Remarks on the necessity of an absent dialogue: The tragedy of the Greek left and the Latin American experience

Angelos Kontogiannis-Mandros
Corina Petridi
  University of Athens


Our aim in this paper is to critically approach the strategic deficiencies of the Greek Left under the light of the Latin American experience(s). Emphasis will be placed on the trajectory of the popular movements in Venezuela and Bolivia, where, albeit in different forms, an idiosyncratic strategy of a democratic road to socialism was elaborated and tested. It is our contention that aside from the obvious limits of this strategy, these experimentations have to offer rich insights with regard to issues crucial for the elaboration of a counter-hegemonic political strategy such as the structure and durability of imperialist nexuses, the depth of bourgeoisie dominance within the state apparatus, the processes and limits of popular mobilization and its relation with the political subjects of the Left. We strongly believe that these experiences can not only illuminate some of the root causes of SYRIZA’s capitulation but also to provide valuable lessons for the political re-organization of the forces of the radical Left that now face a strategic impasse with far reaching consequences. Different social formations and historical conjunctures necessitate of course the elaboration of different strategic responses; the unwillingness tough of the Greek Left both in its reformist and supposedly revolutionary-anticapitalist variants to seriously engage with the experience(s) of the Latin American movements was and still is a sign of the defensive ideological closures that 1989 has inscribed on them. In that context we thus hope to contribute to a long overdue debate that will enable the Greek (and more broadly the European) radical left to confront its ideological and strategic entrapment via a critical re-evaluation of the Latin American Marxist experience both in its theoretical and practical, in terms of concrete strategies in the political field, manifestations.

Greece - Latin America