The last few months in Greece have been a slow train wreck. The train has been the Syriza government, annulling its promises, turning its back on the people and being subjugated by the imperialistic powers that be. Now as activists and political commentators our task is to examine Syriza not only as a standalone case but also a drop in the ocean for the failures of social democracy.
Two key factors played prominent roles in the capitulation of the Syrizian government and each will be briefly elaborated upon.
- The European Union was described as a “threat to our sovereignty and independence” from election literature of the Communist Party dating back to the 1980s. This prophetic description was proven true as the centralized and undemocratic European institutions have tightened their grip on smaller and weaker countries. Never the less one does not need to step into deep Marxist linguistics to break down the sinister role of the European Union, after all even the architect of the European Union, Jean Monnet advocated for integration and this can be seen in the attempts for his accredited role in this field, in particular the Schuman Declaration. It is interesting that the declaration makes this note: “In contrast to international cartels, which tend to impose restrictive practices on distribution and the exploitation of national markets, and to maintain high profits, the organization will ensure the fusion of markets and the expansion of production.” Despite the rhetoric and promises, we know that the exact opposite has happened.
Lakes of wine and mountains of food, controlled pricing for the benefit of farmers and what seems to be unlimited virtual credit extended to banks on the periphery regions such as Ireland. The prophecy given in the literature of the Communist Party of Ireland’s has really come through. Both the Nice and Lisbon treaties were blatant displays of the disinterest in democracy while the pressure applied by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB). Ultimately, Professor Spyros Marketos in Greece put it best: “The Euro is not just nominal money but is a social relationship, it is a dictatorship of the bankers and you cannot stay in the Eurozone and have a left-wing government. This has been proven.”
- To date, social democracy has achieved only temporary improvements in the lives of the working class and we can only look at very few nations that have made tangible gains for their people without oppressing others through their banks, companies or armies. Governments in a social democracy tend to actively depoliticize the population by distracting it. Consumerism, nationalism, religion fanaticism, etc all act as tools of disconnecting people from being politically conscious and realistically these strategies have worked. Marx noted in the Manifesto that the relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed would be laid bare for all to see as the obfuscations were stripped away. This happens in intervals and several parties (notably the KKE and the CPI) have taken advantage of it to show an alternative form of society before people become complacent again.
Every advance in the EU and under a booming capitalist system has been reversed and the impoverishment of the people has been underway. Prominent features that make the system of social democracy such as benefits, social welfare, payments to children with one parent, so on and so forth have been on a drastic decline since the recession. What has this shown?
Social democracy is only progressive when the real decision making body of capitalists allows it to be which in practise means when the industrialists, banks and politicians are ‘taken care of’. In essence this means that capitalism allows for progress in the social sphere when some of the profit trickles down to keep the population satisfied and subjugated but without any means of controlling their own destinies.
What the situation in Greece has shown the people of Europe is that there is a clear cut relationship between the majority and the minority who remains the sole benefactor. The Greek crisis has also shown the world the farcical weakness of Social Democrats and their inability to rouse the people against the tyranny of capitalism. I hope now that people turn their attention elsewhere and focus on self-organization as the means to liberation, knowing fully that no parliamentarian regardless of how fiery in battle can deliver them.