By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
10 November 2023
A number of frontline cadres followed by many cadres and members (real ones, not like Kasselakis’ voters) strongly disagreed with the election of the new president of SYRIZA, an election that was a scandal, both in terms of the procedure followed and in terms of the incompatibility of Stefanos Kasselakis with any idea of the left. We wrote about it in detail in our previous articles (indicatively https://www.defenddemocracy.press/lacking-moral-political-and-representative-legitimacy-the-election-of-kasselakis/)
To say nothing of the funds of unknown provenance and origin used for the election campaign of Mr. Kasselakis or the support of a significant part of the oligarchy’s media. Admittedly this was a very strange way for a left-wing party to elect its leader.
The election of Kasselakis, a man who is so directly linked to and represents American interests without having any connection with the left and with Greek politics and society (he may have been destined for the New Democracy, but as the gap in SYRIZA arose he was sent there) constitutes a new link in the chain of disintegration and degeneration of the Greek left and a new major milestone in the course of the deep colonization of the country. In this sense, it is of interest to the Greek people as a whole, not just the members and supporters of SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance.
We recall that Stefanos Kasselakis expressed almost no specific political ideas before he was elected president of SYRIZA, except the need to expand LGBTI rights to equal those enjoyed in the US, while his first reaction to the events in Gaza was “support for the people of Israel”. In the not so distant past he wrote under a pen name articles with positions of pure neoliberalism in the ultra-right-wing Greek – American “National Herald” and when the newspaper Efimerida ton Suntakton revealed his writings he did not disavow them, but replied that he did not remember what he wrote! While Nikos Filis (The Renewed Radical Left is not a parenthesis that will be closed) rightly emphasized the coherent neoliberal and contrary to the ideas of the left character of the ideas he expressed while speaking – and in fact giving exams – before the Greek industrialists.
One wonders whether his mission is simply to “conservatise” SYRIZA or whether what is sought by the forces behind him is ultimately to ridicule and humiliate the ideas of the left and politics in general. If what we say does not bind us and we can forget it tomorrow without consequences, then politics is completely abolished as an attempt to organise society’s life through this means.
Unfortunately, of course, the disease that is rotting SYRIZA is much deeper, which is why it was finally possible to transfer a person like Kasselakis and make him President of an opposition, which, under his leadership, will either, most likely, be dissolved, or, least likely, will emerge as a second party of the Mitsotakis type, a pillar of a “bipartisan one-party system”, a Coalition not of the Radical Left, but rather of a radical fraud.
From “No to Memoranda” to “Yes to Everything”
SYRIZA did not gain government and was not catapulted to its position in Greek politics because it had great ideas for the country or for Europe, but despite the ideas it had. All this became possible when Tsipras adopted in 2011 the ideas of Mikis Theodorakis’ Spitha and other anti-memorandum intellectuals on Memoranda and Loans, rejecting the analyses of SYRIZA’s economists. It was launched electorally as the party of “No”, a “No” to the enslavement, plunder and destruction of our country. It adopted the ideas, but it did not understand them, nor did it prepare for what their adoption entailed. It did not seek to become a government to implement its ideas, rather used its ideas to become a government, and not in order to implement them, but rather to not implement them; it eventually turned to the Americans and the Israelis thinking that they would solve its problems, not itself, the party, the organized people and the allies it could have internationally. Moreover, this party became a government without even having a coherent vision for the country and all it actually achieved as a government was a more social implementation of the Memorandum. At the same time, instead of resisting, it rather deepened the country’s dependence on the US and Israel, preparing the orgy we have witnessed after 2019.
Having become, already in 2015, the party of “Yes” to foreign powers, it nevertheless carried certain social sensitivities that allowed it to gossip in the years that followed, favoured by the anti-national, anti-social and totalitarian character of the Mitsotakis’ regime, but also by the absence of other credible alternatives on its left.
With Kasselakis, SYRIZA is institutionalizing its transformation from a party of “No” to a party of “permanent Yes” to the oligarchy and foreigners, whatever they ask for. The only reason why the international system needs Kasselakis and others of his kind in Greece is because only they, completely independent of the country and its traditions and completely dependent on foreign centers, can do things that a “normal” Greek politician would find it very difficult to do. His appearance is also a foreshadowing of the new looming disasters for the country.
That is why the new leader is obliged to push any member, regardless of his other ideas, who still retains some ideological ties with the left, such as Filis, Skourletis, Tzoumakas, to leave. When he completes this job, he will certainly throw out Polakis and those he now needs to eliminate the first group. Kasselakis does not need political collaborators, he needs employees.
A similar transformation has already taken place with ND and PASOK, which have long lost any national and democratic characteristics, but here we have one more degree upscale. They put at the head of the party someone who has not the slightest connection with either the left or Greece. The possibility that even artificial intelligence is being used to produce the ‘political Kasselakis’ cannot be ruled out.
