Culture and the Death of God

By Terry Eagleton

Two or three centuries ago, most of the common people of Europe believed in God, while a small bunch of intellectuals were convinced this was a delusion. For some of these scholars, however, it was a delusion of a mightily convenient kind. Religious faith played a key role in maintaining social order, and so was not to be brutally exposed as bogus. The truth can be wantonly destructive, and not everyone is tough-minded enough to take it. Voltaire was famously anxious about the effects of his own religious scepticism on his domestic servants. Plenty of Victorian agnostics clambered into a pew in the belief that behaving as though there was a God would keep society on the rails. As Friedrich Nietzsche was among the first to recognise, an increasingly secular civilisation had killed God off; but it had disowned its act of deicide and pretended he was still alive.

There is a similar doublethink in our own time, but it is now freedom, not God, which is at stake. Rarely has the idea of freedom been so popular in practice and so disdained in theory. Almost everyone assumes that they are free, except for a small band of neuroscientists and geneticists for whom neural firings or inherited genes lie at the root of everything we do, including our sentimental attachment to the myth of free will. For them, as Julian Baggini remarks in this excellent book, “consciousness is just the noise made by the firing of neurons”. Like the closet atheists of Victorian England, however, these people continue to choose from menus, vote Lib Dem or select posh schools for their children, for all the world as though they were possessed of the very liberty they deny. For them, social existence is one enormous fiction, in which we suspend our theoretical disbelief in free will and pitch in with the deluded, freedom-loving masses for the sake of a quiet life.

Yet some of the versions of freedom these scientists throw out are not worth having in the first place. No reputable philosopher for a very long time has taught that when we decide to put the cat out, we make something called a conscious act of will a millisecond before we rise from our armchairs. To say that I downed the glass of Scotch freely is to say that nobody was holding a gun to my head. It is to describe a situation, not report on an inner experience. Free will in this sense is most certainly a myth, and one, as Baggini points out, that was scarcely known to the thinkers of antiquity. He might have added that for a medieval thinker such as Thomas Aquinas, the will is a matter of love and desire, not of steel-hard determination.

Equally vacuous is the idea that freedom consists in a total absence of constraint, as in the callow postmodern cult of “options” (the future, one postmodern thinker excitedly remarked, will be just like the present, only with more options). On this theory, the individual confronts a range of possibilities with complete freedom to decide among them. The only problem with this, as Baggini argues, is that such an individual would not be a human subject at all. We decide what to do on the basis of our values, beliefs, temperament, conditioning, predilections and the like – which is to say that it is we who decide, not some blank space. To be entirely free of such constraints would mean that you had no basis at all on which to choose.

What, however, if our beliefs and desires lead us to act in a way that feels inevitable? Can we still be free if we could not have acted otherwise? Baggini is surely right to claim that we can. In fact, most of the things that matter – being in love, composing a superb sonata, detesting Piers Morgan, feeling horrified by the slave trade – have a smack of inner necessity about them, as this book argues in a perceptive chapter on art. What define the self most deeply are the sort of commitments from which we could not walk away even if we tried. The point, however, is that we don’t want to. Freedom from such engagements would be no freedom at all. True liberty lies in being able to realise such a self, not shuck it off.

Most critics of free will assume too readily that it draws on a disreputable idea of human autonomy. To be free is to be absolved from all determining influences – to be self-generating, self-dependent and absolutely self-responsible. This is not so much a philosophical theory as American ideology. A belief in absolute responsibility is one reason why so many Americans languish on death row. The truth is that without an enormous amount of dependency – on our parents, culture, language, nature and so on – we could never achieve the mildest degree of independence. Freedom is not a question of being released from the forces that shape us, but a matter of what we make of them. The world, however, is now divided down the middle between off-the-wall libertarians who deny the reality of such forces, and full-blooded determinists such as the US convict Stephen Mobley, who 20 years ago tried to avoid execution for the murder of a pizza store manager by claiming that it was the result of a mutation in his monoamine oxidase A gene. It wasn’t the smartest way to appeal to a jury of citizens likely to endorse Oprah Winfrey’s view that “we’re responsible for everything that happens to us”.

Men and women aren’t authors of themselves, as a character in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus remarks of its proud protagonist, but neither are they slaves of their genes. When Richard Dawkins describes human beings as “survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes”, his language is redolent of neoliberal capitalism as well as the scientist’s laboratory. To see people in this demeaning way is simply the flipside of the idealising talk of pure autonomy. If the former captures something of the bleak reality of the marketplace, the latter belongs to the heady rhetoric that helps to legitimate it.

Some neuroscientists imagine they have dispatched the idea of freedom to the outer darkness by mapping the unconscious processes underlying our conscious decisions. If they were not so allergic to Freud, who speaks of unconscious intentions, they might recognise that this is as much stale news as many another supposedly novel insight. Anyway, as this book asks, why should free choices be exclusively conscious ones? A great many factors conspire to shape our decisions, some rational and some emotional, some cultural and some temperamental, some conscious and some not.

A lot of neuroscience seeks to reduce decisions to behaviour in the brain. But we act according to reasons as well as neurological causes, and reasons are a question of meaning, which in turn involves the inescapably creative business of interpretation. No doubt this is one reason why meaning isn’t exactly a hot topic in the laboratories these days. The primary model of human creativity is language, which, like art, dismantles the distinction between freedom and necessity. Grammars constrain what it is possible for us to say, but they also generate utterances that can’t simply be read off from them. Language isn’t productive because of some transcendent principle or ghost in the linguistic machine that overrides its constraints. On the contrary, a certain self-surpassing is built into the system itself.

For most people, Freedom Regained will seem like a kind of Maginot line, defending a territory that is not under attack. This, however, is because the new enemies of freedom are not much evident in everyday life. They are mild-mannered, soft-spoken men and women in senior common rooms, not wild-eyed dictators raving through public address systems. Among its other virtues, the book reveals how many of these soft-spoken types engage in one of the oldest of all debating devices: setting up a straw man of the concept under fire so as the more conveniently to bowl it over. It is just what Dawkins does with God.

Posted in Book and Books | Tagged , , , , , ,

In conversation with El Pais (Claudi Pérez), the complete (long) transcript

Claudi Pérez, of El Pais, inteviewed me in our Athens apartment last week. Here is the article that emerged recently in El Pais. The complete, unedited, transcript (in English) follows:

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Why do all the interviews of you I have read begin with a question about how are you if it is clear, as I see, that you are really ok?

