3. – THE CULTURAL CONTENT OF GREEK ADVERTIZING DISCOURSE: CONTEXT – REORGANIZING COMPANY HEADQUARTERS, 1950’s

The qualitative support of American aid to Greece would manifest itself in a variety of ways that would further complement what we have already described above (specifically with respect to the production process of Greek factories – cf. sect. 2). One such extra educational support would be the use of films. The April-May 1956 issue of Παραγωγικότης, in some sort of an advertisement promoting the projects of the Greek Productivity Center, announces that the latter runs a Cinematographic Service for Greek companies. The Service would project a series of films presenting the latest in technical advances and technical methods involved in production. We are told that, for the first quarter of 1956, the Center had provided its own Technical Schools with what amounted to 103 such films. These were watched by 6.810 Technical School “students”. The advertisement encourages whoever was involved in local production processes to make use of such Cinematographic Service, it being at their full disposal. This is how the advertisement reads:

 

«Κατά το τετράμηνον Ιανουάριος-Απρίλιος 1956… Η Κινηματογραφική Υπηρεσία του Ελληνικού Κέντρου Παραγωγικότητος εφωδίασε τας Τεχνικάς Σχολάς με 103 ταινίας, παρουσιαζούσας τεχνικάς προόδους και τεχνικάς μεθόδους δια την αύξησιν της παραγωγικότητος… Προεβλήθησαν ενώπιον 6.810 θεατών σπουδαστών… Χρησιμοποιήσατε την Υπηρεσίαν αυτήν. Είναι εις την διάθεσίν σας» (cf. Παραγωγικότης, April-May 1956, issue no. 12, Athens, p. 2, their emph.).

 

The educational project of the Greek Productivity Center would be further complemented by the establishment and operation of a library. The April 1958 issue of Παραγωγικότης informs its readers of such library, and explains that it is open to the public at large. This institution would provide users with a wide variety of manuals, and it was targeting whosoever was interested in issues related to productivity. It housed a rich collection of textbooks, special studies, periodicals, newspapers, and so forth. All such materials centered round problems of productivity and concomitant issues related to the organization of the production process, be that of industry as such, or of small crafts industries. The library also housed materials related to questions of organization in the fields of agriculture and trade. It would issue a weekly bibliographical bulletin informing users of incoming materials. All services – at the disposal of everyone – were free of charge. The announcement concerning this library, as published in Παραγωγικότης, reads as follows:

 

«Η ΒΙΒΛΙΟΘΗΚΗ ΤΟΥ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟΥ ΚΕΝΤΡΟΥ ΠΑΡΑΓΩΓΙΚΟΤΗΤΟΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΑΝΟΙΚΤΗ ΕΙΣ ΤΗΝ ΔΙΑΘΕΣΙΝ ΤΟΥ ΚΟΙΝΟΥ…Η Βιβλιοθήκη του Ελληνικού Κέντρου Παραγωγικότητος όσους ενδιαφέρονταιπεριέχει πάσης φύσεως βοηθήματα, δι’ όσους ενδιαφέρονται δια την Παραγωγικότητα…Συγγράμματα, ειδικαί μελέται, περιοδικά κ.λ. συνδεόμενα με την Παραγωγικότητα, την οργάνωσιν και με τεχνικά θέματα της βιομηχανίας, της βιοτεχνίας, της γεωργίας και της εμπορίας, είναι εις την διάθεσίν σας, εις την Βιβλιοθήκην του ΕΛ.ΚΕ.ΠΑ.Ώραι λειτουργίας 9 π.μ. – 1 μ.μ. καθημερινώς και 6 – 8 μ.μ.καθ’ εκάστην Τετάρτην και Παρασκευήν.Καποδιστρίου 28…Υπό της Βιβλιοθήκης του Ελληνικού Κέντρου Παραγωγικότητος ήρχισεν εκδιδόμενον Βιβλιογραφικόν Δελτίον, διαλαμβάνον του ΕΛ.ΚΕ.ΠΑ πλήρη κατάλογον των εισερχομένων εις την Βιβλιοθήκην του ΕΛ.ΚΕ.ΠΑ. βιβλίων, περιοδικών, εφημερίδων και άλλων εντύπων.Το Δελτίον τούτο εκδίδεται καθ’ εβδομάδα και δίδεται δωρεάν εις τους ενδιαφερομένους»(cf. Παραγωγικότης, April 1958, issue no. 28, Athens, p. 170, their emph.).

 

But it was not just the Greek Productivity Center and its various organs – from the Cinematographic Service to its library – that would attempt to reorganize the structure and functioning of Greek endogenous capital. The overall philosophy of the Greek Productivity Center would be consciously reproduced in the various advertizing campaigns of the day addressed to the new needs of local companies. We know that various private enterprises and initiatives would join the bandwagon to help Greek companies update their organizational structures – one such, as we have seen, was TWI, Inc. One other private enterprise that would also attempt to advance the overall philosophy of the Greek Productivity Center would be the well-known conglomerate specializing in office equipment, Remington Rand. The latter would attempt to ply its products amongst local companies by fully espousing the strategies and discourse of the Greek Productivity Center. Remington Rand would address itself to all Greek companies, whatever their type and whatever their size. Advertizing campaigns organized by this conglomerate in the 1950’s would articulate a discourse that would place emphasis on the need for local companies to adopt new methods of self-organization within their own Headquarters. Such reorganization at the level of management would be facilitated through the use of Remington office equipment. It would be precisely via such office technology that enterprises would be able to raise their efficiency in the running of their affairs. Such efficiency would also be instrumental in lowering the cost of managerial work. The April 1958 issue of Παραγωγικότης would carry an advertisement promoting such Remington office machines – it would explain in great detail the functionality of such machines in the context of the need to ameliorate productivity as a whole. This important advertisement reads as follows:

 

«Το Αποδοτικώτερον Λιπαντικόν… Πόσον ρυθμικώτερα λειτουργεί μια επιχείρησις της οποίας η διεύθυνσις χρησιμοποιεί τα συστήματα οργανώσεως και τας μηχανάς γραφείου “REMINGTON”! Τα μέσα αυτά διατηρούν τους τροχούς της παραγωγής, της διανομής και της διοικήσεως σε συνεχή κίνησι κατά τρόπον ομαλόν και παραγωγικόν. Η συμβολή των εις τον έλεγχον των επιχειρήσεων παντός είδους – εις μεγάλην ή μικράν κλίμακα – αναγνωρίζεται από κρατικάς και ιδιωτικάς επιχειρήσεις, εις όλον τον κόσμον. Προσωπικόν, μισθοδοσία, αποθήκη, πωλήσεις, παραγωγή… Δεν έχει σημασίαν το είδος της εργασίας. Υπάρχει πάντα μία μηχανή ή εν σύστημα της “REMINGTON” που εκτελεί την εργασίαν αποδοτικώτερα. Δεν έχει σημασίαν που λειτουργεί η επιχείρησίς σας. Υπάρχει πάντα ένας αντιπρόσωπος της “REMINGTON” που έχει εις την διάθεσίν σας περισσότερα από 20.000 προϊόντα που παράγει η “REMINGTON”. Επί πλέον, διαθέτει τα 78 χρόνια πείρας της “REMINGTON” δια να λύη τα οργανωτικά προβλήματα που σας απασχολούν. Ελάτε σήμερα εις επαφήν με τον αντιπρόσωπον της “REMINGTON”. Αφήστε τον να σας βοηθήση με την πείραν του και να σας καθορίση νέας κατευθύνσεις, να σας δείξη νέα συστήματα και μέσα. Αφήστε τον να σας αναπτύξη πώς, με τα κατάλληλα όργανα, μπορεί να εκτελήται η εργασία σας πλέον αποδοτικά και οικονομικά. Η αποστολή του Οργανισμού “REMINGTON RAND” είναι να απλοποιή την εργασίαν του γραφείου…» (cf. Παραγωγικότης, April 1958, issue no. 28, Athens, p. 168).

