Thursday, June 16, 2011

Douzinas on Greek "Outrage"

Costas Douzinas (one of the editors of the recently published The Idea of Communism) writes in the Guardian UK about recent popular Greek resistance to measures proposed by the IMF, EU and the European Central Bank:
A motley multitude of indignant men and women of all ideologies, ages, occupations, including the many unemployed, began occupying Syntagma – the central square of Athens opposite parliament; the area around White Tower in Thessaloniki; and public spaces in other major cities. The daily occupations and rallies, sometimes involving more than 100,000 people, have been peaceful, with the police observing from a distance. 
Thousands of people come together daily in Syntagma to discuss the next steps. The parallels with the classical Athenian agora, which met a few hundred metres away, are striking. Aspiring speakers are given a number and called to the platform if that number is drawn, a reminder that many office-holders in classical Athens were selected by lots. The speakers stick to strict two-minute slots to allow as many as possible to contribute. The assembly is efficiently run without the usual heckling of public speaking. The topics range from organisational matters to new types of resistance and international solidarity, to alternatives to the catastrophically unjust measures. No issue is beyond proposal and disputation. In well-organised weekly debates, invited economists, lawyers and political philosophers present alternatives for tackling the crisis.
(I must be reading to much Rancière lately, because I can't help but think that Plato would be outraged: people drawing by lots to speak, speaking without qualifications...)

No comments: