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"Save the Greeks from their saviours!": Alain Badiou and others on the Greek bailout

Huw Lemmey23 February 2012

In a fiery critical call for solidarity, rich with the language of class war, a number of European academics and artists call for a campaign of solidarity with the Greek people and a launch against the dehumanising and aggressive ideology of technocratic austerity.

"[T]he future of democracy and the fate of European nations are in question" under the restructuring of Greek debt and the "endless, devastating bailouts", according to the authors, who include French academics Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Jacques Ranciere and more. Public assets are being carved up for privatisation under the oversight of the troika, producing vast wealth for the international buyers but failing to address the sovereign debt crisis at all: "it has literally exploded into free fall in approaching 170% of GDP, while in 2009 it represented more than 120%".

Attacking what they call a "parliamentary coup d'etat" by troika forces, the authors see it fitting to address the issue in martial terms:

...we are indeed dealing with a war conducted by means of finance, politics and law, a class war against society as a whole. And the spoils that the financial class wrestles away from the "enemy", are the social benefits and democratic rights, but ultimately it is the very possibility of a human life that is taken. The lives of those who do or do not consume enough in terms of profit maximization strategies, should be no longer be preserved.

The statement continues with pace and urgency, attacking the presentation of the crisis and recent bailout in the European press, framed within national agendas:

We are at the point of no return. It is urgent to fight the battle of numbers and the war of words to counter ultra-liberal rhetoric of fear and misinformation. There is urgent need to deconstruct the moral lessons that obscure the actual process at work in society. It becomes more than urgent to demystify the racist insistence on the " Greek specificity " that allegedly is the supposed national character of a people (laziness and cunning at will) the root cause of a crisis in global reality. What matters today is not the specifics, wheher they are real or imaginary, but the common: the fate of a people that will affect all others.

The authors end their statement with a clarion-call for solidarity across Europe, saying "If we can't do this, then who will? If we don't do this now, then when?"

Visit the European Graduate School website to read the statement in full.

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