Jul 052015
 
 July 5, 2015  Posted by at 12:04 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,


Unknown Magazine and cannonballs at Battery Rodgers, Alexandria 1863

I hardly ever go out in the morning, the first 7-8 hours of every single day are taken up by reading and writing. But today I did, to feel the mood in the city. Not sure I got it, though. Everything’s quiet. It may not help that I’m staying smack in the middle of the Acropolis tourist area (still haven’t figured out why 90% of them are American).

Not sure if many Greeks even really understand what is going on, and who can blame them, they have every reason to be scared more than anything else.

And I’m still trying to wrap my head around the trouble just about everyone seems to have with the simplest and most basic exercise in direct democracy that’s taking place right now. The referendum here today has been called manipulative, opaque, some say there’s not enough time, others claim Tsipras is merely trying to save face in the face of defeat, courts have been called in to rule on its legality.

But this place here is where democracy started. And votes were held just like the one today, all the time. To be rid of despot rule, to let the people decide. And sure, in the beginning it wasn’t all the people, just the alleged wise men, but it was a start. So why do we now find this simplicity so hard to stomach?

Put another way: is this because for Americans the 4th of July is these days more about stuffing your faces surrounded by your equally overweight families than it is about honoring the Founding Fathers? It’s quite possible, that our troubles with processing and absorbing direct democracy are somehow linked to that.

That Americans and Europeans have precious little understanding and appreciation left of what happened that led to the US celebrating, commemorating, its Independence Day in the first place. And therefore can’t see how and why it couldn’t have been accomplished without the example set right here in Greece many many years earlier.

Maybe that’s why a thousand pundits feel free to question the very principle of democracy. Or to at least try and hang all sorts of conditions and reservations on it. But it’s not that hard really: a government asks its people what they think about a certain issue.

That’s a democratically elected government’s prerogative. It couldn’t really get any more basic than that. And of all the freedoms we have, maybe the one that makes us question the very principle those very freedoms are derived from, is not the best choice. Maybe there are better and more productive freedoms to occupy ourselves with.

And it can’t be that the unfolding Greek drama hasn’t given us enough material to hold against the light of democratic principles. The Troika machinations, culminating in the oppression of data vital to the negotiations, from those same negotiations, is just one example. A damning one, though, but still.

For democracy to function, it must first of all be allowed to function. That requires revealing all relevant information. It also requires all parties who are not party to a vote to keep their mouths shut. If you look at it from that point of view, Brussels and Berlin seem to have little understanding and respect for what democracy is. For them it seems to be something to be manipulated with impunity.

And that does matter: democracy, to function, needs to be respected. Mere lip service doesn’t cut it.

Whatever the result of the vote is today, Greece is in for more hard times. A No vote would lead the little, little people in Brussels to engage in more strong arm tactics. And I see no reason to doubt that voting Yes is tantamount to sticking one’s head in a noose.

Who would want to live at the mercy of an institution populated by little people who actively try to keep vital numbers behind in a discussion held against the backdrop of hunger, suicide and despair in a country whose interests it is supposed to serve? But that’s just me. And I don’t have a vote.

If you look through Greek history, the country could claim an entire calendar full of Independence Days. The US has just the one, and it owes it to the ancient Greeks. Maybe that’s something to ponder when waking up from those glucose-induced stupors this morning.

That like it or not, this is where the democracy was born that allowed for America to become a nation of free people. The same democracy celebrated from sea to shining sea every Fourth of July. And also the same democracy that is under threat, in Greece, in Europe as a whole, and very much in the US too.

It looks to me that we’ve all become quite far removed from what Independence Day is about, in Brussels, Berlin and Washington. And we should feel lucky if Athens today can give us back some of what has been lost in the translation and erosion of history.

Democracy is a fragile child. It needs to be fed and nurtured and caressed around the clock. Or it will wither away before our very eyes. The Greeks taught us all a valuable lesson before. Here’s hoping they can again.

And at the same time add yet another Independence Day to their long and rich calendar.

