The Left and the euro: liquidate, rebuild

If the past few weeks are to be anything other than another reason to be depressed, they might at least serve as the starting point for a Lexit: a Left able, finally, to relinquish the euro. By Frédéric Lordon; translated from the French by David Broder.


1. The euro radically precludes any possibility of progressive policies.

2. If there was still any need for proof of this, the criminal treatment inflicted on Greece across six months of brutalisation (re-baptised as ‘negotiation’) has shown that any initiative at ‘transforming the euro’ – the argument that ‘another euro is possible’ – is a chimera that can only lead to political impasse and despair, through a series of successive disillusionments.

3. To leave any political perspective of breaking with the euro and its institutions to the far Right (who, as it happens, would not do anything of the kind [1]…) is a political error that will condemn the European Lefts to an indefinite impotence.

4. If we are not to continue yearning for what can never come – ‘another euro’ and the ‘social Europe’ that goes with it – the re-armament of the European Lefts must, then, necessarily proceed by way of imagining what comes after the euro.

These four propositions set the terms for the future prospects of the Left.

‘Internationalist’ refusals to think

To those people, sincerely of the Left, who have so long refused to see what an impasse the euro represents, as they foster the illusion of an improbable ‘balance of forces’ whose configuration could possibly be changed; to those who needed the Greek ordeal in order to (begin to) get a sense of the ideological radicalism of the European institutions – it must be said that after this error has dealt a hammer-blow to Syriza in Greece, it will also deal a hammer-blow to Podemos in Spain, and then to all of us.

After so many years, certain sections of the Left – through a mix of posturing internationalism and surrender without a fight, faced with the Front National’s efforts at recuperation – have refused to see what was, nonetheless, right in front their eyes: an intransigent economic despotism. Despotism is the only word for such a resolute enterprise to deny democratic sovereignty – independently, indeed, of any consideration of territorial scale. Removing economic policy from ordinary democratic deliberation, such as to inscribe its fundamental direction in a constitutional text – in this case, the treaties – is an act of such significance that we can only ask how come it is possible that there are still people who can call Europe ‘democratic’ without immediately falling into ridicule. Intransigent, because it is a despotism under influence – the influence of a country acting in what it represents to itself as its vital interests, within an institutional arrangement that is entirely made to its own measure: Germany.

We’ve lost count of the intellectuals who, in the grip of their night terrors, repudiated any kind of analysis that might get to the heart of the European situation, and now find themselves in a state of utter destitution faced with the extreme (but all too predictable) violence perpetrated against Greece. You would truly have had to have become totally spineless, to go so far in forbidding yourself from thinking, for fear of giving the impression of thinking like the Front National, and (above all) out of an incapacity to approach problems that need to be thought through in a different way to how the Front National do it. That is, thinking about sovereignty in general, the conditions of possibility of its international redeployment, the German idiosyncracy, and its effects across the whole construction of a European single currency.

So we are still asking ourselves what prohibitions these people must have closed themselves into to be able to go so far as forgetting that sovereignty, conceptually – that is, ‘deciding in common’ – is nothing other than democracy itself; that it takes a bit more than a few fine universalist sentiments to constitute a people of peoples [2]; or that questioning the relationship between German society and the currency problem is no more Germanophobic than questioning the relationship between American society and firearms is anti-American. And more generally, to arrive at such a degree of voluntary blindness as to render impossible any analysis of the real facts on the compatibilities – or incompatibilities – that determine the viability of a common monetary and political construction.

More particularly, in order for the question of Germany finally to escape from the censors – who have up till now been pronouncing their all-embracing, oh-so-virtuous prohibitions – things needed to reach this level of one country brutalising another, without peacetime precedent. We can recognise the poverty of a thought that is unable to deal with any problem other than in terms of moral coordinates. But this mania for passing every question through the filter of a prior virtue test is the surest means of sidelining the problems that have to be addressed and of failing to arrive at any positive understanding of the real, independent of value judgements – though these will come, at the proper time. We can, for example, ask ourselves about the social mechanisms and historical heritage that underpin the American passion for firearms, without having already made our opinion on this question known or having entirely subjected it to analysis. For want of even having envisaged thinking about the entirely singular relation between Germany and the single currency, except by the inane standard of Germanophobia or Germanophilia, this refusal to think will logically crash up against the violence of a fact, and will be reduced to the mere incapacity to understand.

