Crisis Mirror comments on Folkeuniversitet's lectures

Recently, we came across a series of lectures ( taking place at Folkeuniversitet in Copenhagen, Denmark. We decided to comment on it because we have often observed that there is a series of myths and half-truths that stir the current political discourse on the European crisis, leading the public to misinformation and obscure assossiations. When this rhetoric moves into the sphere of education, it truly becomes a danger to social integrity and must not remain unanswered.

The phraseology, the insinuations and interpretations included in the description reveal an analytical approach which lacks in critical aspects, succumbs to folkloric stereotypes and cliches -favoured by the touristic culture and the tourist images of Greece and the Greek people- and ignores basic observations on the current political and economical circumstances that concern the economic crisis in Greece and the rest of the world. Such poorly-made analysis promotes social division, social cannibalism and ultimately racism not only against Greeks but against all the peoples of Europe, and the rest of the world, who are suffering the catastrophic effects of neoliberalism.

Parts like this: “Få en førstehåndsberetning fra krisens kaos i et land, hvor love ikke bliver effektueret, hvor der ingen tillid er mellem stat og folk – og hvor mere end 4500 embedsmænd har fået udbetalt pension, selv om de har været døde i årevis.” give a horrible impression on the causes of the crisis by focusing on side-effects and trivial cases that are not exclusively Greek characteristics. In this way, the blame is put on the people, their mentality and their cultural peculiarities while at the same time a widely disputed economical system and its adherents are forgiven and relieved of responsibility. More specifically, it ignores both the proven failure of the applied neoliberal politics ( & *[Note 1] as well as the brutal authoritarianism the Greek state has been using on its own people that the European partners have been ignoring. In general, this achieves the phenomena of exoticisation, molding a distorted view of the globalized world and the concurrent economic and political balances on a European and global scale. This kind of analysis which seeks to create cultural “others” and blame their habitual peculiarities for the current unprecedented ‘creative destruction’ that takes place in Greece, is not new. As shown in this article, a number of German tabloids and yellow press used unethical journalism, and continue to do so, in order to blame common Greeks for the poverty that they experience today.

In conclusion, it is our strong belief that it is the duty of all educational organisations to preserve a more critical and scientific view on the political, social and economic developments based on data and with respect to history, rather than delivering sensational facts and material more suitable for tabloid newspapers/magazines. Finally, we would like to state that we are open for debate and constructive discussion on the subject if the organizers, lecturers and/or participants feel they would like to continue it.

[Note 1]: Inequality has increased relatively sharply while GDP growth continues to plunge.

– Crisis Mirror