Writing in the Guardian, John Holloway, author of Crack Capitalism and Change the World Without Taking Power, writes about the current crisis in Greece, highlighting the importance of resistance by ordinary Greek’s to the austerity measures:
I do not like violence. I do not think that very much is gained by burning banks and smashing windows. And yet I feel a surge of pleasure when I see the reaction in Athens and the other cities in Greece to the acceptance by the Greek parliament of the measures imposed by the European Union. More: if there had not been an explosion of anger, I would have felt adrift in a sea of depression.
The joy is the joy of seeing the much-trodden worm turn and roar. The joy of seeing those whose cheeks have been slapped a thousand times slapping back. How can we ask of people that they accept meekly the ferocious cuts in living standards that the austerity measures imply? Do we want them to just agree that the massive creative potential of so many young people should be just eliminated, their talents trapped in a life of long-term unemployment? All that just so that the banks can be repaid, the rich made richer? All that, just to maintain a capitalist system that has long since passed its sell-by date, that now offers the world nothing but destruction. For the Greeks to accept the measures meekly would be to multiply depression by depression, the depression of a failed system compounded by the depression of lost dignity.
Holloway considers the nature of political rage in Greece:
That pushing through of a different world is not just a question of rage, although rage is part of it. It necessarily involves the patient construction of a different way of doing things, the creation of different forms of social cohesion and mutual support. Behind the spectacle of the burning banks in Greece lies a deeper process, a quieter movement of people refusing to pay bus fares, electricity bills, motorway tolls, bank debts; a movement, born of necessity and conviction, of people organising their lives in a different way, creating communities of mutual support and food networks, squatting empty buildings and land, creating community gardens, returning to the countryside, turning their backs on the politicians (who are now afraid to show themselves in the streets) and creating directly democratic forms of taking social decisions. Still insufficient perhaps, still experimental, but crucial. Behind the spectacular flames, it is this searching for and creation of a different way of living that will determine the future of Greece, and of the world.
For this coming Saturday action throughout the world has been called for in support of the revolt in Greece. We are all Greeks.
Visit the Guardian to read the article in full.
Visit rabble.ca to listen to a review of Crack Capitalism on Redeye FM, the Vancouver Cooperative Radio Station.
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