Oct 082017
 October 8, 2017  Posted by at 2:26 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Fred Lyon Barbary Coast 1950


A friend sent me a post from the DiEM25 website last week, entitled Critique of DiEM25 policy on immigrants and refugees. DiEM25 is a pan-European political movement of which former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is a co-founder.

I started writing some lines as a response to my friend. Then it became a bit more. Wouldn’t you know… And then it was a whole article. So here’s my comments to it first, and then the original by someone calling themselves ‘dross22′. Now, in case I haven’t made this sufficiently abundantly clear yet, in my view Yanis’ knowledge and intellect is probably far superior to mine, and I’m a fan. But…

I don’t mean to imply that the views in the comment posted at DiEM25 are those of Yanis, but I do think it’s good to point out that these views exist within the movement. Moreover, as I wrote a few days ago, Yanis himself also thinks the EU should become ‘a federal state’. And I don’t agree with that. In fact, I think that’s a sure-fire way to absolute mayhem. Catalonia is only the latest example of why that is. Greece is an obvious other.


From that post on the DiEM25 site (see full text below):

[..] .. local European nationalism must be eradicated by creating a common European state. But a progressive European state would inevitably require a sense of identity that, in true progressive spirit, is radically opposed to religion. It would be hypocrisy to exclude Islam. Pluralism of values is a weapon of the establishment and we have to do away with it. In a Europe that is green nobody can afford pluralism in regards to lifestyle choices.

That’s quite the hand- and mouthful. Nationalism must be eradicated and religion radically opposed. Yeah, that should get you elected… You don’t want Islam in Europe, and therefore you want to do away with Christianity too. “..a sense of identity that, in true progressive spirit, is radically opposed to religion.” That’s 2000 years of often deeply ingrained history and culture out the door and down the toilet. And don’t even get me started on statues. Don’t you dare.

Look, I‘m not a religious person, but I would never want to even try to take anyone’s faith away from them. That’s the Soviet Union, China. That’s not Europe. Nor do I see what’s wrong with pluralism, seems kind of Orwellian to me. “..local European nationalism must be eradicated by creating a common European state.”  Say what? Why? What kind of movement is this? That’s not thinking, that’s dogma. And not a very clever kind of it.

Pluralism (differences) is the essence and the beauty of Europe. Plus, because of its divergence in language, culture etc., forget about unifying the whole continent, if that was ever desirable. I know the author specifically narrows it down to pluralism of values and lifestyle choices, but the EU already has enough rules and laws that regulate the worst of that.

Moreover, Europe has bigger issues than ‘pluralism in lifestyle choices’. Europe is in very troubled economic times, even if the media won’t tell you that. Because of that it’s all oil on fire, pluralism, immigration, the lot. People that do have jobs have much shittier jobs (gig economy my donkey) than those who went before them. Much of the EU is mired in way over-leveraged mortgages and other household and state debt, it’s just that you wouldn’t know it to listen to politicians and media. 

And that’s without mentioning bank debt, corporate debt, non-performing loans. Greece is paying the price right now for the credit casino (the house always wins) run by French/German banks. Other countries will be too in the near future. As soon as interest rates go up, there’ll be a mushroom cloud on the financial horizon. And Draghi will have emptied all his guns when it happens, saving EU banks but not EU citizens.

If by values and lifestyle you mean only that Islam should not replace Christianity in Europe, I’m your man. But that doesn’t mean Christianity should be suppressed or obliterated because of this. What you do instead is make it clear that you can be muslim, but only in as far as what it teaches does not contradict various European laws. And you actively enforce that.


[..] .. there can be no doubt that our stance on the migrants is jeopardizing our electoral prospects and our ability to influence society.. [..] This Europe will certainly not put the migrants to good use or treat them well and this will lead them to open up further to the influence of Islamic radicalism with the usual consequences.

[..] The Islamic migrants and the minorities are rather insignificant pawns that are best sacrificed as our current political situation demands. The establishment sacrifices pawns, and even rooks for its own political ends. We have to do the same.

