Socialist Worker

Hundreds debate Syriza and socialist strategy

Issue No. 2443

Stathis Kouvelakis

Stathis Kouvelakis

Up to 300 people came to debate on Syriza and the socialist strategy in central London on Wednesday of last week. The crowd spilled into the corridors and even outside the building.

The debate was organised by the International Socialism Journal (ISJ).

Stathis Kouvelakis, a leading left voice on Syriza’s central committee, spoke alongside ISJ editor and Socialist Workers Party member Alex Callinicos.

Stathis said he was “deeply worried” about the “risk of failure” following the disastrous eurozone deal. But, he argued “The possibility of Syriza’s failure does not cancel its victory.”

For Stathis, Syriza was a new “specific form of party”, whose varied component parts were “not just a patchwork” but “have to communicate with each other, criticise each other and explore new paths”.

He said, “32 general strikes and hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets haven’t succeeded in defeating a single measure.” Syriza “provided the political imagination that was missing” and translated these movements into a “challenge to power”.

And while Syriza’s demands are moderate, Stathis reminded the audience that the Russian Revolution of 1917 began with calls for “Peace, Bread and Land”.

Alex celebrated how events in Greece had put back on the agenda “the great strategic debates” of the left about how to beat capitalism.

But he warned that the strategy advocated by Syriza’s left wing was not that of its leadership—and it understated the threat from within the state.

Against a “temptation to box clever”, Alex said “Against all the forces that are deployed against Syriza, the only force it can really count on is the mobilisation and self organisation of the Greek masses.”

Watch the debate at

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