The Communal Mind and the Master Artifice
Communities, crowds and indignados
against the Master Artifice

ANTIGONE SAMELLAS

The regular parliamentary machinery for conveying the opinions and interests of the people into the forum are the political parties. Whatever other channels are employed, unless they be informal and repudiable at need, like pressure groups, is likely to disturb the miracle of parliamentary discussion. Still more dangerous would be an independent public meeting which could not be articulated with the approved channels. (Helen Sullivan, The Communal Mind and the Master Artifice)

Government must be able to serve as a locus for effective controversy over the entire range of economic activities. Yet, for this very reason, it must be all the more open to participation and control and all the more subject to restraint against despotic ambition and resurgent privilege. (Roberto Unger, False Necessity)

The model of a natural and self-adjusting economy, working providentially for the best good of all, is as much a superstition as the notions which upheld the paternalist model… (E. P. Thompson, Customs in Common)

The public outcry against deputies, abstention from voting, the hostile rejection of all parties by a growing number of citizens who feel that parliamentary democracy has become void of all meaning ought not to be seen as new phenomena related to the disaffection of present-day indignados with the inefficient operation of a corrupt political apparatus that cannot keep abreast with developments in times of economic crisis. During the long centuries of its gestation, representative government was viewed with suspicion. And rightly so, according to the historian Helen Sullivan. For it was a “Master Artifice” that the sovereign power deployed in order to impose bourgeois contractual relations on the densely-knit social fabric and dissolve the institutions of “communitarian democracy” which were resisting its centralizing clout: assemblies of the neighbourhood, independent towns and autonomous localities, mutual aid societies and trade unions. In every respect the development of representative government led to the dissolution of social bonds1.

In early-nineteenth century England during the period when the government was trying to infiltrate the nascent trade-unions with spies and agents provocateurs “magistrates rode through thronged neighbourhoods a few hundred yards from their seats, and found themselves received like hostile aliens.” In vain did the authorities try to discover trade-union lodges; the workers showed their solidarity against the intrusion of state power into their economic associations by raising against its officials a wall of silence. The two-party system was a consensus-building mechanism that legitimated the effective ostracism of the labouring classes from the area of politics. The so-called “government by discussion” was hostile both to old and new forms of popular participation in the common affairs as it tried hard to exclude all issues pertaining to economics from the sphere of direct collective deliberation2.

In early-twentieth century Spain the people viewed elections as an empty ritual that at best touched only tangentially the real problems of their daily existence. Expressing their mistrust towards the representatives of all parties they abstained from voting and then vented out their rage, till then muffled, in protests and mass mobilisations: According to an account of the electoral campaign of 1917: after they had heard “illustrious university professors, renowned journalists and impressive figures from the national political arena summoning the people to meetings” and after they had heard representatives of the liberal parties say “that the workers were exploited by their masters or that the land must belong to whoever worked it… they went quietly back to their work, thinking perhaps that all these things which they were hearing, they had heard many times before, they and their fathers, always on the eve of elections from those who were soliciting their votes, in the hope of conquering them in a battle of speeches.” The people did not take part in the elections and many believed that they would never awaken from “their centuries-old lethargy” and would continue leading their existence as “unredeemable slaves. But hardly had the chorus of dismay died down, when there began to manifest itself a strange agitation among the peasants. They came and went; held meetings; reorganised old societies which had fallen to sleep; and established new ones. A few weeks after the elections, the first strikes broke out…When September brought its usual unemployment, there was an overwhelming explosion. In every city, town, and village, one or more associations were formed. The whole working population as well as a goodly number of small proprietors and merchants, joined together in their ranks”3.

As Helen Sullivan points out the indignados of early-twentieth Spain were drawing their inspiration from the patterns of agrarian collectivism, the corralizas, then still vigorous despite the attack launched against them by the landlords in the nineteenth century. Disillusioned from the false promises of representative democracy the people of Spain gave a coherent expression to their own political will in their search for an escape from the tentacles of unemployment and exploitation. Peasants, workers and the petty bourgeoisie joined their efforts to find a direct solution to their economic plight. Their revolutionary élan drew its inspiration from centuries-old traditions of self-rule that ordered the communal life in the neighbourhoods, cities and villages of Spain from the medieval period till the late nineteenth century4.