I suspect journalists assume that I am somehow downhearted now that I am not in the ministry. But I didn’t enter politics as a career. I entered politics to try to change things. There is a price to pay if one tries to change things.

What is the price?

The disdain of the establishment. The deep feelings of loathing by the vested interests one must dislodge to make a difference. They felt threatened. If you enter politics with an uncompromising position, you cop it.

You say that you have to change things. In these 6 months, do you have the feeling that you did?

Absolutely. Why are you here? You are here because something changed. There was a government that was elected to negotiate hard on the basis of a line of argument that wasn’t considered acceptable in the eurozone. At the same time, history necessitated it. So you have an unstoppable force striking an immovable object. The immovable logic is the irrationality of the Eurogroup and the unstoppable force is history. The result is a great deal of heat and noise… Hopefully there will be some light too.

I was reading your book, about your daughter… And then I was doing some numbers. The bailout will finish in 2018. Then the supervision will be there until Greece pays back the majority of its loans: the average maturity is 32 years. So the ex troika, now quadriga, and the men in black, will be here in Athens till your grandchildren will be adults. How do you deal with this?

Let’s not call them the ex troika anymore. It’s the troika again. We gave them the chance to become “the institutions”, to legitimize them. But they insisted in behaving like the illegitimate troika of the past five years.

Didn’t you kill the troika?

Well, we got rid of them here in Athens. Now they are back: the troika is back. They could have acted as legitimate institutions. But they seem to have a clear preference to act as the troika of lenders. It’s their choice.

But they’ll be here until 2050, when your grandchildren will be adults.

No, they won’t. Because this agreement doesn’t have a future. It is continuing the extending and pretending charade: extending the crisis with new unsustainable loans, and pretending that this solves the problem… It can’t go on forever. You can fool the people and the markets for a short period of time, but in the end you can’t fool them for fifty years. Either Europe changes, and this process is replaced by something more democratic, and durable, manageable, humanistic. Or Europe will no longer exist as a Monetary Union.

What do you expect for the next 6 months? We expect a 3rd bailout agreement in mid-August.

This is a program designed to fail. And so it will fail. It’s not easy for an architect to build a solid building, but it’s easy for him or her to construct a building that will collapse. Anyone can do it. It was planned to fail, because, let’s face it: Wolfgang Schauble is not interested in an agreement that works. He categorically stated that he wanted to redesign the eurozone and part of that redesign is that Greece should be thrown out of the eurozone. I think that he is completely mistaken but nevertheless this is his plan and he is a very powerful player. One of the great fallacies at the moment is to present the deal imposed on our government on 12th July as an alternative to Schauble’s plan. I see things differently: This deal is a part of the Schauble plan. Of course, this is not the conventional wisdom.

So do you expect a Grexit?

I hope not. But what I expect is a lot of noise, as I said: delays, failure to meet unreachable targets, more recession, political dead ends. And then things will come to head and Europe will have to decide whether to go ahead with Schauble’s plan or not.

But which is your central scenario? Is Schauble condemning Greece to go out?

You can see that there is a plan being implemented and which is in progress. Today we have read that Schauble wants to sideline the Commission and to create something like a Budget commissioner who oversees the ‘rules’ that strike down national budgets, even if a country is not under a program. In other words: to turn every country into a program country! One of the great successes of Spain in the middle of the crisis was that you avoided a full MoU (and only had a limited one stemming from the bank recapitalization program). Schauble’s plan is to put the troika everywhere, in Madrid too, but especially in… Paris!

So Paris is the final game.

Paris is the larger prize. It’s the final destination of the troika. Grexit is used to create the fear necessary to force Paris, Rome and Madrid to acquiesce.

Is it to sacrifice Greece for saving Europe?

Think of it as a ‘demonstration effect’: this is what will happen to you if you don’t fully submit to the Troika. What happened in Greece was definitely a coup. The asphyxiation of the Government through the liquidity squeeze, a series of denials of any serious debt restructuring… What was astonishing is that we kept coming to them with proposals which they refused seriously to discuss, they were insisting that we do not make them public and, at the same time, they leaked that we had no proposals. Any independent observer watching this would agree that they were never interested in a mutually beneficial agreement. By imposing the liquidity squeeze, they forced the economy to shrink so as to blame it on us… We had constantly to make payments to the IMF which where scheduled along with disbursements which never came through. So they kept doing this, delaying any agreement, until we run out of liquidity. Then they gave us an ultimatum under the further threat of bank closure. This was nothing but a coup. In 1967 there were the tanks and in 2015 there were the banks. But the result is the same in the sense of having overthrown the Government or having forced it to overthrow itself.

And for Europe as a whole?

Nobody can be free even if one person is a slave. That is Hegel’s well known master-slave paradox. Europe has to pay serious attention to it. Spain cannot prosper, or be free, or sovereign or democratic if its prosperity hinges on another member state being denied growth, prosperity or democracy.  Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 15.10.07

Rajoy has said that if Spaniards vote for parties like Podemos, we will be like Greece in the coming months.

I remind you that Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign in 2012 was run also on the basis of that ‘if Obama wins, the US will become like Greece’. So Greece has become a football on the feet of politicians of the right who try to scare their population. This is the great utility of Greece for the Grexit policy of Dr Schauble.

Do you think that Podemos could have damaged Greece because the fear of the political contagion?

I would never say that Podemos is a problem for us. Even if Podemos didn’t exist, the forces of regression in Europe would have used fear because, let’s face it: whenever a province of an empire rebels, the emperor and his minions feel obliged to make an example of those who make a dash for liberty. Maybe Podemos intensified this process but, in reality, we had no alternative: we had an economy caught in a large deflation spiral, no credit even for profitable businesses, no investment except for some speculation.

The previous government was adopting increasing degrees of authoritarianism, shutting down the state’s own radio and television stations. This self-defeating austerity drive, which leads to further losses in income, further debt in order to keep fueling this beast of austerity, can only be kept going by curtailing democracy. So what alternative did we have?

