ΓΟΥΝΤΙ ΑΛΕΝ: «Ντροπή! Εμείς οι ανίδεοι αντί να διαβάζουμε Πλάτωνα και Αριστοτέλη διαβάζουμε για την καταστροφή της Ελλάδας»

ΓΟΥΝΤΙ ΑΛΕΝ: «Ντροπή! Εμείς οι ανίδεοι αντί να διαβάζουμε Πλάτωνα και Αριστοτέλη διαβάζουμε για την καταστροφή της Ελλάδας»

«Είναι φοβερό. Κάθε μέρα όταν ανοίγω την εφημερίδα διαβάζω για την καταστροφή στην Ελλάδα.

Στον τόπο που γεννήθηκαν η τραγωδία, η φιλοσοφία, οι επιστήμες και η δημοκρατία. Διαβάζουμε ότι σύντομα θα φύγει από την Ευρώπη και το ευρώ. Οτι η ανεργία είναι εφιαλτική και ότι από στιγμή σε στιγμή θα επέλθει το μοιραίο. Κρίμα. Αντί για Πλάτωνα και Σωκράτη, όλοι εμείς οι ανίδεοι περί Οικονομίας, διαβάζουμε όλα αυτά τα ανατριχιαστικά. Κρίμα!»

-Κάποτε είχατε εκφράσει την επιθυμία να γυρίσετε ταινία στην Αθήνα…

Γούντι Άλλεν: «Φυσικά θέλω να γυρίσω ταινία στην Αθήνα. Με την προϋπόθεση πως οι αρχές θα συμβάλλουν στην χρηματόδοτηση της παραγωγής. Οπως συμβαίνει με όλες τις ταινίες που γύρισα σε Λονδίνο, Παρίσι, Μαδρίτη και Ρώμη. Αλλωστε στο παρελθόν είχα επισκεφτεί την Αθήνα».

-Και αν δεν κάνω λάθος μια από τις κομεντί που είχατε υπογράψει στο παρελθόν αναφερόταν σε αρχαία τραγωδία.

Γούντι Άλλεν: «Μα η φιλοσοφία είναι ένα από τα «εργαλεία» του μυαλού μου».

«Η φθορά του χρόνου έχει επηρεάσει την ακοή μου, την όρασή μου και όλες τις αισθήσεις μου.
«Ομως παρόλα αυτά στο μυαλό έχω μείνει ο ίδιος όπως πριν από είκοσι, τριάντα χρόνια. Πάντα αμετανόητος, πάντα ανεπίδεκτος μαθήσεως. Πάντως πρέπει να σου πω ότι ο γεννετικός κώδικας της οικογένειάς μου είναι ισχυρός. Ο πατέρας μου πέθανε άνω των εκατό και η μητέρα μου στα 95».

Ο Γούντι παρέα με την νεαρή -μόλις 23 ετών- πρωταγωνίστριά του Εμα Στόουν και την συμπρωταγωνίστρια Ρόζι Πάρκερ, έχει καταφθάσει στις Κάννες για την πρεμιέρα της τελευταίας τους δραματικής κομεντί «Irrational Man» (ένας παράλογος άνθρωπος).

Οπου απελπισμένος, στα όρια της πλήρους εγκατάλειψης, καθηγητής φιλοσοφίας (Γιοακίν Φίνιξ) αφού πρώτα «κοιμηθεί» με μια καθηγήτρια (Ρόζι Πάρκερ) και στην συνέχεια με την φοιτήτριά του (Εμα Στόουν) στην συνέχεια αποφασίζει να δολοφονήσει έναν «άθλιο» δικαστή που με τις αποφάσεις του πρόκειται να καταστρέψει την ζωή μιας απλής, φτωχής γυναίκας.

-Αραγε ο φόνος είναι ηθικά δικαιωμένος;

Γούντι Άλλεν: «Μα φυσικά υπάρχουν φόνοι που είναι απόλυτα δικαιωμένοι. Η περίπωση του Χίτλερ είναι χαρακτηριστική. Ας πούμε δεν θα ταν λυτρωτικό αν δολοφονούσαμε κάποιον τύπο που σχεδίαζε να τινάξει στον αέρα ένα σχολείο;»

-Τότε να πάρουμε τον νόμο στα χέρια μας. Τότε να καταργηθούν οι νόμοι.

