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The hour of the lord, writes the Apostle Paul, comes like a thief in the night. This line is taken from a letter to the Thessalonians, a community where today’s Saloniki in Greece is located. An incredible coincidence – as today we are also faced with a new era, one that has broken out rather suddenly with its origin in Greece. The challenges of this new era do not simply depend on one government’s ability to fulfil voters’ expectations, because the great changes that are approaching and which were ushered in by the Greek elections cannot be handled by a government, and certainly not by one government alone.
What is this great change that has been ushered in by the Greek voters and their government? What is the scope of this upheaval, which the so-called “institutions” are again attempting to undo? In a first step, it is imperative to forbid these “institutions” to turn us all into debtors. The Greek voters and their government conclude: we are innocent. They are returning the responsibility of the debts to the actual debtors: the “institutions” themselves, the financial markets, their governments, the corrupt elites – wherever and whoever they may be – and the logic that connects them all. The Greek message is clear: we are not paying your debt.
The second step of this great change is to turn the debt problem from a Greek (Spanish, Portuguese, …) problem into a European problem. Positively phrased: by rejecting responsibility for this great debt, Greek voters and their government are in turn demanding a democratic Europe. They are demanding a Europe that will grant all those who live here free and equal access to their rights and thus to social wealth. In contrast to this, the aim of the “institutions” and their clients is to subjugate all of Europe to a debt that can never be repaid.
This subjugation is commonly referred to as “austerity”, and it pertains to a fetishized “in the black” financial policy. The rule of austerity wants to make us believe that we all – and with us democracy itself – is indebted to the economy. The political statement that goes along with this is that Europe is to continue to be subjugated to Germany. Therefore, the essential third step of the upheaval is to supersede the economy with political action and democracy.
Life cannot be calculated with a neat formula and a handy calculator. To be in solidarity with Greek voters and their government means nothing less than to show solidarity with a Europe in which democracy will from now on undergo a process of democratisation. Yet such a process cannot simply be the act of one government alone, and this constitutes the challenge we face. The Greek elections depict an aggregation of resistance that millions of people have carried to the streets and plazas of their cities for years, in Saloniki and elsewhere. The defence of this government, and the defence of democracy itself, will have to go down this same road.
Because the great upheaval that was initially ushered in by the Greek elections can only be a European upheaval, it can only be carried out on the streets and plazas of all of Europe. The Blockupy protests in Frankfurt on 18 March will be a first response in this manner. We call upon everyone to be involved. Not just the hour of the lord, but that of the people as well, approaches like a thief in the night.
Sonja Buckel (Politikwissenschaftlerin und Juristin, Kassel), Rita Casale (Philosophin, Wuppertal), Dietmar Dath (Schriftsteller, Frankfurt), Fabian Kessl (Erziehungs- und Sozialwissenschaftler, Essen), Regina Kreide (Politikwissenschaftlerin, Gießen), Stephan Lessenich (Soziologe, München), Kathrin Röggla (Schriftstellerin, Berlin), Margit Rodrian-Pfennig (Politikwissenschaftlerin, Frankfurt), Hartmut Rosa (Soziologe, Jena), Thomas Seibert (Philosoph, Frankfurt/M), Margarita Tsomou (Mitherausgeberin Missy Magazin, Berlin), Hans-Jürgen Urban, (Gewerkschafter, Frankfurt), Joseph Vogl (Literaturwissenschaftler, Berlin)
Mit besonderem Gruß:
Raúl Sánchez Cedillo (Übersetzer, Madrid), Costas Douzinas (Rechtswissenschaftler, London), Michael Hardt (Literaturwissenschaftler, Durham), Montserrat Galcerán Huguet (Philosophin, Madrid), Naomi Klein (Schriftstellerin und Journalistin, Toronto), Sandro Mezzadra (Politikwissenschaftler, Bologna), Toni Negri (Politikwissenschaftler, Paris)
Dario Azzellini (Politikwissenschaftler, Linz), Bernd Belina (Geograph, Frankfurt/M.), Matthias Blöser (Politikwissenschaftler, Frankfurt/M), Katja Diefenbach (Kulturwissenschaftlerin, Berlin), Irene Dölling (Soziologin, Berlin), Michael Hartmann (Soziologe, Darmstadt), Micha Hinz (Sozialwissenschaftler und Buchhändler, Frankfurt/M), Pascal Jurt (Soziologe, Berlin/Wien), Isabell Lorey (Politikwissenschaftlerin, Berlin), Morus Markard (Psychologe, Berlin), Ingo Matuschek (Soziologe, Berlin), Wolfgang Neef (Soziologe, Berlin), Ludwig A. Pongratz (Erziehungswissenschaftler und Bildungsphilosoph, Darmstadt), David Salomon (Politikwissenschaftler, Siegen), Eric Sons (Soziologe und Jazzpädagoge, Hamburg), Robert Stadlober (Schauspieler, Berlin), Rainer Rilling (Soziologe, Marburg), Klaus Weber, (Sozialpsychologe, München), Markus Wissen (Sozialwissenschaftler, Berlin), Raul Zelik (Autor, Berlin)