The Greeks voted for us not because they didn’t know we would be treated in a hostile way, but because they had had enough. Whatever happens in Spain, in France, in the Baltics, in Portugal, we had a duty to our people to say: We believe in Europe and we’re going to say to Europeans that we owe them money, we want to repay, but we cannot repay from incomes that keep shrinking. “If you keep squeezing us in this inhuman, irrational manner, you will lose your money and we will lose our country.”

Now, there comes a time when you simply need to say and do what is right, and if Europe as a whole chooses to punish us for it, because it is not ready to accept the truth, then we have no alternative but to say to them: “We are doing our best and we hope you find it in yourselves to do your best too!”

I think that is a uncontroversial: your ideas about austerity and debt relief, everybody says you are right.

If you were talking to me in January it would not have been so. The only reason why now this is not controversial anymore is because we struggled for six months. For those who say to me we failed, these six months were in vain, I say “No we did not fail”. Now we have a debate in Europe which it’s not just about Greece, it’s about the continent. A debate we would have not had otherwise. A debate which is worth Greece’s, our continent’s, weight in gold.

But politics is about results. You called the first and second bailout like the Versailles Treaty. How would you define the third?

The Eurozone began life in 2000. It was badly designed and we realized that, or we should have realized that, in 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed. From 2009-2010 we have been in complete denial as official Europe has been doing precisely the wrong thing. This is a European phenomenon, it is an Europe-wide problem. Little Greece, 2% of Eurozone’s GDP, elected a government that raised issues crucial for all of Europe.  After 6 months of struggles we had a major setback, we lost the battle. But we won the war of changing the debate. And this is a result!

The debate is the result?

Certainly! I cannot quantify this result for you. I cannot tell you how many billons it is worth. But some things are not measured in terms of prices but in terms of their value.

You had a plan B, with a parallel currency, but Tsipras didn’t want to press the button, to summarize the story.

He is the prime minister, it was his call. My job, as his financial minister, was to provide the best tools I could and it was his decision whether he chose to use them or not. That is what matters. There were good arguments to utilize these tools and there were arguments for not pressing the button.

When you closed the banks, did you think at that moment that you must press the button?

I clearly thought that we should have reacted in kind when the Eurogroup closed the Greek banks and I have stated this for the record. But this is what collective decision making is all about. It means you have an inner cabinet that decides. I tabled my recommendation but I was in a minority. I respected the decision of the majority and acted according to it, as a team player ought to. This is how democracy and governments work and I fully accept it.

But can this plan B still being implemented?

Let’s separate two things. There was a Plan B, which, in fact, we called Plan X, in contrast to the ECB’s 2012 Plan Z, as reported in the Financial Times some time ago. Plan X was a contingency plan for responding to aggressive acts by the ECB, the Eurogroup and so on. Then there was a quite separate design for a new payments system using the tax office’s interface. This system, as I explained in a recent article in the Financial Times, is something that should have been implemented anyway. I think Spain might benefit from implementing it to, or Italy for example. Countries lacking a central bank can potentially benefit from this efficient way of creating more liquidity, and more effectively dealing with multilateral extinguishment of arrears between the state and its citizens, but also among citizens.

So, let’s keep these two ‘plans’ separate. The payment system could, and should, be implemented tomorrow. Plan X is now, I think, part of history because it was intended as a response to aggressive acts that would have as their objective to make us surrender during the negotiations. Now that we have surrendered, it has become part of economic history.

Tsipras said in the parliament before the vote, after the referendum, that there was no alternative to the packages, but I think with this plan you are saying to the people that there is an alternative to the package.

My political thinking, from a very young age, was shaped by a principled, intellectual opposition to TINA – to the neoliberal logic that There Is No Alternative. This opposition shaped me from the time I lived in Britain under Margaret Thatcher who launched TINA. My political thinking was always directed at countering… TINA. I even concocted an alternative, saying that I believe not in TINA but in TATIANA: That Astonishingly There Is AN Alternative! So I would never accept the view that there was no alternative. I would accept that a prime minister, considering all the alternatives, opts for the least bad alternative. We can have a debate on whether his was the least bad, or optimal, alternative. But the proposition that there exists no alternative is constitutionally alien to every fibre of my body and mind.

Let me ask you about your rhetoric: mafia, criminals…

I never used the word Mafia

Terrorism, fiscal waterboarding…

Fiscal waterboarding: I am very proud of this term. It is a precise, an accurate description of what has been happening for years now. What is waterboarding? You take a subject, you push his head in the water until he suffocates but, at some point, before death comes you stop. You pull the head out just in time, before asphyxiation is complete, you allow the subject to take a few deep breaths, and then you push the head again in the water. You repeat until he… confesses. Fiscal waterboarding, on the other hand, is obviously not physical, it’s fiscal. But the idea is the same and it is exactly what happened to successive Greek governments since 2010. Instead of air, Greek governments nursing unsustainable debts were starved of liquidity. Facing payments to their creditors, or meeting its obligations, they were denied liquidity till the very last moment just before formal bankruptcy, until they ‘confessed’’; until they signed on agreements they knew to add new impetus on the real economy’s crisis. At that moment, the troika would provide enough liquidity, like they did now with the 7 billion the Greek government received in order to repay the… ECB and the IMF. Just like waterboarding, this liquidity, or ‘oxygen’, is calculated to be barely enough to keep the ‘subject’ going, without defaulting formally, but never more than that. And so the torture continues with the effect that the government remains completely under the troika’s control. This is how fiscal waterboarding functions and I cannot imagine a better and more accurate term to describe what has been going on.

On my use of the word ‘terror’, take the case of the referendum. On the 25th of June we were presented with a comprehensive proposal by the troika. We studied it with an open mind and concluded that it was a non-viable proposal. If we signed it, we would have definitely failed within 4-5 months and then Dr. Schäuble would say “See, you accepted conditions you could not fulfill”. The Greek government cannot afford to do this anymore. We need to reclaim our credibility by only signing agreements we can fulfill. So I said to my colleagues in the Eurogroup, on the 27th, that our team convened and decided that we could not accept this proposal, because it wouldn’t work. But at the same time, we are Europeanists and we don’t have a mandate, nor the will or interest, to clash with Europe. So we decided to put their proposal to the Greek people to decide.

