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Could Greece swing to the right?

For what little they might be worth here are a few thoughts about Greece.

My great concern is not what happens if Syriza stick to their guns but what happens if they don’t. If Syriza backs down to Germany and fails to deliver what so many Greek people voted for, I fear people will, in anger and frustration, swing violently from left to right, from Syriza to Golden Dawn.

Many who voted for Syriza did not do so with any great ideological commitment. So I don’t think they would have any great ideological problem abandoning them. For those who have strong ideological beliefs such a switch might seem unthinkable. But for many voters – in every country not just Greece – especially when they are angry and desperate it is about who will deliver. If the left are seen to fail, people will turn to another believable voice who promises action and salvation. In the UK we see this, where UKIP – a party led by ex-Tories (right wing) and which blames most of our ills on immigrants and meddling European bureaucrats – is attracting angry ex-labour voters.

So my concern is a violent swing to the right in Greece. The question is what would happen then? Of course the answer depends on how right wing.

I see several possible scenarios, none of them happy.

Ask yourself  if our current leaders, in Europe and America, would really be that upset by a swing to the right? I think they wouldn’t be unhappy at all. Think of how happy our governments are to support the openly ultra-nationalist and neo-fascist government in Ukraine. In Greece I think one of two things would happen. Either the right wing backlash would be tolerated, even if it was publicly held at arm’s length, simply because it would be seen as far better than radical left, or we would behold the ultimate irony of seeing the Greek Generals stepping in to ‘save’ Greece (and Europe) from right wing extremism.

Either of these alternatives would suit America’s ruling elite class, Greece’s most prominent tax avoiders/families (who are, after all, very closely connected to the generals) and the European and German elite who have come to regard democracy as a populist threat to financial stability.

I am left wondering what Syriza could do in the little time left to them before the next financial/political crunch and untill their popularity runs out? I have no inside information so all I can do is think what I might do. In their shoes I would be trying to talk to the other indebted nations about debt cross cancellation. I would be doing all I could to establish a broad based Debt commission to declare which debts I would honour and which I would repudiate as odious and illegal. Of course such a commission would, in effect, lift the lid on all the corruption of the Greek elite for the last 30 years and would implicate many of Europe and America’s most powerful banks. So to do such a thing would require the cooperation of at least some of the police and or army. And that in turn would require very visible and very vociferous public support. It might be Syriza is on the cusp of losing the ability to mobilize such support. I hope not.

Beyond these things I would also be talking as quietly as possible to China and Russia together. One thing Syriza must be working on – at least I hope they are – is a credible means of exiting the Euro and having a viable currency to replace it with. In their shoes I would be talking to China and Russia about possible backing for my new currency. This might seem utterly implausible but then again we live in times when what was implausible yesterday turns out to be tomorrow’s headline.

I have long speculated that China has designs to launch either the Yuan or a new hybrid currency (as a project with Russia and a few other nations) based in part on the Yuan and partly backed by gold, as a rival reserve currency to challenge the dollar. The Chinese have already positioned the Yuan as a settlement currency for dealings with a wide range of its trading partners including Japan, Russian, Iran, Australia  and Europe. Just today four of Europe’s big nations, Germany, France, Italy and Britain have all joined the Chinese led development bank, the AIIB, despite very public opposition from Washington. The AIIB is an international development bank and a direct rival to the US-and-dollar-dominated World Bank. So the times are already changing.

Is it really inconceivable for Greece to talk to China about providing backing for a new currency? Greece could peg the new drachma to the Yuan and use the Yuan for both settlement and reserve and switch to the new currency should there ever be one. This would not protect Greece or its currency completely but it would change the dynamic  rather dramatically.

You might object that such a move would be far too aggressive. But has China not been moving step by step in this direction for some time? It would not be impossible for China to do. The amount of debt/money involved is not that unmanageable compared to the levels of debt we have become accustomed to since the banking debt crisis began. Europe has not wanted to bail out Greece, not because they couldn’t, but out of fear that it would lead to the other indebted nations with far larger economies and debts, Spain and Italy, who Europe could not afford to bail out, following Greece’s lead.  China would have no such problem. They would be simply able to say we are just being neighbourly. Albeit in your back garden. We are trying to help another nation and its people in their hour of need. We are not landing tanks or missiles. We are just helping with a problem you Europeans seem unable or unwilling to solve yourselves.

Certainly China would be saddled with some new debts but it would not have to accept any debts Greece did not want to pay. And those it did accept would be no great increase on their own debts which the  world seems quite willing to accept. In return China would have projected their economic and political power right in to the heart of Europe. In China’s position I would present the whole affair to Germany as helping them avoid a crisis for their own banks, and helping to serve notice to Washington that Europe was not theirs to order around. I think this is pretty much the line they might have used over the AIIB agreement.

The remaining question for me is if China will go it alone with the Yuan or work with Russia on a shared reserve currency? At the moment it seems as if China is providing the economic muscle while Russia is providing the military presence in a part of the world (Europe) that China cannot yet reach.

As I have said this is all speculation and thus might well be worthless. On the other hand when the world and its relations of power are changing as they undoubtedly are, it may not be a waste of time to think through various scenarios. Surely it is better than simply believing that the only scenarios worth considering are those which assume the future will be a simple continuation of the past.

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65 Responses to Could Greece swing to the right?

  1. HomerJS March 17, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    I hope those in Syriza do realise that the votes they gained so quickly could be lost at an even more dramatic rate. A failure to stick to their guns could mean that support for Syriza could drop below that for Pasok. The question being of course is where would those votes go to, because it wouldn’t be to the mainstream parties. Golden Dawn would be the obvious alternative. It may appear counter-intuitive but if you voted for Syriza out of anger and to bring about change, then their failure would make you even more angry. That level of anger could well lead to a support for the right. The alternative would be for that anger to be expressed on the streets rather than through the ballot box.

  2. JerseyJeffersonian March 17, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

    Welcome back. We have missed you and your insights.

    Greece – the new Albania!

    For those of you too young to recall, communist Albania was sponsored by Mao’s China. Nothing that NATO lost sleep over, to be sure, but perhaps useful to some extent for signals intelligence and such.

    Establishing a friendly relationship with Greece might, however, also get Erdogan of Turkey’s attention. It could serve as a check to any thoughts of Pan-Turkic agitation in China’s back yard having the live possibility of Chinese naval vessels operating with logistical support and privileges in Greek ports down the road. Since Erdogan has been kicking NATO in the shins recently, this could put him out on a limb. And if the Russians were to join the combine in some manner, a further breakout from the Black Sea in combination with their already existing base in Syria might also trot out a horse of a different color.

    So, USians, ya wanna play the Great Game, do ya?