 

This Remington Rand advertisement, addressed to both small- and medium-sized Greek firms, definitely belongs to what we elsewhere have referred to as the “adjustive” type, whereby its discourse is formulated according to the needs of the local environment, as also in terms of the prevailing strategy to modernize Greek productive units in the context of post-war “reconstruction”. Its discourse is representative of that type of advertisement which concentrates on the need to modernize company Headquarters themselves, thereby moving its focus from the shop floor to the manner in which company structures are administered from the “top”. The Remington Rand advertisement informs its potential clients that they need to regulate the rhythm of work performed at the level of Headquarters. To do that, companies would need to implement new organizational systems – such systems would be materialized via the use of office equipment produced by Remington Rand. The use of these machines would render them an organic part of the overall reorganization of a company’s administrative offices. By facilitating the smooth functioning of Headquarters, firms would thereby maintain – as the advertisement suggests – the continual motion of the interacting cogs of production, distribution and management. We have already emphasized that Remington Rand was addressing itself to all local units of production, whatever their size – its discourse was meant to deal with the real needs of endogenous companies that were struggling to attain some quality of self-organization that had thus far been hampered by the dysfunctionalities of traditionality and the role of familial networks within company Headquarters. Here, we may briefly refer to the case of the medium-sized A&M factory mill based at Aliartos: its problematic functioning and endemic organizational problems that had almost always beset it were typical of most local firms. We may here consider a letter by Marakis, the owner-manager of the flour mill. Written in 1955, this letter fully expresses the psychology of a man struggling to establish and modernize his factory in the 1950’s. It is worthwhile listening to the highly personal anguish of an entrepreneur who was both frustrated by his associates as also deeply “in love” with his project – this is what he writes to a certain Mihail Leousis, an “expert” who had been appointed to modernize and replan the A&M flour mill at that time:

 

«Αλιάρτω 26.5.1955
Προσωπικόν
Κον Μιχαήλ Λεούσην
Φίλε Κύριε,
Ήλπιζα πάντοτε ότι η τύχη δεν θα με άφινε να συνεχίζω εργαζόμενος με αδαείς και ανειδίκευτους τεχνίτας και ότι μίαν ημέραν θα εύρισκα εκείνον που ήθελα, εκείνον που θα έδινε τας πραγματικάς γνώσεις του δια να τελειοποιηθή ένα έργον που με τόσους κόπους και τόσον ζήλον και αφοσίωσιν ήρχισα – … Ευχαριστώ τον θεόν διότι επί τέλους βρήκα στο πρόσωπόν σας, τον εξ αυτού αποσταλέντα δια να με σώση. Ναι: να με σώση λέγω διότι εκινδύνευσα να χάσω τελείως την υγείαν μου και να στερηθώ της φιλτάτης οικογενείας – … Δια να ξεκινήσω και μόνον παρήλασαν πέντε ειδικοί – … Κανείς από αυτούς δεν μπόρεσε να μας βοηθήση, όλλοι τους ήσαν άτεχνοι. Μόνοι μας ημείς εκατορθώσαμεν να φθάσωμεν εκεί όπου μας βρήκατε σεις και τότε και μόνον τότε εστάθηκε κατορθωτόν ο μύλος μας να πάρη γραμμήν, γραμμήν πλέον πραγματικήν, μύλου πραγματικού, η οποία οφείλεται αποκλειστικώς σε σας… Σας παρακαλούμεν να δεχθήτε τα συγχαρητήρια μας περιβεβλημένα με πολλάς πολλάς ευχαριστίας δια το πράγματι φιλότιμον και φιλικόν ενδιαφέρον το οποίον και τότε αλλά και περισσότερον τελευταίως εδείξατε εις την τελειοποίησιν του μύλου, σεις πλέον είσθε φίλος παλαιός και όχι νέος. Σας παρακαλούμεν δε όπως συνεχίσετε το ενδιαφέρον σας και ολοκληρωθή ο μύλος τον οποίον τόσον ηγάπησα εγώ όσον και σείς – … Σας ευχόμεθα υγείαν και ευημερίαν δια την αξιοποίησιν της λεπτής τέχνης σας, εις όφελος ημών και των συναδέλφων μας» (cf. Α&Μ Archives, Marakis personal letters, 26.5.1955, unnumbered file).

 

This letter, as also the whole gamut of the Marakis correspondence available to us, bears testimony to the real nature of whatever organizational problems faced by most local firms at the time. The first and perhaps most striking element that dominates the Marakis discourse is the highly personalized approach to the problems of company organization. Such an approach, of course, circumvents the real problem of whatever organizational endeavours – viz. the technical matter of the problem. It is not at all surprising that Marakis scribbles the telling word, «Προσωπικόν» (“Personal”), right across the opening lines of his letter to Leousis. He goes on to express his personal hopes («ήλπιζα») as to finding the appropriate colleagues that would help him establish his flour mill plant on a solid footing. He also overtly declares his dependency on fate or chance («τύχη») to be able to achieve this, and which is symptomatic of his mindset. Thus far, Marakis complains, all his associates have turned out to be ignorant of technical matters («αδαείς») and unskilled («ανειδίκευτους»). We note that his assessment of colleagues, albeit most probably accurate, seems devoid of whatever knowledge of some job evaluation system, and which again points to the personalized approach to organizational problems. He is in search of someone with a “real knowledge” («πραγματικάς γνώσεις») of flour mill plants. But Marakis announces that he has now found just that man in the person of Leousis himself – he thanks god for such a discovery, believing that Leousis is the person that shall “save” him («δια να με σώση»). It is most interesting to note that, as far as Marakis is concerned, Leousis has been sent to him by god himself. Such an interpretation, of course, is indicative of the traditionalist/residual worldviews of many local entrepreneurs of the period. Much more importantly, it is also indicative of the absence of whatever rudiments of a Personnel Department functioning within the structures of the A&M company operational framework. In the absence of a Personnel Department to screen, shortlist and select a job candidate, Marakis would resort to a substitute he knew best – viz. god himself.

