Political evolution or political unrest?

NM nillo at tao.agoron.com
Mon Mar 29 03:53:56 PST 1999

>>Well I asked you, and other people have asked you, three times now, to
>>either retract or prove the claim that Churchill's meddeling in Greek
>>politics and the installation of a fascist-inspired and backed government
>>what led to PASOK and Greece's current crazy little parliamentary
>Well, they *did* keep having elections -- a huge number of elections.

Haiti and Mexico have lots of elections as well. Heck, even Serbia had a couple. What's the point?

>Had Churchill's little meeting with Stalin turned out differently and had
>Churchill traded Greece to Stalin for Bohemia and had EAM-ELAS seized
>control over Greece in December 1944, or had Vafiades' December 1947
>proclamation of a provisional government been rapidly followed by a
>communist victory, then -- as you know at least as well as I -- there would
>have been no more elections in Greece, at least not until the aftermath of
>1989. Political leaders would have been executed for treason, expelled from
>the Party for "deviations," purged and forced to resign in disgrace, and so
>forth. But there would have been no elections.

I know nothing of the sort. If the EAM-ELAS "seized" control (seized being a loaded term in this context, given that 2 million of 7 million people in the country were part of the greater resistance and generally supported EAM-ELAS, would you say that Bill Clinton "seized" control of the US in 1992 with 43% of 50% of a voting population that is 60% of the country behind him?) why would it, necessarily, take a Stalinized route, especially given the large locus of community council control seen in the resistance?

The trade to the Eastern Bloc may well have led to the political processes you describe, but I don't think that was the inevitable conclusion either. Towards the end of World War II, the Greek resistance had already pushed much Nazi power out of the country and was heavily entrenched. This, plus the taste of the real industrial/community/leftist democracy embedded in the processes of resistance would have made Stalin's tanks rolling in much more than the academic exercise it was for much of the rest of what became the Eastern Bloc.

>Without elections, progressive political evolution is... unlikely. (Here,
>by the way, is where I think your labeling of as many people as you can as
>"fascist" betrays you: fascists dislike elections even more than communists
>do -- for fascists, the people do not choose leaders, the people obey the
>leaders. Fascists may hold rigged plebiscites, and they may accept the
>unanimous endorsement of hand-picked "corporatist" bodies. But fascists do
>not hold elections. And that is a key difference between Italy in the 1920s
>and 1930s and Greece in the late 1940s and 1950s.

If you think I label everyone I can fascists, you simply lack the ability to read English. For the past several days I have had to make points again and again for you to simply understand them, why should I continue a conversation with someone who isn't reading what I type unless I type it four or five times?

[elections snipped]

>>From your perspective, all this is just an episode: "...fascism and
>royalism, and the immense corruption of the current democracy" and compared
>to this history "Bulgarian-style politics would not have been much worse or
>even worse at all."
>I do not think that such a position can be maintained. If the history of
>the twentieth century teaches us anything, it is that political democracy
>-- regular elections, circulation of elites, a free press that allows
>political debate, and so forth -- is of immense importance.

And that isn't what your question about Bulgaria was about. Your question was, would Greece, if it wasn't handed over to facsists/royalists/juntas right after WWII by Winston Churchill, been better or worse off than Bulgaria. I see no evidence that the Churchill intervention is what led to the parliamentary democracy we see today, and in fact, you have provided nothing to show this. Just because something happens in a sequence does not mean that the previous event in the sequence necessarily caused subsequent events.

Implicit in this is the totally unproven assumption that the only choices open to Greece was royalist/military dictatorship and "elections" or Bulgarian style politics. I do not think the elections are what got Greece to the parliamentary state it is in today, in fact most of the elections you listed were absolutely tangential to the actual processes that occurred within the country. You're worldview is limited to Cold War dichotomies which never applied to Greece (indeed, never applied to anywhere, was the Prague Spring a "democratic election"? If not, it showed the possibility of a third choice between your two poles) and which ignores the actual, you know, class struggle. Greece still has, even under the parliamentary democracy you're preening over, more strikes than any other industrial nation, and more politically motivated strikes. That tells me that the choices aren't between Stalin and Roosevelt, but between a pair of oppressions and a route to freedom.

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