...there are several reasons to suggest that the prospect of flourishing alternatives is now brighter than before. Syriza’s rhetoric, although having been watered down significantly during the last couple of years, and especially after the recent elections, originally stems from a truly radical left background which is hard to discard totally. Furthermore, the legacy of the Greek “Indignados” in 2011 and the explosion of grassroots solidarity ventures that followed throughout the whole country, in combination with the clear delegitimation of the previous political order, indicate that a simple return to an austerity driven future will not be tolerated.
This trend is evident by the fact that after the first, largely symbolic actions of the new government, its approval rate has increased significantly, encompassing broader parts of the electorate which hadn’t voted for Syriza. Finally, possible political coalitions with potential governments in other countries of the European south, notably Podemos in Spain, are now more likely than before. .... This view of Syriza transforming Europe may be nothing but a social construct, but social constructs do affect reality too!
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up