A pilot locked in the cockpit

At least their sanctimonious denials have become so untenable that they now even give themselves over to a new sense of enlightenment, with formulations of touching naivety: hence, according to François Bonnet, Germany is ‘the new problem in Europe’ [3]. The new problem… this is just the constitutive problem of the single currency, committed to paper in the treaties even in 1991. One country, Germany, imposed its monetary obsessions on all the others. All countries live with the obsessions of their national story – that is indeed their right, and in the short and even medium term there’s nothing to be done about that. But the problems begin when one country demands that the other countries live according to its own obsessions – manias that they do not share. As against those who can only imagine German hegemony in terms of Panzers and pointed helmets, we must repeat that in this matter Germany has never pursued a deliberate plan for domination, and its behaviours have only ever been governed by its panicked fear of having to suffer the alteration of the principles that it holds dearer than anything [4], on account of the sharing across Europe. But we should not fool ourselves: a collective anxiety, particularly one as intense as this, leads to violence no less than a positive bid to conquer hegemony. Perhaps we could even say that the opposite is true. After all, even hegemonic projects preserve a residual rationality that has become wholly foreign to the Germany monetary panics.

The blind brutality with which Germany has decided to punish Greece is testament to this; but, even more so, is its lack of openness to any rational argument. The French press, stuck to the arse of Sapin and Moscovici, wholly contents itself with their narrative of the negotiations, with all the conscientiousness of a state propaganda office and the label of the ‘free press’ [5], in all but a few details making the Greek negotiators out to be deluded clods, Danubian peasants ignorant of customs and codes – think about it, they don’t even wear ties – in short, incapable of holding their own in European polite society, and with whom it is simply impossible to discuss anything. At the same time, for their part Varoufakis [6] and Tsakalotos [7] have discovered, stupefied, a Eurozone club that seems like a daycare centre, a highly autistic group who it is impossible to get to listen to the slightest economic argument, and whose terminal psycho-rigidity knows nothing but conforming to rules, even if they are utterly absurd and will doom the entire continent.

Nor has the fact that the majority of economists – the IMF economists in the lead, and also the Nobel Prize winners – now no longer hesitate in declaring the Eurogroup’s latest efforts to be nothing short of madness (in giving another massive dose of what has already methodically destroyed the Greek economy) had any effect. Already we could make a rough estimate, without much risk of getting things too wrong, that the ‘plan’ supposedly designed to reduce the debt ratio, but which is certain to precipitate Greece into a disastrous recession in 2015, will in fact bring the debt above 200 percent of GDP and the unemployment rate above 30 percent, within a year or two. But no matter: the important thing is to stick to the rules. The image that inevitably comes to mind here is that of the madman locked into the Airbus cockpit, all the controls locked into descent mode (the plane was a European model and the pilot a German: it can’t have been on purpose, that’s just how it was) everyone was banging on the outside (‘open the fucking door!’) – but as we know, this wasn’t enough to overcome the determination of the person concerned.

Like any metaphor, this has its limits: Germany does not plan to pulverise the European Union. It is just that it is obsessed with the idea of continuing to maintain the principles that served it so well when it was alone, which it made into a substitute national identity, and which no one can detach it from – and certainly not a whole people, or several peoples, being crushed into the ultimate degree of misery. The fact that a fringe of the radical Left in Germany declares itself scandalised, and stands up against its own government (which is, moreover, a demonstration of what internationalism truly is – not blindly accepting your country’s actions and deeds just because it’s your country) is nonetheless a minoritarian phenomenon, and takes nothing away from the mass character of the social – and not political – cross-party consensus on which the German monetary belief is based. As far as we can trust the polls, a survey published by Stern tells us that 77 percent of Green voters support the position that Angela Merkel took at the Eurogroup on 12 July, and 53 percent of Die Linke supporters – 53 percent of Die Linke…

François Hollande, Tsipras’s ‘big brother’?

