By Matthew Quest
Greek Activists Think About the Future of Politics and Civilization
Theodore Karyotis, Ioanna-Maria Maravelidi, and Yavor Tarinski. Asking Questions with the Zapatistas: Reflections from Greece on Our Civilizational Impasse. Athens, Greece: Transnational Institute for Social Ecology (TRISE), 2022.
Mexican culture is distinguished by an annual holiday: “The Day of the Dead.” In short, it remembers the dead and honors their lives. But it is more complex. Is Western civilization going through its death agony right now? It is unclear if the planet will survive much longer for humanity to reflect on its ancestors. The late Zapatista activist Ramona Dreamweaver is often remembered on this holiday. We might reconsider what this means for our sense of time, politics, and civilization.
Asking Questions with the Zapatistas, meditations on the future of politics and world civilization by three Greece-based activists begin with a summary; our time is marked by pandemics, ecological disasters, and economic crises. It is easier to imagine the end of the world than a new beginning.
Greece in the last decade has experienced anti-social reforms and restructuring that have placed provisions of food, healthcare, and housing in jeopardy for multitudes. At a global level, capital and state have used these social emergencies to discipline commoners to precarious expectations. Is there a way out of this impasse?