And what did the Eurogroup do? It refused us an extension of a few weeks in order to hold this referendum in peace and instead they closed down our banks. Closing down the banks of a monetized economy is the worst form of monetary terrorism. It instills fear in people. Imagine if in Spain tomorrow morning the banks didn’t open because of a Eurogroup decision with which to force your government to agree to something untenable. Spaniards would be caught up in a vortex of monetary terror. What is terrorism? Terrorism is to pursue a political agenda through the spread of generalized fear. That is what they did. Meanwhile the Greek systemic media were terrorizing people to think that, if they voted No in the referendum, Armageddon would come. This was also a fear-based campaign. And this is what I said. Maybe people in Brussels don’t like it to hear the truth. If they refrained from trying to scare the Greek, then I would have refrained from using this term.

My point is the rhetoric calling criminals to IMF, as Tsipras did, is not good for the results of the negotiation. And with this rhetoric it is difficult.

He didn’t call the IMF criminal. Let’s be precise. He talked about a criminally negligent program that imposed upon Greeks a monumental crisis, including a humanitarian emergency. Which is exactly what the Greek ‘programs’ fo 2010 and 2012 were. But let me add an important point here: We did not turn up the ‘sharpness’ of our rhetoric (e.g. Tsipras’ remark) until late June. From 25th of January until late June we had been negotiating in good faith while the troika was not. We had been exceptionally mild and polite, in the face of incredible hostility and denigration. We went into each Eurogroup meeting with good proposals, suggesting to them that we should all agree on two or three major reforms immediately (e.g. tax evasion and corruption, a new tax authority independent of politics but also of the oligarchy). They rejected our overtures and they threatened us with cessation of the negotiations if we dared make our proposals public, while they were leaking at the same time to the Financial Times that we had no proposals. They insisted on a denigrating, endless round of ‘technical’ discussions while asphyxiating our economy. They behaved abominably while we continued to respond with solid arguments and in a highly civilized fashion.

And we sat there and took it, month after month. We never stopped compromising. By late June, our Prime Minister had met them 9/10ths of the way. And what did they do? They backtracked even from their own positions, insisting on 25th June, for example, that VAT on hotels should rise to 23%! This was an act of aggression. At that point we decided, very reasonably, to tell the truth, to talk about their program’s criminal negligence, to allude to their fiscal waterboarding. At some point the truth needs to be told. Europeans are losing trust in the EU because of their wall of lies and propaganda which presents itself in the form of nuanced terminology, when in reality what is happening is a complete violation of the basic rules of logic, of the EU Treaties, of polite behaviour and of democracy.

But then why did Tsipras accept it?

You should interview him if you wish to put questions to him. It is not right that I should answer on anyone else’s behalf, especially my Prime Minister.

In the Eurogroup, some ministers portrayed you like difficult to predict, luxurious way of life, many photos… What do you think when you hear this type of portrait?

It is not true. Nobody said anything like that in the Eurogroup. They may very well have said such things outside the Eurogroup, I would neither know nor care. Everybody, in the end, gets judged by the quality of their public narratives. I will leave you and your readers to pass judgment on their demeanour. We all need to be judged by our voters, by the people of Europe. In my case, I have a clear conscience. After the third Eurogroup I posted on my website my interventions in all three meetings. Read them and tell me if I was unpredictable, impolite, whatever. In my estimation, my interventions were clear, economically beyond reproach, and constructive. Readers can read them and judge.

Do people understand your pictures on Paris Match for example? Do you think that people that have voted Syriza, which is a left party, understand this type of pictures?

Well, you want to walk around with me on the streets of Athens and see what people say to me about all this? Our people are not bothered by any of this, even though I said it clearly that the Paris Match aesthetic was terrible and I regret accepting to do the photoshoot. You may not believe me but, when I accepted, I didn’t know what Paris Match was – it is not the kind of press I ever knew much about. I asked to see the article’s text before agreeing to do the photoshoot. The text was fine and so I made the mistake to agree to the photoshoot. I rushed home for it and only had 15 minutes to spare. Danae, my wife, told me it felt like a bad idea but I was already committed and so I decided to do it quickly, rushing from one ‘set’ to the next before leaving for a meeting with the Prime Minister. It was my mistake to have accepted it and I have apologized for it. But all this talk about Paris Match and its photoshoot had one purpose: to ensure that my message, especially the rational criticisms of Europe’s ways, gets drowned in ugly pictures and toxic noise.

What are you going to do about your political career?

Politics should not be a career. I am a member of the Parliament and extremely honored by the trust vested in me by voters. My commitment to them when I entered politics last January was that I will stand my ground and fight along their side for democracy and prosperity in Greece but also throughout Eyrope. I’m here for the course, I´m not going anywhere.

You are an academic, a professor and author of really good books like the Minotaur. Did you like the politics, what you saw in Brussels?

I certainly didn’t like what I saw in Brussels and I don’t think any European would like it if they had the chance to see it for themselves. But this is what we have, that is the EU we have, and we have to fix it. The worst enemy of democracy is citizens who say this is a terrible system but I’m not prepared to do anything to change it.

Why don’t you have allies in the Eurogroup? I mean, nor France, nor Italy, Spain, Ireland… Countries that at the beginning, with Syriza, had positive thinkings and at the end there were 18 against 1.

What you have to understand is that this 18-1 balance in the Eurogroup is an illusion. The 18 are divided very significantly in three groups. The very tiny, tiny minority who believe in austerity. The largest group of countries don’t believe in austerity but imposed austerity on their own people. And then there is another group of countries that neither believe in austerity nor practise it – e.g. France. But they fear that if they support us openly then austerity and the troika will come their way.

What is your relationship with Schäuble, de Guindos and maybe Dijsselbloem?

No relationship could have existed with Dijsselbloem. This is not just because he is so intellectually lightweight but, primarily, because he is untrustworthy. For example, he chose to lie to me in my first Eurogroup about procedure. It is one thing to disagree with the Eurogroup President. It is quite another thing to have him lie to you about gravely important procedures. On the other hand, Schäuble and de Guindos are two colleagues that I very much enjoy talking to, at a personal level. Our conversations were often tough but they were also interesting exchanges. As an academic, there is nothing more interesting than interesting exchanges. Our disagreements were serious but, at personal level, there was mutual respect and a useful exchange of ideas was had. The problem is that when you put all these people together in the Eurogroup, because of the catastrophically bad institutional design of the Eurogroup, you end up with governance failure that damages Europe. So, in a different context, institutional framework, I am sure that with colleagues like de Guindos and Schäuble our working relationship would have ended up producing tastier fruits.

