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Debt

Article published for the first time at Phàsis. European journal of philosophy

by Marios Emmanouilidis

(The Folding of the Indebted Subjectivity. Outline of a Derivative Govermentality of Debt)

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In the present paper1 we embark on an effort to discuss the relation between the temporal modality of financialization and the production of an indebted subjectivity. Capitalism with derivatives2 introduces a different temporal modality, it constitutes a different regime of historicity which is related to a different –special- process of indebted subjectivation. We embark on an effort to research some basic lines of the ways in which the financial practices, and the growing reliance on financial systems of calculation in all facets of social and personal life, are changing the relations between credit, debt and subjectivity. The plasticity, fluidity, horizontality of the modern “surplus’ subject according to the imperatives of neoliberalism (a victory of the spirit of May ‘683), at first glance have nothing to do with the anchored, obedient indebted subject. The flexibility of the subjects, and the possibility of undertaking diversified tactics, constitutes a complicated procedure of freedom and submission. This is a tense cohabitation of two contradictory/ conflicting processes of subjectivation: Read More

by Akis Gavriilidis

Recently, the anthropologist David Graeber suggested through Tweeter that “Greece should charge the rest of Europe for it past contributions”. He even made concrete quantified proposals as to how much should be charged: “100 billion euros for Aeschylus” and “200 bil for Socrates”.

A similar suggestion was made some time ago by the veteran French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard.

These statements were no doubt made in good intention: they were meant as a display of solidarity for the bullying the Greek society has been submitted to the past 5 years due to the debt crisis. It is also true that their authors were addressing mainly the European public opinion, especially its sections which have proven vulnerable to cultural racism against the allegedly lazy, good-for-nothing Greeks. However, when somebody is speaking about a certain country, they should give some consideration to how this speaking will sound in the country itself. And in Greece these statements sound quite nasty, believe me. As a person who is trying to fight in Greece against the austerity regime and the Read More

Dimitris Papadopoulos, Vassilis Tsianos & Margarita Tsomou

Metropolitan blockade is when urban space turns against itself, blocks the movements and the connections that sustain it, only to mobilise space as a direct means for political action. Metropolitan blockades are today the chinks in the wall of established politics through which we can get a glimpse of the future. It was the blockade of Syntagma square in Athens in 2011, which gave birth to a new frame of time and space in Greek politics, where future was again at stake, where future took place instantly in the discourses and practices in people’s assemblies. The area of Syntagma square became a zone outside of representational political power and oligarchic democracy. From the perspective of established political power this turn of urban space against itself is conceived as process that creates Read More

By Akis Gavriilidis & Sofia Lalopoulou

First publication: Law and Critique (2012, DOI: 10.1007/s10978-012-9110-0)

Mια πρώτη μορφή του άρθρου αυτού είχε δημοσιευθεί στα ελληνικά εδώ

Abstract

In October 2011, George Papandreou, the then Greek Prime Minister, announced he was planning to hold a referendum in order for the Greek people to decide whether to agree to the bailout plan prepared by the International Monetary Fund, the Central European Bank and the European Commission. This intention was aborted due to intense pressure by Papandreou’s European partners, especially Germany and France. This interference clearly shows the problematic relationship between the so-called “markets” and national-popular sovereignty. This article raises the question why this interference happened in the first place, why the global markets felt such a big threat before the possibility of a vote taking place in a small country of 10 million inhabitants. And also, importantly, what this means in terms of potential for political agency by those who are usually considered be lacking such agency, as having “no other alternative” than to follow the one way course of neoliberalism.

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