I made a short comment in PRESS TV news (11-3-2021) on the recent incidences of police brutality and the popular revulsion against the policies of the Greek right-wing government.
Following are (a) the summary of the comment and (b) the video links of the News
Widespread popular revulsion against the policies of the Right-wing government
These events are the result of the accumulated popular anger against the right-wing government and its policies which can be codified in two things: 1) economic policies in favour of big capital and 2) authoritarianism and police repression
Economic hardship as the EU austerity policies have been coupled with the economic recession related to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Fiscal support through government aid packages is limited and the great majority of the monies go the big capitalists; particularly those associated with the right-wing government. Only small portions trickle down to the workers and the popular classes.
The government has failed also utterly to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic as it is on the rise again without any signs of retreating.
On top of that the right-wing uses the epidemic as a pretext to forfeit the democratic liberties and prohibit demonstrations in ways reminiscent of the 1970s military dictatorship.
The police brutality has been carefully directed by the government and also the US who have a particular role in this as the minister of Public Order has well-known relationship to them.
They expected that this will break popular discontent and impose subservience.
The incident in Nea Smirni is the culmination of a series of similar barbaric policy actions all over the country. Particularly youth is being branded by the Right wing as ‘the social enemy’ and are targeted by the police. In the universities there the government’s attempt to put police units inside the campuses despite the almost unanimous opposition of the students and the majority of the academics.
As usually happens in such cases, the right-wing government and its patrons overestimated.
Students’ marches are taking place almost daily in most big cities. Yesterday’s events marked a turning point as it was the people of a metropolitan district and the local youth (outside the university) that erupted.
The current climate is very heavy for the right-wing government as the majority of the people are disgusted with its authoritarian policies and actions. This makes almost impossible the government’s plan to go to a sudden double election at some point in 2021 in order to extend its time in power.
Mavroudeas S. (2020), ‘The changing notions of Political Economy in Greece till the beginning of the 21st century’, Florya Chronicles of Political Economy Vol.6 No.2
This paper surveys the changing notions ascribed to the term ‘Political Economy’ in Greece from the beginning of the Greek economics till the beginning of the 21st century. It relates them to the evolution of economic thought in Greece and the turbulent course of Greek capitalism. It argues that during the birth period of economic studies in Greece the term ‘Political Economy’ was identified with economic theory in general, covered the Classical Political Economy but with noteworthy influences from the German Historical School. From the end of the 2nd World War and afterwards, the identification of Political Economy with general economic theory was kept but the latter tended to be almost purely neoclassical. After 1974 the term was redefined and took its proper meaning, namely that of the scientific traditions that focus on the social nature of economic relations.
Keywords: Political Economy, Greece, Economic Thought
The COVID-19 epidemic has triggered a twin (health and economic crisis). The first is caused by the “metabolic rift” (capitalism’s uncontrollable and insatiable commodification of nature) that leads to the modern “emerging epidemics” of zoonoses. The economic crisis was already simmering but lockdowns triggered and aggravated its eruption. Furthermore, it argues that socialism is better equipped to confront health crises due to its superior state economic capacity, better co-ordination mechanisms and focus on the well-being of the labouring classes’ majority of society. Additionally, this commentary explains that this twin crisis will aggravate the current state of intra-imperialist conflicts and will intensify the process of “de-globalisation.” Confronting this situation the Left and the Communist movement should not become subservient to intra-bourgeois conflicts (as anti-neoliberalism argues) but pursue class politics against capitalism and at the same time fight so as the burden of the crisis is paid by capital and not labour.
Ο οικονομικός ρόλος του κράτους στο καπιταλιστικό σύστημα
Το κεφάλαιο αυτό διαπραγματεύεται τον οικονομικό ρόλο του κράτους στο καπιταλιστικό σύστημα. Επισημαίνει ότι ο ρόλος του κράτους και ιδιαίτερα η σχέση του με την οικονομία διαφέρει από ένα κοινωνικο-οικονομικό σύστημα σε ένα άλλο. Τονίζει την ιδιαιτερότητα του κράτους σε μία οικονομία της αγοράς. Εξετάζει πως σταδιακά συγκροτήθηκαν οι οικονομικές λειτουργίες του καπιταλιστικού κράτους στην πορεία εγκαθίδρυσης και εξέλιξης του καπιταλιστικού συστήματος. Επιπλέον, αναλύει εκτενώς πως τα βασικά ρεύματα της οικονομικής σκέψης αντιλαμβάνονται και αναλύουν τον οικονομικό ρόλο του κράτους.