The American historian contrasted the organised and disciplined character of the popular struggles against the encroachment of communal rights by state and market with the “crowd barbarism” she witnessed sprawling in Europe during the time she was conducting her research on the comparative history of Spain and England in the early modern period: in the “social jungle” of Nazi Germany she saw “a floating mass of human beings, beleaguered by chronic hatreds, wherein the typical individual was the buffeted and lonely little man, who had lost all sense of whence he had come and whither he was going.” The social relationships expressed in the “ ritualised acting-out of mingled suggestibility and aggression” which took place at the Nazi festivals “ were at the antipodes of the inveterately patterned and minutely controlled way of life of the historical local community”5.

The professor of European History at the University of Chicago in the years 1947-1951 was blacklisted during the dark times of the McCarthy period and hence the seven-hundred page manuscript which bore the title The Communal Mind and the Master Artifice saw the light of day in 2010, almost sixty years after its completion. Yet many of Sullivan’s insights concerning the often conservative nature of popular resistance against capitalism, the significance of the communal institutions of self-government in the political education of the people, and the entanglement of law and politics in the consecration and naturalisation of the violence of the market, sound familiar. We have long been acquainted with such theses owing to the ground-breaking work of the British Marxist historian E.P. Thompson on the Great Transformation which imposed on the refractory and independent artisans, traders and peasants of eighteenth and nineteenth-century England the bridle of proletarian discipline.

No less than the common people of early twentieth century Spain, the anonymous protagonists of history in England during the era of Industrialisation had sensed that their efforts to bring about a radical social change required the massive but peaceful articulation of their political and economic demands. From their point of view, the use of violence seemed to have betrayed organisational weaknesses rather than any revolutionary intent. Characteristically, in E.P. Thompson’s justly celebrated The Making of the English Working Class we read: “In 1838 and 1839 tens of thousands of artisans, miners and labourers marched week after week in good order through the streets, often passing within a few feet of the military, and avoiding all provocation. ‘Our people had been well taught,’ one of their leaders recalled, ‘that it was not riot we wanted, but revolution”6.

Yet even food riots broke out in an orderly fashion at that time. Only if the merchants broke the agreement on a just grain-price or when the panic-stricken authorities fired into the protesters as occurred in Gloucestershire in 1766, did the crowds resort to violence7. The working class manifested its opposition to the law of the market in a disciplined manner. The religious and cultural climate shaping the psychological make-up of the emerging social class as well as the tenacious spirit of independence possessing the workers in the traditional sectors of the industrialising economy influenced the patterns of collective action.

Imbued with the austere religious outlook of Methodism, tradesmen, artisans and labourers gave a strict institutional framework to the friendly societies they formed: they imposed sanctions on whoever would dissipate the funds destined to secure them against unemployment and sickness or would shirk the responsibilities of self-government by refusing to shoulder the administrative duties of office-holding. Such tightly-controlled mutual aid societies provided the backbone for the organization of trade unions8.

Puritan punitive discipline may have curtailed the excesses of popular culture (drinking, brawls), thus contributing to the institutionalisation of self-restraint, a sine qua non condition for the long-term viability of practices of self-rule. Yet it was from a completely different quarter, from the secular, rationalistic traditions of Jacobinism, that the working class learned that the content of their political claims cannot be divorced from the organisational form given to the associations promoting such popular claims. Towards the end of the eighteenth century the Jacobin committees served as a habitus of democratic ethos: they encouraged the participation of every citizen, held the leaders accountable for their deeds and, especially, their airs to their wider constituency, gave the chairmanship to all the members in rotation and, last, tried to substitute the deference that status commanded in a class society with the critical independent spirit a wide readership of radical books fostered9.

