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The Buck Stops Here – Greece is Fighting to Save Europe


#1

The Buck Stops Here – Greece is Fighting to Save Europe

Mark Weisbrot

Greece has been dragged through a lot of mud in the media over the past few years because previous governments overborrowed, and that contributed to the initial crisis that -- we should remember -- Spain, Portugal, Italy and almost everyone else in the eurozone had to go through. But the initial crisis could have been resolved relatively quickly. In the United States, which was hit by the explosion of an $8-trillion housing bubble, our recession lasted just 18 months.


#2

I think it is five years past the time when international banks can be talked about as anything but criminals with all the intentions of criminals. Here is a better understanding

"Varoufakis assumes that the troika doesn't understand the impact of its belt-tightening policies. He seems to think that the punishment that's being inflicted on Greece is just the unfortunate byproduct of debt reduction policy and not a deliberate attempt to crush the unions, roll back progressive reforms, decimate the welfare state, and reduce the country to a condition of "permanent colonial dependency."

But that viewpoint is shockingly naive; after all, the IMF has been in the looting biz for a long time and has a pretty good grasp of the effects of its toxic policies. They know what they're doing, just like they know that austerity is just a refinement of the "shock doctrine" which is the traditional way the elites exploit crises by imposing harsh, economy-demolishing reforms that only benefit themselves and their class. The men who conjure up these thieving schemes aren't likely to be hoodwinked by Varoufakis's vague reforms. They're going to force Varoufakis to jump through all their respective hoops before he gets one dime of their precious money. Here's Varoufakis again":....MIke Whitney: http://www.opednews.com/articles/3/Showdown-in-Athens-by-Mike-Whitney-Agreement_Austerity_Euro_Government-150228-91.html


#3

It is somewhat amazing that the writer claims an end of recession in this country. But never mentions how when a large section of population, I mean a very large section is fully unemployed. They are virually cut out of the labor force that includes too many miidle income jobs. According to him it lasts only for eighteen months. I don't have the clue which index he is following. This nation is also suffering from the austerity which I believe, no one would deny. Greeks show that strong public protest could ably resist extreme greed of the 1%. The bankers are traitors to the entire humanity. They should be stopped by the popular protest. It's just not the Europe is only suffering from their aviricious acts, the whole US is in also facing the similar crisis. In this current situation, a large chunk of educated and skilled workers are thrown out from the job market. The situation is worst for the young college graduate also who couldn't pay back their student loan also. So the student loan situation is exploding. The writer is quite aware of the situation. But dsepite knowing those facts he claims that the recession is over. The question is how?


#4

I agree with you. So many recognized writers latch onto popular narratives; and often even those who propose more Left-leaning views and proposed improvements still work off The Official Narratives. How many thinking writers buy the BS that Bin Laden was captured by Navy Seals all these years after hiding in a cave on a Dialysis machine? How many follow the "logic" (i.e. lie repeated often) that presents Putin as "the aggressor," and how many still buy the nonsense that 911 was caused by 19 foreign hijackers? The U.S. is being force-fitted with a "kinder, gentler" form of the Shock Doctrine. In this way, the jobs being offshored are framed as a phenomena that centers on there not being enough skilled workers here (or enough skilled workers who will work for bargain basement wages). This meme seduces millions of youngsters into attending colleges that are over-priced, particularly those "charter school' like on-line "universities."

If I could print my own money, I could argue that I am never in debt. But if all that printed $ must be used to purchase goods and services from other lands since so much of our nation's manufacturing base has been purposely gutted, then sooner or later those making the goods may not wish to trade them for worthless paper. This pony is gonna come home, and many economists think the crash will come sooner than later. BRICS is a huge factor in this inevitable denouement and it probably has a lot to do why there's so much saber rattling over Ukraine in order to demonize Putin. After all, note the fates of Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi when both made efforts to get OFF the U.S. dollar.

BTW: The word is avaricious. You wrote something phonetic.