But the true mystery in Europe is not Germany – which, ultimately, we can’t fault for wanting the euro to follow its own idea of the currency, after all the traumas of its history. Rather, this mystery lies with the other countries, particularly France, which have appropriated the German mania out of all context, when nothing in their history forces them to espouse such a particularity – and everything in fact tells them not to – in a properly ideological manner, to the point of seeing it as a desirable form of economic rationality. Evidently this is a rather special ‘rationality’, since it is alien to all rational discussion; a little like atheists who, not content with having converted to the dogma of the immaculate conception, were determined to hold to this dogma through what they believed to be a rational decision. At this level – and here we see an index of how mad this is – we can no longer even say that this is simply to do with the ‘rationality’ of capital: capital is not mad to the point of wanting a final strangulation that it could not even itself survive – and the capitalist forces of the United States, for example, are dumbfounded by Europe’s self-destruction. But these considerations do not enter into the lofty thinking of the French élites, who cultivate the blindness of the newly converted, across party divides – just like the cross-party consensus of the Germans’ first-hand belief. 

Indeed, we can see the very extreme of the stupidity, which, not content with running wild, openly boasts of its accomplishments. François Hollande, who quickly got well stuck into the masquerade, is now preoccupied with getting people to believe that he is of the Left, or rather to forget how far he is to the Right. So with a work of pointillism that makes us think rather more of the strokes of a paint roller, he wants to remake his ‘left-wing’ cherry in ‘coming to Tsipras’s aid’. It took nothing more for the columnists-by-command to join together in a noisy chorus (and particularly those who have adopted the vocation of never doing anything that might counter the complex-ridden forces of the Right in an electoral situation): Libération was so ecstatic as to claim that  ‘Hollande has become a sort of big brother of Tsipras’s in Europe’ [8]…

If there was the least hint of life in their view of Hollande, then it must be that they’re thinking of Cain, the big brother who bumps you off. But it is not even that: there is nothing to see here except the combination of the most complete ideological exhaustion and the crassest electoral opportunism – not to forget that no opportunist manoeuvre has succeeded unless there are stores of columnists sufficiently spineless to proclaim that they have succeeded. But in the present case the editorial chiefs haven’t yet finished working up a sweat: it takes the heights of imagination to be able to get people to swallow the epic of the [French governmental] Left having done so much to ‘help’ Tsipras tie the rope around his neck. When we see the splendid results of the economic hung-drawn-and-quartering that Tsipras’s big brother Hollande helped him along to, we will have another opportunity – perhaps a more reliable one – to evaluate the real ‘Left’ content of this rather particular form of social-democratic concern.

Tsipras (Syriza), Iglesias (Podemos): time to take your losses

And what about the true Left, elsewhere in Europe? Traders caught up in a falling market know that the main obstacle to a rational decision is psychological: the unwillingness to ‘take your losses’ (in the language of finance, ‘taking your losses’ means accepting that your stocks will not recover their lost value, and agreeing to sell them at a loss, knowing that waiting any longer means allowing them to fall even further) and stubbornness in wanting to make up lost ground. So after Syriza, or more precisely Tsipras’s Syriza, and before Podemos, that is where the European Lefts are at.

I still have fresh memories of the ‘welcome’ received by a piece I wrote in January, at the height of Syriza’s electoral rise – at a moment when the frenzy of hopes could not brook any contrary voice – when I anticipated a sharp alternative between either capitulation or open sedition [9], with the former, i.e. the less advantageous one, seeming more probable. From this point of view I would be keen to get some people’s retrospective view of their own powerful analyses, and in particular Michel Husson, who at that time was quick to criticise ‘the syllogism of defeat’, ‘the total absence of strategic sense’, the ‘huge strategic stupidity of euro exit’, with arguments that have shown us today that his strategy is very much his own affair. In fact, we should see his whole text [10] as symptomatic, since while on other subjects on which he intervenes Michel Husson’s work is indispensable and of great quality, the questions of the euro and of sovereignty have the effect of turning his understanding – like so many others – into a system error, with his intellectual tools going all awry: analysis of the German idiosyncrasy is just ‘essentialisation’ and euro exit is ‘nationalism’: here, all the deafnesses of reflex-internationalism follow one after the other [11].

