an analysis on the upcoming elections by antifascists in Greece.
During the last 4-5 years, the whole political spectrum in Greece is moving right-wing. A plethora (over 10) of rightwing/quasi-fascist and even openly fascist parties is claiming the vote of the Greek racist. This should not be understood as ‘fragmentation’, quite the contrary. Market laws are ruthless and when there is such high demand, it makes sense that there will be plenty of offer. The competition among the patriotic scum is tough and Greeks are polarized around two choices. Key-words for one side of the spectrum: Sobriety, confidence, stability. Its main representative is Antonis Samaras, the Prime Minister, who in all seriousness and confidence stated in regard to the Charlie Hebdo massacre:
“Today in Paris we had a mayhem with 12 dead people while here, some [SYRIZA] invite foreign immigrants”
If you’d like to know why SYRIZA did not answer to these allegations, you should look for the key-words on the other side of the spectrum: national independence and national dignity. SYRIZA’s critique does not focus on the far-right past of several ministers of the current government, nor do they pose the question of defending immigrants, who have virtually disappeared from the party’s agenda ( I.e detention centres, irregularity/illegality of immigrants as a state strategy). The competition in sampling poison continues with leftist conferences with keyonote speakers priests and military officials that show the potential of a left-wing hegemony on these institutions. Neonazis are not being criticized seriously at all by Syriza: “they should be prosecuted on the basis of their actions not their ideas!”, they declared until recently, presumably, because the criminal activity of nazis has little to do with their ideology…This position however is irrelevant to some fixation on freedom of speech; rather, it is relevant to the petty insight that the nazis are detracting votes from the ruling party.
There are party officials in Syriza who have more than instrumental relations with the far-right. Th. Karypidis, Syriza official in north Greece, and link with Aneksartitoi Ellines, caught media attention when he claimed on facebook that state TV is “controlled by jews”. In the same vein, E. Andriopoulou, Syriza representative, commenting on the military conflict in Gaza on her facebook said: “ Hitler, you faggot, not only were you a damn fascist but you did not finish the job either…”. We dread to think what will happen to the jewish communities in Greece, with Syriza in government, should there be another military event in the middle East…
Despite the tough competition though, the place of the neonazis is stable – it comes third in voting preference of the Greek people. Even without, that is, the promotion it enjoyed two years ago (constant advertisements in mainstream media, legal protection etc.); on the contrary, its leadership is imprisoned and the state is in an antinazi mood. Apparently 2,5 years were enough for them to gain a special place in the heart of Greek society. At least, the Greek state finally woke up and has put a cordon sanitaire around the fascists! Right? But even if they are trying to contain the neonazis, they are not trying to contain fascism. ‘Kathimerini’, the most mainstream, conservative newspaper, whose audience is traditionally respectable, middle-class, recently made a tribute to the nationalsocialist dictator, I. Metaxas (1936-1941). Thus, the phrase “we need a Papadopoulos (Colonel/dictator 1967-1973)!” was uttered even by official lips, and along with it, the hope for a leader who will put an end to instability and will unite the nation under a common cause.
Do not seek in vein an escape route! The anti- and extra-parliamentary scene increasingly reminds us of a Syriza pre-election campaign. Only a handful of groups and individuals have kept a more cautious or critical attitude. The voters’ arguments vary from the deeply anti-statist argument that ‘it won’t be the same as the right-wing’ to the ‘we will vote for them instrumentally, seeking a better politics’. Why a radical individual may think that in voting Syriza he is instrumentalizing the party, rather than the other way around, is apparently paradoxical but not without an explanation. To begin with, many have interests linked to Syriza, therefore, the prospect of a left-wing government is associated with their own climbing up the social hierarchy. This may be a bit opportunistic but it is rational nevertheless. The detention camps may still operate, but the ngos’ that will be involved should increase in number and they will be sending more sandwhiches by way of charity. What about the rest? The rest seem to believe that the Greek state policy in a series of issues, for instance, when it comes to foreign policy (a field in which Syriza does not propose any changes), is determined by the silly ideas of a bad prime minister. Would it not make for a good project then to substitute him for a ‘good’, left-wing, prime-minister?
Greeks today are confronted by such fantastic ideas and deep questions. We know that autonomous, antifascist/antiracst politics, without any guarantees of success, is not particularly appealing. Let alone the cost of brochures, posters workshops and assemblies, antifa demonstrations and sporty actions! Their cost is in sweat, money, brains, and consistency in building relationships, sometimes it may even cost some blood. Well, do you think any of that is of any interest to the Greeks?
Antifa Negative, 15.1.2015
(on the elections of the 25th of January, a text written for the autonomous radio station of FSK Hamburg)