Panagiotis Sotiris: “The Crackdown on Golden Dawn”


ON THE NEED FOR THE LEFT
TO REGAIN THE INITIATIVE

Comment by Panagiotis Sotiris


We must make sure that the Left is not simply voicing anger and protest, but also offering a radical alternative narrative for Greek society, transforming the subaltern classes into a collective subject of resistance and emancipation, a new ‘historic bloc.’

Panagiotis Sotiris is a professor of political philosophy at the University of the Aegean and Mitilene.

Panagiotis Sotiris is Professor of Political Philosophy at University of the Aegean and Mitilene.
He may be contacted at psot@soc.aegean.gr. Photo from tjen-folket.no.

For many people in Greece – including the writer of this comment – watching the Golden Dawn leadership in handcuffs, with only a handful of supporters protesting their arrests, was a happy moment. A neo-Nazi organization, with a long history of attacks, beatings and cold-blooded murders, is finally accused of being exactly what it is: a criminal organization. Although a small comfort to all those who suffered from Golden Dawn’s attacks, recent developments are indeed a victory for anti-fascists and the mass movement against Golden Dawn, especially after the murder of 34-year-old Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-fascist rapper in a working-class suburb of Piraeus.

However, the decision by the Greek government and the Greek judiciary to finally bring charges against Golden Dawn should not make us forget the responsibility of successive Greek governments and pro-austerity parties for the rise of Golden Dawn. Both New Democracy and PASOK not only tolerated for a long period the activity of Golden Dawn, but also took advantage of its rise in order to shift the political debate to the right. Golden Dawn is being penalized but the agenda of the far-right has become part of the political mainstream. Racist anti-immigrant policies, authoritarian attacks on protesters in the name of “law and order” and anticommunism are the trademarks of the Greek government. In the name of the theory of the “two extremes,” both the radical Left and anarchist groups haven been attacked. Pundits in big-business controlled media have suggested that a more “serious” and modernized version of the Far-Right could be part of a potential government coalition against the Left and anti-austerity movements…

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