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Europe’s Ideologues of Austerity Stand in Way of Reforms


Europe’s Ideologues of Austerity Stand in Way of Reforms

Katrina vanden Heuvel

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”

— William Butler Yeats


“…after the first world war and again after the second world war, Germany was the world’s largest debtor, and in both cases owed its economic recovery to large-scale debt relief.” From The Guardian in 2011.

In fact, Germany paid off its WWI debt in 2010, after many restructurings and hiatuses. The meeting that was to be held after German reunification to discuss WWII debt has not taken place.

Breathtaking hypocrisy.


Not a word about the privatization of the railroads, water systems and other services over the past few decades in Greece and elsewhere that apparently have served as the funnels for ‘bailouts’ of these ‘middlemen’ doing little more than turning the commons into ENRON models of modern parasitic cash cows - and why? because the demonstrable wealth of a people to sustain equilibrium, evolution and betterment produces a wealth too tempting to the effete delusion of an elite .
For those who find viewing the documentary "Catastroika"as too painful - its worth keeping in mind that these are the secrets that repeat as long as not known.
I find the characterization of Varufakis as “rakish” by KVH offensive - no less than the assertion that failure of the EU to recognize the integrity of the newly elected Greek administration at this stage implies terror waiting in the wings. Enough of the writer’s projection of the dissolute and mongering through gratuitous labeling.


Although this is not a bad article, considering its source, two ridiculous items do stand out.

Pablo Iglesias makes clear that his party’s policies reflect what was considered middle of the road/mainstream in the past:

“In a solidarity speech delivered at a Syriza event in October, the Podemos leader, 36-year-old political scientist Pablo Iglesias, noted that the party’s program is what any social democrat in Western Europe would have talked about 30 or 40 years ago.”

Why then would KVH use the frame RADICAL for him and his party?

Also, suggesting that Obama holds sympathies that resonate with this rising Leftist response to HIS policies is at best, schizophrenic. Here is the quote (from the article):

“President Obama has sided with Syriza rhetorically, as its case is similar to the one he makes at home.”

It’s from an entrenched centrist-establishment perspective that a writer would frame these new groups (and their leaders) as radical. What’s radical, in the retrograde sense, is seeing media agencies of mendacity continue to publish without any punishment; and see war leaders still be given the power to launch wars when their claim to fame is nothing more than inflamed wreckage, entire areas of the globe turned into fiery infernos; and seeing banks returning to the same practices that caused the global economy to implode.

Frames are important, and those who hold positions in media can work those frames (as so many do) to establish consent for completely upside-down versions of important ongoing events. Deception is a tool used to cement a piss poor consensus into place.


Herr Wolfgang Schäuble apparently still follows the old Schwäbisch saying, “Schafe, schafe, Häusle baue, verrecke!
(Work hard, build your house, and die!”), and Frau Angela Merkel follows his lead. The problem is, it does’t work.


Did Greece actually receive “loans” (German “Darlehen”), or was it merely “credits” (German “Krediten”)?

What is the difference?

The money supply would not be expanded by the amount of a real loan, just as the number of rakes is not increased if I loan you my rake.

However, the money supply is expanded by an allocation of credit, based on fractional reserve.

If Greece received credits, was Greece told to schedule payments to its creditors, namely
– payments of principal, and
– payments of interest?

If so, and if that principal did not exist before the credit allocation expanded the money supply, who should receive those payments of “principal” that never existed?

Should payments of “principal” go to the central syndicate of European banks?

Should payments of “principal” to go countries that passed along credits that they themselves received?

Sure, taxpayers in other countries might be forced to pay “principal” that never existed, if Greece does not pay back the credit those countries passed along.

But if principal never existed before the credits were issued, how can it be a matter of “paying back”?

the debtor nations of southern Europe

In this sense, inhabitants of England, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, Finland, Austria … and Greece are all in the same boat.

When the money supply is augmented by the allocation of credits under our system of privatized fractional reserve, inhabitants of all these countries - and the same is true in the US too - are expected to pay principal earned by their labor to so-called creditors who never had that principal in the first place.

Perhaps we feel that we, or Greece, or the other countries, benefited from these credits, and should pay somebody for them.

But my question is: should we, or Greece, or anybody else, pay principal created by our labor, to so-called creditors who never had that principal?

The alternatives are not limited to we pay the so-called creditor, or Greece pays the so-called creditor, or the taxpayers in other countries pay the so-called creditor.

I can think of other alternatives.

But what are your thoughts?


Agree with nearly all that you say. “Rakish”, however, need not be a derogatory word - it’s often used with a touch of admiration. For example, Leslie Charteris often described his character - the Saint - as “rakish”, meaning someone who’s dashing, debonair. I feel that our young Greek hero does possess that bit of romantic quality, don’t you think?


Rakish? I like rakish. Rakish is good. This man rocks; and darn it he IS rakish-thank the fates and the muses.

His German counterpart is nothing but a rancid crow of the Ve must follow Rules-Rules are good because they are Rules Cult.
Ach! Germans-they never change, do they; change is not a Rule one surmises.