Revolt and Crisis in Greece

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  • Book: Antonis Vradis and Dimitris Dalakoglou, eds., Revolt and crisis in Greece: Between a present yet to pass and a future still to come (Oakland: AK Press & Occupied London, 2011).


Thodoris Velissaris:

"The editors present this work as “a collective attempt to map the time between the revolt of December 2008 and the crisis that followed” (14), offering material on both the former and the latter in three parts. The first part—entitled “The site: Athens”—is an introduction to the context of December’s events, offering a critical analysis of Athens in comparison to other cities across the world, as well as explicating the political atmosphere of the city and some relevant developments within it. The second part—“The event: December”—explores the events themselves. It begins historically, with the first essays covering the development of social struggles in Greece since the end of the military junta (1974), the recent period of “structural” capitalist transformations in the country, and the evolution of alternative media in the years preceding December. This approach leads to viewing December as the culmination of prior developments; the remaining essays in the second part draw attention also to what was radically new by shedding light on various aspects of what happened and what this means for Greece and the “movement” in general (as well as the way December is conceived abroad). The third and final part of the book—“Crisis”—provides a wealth of information about the Greek crisis, emphasizing the opportunities for change that it presents. According to the contributors, the crisis itself necessitates not only action but theory, and the attempts presented and described here all point to potential fulfillments of anarchist conceptions of this demand.

Turning our attention to the volume’s central arguments, it should be noted that the text is structured around a wide range of issues, all of which can be characterized as elements of reality—“data”—supposedly unaffected by our subjectivity: a chronology of events, accounts of urban planning, alternative media, class, existential private feelings, etc. It is on the basis of such “data” that the contributors feel licensed to offer their political estimations. However, the most important factor of contemporary reality is constantly evaded: namely, ideology." (