" />
Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Greek chorus

I've thought about calling this blog 'thinking the unthinkable' but I decided to use such a cliched strapline was probably itself unthinkable. Perhaps 'explaining the inexplicable' would be more appropriate. But what I am not prepared to do is repeating the unrepeatable and so, in response to a request from a friend and colleague for some guidance on the Greek situation, I am offering a tidying up and pulling together of various previous posts.

We need to begin with an understanding of the misguided euro project, which was driven by corporate interests and political ambitions and was unpopular with economists from the start. The sort of strait-jacket it imposed on countries' interest rates assumed a uniformity of economic development and social values that simply did not exist. The strictures that were entered into and are now being enforced are similar to those imposed by the gold standard in the 1930s, and so brilliantly explained by Karl Polanyi in his Great Transformation. For a more radical view of the purpose of the Euro project you might enjoy a paper by Ramón Fernández Durán called 'Mars Vs Venus, or Dollar vs Euro?'

This helps us to answer the question of whose fault it is - the financiers and corporate power-brokers who sought to increase their power and ease their extraction of surplus value. It was the poor design and inadequate debate that resulted in the tragedies now playing themselves out in Greece, for which the Greek people cannot be held accountable and should not be made to suffer. Similar arguments were made by Mary Mellor, and were posted to the blog in May 2010.

This brings us to what is to be done. Here I point to the lessons from Argentina, where a country's leaders refused to see their society destroyed and forced their creditors to the negotiating table. Politically this is the only acceptable option: a democratic decision about who gains and who loses value. In the free-for-all that is now threatened in Greece the financiers will flex their muscle while pensioners and the soon-to-be unemployed will be the losers. The tragedy not just for Greece but for the world is that similar negotiations at the global level have not been taking place and are desperately overdue if we are to preserve our democratic right to decide how our economies function.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.


The Democratized Economy: Big Boxes, Urban Centers, and Placemaking

The Democratized Economy is an economy in which there are many small-scale …

The War on Cash

Our concerns are unfashionable. Without any explicit declaration, the War on …

Protect the Earth. Live Simply... Our Future Depends On It.

In November and December of 2015, I visited a couple of places in India that …

Helsinki Timebank: Currency as a Commons

In October 2009, while expecting another futile climate summit in nearby …

On Surplus, Part 3: How Surplus (Wealth) is Created

The foundational industrial and productive, surplus-creating, part of the …

Homeownership is Dead! Long Live the Permanent Real Estate Cooperative!

Imagine that a group of people works hard to fill their neighborhood with …

Can a "Green Growth" Strategy Solve Climate Change?

Faith in decoupling deflects attention away from the problems that lie at …