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A Critique of the Austerity Proposal put forward by Syriza for Greece, and an Alternative.

It is increasingly likely although not a done deal that Greece will come to an agreement with the 19 European Union countries that use the Euro, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (the troika) in the next week or so. The Greek proposal which can be found on the New York Times website for July 10, 2015 is similar to what the European Union proposed last week and that Greek voters overwhelmingly voted no to last Sunday, July 5th, 2015. There will be a new three year loan to the Greek government of $59 billion dollars and there will be an infusion of Euros into Greek banks so that they can reopen and make loans…

Prometheus in Brussels

The tragic assumption, therefore is simple and clear: the Greek people should receive a multifaceted collective punishment. They deserved to be punished exemplarily, to be humiliated and ridiculed. They had to be stigmatized as the Behemoth of Europe, inasmuch as any proposal for dissent should quickly become associated with the ‘irresponsible infantilism of the lazy Greek habits’, contrary to the sacred ‘morality’ of unquestionable labour, as they only valuable mode of being. It was necessary, therefore, for Greece – the most representative example of the Great Prometheus in the 21st century – to become financially tortured and to be sunk into a self-perpetuating crisis that devours human vitality by squeezing of the stone in order to cover unsustainable debts, only to be renewed at night through constant borrowing of toxic capital, just to become again an easy prey for the same predators through debt-paying…

The Greek December Revolt and its Current Relevance

The Greek uprising of 2008 (which started after the assassination of the 15 year old schoolboy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, in Exarcheia by a police officer) could undoubtedly be considered a milestone in contemporary Greek history, as a par excellence populist event that marked not only the political course of the country but also shaped the entire European socio-political landscape. Unlike other urban revolts that took place in the European continent during the past two decades – such as the Paris uprising (2005) and the London riots (2011) – the December unrest carries a peculiar message…

European integration: knowing the value of everything but the price of nothing!

European integration has failed not only to eliminate cultural divisions, but also to unite the peoples of Europe themselves; as we have clearly witnessed within the past five years, European nations have massively begun to turn one against another, especially the powerful countries of the North against the devastated South, since national antagonisms started to penetrate the economic and political sphere. But what practically matters right now is the rapprochement of some key concepts, in order to shift to a decentralized paradigm of democratic governance, focusing on the role of communal identity and municipality, and above all on the project of de-growth…

More than an incident of depression: a counter-comment on the Germanwings crash

A genuine public space that would have nothing to do with parliamentary lobbying, the markets or society as a “pseudo-public realm … characterised by a combination of conformity and egocentricity” (Canovan, p. 117) and dominated by ‘social events’ and material interests, is necessary in order to begin the seemingly impossible work of change: institutional, cultural, and of collective and personal conscience […] How do we define the words holiday, free time, creative work? By simply posing and beginning to discuss these questions in public, a space and a possibility open up for the re-evaluation…

From austerity to frugal life*, looking for politics through the world of economics

The really unexpected by all aggressive government tactic aimed equally at two audiences, the interior and Brussels. And if at home the Greek people are proudly galloping on their Rocinante, the use of reason for the enlightenment of Brussels seems like an attack on a windmill. The whole conflict leads (judging by the PM’s policy statements) to the government’s priority in tackling the humanitarian crisis and making the Greek debt serviceable without austerity; therefore in their regular Eurogroup on Monday, February 16, both sides started building a ‘bridge’ to ensure that the Greek government will stay in the eurozone, and to guarantee the repayment of the actually existing Greek debt.

Political apathy as a symptom

Political apathy is a phenomenon that preoccupied (and still preoccupies) many intellectuals and social scientists. It is a pathological symptom of a society that loses its creativity and sets the foundations of its decay. If we attempt to give a definition of political apathy, we would say that it is the condition where human beings cease to function as active political animals, they cease to consider themselves able to take responsibility for making decisions that determine their lives, finally cease to become exponents of a different social institution, ignoring any sense of autonomy [1]. Instead they adopt a passive stance characterized by mass behaviour, conformity, introversion and excessive individualism or as Cornelius Castoriadis (2001) says…

Pierre Clastres: Society Against the State

Primitive societies are societies without a State. This factual judgment, accurate in itself, actually hides an opinion, a value judgment that immediately throws doubt on the possibility of constituting political anthropology as a strict science. What the statement says, in fact, is that primitive societies are missing something – the State – that is essential to them, as it is to any other society: our own, for instance. Consequently, those societies are incomplete; they are not quite true societies–they are not civilized–their existence continues to suffer the painful experience of a lack–the lack of a State–which, try as they may, they will never make up.

Jacobinian Islamism: when the subject becomes annoying

In critical thinking the blackmail of the expected response always hangs like the sword of Damocles over our heads. As if to realise that walking on the wrong path should automatically mean one always has another path to propose. It is not so! Some paths should never have been followed whilst somewhere else perspectives have to be formed based in paths that do not carry the burden of previous choices. Obviously democracy and its reinforcement in its structures and content is another uncharted path that we should ourselves open, eliminating certainties (such as «sheltering» freedom from enemies) that, hitherto, have led to dead ends…

Who we are…

The Respublica.gr team started its operation in January 2015, as an initiative to promote analytical articles regarding politics, philosophy, art and ecology, and to strengthen dialogue around political matters. We are a diverse community (workers, unemployed, artists, academics, students …) people with similar concerns and sensitivities, people from different parts of the world, and we unite our voices under a common purpose: to contribute in our own way to the emergence of a public sphere, creating an open circle of political and social reflection, within the current climate of de-politicization and generalized poverism/conformity, which eliminates any real sense of public contact.

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