Whenever the media open their mouth about Greece, behind the cookie-cuttered cliches (“exploiting public anger at austerity”, “police attacked during demonstrations”) there are several criticisms of Syriza’s plans that come out – criticisms that say a lot more than the critics intended.
Here they are, in a nutshell. Please comment below if there are any I’ve missed.
According to the mainstream media:
– Syriza shouldn’t tax the rich, because then the rich will just take their money out of the country.
– Syriza shouldn’t seek debt write-offs, because then they’ll be kicked out of the Euro.
– Syriza shouldn’t reverse the massive attacks on workers’ rights, pay and conditions over the past few years, because then employers will stop investing.
– Syriza shouldn’t undertake any radical measures at all, because that will scare investors and rattle the markets.
All these criticisms can be summed up as follows:
If Syriza acts in the interests of working-class people, then rich people will take revenge by doing unspeakably anti-social things.
So, taken together, these criticisms and dire warnings make up the most sharp and devastating exposure of the capitalist system that we can put into words. There is a tiny percentage of humanity that holds too much power: the capitalist class (AKA “investors”, “markets”, “employers”, “world leaders”, “the wealthy”). This class, this powerful minority, will sabotage justice if justice interferes with profit.
So their “criticisms” of Syriza’s “radical”, “reckless” and “irresponsible” policies actually expose the injustice and irrationality of the whole system we live under. Far from being “reckless”, aren’t Syriza being a little too soft in trying to make accommodations with this system?
Instead of trying to find common ground with this anti-social robber class, Syriza should be trying to find common ground with working-class people across Europe, and with the maximum number of working- and middle-class people in Greece. Instead of basing themselves on what the the rich are willing to concede, the bottom line should be what the Greek people need. Yes, even though that goes beyond the limits of the capitalist system.