A new politics in Greece?

Social ecologist Peter Prontzos recommends a report on the continuing street protests in Greece, in response to the austerity plan passed by the Greek Parliament this week. The article explores some of the uncertainties, tensions and possibilities inherent in the Greek revolt. Excerpt:

“Costas Douzinas, a law professor at Birkbeck, University of London, recently penned one of the most flattering profiles of the Indignants in Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, after being invited to speak in Syntagma [Square]. For him ‘this is the most political movement we have had in Greece, and perhaps in Europe for the past 20 years. It is totally political and in a way it changes our understanding of what politics means,’ he says.”

The full story is at http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/06/29-6.

2 Replies to “A new politics in Greece?”


    In the light of all the actions and demonstrations in Spain, Greece, as well as England and Belarus; Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Peru,Chile, Malaysia, over recent months, there is a growing demand for different systems of government.
    Following the collapse of the banking system across the world, 2007-2009, due to the unrestrained gambling by the investment banks in the housing markets and sub-prime mortgages, there is an urgent need for a new economics.
    But the gatherings of the ‘indignant’ are not going to be the sources of such changes. In Greece, such gatherings are part and parcel of the democratic political processes. Virtually every interest group can be described as a syndicate: lorry drivers, teachers, pharmacists, doctors, farmers, taxi drivers, lawyers, accountants, mariners, railway workers, civil servants, aviation workers, power workers. Until recently, any one of these groups or all of these groups would be on demonstration, strike, and riot at any point in the year. They would each be demanding business as usual, or more pay, or more benefits. They would continue until the government gave in. The present government has not given in. In fact the present government was elected to change the system, the cronyism, the corruption, the evasion, and to sort out the financial mess. It is unfortunate that some of the electorate object to the effects of the changes.
    I am now going to offer some alternatives to the present systems. There is going to have to be a new politics and a new economics and new finances in Greece [and elsewhere].
    The new system will not be free market capitalism and will have strictly regulated banks. All loans will be backed by ‘cash in the vault’: $1 to 1 or 2, not $1 to 33 as at present in some places. All high earners and investment speculators will be taxed at 70%. All workers will be shareholders and taxed from 20% to 70% according to earnings, and required to contribute to their pensions.
    The government will spend within budget. When new monies are required, the government will exercise the prerogative to print money, and no longer borrow from banks at interest.[ It is worth noting that all the current fuss about payments or default is about interest payments, because few governments are in a position to pay off their national debts]. Companies and corporations will be cooperatives, owned by their workers, and funding agencies.
    In view of the strict limit on government ‘debt’, it may be the case that many social services will be limited to the poorest. Any one with a job or a pension will look after themselves and their family and elderly relatives.
    You will see that I am describing a ‘steady state economy’ in which ‘growth’ is not the priority. In the future, sustainability and subsistence and conservation will be the priorities of all enterprises.
    Such changes will require a ‘clean slate’ and the clearance of all debts and loans.
    One of the consequences of a steady state economy is that growth is limited, and profits are limited, and pension funds will be limited. There are many citizens who will not be happy about this. But they will have the opportunity to explore these factors as part of a cooperative system.

    go to http://www.kelvynrichards.com….A Discourse: Social Ecology

  2. It is not clear to me why this article “A new politics in Greece?” is being recommended. There are tons of articles out there on the protests and I am not sure this one offers much. To take one example, the author quotes a participant saying “I know that the heart of our problem is a huge, parasitic and inefficient public sector…”. The author says nothing of this statement, just simply quotes it. Why? According to the statistics, the claim is simply false. Greece’s public sector is actually smaller than the EU average. It would be interesting to try to understand what the main ideas are amongst the protesters, but that’s not even what the author is doing. It is not clear to me what the author is trying to do. Would be great to have good articles about the protests, but this one doesn’t qualify.

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