Thu Jul 9, 2015, 02:02 PM
WillyT (72,631 posts)
Radical Austerity’s Brutal Lies: How Krugman And Chomsky Saw Through Dehumanizing Neoliberal Spin
Radical austerity’s brutal lies: How Krugman and Chomsky saw through dehumanizing neoliberal spin
The battle in Greece is identical to the one we need to be waging right here for fairness over markets and banks
Patrick L. Smith - Salon
Wednesday, Jul 8, 2015 04:00 PM PDT
The referendum in Greece refuting the European Union’s unbending insistence on radical austerity as the medicine Greeks must continue to swallow is simply not to be missed for its multiple layers of significance. To put the core take-home first, we are all Greeks as they stand against the neoliberal orthodoxy. Their battle is perfectly of a piece with one that needs to be called by its name and waged in our great country.
The Greek crisis has given us an altogether exposing moment, to put the point another way. It is universal in all that it lays bare about the world’s political economy as it has come to be over the last, say, four decades.
Three understandings—recognitions, maybe—were immediately plain as the polling results came in Sunday evening. The Tsipras government, left social democratic in its thinking, won a triumphant 61 percent of the electorate’s support in its stand against the E.U.’s utterly irrational desire to impose more human suffering in the name of market principles. And the magnitude of the victory underscored the truths Greece just gave us:
• Greeks voted courage over fear. They insisted that there is a value higher than market value—this value being the commonweal, the well-being of a society and the people who comprise it. They asked, Does the polity serve the market, or does the market serve the polity? This is one of the essential questions of our time, however rarely it gets asked. Posing it is a very large deed in itself, a favor to all others, and the Greeks’ reply is larger still, of course.
• The European Union, with roots in the too-distant idealism of the early postwar years, has just destroyed any claim it had to stand among humanity’s higher aspirations. The E.U. will remain, obviously, but effectively in form only—a collection of powerful but hollow institutions that inspire little loyalty. Its nakedly corrupt use of power against Greek democracy devastates what may have remained of its original ambition. For now at least, there is no reason to do anything other than oppose it in the name of the very thing it was supposed to stand for: human freedom.
• “What’s going on with the austerity is really class war,” Noam Chomsky said in an interview with the estimable Amy Goodman on this site a few days ago. It is time we got used to this term, which requires that we discredit our densely layered mythologies to the effect that class conflict occurs elsewhere but never in our Providential land. Greeks ’r’ Us: In what they have just done we must see what must be done in America if this nation is to avoid letting the neoliberal order subvert it altogether.
Alexis Tsipras’ last speech on the eve of the referendum is a remarkable document. Unless you speak Greek, you have to read it in an English translation of the French translation, but it comes over clearly nonetheless. (And isn’t it interesting that the French would translate it but no one in the Anglo-American world would bother?)
Tsipras addressed “citizens of Athens, people of Greece,” sounding a little like a fifth century B.C. orator. He spoke of “mutual respect,” “solidarity,” “living with dignity in Europe,” “bravery,” “strength,” “democratic tradition.” He spoke of the E.U.’s “rhetoric of terror,” which I find a perfectly defensible description of its disgraceful campaign to spread fear among Greek voters in the days prior to the vote. “We are giving democracy a chance to return,” Tsipras said. “To return to Europe, because we want Europe to return to its founding principles.”
Tsipras drew his best-known line, repeated on the wires quickly afterward, from a 19th century Greek poet. “Liberty demands virtue and courage,” he said...
Much More: http://www.salon.com/2015/07/08/radical_austeritys_brutal_lies_how_krugman_and_chomsky_saw_through_dehumanizing_neoliberal_spin/
16 replies, 1423 views
Radical Austerity’s Brutal Lies: How Krugman And Chomsky Saw Through Dehumanizing Neoliberal Spin (Original post)
|Martin Eden||Jul 2015||#13|
|geek tragedy||Jul 2015||#5|
|Tatiana La Belle||Jul 2015||#14|
Response to truebluegreen (Reply #10)
Thu Jul 9, 2015, 04:44 PM
Hoyt (29,346 posts)
11. The reality is, they were loaned money several times and have no reasonable way to repay.
Apparently, they haven't done enough to convince anyone until maybe today, they had a reasonable plan to repay a significant portion of the loans.
I'm not sure why you have to coerce someone into repaying a portion of a loan. But, I'm sure you have some explanation.
Response to Hoyt (Reply #11)
Thu Jul 9, 2015, 05:02 PM
Martin Eden (7,717 posts)
13. 2 more doses of Reality:
1) The only way Greeks can climb their way out of crushing debt if for their economy to be revitalized.
2) Austerity depresses the economy.
Response to Martin Eden (Reply #13)
Thu Jul 9, 2015, 07:00 PM
hifiguy (33,688 posts)
16. Austerity on top of austerity
is like bleeding a patient who already has anemia. The patient is cured when completely exsanguinated, a state also known as "being dead."
Austerity will ALWAYS further depress an economy, it can do NOTHING ELSE.
The real cure is to remove the parasites that are sucking out the blood.
Response to WillyT (Original post)
Thu Jul 9, 2015, 02:25 PM
libdem4life (12,715 posts)
4. K & R ... this is what I see, but was afraid to write. We just have printing presses and Fox
News and still all the pieces to the puzzle, no matter how jumbled. 10 years ago people who saw the worthless CDOs and tranches of bad debt being heisted onto unsuspecting citizens and the world were treated as a bit daffy. Still are. Which underlies the truth of this article.
Banks are broke but still allowed to steal at will. ..whether through "bailouts" or just plain criminal activity. The Federal Reserve is still making a profit for a few. There's nothing new here...just unrestrained capitalism-turned-oligarchy..then tyranny...unless somehow Bernie can drill it in poor and middle class heads that their now-poverty is soon to get worse.
Response to WillyT (Original post)
Thu Jul 9, 2015, 02:35 PM
geek tragedy (67,172 posts)
5. the referendum was an idiotic stunt that resulted in more austerity, not less
governing is about more than people gathering in squares and snapping off feel-good slogans
Response to WillyT (Original post)
Thu Jul 9, 2015, 03:02 PM
LongTomH (7,498 posts)
8. Patrick Smith had the courage to say things that needed saying; but were painful....especially......
......for liberals (including me!).
Third, it is time to put the E.U. in the file with all other supra-national institutions developed in the post-1945 period. The three I have in mind are the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. Anyone who does not recognize these as instruments deployed in the West’s campaign to roll the neoliberal order across the globe like linoleum needs to look more objectively at events.
Back in the early 1970s, Shirley Hazzard, the Australian-cum-British-cum-American writer, published a scathing account of the U.N. called “Defeat of an Ideal,” and the title tells you the sad tale this book recounts. An institution founded on hope and aspiration ends up a gross betrayal of its own purpose—not least, in the U.N.’s case, because Washington insisted on waging the Cold War in its corridors..
Hazzard concluded that the U.N. should be dissolved so that the community of nations could begin again and retrieve the original principles written into the charter. I am not quite there yet with the E.U. Tsipras is right to try to keep his country in the eurozone, but I doubt he is looking for fraternal harmony.
Kim Stanley Robinson wrote of the World Bank: "You were created to be the Marshall Plan. You've become the United Fruit Company!"