Greece — democracy in the balance

All eyes seem to be glued to the US Presidential Elections, certainly those of our media are, when I think they should be looking at Greece.

OK America is a more puissant nation but let’s say what most of us feel – it hardly matters who wins in America because, as am American comedian noted the other day,  the candidates are just the same model just in two different colours. Either way Wall Street gets its man in the Presidency.  For what it’s worth I think Wall Street, by and large, prefers Obama to win because his presence in the White House will do far more to contain public anger and particularly Black anger at the on-going lootting of the nation’s saving s and coffers than Romney’s would.

Romney has served his purpose which was, I suggest, to pull the debate as far to the right as possible and to help ensure that whoever wins does so without any mandate from the people. No large majority –  no power to stand up to the juggernaught of special interests and Wall Street policies.

But Greece on the other hand stands at a cross roads not just for itself but for Democracy in Europe as a whole. Greece is in disarray but no more so than the rest of EUrope just more visibly so.What ails them is what is eating at us – the creeping failure of Democracy.

This morning, according to my friends there is already a large Police pressence on the Streets in Greece’s main cities. When the parliament votes on imposing the Austerity measures which the Greek peeople already rejected once, there will be trouble.

If the parliament sides with the Austerity Troika and its plan to put banks before people then there will be serious unrest. Not least because many Greeks no longer believe their parliament or their democracy work for them. They are increasingly seen as the mouth-piece of an occupying power.

It is no sure thing the measures will pass.  PASOK, the main coalition partner, is in complete disarray. Already one MP and a senior party official have quit over the austerity measures. 17 members of PASOK refused to support the  draft bill which contains the austerity measures and Privatizations of state assets. The Party leader was forced to call an emergency party meeting from which journalists were barred.

Quoted in the Greek paper Ekathimerini,

Cretan MP Nikos Sifounakis. “If we continue like this, the measures won’t pass. The government and PASOK will collapse.”

Why would the government collapse if it refused to vote for the Troika’s austerity measures? Why does following the will of a sovereign people inevitably lead to the collapse of a government?

Of course the financial world has also being applying its own pressure.  Last Wednesday the Greek stock exchange dropped 5%. The reason according to another Ekathimerini article a few days ago,

It appears that investors are not just worried about the successful recapitalization of the country’s banks but also about the very question of whether the austerity package will survive next week’s parliamentary vote.

Greece’s insolvent banks shuddered to their rotten cores.

 Piraeus giving up 16.11 percent, Bank of Cyprus 13.19 percent and National 11.73 percent.

Worth noting the news about Cyprus from a German Intelligence report leaked to Der Spiegel that a  bail out for Cyprus’s banks will be largely if not exclusively ear-marked for Russian Oligarchs who are the ones whose money is ‘at risk’ in any Cyprus Bank collapse.

So bank, bourse, politicians, Oligarchs and their media all singing from the same press release. Good to know. And as if that wasn’t enough to scare people into the ‘right’ decision, thugs of every description have, of course, crawled out of their crevices  to show people the face of ‘anarchy’ should they refuse to accept what their masters have planned for them.

Two days ago a group of thugs attacked and set fire to the Turkish Consulate in Thessaloniki. Who they represent beyond themselves, who they might work for, be paid by or simply whose agenda they further is a mystery.

In my opinion the Greek people should not accept the austerity programme nor the fire sale of their assets. The austerity will not solve Greece’s problems nor rid it of its debts. The measures are not designed for that purpose. A plan to help Greece would be a plan to put Greece back to work and invest in Greece for the Greeks. Rather than loot Greece for foreign banks.

I think the Greeks should insist on a Debt Commission and sort out which debts they will pay and which they will not. A debt commission has international legal standing and has worked elsewhere . I wrote about it in Ireland, Greece and Portugal should default  as well as in How to Destroy the Web of Debt. and A people’s Debt Jubilee.

The Greek people shouldalso  force their judicial system to bring to justice the wealthy tax evaders and those in government who aided and abetted their fraud. For those of you who are interested here is the Lagarde list of Greek Tax evaders. What the list doesn’t tell us – though we could find out – is which banks helped them evade their taxes.

