Friday, 12 February 2010
“The most horrid scenario would be for us to be saved” (or, when I hear the words ‘national unity’ I reach for my gas mask)
Friday, February 12, 2010
at last, hold off that emergency signal
end the siren’s hysterical cries
let off the steering wheel.
The most horrid ship-wreck would be our own rescue!”
Poem by Kostas Ouranis, as used in a recent statement by the Initiative for self-organising in education
…and some scattered thoughts inspired by the same statemen
It’s been making headlines the world over: the greek economy is in crisis, the times call for unity, the nation is in trouble, there is a debt lingering and this is somewhat a “national” one as well. What an image: the revolted of December 2008 to be showing the way of obedience, succumbing to austerity plans, to the economists’ expertise. But what else could they possibly do? The nation is in trouble… There’s a strange echo to those words. It’s as if they’re coming from some deep, deep past. The nation was in trouble in 1922, after that “unfortunate war”. The nation was in trouble in 1947 but thankfully in came the moneys of that philanthropist, Truman, to clear off the debris of the civil war. The nation was in trouble in 1967; the Communist threat was once again oh-so-near, but the nation made yet another lucky save; seven years of the junta’s “plaster cast” were sure to make the nation-patient healthy as horse.
But today, they tell us, the nation is once again in trouble. To that shameless unanimity of the talking heads, in parliament and through our tv sets, we can only respond if we find each other; in the workplace, on the street. This is not a social experiment that they’re rolling out for the first time. By now, we should know. It is a tried-and-tested solution, a wonderful calmative for social unrest. By now we know. When they say “austerity plan”, we hear a tear gas cannister explode. When they show us the deficit figures we see protests banned, the hanging threat of unemployment; fascist dogs howling around migrant scapegoats. By now we know. When they say “national unity”, we hear “social war”.