It is worth watching this instructive film of the launch of the book by Euclid  Tsakalotos’ – the new Greek new Finance Minister to get a sense of how the Syria leadership theorises the contradiction between its radical rhetoric and it continual accommodation with the its ‘partners’. The book was written before his elevation to government.

‘Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone and the World Economic Crisis’ sums up with great clarity the thinking of that section of the self-proclaimed left that proceeds from the assumption that the only viable way to achieve political progress is through the agency of a transformed European Union.

In this discussion, Tsakalotos gives a bravura performance drawing on a range of left wing references but decisively rejects the notion of political progress through national roads.

The project is defined as an alternative to neoliberalism, the working class as the leading force in these processes is almost absent, the goal of socialism – if socialism is defined as the collective ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange and with the state expressing working class hegemony – has vanished to be replaced by a nebulous notion of a reformed capitalism managed through supra national institutions.

No fresh thinking is provided by John Palmer – whose political trajectory has now brought about a complete synthesis of ultra left and right wing thinking – and whose enthusiasm for the EU is as unbounded as any banker or EU bureaucrat.


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