The U.S. Left and the Audacity of SYRIZA

Northstar is running a thoughtful series titled on The U.S. Left and the Audacity of SYRIZA: an Online Roundtable on the success of Syriza in Greece and what Occupy and the hard left can learn from them.

The North Star’s name is a conscious reference to the The North Star network set up by Peter Camejo in the 1980s after he left the U.S. Socialist Workers Party (it is also the name of his wonderful autobiography). At the time, Camejo concluded that the future of radical politics in this country lay not with the plethora of three-letter left groups but elsewhere; Occupy has born this out in way he could not have imagined, creating an entire infrastructure of ongoing protest and resistance almost overnight independently of the existing left.

This is a work in progress. Articles so far include –

Party-Building in the 21st Century by Louis Proyect

Another Occupy Is Possible – and Necessary by Chris Maisano

What Can American Leftists Learn from the Success of SYRIZA? by Richard Estes

Lessons for Socialists, From Occupy Boston to Greece by Doug Enaa Greene

A New Socialist Left Emerged by Billy Wharton

SYRIZA: Lessons for the Grassroots by Bob Morris. This is an expansion of my IVN article on the same topic.

The American Left has been a bit comatose lately. Part of the problem is too many lefties assume that the fightback, when it comes, must be led by revitalized unions. I disagree. Unions are now too often the problem not the solution. Besides, waiting for them to revive themselves, if it could even happen, will take too long. Another problem is the hard left, especially the socialist left, has seemingly been mostly disinterested in analyzing the financial crisis beyond much more than chanting “Smash capitalism” (with a fist pump, of course.) But organizing among those who lost homes to foreclosure means they need to understand what happened to them, and why and how it happened. And it needs to be explained in non-leftie terms.

There’s a wealth of information in this Northstar series. Jump on in.