The language is nigh unpalatable. As for (im-)migrants, it is obvious that wanting to incorporate too many of them too fast can only lead to trouble. Apart from all other discussions about values etc. After the financial crisis, it’s Europe’s main problem today. Or perhaps it’s a toss-up between finance and politics.

Perhaps what’s an even bigger issue is that what Merkel says happens, does in the EU. In economics, and in politics, and on the migration question. There is no sovereignty left. No democracy. As I’ve written before, tell the French, or Italians, that they have no say left in their own country, that Berlin controls it all. And then wait for their response. They have not a clue. Nobody told them. They sure never signed up to be ruled by Germany. But they are.

Ergo: The EU continues to exist only by the grace of media deception. And that’s an awfully thin veneer. I don’t know the ins and outs of DiEM25, but these lines make me seasick. Prediction: It’ll all fall apart at the first serious challenge and/or debate. Too many differing views from too many different locations and languages, and not nearly sufficient critical thought. 

Love Yanis though. And love him for trying. But what he must have experienced is what we at the Automatic Earth did too in 2010/11/12. That is, when the Automatic Earth’s Nicole Foss spoke in numerous locations in Italy, and we’re very grateful to our friends all over the country to make it happen, we needed translators at every talk. What I mean is you can get the big ideas across, but the details will always fall by the wayside. And that is Europe. 


A common European state is therefore neither desirable nor practical. The model of the European Parliament, with more translators than members of parliament, is as wrong as it is overkill. The EU is a step too far, a bridge too far. It serves a centralization dream, and the politics and economics that come with it, but it doesn’t serve the European people. 

Catalunya is just one more example of that. Greece is still the main eyesore, but you just wait till Spanish tanks appear on Barcelona’s Ramblas and Brussels has nothing. Their official response is that the use of ‘Proportionate Force’ is fine, but if that’s how you label having police in full battle gear beat up grandmas, how can you condemn tanks in the streets? Where’s the dividing line?

The EU is a giant failure. Ironically, it has done a lot of good on issues like food standards -though it tends to produce far too much paperwork on everything-, but the essence is it has -predictably- fallen victim to its upper echelons’ power grabbing. EU leaders don’t give a hoot what Europeans think, the way the important posts are divided means they don’t have to. And in the end, Germany wins (old British soccer joke).

Berlin, the European Commission, the ECB, they’re actively killing the Union, democracy, and all the good that has come out of Brussels. There’s no stopping it. And then Yanis Varoufakis and DiEM25 come along and say they ‘must’ “.. eradicate local European nationalism by creating a common European state.” 

Sorry boyos, wrong time, wrong place. Europe today must find a way to function without being anywhere near a common state, because it won’t have one for a long time. Focusing on that common state can only lead to the opposite: trouble, battle, even war between the different and numerous nation states.


To repeat myself once again: centralization, like globalization, only works as long as people feel they economically profit from it. In the current global and European economy, they do not, no matter what any media or politician tell you. Therefore, the focus should be on countries working together, not on becoming one state (or fiscal union, banking union). It’s not going to work, it’s going to cause major trouble, including war.

Greece may have bent over and let Berlin screw it up its donkey, but not all countries will react that way. Watch Catalonia, Hungary, Poland. And then what can Brussels do? It doesn’t have an army. Germany has a feeble one, for good reasons. NATO? The Visograd nations, Hungary etc, have different ideas about issues like immigration than Brussels and Berlin do.

How do Merkel et al plan to force them to change their ideas? Or, come to think of it, why would they want to? What Europe should be doing, but isn’t, and what a movement like DiEM25 should actively propagate, but isn’t either, is an immediate end to the deliberate creation of utter chaos in Libya, Iraq, Syria. But the European arms industry makes too much money off that chaos.

If that doesn’t stop, immigrants will keep coming. And that can only lead to more chaos in Europe too. It’s not sufficient to say you want immigration to stop. You need to take a stand against the forces that make it happen, starting with the forces in your own countries and societies (this very much includes your governments).

If you don’t focus on the basic conditions that must be fulfilled to ‘save Europe’, you will not save it. Europe is in such a crisis, or crises rather, that talking about programs and ideas from comfortable chairs is no longer a real option. Europe is very much like the orchestra on the Titanic: it keeps playing as if there is no threat ahead. And you have to tell them to stop playing. That’s your job.