«Α, εδώ είναι το ψαχνό. Ο Σαίρεν Κίρκεργκαρντ (Δανός υπαρξιστής φιλόσοφος 1813-1855) έλεγε, αν δεν κάνω λάθος, πως οι άνθρωποι μπορούν και θέλουν να λειτουργούν με νόμους και περιορισμούς. Χωρίς αυτούς δεν ξέρουν να διαχειριστούν την ελευθερία τους».

-Εσείς θέλετε να σκοτώσετε πολλούς;

«Αρκετούς! Να σου πω την αλήθεια θα “θελα να τους σκοτώσω όλους και έτσι να παραμείνω μοναδικός ζωντανός στο πλανήτη» (γελώντας φυσικά).

-Να σας πω κι εγώ την δική μου πικρή αλήθεια. Πολλοί Ελληνες θα θελαν να «εξαφανίσουν» την Μέρκελ και τον Σόιμπλε.

«Δεν αμφιβάλλω καθόλου».

Πηγή

ΣΧΟΛΙΑΣΤΕ…

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Scholars Appeal for Greece

We the undersigned call on the governments of Europe, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF to respect the decision of the Greek people to choose a new course and to engage the new government of Greece in good faith negotiations to resolve the Greek debt.

The government of Greece is correct to insist on new policies because the previous policies have failed. They have not brought economic recovery. They have not brought financial stability. They have not brought jobs or foreign investments. They have stressed and damaged Greek society and weakened Greek institutions. There is therefore no value in that approach and no progress to preserve. We urge Greece’s European partners to accept this reality, without which the new government would never have been elected.

Greece needs immediate humanitarian measures, a higher minimum wage, new jobs, new investments, and steps to restore and improve basic services such as education and health care. It needs a stronger and more progressive tax system, less dependent on VAT and better able to tax incomes and wealth. It needs to fight, punish and root out corruption. The new government needs fiscal space to implement these measures and to demonstrate their worth, and it needs continuing financial support from the European Central Bank to stabilize the financial sector meanwhile. We urge Greece’s European partners and institutions to provide that fiscal space and that support.

The government of Greece is correct to ask for a write-off of debts owed to European partners. These debts are unsustainable and so will not be paid in any event. There is therefore no economic loss involved, for any other nation or its taxpayers, in writing them off. On the contrary, a fresh start for Greece will help bring new activity, income, jobs and profit to her partners. We urge Greece’s creditors to seize this chance, and to explain these facts clearly and candidly to their own peoples.

These issues also engage the future of Europe as a whole. A policy of menace, threats, deadlines, obstinacy and blackmail will demonstrate to all Europeans that the European project will have failed. It will have failed morally, politically, and as a matter of economics. We urge Europe’s leaders to reject and condemn all efforts to coerce the government and people of Greece.

Conversely, success for Greece can show the path toward renewed prosperity and stability for Europe, with a new role for democracy and a new openness to elections that bring constructive change. We stand with Greece and with Europe, with democracy and with change. We urge Europe’s leaders to recognize the special basis of Greek decision-making in hard-fought and decisive democratic choice, and to choose the path of realistic assessment and reasonable negotiation.

Signed,

Title
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Mr.
Mrs.
Ms.
Professor
First Name Last Name

Town/City Province/State

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H επιστολή 300 διανοούμενων απ όλα τα κράτη του κόσμου υπέρ της Ελλάδας

ΜΕDIAPART: ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ 300 ΔΙΑΝΟΟΥΜΕΝΩΝ ΑΠΟ ΟΛΑ ΤΑ ΚΡΑΤΗ ΤΟΥ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ ΥΠΕΡ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΣ ΕΥΡΩΠΗΣ