Unlike so many other Marakis letters, missives and official company documents which would deal with the inefficiency and/or insubordination exhibited by the flour mill’s Blue Collar workforce, the 1955 letter discussed here essentially focuses on the problems of the company’s Headquarters. The latter had been persistently manned by incompetent “technicians” (here, in the more specific sense of company technical planners). These had been called upon to undertake the overall “planning” of the factory – a document attached to the letter succinctly defines their purported assignment: «δια του σχέδιου μύλου». As mentioned, Marakis had been continually failing in his attempts to find the appropriate associates for such task – all five “technicians” prior to the arrival of Leousis had proven unsuitable in helping him with his entrepreneurial project, and he had no choice but go it alone. And yet, the owner-manager could intuit that what was really missing was what he calls a company “line” or a “real line” (in the sense of a company direction or policy), and which would yield a “real mill” («να πάρη γραμμήν, γραμμήν πλέον πραγματικήν, μύλου πραγματικού»). In this 1955 letter, we see that Marakis fully believes that the foundations for such “line” were finally being successfully established by Leousis, and thus he sincerely congratulates and thanks the man. The essentially personalized approach to matters of company organization typically leads Marakis to end his letter by expressing his deep “love” for the mill («τον οποίον τόσον ηγάπησα»). Naturally, Marakis also assumes that Leousis himself shares such “love” («όσον και σείς»).

As we have seen, this Marakis letter to a “technical expert” such as Leousis describes the real problems that any local factory owner-manager would face in his sincere attempts to organize his plant from the “top”. The organization or reorganization of a plant from the “top” would of course be the primary strategy of whichever company, big or small. But this was especially important for a flour mill plant such as A&M, it being a top-heavy organization (cf. our detailed analysis of employee statistics of the A&M company through the years verifying such a reality, op. cit.). And thus we see the almost existential urgency felt by Marakis to find the man that would provide his enterprise with a “real line”. But Marakis – as we shall further see below – would also gradually come to realize that the task of organizing a plant at the point of production was not merely dependent on finding the right sort of person to assist him with his organizational project. As the Remington Rand advertisement was trying to instill in the minds of all Greek entrepreneurs, one could not truly organize a plant unless one had also reorganized the work of Headquarters as such on a new technical basis. For Remington Rand, it would be its own office equipment that would help achieve such technical reorganization.

Of course, the impact of advertizing discourse such as that of Remington Rand must not be seen as one-dimensional, in the sense that it simply promoted its own Remington office equipment. As an expression of the overall strategies of the Greek Productivity Center, the Remington Rand advertisement would be fulfilling a function relatively autonomous of its own narrower parameters – apart from attempting to promote specific office equipment produced by the conglomerate it represented, it would also be introducing local entrepreneurs to a wider and radically new company culture based on new office technology (in fact, one need see all advertizing discourse as having a multi-purpose functionality covering, not only narrow company interests as such, but also expressing – and willy-nilly – wider socio-economic and cultural paradigms). Now, it is of interest to note that Marakis would ultimately come to latch on to the need for such new office technology so as to modernize his A&M Company Headquarters. By the 1960’s, for instance, Marakis would be undertaking an investigation of the office equipment market with the intention of modernizing office installations. Indicative of such systematic investigations is a formal letter he would receive from a Greek trade agent informing the owner-manager of the latest in German telephonic systems technology. The agent, by the name of Ioannis Maroulis (of Τεχνικαί και Εμπορικαί Αντιπροσωπείαι Αθήναι), would write to Marakis on July 19, 1966 – part of this letter reads as follows:

 

«Κύριε,
Έχομεν την τιμήν να προσφέρωμεν υμίν δια λογαριασμόν του Γερμανικού Εργοστασίου TELEFONBAU UND NORMALZEIT G.M.B.H., FRANKFURT/MAIN, τα κάτωθι… Αυτόματον Τηλεφωνικόν Κέντρον, νεωτάτου ρευματοληπτικού τύπου Φωτεινών Πλήκτρων, κατηγορίας ΙΙ B/C No. 02.5401.1000… κατασκευασμένου συμφώνως προς τους κανονισμούς των γερμανικών ταχυδρομείων, δια: 3 Γραμμάς Κέντρου πόλεως… [etc.]” (cf. Α&Μ Archives, Marakis business correspondence, 19.7.1966, file no. 100).

 

This letter was meant to introduce the A&M Company to, inter alia, the use of an automatic call distribution system. Apparently, the letter also includes technical data about other gadgets of office technology – in fact, a whole set of office equipment is being presented, of which the call distributor is but one example (not all the relevant information is available to us as only an extract of the document has survived the ravages of time). But it is important that an owner-manager such as Marakis – whose mill plant was located in the semi-rural backwaters of mainland Greece – was actively responding to the new entrepreneurial culture promoted by the Greek Productivity Center and the related advertizing campaigns such as that of Remington Rand. Based on the Α&Μ Archives, we know that the Marakis Headquarters was systematically informing itself of the latest developments in the field of technology by subscribing to the organ of the Greek Productivity Center, Παραγωγικότης, and it was doing so at least up until 1979 (cf. Α&Μ Archives, file no. 106).

The A&M Company is just one example of that type of endogenous non-monopoly firm that would be able to stand on its own two feet in the post-war period. It would be able to expand and survive right through to the 1980’s – it would be able to do so for a number of reasons which we do not intend to examine here. But at least one such reason was that it would be continually trying to modernize its technology both at the point of production and at the level of Headquarters, and it would be doing so more or less in keeping with the new entrepreneurial culture being promoted by the Greek Productivity Center. Of course, and again like so many other local companies in the 1950’s, the A&M Company would be a benefactor of Marshall Plan aid, via the Ministry of Supply and Distribution (cf. the 4th interview with Evangelos Mouratis, Aliartos, 16.3.2009, who would verify that «… ο Μαράκης είχε ευνοηθεί από το υπουργείο Εφοδιασμού»). Perhaps we should clarify here that the Ministry of Supply and Distribution would ultimately come under the umbrella of the Ministry of Coordination (set up as early as 1945), and which would be linked to the Marshall Plan’s drive for the rapid reconstruction of Greek productivity. With respect to the A&M Company and how it would benefit from the Marshall Plan, cf., as well, Προφορική μαρτυρία: Γιώργος Ζυγογιάννης, πρακτικός Επιμορφωτικόν Βήμα μηχανικός, published herein, gslreview.com, 12.03.2018).

Thus, it would be quite accurate to say that a flour plant such as that of the A&M Company would be able to offer jobs to Aliartian residents, as also to other Greeks from various parts of the country (such as Crete). Further, it would itself be able to gradually contribute to the overall amelioration of the Greek national income by the 1970’s and early 1980’s (and that, despite its so-called “exploitation” of the sexual division of labour, yielding an “ultra-cheap” female workforce – cf. our studies of wage-scales at the A&M Company through the years). And it would generally help feed the population via its almost nation-wide flour-distribution network. Above all, it would turn out to be an exporter of its flour products. Even as late as 1982, A&M would continue to be registered as an exporting company: a document available in the company archives, issued by the Εμπορικό & Βιομηχανικό Επιμελητήριο Βοιωτίας (the Boeotian Chamber of Commerce and Industry), testifies to the fact that the company continued to operate as an exporter («ΠΙΣΤΟΠΟΙΗΤΙΚΟ… ως εξαγωγέας» – cf. Α&Μ Archives, file no. 108).

And yet, and having said all this, most local companies such as that of A&M would continue to remain essentially impervious to the new methods of “scientific organization” of their production process as promoted by the Greek Productivity Center. Further, both the concept and the infrastructure for the establishment of something approximating a Personnel Department would escape them. The A&M Company would never really be able to achieve some structural mediation of the capital-labour and/or co-worker conflicts that would raise their head every now and then on the shop floor or within company Headquarters. Such conflicts would continue to take the form of essentially interpersonal clashes between the owner-manager and his employees, or amongst employees themselves occupying different positions within the company hierarchy.

