May 072012
 
 May 7, 2012  Posted by at 5:17 pm Finance

It is now 100% clear to everyone that the European people, and specifically the Greek people, are almost unified in their resistance to further austerity. Last year, we would occasionally hear some ill-informed pundits squack on about how most of the Greeks still like the Euro and wouldn’t really mind making “a few” sacrifices to stay in it, but now those people are forced to shut up, sit back and learn a thing or two. The message of “no more austerity for the people and welfare for the banks” has reached an unquestionable level of pitch perfection.

The fate of Greece, its political economy and its people, though, still remains as uncertain as ever. There are still many issues the Greeks must hammer out for themselves WITHOUT the interference of the Troika. While the people have clearly expressed their unwillingness to entertain any more pro-austerity policies crafted by the “moderate” coalition government of PASOK and ND, they have not made clear whether they will ultimately embrace the policies of the far left or the far right, or a combination of both.

There are both major advantages to be had and major pitfalls to be encountered with either one. What is clear, though, is that a turn too far to the right, i.e. to the Golden Dawn neo-nazi party and its policy platform, may be a turn into the most bitter parts of European history in the 20th century. It would be tragic for the Greeks to finally escape an oppressive EU regime only to fall under the dictates of an equally oppressive/dangerous reactionary regime, which would also have consequences for the rest of Europe and the world. Maria Margaronis describes Greece’s sudden “leap into the dark” in an article for the Guardian.

Greece takes a leap into the dark, driven by defiance and despair

 

The message of Sunday’s election in Greece is clear: the Greeks have said no to more of the cuts and austerity measures that have devastated the country, pushing unemployment above 20%, shattering the healthcare system, tearing families apart and leading some to suicide. It was above all a vote of rage against the two major parties, Pasok and New Democracy, which between them ran the economy into the ground, signed up to a disastrous austerity programme in exchange for dead-end bailouts from the EU and IMF, and then allowed the blows to fall on the most vulnerable.

 

The medium, though, is more confused and troubling. As elsewhere in Europe, the draining away of the centre has revealed a jagged landscape: the shorthand of “extremes of left and right” doesn’t begin to map it. The most obvious rift in Greece in the last months – a rift that’s been described to me more than once as a “civil war”– has been between those who are for and against the “memorandum”, the EU/IMF schedule of demands. The pro-memorandum forces want to keep Greece in the eurozone at any cost; most of their opponents also want to stay in Europe – but not of “Merkozy”, austerity and the banks.

 

Across that rift runs an older, deeper one, whose roots go back at least as far as to the actual civil war that followed the Axis occupation, leading to 30 years in which the left was outlawed, and culminating in the neo-fascist junta of 1967 to 1974. The social and political collapse brought by the crisis has revived those memories, too, as well as old family loyalties. In the summer of 2011, when the aganaktismenoi (“outraged”) of Syntagma Square briefly became the darlings of the foreign media, conservative truck drivers could rub shoulders with eco warriors and direct democracy mavens; the Greek flag could stand for self-determination as well as nationalism. But not any more.

 

The biggest shock of yesterday’s election was the arrival of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in parliament, with 21 out of 300 seats and 7% of the popular vote – the first neo-Nazi party to enter a European assembly since the second world war.

 

Its leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, threw Greek journalists who wouldn’t rise for him out of his press conference and dedicated his victory to “the brave boys in the black shirts”. “Those who slander us,” he barked, and “those who betray this country should be afraid: we’re coming.” Near Kalavryta in the Peloponnese, the site of one of the most terrible Nazi massacres in the 1940s, Golden Dawn graffiti calls for “a new Holocaust to clear the filth from the country”.

 

It’s not yet clear, demographically, where this horrifying surge has come from. But Golden Dawn won votes across much of the country – and not just in the inner cities, where it is encouraging the persecution of immigrants and woos old ladies with offers to escort them to the cash machine. It also got the votes of one in 10 young people. Adding Golden Dawn’s vote to those of the other two far-right parties, Laos and Panos Kammenos’ Independent Greeks, one in five Greeks voted for rabid nationalism and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

 

Three things have nurtured the rise of Golden Dawn and its less flagrant cousins. First, the humiliation and rage provoked by the austerity measures and by the crude scapegoating of Greeks abroad; second, the presence of thousands of destitute migrants desperate to go north but trapped in Greece by the EU’s cynical migration policies; third, the fact that mainstream politicians – especially but not only conservative New Democracy leader and likely new prime minister Antonis Samaras – have shamelessly pandered to their blood-and-belonging nationalism. Samaras has promised to support the church and religious education and to repeal a law giving citizenship to children of legal immigrants; one of his campaign ads featured Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the lost cathedral of Byzantium and symbol of Greek irredentism, shorn of its Ottoman minarets.

