Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 25, 2015

Reflections on Syriza

Filed under: Greece — louisproyect @ 5:57 pm

Alex Tsipras and Pablo Iglesias

Over the past several days I have read over twenty articles about Syriza to help me prepare this one. As is often the case when I write something, it is as much to help clarify my own thinking as it is to inform my readers. My main point in writing this is to emphasize the need to understand Syriza in its own terms rather than to see it through categories drawn from the past, particularly those that are part of the Trotskyist lexicon.

The obvious challenge is to understand Syriza’s role in the class struggle when its program falls short of the usual expectations of a socialist government. At the risk of making the World Socialist Website sound more important than it really is, it is worth citing them since it is very good at applying litmus tests to “fakes”, “opportunists”, and the like. In a January 6 article written by Robert Stevens, the leading economists of Syriza are portrayed as tools of finance capital:

John Milios, SYRIZA’s chief economist, is a graduate of Athens College, the most prestigious private school in Greece. In an interview with the Guardian, in which he is described as the son of parents “with distinctly non-leftist views,” Milios states, “I never had any affiliation with Soviet Marxism.”

Among those with whom Milios has met are Schäuble. Elaborating on his role, Milios said recently: “[I] will continue to be constantly present in the formulation of Greek and international public opinion… institutionally participating in crucial meetings with international bodies (IMF, government agencies of other countries, financial centres, etc.) as I have done to date…”

In an interview with a Greek newspaper, Milios said of “the international contacts” he meets regularly, “believe me, ‘out there’ a very delicate handling is required.”

For people like Robert Stevens, there is never any need for “delicate handling” since he is not involved with power relationships. When you are playing with toy soldiers, it is always easy to achieve a victory. For people who call cyberspace home, anything is possible including scenarios involving dual power, workers militias and insurrection with scenario being the operative word.

While the British SWP has lost a lot of its credibility in the past couple of years over its handling of a rape case, it is still an important anti-Syriza platform built on orthodox Trotskyist foundations. While not so nearly as strident as WSWS, it draws a contrast between Syriza’s “reformism” and its own “revolutionary” stance as well as that of Antarsya, the small left coalition in Greece that its co-thinkers belong to.

In a July 4 2013 article titled “Left reformism, the state and the problem of socialist politics today”, Paul Blackledge described Syriza’s goal as seeking “progressive reforms through parliamentary channels”, something that left him cold since “there is nothing particularly novel about this.”

The essential problem, no matter the best intentions of Syriza’s leaders who Blackledge at least accepts as being genuinely opposed to austerity, is that once you are put in the position of administering the capitalist state, everything turns to shit:

It is their parliamentary statism, however mediated, that tends to trap left reformist parties like Syriza within capitalist relations in ways that pressure them to come into conflict with and, unless successfully challenged from the left, eventually undermine the radicalism of their own base.

Blackledge takes about 5,000 words to keep making a point that could have been made in less than a dozen, namely that Marxists are only interested in revolution, not winning bourgeois elections. It is permissible to run candidates but only with the understanding that winning an election is out of the question, something analogous to the neighborhood dog that could not be cured of the habit of chasing cars. What would the poor dog do if he actually caught one?

The poor, benighted, left-reformist Syriza members have been thrust into the most unfortunate position of having caught the car. If Greece had simply been muddling along like most of northern Europe, its vote totals would have remained in the comfort zone of Antarsya, around one percent. But a jobless, hungry, and hopeless Greek population did the unthinkable. It voted to elect a radical party to create jobs, reduce hunger and offer some hope. Syriza has not promised to nationalize industry, institute planning and a monopoly on foreign trade but it has declared its intentions through the Thessalonica Program, part of which is specifically geared to the jobless, hungry and hopeless:

  • Free electricity to 300.000 households currently under the poverty line up to 300 kWh per month per family; that is, 3.600 kWh per year. Total cost: €59,4 million.
  • Programme of meal subsidies to 300.000 families without income. The implementation will take place via a public agency of coordination, in cooperation with the local authorities, the Church and solidarity organizations. Total cost: €756 million.
  • Programme of housing guarantee. The target is the provision of initially 30.000 apartments (30, 50, and 70 m²), by subsidizing rent at €3 per m². Total cost: €54 million.
  • Restitution of the Christmas bonus, as 13th pension, to 1.262.920 pensioners with a pension up to €700. Total cost: €543,06 million.
  • Free medical and pharmaceutical care for the uninsured unemployed. Total cost: €350 million.
  • Special public transport card for the long-term unemployed and those who are under the poverty line. Total cost: €120 million.
  • Repeal of the leveling of the special consumption tax on heating and automotive diesel. Bringing the starting price of heating fuel for households back to €0,90 per lt, instead of the current €1,20 per lt. Benefit is expected.