Podemos, the next prisoner of the ‘belief in the euro’

We will leave it up to others to judge the convolutions of Alexis Tsipras’s mind and his various moves – especially the referendum – which sometimes even gave hope [12] that despite his reticence over leaving the euro, he might however be capable of breaking through his own limits, after having finished working through – as if to set his mind at rest – all the (im)possibilities of negotiation. But no.

Here we can recognise a case of voluntary servitude, or as Bourdieu would say, symbolic violence, where the dominated fundamentally espouse the belief of the dominant, even if this is the belief that constitutes an order that dooms them to being dominated or even crushed.

So Tsipras was incapable of freeing himself of his ‘belief in the euro’, to which – and experience proves it irrefutably – he was prepared to sacrifice everything: his country’s sovereignty, the state of its economy, and perhaps, at a more personal level, his own political standing. It is now written, whatever events may now follow: there are places in political history that you can no longer make any claim to, after having gone so far in renouncing the commitments that lifted a whole people. It is hard to see what kind of softness could make you accept agreeing to a memorandum even more catastrophic than the previous one, when you have sermonised about breaking with the memorandums, and even worse not to hesitate in in going far to the Right of the majority in search of substitute help getting it through the parliament. So it has been proven that Tsipras is mentally the prisoner of the euro, and we now know where this type of voluntary self-limitation leads. Let’s say it right away, even if a little bluntly: Iglesias’s Podemos is going to join him in the same cell.

There’s a lot to be said about Podemos, about its – quite correct – basic arguments regarding the loss of effectiveness of ‘classic’ language, and we could even say of a certain Left phraseology. But there’s also a lot to be said about the conclusions that it draws from this, and which unfortunately lead it not to seek new approaches but – the baby thrown out with the bathwater – to abandon even the category ‘Left’, and indeed that of ‘class’. So what should have been only a (desirable) formal rectification resulted in a troubling loss of content: no longer wanting to talk about capital, even in renovated terms, because that is too old school, it instead devotes itself to a vision of the world based on ‘the caste against the people’, going so far as to forbid the category ‘Left’. These are the fundamental and, as it happens, explicit postures that it has taken; and we might look at them with some apprehension, if not a legitimate suspicion, such as the New Left Review already echoed when it interviewed Iglesias [13].

We will not expand any further (though it needs to be done) on the rapid and radical mutation of Podemos into a classic party and of its foremost personality into a no-less classic charismatic leader, at the cost of a manifest betrayal of the spirit of the squares-occupations movement from which Podemos emerged. And no one should blame the present analysis for the typically leftist polemical excess of crying ‘betrayal’, for it was Jorge Lago, a member of the Podemos leadership, who himself chose to use this term, with a troubling lack of concern [14].

Quite logically, the rearming of Podemos as an electoral machine entirely focused on winning power dooms a few principles and a few hopes to getting dumped along the way… We are almost at the level of asking whether one of its further dumping-points will be its (further) disappointment with the euro and Europe, a disappointment that now hardly really has any space to exist. After all, things are clear from the outset, and perhaps they will even be the difference – if that is possible – between Syriza and Podemos: while Tsipras must indisputably be credited with having put up a fight, Iglesias will not even try. This isn’t a prediction, but simply a matter of reading what he says: ‘We do not like the way the euro has been built, nor how the Maastricht accords have been implemented, but we think that the euro is now impossible to do without. Certainly, we have to improve the way that the single currency is managed, and we think that there should be democratic control of this, but we are not partisans of our country leaving the euro. … Even if we don’t like the way that the ECB works, we accept [that Spain should remain] in the Eurozone’ [15]. As always in a political argument there is the empty and the substantial. The empty part: we don’t like things as they are, and moreover we say that they must change! The substantial part: we agree to being in the euro and think that it is impossible to do without it. That is to say, the first part isn’t serious, because the reality is that we will change nothing. So we shouldn’t be too astonished that Iglesias ‘doesn’t like the [Eurogroup] accord, but the choice was either the accord or leaving the euro’ [16].

