[Marxism] AnalyzeGreece! on European solidarity

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Sun Jul 5 16:31:48 MDT 2015

Ögmundur Jónasson: Thank you, Greece!
AnalyzeGreece! July 5
 . . .
A key moment in this fight has been the Greeks’ decision to resort to
direct democracy as the ultimate source of political mandate. This was
also the weapon used by Iceland to fend off the attack by the City of
London and the National Bank of the Netherlands. A further inspiring
element is Tsipras’s language: a rhetoric that resonates with
references to the common man´s everlasting fight for human rights. The
resultant prevalent term is, simply, “hope”.

It comes as no surprise to me that the institutional world is reacting
the way it is after the Greek government´s decision to turn to the
people in a democratic referendum.  I applaud the Greeks for this
decision and I join the millions who condemn the undemocratic and vile
reactions of the guardians of capitalism – uncomfortably reminiscent
of Europe´s colonialist past.

After Iceland suffered a financial crash in 2008 we faced the storm.
As a member of the government at a time in which the country was
assaulted by big European banks and the capitalist vulture funds
supported by the governments of Britain and the Netherlands, I was
shocked at the viciousness of these governments. It was war. There was
nothing civilized about it.

We took the dispute to the people in a referendum and that proved to
be the decisive weapon. The political superiority of direct democracy
is not easily called into question.
 . . .
Ögmundur Jónasson is Icelandic Minister of Health 2009, and Minister
of the Interior 2010-13.

Teaching us how to fight
by Catarina Principe
AnalyzeGreece!, July 3

Being southern European today is not an easy task. Not only have the
central and northern European elites (with the complacency of our own
right-wing governments!) changed the narrative of our people from
being honest, hard-working, and warm-hearted to being corrupt, lazy,
and unproductive; the European elites have also decided we are no
longer worthy of living according to the so-called “European
standards”. We are no longer worthy of labor, worthy of education,
worthy of health, worthy of culture, worthy of having a home, worthy
of having food on the table. We are not even worthy of living in our
own country anymore, among our families, friends, and the ones we
cherish the most.

On the contrary, the banks are worthy of all our money and sacrifice
in order to be saved. the Markets are treated as people (the markets
are happy, sad, depressed, we need to please them), and we, the
people, treated as numbers, statistics, reports. We are only worthy if
we give our lives and postpone our futures in the name of a system
that doesn’t care about us, that has shown again and again that profit
is its highest value, and our lives are just causalities in this war
they are fighting against us in the name of capital.

They have made us poor, precarious, nomads; people that carry around
that deep nostalgic feeling of missing and longing that we, the
Portuguese, call “saudade”. But you, the people of Greece, have shown
us something that has no price: you have shown us that if we fight
back we can actually win. You have shown us that in this world ruled
by bankers and economic elites, nothing is inevitable. That if we come
together, if we struggle and organize, we can actually change this
world and reclaim the worthiness of our lives. You are teaching us how
to fight.

Electing a left-wing government that refuses to accept austerity, that
refuses to follow blindly the dictates of undemocratic, non-elected
structures and institutions, that refuses to exchange the lives of the
people who have elected them for seat at the table is something we had
already deemed impossible. But you’ve made it: you refused fear and
subjugation and opened a space for self-determination, democracy,
justice, and equality. You opened the space for hope. Not only for you
but for all of us. You are teaching us how to fight.

A referendum is one of the highest forms of democracy possible in the
world we live in today. It is the decision of the people, your
decision, against the dictates of the ones who have considered us
unworthy of deciding for ourselves. Against the ones who know that
austerity is a political program to alter profoundly the relation
between the classes, to destroy all social and labor rights, and to
make us fearful, subjugated, poor, and quiet. They know that this
political program is so devastating that it can only be applied when
democracy fails and people start to believe that nothing else is
possible. But you have chosen democracy. And when you made that
choice, you showed us in practice that it is possible. You are
teaching us how to fight.

Voting “No” on Sunday is not only the way to demand your lives back –
it is the way to demand all of our lives back. When you fight, you
don’t fight only for you – you are fighting for all of us. This is why
we want to fight by your side and say that refusing austerity,
refusing the undemocratic decisions of the institutions is the only
way forward for all the peoples of Europe. You are opening a political
space for all of us. You are teaching us how to fight.

You are not alone because we are with you. You are not alone because
we know that when we come together we are much more powerful than they
are. OXI has become the synonym for resistance and MAZI the truthful
meaning of solidarity. So, we say Efharistó and the struggle goes on.
   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _
Catarina Príncipe is a social movement activist from Portugal. She is
a member of Bloco de Esquerda (Portugal) and Die Linke (Germany),
where she lives at the moment. She is also a contributing editor and
writer for Jacobin Magazine.
First published in Greek on "Enthemata" of the newspaper "Avgi", 3.7.2015.

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