None of this lives up to Blackledge’s revolutionary expectations. Why bother with something as piddling as a housing guarantee when the goal is proletarian dictatorship? Maybe the fact that Blackledge is a professor at Leeds Beckett University with a good future ahead of him and a roof over his head leads him to dismiss such “reforms”.

Of course the real question is whether Syriza can deliver such reforms given the relationship of forces that exist. Germany, its main adversary, has a population of 80 million and a GDP of nearly 4 trillion dollars. Greece, by comparison, has a population of 11 million and a GDP of 242 billion dollars, just a bit more than Volkswagen’s revenues. Given this relationship of forces, it will be a struggle to achieve the aforementioned reforms. To make them possible, it will be necessary for the workers and poor of Greece to demonstrate to Europe that they will go all the way to win them. It will also be necessary for people across Europe to demonstrate their solidarity with Greece so as to put maximum pressure on Germany and its shitty confederates like François Hollande to back off. But if your main goal in politics is to lecture the Greeks about the need for workers councils, armed struggle and all the rest, you obviously have no need to waste your time on such measly reforms.

Part of the problem for much of the left is its inability to properly theorize the conditions of class struggle in a post-Soviet world. In Latin America and southern Europe, states are struggling to improve the lives of their citizens but without abolishing capitalism. In an interview with Stathis Kouvelakis for Jacobin magazine, Sebastian Budgen asked what Greece would look like if Syriza won the election, adding, “We all know that socialism in one country doesn’t work. To what extent would a left social democracy in a poor, backward European country with no access to international lending, excluded from the Eurozone be able to change things? What kind of society would that be like?”

Kouvelakis replied:

First of all, in the picture you gave of the situation, the summer of 2015, given the situation you have described, it will be the start of the Greek default. Because it is this summer that some big payments will have to be made concerning the Greek debt, and in a situation of Greek default and of a following exit or expulsion from the Eurozone, a whole series of difficulties will have to be faced.

But every experiment so far in the history of social transformation has happened in a hostile international environment. And here, the notion of time and temporality is absolutely crucial. Politics is essentially about intervening at a particular moment and displacing the dominant temporality and inventing a new one. Of course, strategically, socialism in one country is not viable. And social transformation in Europe will only happen if there is an expanding dynamic around this.

So my answer would be the following: it will certainly be tough for Greece, but still manageable if there is a strong level of social support for the objectives put forth by the government and political level.

Greece, with a left-wing government moving in that direction, will provoke an enormous wave of support by very large sectors of public opinion in Europe, and it will energize to an extent that we cannot imagine the radical left in countries where you have the potential for it to intervene strongly.

Spain is the most obvious candidate for an extension of a Greek type of scenario, but I think that, even if it seems at present unlikely, France is also a potentially weak link in the EU, if the wind from the south blows sufficiently strongly.

In conclusion I would offer these thoughts. The left internationally must become involved with solidarity on behalf of Syriza for two reasons. First, it will help give the government added leverage to carry out the reforms so necessary for a population so tormented by austerity that an epidemic of suicide has overtaken the country. If this is “reformism”, I am all for it.

Secondly, we are trying to build a worldwide anticapitalist movement on new foundations. The difference between “revolutionaries” like the British SWP and WSWS.org on one side and Syriza and Podemos on the other could not be clearer. We do not think that the term “reformist” does such mass, inclusive and nonsectarian formations justice. When left parties win elections in Venezuela or Greece, it makes a real difference in the lives of the people. For example, Venezuela’s poverty rate dropped from 48.6 percent in 2002 to 29.5 percent in 2011.

This obviously had a lot to do with the government’s use of oil sales revenue to fund social programs. With the decline of oil prices, it will be more difficult to sustain such programs but this is more a function of the dominance of capitalist property relations than government intent.

To some extent, the ortho-Trotskyist politics of the WSWS and the British SWP has some validity. As long as a nation is imbricated within a world system based on commodity exchange, it will not be able to transcend market relations. This is as true of Cuba as it has been of Venezuela as it will be of Greece.

