That’s Tyler Cowan, who seems to be really bothered by the respect that Syriza is getting from the center and left of the economics spectrum. He wants us to know that the leaders of the party are ignorant and frivolous, and that they are marching their unsuspecting supporters into the maw of chaos. He cites a fringy libertarian think tank to assert that Syriza is really a stalking horse for Putin or international communism or some amalgam of the two. The conclusion? “Greece needs its Thatcheropoulous.”
Now I realize that Cowan is a denizen of the Mercatus Center, which should make him an expert of sorts on fringy libertarian think tanks. His blog pushes hard right, but he gains credibility by doing it complexly, in a cultivated manner, acknowledging exceptions. The Syriza thing, though, seems to really get under his skin. How can an avowed Marxist like Yanis Varoufakis be treated like an enlightened human being, much less a superior economist to the virtuous, Keynes-hating paragons of Euro-austerity? What about the fatal conceit? The gulags? These people must be denounced!
But the result is a blog post that is simply an incoherent, red-baiting mess. In particular, he writes, Greece needs leadership that is “strong, credible, pro-debt renegotiation, pro-capitalism, anti-corruption, pro-tax fairness, and pro-foreign investment.” Well, I don’t know what pro-capitalism means (does it include worker co-management as in Germany?), but the rest of the items were specifically mentioned in post-election news conferences by Varoufakis. When you strip away the rhetoric, Cowan doesn't have an argument, just his animus.