Costas Lapavitsas is a professor in economics at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies. He teaches the political economy of finance, and he’s a regular columnist for The Guardian. Here he’s interviewed by Paul Jay of the Real News Network.
Listening, it sounds like a situation with the potential to become overly dynamic. Or kinetic. This passage caught my eye:
JAY: [In] an interview I once did with Noam Chomsky a couple of years ago, he made a point which I thought was interesting, which—just how quickly German society accepted a Hitler and how quickly you go from kind of an avant-garde, libertarian Berlin to a fascist Berlin. I mean, what’s the danger of that in Greece?
LAPAVITSAS: Oh, the danger is very real. The danger is very real. I mean, the center of politics, the political organizations that have run Greece for four decades, have been hollowed out.
You see, people misunderstand. They think that the Greek state has always been very weak, inefficient, the Greek politicians are incapable, and so on. That is nonsense. The Greek state has been a very capable state and it has been able to deliver all kinds of things. You know, it’s a middle-income country. Its political system has been uniquely stable in Europe. Two parties have alternated in power and nothing has been changing for three to four decades.
Now that’s finished. That’s come to an end. These two parties are completely discredited. The center is hollowed out. And what has happened is that parties on the left and parties on the extreme right have been strengthened.
And that’s a reflection of what I mentioned to you before of the confusion, the despondency, and the anger among ordinary people. They do not look at the center any longer for solutions; they look at both ends of the political spectrum. Now, the dominant side there is the left. People look towards the left. They expect the solution from the left, from SYRIZA.
However, an increasing number of people, people who used to be to [incompr.] to the main part of the right now are looking to the extreme right. And it’s a logical thing. It’s a logical thing. If the center-right has made itself discredited, then a lot of people will look to the extreme right, which promises clean hands, efficiency, dealing with foreigners the way in which they understand that, and so on. That can be very quick. That can be very fast.
“They expect the solution from the left, from SYRIZA.” OK, and? Readers?