    • Phil March 18, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

      An interesting dimension I hadn’t considered.

  3. steviefinn March 18, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    The US & the British played a big role in crushing the leftist forces during the Greek civil war in post WW2 Greece to keep the Soviets out. With today’s tensions between Russia / china & the West. I would be very surprised if they didn’t again prefer similar caretakers – many of whom had happily collaborated with the Nazis :

    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2013/10/09/the-new-york-times-omission-of-the-us-role-in-greeces-post-wwii-civil-war/

    • Phil T. April 7, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      Well said steviefinn … not sure if you caught the following novel idea a few months back, but am curious to know what you and others think of it :

      What Looks Crazy at First Might Be the Ideal Solution: Meet Greece’s New Currency, the U.S. Dollar (February 9, 2015)
      ==> http://www.oftwominds.com/blogfeb15/USD-Greece2-15.html

      • steviefinn April 9, 2015 at 9:35 am #

        Probably could work as Charles always seems to know what he is talking about, & there are probably other solutions that could be applied, but obviously in the present situation, it seems to only matter what the big players want & how the play they game of debt. Gotta love the IMF in all of this – a history of totally incorrect forecasts & now they are saying that – Oh dear, we didn’t realise that austerity would be so awful, which in terms of their record is like a surgeon after killing ten patients being surprised that number eleven has died from the same procedure. But never mind they have made a nice sum out of it. if the IMF were a cleaning lady they would have been sacked for incompetence a long time ago – but as we know, that’s not how this world works, especially when powerful forces profit from it.

  4. Joe Taylor March 18, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    Great to have you back David. That offer to do some foot-slogging for your election campaign still holds.

  5. Dick March 18, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    I have been arguing for the same wrt China and Russia.
    Furthermore Greece should not only exit euro, but also the EU, because nothing can come out of taking with those two if they cannot govern without the meddling of the psychopaths from Brussels who will spare no effort to ensure that an out-of-euro Greece fails as badly as possible.
    Screw the EU.

    The UKIP is not bad, compared to the 2 ruling parties.

  6. FallingLeaf March 18, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    David

    Lovely to see you back – hope all is well with the family and work.

    The Greek situation worries me too and I don’t think it’s implausible that they would be speaking to China and Russia. Certainly, your scenario of China saying to Europe “we’re jsut relieving you of a burden” as a (cheeky) cover for projecting their power in Europe’s back garden is a sly way of sticking a thumb up to Europe and the US.

    However, it seems to me that neither China nor Russia may be all that keen. Putin’s demonisation in the West (see the irresponsible new season of the otherwise very good House of Cards) and the Russian desire for getting its own back post Berlin Wall and the liberal shock doctrine enacted there is offset by local turmoil and their economic problems. Is it really worth creating this provocation as a cover up for their economy?

    As for China, well, this interesting FT article (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2bb4028a-cbf0-11e4-aeb5-00144feab7de.html#axzz3UjJFxAFl) tells us that China has already spent a lot of money in loans to many developing countries but that there is now the threat of a default from some countries, due to local and worldwide economic instabilities. Perhaps the money spent in your proposed deal with Greece would be relatively small but, again, is it really in their interest to take on more financial dealings (particularly such politically charged ones) in the light of this?

    Just back of a fag packet speculations here, but, who knows? The swing from left to right in Greece certainly is worrying.

    PS Sorry for emailing you at a tough time for you, I hadn’t seen your updates.

    Best
    FallingLeaf

  7. Pat Flannnery March 18, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    I’m glad I checked your site this morning David as I have been doing for months hoping you would come back to us (like the pagan Irish calling for St. Patrick to come back amongst them once more) :).

    Your (not so crazy) thoughts are just what I need for a Rotary lunch I am due to speak at in a few hours here in San Diego. I will almost certainly be asked questions about Greece and will credit you of course. So you see the global reach your thoughts have David.

    Hope all is well with you and your family.

  8. steviefinn March 18, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

    Good to see you back as well Pat.

  9. Jesse March 18, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    Welcome back.

    And on St. Patrick’s Day no less.

  10. Golem XIV March 18, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Thank you all. Particularly for putting up with such a long and unsociable silence. It’s been months I know. Part of it has been spending time with my dad. He died Friday – peacefully in his bed, in his flat with the sun shining in his window.

    Thank you all for waiting for me.

    • FallingLeaf March 19, 2015 at 12:44 am #

      David

      I am very sorry for your loss.

      Best wishes to you all

    • backwardsevolution March 19, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

      David – so sorry to hear of your father passing away, but at least he went peacefully. I’m sure he cherished the time you spent with him. That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? The strong connections we make through love. But he will always be with you, in everything you say or do. Kind regards, backwards.

    • shaun o'hara March 25, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

      sorry to read of your loss golem

  11. Kreditanstalt March 18, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    But the problem with your analysis is that, on the economic front if not elsewhere, there is no real difference between populist “rightists” and populist “leftists”.

    Neither is a favourite of the Eurocrat/financialist/industrial pro-governmental elites…and both terrify the establishment.

    Voters swinging wildly from “left” to “right” are merely targeting the elites…and rightly so.

    • Golem XIV March 18, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

      Hello Kreditanstalt,

      No I agree with you. Populism of any hue is anathema to them. But the point I was trying to make – obvioulsy not that clearly, I’m sorry – was that they could be seen to overthrow a right wing populism and claim it was ‘saving’ us from neo-fascism. They couldn’t as easily sell the overthrow of left populism So a swing to the right is a very useful first step for them on teh way to dispensing with pesky democracy.

      That was my thought anyway.

      • Mike March 20, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

        Why would they want to dispense with democracy when these financial, industrial pro-governmental (left or right) plutocratic elites through the MSM and by the financial and personnel backing (former bank employees leading left or right parties) of several political parties– since they have the means — have always decided who does and who doesn’t get into power by a number of factors that end up influencing public opinion during and prior to elections.

        The only parties that can truly claim some sort of independent or fixed political thought and some sort of worldview outside this system we are stuck in are the ‘hardcore’ Communist or the Nationalist; by communist I don’t mean the soft left-wing social-‘progressives’ who pretty much go along with the same pro-governmental faction on fundamental social principles. And by ‘Nationalist’ I don’t mean ‘respectable’ right-wing capitalist conservatives who also go along with the same plutocratic pro-governmental faction on fundamental social principles. What I mean is that nothing outside these paradigm of plutocratic left-right will EVER be allowed to play any role in a political life of any nation, especially not the populist left or populist right. And do you know what ensures that? The MSM which influences the minds of people, and democracy through which these influences are put into action. I refer you to Manufacturing Consent and The Propaganda model.

