June 2016 Political Theses of SYRIZA’s Central Committee for the Second Congress held on October 13-16. (Hyperlinks added by this blog.)
1. SYRIZA’s Victorious Advance – Unification at the First Congress, Preparation to Assume Responsibility for Government
The starting point of Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) great advance dates back to the late 1980s, when the first signs of a general political crisis and the crisis of the bourgeois party system appeared. This happened when the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK) started being fully controlled by the state, placing the state’s imperatives and rationale, as well as the particular vested interests it was involved with, at the core of its existence, gradually acceding to the rising neoliberalism and abandoning the political representation of those afflicted by the inequalities perpetually produced by capitalism. New Democracy (ND) emerged as the pure champion of neoliberalism and, thanks to PASOK’s shift and the now apparent corruption, managed to have two short, but equally scandalous, terms in government. Continue reading →
Yanis Varoufakis’ reply to Tariq Ali, Stathis Kouvelakis, Vicente Navarro, and Stefano Fassina on DiEM25’s plan for resisting within the European Union.
Preface: This article (published in edited form in Jacobin, Neues Deutschland, Il Manifesto, Mediapart and elsewhere) addresses left-wing critics of DiEM25 claiming that DiEM25 is pursuing the wrong objective (to democratise the EU) by means of a faulty strategy (focusing at the European rather than at the national level). This response, while addressed to left-wing supporters of Lexit (the strategy of calling for referenda in favour of leaving the EU, Brexit style), is pertinent also as questions raised often within the other political traditions that DiEM25 seeks to unite in the struggle to democratise Europe; i.e. authentic liberals, ecologists, feminists, members of pirate parties, activists unwilling to be embedded in existing parties, progressive conservatives even.
In the space of 13 months, two referenda shook up not only the European Union (EU) but also Europe’s Left: the Greek OXI in July 2015 and Brexit in June 2016. Exasperated by the EU’s mixture of authoritarianism and economic failure, a segment of Europe’s Left is now calling for a “break with the EU”, a stance that has come to be associated with the term Lexit. DiEM25, the transnational Democracy in Europe Movement, rejects the Lexit logic and offers an alternative Progressive Agenda for Europe. Continue reading →
The media and left commentators are focusing on the leadership fight at the top of the Labour Party while ignoring the fresh new disaster the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn is preparing. He is positioning Labour as the party of ‘Lexit’ (left-wing exit from the European Union). Anyone who doubts this bleak assessment should read his latest statement:
“Neither wing of the Tory government has an exit plan. Labour will now ensure that our reform agenda is at the heart of the negotiations that lie ahead. That includes the freedom to shape our economy for the future and the necessity of protecting social and employment rights.
“Over the next 24 hours I will reshape my shadow cabinet and announce a new leadership team to take forward Labour’s campaign for a fairer Britain – and to get the best deal with Europe for our people.”
“A good and decent man but he is not a leader. That is the problem.” This was just-sacked Hilary Benn’s verdict on Jeremy Corbyn, and he’s two-thirds right. Corbyn is not a leader, and if that wasn’t obvious before the referendum campaign, it should be now. If the Vice documentary didn’t convince you that Corbyn is a man who cannot lead – marked by both insubstantiality and intransigence, both appalling presentation and mortal vanity – then surely his botched efforts for Remain must have.
Britain’s referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Union or leave ended in a British exit (Brexit) by a slim margin, 51% to 48.1%, a difference of roughly 1.3 million votes out of some 33.5 million votes cast.
The result was a major blow to the country’s political establishments — Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron campaigned hard for Remain and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigned for Remain as well albeit half-assedly.