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Night time in Athens, Greece

Greece, the supposed origin of “western civilization” has lately been leading the way again, with riots and a general strike, allegedly instigated by a police killing of a 15 year old.  One suspects the real causes lie far deeper, and the malaise which prompted this eruption has more to do with high unemployment, a rightish government busy attempting to implement the usual cocktail of Friedman economics, IMF and World Bank advice, and hence the customary disturbances brought by the so-called free market.

Perhaps in a bit the frantic efforts of the banking systems of the Eurozone, the USA, et al, will falter sufficiently to produce a similar reaction elsewhere on the globe.

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2 Comments

  1. The riots in Greece have been pretty interesting, and like you, I believe it’s pretty clear this whole thing erupted due to much deeper reasons that the supposed police brutality. The poor and lower middle classes of other European countries have also been squeezed in the past two or three decades, and as people realise they’ve only been able to continue their lifestyle through credit as their real wages have stagnated, this kind of thing could take place elsewhere.

    If you haven’t read it already, check out David Harvey’s ‘brief history of neoliberalism’… it brings all these sentiments together brilliantly.

  2. Unfortunately it shows all the signs of callousness and degradation released in the wake of French revolution. It rather shows the bankruptcy of western civilization to solve its problems without retorting to senseless violence. (It repeated itself in France a few years back at a bigger scale than what we are seeing it in Greece) Nevertheless its nothing new to Europe, and nothing grand and lofty such as “leading the way”
    My own experience (that agrees with the poet Shelly) that when it comes to the present Modern Greece you encounter characterlessness that has become the hallmark of european mob culture in its most fallen state.
    I doubt it is any deep then what appears on the surface.

    Also its easy to blame Friedman, but one overlooks that he derived his model from the street trade of Hongkong and Singapore, where a man brings his goods (for example fish he caught in the morning) to sell and the buyer buys his in a hawkers paradise and out of this freedom comes a bustling economy free of police and political pressures. His model is grounded in an essential freedom that the people themselves bring rather than something imposed from the above.


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