Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Greece is the horse's head in the left's bed

The best thing that can be said of the weekend is the brutal honesty of those perpetrating this regime change. Wolfgang Münchau - Financial Times
You may ask yourself why Germany, and those who follow her, are publicly torturing and humiliating tiny Greece in such a brutally inflexible and ugly fashion, ignoring contemptuously the democratically expressed will of the Greek people and much of European and even world opinion.

The reason behind it is simple... and to be effective it would have to be.

Frank and open brutality is never subtle, that is the whole point: its message must be clear to all.

The following is an excellent exposition of the message, "to whom it may concern" that has been sent  far and wide, using the misery of the Greek people as its vehicle:
One cannot pursue an even moderate left-wing policy in a system of global capitalism. Syriza never got a chance to apply any of the leftist policies that it says it favors, because it was busy negotiating with the creditors and because it had no genuine freedom of economic decision-making, since basically all its policies were dictated by the troika. Even if it had a margin for maneuver, it is hard to see how its moderately leftist policies (halt to privatization, higher taxation, greater role for the public sector) could be implemented. Notice that we are talking here not of some radical anti-capitalist program but of just broadly leftist policies that try to limit somewhat the unimpeded invasion of the market and private interest into all social spheres. Such policies are obviously unacceptable not only to the mainstream EU but also to many individual governments, which fear Syriza-like movements in their countries. Branko Milanovic - Al Jazeera
However brutality is often a sign of weakness, not of strength. The heartless, tone deaf response of Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble to the suffering of the Greek people reminds me and many others of the Soviet Union's response to the timid Czechoslovakian liberalization of the "Prague Spring" of 1968.  That was 1968 and "something was in the air", something contagious and the USSR wanted to make sure that no one under their rule "got any ideas" .

Paris - 1968
Today there is also "something in the air". Probably the most influential public figure to speak clearly about that "something" is Pope Francis.
The earth, entire peoples and individual persons are being brutally punished. And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called “the dung of the devil”. An unfettered pursuit of money rules. The service of the common good is left behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home. Pope Francis: Speech at World Meeting of Popular Movements
The public humiliation of Greece, its government and its people may have exactly the opposite effect to the one Merkel and Schäuble desire. It is certainly a lesson to be learned, but the lesson people take away from this "class" may be one of greater political consciousness, one of unity and resistance, and not one of fear and submission. DS


Phil Freyder said...

A hearty recommendation to those of you who have read David's article and found that it resonated with you, as it did with me: read, if you haven't already, "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein. It's not political propaganda; it's a well researched picture of reality by a competent journalist.

stunted said...

Beautifully encapsulated and a nice touch posting it on Bastille day.

Fiddlin Bill said...

For those romanticists of the right who think only a more thorough application of Ayn Rand's theories will yield paradise:

"The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, commonly known as simply the Milwaukee Road, is best remembered for its Hiawatha passenger trains and electrified main line known as the Pacific Coast Extension or PCE. The fact that the great railroad is no longer with us is not as disheartening as knowing how and why its end came about. Its loyal and hardworking employees through the end were sadly cheated by upper management, which made a series of dumbfounding decisions beginning in the 1970s that ultimately ended in the railroad being sold to a rival in 1985. Today, what's left of the Milwaukee is cut up among different railroads and the best engineered rail line through the rugged Rockies and Cascades is but weeds and trails, a vital transportation artery no longer available to shippers and the American economy." http://www.american-rails.com/milwaukee-road.html