Greece is revered as the nation that gave mankind democracy. Could it now become the nation that restored democracy to mankind?
Around the world, democracy has taken a pounding from the fist of neoliberalism. Market fundamentalism and democracy are simply incompatible over time. Neoliberalism promotes illiberal democracy, ultimately leading to political capture and the rise of plutocracy as the populace is steadily reduced economically and politically, their power quietly transferred to a select minority.
The Guardian's George Monbiot writes that we're witnessing "the sudden death of the neoliberal consensus." This he sees in the triumph of the Syriza movement in the recent Greek elections.
The lamps are coming on all over Europe. As in South America, political shifts that seemed impossible a few years earlier are now shaking the continent. We knew that another world was possible. Now, it seems, another world is here: the sudden death of the neoliberal consensus. Any party that claims to belong to the left but does not grasp this is finished.
Foreign Policy's Philippe LeGrain agrees with Monbiot and foresees Syriza's win spreading to Spain and beyond.
The election of a radical-left Syriza-led government in Greece on Jan. 25 has electrified European politics. After years of being told that there is no alternative to bowing to German demands for crushing austerity and wage cuts, the plucky Greeks have dared to stand up to Angela Merkel’s government in Berlin — and other Europeans have stood up and noticed. While the immediate focus is on the showdown between the new Greek government and eurozone authorities over demands for debt relief — and the (unlikely) possibility that Greece could end up ejected from the currency union — Athenian defiance is already having wider political repercussions.
Meanwhile, The Tyee's Crawford Killian ponders whether Canada's politically disaffected could provide the core for our own version of Syrzia or Podemos.
I agree. The Liberals and the New Democrats too easily threw in the towel to embrace market fundamentalism and an unhealthy degree of neoliberalism as though these were inevitabilities. In their unseemly quest for power (NDP) and redemption (LPC) both have abandoned the progressive Left. They might both do well to lift their eyes, take a look around, and mend their ways.