However, to confront the capitalist system on a world scale, we need a new movement that reflects 21st century realities. New parties that combine street-level activism with bold electoral initiatives and that communicate electronically across borders without respect to narrow doctrinal questions on the USSR will become more and more the norm. As an auspicious recognition of the ties that will bind such new movements, we turn to Pablo Iglesias’s speech to Syriza:

We must finally work together – in Europe and for Europe. It’s not necessary to read Karl Marx to know that there are no definitive solutions within the framework of the nation-state. For that reason we must help each other and present ourselves as an alternative for all of Europe.

Winning the elections is far from winning power. That’s why we must bring everyone who is committed to change and decency together around our shared task, which is nothing more than turning the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into a manual for government. Our aim today, unfortunately, is not the withering away of the state, or the disappearance of prisons, or that Earth become a paradise. But we do aspire, as I said, to make it so that all children go to public schools clean and well-fed; that all the elderly receive a pension and be taken care of in the best hospitals; that any young person—independently of who their parents are—be able to go to college; that nobody have their heat turned off in the winter because they can’t pay their bill; that no bank be allowed to leave a family in the street without alternative housing; that everyone be able to work in decent conditions without having to accept shameful wages; that the production of information in newspapers and on television not be a privilege of multi-millionaires; that a country not have to kneel down before foreign speculators. In one word: that a society be able to provide the basic material conditions that make dignity and happiness possible.

These modest objectives that today seem so radical simply represent democracy. Tomorrow is ours, brothers and sisters!

25 Comments »

  1. The strongest areas of Greece’s economy are tourism and shipping, which require having a convertible currency, free trade, and good relations with capitalist powers. Greece is not even Argentina, which has a powerful ag sector that exported to China as a way out of crisis. Greece’s economy, along with being small, is particularly plugged into the global capitalist system.

    All of which is saying that Leftists do need to have some patience.

    Ironically, the U.S. is the only country in which “socialism in one country” could work, because it has the capability of being self-sufficient in a relatively short time span. And it has a large enough internal economy to basically not need exports as a means of survival (it’s huge trade deficits prove this).

    Comment by jay — January 25, 2015 @ 8:35 pm

  2. “For people who call cyberspace home” it is so easy to lecture readers what they must do. Mirror, mirror…

    Prediction: three years from now, that list of seven advances you quote will be mostly forgotten – and the people of Greece will not be to blame, nor will they blame the people of Europe and the world. At best, they will say they rolled the dice in 2015 with a bet on Syriza – and lost.

    Comment by Sherry7 — January 25, 2015 @ 9:18 pm

  3. This is a fine article. Of course there is truth in the orthodox Trotskyist criticism of the “parliamentary road” etc. Nonetheless Syriza’s victory is a sign of fissuring within the capitalist heartlands, albeit at the margins. What we are seeing is a popular rejection of the austerity policies that have flowed from over 40 years of the dominance of the ideas of Friedman and Hayek and their followers.

    What the SWP need to ponder on, is why if they have a monopoly of the truth, they have never been able to spark off or lead the kind of mass movement that has propelled Syriza into office.

    comradely

    Gary

    Comment by Gary MacLennan — January 25, 2015 @ 9:27 pm

  4. At best, they will say they rolled the dice in 2015 with a bet on Syriza – and lost.

    ===

    So what is your fucking point? To vote for Antarsya?

    Plus, I am a blogger not part of a Bolshevik-Leninist party like the World Sectarian Website. On top of that I have 40 years of activism behind me before I began blogging. What have you done, you loser troll.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 25, 2015 @ 9:36 pm

  5. What happens next will depend on whether Syriza mobilises it’s base into active opposition against capitalism whether it is stated that way or not. If a mass workers’ movement (whether formally called revolutionary or not) is built then anything is possible.
    Extensive nationalisation and democratisation and eventually a dual power situation will be necessary.
    But, if Syriza relies on purely parliamentary methods and sticks to negotiations with other governments then it is doomed to fail.
    Hopefully Greek workers can force the former rather than the latter – this situation will take years to play out.

    Comment by Neil Proud — January 26, 2015 @ 1:46 pm

  6. Dammit! Just short of a majority!

    Comment by Todd — January 26, 2015 @ 2:29 pm

  7. “Greece, with a left-wing government moving in that direction, will provoke an enormous wave of support by very large sectors of public opinion in Europe, and it will energize to an extent that we cannot imagine the radical left in countries where you have the potential for it to intervene strongly.”