Talking about what so and so would like to see by 2025 is a waste of time. But yeah, it’s comfortable, and comforting, to do it with a group of like-minded souls who fool themselves into thinking they’re smart and doing a good job. But the problem is here, now, not in 2025. And if you don’t work to solve it now, today, 2025 won’t look anything like what you have in mind.

Europeans must put a halt to European companies making billions on arms sales and oil in North Africa and the Middle East. And since these companies are protected and supported by the current leadership in Brussels and all other EU capitals, these will have to go too. That should be the focus. All the rest is the orchestra continuing to play.

Europeans don’t want a federal EU state. They don’t want to be forced to give up their national indentities, and they don’t want to lose their religions. Cue REM.



Still, Yanis has excellent ideas. As I said, I’m a fan. The way he describes his concept of parallel payment systems in the latter part of this recent video is outstanding, if you ask me. It’s the idea he never got to put into practice in Greece.




Here’s dross22’s full comment:

Critique of DiEM25 policy on immigrants and refugees (from DiEM 25’s official forum)

In my humble opinion the liberal way we’re approaching the refugee issue is very hard to market to the European demos. If Europe were one country and if the political climate were different, we’d have the resources to deal with the matter in the decent way we propagate. But unfortunately, Europe is currently at an advanced stage of disintegration making any discussion of a federal European state idle talk. As you all know, our mission here at DiEM is to get Europe out of the mire the establishment has got it into and then proceed to make of it a federal state. All of our very sensible and very realistic proposals take into account the fact that we’re not where we’d like to be. Yet when it comes to the refugee issue, we propagate a treatment that assumes away the current state of Europe.

Germany’s periphery and near east is divided between a collection of right-wing authoritarian states (Poland, Hungary, Ukraine etc.) and German industrial clients (Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland). In the Balkan South we have Brussels-Berlin protectorates (Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia), a debt colony and testing ground of the establishment’s policies (Greece) and states ruled by criminal syndicates (Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria). In the Romance countries (including France) we have states on the verge of fiscal breakdown, and in Germany and Brussels, the core of the establishment, we have a host of ruling incompetents that can only survive by feeding the monster they created in 2010. The feces of that monster feeds nationalistic flies and worms everywhere.

This is not a Europe that can handle the refugee issue. Indeed, all it has managed to do is let Germany bear the burden of adjustment, hence contributing significantly to AfD’s resonance in German society and forcing a desperate establishment to go as far as to bribe Turkey to stem the flow. The establishment did this hideous thing for tactical reasons and the case can be made that, in part, they owe their political survival to how they instrumentalize and adapt to the reality of xenophobia. We too have to understand quickly that racism is here to stay.

This unfortunate development is due to two things. It’s Islamist radicalism in the Mid-East and Africa, where the migrants come from, leading to terrorist activity within Europe, and a widespread plebian racism against which, given an environment where a strong left has been absent for many decades, no sufficient immune defenses exist. This is even more so in the illiberal states that succeeded the Soviet Empire. Notwithstanding their relative lack of migrants, the masses there are saturated with an almost autistic sense of nationalism.

This being the situation of the Europe we live in, there can be no doubt that our stance on the migrants is jeopardizing our electoral prospects and our ability to influence society. It’s beneficial to continue to expose the unethical deal that the establishment has with Turkey but other than that we must cease with our polemic. Instead I propose adopting a different, more sophisticated electoral strategy. We should point out that we’re not opposed to migration in principle. That in fact migration empowers, not weakens a society. But that the surrounding situation is not always the same. When European masses went to America, they were going to a place where employment was in high demand and that had familiar institutions. Today we have a Europe in the midst of an existential crisis where unemployment is high and set to rise.

This Europe will certainly not put the migrants to good use or treat them well and this will lead them to open up further to the influence of Islamic radicalism with the usual consequences. The strong patriarchalist values of the Islamic masses are a social impediment too. Even the most passionate activists must admit that those people don’t share our progressive values and breed too much, which is an ecologically unsustainable behavior. Their values can change only in a progressive environment that we don’t yet have. So what we can immediately do is subject all migrants to review and keep those with valuable skills and small families. The rest should be escorted to their countries of origin. Until Europe changes we shall enforce a moratorium on unqualified migration from those countries.