Home Forums Independence Day, Twice Removed

This topic contains 16 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Raleigh 4 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #22136

    Unknown Magazine and cannonballs at Battery Rodgers, Alexandria 1863 I hardly ever go out in the morning, the first 7-8 hours of every single day are
    [See the full post at: Independence Day, Twice Removed]

    #22139

    Greenpa
    Participant

    I envy you being right there; and really look forward to your first hand observations. I know perfectly well that what you see and hear can easily be just a fragment- but it beats the hell out of anything filtered through any media. 🙂

    #22143

    George P
    Participant

    Results of the Greek Referendum:

    61% against the austerity measures.
    A very strong message, indeed.

    Now will the banks open again, ECB? Your move…

    #22144

    rapier
    Participant
    #22146

    seychelles
    Participant

    At this point, the most effective way to fight the NWO globalists is to hit them in such a way that their power structure is destabilized: through mass debtor default and systemic non-payment of taxes. In short order, they will be crippled by leverage in reverse.

    #22147

    John Day
    Participant

    What happens now?
    Is Sun Tzu’s Art of War, there is an injunction against interfering with your enemy, when he is defeating himself.
    Russia and China should hang back a bit and let the EU/NATO do a little self-defeating again, right?
    On the other hand, one of the truly great breakthroughs in the history of warfare was when generals (Darius the Persian, I think) started freeing the slaves in the cities they captured. Boy, did that help break down the walls!

    #22149

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    Ongoing tally of votes, direct from the Greek MInistry of Interior site:

    https://ekloges.ypes.gr/current/e/public/index.html?lang=en

    #22150

    Realitychecker
    Participant

    Perhaps the difficulty the European, and other, elites (over class) have with Greek democracy in action is that it represents a potential time bomb that could blow up their manifesto, as postulated by David Malone on his Golem XIV blog, entitled “The Next Crisis – Part two – A manifesto for the supremacy of the 1%”.

    https://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2014/09/next-crisis-part-two-manifesto-1/

    This extract gives the list of key objectives for such a manifesto, which in my opinion represent a plausible list for any group planning a corporate takeover of democracy when the next financial crisis explodes, as it inevitably will, together with his core conclusion as to what it represents.

    ” 1) The Over Class must retain and consolidate their control over the global system of debt.

    2) The power to regulate must be taken from nations and effectively controlled by corporations.

    3) Professionalize governance. Democracy can be and must be neutered, and an effective way of doing this is to insist that amateur, elected officials MUST take the advice of professional (read corporate) advisors. Expand current law to enforce this.

    4) The financial system badly needs un-encumbered ‘assets’ to feed the debt issuing system. A new way must be found to prise sovereign assets from public ownership. Such a new way is suggested.

    5) In order to facilitate the political changes necessary, the public mind-set must be changed. National Treasures such as the NHS in Britain must be re-branded as evil State Monopolies.

    6) Effective ways must be found to convince people that democratic rule is no longer sufficient to protect them.

    7) An alternative to Democracy must be introduced and praised. That alternative must be the Rule of International Law as written and controlled by the lawyers of the 1%. People must be told that this is all that stands between them and an increasingly hostile and anarchic world. But that it can only keep them safe if it has absolute authority over democracy. People must voluntarily bow to it out of fear and its decisions must be as absolute and unquestionable.

    In conclusion, I suggest that this amounts to a dystopian version of the old environmentalist idea of Spaceship Earth. A corporate version where we are just passengers who must pay our passage in a ship someone else owns. No longer inhabitants or citizens with the same inalienable right to be there and be heard as anyone else.”

    #22151

    Greenpa
    Participant

    Gird your loins for a Cosmic Pundit Orgy. 🙂 “The Future Of Greece Will Be…!”

    It’s pretty opaque to me. Not unhopeful; the current leadership seems to actually have some idea both of what the problem is, and how the game is played. But- so many things can happen; and the future is NOT what it used to be. Our future is getting weird fast, on all fronts.

    Yesterday I had the scary experience of watching children play on good playground equipment; happily, easily. Under a red, red sun. Which they did not notice. We’re living in a cloud of forest fire smoke here in Minnesota; from fires nearly 1,000 miles away in northern Saskatchewan – more fires and evacuations there today. Yes, the fires are caused by climate change. And the kids? They think it’s normal; and play on.

    #22152

    Raleigh
    Participant

    seychelles – “…systemic non-payment of taxes.” That’s something the Greek elite and the self-employed have been doing for years. “…the authors calculate that the self-employed in 2009 dodged taxes on at least €28 billion of unreported income, enough to fill 31% of the Greek budget deficit that year.”

    https://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2012/09/tax-evasion-greece

    But I agree with what you’ve said. Voting does not appear to work as the elite or the vested interests choose who the candidates are, and they just end up doing whatever they damn well want when they get elected, anyways.

