Thursday, 15 January 2015

Why Syriza Cannot Buckle - Part 5 of 7

The view of imperialism about the danger of Communism, for example, the advancing of the  “Domino Theory”, and the various red scares did not come from nowhere, but a genuine fear that they were losing. Under those conditions, its no wonder that the US saw almost any challenge as being a step towards global communism, and one it must put down immediately. Yet, simultaneously, the interests of big industrial capital in the US, after WWII, and its reflection in social democracy, also began to understand more clearly what represented a threat, and what didn't.

If we want to understand the situation in Greece that Syriza faces today, the comparison is not with Spain in 1936, or with Chile in 1973, but with say Britain in 1945. If anything, the programme of the Attlee government was more radical than that of Syriza today. Yet, it did not provoke a military coup, or US intervention to overthrow that government. On the contrary, the US lent them the money to be able to carry out the programme. Not only that but the social-democratic ideology that stood behind it, was introduced internationally under the guidance of Keynes and others, in the formation of social-democratic, international para state bodies such as the IMF, and World Bank. It was applied across Europe, via the Marshall Plan to provide huge fiscal stimulus for the purpose of capital investment and restructuring.

But, such an approach has been seen more recently. Quite in contrast to the US policy of military intervention in South and Central America during the 1960's and 70's, the US has been a powerful force in assisting social democratic forces in the area to replace military and Bonapartist regimes with bourgeois social democratic regimes, more in keeping with the needs of a modern industrialised capitalist economy, for example, in Brazil. When Germany was reunified, massive investment was made by the West into the East, and a similar programme of investment has been undertaken across central and eastern Europe. The EU, and US were proposing a similar Marshall Aid Plan for MENA, before the Arab Spring descended into chaos, and conservative reaction.

There is no reason why big industrial capital should seek to frustrate the social democratic programme of Syriza. On the contrary, there is every reason for them to support it, in any way they can. Indeed, over the last 6 years, the US has been encouraging the whole of the EU to adopt a similar programme in opposition to the conservative programme of austerity! The problem for much of the left's analysis is that it is based on a repetition of mantras, without the necessary analysis of material conditions, and dynamics. It fails to distinguish between the interests of different sections of capital, and thereby ends up in knots trying to portray every bourgeois party as simply reflecting some monolithic capitalist ideology and interest.

Its why the left ended up being totally disoriented by the rise of the Tea Party in the US, and a similar thing exists with UKIP in Britain. The simple question to ask here is, if the Tea Party or UKIP represents the true, unvarnished interests of capital, whose interests then do the Republicans/Conservatives represent, and whose interests do the Democrats/Labour represent?

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