The difficulty with many (not all) of the left critiques of Syriza is not their program but the lack of evidence that their argument has a social base. This doesn’t mean that I have confidence in the Syriza leadership in all they do but it does mean that I think the difficulty is not so much that they’re holding back an insurgent consciousness so much as they reflect it (and those who like to denounce reformism ought to know that this is always an aspect of how it works). And I think that poses all sorts of difficulties.
Too many of the denunciations are formalist in the sense that they imagine just being ‘logical’ and having the right ‘program’ is all. If you cannot connect your program to an actual historical movement its not really worth the paper its written on.
The whole dilemma as well as miracle of Syriza today stems from the creation of radical politics at the head of a class which neo-liberalism has atomised and dispersed. The depth of the crisis in Greece allowed this form of politics to exist-this paradox has a bad as well as a good side.
However I agree with what Costas (Lapavistas- ed.) has apparently said-this delays rather then ends the prospect of an exit from the Euro. In a lot of ways the basis of the development of social radicalism in this situation is hugely uneven and neccessarily paradoxical. Its not a crisis that’s over yet either for the European capitalists or for Greek Society-or for Syriza.-Ultimately I think we have to be careful about telescoping these events-expecting final denouments around every corner-one danger is that the arguments of a left frustrated by its lack of a social bases join hands with the arguments of the right-they are ‘incompetent’, ‘stupid’ or, as I heard one commentator say delightfully ‘reformist bozos’. In reality this is a round about way of attacking the existing level of consiousness of those already bearing the brunt of European capital’s depredations-far better is to talk about the political and social contradictions involved and understand that the arguments are likely to be protracted and extend over a long period-its not about persuading Tspiras what to do-its about persuading most Greeks-clearly this won’t happen on the basis of calling (or indeed believing) that they’re dumb.
Importantly this is not an argument against criticism. Its an argument for good criticism rather then facile criticism.