 

The other surprise winner inlast night’s election was Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, which easily beat Pasok to second place, sweeping all of the greater Athens region and Thessaloniki. But predictions either of a revolution on the edge of Europe or of a miraculous rebirth of radical politics are a little premature. Syriza is not so much a party as a campaign coalition, the product of repeated efforts to bind the fissiparous Greek left into an electoral force. Its deepest historical root is in the old Eurocommunist party, but it includes a range of tendencies from Trotskyist to left nationalist, from Maoist to green.

 

Tsipras’s stroke of genius in the election campaign was to offer a political home to a broad spectrum of anti-memorandum forces: the trade unionists disillusioned with Pasok, the protesters in the squares, the occupiers of schools and government buildings, the organisers of solidarity networks and barter systems and alternative micro-economies. His popularity surged a few weeks ago when he proposed a government of the three left parties, including the Communists (who would never allow such a thing). Adept at being all things to all potential constituents, he has made few proposals for reform beyond making the rich pay tax; he speaks easily of “the people” and has implicitly compared himself to Chávez and Allende.

 

Tsipras is the man of the moment, the one who has managed to channel a diffuse but powerful hunger for rebellion and release; but beyond rejecting the memorandum, it’s not clear what he plans to do with his new power. Like all left populists, has a nationalist streak: he condemned the last government for being “not quite Greeks”, and though he has been impeccable on race and immigration, he hasn’t ruled out co-operating with the hard-right Independent Greeks on the issue of the memorandum.

 

Greece has said no to austerity; it isn’t clear what it’s said yes to yet. Much will depend on what kind of government, if any, can be formed out of the fragments and on what happens elsewhere in Europe: on whether François Hollande sticks to his promises, on next year’s election in Germany. Driven by a heady mixture of defiance and despair, the Greeks have taken a frightening, thrilling leap into the dark. We can’t know yet where it will take them, or the rest of us.

Home Forums A Defiant, Yet Desperate Leap Into the Dark

This topic contains 0 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  ashvin 7 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #8541

    ashvin
    Participant

    It is now 100% clear to everyone that the European people, and specifically the Greek people, are almost unified in their resistance to further auster
    [See the full post at: A Defiant, Yet Desperate Leap Into the Dark]

    #3106

    skipbreakfast
    Participant

    Interesting that the majority of Greek voters would still want to remain in the Euro Zone, even while they vehemently protest the austerity measures imposed by that Euro Zone. Meanwhile, a number of insightful bloggers advocate Greece’s complete withdrawl so that it can start over, with a clean slate, despite some rather extreme, short-term pain (e.g., hyper-inflation under a new Drachma). Then I read this comment on Zero Hedge that I think has some merit:

    “Greece pulling out of the euro and printing drachmas and saying to the IMF and ECB, the holders of its remaining debt, go to hell ACCOMPLISHES NOTHING.

    The ECB and IMF can ignore their statement and carry the debt and compound it. Forever.

    They can’t escape it by saying “we aren’t paying”. That doesn’t work. They owe the money and they will pay or it will be collected by confiscating goods they might ever export. The EU could put a special tax on any oil allowed into Greece. There are many things that can be done to collect the debt.

    They can’t just walk in front of a microphone and declare that they default and think that the debtors have to accept that.

    There is no EU charter mechanism for leaving the Euro or the EU. Either voluntarily or involuntarily. The debt they owe is in Euros. They can’t print drachmas and pay it because the debtors will refuse that and demand payment in Euros.

    None of this is going to work. This is all posturing.”

    I do agree that, if Greece is the first to leave, the rest of Europe will punish Greece mercilessly so as to make it an example to any other EU country that wants to try the same thing. A defiant exit has to look like the “wrong” thing to do, not the right thing to do. But even after they have made an example of Greece, I can see the EU choking Greece to get its money back. Greece cannot survive alone in this world.

    At the same time, there is some conjecture that Germany wants Greece to withdraw, so that it can be rid of the place without having to actually be the “bad guy” and boot Greece out. I still don’t see them willingly letting Greece walk away from the debts though.

    #3107

    Golden Oxen
    Participant

    What a financial Tower of Babel the world has become. Politicians talking endless amounts of incoherent babble, central bankers printing money and rigging markets, citizens taking to the streets with rage and disgust. Something has to be done quickly and decisively to restore order and sanity. They say necessity is the mother of invention, I cannot think of a time when the world needed a respected leader and a new economic idea to arrive on the scene. Austerity and endless political babble meetings have proven their worthlessness as solutions.

