by Costas Douzinas*
How different does Europe look today from ten years ago. In 2000, influential commentators hailed the dawn of the ‘new European century’ to replace the atrocious ‘American’ 20th century. Europe was on the way to becoming the model polity for the new world. The re-unification of Germany, the successful introduction of the Euro and the expansion eastwards were ushering a new age of prosperity and freedom. Read the rest of this entry »
Eurozone in Crisis: Reform or Exit?
Wednesday 02 June, 6-8pm, RMF and Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities Roundtable
Room B33, Birkbeck College, Mallet St. WC1
The event will explore themes from the widely read RMF report ‘Eurozone in Crisis: Beggar Thyself and Thy Neighbour’. It will also contribute to the debate on the social, political and economic aspects of the Eurozone crisis that was launched by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Since the start of 2010 the Eurozone crisis has become progressively deeper, threatening the existence of the euro as well as the coherence of the European Union. The crisis poses questions of economic malfunctioning and austerity policies imposed on several European countries, but also of democracy and state relations within the European Union. The roundtable will consider these issues from a variety of radical perspectives. Read the rest of this entry »
by Stathis Kouvelakis*
“There is a shadow of something colossal and menacing that even now is beginning to fall across the land. Call it the shadow of an oligarchy, if you will; it is the nearest I dare approximate it. What its nature may be I refuse to imagine. But what I wanted to say was this: You are in a perilous position.”
Jack London, The Iron Heel
‘Shock and Awe on Greece’
One of the ways it that seems to me more relevant for the understanding of what is happening in Greece is to use the notion recently developed by Naomi Klein, in her book The Shock Doctrine. Seen from this perspective, the meaning of the Greek situation is simply that it’s the first time this so-called ‘shock’ doctrine, a constitutive element for any neoliberal purge, is put into practice in a Western European country, after having been tested, of course, many times in the past in other parts of the world and in the eastern part of the European continent, with results that are now very familiar to us. Read the rest of this entry »
The Guardian, Thursday 13 May 2010
by Alexandros Stavrakas
If by “hope” we mean a feeling of yearning and expectation for something to happen, and by “change” we mean an improvement of our present condition, then this is Greece’s moment of hope and change – and it is an overdue moment indeed.
But, before this moment is lost in indiscernible patterns of technocratic parlance, financial speculation and micro-political concerns, we must grasp the true emancipatory potential it has – and act accordingly.
First off, this is neither a time for paroxysms of self-abasement nor for public displays of arrogance. The processes that led to this situation and the ways it will be handled from here on are respectively, the result of collective actions and common objectives and should, therefore, not be reduced to private psychological propensities. Talk of shame, as much as of pride, is self-serving and unproductive. Read the rest of this entry »
by Pascal Franchet
Many things have been said about the Greek crisis in recent weeks, most of them obnoxious and confusing . These histories result in an argument that is aimed for export to all developed countries.
The media has extensively incorporated the official message, which could be divided into 5 chapters:
1) Greece cheated to hide “unsustainable” public debt;
2) The country is on the verge of defaulting on their debt, as well as other countries in the euro area;
3) The European Union can not help but sympathize and even encourage the adoption of austerity measures and ask for the Mediterranean country to be placed under a trusteeship;
4) Greece must take austerity measures to reduce its fiscal deficit;
5) The crisis in developed countries means the need for a widespread adoption of austerity plans of the same nature. Read the rest of this entry »
Sunday, June 6, 2010
General strike, March.
In early March, after a three-month media bombardment about the country’s economic crisis, the Greek government — backed by conservative opposition parties, the European Union (EU)and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — announced harsh austerity measures for ordinary people.
These included unprecedented salary, pension, job and public services cuts and large-scale privatisation. The government offensive entails an enormous income transfer from workers and pensioners to big business and the State Revenue Office. Read the rest of this entry »
by Alexandros Stavrakas
The commentary on the Greek crisis has predictably descended into a spectacle of cheap moralisation. Over the past months, we have been bombarded with accusatory tirades aimed against corrupt politicians, greedy bankers, depraved technocrats and more or less anyone who’s had a chance to use and abuse the system in order to advance their personal interests or those of their clique. Read the rest of this entry »