Working class militancy was the outgrowth of a literate popular culture. Copies of Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Men and other radical books could be found in taverns, chapels, shoemakers’ and barbers’ shops. Chartist journalists were expected through their own efforts to attain some knowledge of the ‘classics.’ At the other extreme the anti-rationalistic, antinomian intellectual currents gave birth to the deeply political poetry of William Blake. The Songs of Experience convey “the voice of honest indignation” of a prophet who hears “the mind-forg’d manacles” as he roams the “charter’d streets” of an infernal London in the 1790s witnessing the prostitution of all values brought about by the triumph of commercialisation10.

In this intellectual climate in 1817 the Leicester framework knitters challenged the emerging orthodoxy of laissez-faire by formulating an under-consumption theory of capitalist crisis: “That to reduce the Wage of the Mechanic in this country so low that he cannot live by his labour, in order to undersell Foreign Manufacturers in a Foreign Market is to gain one customer abroad, and lose two at home…That in proportion as the reduction of wages makes the great body of the People poor and wretched, in the same proportion must the consumption of our manufacturers be lessened”11.

The working class had already come of age: the democratic organisation of their political and social associations and the development – given Methodism’s emphasis on the word – of a rich literate popular culture had transformed the victims of Industrialisation into eloquent political subjects. Especially a sense of community forged by the communal rights handed down to disadvantaged groups from the use of the commons (pasturage rights, gleaning, felling of timber), had given a pointed edge to the popular struggles against the displacement of the traditional moral economy by the law of the market. Finally, the petty bourgeois traditions of artisanal autonomy further account for the stubborn resistance of the workers to their proletariatization.

In the present era of globalisation the deep and protracted crisis of representation in the European parliamentary democracies is both cause and effect of the promotion of ‘market fundamentalism’ as a panacea for all the problems of the debt-ridden economies. Under the pretext of budgetary restraint any notion of “commons” is abolished (there being therefore nothing objectionable to the idea of the privatisation of water itself). Similarly, whatever concept of universality which could somehow empower those threatened with unemployment and poverty is discarded as ‘unprofitable’. Furthermore, the assault on the Humanities as something outmoded in the digital age as also the disengagement of European states from the provision of education as a public good can only but have serious debilitating repercussions on the current opposition to the dictatorship of the market. On the one hand, the constrictive administrative control of the university by the state and on the other the assessment of academic performance in terms of market criteria, lead to the demise of the university as a centre of critical reflection. The de facto restrictions placed on academic freedom will make it increasingly more difficult for us to question the taken for granted character of the social, economic and emotional regimes that rule our lives. Along with the disappearance of a literate popular culture, the languishing of the university can only but deprive the indignados of the intellectual weapons needed to give institutional form to the present contestation of the Master Artifice.

The working-class militancy of the era of Industrialization drew its strength from a sense of artisanal pride in the possession of skills, the specialized knowledge that turned a work of labour into an artifact, an embodiment of the creative genius of the ordinary worker. Luddism itself was a reaction against the loss of autonomy and the deskilling that went hand in hand with the spread of mechanized production. In our times we also witness an analogous deskilling process understood as a state-induced regression to the ‘old spirit of capitalism’: the proletarianization of mental labour, the abolition of the distinction between work and leisure, the resort in high-tech industries to “management by terror” and the treatment of workers like machines, the sharp rise in the unemployment of the educated strata, and, simultaneously, their status degradation. The downwardly mobile middle classes provide the core of the indignados. Their ability to forge alliances with the impoverished workers of the private sector, the employees of the shrinking public sector and with the vanishing traditional petty bourgeoisie will determine the success of any collective endeavour to change a status quo that gives unlimited power to a political and financial oligarchy. At the same time, in countries like Greece, the nepotistic and exclusive practices that have traditionally been adopted by the state-controlled trade unions have to be condemned12.

In its first stages, industrialisation led to a new self-awareness of the value of local traditions and to a swelling of provincial pride. In England, old centres of domestic industry witnessed a revival of quasi-nationalistic sentiment which defended the hand-worker’s way of life against the industrial culture that ‘London tyranny’ or ‘foreign capital’ was trying to impose on them. In a similar way globalisation despite, or rather because of, its sweeping levelling of any collective identity that is not held spellbound by the sirens of profit-making has brought about a resurgence of nationalism. In Greece, the Papandreou government, bending to the interests of European finance capital and to those of foreign investors, proved extremely eager to hand over to private interests the nation’s natural and public wealth, coasts and archaeological sites, any public property that might attract foreign capital to this fortunately still relatively undeveloped part of Europe. The environmental and economic devastation that reckless tourist and real estate development have brought about in Spain in the last decade has not dissuaded the present colonial government from its catastrophic plans since it cares for one thing only: the interests of the IMF and of Greece’s European creditors. If, in eighteenth-century England “the enclosures made the poor strangers to their own land” the planned IMF-sponsored enclosures have made Greeks feel strangers to their own country. As a reaction to their disinheritance from their past (the landscape of Greece carries the imprint of history) and their future they gathered for weeks in Syntagma square during the summer of 2011 defending the only “commons” remaining to them, the idea of national sovereignty. It remains to be seen whether the Greek indignados will embrace an inclusive national identity or will recoil to a jingoistic xenophobia that blinds them to the necessity of forging alliances within and outside Europe with the social strata suffering like them from debt-bondage to finance capital, the dismantling of the welfare-state, the curtailment of labour rights and the abolition of collective bargaining13.

Anger, according to Aristotle, is justified when you feel that an injustice has been perpetrated against you; many times anger can also serve as a protection mechanism against an imminent danger. A regime of austerity has been imposed on the peoples of Europe by political and financial elites who have no qualms about the gains they have been making during the time of crisis. After all for the last two decades the distribution of income has become more unequal as an increasingly larger part of the GDP has come to be possessed by the top 1% of the population. The banking-sector socialised the losses it had incurred during the crisis of 2008 and continued to make profits, not from the debts of the private sector –that source of wealth had been exhausted after the subprime crisis- but from the state deficits recession, increasing income inequality and rampant corruption have helped grow. In spite of this the mass media and the official propaganda have been trying to incriminate the peoples of Europe for the spending-spree that led their countries to the abyss of bankruptcy. But as a group of political economists at the University of London point out: from 1995 to 2008 “the share of labour in output has declined across the periphery. It is true that the remuneration of labour has increased in nominal and real terms in the periphery, but productivity has risen more – and generally faster than in Germany…German growth, such it has been in the 2000s, has come neither from investment nor from consumption, but from exports.” And two Spanish sociologists confirm that: between 2001-06.. high levels of domestic demand in the peripheral countries “offered important markets for German exports. Along with Italy, Greece, Portugal and Ireland, Spain experienced a growing balance of payments deficit, reaching over 9% of GDP between 2006 and 2008, most of it due to European imports.” In Greece and across Europe the very same elites who fostered the psychology of unbridled consumerism now promote a self-flagellating Puritanism to force the lower and middle classes to give their consent to their unconditional subjection to exploitative labour relations and the precariousness of a totally ‘deregulated’ market. But as the Spanish indignados have well understood “We are not commodities in the hands of politicians and bankers.” Democracy has nothing to do with the unlimited satisfaction of private wants at the expense of the public good, (which amounts to populism) nor with the punitive asceticism imposed by the market and the state on supposedly ‘sinful’ consumers. Rather it has to do with the joyful self-restraint that any creative project involves, and especially the realisation of the long-term objectives of political and social emancipation14.