Coming back to the question about Spain. What are the lessons of Greece for Spain? The Spanish government has said that if people vote for Podemos, problems will come and Spain will become Greece after a few months.

I think that the people of Spain need to look at the economic and social situation in Spain and base the judgment on what their society needs, independently of what is happening in Greece, France… The danger of becoming Greece is always there and will materialize if you keep repeating the same mistakes that were imposed on Greece. Punishing one proud nation in order to put fear in another is not what Europe should be about. It is not the Europe we signed up for, not the Europe that González had signed for or Papandreou, or Giscard d’Estaing, or Helmut Schmidt etc. We need to recover the sense of being Europeans and finding ways of recreating the dream of shared prosperity with democracy. The idea that fear and loathing are going to be the creators of the new Europe is an idea that is going to lead us headlong to a postmodern 1930s. I believe that the people of Spain and of Greece know exactly what the 1930s did to them.

You said once that the legacy of Thatcher was financialization, malls and Tony Blair. And I ask you, what is the legacy of Merkel, of her leadership?

Europe is in the process of turning from a realm of shared prosperity, which is how we imagined it, into an iron cage for our peoples. I hope that Mrs Merkel decides that this is not a legacy she wants to leave behind.

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Του ποιητή Ντίνου Σιώτη (Καθημερινή της Κυριακής, 13.4.2014)

​Η​ ανατριχίλα τού να κλέβεις. Η χαρά τού να οικειοποιείσαι κάτι που δεν είναι δικό σου, κάτι που ανήκει σε κάποιον άλλον. Η γλύκα της αμαρτίας. Η μεγαλομανία αναγνώρισης για κάτι που δεν το αξίζεις. Εδώ είναι η ρίζα της λογοκλοπίας, η οποία ήταν σε έξαρση το 2013. Ο ποιητικός κόσμος δοκιμάστηκε από επιδημία λογοκλοπής τον περασμένο χρόνο. Στο έγκυρο και έγκριτο περιοδικό Poetry, με έδρα το Σικάγο, η Ruth Graham πρόσφατα δημοσιεύει άρθρο για τούτο ακριβώς το θέμα: τα πολλά κρούσματα ποιητικής λογοκλοπής που καταγράφηκαν και πιστοποιήθηκαν το 2013 στη Μεγάλη Βρετανία, την Αυστραλία, τις ΗΠΑ και τον Καναδά. Οχι ότι έχει μείνει πίσω η Ευρώπη. Συχνά πυκνά διαβάζουμε ότι στη Γερμανία, την Ισπανία, τη Γαλλία και αλλού, όχι μόνο ποιητές και πεζογράφοι, αλλά και πανεπιστημιακοί και πολιτικοί και δημοσιογράφοι κλέβουν διατριβές, βιβλία και ιδέες και τις πλασάρουν για δικές τους. Το αποτέλεσμα; Αφού αποκαλυφθούν, οι λογοκλόποι ρίχνονται στην πυρά, εξοστρακίζονται από το σινάφι, επιστρέφουν βραβεία, χάνουν τις δουλειές τους. Διαβάζουμε στο άρθρο της Ruth Graham για έναν ποιητή στην Αγγλία, τον Christian Ward, που πήρε ένα ποίημα της Paisley Rekdal, το άλλαξε κάπως και το δημοσίευσε σαν να ήταν δικό του. «Ηταν προφανές ότι το έργο ήταν μια απάτη και όχι ένα εννοιολογικό παιχνίδι. Αυτό εξόργισε την ποιήτρια. Εάν είχε απλώς κλέψει το ποίημά της και το δημοσίευε με το δικό του όνομα, θα την ενοχλούσε λιγότερο. Οταν είδε ότι ο λογοκλόπος ήθελε να συμμετάσχει στη δημιουργία ενός πράγματος που είχε φτιάξει μόνη της και να ισχυριστεί ότι ήταν δικό του, αισθάνθηκε κατά κάποιο τρόπο βιασμένη», γράφει η Ruth Graham.

Οι λογοκλόποι ποιητές λένε ότι φταίει η διακειμενικότητα, η μετακειμενικότητα και η υπερκειμενικότητα. Επίσης αναφέρονται και στην Conceptual Poetry, κίνημα σχετικά πρόσφατο, που γεννήθηκε στις παράγκες των Ανθρωπιστικών Σπουδών και που προσδιορίζεται ως είδος «μη-δημιουργικής γραφής». Στο κίνημα αυτό o σφετερισμός χρησιμοποιείται από τους λογοκλόπους ως μέσο για τη δημιουργία νέων «έργων». Στην Ελλάδα, όταν αποκαλύπτεται κάποιος «κλέπτων οπώρας», δεν ανοίγει ρουθούνι. Αυτό το θέμα, του μη ανοίγματος ρουθουνιού, πραγματεύεται με αδιάσειστα στοιχεία ομάδα νέων δοκιμιογράφων και ποιητών στο πρώτο τεύχος του τολμηρού λογοτεχνικού περιοδικού «Νέο Πλανόδιον». Και είναι να τρίβεις τα μάτια σου βλέποντας την ατιμωρησία την οποία απολαμβάνουν οι λογοκλόποι στη χώρα μας: γνωστός καθηγητής πανεπιστημίου (χρημάτισε και πρύτανης), που έκλεψε άρθρο συναδέλφου του από το εξωτερικό, είναι σήμερα βουλευτής! Πασίγνωστος ποιητής, που έχει κλέψει ολόκληρα ποιήματα ξένων ποιητών από πολλές γλώσσες, είναι σήμερα καθηγητής κολεγίου! Γνωστός δημοσιογράφος, που έγραψε «μυθιστόρημα» που δεν ήταν δικό του, παραμένει δημοσιογράφος-σταρ, μέλος της ΕΣΗΕΑ! Και οι τρεις πιάστηκαν στα πράσα!

