The idea that Greece partly deserves its fate reflects an order in which wealth trumps democracy. We should fight a narrative that enfeebles us all.
‘This is our political alternative to neoliberalism and to the neoliberal process of European integration: democracy – more democracy and even deeper democracy’ said Alexis Tsipras on 18 January 2014 in a debate organised by the Dutch Socialist party in Amersfoort. Now the moment of deepest democracy looms – as the Greek people go to the polls on Sunday to vote for or against the next round of austerity.
Unfortunately Sunday’s choice will be between endless austerity and immediate chaos. As comfortable as it is to argue from the sidelines that maybe Grexit in the medium term won’t hurt as much as 30 years’ drag on GDP from swingeing repayments – no sane person wants either. The vision that Syriza swept to power on was that if you spoke truth to the troika plainly and in broad daylight – they would have to acknowledge that austerity was suffocating Greece.