Now, it is important to stress that such types of problems were not exclusively a symptom of managerial shortcomings. It was also the workforce itself that was not ready to accept the mediation of its grievances through at least some system approximating the structures of industrial relations (as would happen in countries such as the USA). This could be put down to, inter alia, the small number of working people concentrated on the shop floor and the ramifications of this with respect to shop floor unionization (the latter usually being a presupposition for the operation of some system of industrial relations). In direct response to such type of circumstances, at least certain local companies would try to impregnate their employees with the industrial culture being promoted by the Greek Productivity Center. Thus, while a company such as that of A&M would try to update itself on questions of productivity and technology by subscribing to the periodical Παραγωγικότης, other companies would attempt to share or spread the philosophy of the Center by directly introducing its ideas to employees themselves.

A January 1955 issue of Παραγωγικότης presents us with a number of local companies that would try to introduce their employees to the industrial culture of the Greek Productivity Center. One such company was Φαρμακευτικά Εργαστήρια Ι. Κωνσταντακάτος και Υιοί (Pharmaceutical Laboratories I. Konstandakatos & Sons), based in Athens. This company was attempting to establish a “climate” on its shop floor based on “understanding” («κλίματος κατανοήσεως») and a spirit of “unity” or “solidarity” amongst employees («συμπνοίας μεταξύ του προσωπικού»). There was, therefore, an emphasis on the “psychological factor” in work relations on the shop floor (cf. Παραγωγικότης, January 1955, issue no. 6, Athens, pp. 30-31).

This early 1955 issue of the periodical would publish a letter sent to it by the owner-manager of the local pharmaceutical company in question, I. Konstandakatos, who explains that his company plans to select articles published in Παραγωγικότης so that these be discussed amongst its employees. Konstandakatos presents the editors of Παραγωγικότης with the full text of his company’s notice addressed to all employees and with reference to the use of the periodical amongst them. The text reads as follows:

 

«Εις το πλαίσιον της όλης προσπαθείας της επιχειρήσεως προς εφαρμογήν των νεωτέρων μεθόδων εργασίας και οργανώσεως, συνιστάται όπως άπαντες οι εργαζόμενοι αναγνώσουν τα εκδοθέντα δύο πρώτα τεύχη του περιοδικού “Παραγωγικότης”. Ανά τρία τεύχη εξ εκάστου ευρίσκονται πάντοτε εις την κοινόχρηστον βιβλιοθήκην. Ίσως ωρισμέναι επιχειρήσεις έχουν την γνώμην ότι τοιαύτα περιοδικά είναι χρήσιμα μόνον δια τους ιδίους τους επιχειρηματίας και ότι η ανάγνωσίς των υπό των εργαζομένων δεν αποβαίνει εις όφελος της επιχειρήσεως αλλ’ απεναντίας είναι επιβλαβής. Αντιθέτως η ημετέρα επιχείρησις θεωρεί ότι η ανάγνωσις τοιούτων περιοδικών αποτελεί εποικοδομητικόν στοιχείον δια την εργασίαν. Ευθύς μάλιστα ως συστηματοποιηθή η έκδοσις του περιοδικού, θα εκλέγεται αριθμός άρθρων τα οποία παρουσιάζουν ηυξημένον ενδιαφέρον δια την επιχείρησιν, τα άρθρα δε ταύτα θα μελετώνται ιδιαιτέρως και εν συνεχεία θα συζητήται και θα σχολιάζεται το περιεχόμενον, ανταλλασομένων απόψεων κ.τ.λ.» (ibid.).

 

The Φαρμακευτικά Εργαστήρια Ι. Κωνσταντακάτος και Υιοί would place such attempts – as described in this notice to employees – within the context of its need to establish new work and organizational methods on the shop floor. Such need was in full keeping with the initiatives being undertaken by the Greek Productivity Center. The company’s owner-manager encourages all employeesboth White Collar and Blue Collar workers – to read the first two available issues of Παραγωγικότης (cf. the editorial introduction to the company text, ibid., p.30). All forthcoming issues of the periodical would be made available to everyone through the establishment of an in-house company library («κοινόχρηστον βιβλιοθήκην»), and which may be seen as an extension of the initiatives of the Greek Productivity Center to establish its own central library.

In its notice to employees, the pharmaceutical company wishes to clearly differentiate itself from whichever other companies had been insisting that the contents of the Παραγωγικότης periodical should be restricted to management only. Apparently, there must have been certain local firms at the time that would wish to keep whatever “specialized” information to themselves – for these, such “monopolization” of knowledge was necessary as it could prove “harmful” («επιβλαβής») to the interests of the company were employees to set their eyes on such data. On the other hand, both the Greek Productivity Center and companies such as Φαρμακευτικά Εργαστήρια could sense that such “monopolization” of knowledge would mean that any attempts at modernizing the Greek shop floor would be operating in a vacuum unless the Greek workforce would itself be modernized in terms of the new industrial culture (and hence the need to emphasize the “psychological factor”, op. cit.). Thus, for companies such as Φαρμακευτικά Εργαστήρια, employee full access to a periodical such as Παραγωγικότης would be “constructive” («εποικοδομητικόν»), and so management would be planning to organize open discussions around various issues raised in the periodical, and especially so when such issues directly concerned the company itself.

Companies refusing to participate in such openness with respect to employees would continue to operate in a psychological vacuum on the shop floor, and that would remain a major obstacle to the implementation of the new industrial culture being promoted by institutions such as the Greek Productivity Center (we may say here that a company such as that of A&M would constitute a part of that problem, especially given management’s overtly “paternalistic” view of working people).

In response to such rampantly problematic circumstances, various institutions directly or indirectly related to the USA would continue to play an important role in the training of Greek company executives – the idea was to cultivate that new type of executive who would be sensitive to issues related to personnel relations and industrial psychology. Such training projects, which would be launched in the 1940’s, would be implemented in the course of the period covering the Marshall Plan up until 1952. But they would continue throughout the 1950’s and even through to the 1960’s. Perhaps the most important organization that would continue such work in the 1960’s – and which would ultimately establish itself as a permanent educational institution in the life of many young Greeks throughout the 20th century – would be the Ελληνοαμερικανικό Επιμορφωτικό Ινστιτούτο (the Hellenic American Training Institute). As has been elsewhere discussed (cf. our paper on advertizing discourse around the issues of work and “eros”), this institution had been established in 1946 and would, by 1968, be renamed Όμηρος (Omiros). The organization’s work would be promoted by an important bimonthly periodical named Επιμορφωτικόν Βήμα, and which would be issued under the auspices of the Greece-America Monthly Review, an organ established in the 1930’s with the aim of promoting cooperation between the USA and Greece with a special focus on youth education (ΔιμηνιαίαέκδοσηςτηςεπιθεωρήσεωςΕλλάς-ΑμερικήδημοσιογραφικόνόργανονΕλληνοαμερικανικήςσυνεργασίαςειςταπλαίσιατηςεξυπηρετήσεωςκαιτηςεπιμορφώσεωςτηςνεολαίας).

