Behind the scenes of ‘Greek crisis’, there are exciting stories of thousands of people weaving webs of solidarity. That is the real fabric of life ‘beyond crisis’; a life that provides, as we will see, both pragmatic solutions to the necessities of life (food, medical care, personal development etc.) and fulfillment.
People in Greece have been realizing that the crisis they face is not only a ‘Greek crisis’, it is not even a crisis of the ‘weak’ European periphery; it is a European crisis or even global crisis. What started as a financial crisis in 2008 became an economic crisis. The way the crisis was managed, by bailing out the banks and leaving large corporations untouched (as they have become the messiahs of ‘development’) while refusing to assist the new poor or unemployed, showed that the crisis is essentially social and political; it is a systemic crisis, not to forget the unprecedented environmental collapse.
Nowadays, it is a widespread belief that the present system is approaching its physical and ethical limits. People, as the struggle widens and escalates in Greece, are no longer willing to forbear the dramatic new regulations that undermine their creative potential and their basic needs for life. People are resisting and more importantly people are turning their back to the corrupt, bureaucratic system and create self-organized networks of solidarity.
In Freegaan Kolektiva we believe that the real stories of everyday people are largely untold. What mainstream media mainly broadcast are some demonstrations, fights with the police and the spectacles of beatings, arrests and Molotov cocktails. But richness lies beneath the layer of spectacles.
Although demonstrations and direct political resistance are important means, the struggle has been changing forms. People are getting organized and provide solutions that the government and other institutions are unable or unwilling to provide. People’s grassroots initiatives provide free food, free education and free medical care while networks of labour and product exchange have been established without the use of money.
It has become a new way of life for thousands of people that are coming together and use their productive forces outside of the ‘formal’ infrastructure for the common good. No matter what happens to the system, people are going to continue their lives in ways maybe more fulfilling.
Thus, we consider important in Freegan Kolektiva, to publish a series of articles about all those (new & older) positive initiatives of a rejuvenated solidarist society. We see this as part of an emerging, unified yet diverse, culture. The series of articles will come under the banner ‘Paradigms of living solidarity’.