Like so many others, both inside and outside Greece, I was greatly disappointed at the outcome of the negotiations between the Greek government and the “institutions.” At first, it looked like a sell-out, but on further reflection, I can see that given the circumstances, the government really had no choice.
More than 70 years ago, Greece was overrun in a Nazi blitzkrieg. This week it has been overrun by the combined powers of global financial capital and its eurozone “partners.” The following is a comment (still awaiting moderation) I made today on the website of former Greek finance minister, Yannis Varoufakis.
I regret having been overly judgmental in my comment of July 14. I have no business telling the Greek government what they should have done, or must do in the future. It is Tsipras and the Syriza coalition who have the responsibility of representing the interests of the Greek people and preserving the Greek state. I can see that surrender (or “strategic retreat”) in the face of overwhelming force may have been necessary, just as it was with the Nazi occupation of 70 years ago. Better to live to fight another day when conditions may be more favorable.
Now the battles must be fought on another level, the people need to do what they can to take care of themselves and each another. To do that, they first need to clearly identify their adversary and understand the kinds of weapons that are being used against them.
Bill Clinton’s mentor, Prof. Carroll Quigley, in his 1966 book, Tragedy and Hope told us what the agenda is, who is in control of it, and how their plans are to be carried out. He wrote:
“The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences..” Viewed in that light, the major political events of the past 40 years, including the Greek crisis, make perfect sense.
This anti-democracy cabal is able to achieve their aims by means of their control over the creation and allocation of money in virtually every country of the world. But money is simply our collective credit manifested as bank deposits or notes. We the people everywhere need to end our fixation on their politicized forms of money, and create our own exchange media (liquidity) by allocating credit directly amongst producers. This is the route back to freedom and democratic government.
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Three months on, and it would appear that Hulsman (see my comment of 27.7.15 below) was right on the money. The shameless charlatan Varoufakis is already coining it.
I’m not so quick to judge. Speaker fees are common for high profile personalities, and I don’t see him profiting from his country’s crisis, but from his fame and reputation.
From Galbraith’s article: –
“Exit from the Euro was not an option, and the government would not bluff.”
In my view, absolute and total nonsense on both counts. Of course ‘exit’ was an option – it was simply not one that Syriza, was ever going to seriously countenance. In the first instance, Syriza is in favour of the European political project and has no real wish to undermine it, and secondly, ‘exit’ from the Euro and the reintroduction of the Drachma would have forced the then bankrupt Greek State to design and impose its own “austerity” programs in order to compensate for the absence of all that borrowed money – for Syriza, a fate far worse than the ‘troika’ whom they can now blame with impunity.
As for not bluffing, I fear that Galbraith cannot see the wood for the trees as the Greek government actually did nothing else but bluff. More than that, they did so rather obviously and really rather badly. Varoufakis’ nauseating appeal to ‘democratic scruples’ was political posturing at its most cynical.. There is nothing remotely ‘democratic’ about Greeks voting in favour of the notion that the German taxpayer (and others) should pay for the Greek’s desired lifestyle.
The columnist John Hulsman* recently hit the ‘Varoufakis’ nail right on the head: –
”…there should be a special circle of hell reserved for those who cause major crises, but who then, through some sort of fluke, walk between the raindrops, suffering no ill personal effects as they bequeath the mess to posterity. If there is any justice, Yanis Varoufakis – the bombastic, overrated, erstwhile finance minister of Greece – will be in Dante’s inferno. Despite his reputation as a rock star academic, when it came to utilising game theory in the real world, Varoufakis played games, but theory seemed to have little to do with his erratic negotiating style. Varoufakis wasted the past crucial five months of the Greek crisis, wrongly convinced for reasons that pass understanding that the European creditors would fold in the face of obvious bluffing from the Marxist schoolboys in Athens. As he now inks what is sure to be a lucrative book deal, dining out for the rest of his life on how useless the EU creditors are, it is worth remembering that Greece and its leaders are the primary authors of their own demise.”
Yes, Greece is now effectively under occupation, and yes, there is cause for very considerable concern about the nature of the ‘deal’ that the ‘troika’ has imposed on the country. On a wider scale it is positively terrifying to witness the degree to which productive ‘citizens’ the world over now serve only as the collateral required to support the voracious and ever expanding systems of vested interest we tend to call ‘government’. But none of this forgives the incompetent Varoufakis, who as Hulsman also comments, ‘could not find water if he fell out of a boat.’ When all is said and done, Varoufakis is just another politician who refused, and continues to refuse, to face the true economic and social costs of endless State intervention and borrowing. Wedded to a culture of entitlements, subsidies, tax subventions to organized interest groups and a horribly bloated State sector, Greece is a corrupt mess. Its politicians, in general and Varoufakis in particular, declined to attempt to sort this mess out themselves and duly handed the country and its ‘citizens’ over to its creditors.
What to me is truly astonishing about the whole affair is that the German government actually agreed to underwrite this third bailout at all. When this too fails, as it surely will, the Germans may finally realise they are party to a blunder of epic proportions but with no one left to blame but themselves. So blinded by the political ideology that the Euro represents as to ignore what seem to me basic economic realities, the German government will soon come to realise that what they had thought was water with which to douse the flames is, in fact, petrol which, once ignited, will have the potential to burn the entire rotten ‘European’ project to the ground. So far as I’m concerned indeed – here’s hoping!
Yes, Greece is under occupation once again, and Germany is attacking again Europe with an economic this time war. Germany learned nothing from the past. It is doing again the same thing it did twice in the past.Germany will be defeated again. And resistance of the peoples of Europe will start from Greece once again
Yes, but in this case Germany is just a proxy for the global “powers of financial capitalism.”
Cuba’s history for the past half century may be instructive.
For an excellent analysis of the European situation today, see Prof. James Galbraith’s new article in Harper’s magazine, “Greece, Europe, and the United States,” at http://harpers.org/blog/2015/07/greece-europe-and-the-united-states/. Quote: “The only counter, now, [to the rise of “ugly, racist, xenophobic groups”] is for progressive and democratic forces to regroup behind the banner of national democratic restoration. Which means that the left in Europe will also now swing against the euro.” Let us so pray, Amen.