Sunday, May 2, 2010

watching greece

Watching, observing from abroad – these “posts” issue from the wordy distance of this position and have often underscored it – one is staggered by the crudity of European hypocrisy regarding Greece.

Greece: one in five Greeks already lives below the poverty line, and yet the Greeks as a whole work more and longer than their European neighbors, the fabled Germans included. Now these same people are routinely and thoughtlessly blamed for their collapsing economy – their plight attributed to, among other chauvinist clichés, a purely fictional laziness undeserving of European “rescue.”

What garbage! This national economy was ruined not by “the Greeks” – the men and women who live and work there – but by the corrupt political class that administrates it and the tax-evading Greek ruling class that, along with the raiders of international capital, have plundered it for decades.

In this tired trope of “blame the victim,” we should be scandalized by the two extra months per year that public sector workers earn, thanks to the struggles of their unions, etcetera, etcetera.

To save the Euro, if this grace in the end is extended, those lazy Greeks will have to break their unions and lower the cost of their labor-power – and should be grateful to their masters and administrators for the opportunity to do so. Tame and demoralize those working people! Austerity, and more of it, quickly!! 

Hearing and reading what, obviously and crudely, is being said and written between the lines, addressed to, directed at, “the Greeks” and their “self-made crisis,” by the amplified voices of “Europe,” by the very voice of arrogant administration, of managers, custodians and mouthpieces of exploitation, the neoliberal technocracy that deems itself qualified to issue directives from above and is shocked if obedience does not immediately follow – hearing and reading and watching, one knows whose side to take.

But where is the international solidarity with the Greek men and women on whom a fraudulent austerity is being foisted and forced, as if it were natural necessity?

What to say, what can be said, by an outsider, observing? I admire and am inspired by Greek resistance, by this determined, visible refusal to accept administered fiat. Too bad others elsewhere don’t follow their example; if more of us did, the rule of pseudo-democracy could begin to open up and change.

There is evidently no solution for Greece within the constraining logic of the EU and Euro, other than the neocolonial dependency of the IMF debtors prison. Such is the global power of capital, against which other logics are necessary.

It’s for the Greeks and no one else to decide if this “Europe” is worth the misery that is its price – or whether, relying on their own impressive inventive resources, they might not instead rethink and reorganize the bases of their collective autonomy. For the others, for the rest of us, isn’t it time to remake “Europe” and everything else, from below?

Another general strike and day of protest has been called for May 5...

Here's the EU’s own statistics on working hours and work intensification in Greece.

No comments:

Post a Comment