        New flash everyone, capitalism and greed has consumed the world. The theory of Cultural Marxism is pretty well established in every nation. Therefore what use is there for people who still cling to old ideas like helping the poor or protecting borders, or ‘national interests’, etc. In these new world there is only capital, interests, corporations, industry, cheap/slave labor, profits, trade, the global market, wall street, etc. etc. They will use both the left and right to further their goals of a globalized labor pool for a globalized market strictly under the hands of the 1% while the rest of the world starves or lives a miserable life of perpetual dependence and exploitation.

  12. Jon March 18, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    Tweeted to @yanisvaroufaki – just in case…….

    • Golem XIV March 18, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

      At least it might make him smile.

  13. Globus Pallidus XI March 19, 2015 at 4:45 am #

    Well said, indeed, but IMHO you have made a serious mistake.

    You have fallen for the party line about what is and is not “far right”.

    FDR and other progressives limited immigration – because too high a rate of immigration drives wages down for the many and profits up for the few. It just does – it’s called supply and demand. Deal with it. REAL progressives want to limit immigration to a rate that does not significantly drive wage down, they want to reign in corrupt finance, they want a trade policy that benefits the average worker – kind of like Golden Dawn.

    The TRUE ‘far right’ DEMANDS open borders and ever cheaper labor, and slashing money spent on the real economy in favor of bailing out wealthy bankers – kind of like most modern ‘social democrat’ parties in western Europe…

    No the real ‘far right’ hates parties like Golden Dawn far more than the useful idiots of Syriza… if they didn’t, Golden DOwn would be in power by now.

    • Golem XIV March 19, 2015 at 9:54 am #

      Hello Globus Pallidus XI,

      Thanks for your comment. Again, my apologies for not making myself as clear as I should. I agree that unlimited freedom of movement for people is a tool and wish of the globalist elite. It does benefit them most of all. I would rather run a foreign policy where we didn’t destabilise, bomb and invade wherever we felt like it and therefore NOT cause endless misert and the mass waves of migrants that misery prompts.

      My charaterizing of Golden Dawn was not so much because of whatever they say about limiting immigration it is about their anti-semitic and racist tendencies. Which I should say I do not get from reading the unreliable western or even Greek press but from friends who live in Greece.

      I agree that the whole argument about immigration and freedom of movement is more nuanced than is ever given time in the mainstream press. People get very heated very quickly and rarely listen to what others say. I wish it were otherwise.

      • Kavy March 22, 2015 at 11:14 am #

        Liberals and the left like myself hate racism and hate racists. We have friends who are of different races and some of whom are so Angliotised we see them as just, say, Londoners, or cockneys, or Scottish, etc. But i hate mass immigration because whole cities change too quickly and they don’t have enough room for everyone. Now when i said this to my Jamaican friend once his eyes lit up and he said, yes, but you can only mention this behind closed doors with people you trust.

        As a liberal and a socialist to feel uneasy about mass immigration creates great conflict in me. But people don’t like change because before we became very modern creatures the environment hardly ever changed and we just did did for millenia what our forebears did, the same hunting, fishing, and farming. If there was a change it meant something had gone wrong. And people are naturally very wary of strangers so it takes time to adjust, and this is especially so if they tend to be a bit shy.

        I put much of the problem down to western imperialistic capitalism. Most countries have enough fertile land to feed their nations, but the IMF has demanded much of their land to be turned over to grow cash crops to pay for the loans their corrupt leaders took out. So all the money in the world is getting syphoned off into Wall Street and the City Of London. And I’m sure the 1% like mass immigration because it zooms house prices right up and keeps rents sky high as well as keeling wages down. It’s a big earner for them.

        Poor people in the world feel the need to leave their friends and families behind to come to the west to get a better life, but most would sooner stay at home. Now the population growth does create strain, but a citizens wage and social security can give people security about old age so they feel less need to have large families. There are solutions. And a citizens wage would also revive the local economy and people would find work and so the citizens wage would soon pay for itself as the economy rejuvenated..

        We don’t have to live in a miserable world just because the right says that there is no alternative, we can live in a splendid one without war. We just need to get the oligarchs out of power and then a bit of capitalism and a bit of socialism can blend together to help us to live fulfilling lives without the drudgery of endless hours at work (because of our huge debts).

        this was put together on my tiny mobile phone so there will plenty of grammatical errors.

        • Golem XIV March 22, 2015 at 11:54 am #

          Thank you for your brave and considered comment.

          Immigration is a very difficult subject to talk about – as your Jamaican friend so clearly pointed out. I have studiously avoided any discussion of immigration because it is such an important and difficult subject. One which can so easily give encouragement to racists. And yet it is a topic we all think about.

          So let me say this to one and all – if people here wish to discuss immigration I WILL NOT TOLLERATE rudeness, ad hominem attacks and ideological name calling. If someone expresses an opinion you find distasteful, say so but say it politely. Let us not assume that someone is a racist just because they have questions about immigration. Let us instead chose to try to really understand what the person is worried about.

          When different cultures mix there can be genuine questions and problems. Let us not pretend otherwise. We can only solve those problems we admit to.

          The discussions we have had on this blog, their tenor of caring, intelligent politeness and genuine open-mindedness have always been, in my opinion, the very best thing about this blog.

          I have only ever banned one person from this blog and did so with a very heavy heart. BUT I will not hesitate to ban anyone who decides to attack and abuse someone who is simply trying to discuss a very senstive and difficult subject.

          I think that’s enough pomposity from me for one morning.

          • Kavy March 26, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

            My post was quite difficult to write and so today was the first time i have back come to read the comments. Anyway, i have just been looking at this very right wing US which is terrifying. I don’t like racists but these guys are openly racist, although they say they are not, they just think everyone should stay in their own country. These people turn my guts inside out and many of them are pro Nazi.

            Anyway, you won’t believe this article by Dr. William L. Pierce called, The Consequences of Comfort, which i found on this site,

            Here’s some extracts:

            The Consequences of Comfort.

            UNTIL QUITE recently, unending struggle has been the condition of mankind. Through struggle we evolved. Struggle selected the strongest and most fit for survival and eliminated the unfit. A high birth rate together with a high death rate guaranteed progress.

            The loss of fitness has not been uniform. In some families tradition and strong leadership helped maintain good habits despite the wealth. More families, however, succumbed to the new fashion of permissive child-raising. Discipline became a bad word. Punishment was unheard of. The whole society became feminized, and the protection of children became a paramount concern; protection not only from physical dangers, but also from competition, from challenge, from disappointment, from need or even want, from the consequences of failure. Schools and other public institutions have collaborated with families in protecting and coddling children.

