The referendum is a decision made by the Syriza government because it has run out of road. Syriza lacking strategic vision is entrapped in a political cul de sac. Its politics have reached their limits. After approximately five months of negotiating with the EU leadership the abject result is capitulation to austerity. The recent draft deal would have meant the acceptance of even more austerity. Accepting such a deal would have split Syriza and alienated much of its popular support. Rather than face this it fell back on the referendum tactic. But this forthcoming referendum can only add to the confusion and further demoralisation of the Greek working class. This is because the referendum is ambiguous. It is not clear as to what it is about. It is not clear as to whether it concerns a vote for or against the Euro and even EU membership. The brevity of the campaign and the surrounding financial conditions entailing bank holidays, capital controls and cash withdrawal restrictions may not help debate. The referendum, as it stands, is a manifestation of the political bankruptcy of Syriza.
Should the public vote yes in this forthcoming referendum it will mean
the transfer of political power back to the previous conservative Greek
forces. In that way Syriza will have, in effect, surrendered power to
these conservative forces thereby missing a golden opportunity to
actively participate in the radicalisation of the Greek and European
masses towards the seizure of popular power and the establishment of
communism. But Syriza's very nature prevented it from such an
achievement. Its function is the disarming of the Greek working class.
The Greek crisis is an acute and concrete manifestation of the limits of
capitalism. The Greek crisis can only be resolved on a European and
global basis through the popular democratic establishment of communist
society. It is not a choice between being in or outside of the Euro.
Both choices are capitalist I character entailing austerity.
Anti-austerity is only realizable through a popular based social
revolution that transcends the limits and contradictions of capitalism.
The various programmes advanced by much of the radical left are lodged
within the limits of capitalism. But it is these very limits that the Greek
financial crisis is manifesting. Leftists proposing the limits of
capitalism to solve those very limits is a contradiction.
The principal problem, then, is not the bourgeoisie. The principal
problem is the failure of the working class to recognise through its
experience the Greek situation as a manifestion of the limits of
capitalism. This is not, as such, an objective problem but a subjective
one. It is a problem of the consciousness of the Greek and European
working class --class consciousness. Capitalism in the form of the Greek
crisis is telling the working class that it, capitalism, has limits and
thereby cannot satisfy the needs of the workers. Yet the working class
resist this thereby persisting in the maintenance of the deluded image
of a capitalism that can overcome its own limits.