Greece isn’t where our resolve to ‘solve’ the financial crisis is being tested. No one is trying to ‘solve’ it. At least not for our benefit. What they are trying to do is save their own wealth and the banking system which contains it.

What is being tested in Greece is our democracy. Either it is government by the people FOR THE PEOPLE or it is government by technocrats for their wealthy friend. It’s not a complicated choice. Just one that takes courage.

 

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32 Responses to Greece — democracy in the balance

  1. Ian Cropper November 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    It is clear to those who want to see that the shifting of money to those at the top has not only been destructive to the economy, but has also been highly damaging to democracy.

  2. Phil Espin November 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I’d thought the Lagarde list had been received from an ex HSBC Switzerland employee who liberated the information from his employer.

    At the time the man in charge of that bank was Lord Stephen Green, currently a conservative government minister. At least one UK taxpayer has already been jailed for tax evasion as a result of the UK part of Lagarde’s list.

    Assisting a money launderer is a criminal offence in the UK no matter where the offence is carried out. Tax evasion is money laundering. One might have thought the policemen on the gates at 10 Downing Street would have had ample opportunities to arrest Lord Green and question him about his involvement in financial crimes, rather than persecuting inoffensive cyclists who call them nasty names.

    Unfortunately our legal system is increasingly obviously working on two levels. One law for us, no law from them. Our own democracy is on the same slippery slope as that of Greece.

  3. steviefinn November 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Yet another ‘ Make or break ‘ moment for Greece – Papandreou out scaremongering & bemoaning the fact that there is no banking union or common fiscal & economic policy within Europe, it’s not hard to see where his bread is buttered & the fact that he belongs to an international elite, rather than to Greece.

    If anybody wanted any proof that the politicians, the Eurocraps, bankers etc care nothing for those at the bottom, they only have to look at the Greek situation. Now in more debt than when the bailout started & the victim of an austerity policy that obviously is counter productive without even taking into account things like the massive increase in the suicide rate or the rise of Golden Shower fascists..

    I cannot understand the fact that in a recent poll in Greece, 70% reckoned Samaras was doing a good job, maybe it’s info like this that encourages the Troika to keep turning the screw.

    When it all goes pear shaped I would not like to be one of those tax dodgers on the list, if I was still living in Greece.

    • John Souter November 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      Stevie – the one certainty if the pear in Greece implodes the tax evaders will not be answering their phones.

    • richard in norway November 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

      Not all fascists are kinky, and none usually advertises it, what is the “golden shower” party thinking of

      • steviefinn November 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

        John – If they are not first to leave the sinking ship I am sure these rats will find something to crawl under.

        Richard – My pet name for them – more in keeping I think than the glorious sounding Golden Dawn – did you do a survey from a safe distance ?

  4. Enexoumeypothesi November 6, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    Golem,

    Analysing Greece and Cyprus is never too easy or too simple, especially if you don’t live in these 2 countries. Yes, it’s the banks’ fault for providing cheap loans to everyone; it’s the politicians’ fault because ALL of them are corrupt; it’s the judicial system at fault because it is also corrupt. But then it is the peoples fault as well. Come on, where else but Greece you would find electricians and housewives in the Laggard list! Whoever had the chance to cheat the State did it! From electricians to ship owners!For years – and i mean decades – Greeks and Cypriots alike lived beyond their means. Have you ever been to Cyprus? Have you ever seen the houses in Cyprus? You would think ”gee what a rich country” …..well my friend, the party is over, it is pay time now!

    • Hawkeye November 7, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      Enexoumeypothesi

      So pay up the pound of flesh, is it?

      The borrower is singularly and wholly responsible?

