Astrogator's Logs

New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

Aléxis Tsípras, Who Believes Human Beings Matter More Than Banks

Something amazing happened yesterday. Greece elected Syriza, a left-of-center party, making its leader, Aléxis Tsípras, the youngest prime minister in Europe at forty.

A statue of Athena, patron of Athens, is seen near a Syriza party election campaign kiosk

Tsípras won by giving my people hope of regaining their dignity without falling into the clutches of xenophobia. We know he will most likely fail at implementing the social changes he wants, and he may even fail at renegotiating the debt: too many forces and interests are aligned against him within and without, too many will try to make an example of him in case more in the EU follow his path. But hope is something for people who have been trampled as much as can be short of outright occupation in the last seven years – with the result of 30% unemployment and 40% below poverty.

Aléxi: may you be as successful in navigating the shoals and poisonous thorns as your Komnenós namesake, who managed the Crusaders eyeing Byzantium like ripe fruit. So that we don’t end up as waiters and souvenir sellers to those who love to repeat the comfortable, comforting tale of “lazy southern darkies” and who have tried to make neo-feudal libertarian capitalism synonymous with democracy.

“And when they danced in the plaza,
the ceilings trembled inside the houses
and the glasses rang on the shelves.”

Yiánnis Rítsos, Dhéndro to Dhéndro from Romiossyni
(music, Míkis Theodhorákis; singer, Ghrighóris Bithikótsis)

Related articles:

The Hyacinth among the Roses: The Minoan Civilization

Being Part of Everyone’s Furniture; Or: Appropriate Away!

The Andreadis Unibrow Theory of Art

The Sheep Look Up

False Dawn, or Challenge to Germanic Hegemony?

Uppity Women and Neo-Nazi Rabid Dogs

Hidden Histories or: Yes, Virginia, Romioi Are Eastern European (And More Than That)

Authentic Ethnics

5 Responses to “Aléxis Tsípras, Who Believes Human Beings Matter More Than Banks”

  1. Mephane says:

    “too many will try to make an example of him in case more in the EU follow his path”

    This is my fear, too. Those who oppose him inside Greece, but even more so those in the other EU countries, will do everything they can to not just have him fail at his endeavour, but to make sure as many people as possible believe that he failed precisely and only because he was a left-wing politician. Which is especially terrifying considering the fertile ground that exists for all kinds of right-wing ideologies (raning from conservatives who want to dial back the last 70 years of social progress, to people with outright fascist ideologies), as the PEGIDA movement has shown.

  2. eilidh says:

    Interesting times! I hope Syriza will make a difference. This isn’t just about Greece. World wealth inequality is soaring and something must be done to change the trend.

  3. Athena says:

    Aaaand… he started by having no women ministers. ANEL has more representation of the other half than Syriza. Although I’m pleased he took a secular oath, rather than a religious one.

    Also, he should have made Kostantopoulou Minister of Justice, not Head of Parliament. She would have been far more effective (and less belaguered) in the former capacity.

  4. Esebian says:

    The teevee wants me to think they’re “radicals,” even “extremists.”

    Not quite sure if that’s a condemnation of Syriza or our dominant socioeconomic system.

  5. Athena says:

    If you’re referring to US TV, it’s solidly into lala fantasyland.