Doubtless we can count on some good-willed alter-Europeanist types to take up the argument that Podemos never stop repeating (for they have no others, in reality): Greece had no chance because it represents only 2 percent of Europe’s GDP, whereas Spain counts for 14 percent so has the bulk to shake everything up. But even if we accepted that Iglesias’s project is to shake things up, he would not succeed in doing anything of the kind. Or rather, he would shake up something quite different from what he thought he was. And indeed it is here that we find the almost ‘logical’ error of the faithful who think ‘another euro is possible’. Because if a substantial movement of several countries really did form, giving some plausibility to the notion of a significant revision of the euro’s principles… then it would be Germany, doubtless accompanied by a few satellites, that would leave. So at the very moment that it was on the point of being changed… the euro would be destroyed! There is no ‘other euro’ within its current perimeters – including Germany – because it would find this ‘other, possible euro’ inadmissible and would rather do without it.

It’s not we who ought to count on Podemos, but Podemos who ought to count on us!

There’s no risk of this happening: Podemos wants none of all that. We will soon see clearly enough how it sorts out its own contradictions. Wanting to get rid of austerity, without leaving the austerity euro, is a logical performance that we are still struggling to get to the bottom of – one of the many to which the European Lefts sign up with such disarming, repetitive compulsion. In any case, no one will be able to say that we didn’t know. How it will all end is only too clear, it is already written. There’s no use crying once more over the painful normalisations and the hopes that will (yet again) be disappointed.

So this is the current drama of the European Left. In its depths of despair, Syriza and Podemos offered it powerful cause for hope, feeding its desire to believe in the possibility of continent-wide renewal. And let’s admit it, it’s easy to understand this: how could we not ourselves have felt the temptation to let this sentiment take us over, too? But political strategies based on ‘hope’ are a false alternative, if they decide to place everything on emotions and abandon reasoned analysis when it threatens to contradict them. Sadly, it’s rarely to our advantage not to look situations square in the face, however painful that might sometimes be. A true political strategy – recognisable as such in that it emphasises lucidity as well as hope – must preserve both the undoubtable political energy that these movements brought to life – whatever their faults – and a clear consciousness of the impasses to which they (and therefore we) are headed when they refuse to pose the question of the euro. Which, we mustn’t tire of repeating, is the radical straitjacket of our time.

If Tsipras’s shipwreck is to be something other than just more reason to be depressed, it has to be made intellectually productive, and help us to clean the slate once and for all, so that we can finally get in motion. Which, in this case, means now and already ‘chalking up’ Podemos’s losses, such as we can reasonably expect them to be. Unless… Unless rather than counting on the failure of Podemos to reanimate (defectively) the European Lefts, we instead counted on the European Lefts to reorient Podemos – and why not Syriza, too, if something remains of that (which we hope for more than anything, it must be said)? Such a reorientation, with the Left in Europe committing its fate to the possibility of finally escaping from inanity, entirely relies on breaking with the euro and its institutions, having understood – and it’s really high time for this – that no, another euro is not possible.

Lucidity for all

It is certain that the lack of synchronisation of political conjunctures will more likely than not doom this rupture to take the form of countries returning to national currencies. But three decades of Fordism (and indeed the current situation of the 180 nations that don’t enjoy the immense pleasure of belonging to the Eurozone) should be able to convince anyone who’s resisted the Europeanist faith that this does not mean war.

