Save the Greeks from their Saviours! says Alain Badiou

French intellectuals have launched a new statement today in support of the Greek people: Alain Badiou, Jean-Christophe Bailly, Étienne Balibar, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Avital Ronell. Save the Greeks from their Saviors! February 22, 2012. Translation into English by Anastazia Golemi.

At this moment, that one out of two Greeks is unemployed, 25.000 homeless wander in the streets of Athens, 30% of the population is living below the poverty line, thousands of families have to put their children in institutions so they won’t die of hunger and cold, and refugees and newly poor citizens struggle for garbage bins in public places, the “saviors” of Greece, under the pretext of the Greeks “not putting lots of effort” impose a new plan of help that doubles the given lethal dose. A plan that eliminates the labor law, and condemns the already poor people to extreme poverty, while vanishing the middle classes.

There is no chance this idea is the “salvation” of Greece: all the -worthy of the name- economists agree on that. The goal is to win time in order to save the creditors while the country is driven to a prescribed bankruptcy. Primarily, the aim is to transform Greece into a laboratory of social transformation that will be generalized later across Europe. The model tested over the Greeks is a model of a society without public services, in which schools, hospitals and medical centers are demolished, health becomes a privilege of the rich, vulnerable populations are destined for a planned extermination, while those who still have a job will be working under extreme insecurity and economic misery.

But in order that the counterattack of neoliberalism to achieve its goal, needs a system to established, that abolishes the most basic democratic rights. Under orders of the rescuers, we see that in Europe are installed governments of technocrats who despise popular sovereignty. This is a turning point concerning the parliamentary systems in which we see the “representatives” of the people to empower professionals and bankers, “carte blanche”, denying the alleged authority to make decisions. A type of parliamentary coup, which refer, inter alia, in an expanded repressive arsenal against the protests of the people. Therefore, once the Members ratified the diametrically opposed to the mandate dictated by the Troika agreement (European Union, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund), a power lacking democratic legitimacy mortgaging the future of the country for the next thirty or forty years.

Furthermore, the European Union is ready to create a blocked bank account in which the aid to Greece will be deposited directly in order to be used exclusively for the benefit of the debt. The revenues of the country must be the “absolute priority” to repay creditors and, if need comes up should be directly deposited into this account that is managed by the European Union. The Convention explicitly requires that any new obligations that may arise will be governed by the English law, which requires material guarantees, and the disputes will be decided by the courts of Luxembourg and Greece will have been a priori lost every right of appeal against any seizure the creditors may decide. To complete the picture, privatization assigned to a fund managed by Troika which will hold the ownership titles of public goods. To complete the picture, privatization assigned to a fund managed by Troika which will hold the titles of ownership of public goods. In short, we are dealing with a generalized looting, a characteristic of the financial capitalism that in this case offers himself an institutional betrayal. To the extent that sellers and buyers will sit on the same side of the table, we have not the slightest doubt that the privatization project is a real symposium for the buyers.

All the measures taken so far had only result in deepening the Greek national debt which, with the help of the rescuers who lend to usurious interest rates, has literally skyrocketing approaching 170% of a gross national product in free fall, while in 2009 represented only 120%.

Everyone can bet that those many rescue plans that are presented each time as “final” – were intended to weaken more and more Greece’s position so that, lacking any opportunity to propose its own terms of a reconstruction, to be forced to sell everything to the creditors under the blackmail of “destruction or austerity.” The artificial and forced deterioration of the debt issue was used as a weapon of assault for the fall of a society as a whole.We are deliberately using here terms that belong to the military terminology: this is clearly a war conducted by the means of economy, politics and law, a class war against the entire society. And the spoils that the financial system expects to distract from “the enemy” are the social gains and democratic rights, but what is ultimately at stake is the ability for a human life. And the life of those who do not produce or consume enough compared with the profit-maximizing strategies should not be maintained.

So, the inability of a country caught in the vise of unlimited speculation and destructive plans of salvation, is the secret door from where a model -society violently invades in accordance with the requirements of the neo-liberal fundamentalism. A model for whole Europe and beyond. This is the real challenge, and therefore the defense of the Greek people is not limited to a gesture of solidarity or abstract humanity: the future of democracy and the fate of European nations are at stake. Everywhere the “urgent necessity” of a “painful but life-saving” austerity is presented as the means to avoid the fate of Greece, but this leads directly to it.

Against this organized attack against society, in front of the disaster of the last islands of democracy, we call our fellow citizens, the French and European friends to express themselves strongly. We must not allow the monopoly of speech to the “experts” and politicians. The fact that the request of mainly German and French leaders now is to ban elections in Greece can really leave us indifferent? The stigmatization and the systematic denigration of the people does not really deserve an answer? Is it possible for us not to raise our voice against this institutional murder of the Greek people? And can we stay silent in front of the forced establishment of a system that outlaws even the very idea of social solidarity?

We are at a no turning back point. It is urgent to fight the battle of numbers and the war of words to stop the extreme-liberal rhetoric of fear and misinformation. It is urgent to deconstruct the moral lessons that obscure the real process that takes place in society. It is more than urgent to demystify the racist Greek insistence on a “characteristic” that aims to elevate the supposed national character of a nation (laziness or intended guile) to the root cause of a crisis that is actually global. What counts today is not the differences, real or imaginary, but the commons: the fate of a nation who will influence others.

