Many years before the first clouds of the crisis would hover over the Greek skies, amidst Greek society’s most glorious of moments and its most mundane of days, the lives and labour of migrants would be faced with their meticulous devaluation. For them, the crisis has by now come of age. Yet despite and against shallow journalistic interpretations, there is nothing humanitarian about it. This is because for them the crisis was from the upstart orchestrated politically, socially and militarily. In this way, the discourse about racism in crisis-ridden Greece merely obfuscates and comes in handy. For it obscures exactly how structural this devaluation had been for the development of the Greek state in itself, as well as for the self-perception of Greek society. Yet the crisis knows how to twist meanings too. Today, migrants are accused of the very decline of the Greek edifice. And within this twisted world, their devaluation takes on a more offensive and, at the same time, a more legitimate form. Impossible Biographies, as part of the research project The City at a Time of Crisis, bears witness to this offensive.
How is the rise of the Greek neo-Nazi movement Golden Dawn related to the structural crisis of global and EU neoliberalism?
“It would be a mistake to think that the rise of Golden Dawn is a uniquely Greek problem. On the contrary, it is the seed that contains the destruction of the entire EU project. The responsibility for the rise of Golden Dawn reaches far outside the borders of Greece. To understand the rise of Golden Dawn we must look past the black-shirted thugs and simplistic ideology of racist nationalism to the genteel bankers and international financial speculators who are currently being allowed to brutalize entire populations in the search for profits. This story is not so different from what has happened before in other European countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and even Germany where far-right extremists have ridden waves of popular anger to power. Golden Dawn proves that our fantasies of “post-nationalism” and “European integration” were premature. Economic and political inequality is still capable of producing violent paroxysms of ethnic nationalism. Until Europeans can learn to mitigate these effects of capitalism, they are bound to repeat its sad and painful history. Greece, which has always been the weakest of the Eurozone economies, is today the most extreme example of the effects of neoliberal austerity, but it is not unique. Unfortunately it is likely a harbinger of things to come.”
Christopher Lawrence, Greece’s Golden Dawn: A Wake-up Call for Europe, Truthout, 20 August 2013