In its July-August 1967 issue, the Επιμορφωτικόν Βήμα would refer to the Ελληνοαμερικανικό Επιμορφωτικό Ινστιτούτο as the largest post-war educational organization in Greece («… του μεγαλυτέρου μεταπολεμικού μορφωτικού οργανισμού της χώρας» – cf. issue no. 43-44, p. 832). It would explain to its readers that the Institute’s educational work would focus on the fields of Business Administration and the training of senior managerial staff («Ανωτάτων Στελεχών») within Greece, so as to preempt the tendency on the part of the more ambitious students to undertake such training overseas (ibid. – we should further note here that the Institute would also be focusing on the teaching of foreign languages and be offering training in clerical skills).

The central aim of such a training project was to bridge the psychological vacuum between employers and employees which continued to permeate industrial relations within small- and medium-sized local companies. We have seen how an employer such as Marakis, while ultimately willing to introduce new technology within his company’s Headquarters, would nonetheless remain impervious to the need for a new, radical reorganization of the production process based on the principles of structured personnel relations, and as organized by Headquarters. Only the new type of executive would be able to adopt such a new industrial philosophy, and that was precisely what the Institute was intending to teach. It would thus organize – well after the expiration of the Marshall Plan – a variety of courses aimed at nurturing a new and young elite conscious of the central importance of personnel relations and industrial psychology. Samples of such courses are presented in the 1967 issue of the Επιμορφωτικόν Βήμα — consider the following text:

 

«ΤΙ ΘΑ ΚΑΝΕΤΕ ΤΩΡΑ ΠΟΥ ΤΕΛΕΙΩΣΑΤΕ ΤΟ ΛΥΚΕΙΟ ΣΑΣ;
Αυτό είναι το πρόβλημα που μπαίνει μπροστά σε κάθε νέο και νέα που τελείωσε το Λύκειο ή άλλο ισότιμο σχολείο Μ. Εκπαιδεύσεως. Είναι ακριβώς το ίδιο πρόβλημα, που θ’ αντιμετωπίσουν και δεκάδες χιλιάδες νέων, οι οποίοι δεν θα έχουν επιτυχία στις εξετάσεις τους για τις ανώτερες και ανώτατες σχολές, όχι γιατί δεν το αξίζουν, αλλά γιατί ο αριθμός των εισακτέων είναι περιορισμένος. Η σύγχρονη, όμως, ζωή δεν δικαιολογεί ούτε την αδράνεια, αλλ’ ούτε και την απογοήτευση. Άλλωστε, για τον καθένα με θέληση πάντοτε υπάρχει διέξοδος. Γι’ αυτό, το Ελληνοαμερικανικό Επιμορφωτικό Ινστιτούτο θεωρεί πως συμβάλλει θετικά στη λύση των προβλημάτων των παραπάνω νέων δίδοντας εδώ πληροφορίες και τις επαγγελματικές σχολές και τμήματά του που λειτουργεί, οι οποίες ενδεχομένως θα ενδιαφέρουν πολλούς νέους και νέες. Διαβάστε, λοιπόν, τα παρακάτω με προσοχή κι ασφαλώς θα βρήτε κάτι καλό για τον εαυτό σας ή για τα γνωστά σας πρόσωπα…
ΚΕΝΤΡΟΝ ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΙΚΩΝ ΣΤΕΛΕΧΩΝ
ΦΟΙΤΗΣΗ: 9μηνη, 2 ώρες κάθε βράδυ εκτός Σαββάτου.
ΜΑΘΗΜΑΤΑ: Ελληνική Οικονομία, Δημόσιες και Ανθρώπινες Σχέσεις, Λογιστική, Οργάνωση Επιχειρήσεων, Αλληλογραφία, Οργάνωση Γραφείου, Κοστολόγηση κλπ.
ΣΧΟΛΗ ΕΜΠΟΡΙΚΩΝ ΑΝΤΙΠΡΟΣΩΠΩΝ
ΦΟΙΤΗΣΗ: 9μηνη, 2 ώρες κάθε μέρα εκτός Σαββάτου.
ΜΑΘΗΜΑΤΑ: Νομοθεσία αντιπροσώπων, MARKETING, Ψυχολογία, Τεχνική Πωλήσεων, Ανθρώπινες Σχέσεις, Λογιστική, Φοροτεχνικά, Αλληλογραφία, κλπ.
ΚΕΝΤΡΟΝ ΔΙΟΙΚΗΤΙΚΩΝ ΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΕΩΝ (EXECUTIVES)
Μόνο για θήλεις, για περαιτέρω κατάρτιση πτυχιούχων Σχολών Γραμματέων, ή εργαζομένων πλέον του έτους ως Γραμματείς.
ΦΟΙΤΗΣΗ: 9μηνη, 2 ώρες κάθε μέρα εκτός Σαββάτου.
ΜΑΘΗΜΑΤΑ: Διοίκηση Επιχειρήσεων, Διοίκηση Γραφείου, Λογιστική Επιχειρήσεων, Δίκαιο Επιχειρήσεων, Δημ. και Ανθρώπινες Σχέσεις, κλπ. …» (ibid., p. 849).

 

This text, published in the summer issue of the Επιμορφωτικόν Βήμα in 1967 – the military coup had taken place just three months earlier – was addressing itself to young school leavers who, possibly for reasons beyond their control, had not made it to university. The text advises Greek youth that “modern life” («η σύγχρονη… ζωή») leaves no room for personal inertia («αδράνεια») and disillusionment («απογοήτευση»). It underlines the absolute importance of individual will, which can bypass whatever dead end («για τον καθένα με θέληση πάντοτε υπάρχει διέξοδος»). Elsewhere, we have examined the rise of a gradually emerging “optimistic” psyche amongst Greek youth in the post-war period, and which was naturally accompanied by a “will” to social success (cf., for instance, our paper on the work-“eros” interface in advertizing discourse) – it was precisely such wave of positive experimentation in the new mindset of Greek youth that the Επιμορφωτικόν Βήμα was attempting to ride. And it was that very mindset that constituted the sine qua non for continuing the project of “reconstruction” well after the Marshall Plan period (for some indication of the new business fever that was engulfing Greek society in the 1950’s, cf. H.A. Chomenidis, Νίκη, Εκδόσεις Πατάκη, Athens, 2014, p. 363 et al). Now, this new mindset had to be disciplined and harnessed to the specific needs of Greek industry – one such basic need was to train people in the context of the new industrial culture that we have been referring to above.

Thus, we see here that the 1967 issue of the Επιμορφωτικόν Διμηνιαίαέκδοσης της Βήμα invites Greek youth to consider joining one of the various vocational courses offered by the Ελληνοαμερικανικό Επιμορφωτικό Ινστιτούτο. The content of such courses – albeit schematically presented by the periodical – only makes sense if considered in the context of the continuing needs of “reconstruction”.

To begin with, the Institute had established a center for the training of executive directors (Κέντρον Διοικητικών Στελεχών). This training center would offer a 9-month course that would cover fields such as the Greek economy, public and human relations, accounting, business organization and office organization. As is obvious, this type of course was meant to help local companies in at least three ways: (i) allow management to reestablish its relationship with employees on the basis of “human relations” (“public relations”, by the way, would presumably deal with a company’s interaction with society at large); (ii) enable management to reorganize its company as a functional organization in its entirety; (iii) enable management to reorganize itself at the level of company Headquarters. All this would be gradually achieved by infusing local companies with a new, youthful elite which would take the place of old-timers that the likes of a Marakis had represented (but which was not necessarily meant to belittle the entrepreneurial endeavours of pioneers such as Marakis, the purpose being to “modernize” just such endeavours).

