Since 2010, Greece has been the canary in the mine regarding the financial crisis. It’s been the laboratory of neoliberal and hard austerity policies that have been decomposing the social network and scratching away any remainder of the social state, while giving rise to far-right movements and parties as well as to increased xenophobia, fascism and misanthropy. Since summer, the government of New Democracy has epitomized these trends, particularly with its slogan of “back to normality”. Such a slogan seems nothing but a cover for the rise of a police state and the new (but also very old) dogma of “law and order”. [Read more here and here].
But Greeks resist. Through huge anti-fascist protests, anti-repression concerts but also in everyday life, the progressive components of society fight very hard for human values, human rights and solidarity. Even watching the hundreds and thousands of people resisting brings hope. However, hope means uncertainty and uncertainty also means fear. And we, progressives, need not to be consumed by fear. The response to our fears and uncertainties should not only be resistance. As Naomi Klein, DiEM25 Advisory Panel member, elegantly summarised in the title of her book, “No is not enough”. Our response should come with a big bold vision for a new, just world.
Neoliberalism and capitalism have deprived us from our imagination. Thatcher’s “There is no such thing as society” marked the transition from the social to the individual with detrimental effects on our language, our culture, our understanding of our communities. Living in our own silos, we struggle to infuse ourselves with solidarity. As fear takes over, we lose sight of where we are heading and a neoliberalism-centered malfunctioning social support network pushes us even further into individualism. We are made to focus on our own personal survival, while we abandon our dreams and struggles for a just society. An economic crisis that became a social crisis suddenly becomes a crisis of imagination.
As Greeks refuse to give up, all Europeans refuse to surrender. Thus, we not only resist but also dare to imagine a better future. As Yanis Varoufakis put it “we must move beyond calls for more democracy…we must now inspire people with a vision of what follows capitalism”. Let not Greece again be another canary in the mine of what follows in Europe: a police state, a Europe with borders and a strict authoritative EU. In DiEM25, we believe in our common house, we believe there is a place for our post-capitalist vision. As the recent DiEM25 Prague Assembly manifested, we do believe in collective action, in solidarity and in hope to deal our fears and our uncertainties.
Let’s work together!
Aris is a member of DiEM25 and coordinator of the New York City Collective
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