Many technical solutions have been proposed in order to get out of the dilemma “either destruction of society or bankruptcy” (meaning, as we see it today: “and destruction and bankruptcy”). All solutions should be examined as elements of thought in order to build an other Europe.But first we must denounce the crime, bring out the situation of the Greek people, because of “aid projects” which were conceived by and for the speculators and creditors. Once a support movement is woven around the world, where networks of the Internet are buzzing initiatives of solidarity, the French intellectuals would it be the last to speak up in support of Greece? Without waiting any longer, let’s multiply the articles, the media interventions, the conversations, the calls, the demonstrations. Because any initiative is welcome , any initiative is urgent. In what concerns us, here’s what we suggest: to move quickly to the creation of a European intellectuals and artists comittee in solidarity with the Greek people to resist.

If not us, who will?

If not now, when will it be?

Daniel ALVARO, Alain BADIOU, Jean-Christophe BAILLY, Étienne BALIBAR, Fernanda BERNARDO, Barbara CASSIN, Bruno CLÉMENT, Danièle COHEN-LEVINAS, Yannick COURTEL, Claire DENIS, Georges DIDI-HUBERMANN, Roberto ESPOSITO, Francesca ISIDORI, Pierre-Philippe JANDIN, Jérôme LÈBRE, Jean-Clet MARTIN, Jean-Luc NANCY, Jacques RANCIÈRE, Judith REVEL, Elisabeth RIGAL; Jacob ROGOZINSKI, Avital RONELLI, Ugo SANTIAGO, Beppe SEBASTE, Michèle SINAPI, Enzo TRAVERSO, Frieder Otto WOLF.

Translations:

Alain Badiou, Jean-Christophe Bailly, Étienne Balibar, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Avital Ronell. Save the Greeks from their Saviors! February 22, 2012. Translation into English by Anastazia Golemi.
Alain Badiou, Jean-Christophe Bailly, Étienne Balibar, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Avital Ronell. Salvemos el pueblo griego de sus salvadores! February 22, 2012. Translation into Spanish by Mauricio Rugeles Schoonewolff.
Alain Badiou, Jean-Christophe Bailly, Étienne Balibar, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Avital Ronell. Sauvons le peuple grec de ses sauveurs! in: Liberation. February 22, 2012. (French).
Alain Badiou, Jean-Christophe Bailly, Étienne Balibar, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Avital Ronell. Retten wir das griechische Volk vor seinen Rettern! February 21, 2012. Translation into German by Judith Dellheim.
Alain Badiou, Jean-Christophe Bailly, Étienne Balibar, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Avital Ronell. Salviamo la Grecia dai suoi salvatori: Un appello agli intellettuali europe. laRepubblica.it. February 22, 2012. Translation into Italian by Vicky Skoumbi, Dimitris Vergetis, Michel Surya.
Alain Badiou, Jean-Christophe Bailly, Étienne Balibar, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Avital Ronell. ΝΑ ΣΩΣΟΥΜΕ ΤΟΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΛΑΟ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΕΣ ΤΟΥ. in: tometopo. February 21, 2012. (Greek).
Alain Badiou, Jean-Christophe Bailly, Étienne Balibar, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, Avital Ronell. Spasimo Grcki Narod Od Njegovih Spasitelja! February 21, 2012. Translation into Serbian by Vesna Madzoski.

9 thoughts on “Save the Greeks from their Saviours! says Alain Badiou

  1. Pingback: ave the Greeks from their Saviours! says Alain Badiou | menwchen

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  3. Pingback: Kako rešiti Grke pred njihovimi rešitelji « Almira Catovic

  4. It seems as if the Greek state CAN’T pay its debts whatever conditions are imposed on it by the EU and enforced by unelected technocrats. Maybe the Greek state does need to become more efficient and less corrupt, but the Germans could pay the Greeks to clear their impossible debts as compensation for what they did to Greece in World War II, stop a downward social and economic spiral in Greece and save the Euro.

  5. Pingback: Griekse oproep aan intellectuelen | Opinie | Kritische Studenten Utrecht

  6. Greece is a broken system without question. But the scoundrels responsible for this mess are not the ones who are now shouldering the majority of the burden.

    The general populace should also take some responsibility for perpetuating the system that allowed corruption, nepotism and malaise to spread throughout the country, but they should not be made to suffer disproportionately while taking that responsibility. A slap in the face and some cold water was needed to wake the people up. But what is happening now is nothing short of a war fought with money instead of guns.

    It’s not the Nazi’s or the Ottoman Empire this time, but the banks and international interests. There is no one to shoot at. One cannot pick up a gun and fire at the enemy. One cannot climb the walls of the Acropolis and take down the banner of the IMF in the middle of the night and replace it with that of the Greek flag – that flag is now for sale.

    The people of Greece are warm, kind, and filled with an honesty that I have not experienced elsewhere. This is the root of their soul, but it has been masked by the state of the system governing their lives.

    The Greek leaders are imbeciles for the most part. I wish someone with power would step forward with courage and denounce the obvious farce that is taking place, assert their sovereignty and democratic rights, and stop this game from proceeding any further.

    My biggest fear is that in order for this to happen, the country must be burned to the ground and rise again, free from a system that put them on a collision course with their current fate.

    If this means leaving the EU then so be it. At least they would keep their pride and country, and remain in control of their destiny.

    I wish Greece and the Greek people nothing but the very best, and my heart goes out to all of them. It makes me sick to watch this slow spiral. They do not deserve this at all.

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