Syriza and Social Movements: Risks and Opportunities

AntiNote: Our comrades at Infoaut.org interviewed Spyros Tz of AlfaKappa Athens, about the social and political context in Greece that will be affected by the electoral victory of SYRIZA. We believe that this contribution is useful to observe what is happening in the Hellenic peninsula more lucidly and dispassionately. From a vantage point within the movements, Spyros also outlines moments of immediate verification, and identifies options and spaces to capture amid the ambivalence resulting from the arrival of a SYRIZA government .

Infoaut: Now that Syriza seem to have conquered the majority of the seats in the Greek Parliament, what should we expect as the first moves of the new government? Where will the pivotal focuses of intervention take place, also according to debate of the latest days of electoral campaign? Which issues will be given priority, the internal or the international ones?

Spyros: We are entering a period of really dense political time, the decisions of all political players will generate drastic results that will define the future. It’s too soon to define the first moves of the SYRIZA government in such a fluid and unstable environment. My belief is that the governmental party hasn’t taken final decisions on various crucial matters yet. Tsipras has proven to be acting out of the box of a strict left agenda, adopting a pragmatic agenda based on broad parliamentary consensus. The participation of ANELL (independent Greeks) will surely put serious limitations on the –supposed- agenda of SYRIZA on immigration, human rights, the separation of Church and State and other relevant issues. Of course, the main political issue is that of the national debt. I believe that SYRIZA wants to create a national alliance inside the parliament in order to negotiate the issue more effectively with their European “partners”, so I believe that priority no.1 for the government is to buy some political time to prepare itself for the negotiations abroad.

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Meet a Syriza Candidate: Yanis Varoufakis

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AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

Last Saturday, 17 January 2015, host Chuck Mertz of Chicago’s This is Hell! Radio spoke with Yanis Varoufakis, a political economist and candidate with the SYRIZA party running in this weekend’s parliamentary elections in Greece.

With the Left blogosphere tying itself in knots either celebrating or denouncing SYRIZA’s broadening political success, we at the Antidote Writers Collective—as is our habit, and since Greece is a context very close to our hearts—are still gathering ourselves and preparing a take which does neither, or both. In that spirit, we simply wish to disclaim that our publication of this interview, just as with any of the material we share, should not be interpreted as an unquestioning endorsement of the views expressed within it.

That said, we find Yanis’s statements worthy of considered attention, especially with regard to the (still) rising threat of neo-fascism in Europe. Expect much more on this topic in the near future.

Transcribed and printed with permission. Listen to the whole interview:

 

“We borrowed the largest sum in human history. As an insolvent nation. On condition that we would shrink our income! That’s not austere.”

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Fascism Inc: Greece and the Rise of the Extreme Right in Europe

In Greece and other European countries, economic elites have been supporting fascist parties in order to enforce a radical neoliberal agenda in the crisis, says Aris Chatzistefanou, journalist and filmmaker from Athens, director of “Debtocracy”, “Catastroika” and “Fascism Inc”.Continue Reading

Αθήνα Burns

Von AntiDote’s Laurent Moeri

Das Original erschien im Juni 2010 in der Volksstimme (Österreich)

Als erstes möchte ich Dir ganz liebe Grüβe von deinem neuen Freund ausrichten. Sodiris ist 12 Jahre alt und lebt in Exarchia und hat uns gestern beim Bau eines Spielplatzes geholfen.

Navarinou+Park+Athens+2009

Exarchia ist ein baulich herunter gewirtschaftetes Quartier der Innenstadt Athens, dessen Geschichte die Wände am Besten erzählen.  Schwarz-rote Sprayerein dominieren das Landschaftsbild. Forderungen und Drohungen an den Staat,  Aufrufe zu Demonstrationen, internationale Solidaritätsbotschaften und Anarchiezeichen. Eine Art Fingerabdrücke der Bewohner und Besucher. Die Krise steht hier deutlich an den Wänden geschrieben, wohl schon lange bevor sie in unseren Nachrichten erschien.

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Toward Utopia

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Exploring the potential and the limits of anarchism: a long bike ride to Athens

Everything in Exarchia gets lent and borrowed, everything gets traded.  Above all perhaps the most valuable asset: time.

by AntiDote’s Laurent Moeri

 2011 was the year of Occupations.  From Cairo, through Athens, to New York, Frankfurt and Zürich, people grabbed their tents and made themselves some space to voice their grievances.  But not only that—they established free spaces in which, away from commercialized party politics, they reclaimed the empty husk of democracy and began filling it with life again.

At first glance, the uprisings against dictatorship in North Africa and the waves of protest through Western metropoles didn’t appear to have much in common.  Yet they were unified in their impulse to break out of coercive, repressive structures.
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For a Theory of Destituent Power

This is the transcript of a public lecture by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben delivered to a packed auditorium in Athens on November 16, 2013 and recently published by Chronos.

Invitation and organization by Nicos Poulantzas Institute and SYRIZA Youth

Giorgio Agamben

A reflection on the destiny of democracy today here in Athens is in some ways disturbing, because it obliges us to think of the end of democracy in the very place where it was born. As a matter of fact, the hypothesis I would like to suggest is that the prevailing governamental paradigm in Europe today is not only non-democratic, but that it also cannot be considered political. I will try, therefore, to show that European society today is no longer a political society: it is something entirely new, for which we lack proper terminology.  We have therefore to invent a new strategy.Continue Reading

Der Utopie entgegen

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Das Potenzial und die Grenzen des Anarchismus ausloten: Von einer langen Radtour nach Athen

Von Antidote’s Laurent Moeri

Zweitausendelf war das Jahr der Platzbesetzungen. Von Kairo über Athen bis nach New York, Frankfurt und Zürich ergriffen Bürger ihre Zelte und verschafften ihrem Unmut Platz. Aber nicht nur das: Sie errichteten auch Freiräume, in denen sie sich, fernab von kommerzialisierter Parteipolitik, wieder anmassten, die entleerte Hülle der Demokratie mit Inhalten zu füllen. Die Aufstände gegen die Diktaturen Nordafrikas und die Protestwellen in westlichen Metropolen scheinen auf den ersten Blick wenig gemeinsam zu haben. Und doch: Vereint werden sie durch das Verlangen, aufoktroyierte und unterdrückende Strukturen zu durchbrechen.Continue Reading