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The Collateral Damage of Austerity


The Collateral Damage of Austerity

Robert C. Koehler

“Officials in France and in Brussels said on Monday that they were unhappy and dumbfounded with the no vote, but let it be known that they would hold the door open to the possibility of a compromise between Greece and its creditors.”

Dumbfounded? Why? Because the godlike power of the creditors was insulted?

Mainstream coverage of economic matters — the above quote is from the New York Times — seldom cuts very deep into the world of money, seldom questions who’s in charge, and seldom dares to suggest that an economic system ought to serve humankind rather than vice versa.


The Greek people were given a choice: to beggars with no dignity (the “Yes” vote) or to beggars with a modicum of dignity (“No”). Whoever feigns surprise at their choice of the latter is either a fool or a ghoul.


A bogus moral authority seems to accompany the accumulation of wealth — a sense that one deserves it, while those without wealth deserve servitude and hopelessness. Beyond this moral authority lies the desperate need not to recognize the common humanity of those who are struggling to survive.

Like a trance, and it’s seems very tough to snap out of. So sad and infuriating to see those in power kill their brothers and sisters and still think they are wonderful people, often churchgoing folk that are either complicit in, or turn a blind eye to the deaths and misery…


Good article, Mr. Koehler. At last you’re able to dislodge from resting too unquestioningly upon the WE pronoun. Now you seem to understand that there is a demarcation between the individuals in power and those who are on its receiving end. The struggle for human rights, justice, democracy, and humanitarian principles has never been won. It remains ongoing. What’s happening in Greece only differs from what’s happening in the U.S. by degree of scale.


Now that European politicians are railroading TTIP into the fray, the same fate awaits other European nations.