Attractive young Greek people used to make a politics article more enticing. Photograph: Orhan Tsolak/Alamy
Paul Mason is one of the few regular journalists I make a point of watching out for. He does a neat summary of the state of alternative politics in Greece and elsewhere in a comment piece featured in today’s Guardian edition.
It’s certainly worth a read, and a comment if you’re so inclined.
Good work, as always, from Paul Mason though he doesn’t take the question far enough in IMHO.The last paragraph is the important one:
“…we will know that a real new left has emerged when we begin to see its thinkers prioritise the redesign of institutions inherited from the 20th century, and the invention of new ones centred on the self, identity and structured to survive incessant change.”
I’m not that interested in terms such as “left” or “right”, they’re too exclusive for a planet of human beings.
I do totally agree that thinkers everywhere need to focus on radically redesigning institutions, not just those of the 20th century but all the way back to the 18th – when James Madison and friends emasculated notions of “democracy” to mean something very different from power in the hands of the people.
Funny that we should be coming full circle back to the Greeks, who invented the term and other governance variants such as oligarchy, aristocracy, monarchy and kleptocracy.
Their city states were undoubtedly bastions of the elite – women, the poor, the slaves and the foreign were not allowed any part in the governance system.
Nevertheless, those same elites had some cracking ideas about the dangers of elections – doomed to favour the rich, the beautiful and the most educated as opposed to the best governors or governance system – and some remedies in the form of lottery/sortition to choose political representatives at random from the eligible populous.
People are working on these ideas today – experimenting with governance systems that go way beyond elections. Syriza and friends are in the vanguard but they are not alone.
This is an all-too-rare place of hope
Yannis Youlountas parle de son film “Ne vivons plus comme des esclaves” – un documentaire qui fait le tour des actions, des journaux alternatifs, des radios rebelles et lieux d’occupation et d’autogestion qui se multiplient dans une Grèce en crise.
Pourquoi une mise en ligne gratuite? Youlountas souhaite que l’accès gratuit au film participera à faire réfléchir les gens et contribue à étendre le débat sur la nécessité de rompre avec la marchandisation du monde et de l’humain.
- Franco-Greek film director and philospher Yannis Youlantas meets his audience
Franco-Greek film director and philospher Yannis Youlountas meets his audience
Yannis Youlountas talks about Greece, the meaning of crisis, fascism and people’s coping responses after a recent screening of “Ne vivons plus comme des esclaves” (Rough translation: ‘Let’s no longer live like slaves’).
The rights-free documentary is due for internet release on September 25th via http://nevivonspluscommedesesclaves.net/
Franco-Greek Film director Yannis Youlountas talks about his film “Ne vivons plus comme des esclaves” (Let us be slaves no more), a rough cut of which was screened during the Résistances film festival in Foix, southwest France on July 10. The documentary, which will be free-to-download and view on the internet on September 25, 2013, explores how ordinary Greeks have coped with the crisis despite having lost all power over conventional politics in their country. Free food, free medical care, free workshops, clothes exchange stores, anti-fascist actions and more. Amidst the crisis – inspiring examples abound of social re-invention and rediscovery – a contrast to the usual doom presented by conventional mass media.
I’m set to interview Mimi Chakarova today, the maker of this film about the sex trafficking of East European women.
It’s a tough tale about how poverty makes young women in former Soviet bloc countries vulnerable to the promises of well-paid work as waitresses abroad, only for them to be trapped into prostitution.
I watched it last night, ending with a feeling of hopelessness. It’s hard to see how to make a difference in the face of so much misery, wrapped up in such shame and taboo. One quote that struck me particularly came from a male human rights campaigner in Dubai, one of the more blatant destinations for those inadvertently trapped into sexual slavery.
“This is about capitalism – you invented it, you brought it into the world we are just being the latest students of the system,” he said of his country’s lax approach to the sex trade.
The film’s great strength is that it goes beyond the personal stories of those women who are brave enough to speak up, striking as they are. It also points a lens at the systemic, economic, cross-border factors that keep a constant supply of new women arriving on the streets of Athens, Moscow, Dubai and countless other cities where money is easier than in the victims’ native lands.
We shouldn’t turn our heads away.