Another center run by the Institute would be the School for the training of trade representatives (Σχολή Εμπορικών Αντιπροσώπων). This School would also offer a 9-month course and it would train youths in fields such as the following: (i) legislation covering trade (or sales) representatives; (ii) marketing/selling techniques; (iii) psychology; and, again, (iv) human relations. This course would have been of special interest to a company such as the A&M flour mill, the operations of which would include both the production and circulation (direct selling) of flour products. Such combination of operational tasks would also apply to a wide range of local companies. We of course know that a company such as A&M would never find itself in a position of being receptive to such new approaches – in response, its trade representatives would have to make do with ad hoc strategies aimed at expanding their own distribution networks. Yet still, the A&M Archives provide us with documents and letters that point to the sheer ingenuity on the part of some of its trade representatives in their daily struggle to streamline distribution networks – they were in fact trying to make up for the anachronism of management (cf., for instance, file no. 61: “Stavros to Georgos Letter”, dealing with problems regarding the selling/circulation of flour products, etc., [21 tightly hand-written pages], 1960). It was just such unpredictable “primitiveness” that the Institute’s School for trade representatives was trying to overcome.

The Institute, further, had established a centre for the training of executive and/or administrative secretaries (Κέντρον Διοικητικών Γραμματέων). This center’s course, likewise spanning a 9-month period, was meant exclusively for females. These could further their training as secretaries – they would undergo schooling beyond clerical and routine office jobs, performing administrative duties for company staff in senior posts. The course would cover, inter alia, the following fields: (i) business administration; (ii) office administration; and, as in the training of executive directors, (iii) public and human relations. We may here point to the yawning gap that existed at the time between the type of secretary envisaged by the Institute’s center and the prevailing reality in most local firms operating in the 1960’s and 1970’s – for a detailed description of the work of A&M Company secretarial clerks, cf., inter alia, “The special case of Georgia M., Cashier-Clerk at the A&M Company Headquarters, 1954-1968”; and “The case of Amalia Eleftheriadou., Clerk, Cashier, and Assistant to the Accountant at the A&M Company Headquarters, 1966-1972”.

Generally speaking, the Ελληνοαμερικανικό Επιμορφωτικό Ινστιτούτο would be contributing to the long-term “reconstruction” of the Greek economy by operating at least twelve different Schools (or training centers) in the period of the 1960’s, each of which would concentrate on a very specific field of training aimed at modernizing small- and medium-sized local companies. Assisting such companies to modernize their operations was the Institute’s openly stated strategy. Its organ, the Επιμορφωτικόν Βήμα, would consistently publish articles dealing with the importance of developing the Greek small- or medium-sized company. We shall end our discussion of the Institute’s functions by presenting an article published in its organ in 1967, and which shows that the Institute’s overall strategy was fully aligned to that of the Greek Productivity Center. The text is based on the proposals of a foreign expert – the then General Secretary of the International Association of SME’s, Robert Holtz – for the development of Greek endogenous capital. Part of this text reads as follows:

 

«… οι Έλληνες επαγγελματοβιοτέχναι έχουν καθήκον να μη σκέπτωνται ως φορείς της καταναλώσεως 8 εκατ. ατόμων, αλλά 200 εκατ., διότι αυτή είναι η νέα οικονομική πραγματικότης, εντός της οποίας καλούνται να κινηθούν. Επίσης,… οι Έλληνες επαγγελματοβιοτέχναι, λόγω της μικράς των οικονομικής αντοχής δια να ανταπεξέλθουν εις τον συναγωνισμόν των τιμών εκ μέρους του μεγάλου κεφαλαίου είναι ανάγκη να οργανωθούν εις ομάδας κατά κλάδους και από κοινού να επιδιώξουν αγοράς διαφόρων ειδών. Ούτω, … θα επιτύχουν, δια της μειώσεως του κόστους, αύξησιν των κερδών κατά ποσοστόν 7% και ταυτοχρόνως αύξησιν του τζίρου αυτών κατά 25%. Τέλος,… θα πρέπει οι επαγγελματοβιοτέχναι προς εξυπηρέτησιν της πελατείας των κατά διάφορα τοπικά σημεία των μεγάλων πόλεων να ιδρύσουν Σούπερ-Μάρκετς» (ibid., p. 835 & p. 872).

 

The Holtz vision of modern Greece constituted a discreet continuum of that inaugurated by the Marshall Plan in the 1940’s. Even as late as 1967, the basic economic project was to help Greek endogenous capital further its internal structural reorganization, and do so right across the multiple hierarchies that had thus far characterized it, be these at the level of employer-employee relations, co-worker (White Collar/Blue Collar) relations, or even familial networks operating on the shop floor (cf. our paper examining the multiplicity of hierarchies typically operating within the structures of the A&M flour mill in the 1960’s-1970’s). The purpose of such reorganization was to help Greek endogenous capital become essentially export-orientated, and become so in a manner that would somehow enable it to survive the competitive onslaught of big international capital. Thus, in the text quoting Holtz above, we see the following specific proposals being underlined:

 

● Greek local entrepreneurs should orientate themselves towards serving world consumers, not merely the 8 million Greeks in their country;
● To survive the inevitable competition with big capital, Greek endogenous capital should concentrate on reorganizing itself in a manner that would counterbalance its relatively limited economic clout – practically speaking, this would mean that Greek companies would have to amalgamate into “teams” in accordance with the particular sector they happened to operate in («να οργανωθούν εις ομάδας κατά κλάδους»);
● It would be on the basis of such sector-based coordination of enterprises that these would be able to effectively penetrate the various goods markets of the world;
● Such export-orientated activity on the part of Greek endogenous capital would not at all mean that the local consumer market was meant to be undermined or in whatever way be allowed to take second place. In fact, Greek endogenous capital would have to also reorganize itself at the level of the local circulation of commodities by establishing its own supermarkets in various localities around large towns and cities. Thereby, the dominance of foreign commercial capital within Greece would, at least to some extent, be contained. The long-term project of “reconstruction” would therefore also mean that the Greek social formation would have to mutate into a Western-type “consumer society” – ultimately, and by implication, the local coordination of commodity circulation would yield an advertizing industry promoting the products and services of Greek endogenous capital-as-a-whole. It is also within such context that one should view the rise of a new endogenous commercial capital in the period – we had, for instance, the emergence of the family-based Sklavenitis supermarket chain by 1969 (initially at Peristeri, a northwestern suburban municipality of Athens).

 

The crux of the matter here is that such all-inclusive internal self-organization of Greek endogenous capital presupposed the systematic training of a new, professional elite. It is for this very reason that projects of economic “reconstruction” – as envisaged by the likes of a Robert Holtz – could not possibly be disentangled from the reeducation projects of organs such as the Hellenic American Training Institute.

Now, and generally speaking, the bolstering of Greek local industry (as discussed in sect. 1 of this paper), the attempts at reorganizing the production process (sect. 2), as also the need to reorganize company Headquarters and thus train a new, professional elite (the focus of the present section), were all meant to establish a “balanced” industrial society within the Greek social formation (and which would constitute the context determining the cultural content of Greek advertizing discourse). Such “balance” could not have been achieved without also reorganizing the Greek agricultural sector.

