From Hercules and the Hydra to SYRIZA vs. Global Capitalism: Diffusion and Disappointment of the World Left

Milan Bernard Masters of Arts in Political Theory at the University of Toronto


In the projections of the leftist mythology, shared collectively by this ideological community, if David (in the form of SYRIZA) can beat Goliath in Greece, or if it can grow rapidly in Portugal and Spain, the situation will reproduce itself around the globe. After one knight has slayed the monster, an army will rise. The primary hypothesis of this paper is that the anticipation of leftist diffusion influences partisans and adversaries, to see revolution as a potentially globalizing institution through a spill-over logic. After discussing the theoretical and historical aspects of diffusion, and addressing issues of organization (Kurt Weyland), spontaneity (Michel Foucault) and community (Benedict Anderson), this paper addresses the paradoxical belief that a micro-situation will spill-over to defeat global capitalism. It explores the ancient mythology, as in Hercules and the monsters, as well as the modern, which led to this faith of the left and social movements. In conclusion, it addresses the development of the new movement of the left around the world (seen as monsters by the economic order), even in this time of dark zeitgeist described by Franco “Bifo” Berardi.