    For the average person – defaulting on debts, not paying taxes, refusing to buy products from corporations who offshore jobs overseas or who hire temporary foreign workers to take jobs that could be filled by the citizenry – is the only way we can fight them, throw a wrench in the works.

    If everyone did this, the NWO would be toast. Depositor bail-ins could be met with elite jail-ins, plus confiscation of every asset these criminals own.

    #22153

    seychelles
    Participant

    raleigh
    “… elite jail-ins, plus confiscation of every asset these criminals own. ” And the day WILL come, perhaps with something more dramatic than jail-ins and with nationalization of the assets of the 1%. The NWO globalists will see “creative destruction” from a different angle. But the transition will require brutality to make the potential goodness of humanity again ascendant.

    #22154

    Ken Barrows
    Participant

    After my comment of predicting a “nai” two days ago, I give my kudos to the Greeks.

    #22155

    SeanG
    Participant

    The voters of Greece are very incredibly brave to unhitch from the debt train that is carrying the rest of us. Their efforts to attempt a new way will either inspire others or cower us all into resigned submission to our fate….the fiscal cliff!

    #22156

    Professorlocknload
    Participant

    Another name for direct democracy is mob rule. That said, could it be some folks voted themselves out of the frying pan into the fire? Hard to figure where this leads. If this was a psychological vote against austerity (living within means) then there is going to be some disappointment ahead. Certainly, if the same government that sold the public trust down the river nationalizes the banks,,, well, good luck with that.

    All eyes on France, Italy, Spain and Portugal now. Looks like some major Nationalists/Socialists have been handed an example at which to point,,, provided it doesn’t all implode, and they all find a need to run from the splash back.

    Marine Le Pen, are you watching this?

    #22157

    TAE Summary
    Participant

    * The NAIs have it; Future of Greece is unknown but there will be an orgy of opinions; Ilargi is in the right place to give unfiltered news; Would be nice to be there; Pundit envy

    * Children at play don’t notice the sun turning red; Sun Tzu said don’t disarm your enemy while he is busy shooting himself in the foot

    * Voting doesn’t work; Throw your clogs into the works instead; Fight the NWO through mass debt default and systemic non-payment of taxes; Replace depositor bail-ins with banker jail-ins

    * Democracy is mob rule; Unhitching from the debt train is dangerous on your way up Mount Olympus; Greeks move out of the frying pan and into the FIRE

    * The Greek vote will inspire or depress us; The ball is in the ECB’s court; France, Italy, Spain and Portugal can use this as a springboard provided there is water in the pool

    * Corporations will rule the world
    – Professionals will call the shots
    – Everything will be privatized
    – International law will keep us safe
    – We won’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we will borrow it from the 1%
    – Matewan writ large

    #22160

    Raleigh
    Participant

    Professor – direct democracy might be mob rule, but what’s better – mob rule or oligarchic rule? At least this way the “mob” has a friggin’ chance. Now, if we had a benevolent government who actually cared about its citizens, then, yeah, referendums probably wouldn’t be necessary. In fact, a benevolent government would probably want to have a highly educated public, want to have transparency, just so everybody understood the issues.

    The oligarchy have got to be plenty ticked off by this “mob” business, the great mass of ignorants having their say. They’re probably screaming, “Why, if anybody is going to be mobbing, it’s going to be us. We can’t allow them to out-mob us.” So much so I expect to see somebody dead in the not too distant future.

    #22161

    Raleigh
    Participant

    TAE Summary – another good one! Funny when it’s all summed up. Chatter, chatter, all to no matter. We’re heating up in more ways than one. It seems the Arctic is getting just a little bit warm, but we couldn’t be causing any of it, could we? (sarc)

    “Also, on July 1, 2015, a temperature of 36°C (96.8°F) was recorded near the Kolyma River that flows into the East Siberian Sea.

    The Arctic is hotter than Miami!

    Somehow or other, 98°F in the Arctic makes the world seem upside down/sideways. Is it?”

    Methane Outbreak Nears

    Crank up the evolution machine, set it to high speed; methane is on its way.

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