thank god, we are not all greeks!

thank god, we are not all greeks!

a note on the "we are all greeks" craze amongst our comrades - thank god, we are not all greeks!

1. a new social contract with the “extremes”.

A large part of the population in Greece, a wide middle class, had chosen, for years, to accept that the job of governance is done by politicians. The consumerist clientelist system allowed them the grim luxury not to participate in any active, participative decision-making procedure.


Today, they have not moved on (yet?) from their former state of passivity. Now that they are suddenly getting poorer and have suddenly lost their confidence in the system, they are appointing the task of regulation and governance to the “extreme” groups. A very wide stratum of this class, still soaked in the comfortable faith of political representation and spectacle, finds the anarchists’, autonomous’ leftists’ and hooligans’ street fights with the cops, Molotov cocktails and attacks against banks, police stations and corporate property acceptable, necessary and even attractive.


To a large extent, it is the same people who feel that the extreme right wing and neo-nazi groups, (almost non-existent before and on the rise through intense State support right now) can do the job of attacking immigrants and refugees.


In other words, the Greeks have not all become rebels for social justice. They have just decided, in their media-fed confusion and toxic inertia, that they are willing to exchange their lifelong contract with the parliament with another (maybe brief) contract with “extreme political expression” groups – as long as the image of a united Greece is not shattered: Resistance against banks and against immigrants is the new symbol of national unity. And they happily let others do it – be it anarchists or fascists…


On the opposite end, the ruling class and the government, having to deal with a truly radical tendency questioning authority and power both on the streets and through structures of self- organization in everyday life (numerous local assemblies and initiatives and social centers), are happy to promote this new “equalization of the extremes” and seem to love this “we are all Greeks” rhetoric. The populist far-right party LAOS which is the government coalition actually declared its full-hearted support to the masses of demonstrators abroad showing their solidarity to the Greek homeland.


The plan of the ruling class and the government is to present the “two extremes” as part of a national unity so that the real radicalization cannot flourish.


A very good example of this new tactics of “equalizing the extremes” is the Steel Workers’ strike in Aspropyrgos, near Athens, a very long strike (since autumn) supported materially and politically by anarchists, and the autonomous left throughout the country from the very beginning. Not only did the strikers not become radicalized or interested in social justice in any way, but they let themselves be guided and controlled by the Stalinist party KKE workers’ union PAME. The PAME workers in the strike did not hesitate to receive solidarity and support by the Golden Dawn neonazis: In a recent open, videotaped meeting, a PAME worker introduced a nazi addressing the strikers with the phrase: “All of Greece is on our side”. 

(By the way, this neonazi party is responsible for attacks and actual killings of immigrants and sponsored opinion polls are now giving it 3% of the vote and promoting it for parliament.)


It is clear that in this context the emergent populist workerism within the radical (anarchist and leftist) movement does not help. It contributed to a false portrait of social dynamics in the country today, and can easily be usurped and absorbed by the “new national unity in the crisis”… (This is very ironic in a country where the majority of the productive and reproductive workforce is immigrants anyway…)



2. emptying the terms “direct democracy” and “self-organization” of radical content


“Direct democracy” and “self-organization” are truly beautiful practical ideas of movements historically. They are being very widely used today, which definitely points to the fact that they truly inspire people and are based on a real radical impetus. We’re afraid though that slowly they are being usurped and reduced to vacant slogans, generating new passivity and offering new cultural capital to the politicians and  their commercial advisors.


A very characteristic instance is the founding of a new political party (in view of upcoming elections) by a nationalist right wing politician fervently against the IMF and ECB “banksters”, calling itself “Independent Greeks”. The new party’s mottos are exactly “Direct Democracy” and “Self-Organization”. The problem that this sounded so natural, nobody was impressed with the use of these ideas in the program of a far right party…


In other words: The political purpose of creating a national front (which can nominally easily be “direct-democratic” and “self-organized”) is to channel parts of a real and spontaneous reaction to what is happening towards a late national mass mobilization, similar to the ones against allowing the neighbor Former Yugoslav Republic to adopt the name Macedonia, moblilizations led by nationalists and the Church in the 1990s.

Many say that the “masses have not yet come out to the streets”: Everyone knows that soon people are going to flood the streets again to protest the new dire measures of  extreme impoverishment and total devaluation of any social services. And if widespread disappointment is distorted and controlled through nationalist arguments, social unrest will be an expression of “national indignation”.


Yes, the revoltés in Greece do need solidarity.

But not all Greeks are revoltés…

And the revoltés are not all Greeks!

Zeige Kommentare: ausgeklappt | moderiert

Vorne weg mal: Respekt den Massen, die seit Jahren auf die Straße gehen und streiken, das ist nämlich keine Selbsverständlichkeit.


-Daß Rechte für "direkte Demokratie" sind? Klar, weil sie dann "Ausländer Raus" stimmen können.

-Wenn man jetzt davon ausgehen würde, den Beginn der "Krise" in 2010 zu verorten, läßt sich feststellen, daß es davor sowohl rassistische Gewalt im selben Ausmaß gab - also keine direkte Verbindung zur "Krise" zu erkennen ist -  als auch, daß das Ausmaß an militanter Praxis seit 2010 nicht gestiegen ist; eher das Gegenteil.

-Zur Zeit ist zudem nicht zu erkennen, daß eine von außen kommende Solikampagne, eine derartig verheerende Wirkung hat. Im Ausland ist es eher so, daß griechische Fahnen für Widerstand und Respekt stehen, ähnlich wie argentinische Fabrikbesetzungen bedeuten. Als nächstes heisst das dann wohl, man darf keine deutschen Fähnchen mehr verbrennen, gelle? Bisher sieht es nämlich eher so aus, daß  das ständige Wiederholen daraus eine eher defätistische Parole macht: We Are All Greek (Losers!)...

Mehr Sinn macht es daher sich mit Theodorakis auseinanderzusetzen, der nämlich inzwischen nicht mehr nur von Verschwörung und Reparationen (beides sollte man eh erstmal sacken lassen und dann dialektisch ran gehen) schwadroniert, sondern dann in mehr "interner" Athmosphäre nur noch von "Ausländern" quaselt (interview, mitte februar: athens news) und dann einfach mal die Leute FRAGEN, was sie dazu denken.

-Welche Revolution, Bewegung oder Revolte soll denn das eigentlich werden, wenn die "Massen" derartig leicht mit Rassismen zu beeinflussen sind und jeden Scheiß der Medien unhinterfragt glauben, ist das überhaupt so oder nervt nicht eigentlich der x-te Politiker, der z.b. hier den Austritt Griechenlands fordert nur noch das Publikum?

If Karl Marx could see the recent developments surrounding the Greek crisis he would certainly feel vindicated. Last Tuesday, the IMF and Eurogroup were trying for hours to reach a deal regarding Greece's new bailout package. In the name of avoiding default, the Greek people will now have to face a new round of extremely harsh austerity policies. But, in fact, it wasn't the country's bankruptcy which the leaders were trying to avoid; the real deal in Brussels was - and still is - to keep alive, at any cost, the politico-ideological corpse of the actually existing Capitalism.


By Nicolas Mottas. March 3, 2012.

A dutch comrade over at revleft with extensive knowledge of the Greek situation wrote a lengthy and thorough reply to this article, the authors (and others) are more than welcome to reply:

not sure if you'll back here but just post this 1st comment in German on your site. without dismissing the small groups that showed solidarity through out the years this shit is just a joke.