The Greek Apocalypse: Versailles or Brest-Litovsk?

When my essay on Greece after the referendum “The Courage of Hopelessness” was republished by In These Times, its title was changed to “How Alexis Tsipras and Syriza Outmaneuvered Angela Merkel and the Eurocrats.” The substance of what I wrote however, was far less optimistic. Yet I have been attacked by many on the Left because I refuse to think of Tsipras’s acceptance of the EU terms as a simple defeat, because I refuse to[ …]

Thanks to the EU’s villainy, Greece is now under financial occupation

my short essay on Greece after the referendum “The Courage of Hopelessness” was republished by In These Times, its title was changed into “How Alexis Tsipras and Syriza Outmaneuvered Angela Merkel and the Eurocrats”. Although I effectively think that accepting the EU terms was not a simple defeat, I am far from such an optimist view. The reversal of the NO of referendum to the YES to Brussels was a genuine devastating shock, a shattering painful[ …]

How Alexis Tsipras and Syriza Outmaneuvered Angela Merkel and the Eurocrats

Giorgio Agamben said in an interview that “thought is the courage of hopelessness”—an insight that is especially pertinent for our historical moment when even the most pessimist diagnostics finishes with an uplifting hint at the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. True courage, however, is not to imagine an alternative, but to accept the consequences of the fact that no discernible alternative exists. Indeed, the dream of an alternative is a sign of[ …]

The courage of hopelessness

The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben said in an interview that “thought is the courage of hopelessness” ─ an insight that is especially pertinent for our historical moment, when even the most pessimistic diagnosis as a rule finishes with an uplifting hint at some version of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The true courage is not to imagine an alternative, but to accept the consequences of the fact that there is no clearly discernible alternative: the[ …]

Greece gives Europe a chance to awaken

The unexpectedly strong NO in the Greek referendum is a historical vote, cast in a desperate situation. I was informed that in Athens people are telling a new version of a joke that originally circulated the Soviet Union in its last decade about Rabinovitch, a Jew who wants to emigrate. In the new version a young Greek man visits the Australian consulate in Athens and asks for a work visa. “Why do you want to[ …]

Greeks, don’t give in to the EU’s austerity ultimatum

Over the past five years, the EU and the IMF have imposed unprecedented austerity on Greece. It has failed badly. The economy has shrunk by 26%, unemployment has risen to 27%, youth unemployment to 60% and the debt-to-GDP ratio jumped from 120% to 180%. The economic catastrophe has led to a humanitarian crisis, with more than 3 million people on or below the poverty line (The moral crusade against Greece must be opposed, Opinion, 29 June).[ …]

All we are saying is give Greece a chance

The European Union’s demand that Greece continue with the catastrophic austerity policies of the past five years flies in the face of democracy and sound economics. The Greek people in democratic elections decisively rejected these policies, which have led to a 26% shrinking of the economy, 27% unemployment and 40% of the population on the poverty line. A continuation of austerity will jeopardise the future of the EU and betray principles of democracy, prosperity and[ …]

The Urgent Necessity of a Syriza Victory in Greece

Critics of our institutional democracy often complain that, as a rule, elections do not offer a true choice. What we mostly get is the choice between a center-Right and a center-Left party whose program is almost indistinguishable. Next Sunday, January 25, this will not be the case—as on June 17, 2012, the Greek voters are facing a real choice: the establishment on the one side; Syriza, the radical leftist coalition, on the other. And, as[ …]

Smashing the Spinning Plates

The outcome of the June 17 Greek election—a narrow victory for the conservative New Democracy over the leftist Syriza party, and the prompt formation of a “pro-European” coalition government—predictably unleashed a gigantic sigh of relief all over Europe. The catastrophe was averted, European unity had prevailed, etc. But, in fact, a great opportunity was missed, a unique chance for Europe to finally confront the depth of its economic and political deadlock. The sigh of relief[ …]

Communist Absconditus (transcript)

[Transcript below video.] Schirmacher: If you don’t know him, you don’t live in this world. Obviously he is the one best-known philosopher in the world, the not the best but the best-known …. To say, the most dangerous one, you know. And he has already threatened us with his last 1000-page book, Hegel is coming towards us in my form you know, I will write all about the entire world, and that, he has already[ …]