None of the present parliamentary parties, save the extreme nationalist Golden Dawn, can claim the title of “new” and “fresh.” The “conservative” side includes some of the most discredited political forces in the book and continues to waddle in “mindsets” dating back to the late 1970s. The pink and red “left” is formed by elements of the most startling political atherosclerosis without a clue as to what must be done with the present catastrophic crisis of existence. As for the once mighty Socialists, they have been blown to bits thanks to their quisling handling of the country’s fate in 2010-11.
But the slaughter of the worst and the stupidest now unfolding does not necessarily create conditions favorable to a political rebirth. The only reflex reaction of the system has been the meteoric rise of Golden Dawn, a party of extremes that is stepping in where the Greek state has stepped out or utterly failed or both. Individuals and/or political groupings capable of articulating a sound, democratic, feasible alternative are completely absent.
Those who believe or hope that Mr. Samaras and his party of New Democracy could form the autotelic political force for change have no legs to stand on; their hopes stem entirely from ND being something well within their emotional comfort zone. ND though is as worn out a “solution” and as bankrupt and dazed as the rest of the dangerous antediluvians in the Greek parliament.
The corrupt establishment though won’t give up without a fight. Already, Mr. Samaras is apparently moving in the direction of forming a pro-austerity construct to replace ND with the help of his current government partners. The pro-austerity forces are small and growing smaller by the day. The next elections will hold more bitter surprises for the collaborators of our German “saviors,” probably sending the socialist PASOK to the dustbin of history once and for all.
Nevertheless, Mr. Samaras will try tooth and claw to impose yet another pro-austerity administration in order to continue “saving” Greece -- i.e. to continue fighting the rear guard action in favor of the so called “intertwined interests” of big business bosses, banks, and those comfortable with the idea of acting as overseers of a Greece subject to thinly veiled foreign control for the foreseeable future.
The “joker in the deck” of all this could be Golden Dawn. Opinion surveys show the extreme right party has doubled its electoral appeal since the last elections and continues making strong inroads into the groups of the less fortunate. Continuing austerity can only further strengthen the “only Hellenic political party” in parliament today. Also, Golden Dawn’s ease of deploying in the streets aside from parliament may be an added tool of exerting pressure on the rest of the political parties.
With hope for a better tomorrow dying quickly in the hearts and minds of the overwhelming majority of the Greek people, Greek politics has become a ticking bomb. It is almost preordained that the pro-austerity forces, with Mr. Samaras leading, won’t shy away from increasing repression in order to keep the lid securely fastened. Such a path, however, paves the way of a return to previous, much more violent times in recent Greek history. And a future pro-austerity government will be hard pressed to employ the army and police, both already decimated by austerity as well, in a generalized repression operation.
The destruction of Greek society and the removal of all hope from a bankrupt system leaves an extremely narrow window of opportunity for truly democratic forces to attempt a rescue of the country. “Truly democratic” though is in very short supply. And this is the gravest risk for the immediate future.
Postscript: Those now looking for “gifted individuals’ and/or “groups of citizens” who could save the day will be disappointed. In the history of modern Greece since 1830 only one single person emerged as the right helmsman at the right time. This person was the liberal politician Eleftherios Venizelos -- and his appearance was entirely facilitated by an army coup. The rise of Venizelos was the result of a unique mix of circumstances that simply does not exist today. Currently, Greece has sunk in very murky waters and breaking back to the surface will be an extremely convoluted, and possibly violent, process.