Let’s No Longer Live Like Slaves

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Patrick Chalmers:

"Yannis Youlountas usually teaches philosophy in France but has turned his hand to film-making to record how Greeks are coping with life under prolonged financial crisis.

The Franco-Greek’s film Let’s no longer live like slaves took its title from graffiti daubed on walls around Athens and elsewhere. It encapsulates the wealth of creative responses to crisis Youlountas found there, which are little talked of outside the country. They include volunteer-run shops offering goods for free, autonomous spaces much like Barcelona’s Aurea Social, a flowering of producer-consumer exchanges and many alternative ways of learning, thinking, making art and relating to other people.

Just as important, the film showed participants defending their projects and people from attack by neo-nazi groups, including supporters of the ultra- nationalist Golden Dawn.

‘At the moment in Greece there are many alternatives being created. You have to give examples because, perhaps, today people are tired of talk about theories of change and need to see what that might look like,’ Youlountas said. ‘If representative democracy is only to choose every four, or five, or six years the person who’s going to do everything they want without taking popular will into account... we are in a sort of trap and I think that’s certainly the case today for Europe and elsewhere.’

He believes today’s governments resemble oligarchies, with power falling to money and those able to manipulate public opinion, and asserts: ‘The only democracy is direct democracy – to take charge of our business ourselves and not to delegate it to others.’" (http://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/patrick-chalmers/european-austerity-seeds-governance-alternatives)