Winning and losing: The Syriza way
As a young Cypriot being brought up in the discourse of Albert Memmi’s colonized, I was lucky enough to be part of a critically thinking educated middle-class family that allowed me to see that the main perpetrators of the post-colonial vicious circle of dependency and submission were the colonized oligarchs. They had managed to amass during the years of colonization great power and wealth by adopting the ways, values and ideas of their colonizing masters.
In the cases that the post-colonial transition of political power came through radical revolutionary self-determination movements that overthrew the colonized oligarchs these movements were so totalitarian in establishing control over their governance that they often neglected the same ideals that they were fighting for in the first place. Nevertheless, their ideas that spurred the masses to offer the loyalty to their cause lived on and transcended to economic and political thoughts way beyond their boundaries of their own nation. The plain reason for this was that it was evident that their fight was not about nation-states. It was a class struggle.
The events that are unfolding in Greece since the electoral win of the radical leftist party of Syriza seem to me to have a modernized financial similarity with the successful liberation and revolutionary movement of Fidel Castro and Ce Guevara in Cuba in the late 50’s. I don’t want to say the two cases are the same, but they share similar elements since both represent grass root socialist ideological reactions against the gross imperialistic advance.
The South American economic and political puzzle of the late 50’s resembles the same opportunistic environment many European countries especially from Southern Europe found themselves in the post-2008 financial crisis. In the case of many South American countries during the late 50’s and in the 60’s their newly hardly fought and earned independence meant also dealing with the old establish indigenous oligarchs and their former colonial rulers, the USA. The US had for decades been imposing a monetary tyranny through the dollar. In those days the role of the IMF and the ECB gracefully was played by the WTO which with the help of the US secret services and their corporate oligarchy forced these countries to the so-called Structural Adjustment Programs that were aiming to kick-start these economies into free trade and economic growth. The results of these programs were, widening economic inequality in these societies, the establishment of brutal dictatorships all across the continent, the ravaging of the natural resources and wealth of these countries through privatization that benefited the few and led finally to the disintegration of the social fabric.
What Greece is experiencing since 2008 is an expression of the same imperialistic attitude of a dominant power that seeks to consolidate control over highly lucrative actors with great resources and assets by enslaving them into a relationship of perpetuate debt. Germany is the only EU power that has benefited the most since the global financial crisis. The aim to extend their control over their EU partners by making them more and more dependent on the mechanism of borrowing money. Then they can come and impose the regulatory adjustments that would allow them to maintain Germany as the most competitive economy in the Eurozone. In the meantime, they will extort, blackmail and do whatever it takes with the help of their the corporate lobbying war machine to ensure that they have the local elites to support their cause.
This is what Tsipras and Varoufakis want to uncover and this is exactly what they are most afraid of. Tsipras and Varoufakis are not Fidel Castro nor Che Guevara in their ideas or in the means of fighting their cause. But they are the same to the degree that they are fighting against the global imperialistic capital that wants you to believe that is the Greek people or the weak, corrupt countries of the south of Europe to be blamed. They know that is not the people, but it’s the oligarchs that with the help of their foreign financial colonizers that manipulated and played their lives in the world’s global financial casino.
The stakes are high for the Greek government because even though in the end Greece may be forced to accept some sort of renegotiated version of the bailout plan the only way that this government may survive this gross attack on its sovereignty politically and maintain its popularity in Greece is by pushing forward to the legal front and demand that all these Greek and European oligarchs that have profiteered for decades through extortion and bribery against the Greek public to be brought to justice. The unity of Greeks is of apparent and immense importance at this stage. Kissinger, the most beloved and celebrated free war criminal had once said that the only way one may succeed in dominating the Greeks is by dividing them. Well, Germany’s imperial fiscal fascism may actually do exactly that!
But they are winners no matter what. Both, Tsipras and Varoufakis. They managed to impose on the people of Europe a legitimate doubt against the German established financial dogma. The question they posed Is simple: Shouldn’t be an economic policy that has been so ruthlessly imposed the last 7 years and has perhaps as the only undisputed result the unprecedented rise of the far right neo-nazi parties across Europe, be rethink and perhaps changed? This question raises also doubts upon the argument Germany was using internally and which was putting the blame on its own economic weakness to the weaker European southern partners. The German public will ask why their country’s economic crusade since 2008 has failed to produce the fruits of economic growth yet.
In politics, the first battlefield is the one fought by the power of ideas and once the seed of an idea are planted it is inevitable that they’ll take roots. Now what fruits they will bring on is still uncertain.