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Oxi Means NO... or at least it should
At this writing, with over 80% of the vote counted in today’s Greek referendum,
OXI is actually still ticking *up* with 61.6 to 31.4. It is a stunning vote, well ahead of Syriza support in all districts. It is certainly an enormous ’fuck you’ to the troika, and an important assertion of democracy and national
sovereignty— as well as a robust shot in the arm for the anti-austerity movement across Europe. It also now seems possible that the greek people have moved ahead of Syriza philosophically as well, though time will judge—and the huge backlash has not even begun.
That said, I think people celebrating should be cautious as to what this will mean—or rather what Syriza will do with it. All week Tsirpas was in a sense pre-castrating the NO, saying it does not mean rejecting Europe, it does not mean a
GR exit, it does not mean not not not etc etc. At the very least it is good to see that the elites have not yet completely coopted the very idea of universal suffrage in a few spots, though this idea has been rendered utterly meaningless in most of the west...
Tsirpas and Vanoufakis have only vowed so far that it will strengthen their hand in negotiations. But we’ll see how the markets freak out tomorrow and whether this result—if it holds—will yield some serious spine strengthening on the part of the Greek left.
This may/should clear the path for China/Russia to come to the rescue of a desperate greek people in an acute crisis—without civilizational,
clash-of- cultures baggage... that reality will become obvious later on ;-)
Of course, most of us on the anti-imperialist, pro-global south left are hoping for a complete break, but Syriza in all of its rhetoric has been firmly against this. It’s an odd catch-22, and it may yet be that they will realize there is no choice. But there is little evidence to date that that shoe has dropped...
But the bottom line is that any whiff of actual democracy is anathema to the elites; to the extent that it can be used to push back against the hegemon, what the hell? :)
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(c) 2015 Daniel Patrick Welch. Reprint permission granted with credit and link to
danielpwelch.com. Political analyst, writer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his
Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School.
Welch has also appeared in numerous television and radio interviews, and can be available for comment and analysis as his day job permits.
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