            The consequences of excessive wealth and ease and the feminization of child-raising has been a population of soft, morally crippled White Americans. We have a generation of men who not only never had to kill another man in the struggle for survival, they grew up never having to pick up their dirty socks or actually having to work for a weekly allowance. As children they were never held accountable for anything. Everything they wanted has been given to them. They never have had to solve a problem or get themselves out of a tight spot. Many of them have no idea what hard work is. They have never been hungry, they never had to clean up their own messes, never had to suffer the real-life consequences of failure; mommy and daddy — or the welfare office — always have been there to bail them out. Concepts such as craftsmanship, performance, and responsibility are meaningless to them.

        • steviefinn March 22, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

          Having never really considered the subject of immigration & basically using the default option of the thinking that to criticize the policy was racist. Mr. Phil D gave me a lesson in this, which started me thinking about it. I am an immigrant myself, having moved to Ireland 17 years ago in order to start a job, due to the fact that the work I do was becoming ever scarcer in Stoke mainly because of outsourcing. The Irish are generally very tolerant of immigrants, perhaps due to the fact that they know the why of it. I have never personally had any problems even when moving to the North 5 years ago, & I live in a staunch Republican area & have met ex-Provos.

          I have come across quite a few migrant workers since arriving, of whom most do manual work. At the factory I worked in, there were 5 people working in the dispatch department – 2 young Latvian girls started, preceeded to work like slaves & took over that area. It reminded me of the 70’s when I worked on a road construction contract, where virtually the same happened with the Irish working like slaves in comparison to English workers – There were 2 virtually identical bridges – the first had a workforce of 1 fella from Connemara & the other had 5 English guys doing the same work. There was quite a bit of anti-Irish feeling around at that time, but as jobs were then many, it wasn’t a real problem.

          The last I heard 87,000 Irish people had emigrated in I think, 2014 & quite a few of the Eastern Europeans had returned home. The government suggested it was a good idea, goodness knows what the employment figures would be if they had stayed. According to TPTB Ireland is a success story, like Latvia which lost at least 5% of it’s population. The austerity ridden periphery has also lost many of it’s highly skilled workers, mainly I think to Germany, which will nod doubt help it’s exports to ?

          Personally I think the emigrants are victims of a system that has always been used to weaken native workers. Going back to mid 19th century Ireland – the free market philosophy of people like Trevelyn, which almost halved Ireland’s population through starvation, disease & emigration worked out fairly well for the elites, as did similar measures in India, through the East India company. It got rid of very many pesky smallholders, to make way for big farms & sheep. Something that also happened in Scotland with the ‘ Clearances ‘.

          I think our present version is deliberate & fits in with the Neoliberalism that we all know & love so well. I also read somewhere that the Gulf States were able to more easily ride out the financial crisis because they deported a vast number of the Pakistanis / Indians etc, back to their homelands. I would class attacking the immigrants themselves as not so much as racist, but more like the same thing that is directed at those other scapegoats – the unemployed & the poor. Of course there are racists out there, but they hate all foreigners, including those who have settled for generations.

          Some of these immigrants act badly – as many are young men, it’s hardly surprising – there are example of Eastern Europeans here dealing in hard drugs. This is always going to be the case, but as in 19th century New York when an Irish mob, perceiving the newly freed blacks as competition for jobs & a threat to their already extremely desperate circumstances, took part in the biggest lynching in american history, thereby proving that if you push anybody into a filthy corner they will eventually come out like disgusting rats.

          For some reason, in parts of Northern Ireland there are a few thousand Portuguese speaking Indonesians ( Men. women, & families ), who work on contracts within the meat processing plants. But for the Western clothes, they look like a lost tribe, are generally very small & look as though they have come from a hard place.. From my few contacts with them, they for the most part seem pretty sweet, & the Sinn Fein council looks after them fairly well. Recently there was a survey which indicated that 46% of people in NI think that immigrants are taking their jobs – i wonder how many of them would last a day on the killing floor.

          I would hate for these people to face a backlash when the economic situation inevitably worsens, but the real architects of this – the World bank, IMF & other looters, will not give a damn about it & will probably never do anything to produce a world where people of all nations can stay at home living in what should be much fairer & sustainable countries.

          • Mike Hall March 23, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

            Interesting comments here on this topic.

            No question in my mind that the globalisation principle of labour mobility is a notion entirely for the interests of the Capital owners. To an extent it also bolstered their argument (in their eyes) for free movement of Capital.

            But of course, Labour and Capital are not the same. Labour are people, not merely lumps of money or some other economics parameter.

            One thing to me is clear. When Labour feels the need to relocate out of economic need, that amounts to coercion and should have no place in an economic system. We should all be able obtain adequate work and income in the region we and our families are from.

            If we take this as our primary aim, then the small amount of migration that would take place for other reasons is trivial and readily accomodated.

            Moreover, where work and a living income are readily available, the question of competition over jobs is largely neutered.

            So, it’s all down to jobs – really as Keynes had it – look after the unemployment and everything else takes care of itself. (At least with the minimal degree of macro economic management we should expect in such a connected, informed 21st C world, never mind Keynes’ 1930s.)

            And I say jobs here, rather than citizens income, or basic income guarantee (BIG) approaches, because the macro economics of BIG simply does not stack up. We need people who are able for it to be at least minimally productive (in return for a g’teed minimum income level), so must make this a clear economic incentive.

            The MMT Job Guarantee is without question the best way of putting a ‘floor’ under household income level whilst providing the needed incentive to be productive – but by a (non-negotiable) ‘carrot’ approach, not ‘stick’.

            It should also be obvious that it would mitigate economic migration, especially in the EU/Eurozone. If the EZ had adopted a JG for the whole area (with income level aligned with local cost of living) it’s very unlikely the hundreds of thousands of East Europeans would have bothered to migrate. And their localised JG income would have provided a big increase in local aggregate demand to stimulate the growth of better paying ‘normal’ jobs in their home regions.

            And right now in Ireland, families would have seen the 100,000 or so, mostly younger, people emigrate out of economic/employment need these last 7yrs.

            Capital gets to hire and fire wherever it wants, playing nation off against nation in a race to the bottom of wages and conditions, whilst Labour must chase it around with a begging bowl.

            Considering that by definition Labour must always outnumber Capitalists by some massive multiple, the reality of this neo liberal era, begun in the late 70s, tells us one simple thing – there can be no meaningful ‘democracy’ functioning where such a Labour majority has and continues to be so royally screwed by the interests of Capital.

            This is the root problem of much, if not all, questions of social justice that we face today.

          • Kavy March 27, 2015 at 7:58 am #

            Another thing that bothers me is population growth, the world seems to be becoming far too over populated, and so pollution is skyrocketing. Have a look at this plastics in the ocean video below. The world is so beautiful but we are ruining it.