Since the need for lucidity goes for everyone, it would be irresponsible to present euro exit as an immediate way to sunlit uplands. And for Greece we can even put that more sharply: the first year(s?) of exit would be very challenging. With five years of austerity having methodically destroyed the country’s economic base – not to mention the dislocation effects produced by the criminal monetary asphyxiation piloted by the ECB these last few weeks – any possible economic policy option is bound to begin with immense difficulties, and indeed some of the possible choices (the Troika’s ones) would guarantee that these difficulties persist. A tragic irony of the 12 July diktat is that while euro exit would undoubtedly have been branded a ‘failure’ after five months (or even five weeks), neoliberal policies are allowed to go on for five years or even three decades without there ever being any assessment of their record. So while euro exit would soon have brought agony, it is the policy of continual austerity that will be responsible for the surplus of disaster that the Greek economy will now inevitably suffer. And that’s only right: it is indeed this policy that has turned an entire country’s economy into a corpse.

People repeat ad nauseaum that the Greek population does not want to leave the euro and that in these conditions Tsipras played the only card he could. But that isn’t good enough. Greek public opinion on this question has already started to shift, and as Stathis Kouvelakis has rightly noted [17], the true meaning of the ‘No’ in the 5 July referendum clearly included accepting a rupture with the Eurozone: the partisans of the ‘No’ vote were bombarded for a week with the claim that their vote was synonymous with Grexit, and there can be little doubt that a good number of them persisted in their voting intention while fully taking this possibility on board, accepting it as such.

Also – and most importantly – there is the fact that politics means getting to grips with public opinion: to listen to it and also to speak to it. Speaking to public opinion, confronting its initial reticence in order to make the idea of euro exit ‘take hold’, as well as to make it understand the difficulties and of course the opportunities that would result. It was this that Tsipras, consistent with his own thinking, did not believe in, did not want to do, and (therefore) never tried to do. Even when the propulsive force of the ‘No’ gave him the possibility of doing so. And a lot of things could have been said to help lead Greek public opinion in the direction that it started to head in anyway, by itself. Metaphors are worth what they are worth, and we should distrust certain of the more excitable ones; but though we should not push the analogy between domination by tanks and domination by banks too far [18], it is an idea to which Greek public opinion could be susceptible, given the point that it has already reached. Just like how in the case of foreign occupation, liberation struggles accept the supplement of destruction that will result from fighting on their own soil – since it will lead to the reconquest of freedom – similarly the extra difficulties that would inevitably accompany euro exit would be a sacrifice worth paying for political reconstruction, in the current impasse.

Lexit

And it’s not saying a lot to note that there needs to be reconquest and rebuilding – by the Left. This means sovereignty, not as a talisman, but as a condition of possibility of any progressive politics – and let’s repeat, euro exit is only ever a necessary condition, and is certainly not alone sufficient. You could leave the euro in lots of ways, and in lots of directions – which aren’t at all of equivalent value. In a sort of unconscious self-realisation syndrome, the Europeanist Left seems to be devoting all its efforts to making sure that only the far-Right exit door is left open, as if to justify itself and then better be able to say that ‘euro exit is nationalism’. If that’s the case, then it isn’t exactly doing itself a service, and nor is it any use for all those who place their hopes in it. The truth is that since it decided obstinately to set up camp on the ‘other euro’ position, it has hardly done any service to anyone at all. With this Left’s weak analytical powers – having none of the ‘intrinsic strength of true ideas’ that Bourdieu talked about – and the lucidity of realism not being its strong point, it took something really extreme for a few uncertainties to begin to make themselves felt. It took the truly grand spectacle of a shattered illusion, a radical impossibility being set down in fact – not to forget the specific role of a member state and a whole people being sacrificed. And all this wasted time…

True, it’s no use crying over spilt milk, and it’s also best to forget the time that’s been wasted, and instead think more about doing something in the time to come. Even if it doesn’t yet know it, the European project is dead. It cannot survive such infamy. The fate of the European Union is now the same as any enterprise that has become toxic: it is merely awaiting its demise. Do we really have to keep waiting, to the point of complete ruin, before the Europeanist Left seriously reflects on the stubbornness that has led it to bind itself to a historic mistake of this significance? For sure, it always added on the supplementary ‘alter-…’ but now we’ve established that it won’t be altering anything.  