    #3108

    tpverde
    Member

    In retrospect, so glad to have made a move out of the de-industrialising world’ into a rural area of Costa Rica and started farming. My neighbors are more concerned with tending their crops, herding their cattle and goats and occasionally getting drunk and dancing. Slowly attracting like minded refugees from the simmering cauldron. http://www.puebloverde.org

    #3109

    Marcus
    Member

    It is as simple as stepping in front of a microphone and saying “no mas”(or whatever the Greek equivalent is). At the end of the day the creditors of Greece are going to have 2 choices, accept repayment in drachmas or in RAGE fueled lead.

    History shows creditors almost always choose Pb and war over debauched currency.

    #3110

    sangell
    Member

    skipbreakfast raises a valid point, Greece owes big time and to multinational entities that don’t accept being stiffed. That said, the scale of the debt mountain is going to take everyone down. I don’t think many people realize that that Fiscal compact Merkel is so keen doesn’t just mean reducing fiscal deficits, it requires paying down national debt to GDP ratio back to the 60% level the original Maastricht Treaty envisioned and doing it over the next 20 years!

    The pro growth faction is also dreaming. There is no economic policy that one can implement that is going to create 4 or 5% GDP growth unless it is pure inflation. That might solve the debt problem but not the standard of living one. Europe saw its labor force peak last year and its young are unemployed. What you have is an aging protected labor force heading off into retirement leaving nothing but debt and unemployment in their wake. They’ve sucked the wealth from their socieities and its basically all over save for the shooting.

    #3112

    TheTrivium4TW
    Participant

    There isn’t enough money in “Main Street” to pay back Big Finance Capital because the monetary system has been weaponized by the inclusion of eternal usury and trillions in bailouts.

    The flow chart looks like this…

    https://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3325954/debt-dollar-tyranny-2-54k?tr=77

    Keep and Share is a PDF hosting site – there is nothing special about it. If you are worried about it, google it for problems.

    The criminal monetary system Architect class (George Carlin’s “The Owners”) rigged the monetary system to enshrine themselves as rentiers over the the entire nation via never ending usury. The money they suck out as interest is not available to main street unless they send it back to main street.

    If you want a verbal walk through of how this process actually works…

    When Money is Debt; Wealth is Poverty

    https://www.extraenvironmentalist.com/blog/dispatches/236

    The monetary system is a fraud. It is run by con artists in very nice suits bought with the money stolen from society. The media and government and education is funded by these con people.

    So is the medical system – no wonder cancer rates are sky rocketing and nobody talks about causes.

    “We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin money and issue money is a function of government. We believe it. We believe it is a part of sovereignty….

    “Those who are opposed to this proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank and that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I stand with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of the government and that the banks should go out of the governing business.

    “When we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible, and that until that is done there is no reform that can be accomplished.”

    ~William Jennings Bryan in his Cross of Gold speech

    when you enshrine parasitic con men with the monetary wealth of the nation, it is literally INSANE to think good things will happen to their host nation.

    We have need Andrew Jackson’s foresight more than ever.

    “Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!”

    From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson (February 1834), according to Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States (1928) by Stan V. Henkels – online PDF

    Andrew Jackson was right. If we can’t admit the “Den of Vipers” and understand their societal control mechanisms, we have no chance of ever rooting them out. Of course they will bite us.

    Vipers bite. It is what they do.

    #3115

    Marcus post=2722 wrote: It is as simple as stepping in front of a microphone and saying “no mas”(or whatever the Greek equivalent is). At the end of the day the creditors of Greece are going to have 2 choices, accept repayment in drachmas or in RAGE fueled lead.

    History shows creditors almost always choose Pb and war over debauched currency.

    Repayment in Drachma is ludicrous, Drachma won’t buy any Oil. Drachma will Hyperinflate the moment the first note comes off the Printing Press. What the Greeks SHOULD do is Counterfeit Euros. They have all the equipment and plates to do it. Of course soon as the Greeks do that, so will the Spaniards, Ities and Frogs, and then the Euro will Hyperinflate.

    Once the Greeks drop out of the EZ, they will just about immediately turn into Kazakhstan and will have to go Cold Turkey off the Oil Economy. They do not have enough exportable resources or value added product to earn “hard currency”, and in addition due to the unrest their Tourism industry is dropping off the map.

    They are fed up with the “austerity”, but once they drop off the Euro, austerity will look like the good old days. Greece will fracture and devolve to the same kind of Civil War we see occuring all over MENA. Its just the first Euro country to be triaged out and pushed off the cliff here. It won’t be the last.

    RE
    https://www.doomsteaddiner.org

    #3118

    bigturtle
    Member

    Ye! Austerity is bad, against “people’s will”. So, what are viable alternative?

    Greek runs a primary deficit – which means even if interest rate drop to zero and no debt repayment, Greek government is still in deficit. Who is going to pay for that? Why should any other nations pay for a nation produces near nothing but consume a lot – lots of civil servants and universities produce lots of worthless degrees.