#5

I know this will sound extremely simplistic, but let's start with the basics: what was the pupose of the "original" idea of a united Europe? To dismantle tariff systems, to build up an economy competitive on the world stage, to be strong, united and basically a rival to the US influence. This was envisaged by Adenauer and de Gaulle most prominently after WWII. (I know there were also the various freemasonic and illuminati ideas, but let's not go there!!)
Whatever this bastard child of today's EU has evolved into is certainly not what the original idea was! It is so intertwined with the shadow global financial elite, whose centres of power are the City of London and Wall Street, that it is simply not independent and most certainly doesn't represent the European countries.
A lot of Euro countries were simply not ready to join a financial union, before being dragged into this EU system and Greece was one of them, but we could also mention the ex Warsaw Pact countries too. Lots of corruption, lots of uncertainties, confusion, no concrete understanding and most certainly no acceptance of the new rules. This has been greatly exploited by the huge multinational banking conglomerates, hedge funds and corrupt politicians. No wonder, that the whole system is in a disarray.
During the last couple of years bad decisions have been heaped upon bad decisions, no one benefited but a select few, most notably the aforementioned multinational banks. Greece is in trouble, no matter how they are trying to patch up this dying patient. In my opinion there are a couple of choices, but none of them involves austerity for the majority of the population. Maybe declare the debt "odious" and get rid of it? Maybe declare bankruptcy and leave the EU and saddle up with the BRICS? There are other choices too, but don't have much more time now to elaborate. In fact this is just part of what I have to say, don't want to overstay my welcome here.....
Before I go, one thing: as much as I respect and admire Karl Marx, one thing I never quite understood - in his excellent works even though he mentions chrematistics, he mostly glosses over it. WHY??? In my opinion when a society gets to a point when the richest strata of people makes money like that, things simply can't go on. They need to be rearranged. "Re-booted"


#6

I'm not sure what your sources are for "the 'original' idea of a united Europe nor those particular goals you set out but those are not the only goals and I can cite sources that make it clear that the 'original' idea, and directly tied to the current unification may have come from Walter Funk, former president of the Reichsbank, economics minister of the Third Reich, BIS (Bank of International Settlements) director and ex-prisoner, Spandau. In 1940, Funk "...raised the idea of European monetary union...which would demand 'a gradually assimilated standard of living, and even the standard cannot be the same in all the countries participating...'" Tower of Basel by Adam Libor. (And what an eye-opener this book is. The remarks on the EU are an extremely minor portion of this book.)
If you accept that much of what has happened followed pretty closely to this idea originally propagated by Funk and the Nazis, then I'd say, perhaps your remark is not quite as thorough as it might be.


#7

The PEOPLE of Greece are fighting to save themselves, and perhaps all of humanity.
My question is: Is the Syriza leadership naive, inadequately schooled in Socialism and
Revolution? Hoping to avoid disaster? Wishful thinking? They already HAVE disaster, especially
if you note the spike in suicides. The dead suffer no more in my belief. The survivors suffer the
loss of their loved one(s) AND their continuing poverty, fear, hunger, illness...
Is it naivete, or is the SEP correct? (wsws.org) I'm not a member, and I wasn't sure if they
were being overly harsh, calling Syriza's leaders "pseudo-left", but I've seen phonies and sell-outs
here in the U.S. from union (mis)leaders who support the "Democratic" party no matter how many
times the Dem's betray the workers -and sell-outs in other movements, (COINTELPRO agents?) -
to the "Democratic"and "Republican" servants of the 1%. I have seen how tough it is to get Social
Democrats and CP'ers to make a clean break from the CAPITALIST (Ask 'em!) "Democratic" Party.

Some thoughts: There has been a "Jubilee Movement" with perhaps a religious flavor (of the better
kind!) Feel free to search it and get some ideas. Fidel Castro raised the same idea decades ago
regarding the same situation in Latin America and elsewhere: "Cancel the debt!"

Youtube has several videos featuring Iceland's President Grimsson -talking about how he
said YES to the people and Democracy, and NO to the Banks.