Roberto Unger, Professor of Law at Harvard has epitomised the historical outlook of Sullivan and Thompson in a sentence that may serve as a guide for political action: “The losers and the lost causes of the past and the outlawed or restrained elements in the present arm the subversive imagination with its weapons.” Without ignoring the constraints of social and political structure, “the formative context” of experience as he names it, Roberto Unger is more interested in history in the making, in the multifarious ways the social agents have faced the threat of their proletarianization and how the small-scale enterprises have survived within the market economy without being swallowed by the dominant mode of capitalistic production. Like Thompson, he rehabilitates the much maligned by orthodox Marxists petty bourgeois mode of commodity production, defined as “the economy of small-scale relatively equal producers operating through a variable mix of cooperative organization and independent activity.” And he reminds us that the cooperative work group or the revolutionary councils of the early twentieth century were the ideal political expression of the organisational forms of petty commodity production15.

Renouncing any linear, teleological narrative that would treat the rise of capitalism as inevitable and the Fordist model of mass production as the most efficient, the Brazilian professor focuses instead on the way that law and politics shape the prevalent forms of economic domination and delimit the sphere of collective deliberation. As in Sullivan’s line of thought Unger views the systematisation of contract and property rights by the jurists of early modern Europe as conducive to the strengthening of governmental sovereignty. For him too representative democracy is a Master Artifice for it leads to political demobilisation and the depoliticisation of social and economic decisions16.

As an antidote to the stultifying impact of the Master Artifice Roberto Unger proposes new forms of participation and accountability institutionalised by a new constitution. This would guarantee the social control of accumulation and the disaggregation of private property through a legal formulation that would “replace the absolute control of divisible portions of social capital with a mechanism of rotating, divided or otherwise conditional access to capital.” The new constitution would grant to all the right to laziness , the right to become internal exiles for a while and would dissociate welfare entitlements from job tenure. It would allow and even encourage experimentation in personal relationships for it would try to provide an institutional framework for an ideal notion of community where conflict and anti-conformist practices would be reconciled with “the need for attachment and participation in group life.” At the same time freedom from violence, coercion, subjugation and poverty would become universal rights to be defended against oppression by concentration of public and private power17.

Unger’s proposals simply recapitulate and enrich the experience of centuries of popular struggles against the violent imposition of capitalist relations. Yet it is not just the current configuration of class relations that makes the cross-fertilization of political and economic democracy extremely hard to imagine. It is also the delegitimation of the critique against capitalism, effected during the last decades, that deprives the working classes of the ideological weapons needed to combat ‘shock capitalism.’ As Luc Boltanski and Éva Chiapello remind us, at least till the late 60s, the critique of capitalism drew its legitimacy from the following “sources of indignation”: first the exigency of emancipation, based on the constitutive impossibility of reducing the person to an aggregate of economically or socially defined qualities. The second “source of indignation” used the discourse of authenticity to unmask the corrupting effect of capitalist relations on human nature. The third appealed to our common human nature in order to urge the spread of practices of solidarity that would free us from the alienation fostered by the individualism espoused by capitalistic paedagogy. Finally the fourth source of indignation dictated a historically informed critique of the dominant mode of production. Needless to say, the discrediting of the rationalistic, universalistic discourse of the Enlightenment which has been taking place during the last decades of postmodernist supremacy as well as the celebration of the ‘Other’ and the demonization of the ‘Same’ have undermined the ideological basis that gave a critical edge to the traditional sources of indignation against capitalism. My suspicion is that the current return to the punitive aspects of the spirit of old capitalism will feed yet again the classical sources of indignation since the most heterogeneous groups suffer equally from the new blatant forms of economic and political oppression.

The psychoanalyst J. Lacan once asked rhetorically “La bourse ou la vie?” The suicides of the French employees in France Telecom in the summer of 2009 and of the Chinese workers in the electronic manufacturer Foxconn give an ironically literal answer to this question: They imply that ‘You have to ‘lay down your life’ if you want to raise your wage.’ The indignados are aware that they cannot live if the law of the market in its current brutal form shatters every social bond and destroys every notion of a ‘commons’. But their social vision still lacks clarity and some of them appear to vent out their rage by only decrying the flagrant abuses of the political system. On the other hand, the calls for ‘direct democracy’ and ‘popular sovereignty’ show a growing awareness of the pivotal role the Master Artifice plays for the installation of the present form of economic domination by the pseudo-technocratic elites. Yet sectarianism, the mistrust of any form of representation, lack of coordination and the psychological paralysis that the implementation of the policies of shock capitalism causes threaten to undermine the prospects of democratic renewal in Greece and, generally, in Europe. In Greece the devolution of essential state functions such as tax-collection to private companies and foreign interests marks the beginning of a new stage of the “deterritorialization” of sovereignty which I hope will awaken the instinct of self-preservation among the still numb citizenry19.

