Lessons from Greece: Revolution is Inevitable, Let’s Make it Worthwhile

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A BBC reporter interviewing a Greek protester in an article published yesterday:

“I think we should see today’s developments in terms of 1989,” he replied. “Back then, it was the Eastern bloc that collapsed under the pressure of economic crisis, and popular movements in the streets. Now we are seeing the same in the West.”

The economic crisis is huge and Greece is showing, I think, the future for what will happen in other countries. We could say that 2009, 20 years on, will see the collapse of Western capitalism.

I asked him if he was not simply looking at the recent unrest through the rose-tinted glasses of an old left-wing romantic.

“Well, yes, of course. I am all of those things you just said,” he replied. “But this democracy is failing people and the present revolt is much deeper, it will last much longer, it will affect society much more profoundly.”

It does mean misery… in terms of people losing their jobs, their homes and their pensions. There’s going to be a lot of suffering. But at the same time people are reacting, not in a resigned way, but with anger and with action and that’s always hopeful.”

The unrest across Greece is no longer an outpouring of youthful anger over the “martyrdom” of a schoolboy in the Athens district of Exarchia.

As Mr Garganas explained, for many protesters it is now a vigorous attempt both to topple the conservative government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, and to create waves across Europe.”

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These events have the establishment angry and frightened. But it is too late, there is no way to repair the existing order. It is, literally, bankrupt.

I do not condone or encourage the acts of violence or destruction of property by any protestors (more on this in a later post). But we should view this as a warning: We must try to avoid violent confrontation of the state. We have been warned.

We can see that this house of cards is collapsing. There is no point in patchwork, no reason to re-arrange furniture on the Titanic. We must build a new ship, the ship that we control, which eradicates dependency on government, fosters independence, and recognizes that love and freedom are one and the same.

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