OPINION

National productivity

A dead-end national division (“You’re either with us or with the creditors”), crisis fatigue, an inability to provide solutions, the paralysis of the political system – this is where Greece stands today.

Let’s take a closer look at the production-paralysis dichotomy. The destruction of the country’s primary sector inevitably affects the political system.

Political parties that came to power and hung on to it with promises of handouts collapsed when the funds eventually dried out.

But despite decades of handouts, the country has been unable to establish any kind of healthy productive platform.

This does not solely relate to the industrial and agricultural sectors, but also seeps into the fields of administration, education and social culture.

The kind of wealth which was produced mainly through parasitic channels (kickbacks, tax evasion, the stock exchange bubble) also ended up shaping thinking, values and perceptions.

We are now anxiously waiting for Greece to reach a compromise solution with its creditors. But where will this come from? From a dislocated political system in a country lacking a primary sector? Can political thought be cut off from the broader state of affairs? Isn’t this supposed to emerge through a process of interaction between the country’s leadership and its social structures? Doesn’t political thought express the way in which people, parties, intellectuals and the media, among others, perceive, interpret and evaluate social reality?

How could we ever expect a bipolar, Manichean politico-ideological code (with the “capital” and the “privileged” on the one hand and the “people” and the “non-privileged” on the other) which was nurtured and prevailed for so many years to now achieve some kind of national understanding?

A kind of simplistic interpretation of Marxism became the theoretical basis of a political culture (which naturally served the populist standoff between the “progressives” and the “reactionaries”) from which we now await, at the very last minute, salvation, to save a bankrupt country.

Changes and transformations don’t take place from one minute to the next or through emergency procedures. Most of all, they don’t come about in the absence of productivity. So what comes next? The perpetuation of the dead-end situation and nothing else? The answer is no, if we understand that what we refer to as a “national narrative” mainly comprises a “national desire” for production.