Like their Spanish ancestors in the elections of 1917, the present-day indignados seem also to have awakened from decades of apathy and depoliticization to remonstrate against a moribund political establishment which unabashedly obeys the dictates of the market and especially its most self-aggrandizing part, the banking sector. The elected representatives are trying to quell the voices of protest “in a battle of words,” which makes no sense to those who are witnessing the hard-fought collective rights of workers being wiped away at a stroke by an act of parliament.
In the summer of 2011 the indignados managed to orchestrate in a peaceful manner a much needed protest against the current class onslaught on collective social and political rights. They have created a public space, the commons of politics in the squares of their country. E. P. Thompson reminds us that “London and its environs would have no parks today if commoners had not asserted their rights…We owe to these premature ‘Greens’ such urban lungs as we have.” Indeed the small victories of the defeated make life more human, showing us the current relevance of the historical struggles of the past.

ENDNOTES / REFERENCES

1 Even if its elements were forged in the Middle Ages, the Master Artifice emerged in the seventeenth century during the Puritan revolution. It led to state centralization and the dissemination of the common law of private property which , in the long run,was conducive to the divorce of politics and economics from morality and communal justice. Helen Sullivan, The Communal Mind and the Master Artifice, ed. A. Mims (Athens, Stochastis editions, 2010), 224, 352, 564, 620. On the latter point see also E. P. Thompson, Customs in Common (Merlin Press, 1991, repr. 2010), 201.
2 E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (Penguin, 1963, repr,1984), 217; “If one picks up at random a book belonging to the apologetics of representative government, one is likely to confront the proposition, implicit or explicit, that the ‘essence’ of representative government is ‘Government by Discussion.’” : see Sullivan, 646, 560.
3 Sullivan, 671, 672.
4 “In the small towns of Segovia, it was still in the late nineteenth century the practice for the whole neighbourhood to participate (by turns or together) in communal services, such as the repair of roads, the care of wells and fountains, and even the guardianship of communal ovens and flocks.” 231; on the collective insurance schemes, peasants’ banks, confraternities of the blind and schemes of collective agricultural exploitation in the early modern period see 429; corralizas inspiring the peasant revolt in Navarre in 1936: 95-96. About the growing intervention of Alfonso XIII in politics after 1910 see Juan Linz et al, “Ministers and Regimes in Spain: From the First to Second Restoration, 1874-2001 (Center for European Studies Working Paper No. 101) 10-12
5 Ibid., 236.
6 E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (Penguin, 1963, repr,1984), 469.
7 Thompson (1991), 228-231.
8 Ibid. 416-417, 458.
9 Ibid. 201.
10 Ibid. 201 and E. P. Thompson, Witness against the Beast. William Blake and the Moral Law (New York, 1963), xiv,xvii, 190-191, 174, 183, 189.
11 Ibid. Thompson (1963) 225.
12 After the revolutionary ebullience of the late 60s a new managerial style hailed the autonomy of the worker from surveillance, and extolled the ability of the employees to process information and create networks. Flexibility, adaptability and self-regulation became the key to success, according to what Luc Boltanski and Ėve Chiapello have termed “the new spirit of capitalism.” Yet, on the other hand, the two sociologists stress that the increase in the autonomy of the workers was accompanied by a diminution in the security of the employees. Secondly the so-called autonomy of the workers was allowed only because new systems of digitalised surveillance permitted the closer monitoring of their tasks. Thirdly, no general certificate of qualifications (e.g. university diplomas) has any value in the context of an increasingly globalised