The Number One Lesson From Athens


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    Harris&Ewing Balancing act, John “Jammie” Reynolds, Washington DC 1917 There’s arguably nothing that’s been more hurtful -in more ways than one- to Gr
    [See the full post at: The Number One Lesson From Athens]

    V. Arnold

    What I utterly fail to understand is; for what reason, can Greece not do, what Iceland did?
    From all I’ve read, Iceland is doing okay; and while painful, didn’t take very long to recover.
    I would add that, sovereignty both individual and national, is under attack; which makes it doubly important to fight tooth and nail to maintain both at all costs.

    I’ve been doing some serious schooling lately, through a very excellent site, Unwelcomeguests. I highly recommend the wealth of information available there; Chomsky, Richard Wolf, and Howard Zinn, to name a few. A huge archive since 2000, over 1400 hours of interviews, lectures and history; And that doesn’t even address the important audio books free of charge. The curator of the sight is Robin Upton; a professor at Oregon State University.

    A must access IMO…


    Good article, Ilargi. “Podemos, Syriza, M5S and others should present themselves, very publicly, as a front.” Yes, they are either united or they’re not. They can’t do it alone, even though the Troika would love to fight them one by one. I am certain that Greece would have had a different outcome had the others stood beside it.

    The bankers/vested interests are desperately holding onto their power. Is the only way that real change can occur along the lines of what Dmitry Orlov sets out in “So You Say You Don’t Want a Revolution?”


    “What I utterly fail to understand is; for what reason, can Greece not do, what Iceland did?”

    Greece doesn’t have its own currency. Very different situation.

    It’s also about 30 times as large, that should count for something.


    Agree with commenter Arnold.

    When you’re dealing with a wildly insane monster like EU or US, the FIRST STEP is to GET AWAY from the monster.

    Tsipras and Varoufakis blew it by confusedly trying to be INSIDE the belly of the beast and OUTSIDE of its influence. It’s physically and logically impossible. If you’re inside, you’re digested and metabolized.

    Your only chance of survival is to claw your way OUT. Then you’ll be able to manage your own affairs, make your own deals with other countries for mutual advantage, whatever is needed.

    V. Arnold

    @ Ilargi
    From what I’ve read, printing Drachmas can be easily done from off shore printers; not difficult.
    It’s just a matter of doing. My school says; don’t tell me what can’t be done; look to what can be done; it’s just a matter of doing…
    Robbing countries and individuals of sovereignty is just criminal, and should be fought to the death.
    I find it hard to believe the Greeks will ultimately accept subservience to anything not Greece…

    Formerly T-Bear

    Several other points to consider. Greece has been a long term member of NATO, about the only one continuously contributing 2% GDP as required for membership. Inclusion in the EMU had benefited Greek access to European markets for domestic needs through the common currency, goods provided at less cost than were available through the drachma. This also increased the market for Greek export. The election that installed Syriza was clear that adhesion to the economic union was unquestioned, only austerity was held objectionable. The promise to negotiate was met with refusal to talk but that tactic was first experienced by Spanish PM Zapatero when he went to Brussels for economic help, the only leftist head of government at the time in the EU. Zapatero went with a public debt of about 35% GDP and a nearly balanced budget, there are charts to show what ensued with Spanish public debt after he returned with troika help – and there were few news cameras recording those proceedings, unlike Syriza. What is crystal clear is a €320 billion debt structure that cannot be supported, will certainly not support a €410 billion debt. What in god’s name are these imbecilic stupid fools trying to do?


    Ilargi- I have been present multiple times in my life at events where something drastically wrong was being perpetrated – and there was a crowd of people present who really might have altered the outcome, if only they had “stood up and done the right thing.”

    Several times, I have stood up, and spoken, and acted, and tried to convince others. Not once have I been successful. (On 3rd thought, I take that back; once I was – because the cause was so blatant, and “standing up” really required nothing of the others.) Not a lack of my ability to lead (probably); I’ve done that plenty elsewhere; it was a broad lack of what I would have to call moral spine. They had none.

