GREECE AND DEMOCRACY
The Greek people are proud of being the inventors of democracy. This concept refers to self-governance on all levels of society. At the moment the economic problems are very difficult to solve, and society is at the edge of a very serious divide. About a few days there is a referendum about the Trojka-proposals. Whatever the result, the near future of Greece will be problematic, and sustainable solutions take a long time. If the Greeks say yes to the Trojka, there will be financial help, primarily to pay-off the Greek debts and ongoing liberalization. If the people say no, there is no financial help, but also no debts anymore. In both cases the Greeks have barely access to the international financial markets, which is a serious restriction, of course.
Whatever the result of the referendum, the Greek people should work on the improvement of their democracy.
Self-governance on the personal level means that a particular person knows his dreams, and have the willpower to go for it with an open mind. On the social level self-governance means that groups, such as families, neighbourhoods, and labour organizations, function well. It means that they also operate with an open mind towards other social communities. If some communities are much wealthy and capable, communities should invite rich and capable communities to sponsor them and to offer management skills for all sorts of social activities, such as sports, music practising, activities with handicapped people, youth care, and neighbourhood watch.
On the level of the economy unions must operate democratically; for the members in the first place, but with an open mind to the interests of other workers. On the national level they must be co-responsible for macro-stability, and legislation, which guarantee workers a fair and decent job and a decent living – also for workers who are unemployed, ill or handicapped. On the micro-level unions must fight against corruption, fraud and discrimination. Employers’ organizations are not the enemy, but if they are not open minded, all peaceful instruments must be used to persuade these organizations, to negotiate and close a fair deal.
Employers should organize themselves in an transparant way, and formulate strategies to be or to become well-functioning parts of a bigger and democratic whole. Their contribution to society should not stick to members of their own networks, but should extend to everyone, who appears willing to contribute positively to their labour organizations.
On the level of society at large, Socrates-like discussions about everything important between open-minded people should fill the Greek media. Now the press is in the hands of a few capitalists, as is the case in many countries in the Western world. Internet is a marvellous instrument in this respect.
Societies in disarray tend to search for extreme solutions; dictatorship seems attractive. A truly democratic society finds its solution in the people themselves. Economically it means a mix of free markets and government production, socially it means voluntary work of many kinds by committed persons, and politically it means a radical centre. ‘Radical’ refers to a well-thought position – not just a compromise. ‘Centre’ means that there is a balance between indvidual freedom, social justice and societal order. This radical centre cannot be based on a compromise between powerful groups, which serve their own short-term interests. It can only be based on a common culture, which expresses societies’ democratic values – in short: every person counts! All powerful groups should underline this value. Only in this way a society can avoid capitalist exploitation as well as conservative dictatorship.
Be faithful to your own principles
Strong personalities do not wait taking economic, social and political action, until others have formed impressive groups. They are intrinsically motivated to function well in a democracy. THEY ARE INSPIRED AND BEGIN!
www.pietkeizer.nl (dutch); www.pietkeizer.com (English)
Piet Keizer(2015), Multidisciplinary Economics, A Methodological Account, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 For all persons, and for all people it is desirable to continuously work on an imporvement of their democracy. For Greece this is more than ever an important issue.