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Philosophy and Resistance in the Crisis: Greece and the Future of Europe



Philosophy and Resistance in the Crisis: Greece and the Future of Europe

Costas Douzinas

ISBN: 978-0-745-66543-6 April 2013 Polity 200 Pages



This book is about the global crisis and the right to resistance, about neoliberal biopolitics and direct democracy, about the responsibility of intellectuals and the poetry of the multitude. Using Greece as an example, Douzinas argues that the persistent sequence of protests, uprisings and revolutions has radically changed the political landscape. This new politics is the latest example of the drive to resist, a persevering characteristic of the human spirit.

The EU and the IMF used Greece as a guinea pig to test the conditions of social reconstruction in times of crisis. But the manifold resistances turned the object of experimentation into a political subject and overturned the plans of elites. The idea and limits of democracy are redefined in the place of their birth.

Prologue: The age of resistance page 1

Part I Crisis

1 The Queen’s question 19

2 The biopolitics of pleasure and salvation 32

3 Anomie I: Social ethos and political cynicism 49

4 The crisis as spectacle 64

Part II Philosophy

5 Adikia: The eternal return of resistance 77

6 Anomie II: Disobedience, resistance, sovereignty 89

7 Political ontologies 107

8 People, multitude, crowd 119

Part III Resistance

9 Stasis Syntagma: The subjects and types of resistance 137

10 Demos in the square 155

11 Lessons of political strategy 176

Epilogue: The Europe to come 198

Notes 209

Index 224

"Douzinas stands among the handful of academics who have seen a duty to use both their position and analytical skills to convey the message of resistance to an international audience. He cannot be commended enough."

"Douzinas' writings form an exciting entry point into the critical theories that are coming to grips with the age we live in. By asking if another world is possible, Douzinas presents some hope that the rebellion against austerity is perhaps a sign of a more democratic and equitable Europe to come."
LSE Review of Books

"Solidarity with the hardships imposed on the Greek people by the agents of the financial capital is not enough - one has to start THINKING about Greece today. This is what Costas Douzinas does in Philosophy and Resistance in the Crisis - he treats Greece as a symptom of what is wrong in today's global capitalism, and as a lesson in how the people should resist the fate imposed on them by global capitalism. This is not a book about the exotic case of Greece - it is a book about all of us, which is why we all should also read it!"
Slavoj Zizek

"In a passionate revival of the classical concept of fearless speech, Douzinas offers a cri de coeur for intellectual engagement and ethical responsibility in the face of the Eurozone crisis. Counterposing Greek philosophy to the Greek statistics of the money managers he makes an urbane argument for rethinking the concept of Europe at the site of its original inception."
Peter Goodrich, Cardozo School of Law, New York

"Read this book. Douzinas opens a new terrain for critical theory, a much needed terrain in theses times of new insurgencies across the world. Beautifully written and carefully argued Douzinas offers us a profound rethinking of major concepts of critical theory as we now confront a new era of mass up risings."
Ducilla Cornell, Rutgers University
  • A timely and provocative book on the current crisis in Europe by a leading radical thinker.
  • Douzinas uses radical political theory to analyse the current protests in Greece and elsewhere as spontaneous and leaderless events that disrupt political settlements imposed from above and attest to the will to resist Ð a persevering trait of the human spirit.
  • He argues that Greece, the birthplace of democracy, has once again become a key testing ground for democracy, as popular resistance to the austerity package imposed on Greece leads to new forms of contestation and struggle.
  • Written by an author who is well known for his commentaries on the situation in Greece, this book will find a wide readership among all who are interested in the crisis of Europe and the new forms of politics and resistance that are emerging in Europe and elsewhere.