            Governments could do a lot to stem runaway population growth but neoliberal politics is stopping them. If social security and free good health care was guaranteed for all citizens lots of people in very poor countries in the third world would feel less need to have large families. Imagine how you would feel if there was no one to take care of you when you got too old to take care of yourself, you would make sure that you have a large enough family so there are enough around when your old.

            Free good health care can be cheap if governments set up public banks, but the ruling class grabbed the money creation system for themselves making money very expensive. All this stuff about governments printing money and inflation is propaganda. Guernsey has public banks, no national debt, and no inflation, or no worse than anyone else.

            Psychopaths were just people you saw in movies and we all thought that they were rare, but it turns out that one in hundred people are psychopaths (some say it is one in three). Serial killer psychopaths are incredibly rare but the rest function in our society at some level. Many are dysfunctional and spend a lot of time in prison but others fit in with society and these are the ones that raise up through the ranks and create hell for the rest of us. They are totally confident.

            The top end of the ruling class is riddled with psychopaths and war is fair game for them if there are profits to be made and others are willing to fight for them.

            MIDWAY a Message from the Gyre : a short film by Chris Jordan

            This is beautifully shot, but terrible sad:

            https://vimeo.com/25563376

            Did 60 million people die in WW2 because it was big business and the ruling class made a packet out of it? Were all the other wars, and the cold war, that the US engaged in ever since were all really just about big business making lots of money. In the phoney war effort governments borrow the money from the banks, which the 1% own, and then they buy the weapons and military equipment from the armament manufacturers which the 1% own. The tax payer gets stuck with the bill and as the loans never get paid off the interests payments stay there forever milking ordinary people.

            JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Qt6a-vaNM

  14. Andrea March 19, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    Great to see David back.

    I’m not Greek and don’t know too much about it, so perhaps others know better.

    David I think is right to mention the acceptance of ultra-right by the “West”, see Ukraine. However I doubt that the Greeks would turn to Golden Dawn (I mean with a vote of more than say 8-10%) because it is outright neo-nazi. (1) It is not comparable in my eyes to UKIP or the French National Front (this last is really a centrist nationalistic party – it’s proposals combine right and left type propositions: its main platform is national sovereignity, anti-EU, and opposition to practically everything both the other main parties do, the last being the reason it gets support.) When discussing Greece, everyone seems to forget one opposition force – the Communists (who refused to collaborate with Syriza, which is why Syriza is allied to ANEL – nationalists.) However I don’t think they would do well either, certainly not well enough.

    Syriza was successful because it is a hybrid – it is not radical left as must be clear by now. It is a party of what I call ‘socialist renewal’. It recycles some of the socialist mantras and principles. Its program had a lot of points (program was very bad btw, that is from a general political standpoint, not critising the political orientation) for helping the poor. This was absolutely essential to win the elections. Any party that does not include similar sorts of things can’t win because the Greeks are at the end of their rope.

    So my point is that the Greeks will have pretty much run the gamut of possible ‘majority’ votes – if Syriza crashes, there will be nothing left. None of the ‘old’ parties can re-cycle. The last possibility, as these things generally go, is a National Unity Technocratic Gvmt. Which would presumably be imposed by the EU. Or, in fine, a military coup, which would suit the EU/West just fine. (Those unruly Greeks, transitional Gvmt, etc.)

    1. See, even in Ukraine, where neo-fascism is really extremely evident, Svoboda (the most neo-nazi party that has existed for a while) never got many votes, around 2 – 3% iirc, never more than 5 for certain.

    • Golem XIV March 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      Hello Adrea,

      I very much hope you are right and that no matter what the Greeks will refuse to vote for Golden Dawn.

    • steviefinn March 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

      Andrea

      A lot of what you say seems to be supported by this article featuring Marxist economist & Syriza MP Costas Lapavistas. He is pushing for Grexit & builds a case for it. He is also very critical of the European Left, something I totally agree with:

      https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/03/lapavitsas-varoufakis-grexit-syriza/

      • Andrea March 21, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

        thank you for that link steviefinn.

  15. Andrea March 19, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    Yes David let’s hope so. Both Golden Dawn and the Communists have a hard core fixed ideology, which they cannot change, if they did they would cease to exist. Neither can effect anything in this situation except make trouble (GD) or by voting xyz (Communists.) I’m pretty sure the Greeks understand this.

    To add some extra comments: Syriza’s pro-EU stance (exceptions for Greece, reforming the EU from within ‘all together’, negotiating, etc.) is 100% typically socialist.

    The post war neo-liberal ‘greater Europe!’

    Expecting to change any of its aspects is illusory – see the Germans who have just become ‘stiffer’ in their attitude. (Fear of dominos, incapacity to question the whole structure..)

    Many MSM articles have been published about how the Greeks want to remain in the EU, or be “Europeans”, not quit the Euro, with the support of various poll figures, some misreported imho. I question that is the case – it was Syriza’s position, accepted for ‘now’, as there was no other choice.

    So, imho we are looking at a Grexit (Euro exit), how the EU authorities/legislation/finances/the banks (France and Germany have gotten rid of a huge amount of their Greek bonds in the past years, I have read) will deal with that, who will blame whom, how Greece will manage, etc. remains to be seen. Some have opined that Syriza is preparing for a Grexit as a plan B or C or whatever but the discourse is not at all in this direction.

  16. Nikos7 March 19, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Hello David,hello from thessaloniki,greece

    Nice to hear again from you.Hope you are okay

    But let me tell you one thing:Not enough the neoliberal pressure of the US and european mass media on us.All of these smeary propagada and racism.. now we read also in the leftist “alternative” media the big question if we greeks turn to be another failed state which will turn out to be the newest nazi-threat in europe…well,well..

    Instead of a long answer about our history,mentality,believes and political leanings as people I will make a few questions to you:

    1.Have you ever been to greece in the last five years;

    2.Do you really believe that after most of us (after 5 years of the troika-war against us) voted for parties who want to give greek citizinship to every imigrant who was born here (over 1,5 million right now,there are still a half million albanians living and working in greece) will vote for nazis when “Syriza fails”;

    I don´t believe so.

    THe “golden dawn” idiots are (despite the believes outside of greece) NOT a new phenomenon.Before the gd there was the party LAOS which took 5-7% of all vots during the decade 1995-2005.An racist,anti-semitic party,led by the populist Karatzaferis.This party vanished in 2012 to almost 0%.And the golden dawn got their voters.Simple as that.

    So (till yet) we don´t have a “rise” but a radicalisation of the “extreme right” in our country.

    And btw,watch this vid;

    http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22768&subid=2&pubid=64158543

    During the last days the anti-racist organisation “Action-aid” carried out 22 trials with hidden camera.22 times a guy attacked (verbaly) an immigrant at a bus stop saying to him some thing like “stand up and let a human take your seat”.

