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Restore Democracy! Etienne Balibar and Others Declare Solidarity With Greek Left

It is time to end the system of corruption, privilege and bank-driven austerity that is crushing the Greek people.

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We, the signatories of this text are unable to stay silent faced with this attempt to deprive a European people of their sovereignty, of which elections are the last resort. This campaign of stigmatizing SYRIZA must cease at once as well as the blackmail of exclusion from the euro zone. It is up to the Greek people to decide their fate, rejecting any diktat, rejecting the poisons that their “saviours” were giving them and committing themselves freely to the forms of cooperation indispensible to overcoming the crisis together with the other European peoples.

We, in turn affirm that: it is time for Europe to understand the signal sent out from Athens on the 6 May last. It is time to abandon a policy that is ruining society and placing the people under ward-ship so as to save the banks. It is most urgent to put an end to the suicidal drift of a political and economic construction that is transferring government to “experts” and institutionalizes the omnipotence of the financial operators. Europe must be the work of its citizens themselves so as to save their own interests.

This new Europe for which we, like the democratic forces that are emerging in Greece, hope and for which we intend to fight is that of all the peoples. In every country, there are two politically and morally antithetical Europes in conflict: that which would dispossess the people to benefit the bankers and that which affirms the right of all to a life worthy of the name and that, collectively, gives itself the means to do so.

Thus, what we want, together with the Greek electors and SYRIZA’s activists and leaders, is neither the disappearance of Europe but its refoundation. It is ultra-liberalism that provokes the rise of nationalisms and of the extreme right. The real saviours of the European idea are the supporters of openness, and of the participation of the citizens, the defenders of a Europe where popular sovereignty is not abolished but extended and shared.

Yes — Athens is indeed the future of democracy in Europe and it is the fate of Europe that is at stake. By a strange irony of history, the Greeks, stigmatized and impoverished are in the front line of our struggle for a common future.

Let us listen to them, support them and defend them! 

Étienne Balibar is professor of philosophy at the Université de Paris-X. His books include "Reading Capital," "The Philosophy of Marx" and "Race, Nation, Class." Vicky Skoumbi is chief editor of Aletheia (Athens). Michel Vakaloulis is a philosopher and sociologist.

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