      Are you sure you know what you are suggesting?

      http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2011/06/guest-post-by-hawkeye-irresponsible-borrowing-and-irresponsible-lending/

      • Enexoumeypothesi November 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

        Actually not, this is not what I’m suggesting. The only chance Greece has, is by defaulting on it’s loans, going back to the drachma, putting all the politicians in jail and start taking those necessary steps to become more competitive and more attractive to both foreign and local investment. Greece is a very beautiful country but a very shitty system.
        Cyprus should take a similar step as Iceland did 3 or 4 years ago. Let the banks go down, jail the irresponsible bankers, take their properties away from them, jail the politicians that brought us in this position to start with and take all the necessary steps to reform the system.

  5. Spyros M November 7, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    An excellent article, as usual.
    Just a remark on a detail: the Turkish Consulate of Salonica was not attacked. According to local sources ( http://www.alterthess.gr/content/epithesi-me-molotof-sta-mat-sto-toyrkiko-prokseneio ) what was attacked, by a group of about fifty anarchists, was a Special Forces police unit, who occupy the area in front of the consulate and are routinely used for repression of the neighbouring area. A police bus was destroyed.

  6. The Dork of Cork. November 7, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    I would vote for a dictator who said he would roll back 1648 and crush the banks into dust…………no problem.
    But no isms this time – just a plain old fiat king will do nicely
    400 years of this shit is enough for anyone.

    Modern Democracy is a banking illusion

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKXa48SBcSE

    There is nothing wrong with a superhero in this dark period.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y35a6qy6BtA

  7. backwardsevolution November 7, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    “The “Lagarde List” contains the names of 54,000 Greek citizens who have transferred major assets out of the country. The Greek Establishment is (naturally) doing nothing to investigate these 54,000 people, because the 54,000 are the Greek establishment.”

    The elite and foreign banks are fiercely trying to put a lid on the citizens of Greece. The banks foolishly lent to businesses and people that were not good bets, they were rubbing their greedy hands together just thinking of all the money they were going to make. Well, that’s not working out too well for them now. Lenders are always the more sophisticated party, and they made the mistake of lending where they shouldn’t have, and yet want to get 100 cents back on the dollar. Well, pound sand!

    The Greek people partied, the lenders partied. Looks like it was a 50/50 arrangement. At most – at most – the Greek people should be liable for half of what they owe. Had the creditors accepted 50 cents on the dollar from the beginning, this problem would probably have gone away, but they weren’t content with that. They wanted it all!

    The only way that people who make bad bets are going to get smart is when they get pulverized, and pulverized they should be this time.

    Before Greece’s beautiful assets get sold, I hope the people rip the roof off the country and send these rats scurrying for their lives.

    • SidFinster November 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      Come now, let us reason together – the other reason no one prosecutes those onthe LaGarde List is because such information is useful blackmail material for the Greek government to enforce parliamentary voting discipline, for instance.

      No, not on Troika orders. But the troika will look the other way, just as it will pretend to pay no notice to any of the other seamy means that will be used to ensure passage of the latest austerity bill.

      • backwardsevolution November 9, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

        Sid – I’ll stick with what I posted: “The Greek Establishment is (naturally) doing nothing to investigate these 54,000 people, because the 54,000 ARE the Greek establishment.”

        Blackmail? You mean Greek ministers and officials have removed their money, and you think the Troika is going to use this information to blackmail these officials into voting the way the Troika wants them to?

        It’s probably a little of both. Maybe this is happening now, but how about the years when these very people were paying nothing in taxes while making a fortune? Like help like.

        Any way you slice it, this is going to blow. It’s just a matter of time.

        • SidFinster November 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

          The Troika is not going to blackmail anyone. Expect thevruling coalition in Greece to do that.

  8. backwardsevolution November 7, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Golem – “What is being tested in Greece is our democracy. Either it is government by the people FOR THE PEOPLE or it is government by technocrats for their wealthy friend. It’s not a complicated choice. Just one that takes courage.”

    I am wondering if we ever really had democracy, or whether we just thought we did. How is it that Romney and Obama (who was he before he got elected; he had really done nothing) get to be the choices? The elite choose the candidates and then say, “Well, there’s your two choices, now go and get busy being democratic.” Obama is every bit as conservative as Bush was. Whether you vote for the red party or the blue party, the elite don’t care because one of their two chosen puppets will win; it matters not which colour.

