the last minute?
Yet, there is an explanation. SYRIZA never promised any class struggle to the end. Neither did it exactly betray the interests of the oppressed. It might have been talking about such interests in its conference texts, still it did not obtain governmental power through SYRIZA’s foundation manifesto. It actually became government to find mutually beneficial solutions with the European imperialists, to reform the EU, to convince the creditors to delete part of the debt upon agreement. SYRIZA was proclaiming the end of memoranda yet not of the loan agreement, always within the euro zone, the end of austerity, the restoration in part of social welfare state, even the nationalization of public sectors which had been privatized. All this is nothing but a mishmash of contradictory mottos but it was on this basis that it became government. If anyone wishes to foster illusions and be under the impression that SYRIZA had promised a revolution of any sort or even will be eventually dragged by circumstances to take the lead, that is their problem. Nevertheless, they now have to account for what happened.
SYRIZA as the force having the majority of the government could no longer hide hyping up “mutual win-win solutions” at no cost. If the people had illusions about SYRIZA and its political choices, that was the only way to overcome such illusions, by seeing SYRIZA in government. 6-7 months turned out to be enough to show that there are no mutual solutions. In fact, there are no win-win solutions both for the bosses and for the subordinate classes. In the end one must choose sides. And this is bound to lead to clash. However, this does not necessarily mean that SYRIZA has to lead the “inevitable” (?) clash. If SYRIZA has allegedly betrayed anything, that was not the interests of the working class and the oppressed. It merely got drowned in its own contradictions, always keeping the confrontation at bay.
Besides, what counts to the Left, is to remain loyal to your beliefs and accomplish but moral victories. The Left has always adopted a fatalist attitude to reality. Whether a strike was lost, such as that of the teachers in the secondary education two years ago, due to the plain fact that the Left of all sorts did everything so as to prevent an open clash, that is of no significance. The important thing is that “we were there, we got our message across, we endured morally, there was a legacy left behind”. The important thing is to struggle. Well, this is exactly the story Tsipras is telling us! It’s no big deal we finally signed. They made us, they inflicted a coup on us, we were given a raw deal and we were mistreated in the most abhorrent way. After all, we strongly disagree. We stood up, we struggled to the end. We are the winners from a moral perspective. Those who lost is Europe. No doubt this is the sort of crap the Left has been feeding us excessively.
Whether the rest of the Left can’t make the most of SYRIZA’s failure or even more importantly, SYRIZA’s betrayal (really what is it that it has betrayed?) this is owing to the fact the Left itself has been educated by means of the same tricks.
And what about now?
SYRIZA has not undergone any mutation. Its plan has just fallen through. Those who talk about mutations obviously imply there was some good SYRIZA. They should tell us then until when everything was ok and what is the cause of this betrayal. Why wasn’t the party able to stop it? And why did the people resign themselves to this mutation so easily? And definitely they also have to explain whether the mutual solutions form part of the non mutated SYRIZA and if they are worth fighting for.
The European imperialists, the creditors, the loan sharks, the Greek bourgeois class have no intention whatsoever of making arrangements and reaching any mutual solutions. They don’t as they are the bosses and he who’s the boss won’t negotiate with their subordinates. SYRIZA has tried to explain that a middle ground needs to be reached but was not taken into account. For some time it will keep representing the oppressed, but this is only to last provisionally. Sooner or later, as it pretends to rule so as to at least soothe the wounds, it will be identified with the interests of the bourgeois class, in the same way this was done by socialdemocracy except for the fact that the latter did so in the golden age of the welfare state and the social contract. When the management model changed, since the previous one could no longer replicate itself, socialdemocracy has adjusted to the new circumstances. SYRIZA is bound to do the same, whether they like it or not.
Whoever truly wished to debunk SYRIZA should have wished to see it in government. So, this happened. It has been ridiculed. It did not live up to the expectations of the people. It has been proved that the EU can’t be reformed etc. Now that the dead end of SYRIZA has been exposed what are we to do?
And more particularly, what are we to do now that the people don’t seem to abandon SYRIZA at once and join the revolutionaries, no matter where these are to be found, who had been looking forward to the sell-out of reformism?
Now the time has come for the vanguard to seriously ponder and discuss what they had long overlooked and neglected. To reconsider what the people is, what is meant by expectations of the people, how conscience progresses, if the struggle goes on “today, tomorrow and as long as it takes”, if one turns into a revolutionary once the reformist illusions collapse etc. And more importantly to discuss what a critical point is, what missing it means, what is meant by a tried revolutionary’s words that yesterday it was too early and tomorrow it’s gonna be too late.
SYRIZA and any other political force of its kind represented illusions and expectations but these were reformist not revolutionary illusions. There is a certain moment when reformism reveals its bareness, compromises with the ruling class. There collapse the illusions of mutual understanding, yet this doesn’t mean that its followers will pass on to the revolutionary camp. A fraction of them may do so, but unless there is a revolutionary left different than the reformist one, no further radicalization will occur.
However this doesn’t seem to appear in the analysis of the Left beyond SYRIZA. Obviously, they believe that SYRIZA is not an indication of such illusions but rather their source: The masses wound in their historic role have a spontaneous inclination towards revolution but the evil reformists have found a way to pervert and mislead them. If only it was so simple!
Revealing the contradictory reformist policies of SYRIZA which turns out to be adrift at the mercy of the class power relations and the will of the ruling class, may well be a starting point, but it’s not enough to automatically surpass illusions. No one is going to merely see the light all of a sudden. Shedding light upon reality might easily lead to frustration, to ideas of “nothing can be done”, “we had too high expectations”. This is what happened. Reformism, the tendency to reconciliate can be preserved without SYRIZA. It is reproduced amongst the oppressed by the unfavorable class power relation, by the consecutive defeats whenever they are trying not to take it lying down and the simple thought following the defeat that a compromise seems to be the best solution.
The people have rationalized defeat and adjusted to the new conditions. This is the end of a period of a certain radicalization (2010-2015). A period carrying a great deal of illusions, patriots, indignant movements, upper and lower square assemblies but also strikes, clashes and a political maturity which brings us to the conclusion that the solutions must be pursued centrally, by delegating SYRIZA when the barricades had been defeated by the state of emergency. The trial of SYRIZA in government and its failure to realize even a 5% of its promises seals an abrupt end to this period. Now those who persist must think differently.
The revolutionary left may stand any chances only if they break with the tale of the people who are wound to make a revolution but it ends up degenerated by the traitors reformists who mislead and disorientate them, only if they break once and for all with the fantasies about “barriers” hindering the revolutionary subject from finding its historic role and finally showing up at its appointment with causality. When it eventually dawns on them that the collapse of SYRIZA doesn’t mean the end of reformism in the minds of the popular masses; that following such collapse there might be frustration, demobilization, people seeking even worse illusions in technocrats, in the church, in the army, in fascists. Revolution can be an alternative only to the extent it displays itself as such. No mass, no class have a spontaneous tendency to revolution. Revolution is a choice; when this becomes clear to its advocates, they may get to realize it. But if they expect to live one sometime (when the giant who is fast asleep wakes up) they simply will have to wait for it just like others wait for the doomsday. The only way to live anything is to attempt to realize it. When the revolutionary left finds its voluntarism then it will be worthy of being called so. Until then, it will go on whining in a fatalist manner about barriers and putting the blame on SYRIZA traitors like in the past they shifted the blame on GSEE (General Confederation of Greek Workers) and KKE (the Communist Party) which betrayed the revolution as if they had promised it. And they will keep wondering why the people can’t understand them.