Tag Archives: Greece

by Pavlos Hatzopoulos and Nelli Kambouri

In this short text we address how the microfascist way of life proliferates through You Tube user generated video production and dissemination. Our focus is on the Greek Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn has been widely criticized in mainstream media for using diverse “politically incorrect” references to the Nazis and the Greek dictatorship of the 1960s-70s in order to mobilize its members to “a new way of life”. Golden Dawn appears thus to be a return of a ghost from the past, a short of anachronism strangely re-appearing in the midst or because of economic recession, social discontent and political corruption. From our perspective, however, the digital patriotic neo-fascism of the Golden Dawn is primarily a form of microfascism that has internalized the failures of the fascist regimes of the past, which we usually take as historical examples (ie. Nazi Germany, Franco’s Spain, Fascist Italy) only to twist and transform them. Read More

by Akis Gavriilidis

I. Introduction

In an interview to the Macedonian Television in February 2011, the British diplomat Robin O’Neil declared:

“The Greece-Macedonia name row is the most bizarre diplomatic dispute in Europe today. No one outside of Greece can perceive why should Macedonia change its name. What is Greece’s national interest in doing this? Greece has not suffered in any way as a result of Macedonia’s existence under the current name in the past 20 years, and Greece never opposed Macedonia’s existence as part of SFR Yugoslavia»[1].

He also said that “the consistent Greek opposition to Macedonia’s NATO and EU accession is especially difficult to understand” (ibid.).

O’Neil here states the obvious as regards diplomatic practice and international relations, but what he says is also valid epistemologically. I think that his statement is a very useful way to start a treatment of the issue from a political theory point of view as well: in fact, if diplomats had a hard time to figure out what Greece is trying to achieve or to avoid by its reaction, social theorists did not do much better up to Read More

1. The radicalisation of the Greek society exceeds all the formal social and political dynamics that have burst into the central political scene in the context of the two rounds of the Greek parliamentary elections (May 6 and June 17). The electoral results are overshadowed, in many respects, by the social forces and antagonisms that continue to push existing parliamentary politics to its limits.

The last gasp of the old political system was the attempt to strip off the electoral campaign from these antagonisms. The attempt has been ‘successful’, but only within the horizon of the short-term reduction of their electoral losses that seems impossible to sustain for much longer. In both elections, there was no political party campaigning with a pro-memorandum agenda (apart from some fringe neo-liberal parties (practically sponsored by media and corporate conglomerates) who didn’t even manage to reach the threshold of 3% of the votes in order to elect MPs. All the parties of the old establishment shifted towards a ‘re-negotiation of the memorandum’ platform that was supposed to neutralise the ‘politics of the nullification of the memorandum’ proposed by Syriza. The electoral dilemma was then set as one between ‘responsible multilateral negotiations’ with our European partners and a politics of unilateralism (that would automatically jeopardise Greece’s Euro membership according to the anti-Syriza bloc), but all within the framework of ‘the memorandum is not sustainable’ discourse. Along these lines, the ruling parties pursued a strategy of re-nationalisation, calling for national unity ‘to change the memorandum in the best we can’, and castigated Syriza for being the obstacle to the re-institution of this national unity. Read More

The Olympic stadium in Munich, supposedly attended by no other but the Fürer himself, is where an epochal football match between German Philosophers and the Greek philosophers is about to start in Monty Python’s sketch. The German line up consisted of: Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Shelling, Schlegel, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche and Heidegger, backed up by Beckenbauer and Jaspers; the Greek’s consisted of: Plato, Epictetus, Aristotle, Sophocles, Empedocles, Plotin, Epicurus, Heraclitus, Democritus, Socrates, and Archimedes. Confucius is the referee and the two side referees are St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. The whistle blows; Germans are to start the game, but Hegel, who is supposed to kick the ball, falls instantly into a deep meditation along with he entire German team of philosophers. Overburdened with harkening the Logos and being more Greek then the Greeks, he allows Archimedes to steal the ball. Short passes between him Socrates and Heraclitus lead to a spectacular goal and Greek victory. Read More

1. The 12th February demonstration in Athens, consolidated, what is becoming clearer in the past weeks: a growing majority of the Greek people support the refusal of the memorandum no.2 no matter what. In spite of the fear mongering spread by the pro-memorandum forces that a negative parliamentary vote would entail an immediate euro exit and the ensuing Africanisation of Greece, the popular support for the new EU-ECB-IMF loans and the correlated austerity measures is waning significantly. The formal political debate is increasingly based on a politics of fear: the government’s and mainstream media’s principal argumentation is stripped, on the one hand, to the bare threat of what a disorderly Greek bankruptcy would entail -invoking often assumed similarities with Greece’s plight during the World War II occupation by German and Italian troops- with basic food and medicine shortages and a lack of basic public amenities like gas, heating, electricity; on the other hand even mainstream media cannot but be critical vis-à-vis the most dismantling provisions of the memorandum no.2 for any sign of consensual legitimacy, such as the automatic decrease by 22% of minimum wages, the content and scope of collective bargaining and so on, insisting however ‘in the final analysis’ that the dilemma posed leaves only one choice.  Read More