    15 times the people around there took measures to protect the immigrant,4 times the people around did not react at all and 2 times the people around took the side of the racist asshole.

    Dear David,

    What we hellenes need is your solidarity.The solidarity of all left leaning forces in europe.And we need this solidarity on the streets of london,berlin and paris.And I will tell you why.Yesterday some friends of mine came back from a few days-visit to manchester.They were all completely shocked about the many homeless people there.About the poverty they saw.I got the same reaction from friends of mine who went to berlin,cologne and the outskirts in french towns.

    I don´t know why the left,the progessives in germany,england and france take care more about the “social situation” in greece than about the social problems their own countries which are not very different at all and if you ask me they are even worse(ie homelss people,amount of people needing soup kitchens etc).

    The problem of europe are not the 5-10% in greece which are still junta-loving (I talk about the idiots who ruled greece 1967-1974) complete idtiots and “traitors” (as 90% of us greeks see them in case you don´t know) but the 20-30% of people who will vote in france,england and germany for FN,UKIP or AFD.

    This is my opinion.

    Greetings.

    • Golem XIV March 19, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

      I apologise to you if what I wrote was hurtful to you. I did not mean it to be. I did not mean to say the Greeks would vote for GD only that it was one possibility and then I tried to think through what it would mean.

      The Greeks have stood fast as you say. And also as you say we in Britain have nothing to feel proud of. Not yet anyway.

      I agree with you that what we all need is to stand together. I have not been to Greece. I talk to friends in Greece, that is all. But for what little it might matter I offer you my support and promise to do what I can to alter the dreadful state my own country is in and help those I am in a position to help.

    • Andrea March 21, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

      Part of the reasons for all this, maybe even Golden Dawn in some measure (though as I pointed out these kinds of parties exist in many places and get basically no votes..)

      Greece as a member of the EU became party to the Schengen accords. These stipulate, amongst many other things, that the countries that FIRST receive an immigrant (legal, illegal, potential refugee, asylum seeker, claims for family re-grouping, or whatever, most often the status will be pending) is responsible for that person thereafer.

      The first country entered into is the country where they must do all their legal moves, and the country to which they can be returned to, by all other EU countries (1) should the immigrant venture forth. Illegal immigrants are not allowed to, for ex. seek asylum / refugee status / other in several countries: only the first applied to counts, all other requests are null and void, not treated.

      These ruling were designed, imho, as a kind of ‘wall’ by Germany and N. Europe, and put the Southern EU counties (Greece in *very first place,* Italy second, Spain third, and Malta also in a very bad position) in the role of gate-keepers and problem-managers. And they have received almost no help, except for FRONTEX, (link) which is a kind of border control org. of a purely repressive and military type, so not helpful.

      1. This happens all the time. Of course it also encourages ‘black’ and ‘illegal’ immigration, as the first receiving countries can’t (don’t want, etc.) to accept them in such large numbers, the immigrants have no choice but to go underground.

      http://frontex.europa.eu/operations/roles-and-responsibilities/

  17. Nikos7 March 19, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    No.I have to apologize.

    I know that you are a fine person.Your posts are so full of heart and understanding that I have to assure you that at no point I meant to question this.

    I just have one wish:

    Let us all stop with “watching each other” in a negative way.This is the way of our elites who dream about nationalism and even war only to save their power as they always did in history.

    Let us stay together,fight together,peacefully on the streets of our countries against our corrupt politicians,banksters,mass media.

    Sincerly yours,Nikos.

    • Golem XIV March 19, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

      I am with you. You speak my mind.

    • Mike March 20, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

      You sound like a political dogmatist. Read my other comment above. These plutocratic elite are neither Nationalist, Communist or Democrats or anything at all. They are about profits and political control and will use the left or right to actualized their goals at the expense of the people.

  18. Carrier March 19, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    “Chinese Aircraft Carrier”

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/military/chinacarrier.asp

  19. MrShigemitsu March 20, 2015 at 2:58 am #

    Very good to have you back Golem/David – I’m very sorry for your loss, and wish you long life.

    Mr S.

  20. Jamie_Griff March 20, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    So very happy to you posting again. Condolences on your loss – I hope you and your family are otherwise well.

    If recent polls are to be believed then Syriza has not only survived their failure to secure an end to austerity through negotiations with the “institutions” but they’ve actually seen their approval ratings increase. So perhaps they’re more politically astute (at least on the domestic front) than I, for one, previously gave them credit for.

    I think Andrea’s quite correct in that an outright victory for the right isn’t necessary to see an auto/technocratic government installed – just a continued failure by the left to face the reality that an exit from the eurozone is essential and inevitable.

    Let’s hope Syriza can endure the (increasingly political) ECB’s financial thumb screws (providing minimal liquidity assistance to the Greek financial system while propping up the core banks with asset purchases) until June and then come back to the table with a much bigger stick than they took last time.

  21. Jamie_Griff March 20, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Links were stripped out.

    Poll ratings: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Greeks-Escalate-Support-for-New-Government-20150301-0015.html

    ECB asset purchases: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d6e79c2e-a2f2-11e4-ac1c-00144feab7de.html#axzz3Uv0pyUAB

    Key section: “Not every country will see the same amount of debt purchased, either. Instead, the ECB is using “capital keys” reflecting the economic and demographic weight of eurozone member nations. This favours large, core countries over the more indebted peripheral countries, says Frederik Ducrozet, eurozone economist at Crédit Agricole.

    Number crunching by Deutsche Bank shows €205bn of German debt could be bought, compared to just €18bn of Portuguese debt. Debt of countries still in bailout programmes, such as Greece, can only be included if they comply with programme conditions and does not exceed a cap of 33 per cent of debt issuance. The cap means Greece will only be eligible once it repays debt due to mature in July.”

  22. steviefinn March 20, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    Meanwhile in France a Leftist flop has decided to join Cameron on a crusade against conspiracy theory websites. Anti- Nazism is part of the justification, although the first four sites blocked are Islamic – one of which ” Islamic-news.info ” insists that it has never supported terrorism. I imagine that Marine Le Pen cannot believe the opportunity that she has been given in the present circumstances & perhaps it’s ironic that these four sites might well be included in the first of many she would block.

    There is a list of the kind of people who will be blocked which does include some very nasty people, but it does seem as though the main thrust behind it, is against anyone who challenges the government line. Admirers of Chavez & Putin are included, which would probably mean in the case of the latter, that those who point out the role of the OK Nazis in Ukraine, would also be blocked.

    I hope the Greek people get out, as far as I can see Europe is tightening the chains in a way that is reminiscent of those who they purport to be fighting against.

