"In order to liberate ourselves from debt we must destroy the economy"
We are publishing a statement by the occupation of the Athens Law School. This seems significant because it directly attacks all nationalist and state capitalist ‘solutions’ to the debacle of debt in Greek, which it correctly identifies as an expression of capitalism’s global crisis. Such positions no doubt reflect the views of a minority in the present social movement, but it seems to be a growing minority.
Statement by the Occupied Athens Law School
The political and financial spectacle has now lost its confidence. Its acts are entirely convulsive. The ‘emergency’ government that has taken over the maintenance of social cohesion is failing to preserve jobs, and the spending power of the population. The new measures, with which the state aims to secure the survival of the Greek nation in the international financial world, lead to a complete suspension of payments in the world of work. The lowering of the minimum wage is entirely with the full suspension of every form of direct or social wage.
Every cost of our reproduction vanishes. The health infrastructure, the educational spaces, the ‘welfare’ benefits and anything that makes us productive in the dominant system are now a thing of the past. After squeezing everything out of us, they now throw us straight into hunger and poverty.
The securing of the abolition of any form of wage, on a legal level, takes place via the creation of a “special account”. In this way, the Greek state ensures that the money supply will be used exclusively for the survival of capital, even at the cost of our lives. The severity of the debt (not of the state, but of that which is inextricably contained in the relationship of capital) threatens to fall on our heads and eliminate us.
The myth of the debt. The dominant patriotic narrative promotes the idea of the Greek debt, promoting it as a transnational problem. It creates the impression that some stateless loan sharks have targeted the Greek state and our “good government” is doing its best to save us, or, on the other hand, that it aims to betray us, being part of international finance capital.
Against this false nationalist conception, the debt is a result of, and an integral part of political economy, a fact that the bosses know only too well. The economy is based upon the creation of shortages, upon the creation of new areas of scarcity (that is, the destructive creation, with negative, always, long-term consequences). The debt and debt obligations will expand to dominate society for as long as there exists property, the routine of consumption, exchange and money.
When we say that the crisis is structural and systemic we mean that the structures of the political economy have reached an end, that their very core has come under attack — that is, the process of value production. It is clear that for capital, we are surplus (see the sky-rocketing unemployment figures) and that at this point, the reproduction of the labour force is merely an obstacle in the process of capital accumulation. The monetary-debt crisis, that is, the replacement of wages with loans, and the inability of issuing of loans, lead the system into a vicious circle of unsustainability. This happens, because it puts into question the value of work itself, that is, the same relationship through which those from below were part of the system.
Should we then head for socialism and a ‘people’s economy’? All kinds of union professionals and wannabe-popular leaders present their own illusions about a political solution within the system and the current political economy. They might talk of the nationalisation of banks, they might take the form of the rebirth of rational liberalism. Sometimes, they even take the form of integration and an alternative ‘revolutionary spirit’. Sometimes we hear about green development, ecological decentralisation, direct democracy and the fetishism of political forms.
While the market itself and state intervention fail to offer any prospects whatsoever, the political spectacle continues to promote all sorts of products such as a people’s economy and state socialism. The mythologies of the various dictatorships of the proletariat, survive at the same time when the masses of those excluded from production, from institutions, the unemployed, all fail to be a reliable customers for political parties and their unions. The reactionary political position of state capitalism has succeeded the previous empty ideology.
Social war knows no borders. Some, amidst the crisis, see a re-drawing of national boundaries. The national body and the various racists seem to see an opportunity to target immigrants, make attacks and pogroms, and to promote the institutional racism of the Greek state. For them, their resistance is painted in national colours; they struggle as Greeks, not as enemies of exploitation and the social repression they face.
We consciously chose sides, believing that any presence of any national symbol or flag belongs to the camp of the enemy, and we are willing to fight it by all means possible. Because the nazis of the Golden Dawn, the autonomous nationalists and the other fascists promote a pure national community as a solution, the pre-emptive attacks against them and solidarity towards the immigrants is a necessary condition for any radical project.
The only solution is social revolution. Against all the above, we propose social revolution, which we consider the only solution in order to have a life, not just survival. This means, to rise up against any financial and political institution. It requires, through the route of revolt, to take measures such as the abolition of the state, of property and any sort of measurability, the family, the nation, exchange and social genders. In order for us to extend freedom across every part of society.
This is what revolution means! Bringing to this direction any struggle centred on wage demands; any self-organised structure and assembly, especially at a time like the present when the political-governmental form of the systemic crisis can lead to a social explosion.
Statement by the Occupied Athens Law School 9/2/12