Panagiotis Doulos is a PhD candidate in sociology at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades “Alfonso Vélez Pliego” of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP) in Mexico. His research interests concern issues of violence, social movements, and critical theory.
Beyond Crisis: After the Collapse of Institutional Hope in Greece, What?
Editors: John Holloway, Katerina Nasioka, and Panagiotis Doulos
Publisher: PM Press/ Kairos
Page count: 256
Subjects: Political Science/Economics
The government led by Syriza in Greece, elected in January of 2015, seemed, at least in its initial months, to be the most radical European government in recent history. It proclaimed itself as the “government of hope” and became a symbol of hope throughout the world. It represented for many the proof that radical change could be achieved through institutional politics. Then came the referendum of July 2015, the vote to reject the austerity imposed by the banks and the European Union, followed by the complete reversal of the government’s position and its acceptance of that austerity.
The dramatic collapse of the Syriza government’s radical discourse showed the limits of institutional politics, a lesson that is apparently completely overlooked by the enthusiastic followers of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders. But it also poses profound questions for those who reject state-centered politics. The anarchist or autonomist movement in Greece has been one of the strongest in the world yet it has failed to have a significant impact in opening up alternative perspectives in this situation.
Is there then no way out? Is there nothing beyond the world of capitalist destruction or can we still see some possibility for radical hope? The essays in this collection reflect on the experience of the crisis in Greece and its political implications for the whole world. They do not point a way forward but seek to open windows in the darkening sky of apparent impossibility.
“Beyond Crisis does not look on the bright side. It looks straight into the eye of the storm and unfolds the hopelessness of conventional left politics in Greece and how it became part of the unfolding cycle of state violence and austerity. And it unfolds the community of hope, its courage of resistance and negativity, that has come to fore in Greece, and elsewhere too, as the direct democracy of a society of the free and equal.”
—Werner Bonefeld, professor of politics, University of York, England
“With Jeremy Corbyn calling for a ‘new way of doing politics’ and offering hope to millions, the publication of this book about Greece’s erstwhile ‘Government of Hope’ is timely. The questions it asks are essential. How does rage, hope and optimism turn into to despair and depression? Why can’t the institutional Left break through the ‘Wall of Reality’? And, if not Syriza, Podemos or Corbyn’s Labour, then what?”
—David Harvie, The Free Association
“Beyond Crisis is a beautiful and unusually rewarding book. This extraordinary collection of essays combines theory with passion and impresses by its sweep and scope. Bursting with ideas and observations, with an ear for lyrical phrases, this highly original account of social struggles in Greece offers a fresh perspective on capitalism, resistance and dignified life beyond crisis.”
—Andrej Grubacic, coauthor of Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History
“This book shows that the Greek crisis is testament of the impossibility of capital as a form of human society. Radical hope exists not in the abstract utopia of the party, but in the concrete utopias at the grassroots.”
—Ana Dinerstein, author of The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope
“This is not just one more book on the past, present and/or future dark aspects of economic crisis in Greece. It is not an analysis of ‘impossibility,’ but rather a courageous and challenging voice talking about something which is rarely mentioned in the political, economic, sociological, and anthropological discourses about crisis: hope!”
—Diana Riboli, professor of sociology, Panteion University, Athens
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