Στο τεύχος νο.121 του τουρκικού οικονομικού περιοδικού İktisat ve Toplum Dergisi (Εφημερίδα Οικονομίας & Κοινωνίας) δημοσιεύθηκε άρθρο των Turan Subasat & Stavros Mavroudeas με τίτλο Finansallaşma Mitleri («Μύθοι Χρηματιστικοποίησης»).
Το άρθρο αυτό αντικρούει, με βάση εμπειρικά στοιχεία, μερικές από τις βασικές εμπειρικές πεποιθήσεις της Υπόθεσης περί Χρηματιστικοποίησης – η οποία έχει αποκτήσει αυξανόμενη δημοφιλία μέσα στα Ετεροδόξα Οικονομικά. Συγκεκριμένα, απορρίπτονται εμπειρικά οι πεποιθήσιε ότι η «χρηματιστικοποίηση» αντιπροσωπεύει μια ριζική και μόνιμη αλλαγή στη διαδικασία καπιταλιστικής ανάπτυξης, ότι ο χρηματοπιστωτικός τομέας οδηγεί στην αποβιομηχάνιση κυριαρχώντας στον πραγματικό τομέα, ότι οι χρηματοοικονομικές δραστηριότητες έχουν αυξανόμενο και μόνιμο μερίδιο στη συνολική οικονομική δραστηριότητα.
Chinese edition I have also been informed recently by Routledge that the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) has entered an agreement with Routledge to translate and publish the book in Chinese. This choice shows that Marxist Political Economy in Greece is live and vibrant and that it garners significant international recognition.
Greek Capitalism in Crisis: Marxist Analyses Edited By Stavros Mavroudeas Copyright Year 2015
ISBN 9781138226852 Published November 11, 2016 by Routledge 262 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations
Despite the depth of the Greek crisis, the exorbitant burdens placed upon the working people and the massive popular resistance movement to capitalist policies, there is a definite lack of consistently Marxist analyses of the Greek problem. International debates regarding the Greek crisis have been dominated by orthodox (Neoclassical and neo-Keynesian) approaches. The heterodox side of these debates has been occupied by Radical Political Economy approaches (usually radical post-Keynesian or Marxo-Keynesian perspectives). Moreover, they are dominated by the ‘financialisation’ thesis which is quite alien to Marxism, neglects the sphere of production and professes that the global crisis is simply a financial crisis that has nothing to do with ‘real’ accumulation and the profit rate. This book argues that by emphasising the sphere of production and profitability, classical Marxist analysis better explains the Greek crisis than its orthodox and heterodox competitors. The contributors present critiques of the prevalent approaches and offer studies of the Greek crisis that use the methodology and the analytical and empirical tools of classical Marxist Political Economy. In particular, it is shown that the Greek crisis was caused by falling profitability and the ensuing overaccumulation crisis. The ‘broad unequal exchange’ existing between the euro-center and the euro-periphery contributed to Greek capital’s falling profitability. This book enriches the debate about the Greek economic crisis by demonstrating the insights that can be drawn by considering the Marxist alternative to the dominant mainstream and heterodox approaches.
Table of Contents
Introduction PART I: Critiques of mainstream and heterodox analyses of the Greek problem 1. Mainstream accounts of the Greek crisis: more heat than light? 2. Fiscal crisis in Southern Europe: Whose fault? 3. Explaining the rising wage-productivity gap in the Greek economy 4. The Memoranda: a problematic strategy for Greek capitalism 5. ‘Financialisation’ and the Greek case PART II: Marxist explanations of the Greek crisis The Law of the Falling Rate of Profit and the Greek economic crisis 1. Profitability and crisis in the Greek economy (1960-2012): an investigation 2. The Greek crisis: a dual crisis of over accumulation and imperialist exploitation PART III: Crisis, Poverty and the Labor Market 1. Economic crisis, poverty and deprivation in Greece. The impact of neoliberal remedies 2. A comparative study of the structure of employment in Greece before and after the crisis 3.Recession and atypical employment: a focus on contemporary Greek metropolitan regions