Syriza and the Spanish Podemos movement are marshaling their powers against these old systems. Their goal isn’t just to hold power, but to fundamentally alter the political culture. The cultural shift is akin to the concept of cultural hegemony as put forth by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, one of Laclau’s most prominent sources of inspiration.
When seen from that particular angle, “symbolic politics” are not inferior. Quite the opposite. In the long run, symbolic politics are the most important form of politics.