What we need to be thinking about is not another version of the same thing, but an ‘other’ tout court – and for good. And that is what the European Lefts need to use the coming period to do: finally to cast off the encumbrance of the euro and think in a concerted way about what they will help each other achieve: with some of them supporting the other one whose conjuncture allows it to get on its way independently, and then this latter in return helping the others to accelerate their own progress. This will be the concrete solidarity of an overall movement that is inevitably going to be badly synchronised, but in which emulation effects will nonetheless provide real momentum, unlike the phantasms of grand co-ordinations that abstract internationalism has to offer.

And that is what an internationalism properly understood is. It is not just a confection of postures, ignorant of reality. And, if we like, this internationalism could even be expressed in a return to national currencies, as the basis for a new start in the direction of rebuilding a common currency, if not a single one [19]. And if we have not completely succumbed to economism, perhaps this internationalism could even go so far as to express itself in domains other than the order of a currency (even a European one…).

In a Guardian piece where he spoke from his own situation as a citizen of the UK – where they are confronted more squarely with the question of whether to belong to the EU at all, and not the question of the Eurozone – Owen Jones advanced an idea that could well have a certain future. That is, the idea of a Lexit (Left-Exit). It’s no longer this or that country that has to leave the euro: it’s the Left itself.

Notes

[1] On this, see ‘On the blind spots of people who think “another euro is possible”’, 1 June 2015

[2] On this see ‘Un peuple européen est-il possible ?’, Le Monde diplomatique, April 2014.

[3] François Bonnet, ‘L’Allemagne, le nouveau problème de l’Europe’, Mediapart, 12 July 2015.

[4] Read ‘De la domination allemande (ce qu’elle est, et ce qu’elle n’est pas)’, 18 June 2013.

[5] Perhaps the height of ‘embedded’ journalism, in that sense of the word, is this report by Jean Quatremer on the 21 February agreement, ‘Grèce vs. Eurozone : histoire secrète d’un bras de fer’, Libération, 10 March 2015.

[6] Yanis Varoufakis, ‘Our battle to save Greece’, New Statesman, 13 July 2015.

[7] See Stathis Kouvelakis’s comments in his interview with Sebastian Budgen, ‘Greece, the struggle continues’, Jacobin, 14 July 2015. See also his ‘Sortie de l’euro, une occasion historique’ in Le Monde diplomatique, July 2015.

[8] Grégoire Biseau, ‘François Hollande en coach politique’, Libération, 10 July 2015.

[9] ‘Syriza faces a choice between capitulation and open sedition’, 19 January 2015.

 [10] Michel Husson, ‘Lordon, ou le syllogisme de la défaite’, Alencontre, 21 January 2015.

[11] It’s not possible here to go into all the counter-truths and caricatures that could be said on this subject, so I will refer the reader to my ‘Leçon de Grèce à l’usage d’un internationalisme imaginaire (et en vue d’un internationalisme réel)’, 6 April 2015.

[12] Me included: read ‘The euro, or hating democracy’, 29 June 2015.

[13] Pablo Iglesias, ‘Spain on Edge’, interview, New Left Review, no. 93, May-June 2015.

[14] Jorge Lago, ‘Après Syriza, jusqu’où ira Podemos ?’, “Contre-courant”, Mediapart, 1 July 2015.

[15] L’Obs, interview with Aude Lancelin, 17 June 2015.

[16] Quoted by Ludovic Lamant, ‘En Espagne, Podemos s’adapte à l’onde de choc grecque’, Mediapart, 17 July 2015.

[17] Stathis Kouvelakis, art.cit.

[18] A half-joke that is all the rage in Greece at the moment, and which even Varoufakis has picked up ‘On the Eurosummit statement on Greece, first thought’, blog by Yanis Varoufakis, 14 July 2015.

[19] See La Malfaçon. Monnaie européenne et souveraineté démocratique, Les Liens qui Libèrent, 2014, chapter 7, or indeed ‘Pour une monnaie commune sans l’Allemagne (ou avec, mais pas à la francfortoise)’, 25 May 2013.

[20] Owen Jones, ‘The Left must put Britain’s EU withdrawal on the agenda’, the Guardian, 14 July 2015.

 

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