Bruiseology By S. Artesian

23 February 2015 — The Wolf Report: Nonconfidential analysis for the anti-investor

The Syriza government has postponed submitting its proposed list of “reforms” to the European Union.  The “reforms” were due on Monday, 23 February, but the Syriza ministers won’t be ready until tomorrow.  Indeed.  That–“won’t be ready until……”– describes Syriza’s leadership perfectly.

Not that it makes one bit of difference what the Syriza government submits.  All that matters is what the EU is willing to accept.

You will recall that way back when in 2009 and 2010 some of us sectarian, socialism now, ultra-left types where sectarianly and ultra-leftly calling for the immediate repudiation of the debt.  When the recent contest for parliamentary power took place,  we, incurable sectarians/Bordiga-ists/ultra-leftists/DeLeonites, urged no support for Syriza’s program because that program did not call for repudiation of the debt.

We were told by those so much wiser, gentler, more generous, more open: “Your sectarian/Bordiga-ist/ultra-left/DeLeonite demands are a dead end.  Demands must seek to unify the broadest sectors of the population.  We know Syriza is anti-capitalist because Syriza says so.  It’s ideology is anti-capitalist.  But it must work to obtain widespread support.  Consequently the responsible course is to support Syriza’s campaign promise that Syriza will terminate the terms and conditions of the 2012 bail-out.”

Stop me if I’m speaking out of turn here, or if I am not faithfully rendering the tale as told by the idiots of the “responsible” “non-sectarian” left, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

OK to continue?  Good.

Syriza declared it would terminate the conditions of the bailout, and it has not done so.  Instead it has agreed to the continuation of the terms of the bailout.

So now what?  What should the response be of the “left,” of the working class, of those who make-up the “left wing” of Syriza? 

That’s a practical question and requires a practical proposals.  It is essential  to develop a program that can actually be fulfilled.  It is imperative to schedule tasks so that maximum efficiency is applied to any problem.  

The Syriza government maintains its role as the agent of capitalism in Greece only to the extent that it can win votes in the parliament, votes either approving initiatives and changes directly or/and votes providing the funding to support initiatives, changes, programs.

Consequently those to the “left” of Syriza can introduce a bill repudiating the debt in its entirety and see what kind of support it generates.  It will certainly be a divisive issue within the Syriza organization. 

Alternatively, when the Syriza ministers propose the budget for funding the state and the state’s programs over the next year, the “left” can demand that payments on the sovereign debt be eliminated from the budget. 

Either way, either track is itself, and will bring about, a vote of confidence on the Syriza government.

Bringing about that vote of confidence on the Syriza government is the fundamental, critical, inescapable task falling to the “left-wing” of Syriza, and those parties who claim to be to the “left” of that left.  No progress can be made without calling into question and gauging the support for the legitimacy of the Syriza government.

Right here at home, wherever that home may be, we can do the same with our myriad little Syriza supporters, Tsirpas wannabees, Varoufakis fashion followers.  We, the ultra-left/sectarian/Bordiga-ist/DeLeonite “we” can ask them:  Immediate Repudiation of the Debt?  Yes or No?  Vote of Confidence in the Syriza Government?  Yes or No?   

You can do this at home, at the homes of others, at parties, meetings, fora or forums, at bars, in restaurants, chat lists, blogs… in fact you can do it anywhere. I find it to be a wonderful ice-breaker when meeting someone I really want to chat-up, as in:  “Say those are really great shoes you’re wearing.  How do feel about Greece repudiating its sovereign debt immediately and entirely?”

I tried it some hours ago over on Richard Seymour’s blog with two of my favorite people, one being Seymour, the other being that self-designated unrepentant buffoon and Paul Simon body double, Louis Proyect.   While Seymour, notorious for that notorious British reserve has been mum, Proyect has provided an answer to the debt question. Said Proyect:

Sartesian, this is not like someone declaring bankruptcy in the USA because they can’t pay their Visa credit card debt, and then getting new cards two years later. Nations like Greece operate on a different basis even if a neo-Deleonite like you can’t figure that out. 

No shit, Sherlock?  Who would have thunk?  Imagine that.  Nations like Greece operate on a “different basis.” Actually, as I believe Herr Schäuble just made abundantly clear to Yanis Varoufakis, nations do not act all that differently.  “Pay me” is the imperative.  If you have to sell your children to pay me, then sell your children.  Maybe you’ll get a good price.  If you have to burn your house down to get the insurance payment, make sure you have money enough for gasoline.  If you have to pimp your sister… well you remember the Natasha trade, don’t you?

But here’s what I did figure out, with a little help from that sectarian dogmatist K.Marx:  Nations act in the interests of their ruling classes.  The ruling classes act in the interests of their property.  Those interests are determined by a mode of production, that is to say the condition of labor.  Regardless of whatever ideological “bent” Syriza might have, because the mode of production in Greece, and Europe, is capitalism, because the ruling class in Greece is the bourgeoisie, Syriza has acted in the interests of that ruling class. Syriza has called its own legitimacy into question, and we have the answer. 

So practically speaking, we are confronted with the necessity for testing, questioning, and opposing the legitimacy of the Syriza government through the perfectly proper parliamentary process of voting:  on the payments to the Troika; on the Syriza government’s actions on behalf of maintaining capitalism.  

February 23, 2015

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