January–February 2015        

The elections in Greece: A clear message to the European Union

The working people of Greece have delivered a clear message to the European Union, to the International Fund and to the Greek oligarchs that they have had enough of “austerity,” enough of being bullied, enough of being dictated to by these forces. They desire to be treated as citizens with dignity, with honour; they desire to live free from fear of what tomorrow will bring, without fear of what will happen to them if they become ill or whether their pensions will be there tomorrow.
     Fear is the weapon that the Irish establishment, the European Union, the IMF and global bankers and finance houses have created and orchestrated, in a climate of fear dutifully promoted by their mass media against any possible alternative. They wish us to believe there is no way forward for the peoples of Europe other than the one imposed on them in the interests of saving the capitalist system itself.
     Already the chorus has begun from the EU and other international powers and institutions that the Greek people must be “reasonable,” must modify their aspirations, must be “realistic” about what is possible. We must reject such fetters upon the people’s hopes. Only working people can decide what is reasonable and where the boundaries of our desires are.
     The victory of Syriza, in the eyes of the Greek people, is a victory for the people’s desire for a different path and a better way forward, for real, substantive change. Time will tell whether the trust they have placed in Syriza was ill judged. It may well turn out to be just another wave of social democracy that will crash on the rock of real, existing monopoly capitalism, leaving a trail of disillusionment and broken promises.
     Radical anti-imperialist forces cannot afford the luxury of confining themselves to predicting the future but rather must struggle for the future. Syriza has raised expectations in Greece; it has raised hopes throughout the European Union. Here in Ireland some are attempting to clamber onto the Syriza bandwagon; but for those forces and individuals who desire more radical change the task now is to build the forces for real change, to hold those who claim to speak and act for the people to their promises.
     To Irish youth, the future is the one that is built upon the struggle of today. Freedom and justice are not handed to us from above but are won by our united actions. Everyone has a place and a role in that struggle. True individual freedom is gained in the liberation of all.

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