In a green Europe consumption is limited and breeding is not encouraged. Immigration from failed states, motivated (among other factors) by the desire to consume more and breed more with better safety, is undesirable. It is a liability that exposes us to the heavy ammunition from vast areas of a right-wing that, lest we forget, is stronger than we, the defeated left. In a progressive Europe, borders are internally shot down and Europeans can move and settle everywhere. But we still require European borders. There is no reason to burden ourselves with masses that are unaccustomed to the institutions of advanced societies, pose a lingering threat to our security and come with strong reactionary values. Instead of denying that fact we should point to the structural similarities of their ideology with that of the far right.

Migrants from areas within reach of the Islamist terrorist network pose a danger to our domestic security in three ways. First of all, by bringing their tribal and religious rivalries within our borders, secondly by their potential terrorist activity against European citizens and thirdly by helping our local nationalism gain ground. That local European nationalism must be eradicated by creating a common European state. But a progressive European state would inevitably require a sense of identity that, in true progressive spirit, is radically opposed to religion. It would be hypocrisy to exclude Islam. Pluralism of values is a weapon of the establishment and we have to do away with it. In a Europe that is green nobody can afford pluralism in regards to lifestyle choices. In a Europe where capital has no rights over the public, where it serves human potential and not unbridled, wasteful consumerism, there can be no pluralism.

We should give up on the migrants. I understand the sorrows of those people forced to flee their countries. But I am not willing to sacrifice the progressive future of Europe, to let bigots win and see them screw this place for good just for the sake of a small minority of people that don’t share our values and that, should the bigots win, will be subject to mass abuse anyway. The surest way to protect people with such backgrounds from the worst scenarios is to defeat the nationalist international. But this won’t be done unless we become psychologically detached from the minorities and from political correctness which are tools the establishment uses.

Let’s don’t forget that people with a migration background are vulnerable to racism too once they get comfortable. For example Turks in Germany vote en masse in favor of right-wing parties, even the AfD. I look up to people that have the remarkable courage to actively help those in need but I don’t believe this advances our movement at all. The Islamic migrants and the minorities are rather insignificant pawns that are best sacrificed as our current political situation demands. The establishment sacrifices pawns, and even rooks for its own political ends. We have to do the same.

I understand what co-founder Yanis said about the global wall and how borders divide the planet. But, in spite of their truth content, expressions such as ”borders are wounds on the face of the planet” are Soviet-era anti-colonialist slogans that today only serve to discredit those who use them. I admire someone who has the moral courage for such unorthodox opinions but these things sound crazy to the masses, especially today. There is much at stake with DiEM’s new deal and it is imperative to be more careful with our choice of words and positions. When Yanis was finance minister, he was careful not to be as open and frank as he would have been as an outsider. But he is no longer the outsider he was before 2015. None of us are. We are here to do politics and our actions and words should be subordinated to the pursuit of success in the political arena. Only success can materialize our agenda and defeat the monster of the establishment and the nationalist international.



And if you still don’t have enough then, read the Mises Institute’s Why Small States are Better.

In small states the government is closer to its citizens and by that better observable and controllable by the populace. Small states are more flexible and are better at reacting and adapting to challenges. Furthermore, there is a tendency that small states are more peaceful, because they can’t produce all goods and services by themselves and are thereby dependent on undisturbed trade.



