Wednesday, 14 January 2015

EU to Greece: "The beatings will continue until morale improves"

While Europe licks it wounds over the shocking assault on Enlightenment values embodied in the slaughter of cartoonists, the ongoing assault on democracy (also an Enlightenment value, last time we looked) waged there by the banker class and its political toadies continues apace. Greece now has the chance to reverse that trend. Predictably, the suicidal elites are scrambling to crush the attempt by fair-minded Greeks to save the continent’s sorry ass.

Greece has been subjected to a punishment regime by the EU poobahs, who realized a few years ago during the euro crisis that they had screwed up badly in the creation of their single-currency zone. But the money boys were determined to have someone else pay for their mistakes. It’s a long story that one can read in the financial press: over-borrowing by governments and private entities in the southern tier countries (Greece especially but also Italy, Spain, and Portugal as well as Ireland) led to a run in their bond markets that threatened huge losses to German and other northern European banks. Instead of biting the bullet and admitting that those banks had lent money foolishly, the EU in cahoots with the IMF and the European Central Bank forced ‘bail-outs’ onto those countries whereby their citizens shouldered the losses, and the banks escaped. Sound at all familiar? It’s exactly what Obama engineered for us.

The difference is that we have our own currency, and socialized losses are spread around. Also, national safety net measures like unemployment compensation and food stamps can alleviate in part the devastating effects of mass unemployment while also generating the new purchasing power that can kick-start economic growth—classic Keynesian measures that the U.S. has long applied (although the Tea Party wackos would like to end that consensus and increase overall pain). But Greece and Portugal and the others, enslaved by the unified currency, cannot devalue and cannot replace lost demand with government spending. Facing compounding interest in condition of deep recession, they are being forced to slash everything and extract cash from the impoverished populace through onerous taxes, only to find that their debt totals accumulate. Europe’s treatment of the Greeks is like beating joggers with poles because they cannot catch up to a speeding automobile.

One wag has termed this approach ‘fiscal waterboarding’.

At long last Syriza, once a minor leftist party, stands a good chance of winning the national elections in Greece on Jan. 25 (meaning they may come in first—in Greece’s multiparty system, no one ever gets a majority). This party insists that Europe face reality and reschedule the unpayable Greek debt based on a plan to create conditions for renewed growth and prosperity to replace the permanent hard-labor camp that the country has been turned into. Listen to economist Yanis Varoufakis, a parliamentary candidate for the Syriza ticket, explain the details here.

Instead of welcoming this opportunity to find a reasonable, negotiated solution to an otherwise intractable problem, the tiny banker-politician-media elite that has Europe by the short ones is determined to undermine the Greek people’s democratic choice. German politicians openly threaten the Greeks with dire consequences if they dare to vote for the ‘wrong’ candidates 11 days from now.

The al-Qaeda thugs who walked into a newspaper office and fired deadly weapons at scribes yearned for an imam-dictator who would tell people what to do and beat them into obedience. It’s appalling to see how far such ideologues will go to terrorize and intimidate the liberal-minded who reject their view of religion. We shrink from such violent acts because we believe in the importance of the free expression of ideas as a cornerstone of our way of life, that open debate and disagreement are key to finding our way to proper governance and to solving the problems that arise among us. Europe’s nightmare of 70 years ago led to a reaffirmation of these beliefs and sentiments and a determination never to succumb to an al-Qaeda-like spirit again. But memories are short-lived, it seems.

Europe for years has been on a steady course toward a new form of authoritarian rule, that of the bankers, by the bankers and for the bankers. Citizens of half of Europe have been deprived of their sovereign right to determine their own futures as the ECB and banker-owned politicians impose their technocrat allies in one seat of government after another. Greece may reverse that trend and save the European Union from its march toward reaction. Before that happens, expect defeaning howls of alarm from the mouthpieces of the plutocrats likely to lose out as a result.

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