    These guys are not in control, but they ARE part of the elite who want to maintain the status quo as they’re getting filthy rich doing it. Look at the U.S. Congressmen who have become multi-millionaires (and it’s not from their government pay cheques) from their time in government. I’m sure there are some good politicians, but they’re just as liable to get a bullet in the back if they don’t play by the rules.

    We won’t fight corruption until the status quo is dismantled.

  9. Roger Lewis November 7, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    David,

    Like you I will be looking at events in greece very closely.
    Watching Pres. Obamas Victory speech I was struch by a few phrases. In this Time of War, What makes America Exceptional, Your Votes have made a difference and a few others.

    Turning then to the BBC coverage and particularly analysis of the ´´Fiscal Cliff´, this seems to be the continued narrative. One earnest BBC analyst said something to the effect. What will Make America Governable again will be the tackling of the Fiscal Cliff, otherwise we will see something external emerging ` The Markets will not like it, and so forth.

    Absolutely no debt money commentary at all. I think the work is only just beginning to get the anti Austerity message out , and for the MMT message to be forced into the main stream debate. There have been a few modest break throughs, Steve Keen , interviewed on Hard Talk or some sort a bit on the Daily Politics, Ben Dyson on the BBC thought programme. But Ignorance remains the main objective promote ignorance by obfuscation.

    Anyway Rye Cooders 2011 album remains a stand out for me on Poplar Culture getting in on tackling the MSM narrative.
    John Lee Hooker for President.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8kSpZhinVE

    No Banker left behind.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8kSpZhinVE

    I do not often watch Main Stream media , Radio or Television even current cinema. I was pretty shocked.

  10. Charles Wheeler November 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Going off at a slight tangent, but all part of the bigger picture, this small piece of the jig-saw illustrates how we got here on a national and global scale, Greece being just another piece of the wreckage left in the trail of the ‘leverage’ juggernaut:

    Suffolk County Council has agreed a multimillion pound deal with the private sector to take over its care homes amid fresh calls for financial regulation to protect elderly residents and the taxpayer. … The first five will be built and owned by Schroders UK Property Fund – who will lease the homes back to Care UK. The land is being given to Schroders for free by the council with unrestricted freeholds.

    The 25-year contract gives Care UK, owned by private equity giants Bridgepoint, guaranteed payment for 370 of the 680 new specialist beds by the council from 2015 – whether occupied or not, at an agreed price structure not made public. The current care staff jobs and terms and conditions are guaranteed for only six months.

    The Tory-led council estimates the deal will save it £11.5 million over 25 years. The management consultancy by KPMG and set-up costs totalled £1.7m, with an additional £9.3m for ‘transitional costs”; Care UK stand to make £257million.

    Care UK took over 27 Southern Cross homes after it collapsed last year and is expanding fast. Last month the company hired Jim Easton, a former senior NHS figure involved in the government’s multi-billion pound efficiency drive, as its managing director.

    Bridgepoint bought Care UK in 2010 (when it was publicly listed and debt-light) in a deal financed by a £250m bond. Care UK’s total (internal and external) debt is £480m, according to the holding company’s most recent accounts. The bond is rated as “junk” by Moody’s – “speculative and subject to credit risk”. The annual interest rate of 10 per cent on the bond and a staggering 16 per cent on other debts contributed to a £64m loss in 2011.

    Transparency issues were raised at a Suffolk council scrutiny meeting last week. The committee upheld the original decision but an official admitted that information regarded as sensitive by private companies is not released by the council under the Freedom of Information Act.

    CareUK response: “The financial structure of providers is rigorously scrutinised by any public sector body looking to enter into a long term contract and the process is wholly transparent.”
    Independent 6th Nov 2012: http://goo.gl/6xWwJ

    This follows on from:
    Britain’s biggest private care home owners have combined debts of nearly £5bn, it can be disclosed today, raising fresh concerns about the financial health of companies looking after thousands of elderly and disabled people.