    This is the reason why I am fearful about the future of a SYRIZA government. It is a trite comparison, but I am concerned that the US, the EU and the IMF will initiate a campaign of social destabilization in Greece as the US did in Chile in the early 1970s. Would the EU accept the return of the junta if necessary to stop the spread of the contagion? I believe that it would, although it would be dressed in a democratic fig leaf. Cross continent support for SYRIZA may be necessary for its survival.

    Comment by Richard Estes — January 26, 2015 @ 5:32 pm

  8. Syriza face an uphill struggle no doubt about it. But I agree with the thrust of this article.

    I am slightly concerned, picking up on Neil Proud’s point, that some of the early decisions by Syriza look to be designed to almost demoralise its radical section and pander to its more moderate sections. But then again that may end up being an astute calculation in the longer term!

    Comment by Simon Provertier — January 26, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

  9. Post-election follow-up from Koulevakis:

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/01/syriza-greece-victory-kouvelakis-left/

    Comment by Richard Estes — January 26, 2015 @ 8:36 pm

  10. Re: the Kouvelakis piece linked by Richard…

    Last but not least, while Panos Kammenos and his sovereignist right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) are certainly a lesser evil compared to formations like To Potami (whose stated goal was to force Syriza to stay within the narrow boundaries set by the EU and the Memorandums), they are nonetheless an evil. Their participation in the government, even with just one minister, would symbolize the end of the idea of an “anti-austerity government of the Left.”

    I guess that was a nice idea while it lasted. That ANEL has been handed the defense portfolio is particularly troubling, given that it reduces SYRIZA’s oversight of the military (something crucial for any government that might even marginally upset the status quo, particularly in a country with a history like Greece’s) and ANEL supports increases to Greece’s already bloated military budget. I doubt Kammenos asked for the defense portfolio just so he could collect a salary while the left runs the show.

    Comment by Jean-Michel — January 28, 2015 @ 12:24 am

  11. You linked to an article that I assumed would refer to ANEL getting the Defense portfolio but could find nothing to that effect. I couldn’t find any other reference to it either. Perhaps you saw something somewhere but it is not in the “while it lasted” link.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 28, 2015 @ 12:43 am

  12. From the linked article:

    ANEL’s limited presence in the coalition had been agreed early on, sources indicated. Kammenos’s one chief request was to be granted the Defense Ministry. Apart from [Terens] Quick, [deputy “minister of state for coordinating government operations,”] ANEL has two more deputies in the cabinet: Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha as deputy minister for Macedonia-Thrace and Elena Kountoura as alternate tourism minister under Stathakis’s “super-ministry.”

    There are numerous other sources confirming Kammenos’ appointment, e.g. the Guardian, Bloomberg, and Reuters, among others. I’m not completely on board with Koulevakis’ sweepingly gloomy prognostication, but it’s remarkable how quickly events are overtaking things here and how unprepared Koulevakis seems to have been for the possibility of a coalition with the Independent Greeks; indeed the Koulevakis interview-cum-FAQ linked above pays little attention to the prospect that SYRIZA might have to form a coalition at all, and contains no mention of ANEL even though the two parties have cooperated in the past and SYRIZA’s parliamentary spokesperson dangled the possibility of a coalition in the runup to the elections.

    Comment by Jean-Michel — January 28, 2015 @ 5:31 am

  13. Jean-Michel, you were right but you should have cited a different article:

    “Panos Kammenos was named defence minister in return for leading his small nationalist Independent Greeks (ANEL) party into a coalition government with Syriza.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/yanis-varoufakis-named-greeces-finance-minister-133903531.html

    Comment by louisproyect — January 28, 2015 @ 2:12 pm

  14. The Ekathimerini‎ article was the only one I could find that mentioned the deputy minister portfolios, though these are obviously less significant (and hopefully less problematic) than Kammenos’ appointment.

    Comment by Jean-Michel — January 28, 2015 @ 6:33 pm

  15. For what it’s worth, this is a comment by David Walters to the Green Left mailing list:

    I made this note on another list. In Greece (say, unlike in Chile) the Defense Ministry under Allende, is a civilian authority. ALL coups emanate from within the ranks of the officer corp, not the civilian agency in charge of overseeing it. I think it’s pretty meaningless for the ANEL rep to be defense minister from the point of view of keeping Syriza in line. Where it could make a difference is if he uses the military to militarize the border and prevent immigrants from arriving in Greece.

    David

    Comment by louisproyect — January 28, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

  16. The Independent Greeks are the reason there were new elections to begin with, they outed all the bribe attempts and didn’t vote for the ND president nominee. It’s been clear for a long time Syriza was working with them on certain votes. Nobody watching Greece the last 6 months is surprised about this coalition.