We shall have to deal with this aspect of “reconstruction” very briefly (and thus quite superficially). But before we do so, it is important to dwell on the question of alleged attempts at establishing a “balanced” Greek economy. In some sense, it may be rather atypical to suggest that post-war American “imperialism” would actually be engaged in the “reconstruction” of one of its spheres of influence – viz. Greece – along the lines of an industrial society with a “balanced” economic infrastructure covering the major productive sectors of an essentially undeveloped social formation. With respect to the then so-called “Third World”, 1960’s Marxian “dependency theoreticians” had been arguing that US “imperialism” or “neo-colonialism” would deliberately promote “imbalances” in the countries of the “Third World” precisely so as to ensure their “dependency”. The “imbalances” in the economic formation of such countries would arise from the fact that such economies would be, not only purely export-oriented, but would also be exclusively dependent on export-earnings accruing from low-value, primary products. An economy based on the income of merely one primary agricultural product (such as tobacco) could only but be a distorted, dependent economy (cf., for instance, the highly popular book of a 1960’s radical sociologist such as Andre Gunder Frank, The development of underdevelopment, Boston: New England Free Press, 1966).

Frank’s “model” would definitely not apply to the Greek case at all. In fact, the bolstering and restructuring of local secondary industry would go hand-in-hand with attempts at reforming the Greek agricultural sector. Much more than that, it has even been argued (albeit in a highly problematic manner) that the Greek State had been urged by the urban capitalist class – and especially since the 1960’s – to develop an agricultural sector that would have as its primary aim the “feeding” of the local secondary sector (the growth indices of the latter being 100 for 1961; 217 for 1970; and 240 just one year later – cf. Kostas Vergopoulos, Το αγροτικό ζήτημα στην Οι πολιτικές δυνάμεις στην Ελλάδα Ελλάδαη κοινωνική ενσωμάτωση της γεωργίας, Εξάντας, 1975, esp. pp. 239-241 et al).

What form would such restructuring of the agricultural sector take? We shall have to limit ourselves here to a few key pointers, and especially as these were being put forward by none other than the organ of the Greek Productivity Center,Παραγωγικότης, in 1958. As in the case of the manufacturing sector, much emphasis would be placed on the need to reorganize the agricultural sector through the establishment of modern agricultural enterprises. This in turn would require the training of professional elite groups specializing in agricultural matters, something more or less unheard of thus far in the country. The April 1958 issue of Παραγωγικότης (issue no. 28, Athens, pp. 171-180), would publish a long, detailed article signed by L.I. Liakatas, technical inspector of the Agricultural Bank of Greece (founded 1929; absorbed by the Piraeus Bank, 2013). Some of the key points that Liakatas would make at the time include the following:

 

● The effective “reconstruction” of the Greek agricultural sector would require the establishment of modern agricultural enterprises – «Ανάγκη ιδρύσεως γεωργικών βιομηχανιών» (p.171).
● Such agricultural enterprises could also take the form of cooperatives – «συνεταιρικαί γεωργικαί βιομηχανίαι» (p.175).
● The operations of these enterprises would have to concentrate on agro-processing – viz. the converting of primary agricultural products into consumable commodities. Such a food and/or clothes processing industry was meant to bolster both local consumption and the acquisition of new foreign market outlets – «Το τιθέμενον, πράγματι, πρόβλημα δια την χώραν μας δεν είναι η στατική προσπάθεια τοποθετήσεως των παραγομένων νυν προϊόντων. Αποβλέπομεν εις την κατάκτησιν αγορών και αύξησιν της καταναλώσεως. Η βιομηχανική επεξεργασία της γεωργικής παραγωγής θα βοηθήση μεγάλως προς τον σκοπόν τούτον, διότι θα παρουσιάση τα προϊόντα εις μορφάς και είδη, οποία τα επιθυμεί η κατανάλωσις. Με την εκβιομηχάνισιν θ’ αυξήσωμεν τας ικανότητας μεταφοράς του προϊόντος εις μακρυνάς αγοράς, διευρύνοντες ούτω τον κύκλον της τοποθετήσεως αυτών» (p. 172).
● The establishment of agricultural enterprises and cooperatives capable of implementing methods of agro-processing would lead to a need for the economic and technical organization of such units of production – «Οικονομική και τεχνική οργάνωσις των γεωργικών επιχειρήσεων» (p. 171). This would necessarily require the training of new, professional elites for such undertakings. Thus, and in a manner fairly reflective of projects intended for endogenous capital as-a-whole, much emphasis would be placed on the reorganization of the entrepreneurial headquarters of agribusinesses (and which would mean a respective restructuring from the “top”).
● The technical organization of such units could therefore not be disentangled from the need to train administrative and/or managerial staff – «Εκπαίδευσις τεχνική και διοικητική» (p. 173).
● Such technical and administrative/managerial training would have to be undertaken in a manner that met the specific needs of each particular sub-sector of agricultural production. There are special references to the sector of wheat-processing, flour-processing and other related products – «Σίτου, αλεύρων, άρτου κ.λ. προϊόντων» (p. 173). Such reference would, theoretically, have been of much interest to operations such as that of the Aliartian A&M Company.
● As regards technical training, the text speaks of the importance of training scientists in the new fields of biochemistry, chemical engineering, agricultural laboratory research, etc. These professional elites would offer direct guidance and support to the work of the new, private agricultural enterprises – «Πρέπει, λοιπόν, ν’ αυξηθή ο αριθμός και να εκπαιδευθούν πολλοί επιστήμονες εις τους νέους κλάδους της βιοχημείας, του χημικού μηχανικού, εις την τεχνολογίαν των διαφόρων κατηγοριών προϊόντων δια την επάνδρωσιν των εργαστηρίων με καταλλήλους επιστήμονας, και να δοθούν τα υλικά μέσα δια ν’ αφοσιωθούν ούτοι εις την έρευναν, ήτις πρέπει να είναι συνεχής, γινόμενοι ούτω παραστάται και οδηγοί των επιχειρηματιών ιδιωτών, εταιριών ή συνεταιρισμών κ.λ. εις τον τομέα των γεωργικών βιομηχανιών που εξετάζομεν» (p. 174).
● Absolutely central to the organization of agricultural enterprises would also be the development and organization of their management structures – «Ετέρα, εξ ίσου σοβαρά, προϋπόθεσις επιτυχίας του έργου μας είναι η οργάνωσις και η διοίκησις των βιομηχανικών επιχειρήσεων. Το έργον της διοικήσεως μιας επιχειρήσεως ομοιάζει με το έργον του διευθυντού μιας ορχήστρας. Δια του συντονισμού των κατά μέρος ενεργειών, επιδιώκομεν να επιτύχωμεν την αρίστην απόδοσιν, το μεγαλύτερον δυνατόν έργον, δια της μειώσεως εις το ελάχιστον των απωλειών, όπως ακριβώς και εις το έργον της μηχανικής» (p. 174).
● The organization of agricultural enterprises from the “top” would require the adoption of new methods in the grooming of professional elites intended to man the Headquarters of such enterprises. It could not simply be a matter of finding and recruiting new managers. Rather, one had to select and train these with respect to modern methods of agro-processing – «Αι γεωργικαί βιομηχανίαι, λοιπόν, μαζί με την φροντίδα δια την εξεύρεσιν κεφαλαίων, τεχνικού εξοπλισμόυ, πρώτων υλών, πρέπει να μεριμνήσουν ουχί δια την εξεύρεσιν, αλλά δια την επιλογήν των διευθυντών και την εκπαίδευσιν τούτων εις βιομηχανικάς λειτουργίας και συγχρόνους μεθόδους, δια να τους εμπιστευθούν την τύχην των μεγάλων τούτων οικονομικών οργανισμών» (p.174).
● The professional organization of agricultural enterprises from the “top” would, however, also have to be accompanied by the training of the agricultural workforce itself – the text speaks of the need for «εκπαιδευμένου εργατικού προσωπικού» (p. 171). Of course, this is reflective of what was meant to happen in the case of manufacturing industry (i.e. changes in the production and labour process of the Greek workplace – the implementation of the “scientific organization of work”, as discussed in sect. 2 of this paper). The professional organization of an agricultural enterprise would, by definition, include the coordination of a trained workforce in a manner adapted to the new technologies of agro-processing and free of the mere imposition of penalties on employees – «Η ουσία της διοικήσεως είναι η πραγματοποίησις του συντονισμού μεταξύ των ανθρώπων. Ο συντονισμός είναι μια σύνθετος αντίληψις, περικλείουσα αρχάς, βάσει των οποίων η επιχειρηματική δραστηριότης συνδυάζεται, κατ’ αρμονικόν τρόπον, με την τεχνικήν, προς πραγματοποίησιν του μεγίστου… Το μεγαλύτερον πρόβλημα, εις το κεφάλαιον αυτό, είναι το της εκπαιδεύσεως των εργατών. Πολλοί διευθυνταί επιχειρήσεων περιορίζονται εις το να επιβάλλουν κυρώσεις. Άλλοι, εις το να καθοδηγούν και να εξηγούν εις τον εργάτην τί ακριβώς αναμένουν από τούτον να κάμη. Ο δεύτερος είναι ο περισσότερον επιτυγχάνων. Από μίαν καλήν απόδοσιν εργασίας αναμένεται και μια καλή αμοιβή, μια βελτίωσις» (p. 174).