    The Government has failed to introduce any regulation to force care home providers to be more transparent about their finances – despite promises made in the wake of last year’s Southern Cross collapse which affected 31,000 elderly residents and their families.

    Most leading care home owners have highly complex structures and loan arrangements, making it difficult for local authorities and families to pierce the corporate veil and properly assess underlying risks. Scrutiny of five of the biggest firms is made more difficult because they are owned by parent companies based in secretive offshore tax havens, The Independent has found.
    Independent 5th Nov 2012: http://goo.gl/NAvRe

    Which takes us on neatly to Matt Taibbi’s take-down of Romney’s record at Bain Capital:

    This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.

    Here’s how Romney would go about “liberating” a company: A private equity firm like Bain typically seeks out floundering businesses with good cash flows. It then puts down a relatively small amount of its own money and runs to a big bank like Goldman Sachs or Citigroup for the rest of the financing. (Most leveraged buyouts are financed with 60 to 90 percent borrowed cash.) The takeover firm then uses that borrowed money to buy a controlling stake in the target company, either with or without its consent. When an LBO is done without the consent of the target, it’s called a hostile takeover; such thrilling acts of corporate piracy were made legend in the Eighties, most notably the 1988 attack by notorious corporate raiders Kohlberg Kravis Roberts against RJR Nabisco, a deal memorialized in the book Barbarians at the Gate.

    Romney and Bain avoided the hostile approach, preferring to secure the cooperation of their takeover targets by buying off a company’s management with lucrative bonuses. Once management is on board, the rest is just math. So if the target company is worth $500 million, Bain might put down $20 million of its own cash, then borrow $350 million from an investment bank to take over a controlling stake.

    But here’s the catch. When Bain borrows all of that money from the bank, it’s the target company that ends up on the hook for all of the debt.

    Now your troubled firm – let’s say you make tricycles in Alabama – has been taken over by a bunch of slick Wall Street dudes who kicked in as little as five percent as a down payment. So in addition to whatever problems you had before, Tricycle Inc. now owes Goldman or Citigroup $350 million. With all that new debt service to pay, the company’s bottom line is suddenly untenable: You almost have to start firing people immediately just to get your costs down to a manageable level.

    “That interest,” says Lynn Turner, former chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, “just sucks the profit out of the company.”

    Fortunately, the geniuses at Bain who now run the place are there to help tell you whom to fire. And for the service it performs cutting your company’s costs to help you pay off the massive debt that it, Bain, saddled your company with in the first place, Bain naturally charges a management fee, typically millions of dollars a year. So Tricycle Inc. now has two gigantic new burdens it never had before Bain Capital stepped into the picture: tens of millions in annual debt service, and millions more in “management fees.” Since the initial acquisition of Tricycle Inc. was probably greased by promising the company’s upper management lucrative bonuses, all that pain inevitably comes out of just one place: the benefits and payroll of the hourly workforce.

    Once all that debt is added, one of two things can happen. The company can fire workers and slash benefits to pay off all its new obligations to Goldman Sachs and Bain, leaving it ripe to be resold by Bain at a huge profit. Or it can go bankrupt – this happens after about seven percent of all private equity buyouts – leaving behind one or more shuttered factory towns. Either way, Bain wins. By power-sucking cash value from even the most rapidly dying firms, private equity raiders like Bain almost always get their cash out before a target goes belly up.
    Rolling Stone: http://goo.gl/5cBAK

    Taibbi’s reference to Barbarians at the Gate is apposite – anyone wanting to read a rip-roaring tale of corporate marauders which also acts as a primer on LBOs and private equity could do worse than start with the story of RJR Nabisco. But the barbarians are no longer at the gate, they’ve stormed the citadel and are busy pillaging all that’s left of the public sector before the walls collapse in on the rest of us.

    Greece is just the overture, the fat lady is still waiting in the wings.

    • Mike Hall November 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      Great piece Charles, drawing the parallels between US finance sector scams & similar UK activities. Delighted to see you back contributing here.

