Open Letter To Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Dear Prime Minister and Comrade Alexis Tsipras,
We greet you from the Peace research center Tamera in Portugal, where we are working to create a model for an ecologically and socially sustainable peace culture. An international meeting of the Global Campus is currently taking place here; we are hosting representatives from many parts of the world. We are hearing reports of crises, exploitation and violence from all over the world, but we are also hearing from people who are courageously standing up for autonomy, justice and peace.
It was with great joy that we heard about the election of a socialist government and a trustworthy prime minister in Greece. You have been fighting like a lion for the wellbeing of your country. Now, we would like to pray for your heart.
One of the most evil methods of neoliberalism is to force of all leftwing governments and most honest politicians to implement its anti-social, destructive and exploitative plans. I am ashamed of my (the German) government, of the insincere media and the cold power politics of the financial institutions.
Regarding all the suffering that austerity measures have already brought to the people of Southern Europe: How hard must it be for you now, to be forced into those decisions on a daily basis! Under this kind of pressure, how easy it would be to become just the way the opponents want us to be: cynical, lonely or hungry for power. We hope that you can find moments of calm and contemplation and that the sense of community with your comrades and the power of vision stay alive within you – for your beautiful country and for its brave inhabitants.
All your suggestions were shot down by the European group. And yet, the struggle still had meaning. Friends from Greece said, “The masks have fallen, Europe has shown it true face.” We can see clearly now how merciless are the power structures we must face when we wish to introduce justice and common sense. The representatives of the power systems and financial institutions undermine humaneness, social cohesion and regional autonomies while openly defying any democratic or ethical rules. This insight has radicalized many people. Ever more know that, in this system, there can be no future. We need a completely different system if we, as humanity, want to survive: a system of solidarity and justice, of coopration with nature, of communities. No country will be able to exit the present system alone.
For a New Socialism throughout Southern Europe
And still, we see the possibility of a thriving Greece, as well as a thriving Portugal and Spain. We see the possibility of a Third Way, beyond Grexit and subjugation. No doubt, in the solar age to come, Southern Europe with its long-lasting sunshine will belong to the prosperous and leading regions. May this happen in terms of solidarity, cooperation with nature and genuine democracy – in terms of a new socialism.
What does socialism mean today? I am sure we share the vision of politeias in all cities and communities, of self-confident farmers who cooperate with nature and can live well from their products, of sustainable regions and local economic cycles, of an ecologically and socially sustainable industry owned by its workers, of a hopeful young generation which knows where to invest its energy and intelligence.
Beyond that, the socialism of the future must embrace human values. Care, solidarity, mutual help, a sense of community, responsibility, transparency, trust and love can neither be nationalized nor privatized. They will emerge in everyday experiences in new communities and future villages. From there, they will spread into the environment. These autonomous communities and decentralized cooperatives are the partners and backup of any socialist government which can maintain its humanity.
No Exit without Entry
To be able to exit the existing systems, we need to know which systems we can enter into. This is why we in the peace research center Tamera, Portugal, have elaborated a model for the future, initially on a small scale. In cooperation with similar research projects throughout the world, we are developing the know-how and experience which is needed to establish ecologically and socially sustainable model regions with their own economic cycles. Central to this is the understanding of healthy and natural water management. Without water, there is no life and no sound economic development. Building on that, regional food and energy autonomy, which enables every region to sustain itself and to trade the surplus, are called for. And in the human core, we can add the social experience of community building, communication, basic democracy and reconciliation of the genders.
In models and training centers in Portugal, Colombia, Kenya, Mexico und Palestine, we are working to establish preliminary models to show that, even in crisis areas, settlements and regions can live and thrive without violence, injustice, power fights or dependency on the international finance systems. Regarding this, the day will come when not only the nations which are presently “dependent” will be able to exit the injust money systems. Greece, once the pioneer of European culture, could again take on a role of shaping the future, this time for the fascinating concept of autonomous regions.
“Ecovillage Skala” in Greece
Ecological techniques have to be studied just like social skills and values, as many years of patriarchy have shaped us in a different way. The many grass roots initiatives existing in Greece could form the basis for a new society, if there were models and training centers for that.
One of our new partners is the emerging ecovillage Skala in Greece, 40 minutes from Thessaloniki. It was founded by two people with many years of experience in building community. We want to help them create a training center and model for a just and sustainable society which will enable many Greeks to see that a different way of life is possible, and how. The skills they can learn there will help to buffer the worst consequences of the austerity measures, because it will make them more independent of the global system.
In August, some of Tamera’s coworkers will share their knowledge about water retention over there and immediatelyy build the first structures: Primarily in Europe, fair and natural water retention is the most important basis for a new economy. More activities in cooperation with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and Gaia Education will follow later this year and in the coming years.
We would like to reach out for cooperation with you, across all borders, knowing that socialism is the idea whose time has come worldwide. We also wish to offer you and your comrades the use of Tamera as an oasis to regain your drained energy, should you need to recharge your batteries with inspiration, and to experience how many other people there are who share your vision.
Additionally, we ask you to stand behind our work in Greece, to share and collaborate. We are aware that it will take a while before the radical thoughts that Tamera is following will be understood and shared by a larger portion of the population.
Sending you greetings from the revolutionary heart,
Monte do Cerro, 7630 Colos,
Leila Dregger, journalist and writer, teacher for peace journalism, member of Peace Research Center Tamera (Portugal), co-worker of the Global Love School of Tamera. Her topic is women´s solidarity, sexual liberation and community building as a path to a peaceful societ