300 ονόματα όπως οι James Galbraith Stephany Griffith-Jones, Jacques Sapir Dominique Meda καλούν τις ευρωπαϊκές κυβερνήσεις και τους διεθνείς θεσμούς να σεβαστούν τις αποφάσεις του ελληνικού λαού και να διαπραγματευθούν με καλή πίστη με την νέα ελληνική κυβέρνηση για να επιλύσουν το ζήτημα του χρέους.
Υποστηρίζουν την αλλαγή κατεύθυνσης των πολιτικών που εφαρμόζονται γιατί αυτές έχουν καταλήξει σε ένα απόλυτο φιάσκο. Δεν φέρνουν ούτε την ανάκαμψη ούτε τη χρηματοπιστωτική σταθερότητα, ούτε την απασχόληση, ούτε επενδύσεις. Απεναντίας έχουν καταβάλει την ελληνική κοινωνία και τους θεσμούς της.. Πρέπει οι εταίροι στην Ευρώπη να κατανοήσουν αυτή την πραγματικότητα από την οποία εκπορεύεται και το εκλογικό αποτέλεσμα στην Ελλάδα.
Η Ελλάδα προκειμένου να εφαρμόσει τις αναγκαίες πολιτικές και να τις καταστήσει αποτελεσματικές χρειάζεται κάποια δημοσιονομική ανάσα οπότε θα πρέπει να χρηματοδοτηθεί από την ΕΚΤ για να σταθεροποιήσει το τραπεζικό της σύστημα.
Έχει δίκιο η ελληνική κυβέρνηση που ζητά διαγραφή μέρους του χρέους από τους εταίρους της..Ζητάμε από τους πιστωτές της Ελλάδος να δράξουν αυτή την ευκαιρία και να παρουσιάσουν καθαρά και τίμια τα δεδομένα στις κοινωνίες τους.
Το διακύβευμα δεν είναι μόνο η τύχη της Ελλάδος αλλά ακόμη και το μέλλον της Ευρώπης στο σύνολό της. Η πολιτική των απειλών των τελεσιγράφων, της ξεροκεφαλιάς και των εκβιασμών δηλώνουν την ηθική αποτυχία, οικονομική και πολιτική, του ευρωπαϊκού οράματος. Ζητάμε από τους ευρωπαίους ηγέτες να απορρίψουν και να καταδικάσουν τις προσπάθειες ταπείνωσης και εξαναγκασμού απέναντι στη κυβέρνηση και τον ελληνικό λαό.
Απεναντίας η επιτυχία της Ελλάδος μπορεί να δείξει το δρόμο της ευημερίας και της σταθερότητας στην Ευρώπη. Θα έδινε την ευκαιρία να φανεί η ανανέωση της δημοκρατίας και θα έδινε τη δυνατότητα μέσω των εκλογικών διαδικασιών σε εποικοδομητικές αλλαγές.
Είμαστε μαζί με την Ελλάδα και την Ευρώπη υπέρ της δημοκρατίας και της αλλαγής. Οι Ευρωπαίοι ιθύνοντες πρέπει να αναγνωρίσουν την αποφασιστική δημοκρατική επιλογή του ελληνικού λαού η οποία έγινε υπό συνθήκες εξαιρετικά δύσκολες και να προχωρήσουν σε μια ρεαλιστική αξιολόγηση της κατάστασης και να εισέλθουν χωρίς χρονοτριβή στην οδό μιας λογικής διαπραγμάτευσης.
Παρακάτω οι πρώτοι υπογράψαντες
Elmar Altvater (FU, Allemagne)
Philippe Askenazy (CNRS, France),
Clair Brown (University of California, Berkley, Etats-Unis)
Dorothee Bohle (Central European University, Hongrie)
Giovanni Dosi, (Pisa Institute of Economics, Italie)
Cédric Durand (Université Paris 13, France)
Gerald Epstein (UMASS, Etats-Unis)
Trevor Evans (Berlin School of Economics and Law, Allemagne)
James Galbraith (University of Texas at Austin, Etats-Unis)
Gaël Giraud (CNRS, France)
Stephany Griffith-Jones (Columbia University, Etats-Unis)
Laura Horn (Roskilde University, Danemark)
Robert Jessop (University of Lancaster, Royaume-Uni)
Steve Keen (Kingston University, Royaume-Uni)
Marc Lavoie (Ottawa University, Canada)
Tony Lawson (Cambridge, Royaume-Uni)
Dimitris Milonakis (University of Crete, Grèce)
Andreas Nölke (Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Allemagne)
Dominique Meda (Paris Dauphine, France),
El Mouhoub Mouhoud (Paris Dauphine, France)
André Orléan (EHESS, France),
Henk Overbeek (VU University Amsterdam, Pays-Bas)
Mario Pianta (University of Urbino, Italie)
Alfonso Palacio Vera (Computense University of Madrid, Espagne)
Anwar Shaikh (New School for Social Research, Etats-Unis)
Jacques Sapir (EHESS, France)
Robert Wade (LSE, Royaume-Uni)