Γίνεται ολοένα και πιο έκδηλο ότι η λογοκλοπία είναι αποδεκτή στην Ελλάδα, αφού ακόμη και το βραβείο του περιοδικού «Διαβάζω» δόθηκε πριν από μερικά χρόνια σε συλλογή που ανήκε σε ποιητή του οποίου μεγάλο μέρος του δημοσιευμένου έργου του είναι προϊόν λογοκλοπής. Και αυτό σε βάζει στον πειρασμό να σκεφτείς: μήπως ούτε καν τα μέλη της επιτροπής κριτών του «Διαβάζω» διαβάζουν ποίηση;

Στον πολιτισμένο κόσμο η αποκάλυψη της λογοκλοπής είναι ο απόλυτος εξευτελισμός του συγγραφέα. Στη χώρα μας, όμως, οι λογοκλόποι δεν καλούνται να λογοδοτήσουν. Αντί τιμωρίας, χαίρουν εκτίμησης και τυγχάνουν συμπαράστασης, μια και υπάρχει ένα δίχτυ ασφαλείας, ένα πλέγμα προστασίας και ατιμωρησίας, αποτελούμενο από διευθυντές εφημερίδων, δημοσιογράφους, πανεπιστημιακούς, κριτικούς λογοτεχνίας, εκδοτικούς οίκους, εκδότες και διευθυντές λογοτεχνικών περιοδικών. Προς τι αυτή η διαπλοκή; Γιατί προστατεύονται οι λογοκλόποι; Τι κερδίζουν οι προστάτες; Μ’ αυτόν τον τρόπο οι εκδοτικές και πανεπιστημιακές δυνάμεις της χώρας, καταμεσής της κρίσης, διαφυλάσσουν και προστατεύουν το πολιτισμικό αγαθό που λέγεται «λογοτεχνικό έργο»; Ετσι διαμορφώνουν τα νέα ήθη;

Ο sui generis ποιητής ενώ, λογικά, θα έπρεπε να κρύβεται από ντροπή ως σίριαλ λογοκλόπος, στην Ελλάδα θριαμβολογεί σαν ήρωας για το έργο του, διευθύνει περιοδικό για την ποίηση, είναι στέλεχος μεγάλου εκδοτικού οίκου και αρθρογραφεί σε διάφορα έντυπα, βγάζοντας τον Σεφέρη ανεπαρκή μεταφραστή, τον Ρίτσο δειλό κομφορμιστή, τον Ελύτη ακροδεξιό, τους Αραγκόν και Χικμέτ ρηχούς, ενώ μέμφεται και τη Δημουλά που συνεχάρη νεοεκλεγέντα πρωθυπουργό. Δεν είμαστε, άραγε, άξιοι καλύτερων ποιητών;

Πηγή 1:

Πηγή 2: Φάκελος Λογοκλοπή @

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Man Booker Prize announces 2015 longlist

29 July 2015

The longlist, or ‘Man Booker Dozen’, for the £50,000 Man Booker Prize is announced today, Wednesday 29 July 2015.

This year’s longlist of 13 books was selected by a panel of five judges chaired by Michael Wood, and also comprising Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, John Burnside, Sam Leith and Frances Osborne. The judges considered 156 books for this year’s prize.

This is the second year that the prize, first awarded in 1969, has been open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.  Previously, the prize was open only to authors from the UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe.

The 2015 longlist, or Man Booker ‘Dozen’, of 13 novels, is:

Author (nationality) – Title (imprint)

Bill Clegg (US) – Did You Ever Have a Family (Jonathan Cape)

Anne Enright (Ireland) – The Green Road (Jonathan Cape)

Marlon James (Jamaica) – A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications)

Laila Lalami (US) – The Moor’s Account (Periscope, Garnet Publishing)

Tom McCarthy (UK) – Satin Island (Jonathan Cape)

Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press)

Andrew O’Hagan (UK) – The Illuminations (Faber & Faber)

Marilynne Robinson (US) – Lila (Virago)

Anuradha Roy (India) – Sleeping on Jupiter (MacLehose Press, Quercus)

Sunjeev Sahota (UK) – The Year of the Runaways (Picador)

Anna Smaill (New Zealand) – The Chimes (Sceptre)

Anne Tyler (US) – A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus)

Hanya Yanagihara (US) – A Little Life (Picador)


Chair of the 2015 judges, Michael Wood, comments:

‘We had a great time choosing this list. Discussions weren’t always peaceful, but they were always very friendly. We were lucky in our companions and the submissions were extraordinary. The longlist could have been twice as long, but we’re more than happy with our final choice.

‘The range of different performances and forms of these novels is amazing. All of them do something exciting with the language they have chosen to use.’

The judges were struck by the international spectrum of the novels, with the longlist featuring three British writers, five US writers and one apiece from the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, India, Nigeria and Jamaica. Marlon James, who currently lives in Minneapolis, is the first Jamaican-born author to be nominated for the prize. Laila Lalami, now based in Santa Monica but born in Rabat, is the first Moroccan-born.

One former winner, Anne Enright, is longlisted. The Irish writer won the prize in 2007 with The Gathering. She is joined by two formerly shortlisted British writers: Tom McCarthy (2010, C) and Andrew O’Hagan (1999, Our Fathers, and longlisted for Be Near Me, 2006). US author Marilynne Robinson has been shortlisted for Man Booker International Prize twice, in 2011 and 2013.

There are three debut novelists on the list: Bill Clegg, Chigozie Obioma and Anna Smaill.

Four independent publishers are on the list, with Garnet Publishing and Pushkin Press appearing for the first time.


The shortlist and winner announcements

The shortlist of six books will be announced on Tuesday 15 September at a press conference at the London offices of Man Group, the prize’s sponsor.

The 2015 winner will then be announced on Tuesday 13 October in London’s Guildhall at a black-tie dinner that brings together the shortlisted authors and well-known figures from the literary world. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.


The leading prize for quality fiction in English

First awarded in 1969, the prize is recognised as the leading prize for high quality literary fiction written in English. Its list of winners features many of the literary giants of the last four decades: from Salman Rushdie to Hilary Mantel, Iris Murdoch to Ian McEwan.

The rules of the prize changed at the end of 2013, to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth. Salman Rushdie commented at the time: ‘I think it’s a really great thing that finally we’ve got an English language prize that doesn’t make a distinction for writers who are writing from a particular country.’

Earlier this month the Booker Prize Foundation also announced a change to the Man Booker International Prize, which has become an annual award celebrating fiction in translation.  The newly configured prize will focus on the finest in translated fiction published in the UK, and sees an increased annual prize purse of £52,000, which will be split equally between the winning author and translator.