The three “tribes” of SYRIZA
In the face of this phenomenon of deep degeneration of the left, the senior staff of SYRIZA is divided into three categories. Those who, with an excess of cynicism and opportunism, have become the henchmen of the new leader, aiming at the material and other benefits they will have. The old guard of Tsipras, who cannot digest Kasselakis, but also do not want to risk a break with him and the consequences for their careers. And those who, to their credit, resist and do not accept him.
But they also seem very confused as to what they’re going to do. It is now widely circulating that many of those opposing Kasselakis will leave the party immediately. If things do turn out that way, one wonders why they are leaving before they put up a concerted fight, within their own party, calling for the convening of an extraordinary congress, a change in the way the president is elected and the voting of a new leadership.
But behind the strategic problems there is also a political embarrassment. The opposition, having followed Tsipras and SYRIZA in most of their ovidian transformations, do not now have a coherent and attractive project for their party, their political camp and the Greek people. The debate in the ranks of SYRIZA is characterised by extreme confusion as to what is at stake. With the exception of Tzoumakas, no one has asked the simple and most basic question of what the hell Kasselakis was doing at CSIS, one of the key centres of the American “Party of War”, of American imperialism. Or what he was doing at Goldman Sachs, the den of neoliberal capitalism and the architect of the Greek catastrophe. Most people avoid, like the devil avoids incense, even mentioning the name of this infamous bank. In the same way, they have not asked what Tsipras himself did in America this summer.
So, instead of the question being “do we want an American pawn to head the Left ?”, it became “do you like Filis, Tsakalotos and Achtsioglou?” But what answer you get depends on what question you ask.
It should be noted that this is how the transatlantic communication superpowers organized the electoral triumphs of both Mitsotakis and Kasselakis. Instead of the election campaign being dominated by the question “Do you like Mitsotakis?” (as in the second round of the local elections), the question asked was: “Do you like SYRIZA?”.
The same thing happened to those opposing Kasselakis: they have no attractive leftist model to offer, besides the barely popular and irrelevant to the dramatic needs of the country ideas of “human rights revendication” (**), where it is impossible for them to compete with Kasselakis ; they avoid to raise the top issue for the country today, i.e. foreign dependence (when one thinks that even the surveillance system is not Greek, but Israeli) ; they are unable, in a country that is starting to starve, to integrate the necessary social interventions into a realistic national plan.
At a time when the country is facing terrible problems and needs the opposition and the left as never before, they are being dismantled. The Greek “existing left” as a whole and in all its versions is bankrupt. The social and national needs of the Greek people will probably need other, completely new subjects to alleviate them.
Having in this article, as in many other cases, severely criticized the leadership of SYRIZA, we feel the need to remind you that, whatever one may accuse them of, the basic, fundamental responsibility for the tragedy of Greece, is certainly not the responsibility of Tsipras and his friends who failed to deal with it and made it worse, but the responsibility of the two main parties of the country that handed the Greek people over to the Lenders in a shackled condition and, behind them, of the forces of the collective West, Germany, the EU, ECB, IMF (USA), who attacked with all their firepower a small European country, destroying it in an exemplary manner in their attempt to establish the new European and global totalitarianism. Even if this is not a problem that can be solved tomorrow, it is good to keep it in mind as the most central problem that the Greek people are facing and will face in the immediate future and in the medium term.
(*) Even if we assume that SYRIZA did not implement its anti-memorandum program because it encountered insurmountable “objective” difficulties – which is not our view -anyway it did not make any preparations to fight a battle and it did not give a battle – even in such a case, a leftist party and a leftist leadership should explain to the people and to European and international public opinion, with honesty, what it is that it does or not and why. The irony of history is that by foolishly proclaiming that it had pulled the country out of the memoranda, the SYRIZA leadership abandoned its main trump card, the one for which the Greek people voted for it, namely that it was an anti-memorandum force.
(**) Even in the text of the 1,300 who oppose Kasselakis, there is, for example, a reference to the need to confront “nationalism”, and this said in a country that has become a fourth class colony, and where even Simitis describes Mitsotakis’ alleged development as the plundering of Greek property! Surprisingly, the same forces that today talk about fighting “nationalism” did not disagree with Tsipras when he solemnly adopted Netanyahu’s fraudulent provocation about EastMed and the alleged alliance with Israel, which then almost led us to a war with Turkey for no reason, awakened all Turkish claims and created the conditions for the current disastrous arms race with the neighbor. If for today’s right, foreign policy has become the implementation of US and Israeli orders, for all versions of the left it is certainly their Achilles’ heel. Its cadres do not think politically, do not make a “concrete analysis of the concrete situation” (Lenin), do not understand the role and importance of the national question today and in Greece, but position themselves in (hardly credible and elaborated) ideological terms and politicize in self-referential terms, not in relation to reality, not in national terms.
Note: The translation by Christos Marsellos of an article published in Greek in November 10th under the title The Kasselakis Curse (Κασσελάκειον Άγος) Since then one after the other groups of SURIZA cadres and its youth organization are quitting the party.
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