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A strong signal against EU austerity – let’s prepare the break with the oligarchy

29. January 2015

Together with millions and millions of people in all European countries we rejoice greatly in the electoral success of Sýriza. It is a shot across the bows of the ruling elites in Brussels and Berlin, a sign of resistance against the neo-liberal impoverishment policies. Sýriza is simply a sign of hope for change.

The elites and their media are however continuing with their campaign, and cry “populism”: they say it is necessary to make cuts, because Greece supposedly had lived beyond its means. And they try to frighten the public: without austerity, there will inevitably be insolvency.

What they keep to themselves is, that at the heart of the matter this is a question of distribution. Obviously it is a global matter, but if we restrict the view to the national level. Even if we take as granted the current level of capacity of the Greek economy set by the global frame, there is absolutely no reason that a tiny elite is unflinchingly enriching itself, while the vast majority – and especially the poorest strata – are impoverished. (In fact Greece could be much more productive, and of course distribute wealth much fairer. The collapse of the Greek economy illustrates the inability of global capitalism to sensibly utilize and develop the available resources for the majority of people.)

The strong point of Sýriza’s message is to challenge the dogma of austerity. Sýriza says: there is another way. And that is absolutely true!

However this strength could quickly turn into a weakness, when it lacks reasoning. Sýriza and apparently many of its voters want to remain part of the EU system and the Euro zone. But the relations of power are clear, and the aims of the Euro regime are not a secret either. There is little political margin to mitigate the attack of the elites on social achievements. Their declared aim is to restore international competitiveness by lowering costs (of labour). In addition, a change of course concerning Greece would provoke similar demands in all of southern Europe. The most recent programme of the European Central Bank to bail out the banks, called “Quantitative Easing”, which includes lowering interest on sovereign debt, is considered by Berlin as the maximum concession.

Syriza will very soon be faced with a choice: either they turn into a prized reseller of some prettified austerity and transmogrify with lightning speed into a new Pasók – that would be the choice of the European social-democrats. Or they leave the Greeks in no doubt and prepare the people for a violent clash with the EU oligarchy, a clash with an undecided outcome. Anything else would at best be an illusion.

To overcome the disastrous crisis, to promote the interest of the majority of the population and to provide for political self-determination of society, a break with the capitalist oligarchy, with the Euro system and with the European Union is inevitable. It is obvious that such an enormous struggle would come at a certain cost.

The current steps of Sýriza must be understood as a social learning process. Never before has anyone confronted the EU oligarchy within its own institutions with the demand to end the impoverishment programme. Unlike us, Sýriza and the Greek people believe that substantial concessions are possible within the system. In just a few months’ time history will have delivered the proof.

Let us meanwhile work for a political front to break with the capitalist oligarchy and with its EU institutions. Otherwise, we’ll witness a further rise of the radical right.