Syriza’s real, under-the-radar accomplishment

The radical party that won the recent elections on January 25 2015 and shamed the forces that governed Greece for the past 4 decades, has managed to align a significant portion of the electorate and took off on an impressive, decisive journey towards the same agenda it had adopted at the pre-election period.

Consistency, transparency and determination, are values never before upheld by any Greek government.   Plus a very well done homework and an equally confident plan in immediate motion.

Thrust in the international political scene is equally impressive: Obama’s forthright support, French Fin Min and J.C Junker’s statements, solidarity–work in progress– with the European periphery that suffers from the consequences of the same cruel, irrational model of punitive austerity.  A hypocritical and ironic amalgam of values embedded in Enlightenment and ironclad remainders of the Inquisition and the Dark Ages.  It is not a matter of economics or financial viability, it has nothing from the positive outlook of repairing damages, healing wounds, righting wrongs or restoring balances.  It is purely a cultural war of hatred and revenge as if World War II in Europe never ended, 75 years later.

The value of Syriza’s rise and impressive appeal on a national and international scale lies elsewhere.  Within 7 days they have managed to show the world that there are other ways to rebuild devastated economies, that the alternative vision is entirely existing and cautiously attainable.  In fact it has showcased that non- violent ways are the only ways out of a crisis.  As an inspired friend put it, “you don’t austeritize yourself out of a crisis, you grow yourself out of it.”  And this is not just one option.  It is the only realistic option with win-win consequences for all actors involved.

Secondly, they have managed to turn the sign of the conversation from negative to positive.  An economy in deep recession and depression was in desperate need of climate change.  And by extension, other economies and societies suffocating under irrational fiscal restructuring simply because some brains behind thick walls decided that Milton Friedman’s model of shock therapy would be implemented on a global scale. Just because markets rejoice and some billions end up in a handful of private accounts as bonuses.  People’s rights, international treaties and democratic principles are simply annoying roadblocks.     The “invisible hand” sadly belongs to very real persons who couldn’t care less about balance or justice while they dance their way to banks.

Finally, the way Greece is viewed by its creditors after Syriza’s victory has been exposed as outright unfair, very much revealing of their inadequacy and blunt betrayal of the values, principles and grand vision conceived by the founders of the EEC in the 1950s.  Never has the concept “Union” been violated so blatantly than now that it has forced an entire nation into a vicious circle of recession from restructuring measures based on very wrong assumptions.  Critics of neoliberal principles can no longer be silenced because econometric empiricism no longer stands on their side.

© Maria Jay Em

Greece and Spain helped postwar Germany recover. Spot the difference

Sixty years ago, half of German war debts were cancelled to build its economy. Yet today, debt is destroying those creditors.

Source: The Guardian

Exchanging Food for Circus Tickets

People exchanging food for tickets in 1923 Germany. ‘Many, including Keynes, argued that [reparations imposed on Germany following the Versailles treaty] led to the rise of the Nazis and the second world war.’ Photograph: Keystone/Corbis

Sixty years ago today, an agreement was reached in London to cancel half of postwar Germany’s debt. That cancellation, and the way it was done, was vital to the reconstruction of Europe from war. It stands in marked contrast to the suffering being inflicted on European people today in the name of debt.

Germany emerged from the second world war still owing debt that originated with the first world war: the reparations imposed on the country following the Versailles peace conference in 1919. Many, including John Maynard Keynes, argued that these unpayable debts and the economic policies they entailed led to the rise of the Nazis and the second world war.

