Friday, March 27, 2009

Swelling chorus of revolutionary voices calling for radical change in Greece

From the Irish Times:

Civil unrest in Greece is due to a number of factors. Globalisation and the financial crisis are universal. Specific and local to Greece are the need to reform the education system at both secondary and university levels, the power and status of the police force, the paralysis of public administration, and the condition of some of the Athens suburbs, especially Exarchia where the 15-year-old was killed.

The University of Athens has long been a no-go area for police – imagine TCD not only physically ring-fenced in the centre of Dublin, but also a forbidden city for the authorities. Students today resent the fact that, despite their degrees, the job market in Greece offers little opportunity.

The proliferation of terrorist groups seems to mirror the fragmentation of those making up the political spectrum, and this is reflected in commentaries on what is happening in parliament and on the streets.

“Anarchism” doesn’t exactly define what the violent protests are about. Yes, they query the validity of the modern Greek state, but they are also concerned with a system that denies them their own meaning as citizens.

Where the anarchists call for “the death of the system”, social scientists describe what is happening as “the end of political hope”. It isn’t difficult to see the connection, or, indeed, the common ground.

It's not surprising that a mainstream paper such as the Irish Times would attribute social unrest in Greece to "the end of political hope" and call the actions of revolutionaries "terrorism". I thought I would post this story, however, as another chance to consider what opportunities the economic "crisis" might offer revolutionary causes.

No comments:

Post a Comment