    Print money? why Asians (sorry most creditor nations are there) are still accepting EURO to exchange their hard labor (shoes, clothes, …,etc.)? If ECB prints EURO into Zimbawa money, what do you expect.

    Wake up! if you think that a country can have only heaps of civil servants, universities produce low quality high self esteem graduates, excellent social welfare programs and produce nothing useful.

    #3120

    william
    Participant

    Simply put we are being directed to something scary. Good ideas like democracy are difficult and scary.

    Through hardship we change.

    We need a system that respects useful resources, possibly ending of currency, and the ending of consumerism. A system that depletes resources so badly starving some to death while increasing wealth to the wealthy.

    Capitalism is the redistribution of wealth. What happens when wealth is fleeting? Does planned obsolescence make good use of resources? Although mass production shows greater profit by increasing production, if production numbers surpass need have we not just wasted resources. Is the creation of marketing wants to increase demand not self destructive when it is depleting resources severely? Are we not just taking from poor 3rd world countries but also from our future needs?

    This is not just some flowery hippy talk it is the logical progression of consuming past the systems ability to provide.

    #3129

    TheTrivium4TW
    Participant

    william post=2733 wrote: Simply put we are being directed to something scary. Good ideas like democracy are difficult and scary.

    We have a winner. WHO is directing us to “scary?” WHAT is their method of control and manipulation? WHERE are these ultimate “directors?” WHEN is pretty obvious – right now.

    WHY are these people “directing” us to “scary?”

    HOW are these people doing this to the entire Western world as they are simultaneous waging war against Middle Eastern sovereign nations?

    Is this related to the political re-education camp Army manual recently made public?

    Army manual for re-education camps applies to US citizens

    https://rt.com/usa/news/army-manual-camps-citizens-593/

    Yes, The Re-Education Camp Manual Does Apply Domestically to U.S. Citizens

    https://www.infowars.com/yes-the-re-education-camp-manual-does-apply-domestically-to-u-s-citizens/

    Re-Education Camp Manual Includes Rules On Isolating Political Prisoners

    https://www.prisonplanet.com/re-education-camp-manual-includes-rules-on-isolating-political-prisoners.html

    william post=2733 wrote:
    Through hardship we change.

    But not always for the better. Hegelian Dialectic – Problem, reaction, solution. The Directors want a solution, they create the problem that leads to their solution, the people react and, voila, “out of nowhere” comes the Director’s solution.

    That’s how we’ve arrive HERE. If you don’t like here, we need to admit the Directors are leading down the wrong path and give them the boot. NOT their front men and women – the actual Directors.

    Big Finance Capital.

    william post=2733 wrote:
    We need a system that respects useful resources, possibly ending of currency, and the ending of consumerism. A system that depletes resources so badly starving some to death while increasing wealth to the wealthy.

    We have what the Directors want. You shall know a tree by its fruits.

    william post=2733 wrote:
    Capitalism is the redistribution of wealth. What happens when wealth is fleeting? Does planned obsolescence make good use of resources? Although mass production shows greater profit by increasing production, if production numbers surpass need have we not just wasted resources. Is the creation of marketing wants to increase demand not self destructive when it is depleting resources severely? Are we not just taking from poor 3rd world countries but also from our future needs?

    As dangerous as pure Capitalism is, we don’t have it. We have a Big Finance Capital soft (but hardening quickly) oligarchical dictatorship.

    The debt based money fraud systematically transfers assets from the people to the oligarchs, who then use the “free market” overlay to their fraudulent monetary system to gain control over every major establishment organization. If someone threatens them, they outspend them. By a lot. And they use their media (it isn’t your media!) to ignore or demonize their opposition.

    william post=2733 wrote:
    This is not just some flowery hippy talk it is the logical progression of consuming past the systems ability to provide.

    By their fruits, you can be sure these oligarchs aren’t about to ratchet back on their life style.

    So, then, the game becomes… how can they keep their lifestyle and keep everyone else in check?

    Freedom has no place in such a world… remember, they told us that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms. NOBODY hates your freedoms more than the people who take them away from you (a bipartisan effort, BTW, with both sides licking their chops as they do it).

    If the Directors who control the government hate us for our freedoms what, exactly, do not their own proclamations label themselves as terrorists?

    WHO do you think is doing all this evil? Good people? Doesn’t the fact these people lie through their teeth, with a kind smile, to get elected raise any eye brows?

    This is reality. Hiding under the covers isn’t going to make it go away – not that you are doing that, but plenty of people are doing exactly that.

    #3222

    einhverfr
    Member

    Have to add the insight of Clark and Dawe here even though it is a few years old at this time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZMJ-3nVdIU

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.