Some decades ago, there was a "Non-Aligned Movement" of countries who didn't want to be too
close to the US or the USSR. Maybe Greece should try to start a new alliance with the
other poor countries of Europe: Spain, Ireland, Iceland..? And trade with Russia and China instead
of the European Banktatorship. And let's not forget the new progressive governments in Latin
America. Of course, this would still be a largely capitalist group, but it might be better to have a
multi-polar world than an increasingly uni-polar Global Corporate Empire -controlled by the most
skillful and well armed country, the US.
The countries involved would have to be on guard against the same kind of false flag operations,
and other murderous tactics the US has employed against the people of Ukraine, again for
economic reasons, not "freedom and democracy".
Of course, the real answer is to establish an economic system that is geared towards being humane
and in harmony with our environment. That would, I believe, have to be a democratic form of socialism,
which was the original idea: Democratize the economy! But you can't do that if you- the people-
don't own it!
Anyone who still doubts this should read Einstein's "Why Socialism" (Search it!) and see "the
Dumb Guy" quote Thorstein Veblen as calling capitalism part of '"the predatory phase" of human
development'.
And it's tough to make a go of it one country at a time, but we may be entering a new time of
global revolutionary upsurge. We need to be; we are at the "Climate Precipice". <- Search that!
We need to have more countries moving to socialism -to be too much for the US/Global Corporate
Empire to keep up with. It may yet happen. The 1% take the possibility seriously. That's why even
"Democrats" continue Bush's wars,and start new ones, including COINTELPRO (under some unknown name), against American solidarity activists, Occupy activists... and threaten to disappear, torture, and kill dissenters under the NDAA/Indefinite Detention- with the help of the NSA, and your own cell phone -without charge, representation, trial, or notification of your family or friends. "Our" "Democratic" president has already made use of his "Kill List" against at least one American citizen, and of course foreigners, who don't "qualify" for our Bill of Rights. So much for "inalienable rights" and "sympathy for people"
where they want regime change.
It is a shame if it takes the threat of extinction to get us to wake up and question the way we're doing
things. "Our" genocidal wars haven't led to the revolution we need, but many good people have tried,
and continue. We need a Global, Democratic, Socialist, revolution to spare us, our families and friends,
our unacquainted human family of 7 billion, and our home planet from this inhumane juggernaut of institutionalized greed called capitalism.


#8

Hello future, I recall seeing books in my parents' extensive library some German and French books about this, also heard them often talking about the subject. (they were both academics and in politics [in Europe], so I trusted them). Will try and recall what books they were. In the meantime here are some links:
http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/founding-fathers/pdf/konrad_adenauer_en.pdf
http://www.globalresearch.ca/de-gaulle-s-vision-of-europe-and-the-problems-of-the-contemporary-balkans/22287
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/the-elysee-treaty-has-been-a-cornerstone-of-european-stability-a-879002.html

I'd welcome suggestions of interesting books/articles on the subject, shall try and read them


#9

Nice of you to include the links. Since you asked for sources about the EU, one of what I consider the best is the book Circus Politicus (Deloire and Dubois, Editions Albin Michel, 2012), in which, for 455 pages, they document the undemocratic nature of this so-called "union". Here are a few of the landmark dates: 18 August 1944, the founding of Le Siècle by Georges Bérard-Quélin (p 124); 1952-54, influence of the Bilderberg conference and Joseph Retinger in particular (p 148); 1948, creation of the American Committee on United Europe (p 153) with Bill Donovan as its first president, Allen Dulles as vp. The rest of this particular chapter goes on to illustrate the tight relations between intelligence and banking interests which promoted the Union. The book is a primer on how the elite went about creating an economic "free fire" zone for capital at the cost of any true form of democracy for Europe.

PS Beware of any publication bearing the stamp of the EU.


#10

Hello Etienne, thank you for the suggested reading! Of course I don't put much value on info coming out of any official EU publication. However, it's good to read what propaganda are they spouting, no?
If you have time for some reading and listening, here's a website with various interesting links. It is mostly about the Bilderberg group, but nevertheless good. They seem to have a mind boggling influence on everything relevant (a lot is in Spanish and German, hope you speak one of them)
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_sociopol_bilderberg.htm

(sorry for not being able to reference books, but I'm on holidays now, far from home)


#11

Hi Toadess,
I'd recommend Adam Libor's book. When I said, above, that it was an eye-opener, I really meant a jaw dropper. This book will make a whole lot of things clear that have been swept under the rug of history. I recently had a student ask me how the Germans went from having to cart their money in wheelbarrows to financing an army that could overrun Europe and I had no answer. After reading this book, I so do.