  11. backwardsevolution November 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Golem – another great piece. George Carlin in “The Illusion of Choice”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SC_wjQtfhZQ

  12. SidFinster November 8, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    Anyway, as predicted the Greek Parliament approved the latest round of austerity measures.

  13. Daniel November 8, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    The crisis in Greece is a pre-planned strategy on the part of the Financial cabal to push the Greek Govt. into such a corner that they have to sell up at fire-sale prices. But, clearly this strategy needs some form of social compliance and legitimacy, otherwise it would / should be deemed legally fraudulent!
    To socially and legally tolerate it is to explicitly legitimise loan sharking:

    “high finance is seeking to turn public infrastructure into rent-extracting tollbooths to extract economic rent (the “free lunch economy”), while replacing labour unions with non-union labour so as to work it more intensively. This is an asset grab, pure and simple..”

    The implementation of Austerity measures is not one jot of recognition of fault on the part of the Financiers for poor judgement in lending to a bankrupt sovereign nation, but instead the enforcement of debt maintenance by any means necessary. The Financiers are being provided with complete protection, but at the expense not only of the Greek Govt. , but also wider members of Greek society who are innocent bystanders.

    Bank bailouts assure that the Financiers bear no responsibility whatsoever for their faulty judgement in lending out in the first place, and instead disseminates it through Austerity and Inflation.
    The legal term for this is ‘odious debt’.
    The only recourse is to default on this debt and return to a Sovereign currency of the Drachma, to rebuild the economy.
    The alternative is a’fire sale’ of the Greek economies assets, Power stations, Gas utilities, water. Transport, Ports ,minerals, oil&gas Telecommunications etc.
    This will lead to Debt serfdom into posterity for the Greek citizen.
    The poster boy for this form of exploitation is the UK, which was ravaged by privatisation under Thatchers Govt in the ,80’s.

  14. Andrea November 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Afaik, the Lagarde list is the Hervé Falciani list. He is in prison in Spain at present. Switzerland has requested his extradition but it looks like Spain will not comply. He worked for HSBC Geneva, and the list is ONLY from that bank.

    http://tinyurl.com/c728qxm

    The complete list ended up in the hands of Woerth, Finance Min. of France under Sarkozy. French computer forensics have shown that the list was tampered with after it was received by Woerth. (Quelle surprise.) – no link, sorry. It became the Lagarde list when she became F. M.

    In other news (no link sorry, it was a tiny snippet in Le Temps which I can’t copy legally) 70 (or possibly more) of the ppl on the ‘Greek’ list (which is an extract from the whole) are in order with the Greek tax authorities. This list is known because the Swiss and Greeks send the dossiers to each other, with the agreement of the account holders.

    I very much doubt the Greek list is ‘correct’. Several ppl in Greece have already objected to their inclusion. (?)

    The list comprised just under 2,000 names.

  15. neretva'43 November 9, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    “What is being tested in Greece is our democracy. Either it is government by the people FOR THE PEOPLE or it is government by technocrats for their wealthy friend. It’s not a complicated choice. Just one that takes courage.”

    Sorry, but I always laughing/crying at this type of statements – when someone, who strive to be opinion-maker, is (still) believer in “democracy”. It is like from the textbooks of some ruling party, or from some speech which is coming from Bush or Romney, Obama. It appears that your are believer in “reconstruction” within the system. I am afraid that’s not going to happen.

    In same time pedophiles and Lords which asking that retired people should go back to work.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20044862 are in the top of food chain. So how to reconcile “democracy” with this sociopath? And, is it posible?

    In this link:

    http://www.newsit.gr/flash/MNHMONIO3

    is something what they (Troika = Nazis) call Economic and Financial Policies, sounds innocuous and benign. Going through this, I could see this is just form (legal, if you like)
    of rape, i.e. desertification and destitution of people, land, sea, and air of Greece.

    And why I am not surprised? This is something what took place in Eastern Europe more than two decade ago. In Yugoslavia two decade ago, with blood deep to the knees – 100.000 of them in Bosnia alone. This is what is going on now in Syria “they” are trying to “open market” they are bulldozing few countries that left and free of colonialism. Usual pretext is “freedom and human rights” and of course “democracy”.

