|THIS IS WHAT DIRECT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE|
Several years of People's Assemblies in squares across Greece maybe has spoiled us. Direct democracy in action. Horizontal and all that. Problems, sure, but still governing without government, without parties, without trade unions, governing by the multitude and for the multitude. Great stuff. New stuff. Exciting stuff.
It is diminishing now, I fear. The Party has arrived. The "radical" left Syriza has appeared on the scene, and is doing things now like calling for an occupation of Syntagma Square to support its agenda. But wait, we don't need no Party to call us to occupy...and we sure don't need some outside agenda. That sort of misses the whole point.
EurActiv tells the story:
The European Left is the main political force of change in Europe and only alternative to neoliberalism, says Greek left-wing leader and expected candidate for the European Commission top job, Alexis Tsipras, in an interview with EurActiv Greece.
The European Left can oppose "neoliberalism" and help find a solution to the effects of austerity policy, said Tsipras, the leader of the leftist Greek party, Syriza.
Tsipras said that the crisis had brought people from all aspects of society together: “we juxtapose the solidarity of the young, the working people, the pensioners and the unemployed”.
What he doesn't seem to notice is that these people were brought together without him or his Party. What he and his Party are doing is stepping in to "represent" and "lead" these leaderless people.
I'm not saying that Syriza says all the wrong things. It doesn't. The problem is with it the move is away from direct democracy and back to the same old same old...just like always. You can't smash the State by becoming the State. It just does not ever work
George Venizelos writes at An International Critique:
In other words, until the next conference of SYRIZA, in three years, the party politics will be formulated by the current president Alexis Tsipras; if in one year Tsipras and SYRIZA managed to shift the party further to the right, what now... One end can be visualized; SYRIZA will have a radical and rapid ending in terms of quality. As it rapidly grew, that rapidly it will become another promising party that lost the game with the system and became slave of its misconceptions, settling itself at the levels of social democracy; far from modern, yet, radical ideas.
It is not hard to understand the popularity of Syriza. It does say the right things, most of the time, it did have activists who participated in the fights in the Squares. It represents a way forward for many people searching desperately for hope.
I hate to sound like some dogmatic leftist, but I am sorry, I even more hate to see the step back from direct democracy to Party politics.
I am going to post two articles/analysis here. The first is from ROARMAG and is from yesterday . The second is from last May and from the blog Critical Mass. I like the first article a lot. I like some of the second article not quite as much, but it makes some good points.
Greece: rise of the party, demise of the movement?
“Now that [Morales'] Movement Towards Socialism occupies state space, it has begun trying to co-opt and control the movements, in order to demobilize them by means of their own specific demands and tame them according to the government’s interests. The state is expropriating capacities that we recovered at great cost: the capacity to rebel, to mobilize, to organize, and to advance proposals. They give institutional positions to movement spokespeople, embassies to social leaders, and dismiss and stigmatize those of us who do not want to enter state institutions but rather want to break with them, alleging that we are funded by the right-wing.”
Roy Ratcliffe (March 2013