Eric Beck on Wed, 28 Jan 2015 02:03:12 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Greek elections?

On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, Brian Holmes <> wrote:

     Again, I agree with Felix. We are not just talking
     about an economic plan. The only way to continue with
     the present predatory/oppressive relation between the
     citizen and the collectivity is to divert everyone's
     attention to the threat of an outside, or perhaps
     inside, enemy.

Which makes Syriza's choice of coalition partners so depressing: its
first act of power was to fold into its agenda the program and personnel
of an overtly racialist and nationalist party. As one news outlet
reported the agreement: "The right-wing party [ANEL] has agreed to back
SYRIZA's economic policies, as set out by Tsipras at the Thessaloniki
International Fair in September, as long as the new prime minister does
not forge ahead with changes in areas where Kammenos's party has
objections." Greece can have its anti-austerity program as long as it
maintains the racialized distinctions dictated by nationalist parties.
For Syriza, ANEL, and western leftists this seems to be an acceptable
tradeoff, but I bet for a lot of other people, letting people drown in
the Mediterranean in exchange for fiscal solidity isn't such a

As for who those enemies will be, Syriza's choice of coalition partner
assures that external threats like European bankers and German
politicians will be joined, potentially, by ANEL's already identified
internal threats, migrants, queers, Jews, and Muslims. Syriza has
already committed itself to not interfering in this process.

     What is presented as an economic pathway is a
     pathway toward militarization and war, in Europe as in
     North America. Under conditions of extreme alienation,
     where the citizen can no longer trust the state, war is
     the only viable force of discipline. It is the secret
     support structure of the austerity plan.

There is another option here, one indicated above: citizens actually
trusting and identifying with its leaders and locating its antagonists
elsewhere. A refortified nation can be as dangerous as an alienated
citizenry. And that's where leftist delusions about the coalition being
merely a "parliamentary maneuver" becomes either dangerously naive or
willfully stupid.

     What's going on in Greece is important. Perhaps one
     indeed could say, "Only Syriza can save us now." But
     this would be wrong. To be saved, we all have to
     participate.  We have to define the nature of the
     left-hand road.

Agreed, with reservations. But those aside, this won't be accomplished,
contra what some people are advising, by not joining Greeks in
criticizing Syriza or by delivering encomiums on Syriza and its
intellectuals. They may all be smart, neat people, but they've also now
made themselves the enemy and so should be ruthlessly criticized. Their
decision to align themselves with arch-nationalists is a great place to

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