By 1953, Germany also had debts based on reconstruction loans made immediately after the end of the second world war. Germany’s creditors included Greece and Spain, Pakistan and Egypt, as well as the US, UK and France.

German debts were well below the levels seen in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain today, making up around a quarter of national income. But even at this level, there was serious concern that debt payments would use up precious foreign currency earnings and endanger reconstruction.

Needing a strong West Germany as a bulwark against communism, the country’s creditors came together in London and showed that they understood how you help a country that you want to recover from devastation. It showed they also understood that debt can never be seen as the responsibility of the debtor alone. Countries such as Greece willingly took part in a deal to help create a stable and prosperous western Europe, despite the war crimes that German occupiers had inflicted just a few years before.

The debt cancellation for Germany was swift, taking place in advance of an actual crisis. Germany was given large cancellation of 50% of its debt. The deal covered all debts, including those owed by the private sector and even individuals. It also covered all creditors. No one was allowed to “hold out” and extract greater profits than anyone else. Any problems would be dealt with by negotiations between equals rather than through sanctions or the imposition of undemocratic policies.

Perhaps the most innovative feature of the London agreement was a clause that said West Germany should only pay for debts out of its trade surplus, and any repayments were limited to 3% of exports earnings every year. This meant those countries that were owed debt had to buy West German exports in order to be paid. It meant West Germany would only pay from genuine earnings, without recourse to new loans. And it meant Germany’s creditors had an interest in the country growing and its economy thriving.

Following the London deal, West Germany experienced an “economic miracle”, with the debt problem resolved and years of economic growth. The medicine doled out to heavily indebted countries over the last 30 years could not be more different. Instead, the practice since the early 1980s has been to bail out reckless lenders through giving new loans, while forcing governments to implement austerity and free-market liberalisation to become “more competitive”.

As a result of this, from Latin America and Africa in the 80s and 90s to Greece, Ireland and Spain today, poverty has increased and inequality soared. In Africa in the 80s and 90s, the number of people living in extreme poverty increased by 125 million, while economies shrank. In Greece today, the economy has shrunk by more than 20%, while one in two young people are unemployed. In both cases, debt ballooned.

The priority of an indebted government today is to repay its debts, whatever the amount of the budget these repayments consume. In contrast to the 3% limit on German debt payments, today the IMF and World Bank regard debt payments of up to 15-25% of export revenues as being “sustainable” for impoverished countries. The Greek government’s foreign debt payments are around 30% of exports.

When debts have been “restructured”, they are only a portion of the total debts owed, with only willing creditors participating. In 2012, only Greece’s private creditors had debt reduced. Creditors that held British or Swiss law debt were also able to “hold out” against the restructuring, and will doubtless pursue Greece for many years to come.

The “strategy” in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain today is to put the burden of adjustment solely on the debtor country to make its economy more competitive through mass unemployment and wage cuts. But without creditors like Germany willing to buy more of their exports, this will not happen, bringing pain without end.

The German debt deal was a key element of recovering from the devastation of the second world war. In Europe today, debt is tearing up the social fabric. Outside Europe, heavily indebted countries are still treated to a package of austerity and “restructuring” measures. Pakistan, the Philippines, El Salvador and Jamaica are all spending between 10 and 20% of export revenues on government foreign debt payments, and this doesn’t include debt payments by the private sector.

If we had no evidence of how to solve a debt crisis equitably, we could perhaps regard the policies of Europe’s leaders as misguided. But we have the positive example of Germany 60 years ago, and the devastating example of the Latin American debt crisis 30 years ago. The actions of Europe’s leaders are nothing short of criminal.

Eight Ways to Say No With Grace and Style

Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to 

saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon 

enough.”  — Josh Billings

In a world of more requests than we can possibly fulfill, learning to say no with grace and style is a skill we all need.

We should be saying no more than we say yes, although the opposite is usually true. We say yes too quickly and no too slowly.

To consistently say no with grace and clarity, we need a variety of responses. To some people this comes naturally. Others, however, offer noncommittal answers like “I’ll try to fit that in,” or “I might be able to” when they know full well they can’t.

It’s far better, however, to offer a clear “no” than string someone along or give them a “slow no.”

In Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, there is a great section called “The No Repertoire.”

Saying no is its own leadership capability. It is not just a peripheral skill. As with any ability, we start with limited experience.

He offers eight responses you can put into your repertoire.

  1. The awkward pause.Instead of being controlled by the threat of an awkward silence, own it. Use it as a tool. When a request comes to you (obviously this works only in person), just pause for a moment. Count to three before delivering your verdict. Or if you get a bit more bold, simply wait for the other person to fill the void.
  2. The soft “no” (or the “no but”). I recently received an e-mail inviting me to coffee. I replied: “I am consumed with writing my book right now 🙂 But I would love to get together once the book is finished. Let me know if we can get together towards the end of the summer.”

E-mail is also a good way to start practicing saying “no but” because it gives you the chance to draft and redraft your “no” to make it as graceful as possible. Plus, many people find that the distance of e-mail reduces the fear of awkwardness.

  1. “Let me check my calendar and get back to you.”One leader I know found her time being hijacked by other people all day. A classic Nonessentialist, she was capable and smart and unable to say no, and as a result she soon became a “go to” person. People would run up to her and say, “Could you help with X project?” Meaning to be a good citizen, she said yes. But soon she felt burdened with all of these different agendas. Things changed for her when she learned to use a new phrase: “Let me check my calendar and get back to you.” It gave her the time to pause and reflect and ultimately reply that she was regretfully unavailable. It enabled her to take back control of her own decisions rather than be rushed into a “yes” when she was asked.
  2. Use e-mail bouncebacks. It is totally natural and expected to get an autoresponse when someone is traveling or out of the office. Really, this is the most socially acceptable “no” there is. People aren’t saying they don’t want to reply to your e-mail, they’re just saying they can’t get back to you for a period of time. So why limit these to vacations and holidays? When I was writing this book I set an e-mail bounceback with the subject line “In Monk Mode.” The e-mail said: “Dear Friends, I am currently working on a new book which has put enormous burdens on my time. Unfortunately, I am unable to respond in the manner I would like. For this, I apologize.—Greg.” And guess what? People seemed to adapt to my temporary absence and nonresponsiveness just fine.
  3. Say, “Yes. What should I deprioritize?”Saying no to a senior leader at work is almost unthinkable, even laughable, for many people. However, when saying yes is going to compromise your ability to make the highest level of contribution to your work, it is also your obligation. In this case it is not only reasonable to say no, it is essential. One effective way to do that is to remind your superiors what you would be neglecting if you said yes and force them to grapple with the trade-off.

For example, if your manager comes to you and asks you to do X, you can respond with “Yes, I’m happy to make this the priority. Which of these other projects should I deprioritize to pay attention to this new project?” Or simply say, “I would want to do a great job, and given my other commitments I wouldn’t be able to do a job I was proud of if I took this on.”

I know a leader who received this response from a subordinate. There was no way he wanted to be responsible for disrupting this productive and organized employee, so he took the nonessential work project back and gave it to someone else who was less organized!

  1. Say it with humor. I recently was asked by a friend to join him in training for a marathon. My response was simple: “Nope!” He laughed a little and said, “Ah, you practice what you preach.” Just goes to show how useful it is to have a reputation as an Essentialist!
  2. Use the words “You are welcome to X. I am willing to Y.”For example, “You are welcome to borrow my car. I am willing to make sure the keys are here for you.” By this you are also saying, “I won’t be able to drive you.” You are saying what you will not do, but you are couching it in terms of what you are willing to do. This is a particularly good way to navigate a request you would like to support somewhat but cannot throw your full weight behind. I particularly like this construct because it also expresses a respect for the other person’s ability to choose, as well as your own. It reminds both parties of the choices they have.
  3. “I can’t do it, but X might be interested.”It is tempting to think that our help is uniquely invaluable, but often people requesting something don’t really care if we’re the ones who help them— as long as they get the help.

Tom Friel, the former CEO of Heidrick & Struggles, once said, “We need to learn the slow ‘yes’ and the quick ‘no.’”

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less isn’t about doing more with less but rather the disciplined pursuit of focusing on the right things.

Source