The crisis of democracy and liberty
As anyone can see, around the world, far-right and neofascist-neonazist political groups are rising. This is the outcome of neoliberal policies which have their roots back in the 80s when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan believed that giving more power to global capitalism would be a good idea. What I am saying is that, when you give the ability to certain people to define the global economy and the economic policies of governments then you are doomed.
I live in Greece. Since 2008 and the global economic crisis, my country has fallen into a deep and long recession. When we asked our European partners for help they decided that the solution to our problem was austerity. That meant that our goverment had to cut wages, raise taxes and privitize public enterpsises. The funny thing is, the first measures were taken by a so-called social democratic government. Not a neoliberal one. In the meantime, we had (and still have) an enormous debt, owed to our creditors who, at the time, were mainly french and german banks. This debt is definitely not viable. Many believed that, of course, we should carry out reforms but we should also get a debt relief. The European creditors and the IMF didn’t agree and in collaboration with our governments, they implemented the famous ‘’austerity’’.
Of course none of these measures worked so well and our economy fell into deeper recession, citizens struggled with their finances, young students left for other countries causing a brain-drain and a neonazi party (called the Golden Dawn) took advantage of the situation and won parliamentary seats. And this is were I want to focus.
When societies are in trouble, usually, they think that the solution to their problems are the nationalist ideas, blaming foreigners for stealing their jobs and, sometimes, less democracy. Someone has to get the job done even if he/she threatens our values of solidarity, cooperation and liberty. This kind of thinking is shared by populists, nationalists and neonazis in our world. Think of Donald Trump’s rhetoric and character, see how Marine Le Pen is trying to win the elections in France and of course see how the nazis act and behave in Greece. They even killed a leftist rapper only for speaking against them. These political forces may not act in the same way but they share a common idea, that of hatred.
In the past, people with this kind of ideas rose to power with violence or by taking advantage of people’s disappointment. Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy are famous examples. They took advantage of difficult situations and they led our world to the scariest and bloodiest war humanity has ever seen.
Nowadays, in the western world it is not so easy to start a war (unless it is in the Middle East). But that doesn’t mean that these political forces are not dangerous. They divide, spread hatred among the nations and of course they are working for the interests of the privileged few.
And there is a thing which needs to be done.
Stop these forces of discrimination.
Our democracy is at stake, the progress we have made is at stake and to stop these forces, people from all political spectrums need to work together by implementing social policies, giving good healthcare and education to their people and of course by fighting against human exploitation.
Otherwise, I am afraid that we are not going to see a happy ending.
And to be honest, I am not so optimistic.