    If you look at major world changes where crowds of people HAVE stood up for the right- it has always (so far as I can see) been the result of years and years of dedicated individuals continuing to push; women’s suffrage being a good example.

    The crowd, as far as I can tell, is around 5% likely to back your pleas; about 20% likely to attack you after any plea, and 75% likely to just stand and watch. Count on it.


    Greenpa – I too have stood up several times against injustice, stupidity, ignorance, only to turn around and see absolute blank faces on those around me. Nothing. No help, no agreement, not even a look of assurance. I’m pretty sure if I tried to take their iPhone away, I’d get a response out of them, but in the above instances I felt I was surrounded by programmed robots, like they couldn’t think, even when they themselves were being screwed over. Only a very few ever step up and speak out. And after you step up a few times and get no response from anyone, you even begin to doubt yourself.

    Formerly T-Bear

    Sounds like you ran into iBorg there – they are everywhere.


    Greenpa said “broad lack of what I would have to call moral spine”.
    Unfortunately, it is rampant. I see it everywhere. Then I am criticized for speaking.


    On second thought, in a larger group of people, most do remain silent. Rarely anyone speaks about what is morally or lawfully right. Those who do say anything, criticize the speaker.

    Nicole Foss

    Arnold, you mention Iceland. It’s not quite as simple as that. See our primer on the topic:

    John Day

    Speaking out boldly is something we more or less expect here, but we are among a minority-view group. We can cruise along for a long time without affecting a larger group, but that doesn’t mean we are not building the foundation for a paradigm shift. 2/3 of people will absolutely do what everybody else is doing, but there are times when the paradigm shifts, as it did after the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. Americans flipped from supporting the war to rejecting the war. That base had been built for over 5 years by reviled students who really did not want to be drafted into that war. Many went to war and some to jail and some to Canada.
    Martin Luther King spoke at the right moment in the historical process of paradigm shift. He was successful, and was killed for it, as we might be, if we speak truth to an established and teetering power.
    Keep saying what we do, to those who will listen, without getting into fruitless argument, is probably the best we can do with our voices.
    We should be building something we think will be more crashworthy, within the context of our lives. Seeing our vision AND our efforts to prepare for it, may be convincing later, depending on how close we got.


    John: “We can cruise along for a long time without affecting a larger group, but that doesn’t mean we are not building the foundation for a paradigm shift.”

    That’s the hope, fools that we are. But! This time; I have comfort to offer. I have a little blog, you know; very active a few years back; and I check my statistics from time to time. I wrote this – mathematical explanation for why “measured climate changes are worse than expected” – and got very, very little response to it. Except – my statistics tell me it is one of the all time most viewed posts- the readers are just – silent. But they seek it out; and read.

    V. Arnold

    @ Nicole Foss

    Wow, that was a hell of a read. Nice work and thanks.
    Very illustrative of the differences between Greece and Iceland; very significant differences.
    It would seem that Russia and China would, if asked, come to Greece’s aide if they chose to escape the vile clutches of IMF, Troika, and NATO.
    But then, fear is a powerful foil to stepping into the uncertain future…


    V. Arnold – I’ve only read about a third of Nicole’s post, but I second your “wow”. What the hell happened? When intelligence was handed out, I and the others around me got a few measly crumbs. They must have gotten distracted when they got to Nicole (called to the phone or something), and they dumped the whole lot on her; she got the mother lode.

    Nicole, you inspire me. You make all of us women proud. And your interview that was posted a few days ago, that was so well done. Thank you.

    John Day/Greenpa – I had some information given to me years ago. I didn’t agree with it, didn’t act on it, yet the information was there. It just took time for me to see that things fit with what I had been told. Now, had the information never been given, I would have been lost, but since it was there, things began to make sense. So I guess the best thing to do is kindly inform people what you believe, and it’s up to them to seize it when the time is right for them.

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