Home Forums DiEM25: Europe Without Nations or Religion

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    Fred Lyon Barbary Coast 1950   A friend sent me a post from the DiEM25 website last week, entitled Critique of DiEM25 policy on immigrants and re
    [See the full post at: DiEM25: Europe Without Nations or Religion]


    Has anyone read John Ralston Saul’s Voltaire’s Bastards? If I could take a huge liberty and summarize the books message in a few sentences it would be this. Out of the Enlightenment came two main forces, the growing dominance of the ego and the use by the ego of reason and logic to relate to the world. The world seen from the ego’s point of view (which is actually a projection of itself on the world) is soulless, a machine, for our use, our utility. This mode of seeing eventually leads to the development of science, technology (the machine with a capital M) and capitalism. To promote and control this machine culture requires managers, technocrats, trained in the story of control. In many respects these managers are assigned to turn the world (nature and human culture) in to a machine-efficient, unfeeling and eternal.
    In many respects Yanis is this kind of technocrat-his removal of religion and other impediments to his efficient, glistening new world, free of the old symbols that cause strife is simply replacing one set of symbols with another, this time of the machine with the story of onward “human progress” used as the thin edge of the wedge to make it plausible and acceptable.

    When I read the material from the site it sends shivers down my spine.

    Joe Clarkson

    but you just wait till Spanish tanks appear on Barcelona’s Ramblas

    But the whole idea of a European Union is to prevent such a thing; even more to prevent German tanks from appearing on the Champs Elysees. So far so good.

    And all of your arguments against a pan-European state were used by the South prior to the US civil war. Do you think that any US State should be allowed to secede at will? Or perhaps even a county from a State? Or any individual from a county?

    In the end, individual sovereignty can only be assured by a global state. Until one appears, it’s nation against nation, with the powerful nations running roughshod over the less powerful, which seems fine if one is a citizen of a powerful nation, but what about those left in the less powerful. Are they not equally human?

    A strong case can be made for the elimination of all national states and the borders they defend. Let everyone in the world go wherever they will, treat them all equally and with respect, and see how that works out. I think it would be far easier than you make it sound. A first stepping stone would be a United States of Europe, progressing to a United States of Gaia and then to a Democratic Republic of our Earth. Just think of the resources saved by not having any national defense budgets anywhere.


    I’ve been following this site for over six years now and I actually went on a week-long binge sometime in 2013 where I read every article from TAE from 2007. But it’s really demoralising as a Muslim to see this kind of rhetoric where it’s just assumed that if I practice my religion, I’m somehow automatically suspected as going against European laws.

    This kind of suspicion seems to have truly become mainstream nowadays. God knows what its going be like in a decades time.

    Dr. Diablo

    Dross is a poster on DiEM25 without a lot of posts, I don’t believe he runs DiEM. But I think what’s striking is how he has internalized and encapsulates the “reasonableness” of the EU position, that is, to control everything, every human action, everywhere, at every time, for everyone’s own good, right down to when they may, and mayn’t have sex, in the style of Dolores Umbridge. Because he, and people like him, aren’t mere humans making decisions like we migrants and voters are, they are the Ubermensch, who are smarter and better and stronger, and we should worship and obey them as the gods, Plato’s philosopher kings.

    That position is anti-human and tyrannical in the nth degree. It is in fact, insane. The mindset is the root of all evil, communist, fascist (but I repeat myself), royalist, or statist. My country was founded on the principle that “All men are created equal”, and dummies like this guy, who believe they alone decide “[in] Europe consumption is limited and breeding is not encouraged” and “breed[ing] more with better safety, is undesirable.” are entitled to nothing. They are no better men than anyone else and while free to promote their ideas, have no license whatsoever to tell anyone what to do unless the people wish to cooperate voluntarily. And that is exactly why the government, who would happily enforce this gentleman’s eugenics, and is happily doing so worldwide as we speak, must be as limited as possible, being the best possible advertisement FOR nationalism, democracy, and arms, and AGAINST a Federal EU, or World government.

    This guy is the poster child of why men are forced to take up arms, and therefore why they are entitled to do so.

    Dr. Diablo

    Dross22 posted a reply to TAE here:

    Mass Extinction and Mass Insanity

    Dr. Diablo

    Diablo, that first link is an article of mine from Dec 2016. How did you get that instead of that Dross thing? I started reading his reply, but it looks like a whole lot of big words, few of which really address what I said, and I’m writing. Maybe later. A friend wants to set up a meeting of an English language group here in Athens to discuss the whole thing. But I am not really that interested in DiEM25. We’ll see.

    Dr. Diablo

    The reply, I kid you not, in the vein of Johnathan Swift:

    “My response to Meijer is this: At DiEM we have moderate…proposals…” Indeed. I do not wish to see his extreme proposals.

