The historic opportunity

polytechneion march Nov 13 2014“Our mission is not simply to carry out the unfinished work of postwar social democracy”, says Alexi Tsipras in this in-depth interview with Haris Golemis. The interview has been translated and printed by USA magazine The Jacobin. Excerpts below and weblink to full interview here

In the early 1990s, the European social democrats formed an alliance with the Right to promote neoliberalism across Europe — something they are now paying dearly for in the wake of the economic crisis. This is why I believe that the Left is Europe’s only hope for overcoming the crisis. The austerity policies implemented by conservative and social democratic governments have reached their tipping point, as have the fiscal targets assigned by the European Union (EU), which are unachievable for any country.

This simply can’t continue. If Europe does not turn towards the Left — embracing growth, decent work and the welfare state — its other choice will be right-wing extremism and Euroscepticism. The setbacks will have terrible consequences.

The rapid political changes across Europe spurred by the crisis have aided the Left, creating new opportunities. The social struggle for decent work and dignity is one of the most critical — and one that the left is deeply committed to. A stronger left increases the chances for major changes in Europe, shifting the balance in favor of labour. Syriza aspires to be the catalyst for these changes, creating a “domino effect.”

It is important to note that our work doesn’t just end with abolishing austerity. Our mission is not simply to carry out the unfinished work of postwar social democracy, but rather to enable the radical transformation of society across Europe, based on socialism and democracy.

This is our goal as we seek to form new social alliances that will unite the working and middle classes, the unemployed, the most disadvantaged members of society, intellectuals, and social movements, around a common struggle: the struggle to liberate society from the effects of cutthroat profiteering, and to foster social justice and democracy, an economy that will focus on people’s needs, and a welfare state that ensures education, health, and dignity for all.

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