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Costas Simitis

followed the mantra that highlighting the problems alone was sufficient and then, once aware of the shortcomings, the government in Athens would quickly be able to redress them. While there was limited recognition of the ‘lack of know-how’ in Greece, the challenge of political and social change was never given the attention or focus it required.5 The other report came from the IMF and was published in December 2011.6 It was the fifth report from the Fund regarding the progress made by Greece in the efforts at reform. According to this report: the economic situation in

in The European debt crisis
Costas Simitis

bring back ‘austerity’, a ‘condemned’ and ‘hated’ practice from the time prior to EMU membership. New Democracy advanced ‘mild adjustment’ as its mantra for reform. This meant limited action, but a framework for discourse designed to appease those afraid the country would not adhere to its European obligations. The government had no intention of dealing with the large problems that arose from social changes; instead, it sought to service the needs of its power base. In this sense it tallied with the aspirations of voters who sought reforms that would benefit them

in The European debt crisis
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Making do, rationing and nostalgic austerity
Alison Hulme

between the logic of personal and public finances; between notions of individual and collective responsibility, yet is presented as a set of social policies that treats the two holistically, and as if one is connected by linear causality to the other. We are, in fact, in an age of illogical thrift, which disavows people of their ability to make social change happen in the realm of everyday life  –​a reality unconvincingly obscured by rhetoric celebrating the (apparent) light hand of the state.

in A brief history of thrift
Open Access (free)
Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde

from a discussion of the degree of competition that prevails in any particular market. This emphasis upon the efficiency properties of the market–competition complex is of course important, but it is by no means the whole story or the story that most adequately captures the operation of capitalism. Markets are devices for adapting to new possibilities and creating new resources; markets, that is, facilitate and stimulate economic and social change as well as allocating given resources. It is this creative aspect of the market system which is lost in the concern to

in Market relations and the competitive process
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Frugality, de-growth and Voluntary Simplicity
Alison Hulme

, whilst climate change will affect us all, it can be seen as having been brought on by a specific group of capitalists whose class interests lay in the adoption of fossil fuels. In a related argument, in Facing the Anthropocene, Ian Angus forcefully argues that capitalism’s inexorable drive for growth, powered by the rapid burning of fossil fuels that took millions of years to form, has driven the planet to the brink of disaster, and that survival will require nothing short of radical social change in which fossil capitalism is replaced with a new, ‘ecosocialist

in A brief history of thrift
Costas Simitis

will need citizens who are ready to fight for the new ideas. It will need leaders prepared to rouse public opinion against the clientele system and vested interests. After so many years of crisis, politicians will be more reluctant than ever to introduce unpopular measures. Essential measures will be rejected on the grounds that they are ‘Memorandum-style’. Few politicians will be ready to actively promote social change, to explain that modernisation comes at a price and that it takes courage to combat shortcomings. Extreme nationalism, populism and demagoguery will

in The European debt crisis
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Puritans, Quakers and Methodists
Alison Hulme

attempt to return to a thrift based on thriving, largely because few of them seek genuine social change, preferring instead to use their own excess to temper or reform an existing unjust system.

in A brief history of thrift
Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Victorian moralism
Alison Hulme

historical mix of economic growth and consumerism, the rise of the middle class, and anxiety over consumerism and luxury on civic values. Such social changes were to lead to an emphasis on self-​discipline, hard work, sobriety, honesty, diligence and industry, as well as a morally inflected striving for respectability. (Many social housing movements of the time saw those classified as ‘semi-​criminal’ striving to get into housing estates for the respectable poor, not simply to gain better housing, but also to achieve the respectability that was so important at the time

in A brief history of thrift