    Follows an enormous fascination with government that will give him the power to force people to behave as he wishes, because he sees himself as smarter and better than us. “people know something is rotten but most do not understand sufficient analytical capacity and discernment to understand what is rotten.” (sic. yes, he dumbed the sentence on the dumbs.) Poor us. If we only had a brains.

    ” post-EU Europe will be a place where life for the majority tends to be nasty, brutish and short…” overlooking entirely that except for the blessed few like himself, life IN the EU is presently nasty, brutish, and short, arguably worse than 2001 when the Euro started. 50% youth unemployment in many countries? Eastern Europe treated like an African colony? Check yourself.

    “By eradicating local nationalism we don’t mean that all national consciousness should be eradicated. …Somebody can be proud to be Texan and speak in the Texan manner but no Texan will tell you that being Texan is superior to being an American.” Strangely wrong, as Texans will tell you they ARE superior, and it’s one of those pivotal things Europeans regularly misjudge about why America’s Federalism works. Still, it’s a simple fact one probably ought to know before you rest your pan-national foundation on it as they have.

    Continuing his racism and flights of awesomeness, “Let’s face it. The vast periphery in the south and east of Europe is underdeveloped and needs to be civilized.” I’m certainly glad to hear Prague and Vienna and Rome will be civilized one day. Perhaps Belgium with 1.76 murders can show Austria how to “civilize” their murder rate of 0.71. Perhaps his tone is one reason Eastern Europe feels increasingly reluctant to join the “family” of “all equals”, except of course, all the east, most of the south, and a bunch of others who are savages to be shown the one true (German) path, or else.

    Think I’m kidding? “We should accept that Berlin is the only capital…” Really? I remember a former Chancellor who proposed the same thing. Do you remember his name?

    Do I overstate my case? “Islam is all about wasteful production too. Wasteful production of human beings in particular.” Perhaps not. So does he also cover the other party planks, for instance religion? Why yes: “…clergymen are lazy people with no use in society…Pluralistic societies are de facto polytheistic.” So there is no religion if it’s Christian, that’s superstitious and silly…except for his one true religion of many (German) gods of course, which is self-evident and good. Let me try not to waste any more valuable time on this gentleman, who is the one true and self-evident lunatic, and a danger to life in Europe and perhaps on earth.


    Variety is the spice of life.
    It is better to have multiple nations, each without absolute power, trying to cheat each other than it is to have a one-new world order that is a con job to facilitate absolute tyranny by a tribe whose leaders are psychopaths.


    This is a great site! Unfortunately there was an oversight in this article I’m replying to: the quoted views, which are indeed nauseating, were not posted on diem25.org but on its forum. The forum is open to anyone and lately has suffered an invasion of a lot of non-member provocateurs. Dross22 is one of them. Therefore, I hope that you will adjust your article to reflect that the comments were left by a provocateur and do not represent DiEM25 or even a stance that any DiEM25 member could have (members are excluded if they don’t subscribe to the values of DiEM25’s manifesto). As you wouldn’t want The Automatic Earth to be judged based on what a commentator leaves behind, so I’m sure you’ll critique DiEM25 and Yanis Varoufakis based on the movement’s stated positions, i.e. the manifesto, the greenpapers and articles published at http://www.diem25.org . Once again, thank you for showing interest in our movement.

    Best wishes,

    Judith Meyer
    Volunteer Coordinator for DiEM25



    Not the Automatic Earth is judged based on what a commentator leaves behind. DiEM25 is.

    And besides, how do I know you’re not just dross22 in drag?


    What’s happening is you’re asking me to solve YOUR problem, and that is not right. YOU allow people to pose as somehow representing your movement. And then blame it on me. That makes very little sense.

    If you have to explain to me, who has run this, as you rightly remark, great site for 10+ years, that DiEM25’s forum is somehow separate from DiEM25, then what are other people going to understand?

    Sorry, but I really don’t get your point.


    koso man,

    I find your point hard to answer, and at the same time very valid. But I didn’t make things what they are. I’m going to have to think this over.

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