Greek economy as a failure of capitalist patriarchy and the choice of dystopia

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Please cite the paper as:
Irene Sotiropoulou, (2014), Greek economy as a failure of capitalist patriarchy and the choice of dystopia, World Economics Association (WEA) Conferences, No. 2 2014, Greece and Austerity Policies: Where Next for its Economy and Society?, 20th October to 21st December 2014

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Abstract

The paper uses feminist theory to analyse the political economic phenomenon which has been termed “crisis” since fall 2008 onwards. The purpose of the paper is to investigate if and how the “crisis” is a response to either conscious and organised (or sometimes collectively disorganised but never without an agenda), efforts of producers, men and women, to effectively address the exploitative and hierarchical structures imposed on them by the political economic system in which they live.

Therefore, the concept of capitalist patriarchy is linked to the concept of social reproduction, which in recent decades has been in jeopardy, because of both environmental degradation and of the social changes that have put basic tasks necessary for the survival of society at the lower value position. This, of course, affects not only the living, social status and political claims of people who undertake those tasks, but also the survival of society as a whole.

In the paper, the Greek economy is an example, where the demands of capitalist patriarchy, although they seemed up to a particular historical point that they were met, they suddenly proved stale and not guaranteed. Thus, the “crisis” is not the problem and the result, but the conscious choice of specific social groups to impose living conditions and political circumstances of such particular hue, that resistance would end up to be inconceivable contrary to the resistance which has been possible one way or another in previous decades.

The question, of course, is whether the dystopia, which did not break out suddenly but it has been designed so, contains elements or “promises” that broad groups of the population have chosen or may choose, in an effort to maintain a political-economic system that gave them some privileges and now promises or directly provides, the same and/or other priviledges. That is, if capitalist patriarchy is a complex hierarchical system of people and production relationships, we look at what point and to what extent, the social groups who did not applaud this system have achieved changes that challenge that very same system. And then we investigate whether and by which mechanisms capitalist patriarchy tries to ensure its own survival, at the expense of which social groups and by concluding which alliances or compromises.


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