The election of Syriza marks a watershed moment for Europe. For the first time in modern European history, a crypto-Communist and explicitly anti-capitalist party has won a national election. A feat not even seen during the Cold War at the height of global Marxist-Leninist power.
At initial glance, most right-wingers are dismayed at the fact that Greece, which was becoming the poster child for a right-wing/nationalist re-emergence via Golden Dawn, has suffered what could be a set back. However Syriza’s victory should not be viewed solely as a defeat. Since the 2008 Euro crisis and the discussion of Islaminization has come to the forefront of European political discourse, the right-wing has been in solid control of the anti-EU and anti-immigration narrative. Nigel Farage and United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Geert Wilders and the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), to Le Pen and the Front National, the right wing has been leading the charge in terms of breaking free from the moderate center and forming an alternative political and social movement across Europe that is not hopelessly reactionary.
However it was only a matter of time before the dissident Left would break free and finally emerge in an alternative Left movement. Syriza’s election is the evidence that the Left might finally have broken free from the establishment controlled social and liberal democrats, which could present the European Right with a solid moment of opportunity to help see their political goals become manifest.
Up until now, anti-EU sentiments have been a harbinger of the Right, which the media has vilified it for being anti-progressive and wanting to throw Europe back to 1914 again. Now with the election of Syriza, that has all changed. Being anti-EU is no longer the mark of an angry right-wing nationalist, but rather the clamor of disaffected social democrats, laborites and liberals. Now to be anti-EU now is to be pro-European, that transcends the Left-Right paradigm, thus perhaps creating an opportunity for the dissident Right and dissident Left to come together.
The first marked evidence of this is in Syriza’s coalition partner, the Independent Greeks. A brand new political party formed in 2012 by 10 defectors from the New Democracy Party and one from the Panhellic Socialist Movement (PASOK), the party has emerged as a national conservative party for right-wingers who do not wish to parade around Athens intiimidating immigrants with Golden Dawn. In a very strategic move, after winning, Syriza quickly moved to form a coalition with the Independent Greeks with a populist message of anti-austerity that keeps the two parties united. Their divergent views on immigration have been sent to the back burner for the moment.
Secondly, is that Syriza was endorsed by Marine Le Pen along with Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s Lega Nord. “Of course we are not Syriza’s friends…why do we support Syriza’s victory? Because we believe it would be the demonstration of the people taking back their destiny into their own hands” said Le Pen at a recent press conference. The two parties stand united by populist, anti-Brussels sentiments that empower their respective nation-states, while obviously hotly disagreeing on the main issue of Islam and immigration.
Here we have the foundation for perhaps an informal coalition that can help pull apart the EU. Right-wingers are mainly concerned about the over-extension of the European Union and demographic displacement by Islam. Leftists are primarily concerned with issues of the Eurozone and inequality. The first set of issues we can agree upon, the second set we cannot. Both the issues of the EU and Islamic immigration are intertwined. Therefore one cannot hope to solve the Islamic question, independent of the EU membership question so long as the EU controls most of the decision-making processes over nation-state immigration. Hence, in the short term at least, the EU must go or be radically transformed into our image, or at least not the image of the bankers and corporatists.
Therefore if the dissident right and dissident left can learn to work in some form of quasi-solidarity, just as the establishment right and establishment left have learned to work together, we could be looking at a European political renaissance of populist revival against the Americanization and consumerism that has enraptured Mother Europe. Ultimately this is core problem of European society, not Islamization.
Based on current political trends as future predictions, if the EU’s power can be diluted to allow greater national sovereignty, especially over immigration, the dissident Right parties will have the key political advantage given the gradual advancement of Islaminization. Interestingly enough, at least in the short term, right-wingers benefit the most from Islamic immigration, not the left. Front National, Golden Dawn, and UKIP would all not be here if it was not for Islamic immigration.
Therefore if a coalition of anti-Brussels parties can be even partially formed and work to destroy the corporate-banking matrix, then that gives nationalists the extra breathing room they need to fix the immigration and demographic problem, not to mention refuting the post-modern concepts of Americanism and consumerism.
But the question will still remain on how authentic Syriza actually is. Knowing firstly that the left rarely breaks ranks with itself is a troubling starting position. The best metric on how to view the authenticity of parties and movements is how the media treats them. The media vilifies UKIP, Geert Wilders, Ron Paul and Vladimir Putin. That is a good start on judging how much one can “trust” these politicians and their sincerity. So far the European and American media have been very polite to the rise of Syriza. The rank and file of Syriza are open Marxist-Leninists, many of whom come from the now almost-defunct Greek Communist Party, the KKE, and just as radical in their beliefs as Golden Dawn’s fascistic base.
Yet when one observes that the US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki congratulating the victory of Syriza and that the US government is “looking forward” to working with the new Greek government, it should cause all dissident Leftists and Rightists a great sense of worry. If Golden Dawn had taken first instead of Syriza, it is not far off to project that Obama would be meeting with the Join Chiefs on developing a strategy to insert the 101st Airborne into Athens to combat the rise of “hate” and “extremism” in Greece.
Other signs are also worrisome in that Syriza has declared that it does not wish to leave the Euro or the Eurozone, only rather not pay its debts back. In all honestly hardly a statement of courage. Syriza’s position on the Euro and the EU overall will do little to rattle the foundations of the post-Cold War new world order. The anti-EU positions of UKIP or the Front National, if enacted would be far more damaging to the neo-liberal vision of Western leaders than even the most radical proposals by Syriza.
Ultimately it is too difficult to tell what is going to happen with Syriza. It’s victory is going to be leading a sweeping change of anti-EU/anti-austerity leftist across the Mediterranean. Spain, Portugal and Ireland are also set to have a massive rise in similar parties, while Italy and France will be experiencing a similar phenomenon on the right. Right-wingers should be wary of Syriza without a doubt, but if they can help lead the charge on resisting the EU, then they might be worthwhile short-term partners. If not, then they are the ultimate proof that the Left does not have a truly dissident bone left in their political body.