    These are medieval forces not “democracy”. It reminds me on “El Requerimiento” when White man step up in new world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Requirement_of_1513

    “…But if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their highnesses; we shall take you, and your wives, and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him: and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us.”

    • Andrea November 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      And there is the Church, Greek Orthodox Church, neretva, as you know, who owns a fair part of the country and claims taxes revenues, and refuses to pay any itself. (Long and complicated history.)

      It lives high on the hog, etc. but that is never discussed. Never!

    • Roger Lewis November 13, 2012 at 6:05 am #

      Sadly Nerevta 43, I fear that you are absolutely correct. There is no wriggle room within the extant paradigm which would lead to any sort of emancipation from the exploitative colonialism of State Monopoly Capitalism for what is these days called the 99%. For 99% read , Masses , workers, Hoi Poloi, Great unwashed or Indeed Platos Mob.
      In America I have been struck by the sudden class conciousness that has emerged in Line with the Elite Narrative, Protection of the Middle Class and so on , the classless Republic and meritocracy re invented as Monarchy/ Oligarchy.
      I highly recommend Michael Pearlmans book , ´ The Invention of Capitalism´ I read it about 3 years ago and it was something of an eye opener for me. Marx’x conceptualisation of Primative Accumulation is very powerful. From the Peasants revolt and Watt Tyler thru the English CIvil war, The Levelers and the on into the Great Huinger and genocide in Ireland, fully supoported by mercantilist fascists and their triangular trade. Destructiioon and Genocide of the Aboruiiginal Peoples of Tasmania ( Van Daemons Land) and In Australia.
      I can not do the chronology justice from memory alone and don’t wish to start writing an essay. I did do a Video on the Great Hunger in Ireland , it featyures in one of James Burkes Connections programmes. I suspect that James Burkes Knowledge project has not attracted main stream funding as his approach to History is too Socratic, contrasted with Clowns ( uselful Idiots like Nial Ferguson).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54f0np2Jcvc

      ´http://en.gravatar.com/rogerglewis

      The rules of randomness are so powerful that they have given physics some of its most sacrosanct and immutable laws. Though the atoms in a box full of gas are moving at random, their collective behavior is described by a simple set of deterministic equations. Even the laws of thermodynamics derive their power from the predictability of large numbers of random events; they are indisputable only because the rules of randomness are so absolute.

      Paradoxically, the unpredictable behavior of random events has given us the predictions that we are most confident in.
      http://www.edge.org/q2011/q11_3.html#taleb

  16. neretva'43 November 9, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    In what kind of democracy we are livinig this article may confirm.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/british-arms-deals-quick-death-fast-profits/5310655

    “While Cameron and British Foreign Secretary William Hague stand in front of TV cameras and make warm sounding speeches about humanitarianism and the precious nature of human life, they and their arms dealing buddies are all to willing to play fast and loose with the lives of millions of people through their militarism, the ratcheting up of regional tensions and the sanctioning of arms deals.”

    And Germans (French too) doing this for quite some time. Where? In Greece.

    http://www.hellasfrappe.blogspot.com/2012/11/skaramagas-vaxevanis-points-to-pasok.html
    - How Paying Double For German Subs Helped To Sink Greece
    - EXPOSED – Classified Documents About Bribery From German Arms Manufacturers To Greek Politicians
    - An Introduction And Analysis Of The Siemens and Ferrostaal Scandals
    - Forgiving Siemens And German Corruption in Greece

    Still wondering where is the money that “lazy” Greeks squandered?

    Thanks to Germany and French, Greek state spend on arms more than anybody in Europe, if I am not mistaken they have more tank than any country (per capita) in Europe. Who they suppose fight with? Turkey of course.

    Democracy!?

  17. Bardo November 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Film of the Greek Fire sale Option to watch with English subtitles.

    Please excuse if this link has already been posted…

  18. Bardo November 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Here’s the link to the film: http://www.catastroika.com/

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