As I have already argued in the past, it is time we throw the concepts of promise and acceptance, that is, the concept of a contract, to the garbage bin as tools for the understanding of politics. These are concepts of moral(istic) and legal descent, that don't help us understand the motion of the multitude. It is also time to get rid of an idea with a long past, especially in the discourse of the Left and of social movements: the concept of a demand, and the conception of political discourse as a "plan" that "materializes." Politics is elsewhere; politics doesn't mean that some sovereign subjects meet and delegate to some other, "even more sovereign" subject, the "materialization" or the "satisfaction" of some of their demands [...] This is the scenario of classic bourgeois political philosophy of the 17th and 18th centuries, based on the model of the market and of contracts.
[...] This schema is desperately inadequate. It can account only for normality, normalcy, accountability -- that is to say, non politics. Politics is not communication; or at least, it is not, and it is not desirable or possible that it becomes, communication based on rules where all messages are transparent, regulated and distortion-free. Politics is that which escapes, that which is not planned. It is noise, the parasite. What is politically interesting is that which deconstructs, not that which institutes palliative equivalences.
Perhaps, someone might say: OK, but this is all "theoretical". Even if it is correct, it doesn't cancel out the fact that SYRIZA was elected proclaiming to be against austerity, was voted for it, but we still have austerity. Isn't this inconsistency? And isn't there a danger that SYRIZA's voters will think "everyone is the same" and thus be led to resignation, disappointment, demobilization?
My response to this is the following: The question of whether a party or a politician "kept their promises" or "deceived the people" is a question posed by the political system, not by the multitude.
But from my perspective, this question is not really important. For me, what is crucial is that the specific "promise" circulated, was subjected to the judgment of citizens and was approved. Even if it did not "materialize", its approval was not futile. Discourse creates results not only when it is "applied", but also when it is simply said.
The elections, the referendum and their results were worth their while, whatever followed them. What follows depends on an infinity of factors which are unpredictable and cannot be controlled fully by anyone, not even by the "sovereign". Besides, anyway, these processes posited in public discourse a political desire that did not exist anywhere before; it became known that this political desire exists, and is indeed a majority one. [...] No one can now pretend not to know this.
Was this enough?
Even this question is beside the point. To answer it, we would have to define clearly a threshold, a norm on the basis of which the adequate and the inadequate could be judged.
* The author works as a translator in Brussels, Belgium. He publishes in SYRIZA's "Avgi" and in John Milios' periodical, "Theseis."