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/03/19/france-moves-to-make-conspiracy-theories-illegal-by-government-decree/

  23. Jesse March 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    I am very sorry for the loss of your father.

    I will remember him in my prayers.

  24. SALFORD LAD March 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    The Euro currency system is like a giant mousetrap.
    First, the cheese to bait the trap.
    Easy bank credit, development funds, access to European markets and free labour movement.
    Then the trap slams shut.
    Time to pay with austerity, privatisation and loss of sovereignty. Greece has been conquered and subjugated by the Financiers, without a shot being fired.
    A Nation without its own sovereign currency has no control over its economy,it is a vassal state.
    The options for Greece are ;
    1. Default on the odious debt.
    2.Revert to the Drachma.
    3. Invest in their own wealth creating economy,using their own resources and currency..
    4. Turn East to the BRICS and Shangai Cooperative system by joining the Chinese created AIIB bank. (alternative to the extortionate IMF & ECB))

  25. richard March 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    David, Sorry to hear of your troubles, glad to hear of your return, and I trust
    you and yours are, otherwise, well.

    I had followed some of the MSM video of the discussions Schauble/Varoufakis
    and one theme that seems to have been studiously avoided was a request that Germany, and others help to tackle corruption. Specifically the involvement of german companies in the Greek economy. One well known name was mentioned that I will not repeat as I do not have a record of the conversation.
    As far as I can tell, when it comes to Greek internal corruption, Greece will get every assistance short of actual help. For the others, please do not ask as a refusal often offends …

    I’ll mention that I’m downloading stuff from your website, trust that’s OK. I’ve tried to limit what was taken, but that needs some work.

  26. Yakima Canutt March 22, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

    I hate when people second-guess who might say something racist. You should trust the basic goodness of people, but if (lets say) 30% of UK citizens were racist, then I would rather know about it and get it out in the open. As far as I am concerned those people who think they are anti-racist, are basically being racist or bigoted themselves against those people who views they don’t like.
    Some people might have a personal reason to be hateful against some other tribe or race; you do not know their history. Who is to say our ‘bend over backwards’ ideas about racism are helpful to anyone.
    Our approach to tolerate or even forgive some other religion’s followers who act super-offended at some western convention or other, could be considered by a third party as superior behaviour. The lingering remnants of the olde British Empire still runs diplomacy this way, even with the Americans.

    Perhaps our 40 year and more naive ideas of tolerating segregated education, isolationist fundamentalist activities, are a big mistake. Maybe our own citizens aren’t well enough educated (and who is to say what a good education is) to handle different cultures, or perhaps the incomers aren’t well educated enough themselves.

    Unless you want to deny everyone their freedom, you have to permit all voices. I don’t want the state to decide for me what is good for me, or protect me from sticks and stones. I don’t trust anyone in public service to have the remotest idea what to do, these are the idiots who have just demanded plain packaging for cigarettes for our own good y’know.

    The more I travel the world, the more I see most people are very open to talk about religion, history, or anything, and present their case in a very articulate manner, and with conviction and confidence. One of the few races that don’t are the Anglo-Saxons.
    They never speak their mind.

  27. John G March 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    The last thing they should do if they leave the EZ is to peg the new drachma to another currency.

    Nor should they be taking out loans in foreign currencies. There is no need to do so.

    The notion of ‘reserve’ currencies is outdated.

  28. shaun o'hara March 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    I apologize if this mail appears twice but I am writing with one eye, so it takes twice as long and I make twice as many mistakes.
    I am reading Bernard Lietaer’s book ,The future of money.It was written before the crash but a lot of his ideas are still relelvant, and as you say, golem,

    This might seem utterly implausible but then again we live in times when what was implausible yesterday turns out to be tomorrow’s headline.

    I think the idea of community based currencies is a way forward. I would be interested in what you or any of your readers have to say, any experience they have of LETS.
    With regards to the coming shitstorm, I have Plan A and Plan B
    Plan A; Attend the conference on sustainable communities in my pueblo( I live in Spain) and try and convince the Alcalde of the use community backed currencies have for the local community.
    http://www.lietaer.com/2010/03/the-worgl-experiment/
    Try to convince him of the value of people like Jaime Lerner from Curibito, Brazil;
    http://www.ask.com/wiki/Curitiba?o=2802&qsrc=999&ad=doubleDown&an=apn&ap=ask.com

    Plan B. If that fails, dig a big hole in my basement cos we’re fxxxxd

  29. Liviana March 25, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

    ‘They gorge on God and the world. They do not sow. They just reap. They are the sorcerers in the flesh [who] make gold over the phone…‘I was sitting in a great waiting-room and its name was Europe. The train was due to leave in a week. I knew that. But no one could tell me where it was going or what would become of me. And now we are again seated in the waiting-room, and again its name is Europe! And again we do not know what will happen! We live provisionally, the crisis goes on without end!’.

    — Erich Kästner, Hymn to the Bankers/Fabian.2, From G.G. Preparata, Conjuring Hitler, Chapter 4

  30. Kavy March 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    ‘Many who voted for Syriza did not do so with any great ideological commitment. So I don’t think they would have any great ideological problem abandoning them. For those who have strong ideological beliefs such a switch might seem unthinkable.’

    At school I was made to read Animal Farm and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. I had also seen the horrible film Big Brother. For sure, communism sounded really dreadful, but I didn’t like the exploitative power that the British ruling class had all that much either, so a little bit of socialism always seamed okay to me. The ruling class propaganda hadn’t worked on me.

    One day at 14 years old I discovered that the Labour Party was a socialist party and I thought, Wow, but little did I know it was controlled by the ruling establishment.

    So i was always political right from the very start, but David says that most people do not share any great ideological commitment. Where I work no one has a clue about what is going on in the world, but if they took an interest they might find out that no one needed to have died in the many of the wars that was started by our ruling class over the centuries.

    Lots of people complain about the taxes and the benefits given to the poor people, but they remain are unaware how the banks create money out of thin air and lend it to our government at interest, something governments could easily do themselves. Once the loans are made they tend never to be paid off, and so, we, the tax payer, end up paying the interest for the whole of eternity – a free ride for bankers.

    According to most of the alternative media we were close to WW3 with Russia very recently, but no one at my place of work had a clue what was going on, and they went about blissfully unaware. Apparently the US has backed off about the Ukraine right now fearing it was going to split much of Europe away from the US. Many EU countries have already joined the new Chinese led bank and this really worried Washington because if the dollar loses its reserve currency status then the US economy is finished. Paul Craig Roberts says that it is already on it way out.