economy where networking becomes far more significant than any academic qualification. Luc Boltanski and Ėve Chiapello, Le Nouvel Esprit du Capitalisme (Gallimard, 1999), 516, 517, 113, 117, 119. After 2008 we witness a return to the punitive disciplinary regime of the early capitalism. However, the buffers of aristocratic paternalism and the law of moral economy are now absent. The expression “management by terror” was used by a 52 year old employee of the privatised France Telecom who committed suicide because, according to his own avowal, he could not put up with the oppressive conditions of work at France Telecom. Angeliki Chrisafis in The Guardian 9 September 2009. For the use of employees as machines in the Electronics iPhone manufacturer Foxconn in China see David Barboza in New York Times, June 2 2010. Web developer confesses that even his dreams follow the logic of his work to conclude: “If labour becomes a mere habit of thought, then it would seem mistaken to place many revolutionary hopes in the nature of this mental work and its products, in the internet or in ‘immaterial labour’ ˮ Rob Lucas, “Dreaming in Code,” New Left Review 62 (2010).
13 On the effects of industrialisation on provincial cultures in England see E. P. Thompson (1963), 448; quotation from E. P. Thompson (1991), 184; about the disastrous effects of development on the Spanish countryside see I. López and E. Rodríguez, “The Spanish Model” New Left Review 69 (2011): “The environmental costs of this growth model are incalculable. The effects of mass housing construction in the traditional tourist regions have generated strips of continuous urban fabric along the coastline. Even in relatively marginal areas, the construction of second homes and green-tourism complexes has ravaged areas of great ecological value..” 15-16; on the articles of the bill of implementation of IMF’s proposals, which was voted on the 30th of June see the article of D. Vaiou in the newspaper Avge of 7th of August 2011. Both Spanish and Greek indignados have to free their countries from the legacy of the Franko regime and of the Papadopoulos junta respectively which equated economic progress with private-home ownership: López and Rodríguez, 6-7.
14 Aristotle, NE IV.5.5; III.8.10 C. Recent empirical studies show that “countries with lower-than average score of income inequality tend to record lower budget deficits and a higher share of social spending in total government expenditure. On the contrary income inequality makes fiscal discipline more difficult.” That is why pension reform may have in the end a negative impact on fiscal performance: M. Larch, “Fiscal performance and income inequality: Are unequal societies more deficit-prone? Some cross-country evidence,” 13, 23 in European Economy. Economic Papers 414, June 2010. On the positive correlation of corruption with tax evasion and regressive tax policies see V. Tanzi and H. R. Davoodi, “Corruption, growth and public finance,” 16 in IMF Working Paper 182, 2000. Lapavitsas, A. Kaltenbrunner, D.Lindo et al Eurozone Crisis: Beggar Thyself and Thy Neighbour, (Research on Money and Finance occasional report, March 2010) 6, 28: “Two thirds of German trade is with the eurozone.” López and Rodrígues, op. cit., 13.
15 Roberto Mangabeira Unger, False Necessity (Verso, 1987, repr.2001), first quot. 210, second quot. 342, 193.
16 Ibid. 198, 213, 245, 181-184, 411.
17 Ibid. 207, 558, 524, 562, 529, 416, 526.
18 Boltanski and Chiappelo, op. cit., 587.
19 Correctly A. Kioupkolis, professor of political theory at the University of Cyprus remarks that the ‘territorialization of politics’, attained by the indignados in the squares of Greece in the summer of 2011, is the counterpart to the deterritorialization of sovereignty in: “Indignant squares: Beyond the commonplace of the multitudeˮ in Suchrona Themata, 113, June 2011, 9.

  • Antigone Samellas studied Sociology at the LSE and History at Yale University. Her latest book is Alienation: The Experience of the Eastern Mediterranean, 50-600A.D. (Peter Lang, 2010). She lives and works in Athens, Greece.