Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Insult to injury: Jacobin Magazine's brand of political ethics

Costas Lapavitsas's (SYRIZA) interview "Greece: Phase Two", published by Jacobin has this to say on KKE:
So you dismiss the argument that said a minority government was possible? 
That’s just nonsense. In the circumstances, nothing else was feasible. The real blame lies with the Communist Party (KKE), of course. Which, once again, has not measured up to the demands of history, and has chosen a line of complete opposition and complete hostility to Syriza and what it stands for, and therefore it forced Syriza to make this government with ANEL.
In a staggeringly cynical and shameless move, Jacobin accompanies the article and the quote in question with an image (above) from the 28 March 2014 anti-NATO KKE rally held in Thessaloniki. The rally was convened at 7 p.m on the occasion of the 15 years from the imperialist war on Yugoslavia, an event during which SYRIZA had kept the usual "forked tongue" approach it always has in NATO interventions (the blog will provide evidence of this in the next few posts).

The image was taken from photographer Giannis Papanikos' website; the characteristic yellow lettering of KKE is visible on a couple of the flags, despite possible image manipulation.

The EXIF data * of the photograph is as follows, and was communicated (in summary) by myself to the magazine, along with the above information:
Date Created = 2014/03/28
Time Created = 19:30:09+00:00
Keywords = kosovo war / dimitris koutsoumpas / hellenic communist party / greek communist party / demonstration / men / women / man / woman / red flags / speaker / general secretary / of / from / on / with / speaks / protest / commemoration / thessaloniki / greece / europe / european / communists / communist / communist party / in / serbia war / war / antiwar / anti war / greek / politic / politics / leader / hold flags / red / flag / holding flags / rally / nato / anti nato / kke
Camera Model = NIKON D600
Software / Firmware Version = Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows)
This image, from KKE's website, was taken in the same rally and at the same site; observant readers will notice the reversed bullhorn and the stop sign on both pictures, as well as the front facade of the Thessaloniki Port (background of first image, which was shot closer up, right-side background of the second image, in which the flag lettering is visible, rather than "artistically" half effaced):

Despite my protests and the full information I provided concerning the true nature of the image it has hijacked, Jacobin magazine has not removed an image which confers on SYRIZA the false aura of mass participation in a social movement it has no relationship to -- it actually stands at its antipodes, as a confirmed NATO ally -- in an article that blames KKE for SYRIZA's collaboration with the extreme right. It has not provided any justification for its insistence in exploiting, for SYRIZA-promoting purposes, an image pilfered from a party its articles habitually berate and disparage, either.

However fitting the dismal political ethics exhibited by the magazine may be as an accompaniment of the unprincipled politics of the party it promotes, I have no option but to publicize this new act of combined insult and injury against the Communist Party of Greece, hoping that the readers of this publication will do the decent thing and protest. As the KKE refuses to resort to the bourgeois courts over such acts of gross misrepresentation, publicity is the only measure of defending the party from yet another instance of SYRIZA-inspired image plunder and symbol obfuscation (see here and here).

I leave it to the reader to decide why no images from SYRIZA demonstrations appear in a number of websites wishing to convince their non-Greek readers that this is an "activist" and "working-class based" party, with an important presence in Greek left social movements.

* I wish to thank a number of comrades who helped with the retracing of photo data and the documentation of this piece: Dreaming Neon Red, Yannis R., KRS, and Tsirizaios.


  1. The falsification of reality continues. I just found that poster from before the elections: https://www.facebook.com/theworldtodaywithtariqali/photos/pb.1501794750080444.-2207520000.1431451530./1532223427037576/?type=1&theater

    1. Thank you, comrade. That is a PAME rally picture.