  31. steviefinn March 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    I know how you feel Kavy – I sometimes think I will be carted off to the closect looney bin, by those whose eyes appear to glaze over when I mention a slice of the dark clouds behind the medias all encompasing silver lining. There appears to be some mud wrestling going on within the cesspit of Ukrainian politics between the oligarchs – Those fine upstanding citizens , Poroschenko & Kolomosky it seems are the main contenders. The officilially Western approved Nazi’s are also agitating, as their perceived dream of dominance by the latest version of a moron master race, isn’t quite going to plan.

    The US are sending 200 odd military trainers over to the Ukraine in April & the family firm of Kagan & Nuland are still profitting from their dream of perpetual war, fought not by themof course, but by all the expendable little people. As in the last election where they covered both bases, with Kagan acting as Romney’s foreign policy advisor, while his charming wife took Obama. I imagine that Daddy K will probably do the same for the imperial Bush dynasty. Greece is a small part in this geopolitical minefield, but I don’t like triggers that come out of the Balkans.

    http://firedoglake.com/2015/03/25/pentagon-sending-troops-into-ukraine-in-april/

    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/20/a-family-business-of-perpetual-war/

  32. Kavy March 28, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    Thanks for the links, Stevie. If war is a very profitable business, one of the most profitable, probably, along with banking, then is why the psychopaths among the ruling class are so seriously into it, and banking.

  33. steviefinn March 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    The almighty Us ship of state with the Obama figurehead on it’s bow, laden down with debt in ever rising seas. The majority of it’s passengers, as livestock, deep down in it’s guts, where little light penetrates are confused & bedevilled by unknown fears & the chains of debt, who then fight amongst themselves, while some order is maintained by state pawns, aided by the constant whispers of liars.

    The upper decks are overloaded with cannon, which the luxury accomodated armchair warriors are itching to fire at other forces who challenge their hegemony. They profit from this & believe that is the best purpose for what they consider as the increasingly dead weight within the ship’s belly. The chips in the giant casino are largely worthless, while the equivalent of what circles the ship, pile their booty into some of the very few lifeboats, as they also spit on the herd that is becoming ever harder to milk.

    This vessels’s fuel is running out & it’s service stations maintained at huge expense with blood & currency, are being eroded by self induced chaos & the rising power of a rival fleet. So they drill & hack pieces from the superstructure of the ship, in order it seems to keep it afloat & to perpetuate it’s present course.

    Around this ship are a flotilla of others kept firmly in line by fear of reprisal & huge chains of debt behind the Neoliberal flagship’s wake.Their hulls are of similar construction & cargo, steered by the same type of masters, who even if they were of a mind to change course, have sailed too far to turn back. Some as in the now tiny version of it’s former imperial glory, are only too glad to yap at it’s masters heals.

    There are voices that speak of the insanity in this present navigation, some of whom are in irons for daring to speak, while others shout to be heard above the confusion & propaganda issued from the top decks. A small light of reason is growing as the evident lunatic course of this ship of fools becomes ever more apparent. Hopefully for all our sakes & despite the odds, this will eventually lead to the breakers yard for the old & the launching of a new sustainable vessel without chains – before it’s too late, & hopefully at a not too high a cost to our endangered species..

  34. Old Guy March 30, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    Welcome back Golem. Sad to here of your Father passing, but he is in a better place. I was about to give up on you. As a matter of fact I came here this morning to check if you had posted anything new and was going to delete you from my favorite links. Glad to see your posting again.

    I do not post much but check in from time to time. This post may be tad long so bear with me.

    SYRIZA is backed into a corner to be honest. What many forget is SYRIZA garnered what 37% of the vote, so they won but still have other parties to deal with. The problem is over 70% of the Greeks want to continue to use the Euro as their fiat currency. If the Greeks want to continue to use the Euro this is the price they are going to have to pay to use the Euro. I think calling a vote in Greece is a smart move at least then SYRIZA will know how the Greeks currently feel about using the Euro under these terms now.

    Personally I think Greece should leave the Euro and remain in the EU if that is possible.

    Many here blame this on western capitalism and honestly all capitalism in all western countries died long ago. I am sure to get flamed for stating this but what we have had for over three decades is Fascism. For those that do not understand the term, please goggle it, before you flame me.

    Nationalistic parties are definitely on the rise in Europe as people are used to social programs and labor protection. The same applies to the USA to a much lesser degree. We must now compete globally and debasing our currencies is not going to solve structural problems and our ability to compete around the globe.

    I was living in Germany when the Euro was proposed and those that opposed the Euro were demonized and characterized as anti-European. Well they were correct in their assumptions on where this was leading and how countries in the EMU would get screwed. The producing countries are doing well and the consuming countries are getting poorer. I am not picking on Germany but honestly the Euro is great for Germany. If Germany was still on the DM where would their economy be right now and what would the exchange rate for DM be. I think many here know the answer.

    A untied states of Europe will not solve your problem. Sovereign countries are not going to want to give total control to Brussels. Can you imagine the turmoil that would happen if Brussels laid down standard work weeks and retirement systems? France would definitely be crying as most of the productive countries retire at 67 and France is what 60? Tax collection and so many other issues would have to be solved before even entering into an agreement. I just cannot imagine the EU countries giving up total sovereignty, but who knows.

    The producers in the EU do not want to transfer money to other troubled EU countries now. The root of the problem in my mind to solve a lot of these problems is to simply put being a member of the EU and the EMU to popular vote. Many people are upset because they got to vote to become a member to begin with and now they see their way of life disappearing.

  35. just me April 1, 2015 at 9:28 am #

    “One of the bastions of the Greek military junta of 1967-1974, the Greek Navy SEALs, have developed strong links with the fascist Golden Dawn”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/04/01/gree-a01.html

  36. Guido May 4, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Glad to see you back David.

    My observation is that politics is but a distraction. Politics is merely the vehicle that drives polarisation in society thus shifting the focus away from what matters.

    Politicians are not allowed to touch the underlying dynamic that, ultimately, drives politics.

    Throughout the past half century in particular and regardless of the political persuasion of successive incumbent governments in the West, the result has been the same across the board: i.e the constant erosion of purchasing power and the concomitant increase in the cost of living.

    From the fascists in Spain to the Marxists in Portugal and all manner of Democrats of the right and of the left in Italy, the result has always been the same.

    Politics is subordinate to the monetary system. There is therefore no policy that can overcome or compensate the fundamental asymmetrical exchange brought about by this monetary system.

    Furthermore, I suspect that if any politicians were inclined to do something about the monetary system, he or she may not live long enough to do so.

  37. just me August 21, 2015 at 1:06 am #

    “Huffington Post: Bill Frezza “How Long Until Junta?””

    http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2013/01/29/huffington-post-bill-frezza-how-long-until-junta/

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