    They are of course reactionary, but their involvement in Defense is probably about protecting their corruption and contracts and not a coup (they only got 4%). It’s basically not very consequential.

    Now that SYRIZA has blocked privatization, with a huge reaction from the ‘market’, what will all the naysayers say ?

    Comment by jay — January 28, 2015 @ 11:35 pm

  17. This January 25, 2015 marks the ushering in of what is hoped to be the world’s first genuine but non-DOTP “workers government” since the Popular Front in Spain. However, this January 25, 2015 also marks the ushering in of what the inter-war social democracy hoped to be the “labour revolution.”

    Indeed, ever since discussions on “workers governments” resurfaced, I can’t help but think why criticisms of this Comintern framework, such as those found in the Weekly Worker, did not compare it to what the renegade Kautsky wrote about coalition governments comprised predominantly of parliamentary “democratic socialist” forces. This is something which not even Chile’s Salvador Allende had, but now which Greece’s Alexis Tsipras has, not least because of the efforts invested in service-oriented solidarity networks.

    As a comrade told me, there is not just public support, but public pressure on the party to take responsibility. However, the political and economic conditions aren’t there for the push towards scrapping private property relations. Coincidentally, this week also marks the ushering in of the world’s first Communitarian Populist Front since the Chartist movement and Paris Commune of the “working classes” in Britain and France, respectively, with SYRIZA working with the anti-fascist, stridently anti-austerity, but right-populist Independent Greeks to break away from the class collaborationism of Popular Fronts and sheer hypocrisy of United Fronts.

    Comment by Jacob Richter — January 29, 2015 @ 4:23 am

  18. I’ll just apply the Communitarian Populist Front framework one step further and say that, right now in Greece, working-class supporters of all anti-austerity left parties should work with working-class forces within ANEL in self-defense activities against Golden Dawn thugs. This May Day in Greece, working-class supporters of all anti-austerity parties should march together. If this means seeing SYRIZA and ANEL flags together, so be it. Cooperation at the government level isn’t enough.

    A key factor of this Communitarian Populist Front, a framework which I have proposed but whose pre-Greek historical precedents include the Chartist movement and the Paris Commune, is that the left in this front should stick to radical, participatory-democratic overhaul (average skilled workers’ compensation and benefits, recallability, etc.) and predistributionist economic policy, while conceding “Radical Center” positions on identity and related “social” issues.

    Comment by Jacob Richter — January 29, 2015 @ 4:23 am

  19. A good piece, Louis. But I would encourage people to read the two Jacobin interviews with Stathis Kouvelakis: they make clear what the political lines of divide are within Syriza and the extent to which the Left has thought through the strategic and theoretical issues. What’s clearly needed in Greece is a strategic approach that constructs a dialecticrelationship between electoral achievments, institutional power, and popular mobilisation. That means a readiness to take on the responsibilities of government but to combine it with the building of popular institutions that can provide sources of power outside the state framework. Syriza could well have the political capacity to do that, but wether its leadership group has the political will is open to question. But at least the Syriza left seem to understand the issue. This is clearly an open-ended situation and one which the left outside Greece needs to follow.closely. As others have said, active international solidarity can also be an important element in shaping the balance of forces.
    On Jean-Michel’s points about the Greek military budget- military expenditure is an issue that needs to be addressed as part of any serious fiscal reform. But his sources exaggerate: Greece was a major arms importer up until 2007, but that thereafter its imports declined steadily to near vanishing-point by 2010. Current Greek military expenditure is 2.4% of GDP, slightly above the level of France, the UK and (the relevant geo-political comparator) Turkey. More importantly, the principal critic of the inflated military budget has been Yanis Varoufakis, now Syriza’s Finance minister.

    Comment by magpie68 — January 29, 2015 @ 7:46 pm

  20. Knocking down the usual and useless sectarian suspects won’t do as cover for *uncritical* solidarity with the Syriza government. First, some perhaps inconvenient facts:

    “Nick Malkoutzis @NickMalkoutzis: Tsipras’s first meeting with a foreign ambassador since being elected Greek PM was with Russia’s Andrey Maslov”

    Any move to exercise a veto over EU sanctions against Russia, even as a bargaining chip in austerity talks, will put the Syriza government squarely in the crosshairs of U.S. imperialism, for whom the campaign to (optimally, maximum program) destroy the Russian Federation as a state, or (minimum program) to displace the Putin regime, is of #1 global strategic importance, as it is a strategic precondition for “the pivot against China”. of course, none of this is to be seen from the horseshit perspective of the “axis of resistance”; this is an analysis of pure inter-imperialist capitalist state conflict.

