This discussion article by Dan Jakopovich puts forward a controversial take on the riots in Greece
On the wings of Seattle, the Zapatista rebellion in the Mexican state of Chiapas and other heights of the so-called “anti-globalisation” (or, more precisely, “alter-globalisation”) movement, by virtue of the failure of the bureaucratic path to socialism, the end of the last century and the beginning of the 21st century witnessed a growth in the popularity of “autonomism”, a more or less crystallised ideology according to which the successful struggle against capitalism presupposes turning one’s back on existing political institutions – the state, parties and elections, as if they will disappear if we ignore them.
Although many of those who participated in the Greek protests and occupations would not identify with this autonomist or anarchist strategy, in the Greek events it is nonetheless possible to clearly observe the autonomist assumptions in the power of “direct action”, independently from the existing balance of political and class forces, independently from the strength of the left-wing parties and independently from their election results.
In other words, many in Greece and the world nurtured the hope that it was possible not only to overthrow the Greek centre-right government, but also to tear down capitalism, although the anti-capitalist Greek parties – the semi-Stalinist Communist Party of Greece and the socialist coalition SYRIZA, despite very significant recent electoral advances – are far too weak to assume governmental power. But the autonomists do not want that since – despite the historical experience – they believe that there is a possibility of circumventing the existing political institutions and electoral strategy in developed multi-party systems. These are well-intentioned illusions. Even on Iceland, where the financial crisis and protests recently led to the downfall of the neo-con government, the power was taken over by the Social Democratic Party and the eco-socialist Left-Green Movement party. Continue reading “riots in greece – the “swan song” of autonomism?”