Yesterday the economist, Syriza MP and author of Crisis in the Eurozone, Profiting Without Producing and our blueprint for anti-capitalist change in Greece; Against the Troika: Crisis and Austerity in the Eurozone published a stark warning to his own party in light of the concessions made by the Greek government in the Eurozone talks.
The Eurogroup agreement has not been concluded, in part because we do not yet know what ‘reforms’ will be proposed by the Greek government today (Monday 23 February) and which ones of those will eventually be accepted. However, those of us that have been elected based on the program of Syriza, and see the announcements made at Thessaloniki [i.e. the ‘Thessaloniki Program’] as pledges that we have promised to the Greek people, we have deep concerns. It is our duty to write them down.
Leo Panitch, professor of Political Science at York University, and co-author of The Making of Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire, recently spoke to New Books Network about his work in an in-depth interview.
In The Making of Capitalism, Panitch and co-author Sam Gindin argue that the American state has been central to the creation and maintenance of a global capitalist economy, and that the internalization of American capital in sovereign states across the globe has placed the US at the helm of an informal empire. The book won the 2013 Deutscher Prize for the most innovative writing in or about the Marxist tradition.
Frédéric Lordon, author of Willing Slaves of Capital follows his considered analysis of Syriza's "fork in the road", focussing on the difficult choices the new government face in power.
We knew that the Syriza experience would provide an object lesson in politics, with all the fundamental bases of power and sovereignty being laid bare as the legal and financial niceties evaporated. And here we are: even sooner than we expected.
This Sunday, 25 January, Greeks will vote in parliamentary elections of potentially historic importance, with Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza coalition currently ahead in the opinion polls. But according to Frédéric Lordon, Germany’s grip on the situation and the Greek radical Left party’s own inconsistencies might condemn it to some painful acrobatics.
For a long time Europe has been caught in a constitutional trap of its own making, with its neo-liberal treaties offering just two ways out of the current impasse: 1) the financial collapse of the European project, under the weight of its own internal contradictions; or 2) some political mishap coming along that will overthrow the whole system. The ECB’s announcement of the OMT programme  has avoided the first of these eventualities – for now – which leaves the second. And that’s the reason why the ‘European-institutional party’ has come to see democracy not as a normal state of political life but rather as a permanent source of threats – and it thinks itself justified in using any means necessary to stamp them out.