Winning the Man Booker Prize

The shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner will receive a further £50,000 and can expect international recognition. Last year’s winning novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, has sold 300,000 copies in the UK and almost 800,000 worldwide.

Following her second win in 2012, Hilary Mantel topped the UK Nielsen BookScan chart with the sales of Bring up the Bodies, her sequel to Wolf Hall which won in 2009. Sales of her winning novels together exceeded a million copies in their UK editions. The BBC’s television adaptation and the theatre adaptations by the Royal Shakespeare Company of both novels have been widely praised. Other winning novels have gone on to have second or third lives as stage and screen adaptations;  examples include Schindler’s Ark (directed by Steven Spielberg as Schindler’s List), The Remains of the Day and The English Patient.

© The Booker Prize Foundation

Posted in Book and Books, London, Novel, Writer, Writing | Tagged , ,

Jürgen Habermas : «Merkel ‘gambling away’ Germany’s reputation over Greece» #ThisIsACoup

Exclusive: Intellectual figurehead of European integration says efforts of previous generations put at risk by Angela Merkel’s hardline stance on Greece

Jürgen Habermas, one of the intellectual figureheads of European integration, has launched a withering attack on the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, accusing her of “gambling away” the efforts of previous generations to rebuild the country’s postwar reputation with her hardline stance on Greece.

Speaking about the bailout deal for the first time since it was presented on Monday, the philosopher and sociologist said the German chancellor had effectively carried out “an act of punishment” against the leftwing government of Alexis Tsipras.

“I fear that the German government, including its social democratic faction, have gambled away in one night all the political capital that a better Germany had accumulated in half a century,” he told the Guardian. Previous German governments, he said, had displayed “greater political sensitivity and a post-national mentality”.

Habermas, widely considered one of the most influential contemporary European intellectuals, said that by threatening Greece with an exit from the eurozone over the course of the negotiations, Germany had “unashamedly revealed itself as Europe’s chief disciplinarian and for the first time openly made a claim for German hegemony in Europe.”

The outcome of the negotiations between Greece and the other eurozone member states, he said, did “not make sense in economic terms because of the toxic mixture of necessary structural reforms of state and economy with further neoliberal impositions that will completely discourage an exhausted Greek population and kill any impetus to growth.”

Habermas added: “Forcing the Greek government to agree to an economically questionable, predominantly symbolic privatisation fund cannot be understood as anything other an act of punishment against a leftwing government.”

The Düsseldorf-born philosopher, a former assistant of the prominent Frankfurt School theorist Theodor Adorno, rose to prominence during the student protests in the late 1960s. His works on the establishment of a pan-European political and cultural identity, such as Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, went on to influence and shape policy debate around the European Union. At the start of the millennium, Habermas was one of the leading drivers behind calls for a European constitution.

Recently, the 86-year-old has aggressively criticised Merkel’s leadership in Europe in books such as The Lure of Technocracy, while also coming under criticism himself. In 2013, Habermas clashed in a series of articles with another influential German leftwing intellectual, sociologist Wolfgang Streeck, who has identified the kind of European federalism espoused by Habermas as the root of the continent’s crisis.

Habermas told the Guardian that he agreed with many of his critics’ main points. “Streeck and I also share the view that this technocratic hollowing out of democracy is the result of a neoliberal pattern of market-deregulation policies,” he said. “The balance between politics and the market has got out of sync, at the cost of the welfare state.

“Where we differ is in terms of the consequences to be drawn from this predicament. I do not see how a return to nation states that have to be run like big corporations in a global market can counter the tendency towards de-democratisation and growing social inequality – something that we also see in Great Britain, by the way.

“Such tendencies can only be countered, if at all, by a change in political direction, brought about by democratic majorities in a more strongly integrated ‘core Europe’. The currency union must gain the capacity to act at the supra-national level. In view of the chaotic political process triggered by the crisis in Greece, we can no longer afford to ignore the limits of the present method of intergovernmental compromise.”

Habermas argued that Europe was “stuck in a political trap”.

“Without a common financial and economic policy, the national economies of pseudo-sovereign member states will continue to drift apart in terms of productivity. No political community can sustain such tension in the long run,” he said. “At the same time, by focusing on avoidance of open conflict, the EU’s institutions are preventing necessary political initiatives for expanding the currency union into a political union. Only the government leaders assembled in the European council are in the position to act, but precisely they are the ones who are unable to act in the interest of a joint European community because they think mainly of their national electorate.”

Posted in Europe, Eurozone Crisis, Πολιτική, The Guardian | Tagged , , , , ,

Weimar on the Aegean

By Paul Krugman*

Try to talk about the policies we need in a depressed world economy, and someone is sure to counter with the specter of Weimar Germany, supposedly an object lesson in the dangers of budget deficits and monetary expansion. But the history of Germany after World War I is almost always cited in a curiously selective way. We hear endlessly about the hyperinflation of 1923, when people carted around wheelbarrows full of cash, but we never hear about the much more relevant deflation of the early 1930s, as the government of Chancellor Brüning — having learned the wrong lessons — tried to defend Germany’s peg to gold with tight money and harsh austerity.

And what about what happened before the hyperinflation, when the victorious Allies tried to force Germany to pay huge reparations? That’s also a tale with a lot of modern relevance, because it has a direct bearing on the crisis now brewing over Greece.

The point is that now, more than ever, it is crucial that Europe’s leaders remember the right history. If they don’t, the European project of peace and democracy through prosperity will not survive.

About those reparations: The basic story here is that Britain and France, instead of viewing the newly established German democracy as a potential partner, treated it as a conquered enemy, demanding that it make up their own wartime losses. This was deeply unwise — and the demands placed on Germany were impossible to meet, for two reasons. First, Germany’s economy had already been devastated by the war. Second, the true burden on that shrunken economy would — as John Maynard Keynes explained in his angry, powerful book “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” — be far greater than the direct payments to the vengeful Allies.

In the end, and inevitably, the actual sums collected from Germany fell far short of Allied demands. But the attempt to levy tribute on a ruined nation — incredibly, France actually invaded and occupied the Ruhr, Germany’s industrial heartland, in an effort to extract payment — crippled German democracy and poisoned relations with its neighbors.

Which brings us to the confrontation between Greece and its creditors.

