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Thursday, October 30, 2014

How SYRIZA Could Succeed

The prominent radical Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek made the statement which I reproduce below. He made that statement in an interview with a Greek newspaper. I picked up a German translation in the blog NachDenkSeiten. I hope my re-translation into English is half-way correct.

"There is no way to succeed in Greece if one has no other idea than to try out a leftist government which then fails, only to have afterwards nice historical memories in the sense of ‘gee, how nice it was then!’ No. In Greece we have a corrupt and clientelistic state. I am aware that what I say now may sound crazy and that certain Marxists will crucify me for it. However, I think that SYRIZA must strike alliances with some truly productive capitalists who are also tired of this situation. We must be pragmatic. Perhaps SYRIZA should form a credible middle-class party which will finally turn Greece into a totally normal state, a state which has some similarities with a normal liberal democratic state. The absence of such a state is a hurdle for SYRIZA but it is at the same time a unique chance. To put in into Marxist language: the middle-class parties are dumb not to occupy this territory and the voters know that. Of course, not all SYRIZA voters are leftists, I know that, but they are sick and tired of the existing middle-class parties. And they hope that someone will finally govern”.

I can't think of a better advice for Alexis Tsipras than the above.


  1. Perfect phrase... 'the middle class parties are dumb..." but I would stop my centence just there though...
    In a perverted way, this nation has historicaly repeated the same mistakes; times and again. What Syriza is promising is return to the state that brought us to the disaster, and there are lots of dumb followers to that idea.

  2. Well, maybe people just want a clientelistic state. That's why they have been voting for PASOK all these years and that's why they vote for Tsipras. Are the public sector workers in Greece an outlier? 150k were hired by Karamanlis in 5 years. Do these guys long for a non-corrupt non-clientelistic state? And you should just stop thinking that somehow a few Greek oligarchs took advantage of the hoi polloi. Everybody in Greece is an oligarch -think again public sector workers-. The contract was, we will let you steal as long as you hire us as in the public sector. The small fish just found out that there are no more spoils for them.

  3. I'm quite sure that anonymous is right; the majority of Greek voters think they are better off in a corrupt Greece, and they were. That is, they were until the donations from abroad dwindled. You have to give the present government credit for one thing, they have been looking hard for new donors.
    I also liked his interpretation of the social contract, "we will let you steal as long as we get a part of the loots".
    PS. Very good analysis in NachDenkSeiten, they are highlighting all the signs of the politicians expectations of early elections (exept for Venizelos sending warships to Turkey). As I have said before, I don't expect elections before 2016.

  4. The best advice to Syriza is to give it NO ADVICE to its destructive course. And whether or not Syriza in a passionate Marxian vulgarity embraces the middle class and the latter is stupid enough to become Syrizas’ “useful idiots” in its lunge for power, as recommended by the Slovenian Marxist theoritician in an ultimate vulgar deviation from, and perfidy to, the doctrine of Marx, the repetition, this time as a tragic farce, of all the calamities that Greece inflicted upon itself, and even worse, will be consummated by the socialists rabid doctrinaires of Syriza.