Thursday, January 29, 2015

The limits of what can be expected from the SYRIZA government

by Wayne Hall

The above analysis of the politics of SYRIZA and its government does not say anything that is untrue, but it leaves out of account a number of points that are relevant in estimating the political potential of the new Greek government.

For a start, SYRIZA does not touch on any taboo “conspiracy theory” issues, such as 911 and/or the militarization of climate. They have systematically and resolutely refused to engage any of them. They line up with the side of the climate debate that attributes all anomalous “natural” phenomena to “global warming” (of course the other side of that debate is also manipulated).

On Ukraine and Russia there are also limitations to what they can say or do. The senior member of SYRIZA most committed to policies not hostile to Russia, Nadia Valavani, who was foreign policy spokesperson before the election, has now been assigned to economic issues.

Giulietto Chiesa, the journalist and former Europarliamentarian who, I would say, has a “Vineyard of Saker” political orientation , tried to work with SYRIZA in Greece and its equivalent in Italy but has been, and is, treated like a persona non grata by them. I don’t think there is anything personal about this. It is a reflection of political differences.

SYRIZA has continued the traditional Greek “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” orientation towards the Kurds, which in the new post-ISIS geopolitical environment involves a convenient alignment with American and international policies of border changes at the expense of Turkey. Greek and Turkish geopolitical interest are arguably converging, with the two countries having more potential common interests than diverging interests. Of course this is a complex issue but categories of “left wing” and “right wing”, while not entirely irrelevant, also probably do not have as much importance as is attributed to them by SYRIZA.

On the subject of “empowerment of citizens’ participation”, SYRIZA’s declared politics deserve more rigorous thought than they are getting. “Citizens’ participation” in a context of corporate mass media control is no guarantee of politics that are in the objective interests of citizens. It can be a Trojan horse facilitating imposition of policies by foreign-controlled NGOs. Possible first steps towards dealing with this problem have been put forward and discussed to a very limited extent but the discussion has not acquired any traction within SYRIZA. SYRIZA’s policies in this area are as vague as they are in other parliamentary parties.