    The privatization of the Pireas port has not been cancelled, it is – I paraphrase a bit – “under review to take into account the interests of the Greek people”. On the short list of bidders, is supposed to be also the giant Chinese commercial state capitalist monopoly COSCO, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_COSCO . Especially important in a country like Greece, where shipping is likely the most important capitalist industrial sector.

    The moral here is that a complete balance of all significant international forces for all sides, political, economic and ideological, must be taken before we move to a specifically political/ideological focus.

    Now on to consideration of the political basics. I can certainly agree that in the post-Russian revolution era that opened in 1989-91, the main task is the reconstruction of the political and ideological working class movement, here conceived in the broadest possible way, embracing all of its progressive, reformist, and revolutionary tendencies that, either consciously or not, act towards that reconstruction. That by definition excludes the “revolutionary” sects, including the KKE, to the extent that their minds still live in an era that passed a quarter of a century ago already. However, that does not mean we toss out all of the lessons learned by those who acted in that era now passed. Part of that reconstruction will involve, is involving, sifting through those lessons to determine which of them are still of relevence.

    Still of relevance, I believe, is the necessity of a revolutionary proletarian party. That needs reconstruction right alongside that of the broader reconstruction of the political forms of working class struggle, indeed that broader reconstruction is a necessary condition for that of the revolutionary party.

    Practically speaking, that could occur “inside” or “outside” an organization like Syriza or Podemos, a tactical consideration different from the principle that solidarity be critical, applied only when they move in the correct direction. This requires neither sectarian prejudgements nor compulsive apologetic.

    I believe Pablo Iglesias’s speech cited above also contained a strong slap at the “left sects”. I somehow don’t think Iglesias has in mind “sect” as we are discussing here, he likely means the entire revolutionary left, sect or not, because Iglesia intends to build a reformist movement. If that is wrong, that’s fine and all the better – I’d be “tough with the left sects” in a revolutionary proletarian party that gained the least bit of mass traction. The ultimate test of a *new* reformist working class movement, the result of the new, present conjuncture, will be their tolerance of the revolutionary left. And not OUR “tolerance” of them, a perspective both idealist and in practice, sectarian.

    Comment by matthewrusso9 — January 29, 2015 @ 9:51 pm

  21. The privatization of the Pireas port has not been cancelled, it is – I paraphrase a bit – “under review to take into account the interests of the Greek people”.

    Actually, this is closer to the mark:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/27/greece-election-privatisation-idUSA8N0UD00Z20150127

    The new Greek government led by the left-wing Syriza party will halt the sale of a majority stake in the port of Piraeus, Greece’s biggest, begun by the previous government, the deputy minister in charge of shipping said on Tuesday.

    “We will not sell a majority stake in Piraeus port,” Thodoris Dritsas told Reuters. “The Cosco deal will be reviewed to the benefit of the Greek people.”

    Greece had shortlisted China’s Cosco Group and four other suitors as potential buyers of a 67 percent stake in Piraeus Port Authority OLP last year under its privatisation scheme agreed with its international lenders.

    Cosco manages two of the port’s cargo piers.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 29, 2015 @ 10:12 pm

  22. Apologies for not seeing FTs garbage, please delete.

    Comment by matthewrusso9 — January 29, 2015 @ 10:14 pm

  23. Hah! Quicker than scheisse from a goose: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/29/greece-delays-eu-agreement-russia-sanctions

    “The move raised European and Nato fears that Moscow might seek to *exploit the hard left and extreme right coalition* under Alexis Tsipras as a Trojan horse within the key western alliances.”

    The phrase between asterisks looks to be the emerging anti-Syriza propaganda line of the NATO/EU imperialist bourgeoisie.

    Comment by matthewrusso9 — January 29, 2015 @ 10:24 pm

  24. A large enough internal economy not to require exports

    Jay–In that we have in effect exported our manufacturing to cheaper labor markets abroad, don’t we have a kind of reverse mercantilism that requires cheap foreign imports to sustain our unstable economy, thus negating any ability to do socialism in the USA alone?

    Comment by Pete Glosser — January 30, 2015 @ 4:41 pm

  25. […] Before Alexis Tsipras took office, I wrote the following: […]

    Pingback by Socialist revolution in Greece–easy to say, harder to do | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — May 18, 2015 @ 8:21 pm


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