You can argue that Greece brought its problems on itself, although it had a lot of help from irresponsible lenders. At this point, however, the simple fact is that Greece cannot pay its debts in full. Austerity has devastated its economy as thoroughly as military defeat devastated Germany — real Greek G.D.P. per capita fell 26 percent from 2007 to 2013, compared with a German decline of 29 percent from 1913 to 1919.

Despite this catastrophe, Greece is making payments to its creditors, running a primary surplus — an excess of revenue over spending other than interest — of around 1.5 percent of G.D.P. And the new Greek government is willing to keep running that surplus. What it is not willing to do is meet creditor demands that it triple the surplus, and keep running huge surpluses for many years to come.

What would happen if Greece were to try to generate those huge surpluses? It would have to further slash government spending — but that wouldn’t be the end of the story. Spending cuts have already driven Greece into a deep depression, and further cuts would make that depression deeper. Falling incomes would, however, mean falling tax receipts, so that the deficit would decline by much less than the initial reduction in spending — probably less than half as much. To meet its target, then, Greece would have to do another round of cuts, and then another.

Furthermore, a shrinking economy would lead to falling private spending too — another, indirect cost of the austerity.

Put it all together, and attempting to cough up the extra 3 percent of G.D.P. the creditors are demanding would cost Greece not 3 percent, but something like 8 percent of G.D.P. And remember, this would come on top of one of the worst economic slumps in history.

What would happen if Greece were simply to refuse to pay? Well, 21st-century European nations don’t use their armies as bill collectors. But there are other forms of coercion. We now know that in 2010 the European Central Bank threatened, in effect, to collapse the Irish banking system unless Dublin agreed to an International Monetary Fund program.

The threat of something similar hangs implicitly over Greece, although my hope is that the central bank, which is under different and more open-minded management these days, wouldn’t go along.

In any case, European creditors should realize that flexibility — giving Greece a chance to recover — is in their own interests. They may not like the new leftist government, but it’s a duly elected government whose leaders are, from everything I’ve heard, sincerely committed to democratic ideals. Europe could do a lot worse — and if the creditors are vengeful, it will.

*Paul Krugman writes on macroeconomics, trade, health care, social policy and politics.

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Οpinion: Poverty! Poverty! Poverty!

“Article and country feedback”, written exclusively for the newspaper The Guardian and its editor Alan Rusbridger: Greece after five years in recession – Accelerated poverty in Greece

Henri Cartier-Bresson photo, 1947

Henri Cartier-Bresson photo, 1947

Greece was once upon a time, the cornerstone of western civilization and the birth place of democracy. How is the situation in Greece today? Is there any future left for the small country and its citizens after five continuous years of recession? Many Greek citizens are currently dreaming of leaving for Germany in order to get a job washing up dishes in restaurants or for the Netherlands and its tulip farms. As the unemployment rate is much higher than the official, the impression given to an observer is that very few people work, or have any disposable income.

We all know what happens during periods of financial crisis, as well as what effect the IMF has had wherever in the world has got involved in. The poor in Greece are presently thousands; thus, pawnshops have sprung up in most neighborhoods, bringing up memories from darker periods in modern Greek history. Frustrated with their circumstances, vulnerable people have  joined far-right parties, groups and even gangs which rob houses in the northern (upper class) suburbs of Athens. The Greek Church has assumed a vital role in assisting those mostly in need by organizing soup kitchens, but that is usually not enough as the number of service users grows by the week, including instances of malnutrition in schools.

At some point, the government legislated for a one-off benefit of €450 and in the first few days 650,000 people applied. (The initiative was taken a few weeks before the European election of 2014.) It is worth saying that, despite the above, the government and its friendly media continue to talk about Greece as being ‘a success story’ and the main job for some in the cabinet appears to be to try and find cracks in Greece’s left-wing main opposition party SYRIZA, is led by Alexis Tsipras, whose right-hand man (and Director of his office) is Nikos Pappas, a childhood friend of his that enjoys his trust to a level that resembles the relationship between Marx and Engels. The Greek government seems to no longer represent the majority of the Greek people, hence its effort to increase its own legitimacy and levels of consolidation through non-political issues, like the Amphipolis Tomb or the reopening of the case of the Parthenon Marbles, currently exhibited in the British Museum. According to all indications, the coalition government of the country’s centre-right Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his center-left ally Vangelis Venizelos, seems to have ahead of it the life of fresh milk since, except of the mini humanitarian crisis they have brought about as a result of their financial choices, they have failed to tax the elite and the super rich, thereby firmly placing the burden of the state’s revenue on the shoulders of salaried workers and pensioners.

Unable to cope, most of the latter have stopped paying even the utility bills: water, electricity, communal charges, not to mention the heavy loans to the banks and the taxes. For example, a plethora of families have chosen to cut off the electricity, so that they can automatically be exempt from the high taxation on each property which is linked to the network power. Further, the fragmentation and general discrediting of trade unions –traditionally, the main platform of support of such causes- has impacted negatively on the above groups’ ability to respond publicly to the onslaught they have been suffering and as a result, most of them have remained isolated and silent. The Greek journalists on the other hand, most of them linked to the government parties that have been in power since 1974, keep their mouths shut, and of course, jump to a parliamentary seat at the earliest opportunity. The younger politicians are also blind with ambition, regularly socializing with their elderly colleagues –the main culprits for the fact Greece has been brought to its knees- and being unwilling and unable to form a clear view of the situation and draft a few ideas for the future.

Greece was defeated on the world scene because of not solving its problems for decades, and contrary to all expectations, it remained part of the Eurozone. Now however, the EU governments, investment funds and banks have to allow the country some breathing space for a period of at least five to eight years, or until Greece is able to regain its strength, stand on its own two feet, feed its population and nurse the sick. The national debt is predicted to be at 171% of GDP at the end of 2015 under economic growth at the rate of 2.9%! We all know that ‘Rome was destroyed in one day’, so please imagine what has occurred in five years of accelerated poverty! And those who continue to insist that Greece’s debt is its own internal problem, had better be reminded that what happened in the Weimar Republic was not an internal problem of Nazi Germany, but of the whole world. Accelerated poverty should be the main issue of the following elections, not the Grexit rumours, which actually are taking place against the wishes of the majority of Greeks.

Πηγή: The Guardian, Greece’s dark present in 2015 and photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1947

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