"NO" demonstration in Athens © Ggia | Wikimedia Commons
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

Democracy or Immaturity?

Interpretations of the Greek referendum in the Euro Zone

The referendum that Alexis Tsipras announced in the early hours of June 27, just days before the expiration of Greece’s rescue program, was from the very beginning a dangerous gamble with little chance of success. His main objective was to strengthen his position as far as his internal rivals are concerned — mainly the hardliners within Syriza who opposed a solution that would entail austerity measures — and his government’s negotiation tactics abroad. The referendum, announced hastily and featuring a fuzzily-worded question on the approval or dismissal of a text that was no longer under negotiation, divided the Greek people deeply and became the subject of heated debates. The clamorous 61% in favor of a “No” vote more accurately reflects people’s accumulated frustration over the ongoing hardship of five consecutive years, rather than an outright rejection of the common currency, as interpreted by the vast majority of the European leadership. …

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Painting of Pheidippides as he gave word of the Greek victory over Persia at the Battle of Marathon to the people of Athens. Luc-Olivier Merson, 1869 © Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons
CapitalismEssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

The Greek Referendum: A New Battle of Marathon

The historical resonance, significance and challenges of 'no' on July 5th

Some commentators have compared the victory of the “Oxi” at the Greek referendum of July 5th to a Pyrrhic victory, implying that while the anti-austerity camp won this battle, it is doomed to lose the war, strangled by the insurmountable economic difficulties caused by the lack of liquidity. Others have suggested that the referendum looked like the Thermopylae battle of 480 BCE, where three hundred Spartans valiantly fought the Persian army and lost. A better comparison, however, in my judgment is that with the Battle of Marathon. …

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Andreas Kalyvas on the Critical Situation in Greece and Europe
CapitalismLiberal Democracy in QuestionMulti MediaVideo

Andreas Kalyvas on the Critical Situation in Greece and Europe

A conversation with Jeffrey Goldfarb

Andreas Kalyvas and I sat down the other day to discuss the situation of Greece and Europe. He and I have been talking about politics for years, in Wroclaw, in Johannesburg, in New York. We understand each other as we differ. He is a leftist, committed to radical transformation. I feel a need to understand how transformations can be realized, and when it comes to revolutions, it’s the self- limiting kind that I saw up close in Poland that I think is most desirable. He is a political dreamer with the eye on the utopian (this is not a criticism), while my dreams are more rooted in experience. …

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