 

Parenthetically, and here with special reference to the agricultural sector, it should be emphasized that whatever attempts at reorganizing the production process were not meant to be merely a case of so-called “private initiative”. Post-war “reconstruction” projects would necessarily involve the interventions of the central State, as also interventions on the part of local State apparatuses. Regarding the former, one may make reference to the Greek State’s direct intervention in the field of wheat production and its price-control policies (cf., for instance, Jean Meynaud, Οι πολιτικές δυνάμεις στην Ελλάδα, Ατόμος: 1946-1965, Εκδόσεις Σαββάλα, Athens, 2002, p. 453). With respect to local State interventions, we could simply point to the case of the Boeotian prefecture in the period of the early 1950’s, which had launched a fruit farming programme in the region («ενός προγράμματος αναπτύξεως της οπωροκαλλιεργείας» – cf. Παραγωγικότης, April-May 1956, issue no. 12, Athens, pp. 49-50).

Still with reference to the sector of agricultural production, it would be interesting to note that Liakatas’ emphasis on the need to establish agricultural enterprises was more or less reminiscent of positions that had already been expressed by Kyriakos Varvaressos in his brilliantΈκθεσις επί του οικονομικού προβλήματος της Ελλάδος (transl. Report on the economic problem of Greece), presented as early as 1952 (Εκδόσεις Σαββάλα, Athens, 2002). Of course, we should point out here that, although Liakatas had spoken of “large” agricultural enterprises («των μεγάλων τούτον οικονομικών οργανισμών», op. cit.), Varvaressos had perhaps been much more realistic in his insistence on the establishment of “small” enterprises and/or cooperatives («ίδρυσις μικρών γεωργικών βιομηχανικών», Έκθεσις, p. 343). Both would nonetheless agree on the absolute importance of reeducating whoever was involved in the farming sector (Varvaressos, for instance, would write of «εκπαίδευσις και διαφώτισις του γεωργού», ibid.). Generally speaking, both would stress the importance of initiating a reorganization of enterprises from the “top”.

Further below, we intend to attempt some kind of assessment of the overall project of post-war “reconstruction”, and how the ensuing social and material conditions would provide the context for the mushrooming of a new type of advertizing industry (here, it would be attempts at reorganizing the industrial sector proper that would – above all – delimit the morphology of advertizing discourse). Rather more modestly at this point, we shall end this section by merely noting two rather contrasting assessments regarding the consequences of post-war attempts at “modernizing” the agricultural sector itself.

On the one hand, writing in 1978 – when Marxian paradigms in sociology had yet to undergo the theoretical crisis that they did – Nicos Mouzelis would note the following with respect to sectors related to Greek agricultural production in the post-war period:

 

«Οι τομείς αυτοί ούτε καταστράφηκαν ούτε όμως και ωφελήθηκαν από την ανάπτυξη της βιομηχανίας. Παράμειναν στάσιμοι και τεχνολογικά καθυστερημένοι» (cf. Nicos Mouzelis, Νεοελληνική κοινωνία: όψεις υπανάπτυξης, Εξάντας, 1978, pp. 196-197 et al).

 

Intellectually infatuated by contemporary Marxian theories that had insisted on quite simply dividing the world into “metropolitan” and “peripheral” capitalist formations, Mouzelis would proceed to place Greece into the latter slot, and thereby draw his conclusions regarding the Greek agricultural sector (and which would fall under the rubric of “simple commodity production”). Mouzelis argues that, while Greek agricultural production would not be destroyed by industrial development, it would nonetheless remain “static” and “technologically backward”. In fact, there was some truth in the Marxian models of the period, and definitely much more truth in the empirical conclusions that Mouzelis would draw. It is not for us to disentangle the strengths and weaknesses of Mouzelis’ approach.

Now, and for the sake of interest, we may contrast the above assessments to the findings of a 1988 study undertaken by the IMP (Integrated Mediterranean Programmes) of Crete. The general assessments of this project with respect to the Greek agricultural sector – and for the period which interests us – were the following:

 

«Γενικά, την περίοδο 1963-1973 στον τομέα της γεωργίας σημειώθηκαν αξιόλογες επιδόσεις, δεδομένης της σημαντικής δραστηριότητας που αναπτύχθηκε σε εγγειοβελτιωτικά έργα και αρδεύσεις. Δεδομένου επίσης του ύψους των ιδιωτικών επενδύσεων, βελτιώθηκε σημαντικά η εκμηχάνιση του τομέα, ενώ οι εξαγωγές γεωργικών προϊόντων αποτέλεσαν σημαντικό παράγοντα προσπόρισης του αναγκαίου συναλλάγματος, συμπληρωματικού της χρηματοδότησης του τομέα της μεταποίησης» (cf. www.ekdd.gr/ekkda/files/ergasies_esdd/12/3/356.pdf, p. 13).

 

We may end this section by noting that both the Mouzelis approach and that of the IMP project would take it as a given that the post-war Greek social formation would undergo a certain industrial development (whatever be the limits and contradictions of such development).

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