Comment on the situation in Greece by Xeironomia – Antiauthoritarian Movement (Ioannina)
We are facing a global crisis, social and political. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted both issues and weaknesses in the political system as well as reflections of social solidarity and responsibility. The virus already counts thousands of dead and infected, and the next few weeks are critical in spreading it. The picture is split, with army trucks transporting the dead to Bergamo, while Napoleans singing and dancing on their balconies. So far there has been no institutional attempt at a universal organization, with the result that the burden falls entirely on the nation-states. At the same time, the first citizens’ movements from below to tackle the phenomenon appear.
Undoubtedly, the neoliberal management model fails to deal with the situation sharply. The profound anti-social idea of a self-regulated free market has failed and proved how dangerous it is, creating chaos. Extreme consumer mania with the logic of survival brought back phenomena such as black marketeers for common products, memories of other dark times. Distributing products based on the citizens’ financial ability rather than their needs is, in addition to being irrational, deeply unfair. Items needed for the occasion, such as masks and antiseptics, were bought at unjustifiably large quantities by the most privileged (or lucky) so many people would not have access to them. At the same time, there is a huge shortage of hospitals, medicines and virus tests. Today in Greece, there are only 600 intensive care units beds open while 180 to 200 are closed for lack of staff, in a State that chooses to have more priests than doctors. Despite underfunding, the national health system appears to be the only systemic organization that can partially manage this crisis.
The neoliberal narrative leads to extreme individualism, dispelling any sense of social cohesion. In this extreme individualism and the survival of the powerful, the citizen must develop a sense of individual responsibility for the community as a whole, not because he is imposing a state ban on movement, but because he perceives himself as part of society. Adherence to the rules on restricting the virus can be decisive for whether or not to survive, whoever is part of a vulnerable group. In a dilapidated health system, observing these rules is not a form of slavery, but a weapon of solidarity and responsibility, with implications for the health of those around us. So in the context of dealing with the virus, no one should be left helpless. Therefore, mutual assistance networks should be set up at the level of apartment buildings, neighborhoods and social centers. In the face of the frivolity of individualism, let us offer an energetic attitude of support to anyone who needs it.
As a result of the general situation, as in any major crisis, citizens of different categories are created. The paternalistic face of the State does not appear to everyone. Refugees, immigrants, prisoners, homeless, drug addicts and others invisible to the State and the market, are once again on the sidelines, observed without access to health. Whenever a reaction is attempted, as in the camp of Moria, the State suppresses and impedes. We should not treat the situation as having a discrete end, since after the end of the pandemic it is certain that there will be a great financial crisis. In an effort to recover the market, workers will be compensated by layoffs, cuts, and the financial measures announced are minimal.
Considering all of the above we should step up our political analysis and action, realizing the reality, in a way that does not endanger public health. We stand in solidarity with food, distribution, food and health workers at the forefront, supporting their demands for working conditions and hospital equipment.
• Do not be helpless
• Create mutual assistance networks
• Decommissioning prisons and hosting structures
• NO to closed detention centers
• Staffing of hospitals
• Solidarity is the weapon of the people