Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pavlina R. Tcherneva — Greek debt disaster bodes ill for daily life


Pretty clear that this is leading to social unrest, political instability, and the eventual election of the Golden Dawn. If the Left can't handle it, the Right will.

Al Jazeera
Greek debt disaster bodes ill for daily life
Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Assistant Professor of Economics, Bard College, and Research Scholar, Levy Economics Institute.

18 comments:

Random said...

I think this is what TPTB want. They problem think they can handle them.

Kristjan said...

Golden dawn is a little too much but I would personally vote for Le Pen. I am really fed up with the left. She promises to get rid of euro.
Hollande said he was going to end austerity but continued with it once he gained power. PASOK in Greece did the same, Syriza has been doing the same so far. Should I trust Podemos? No thank you they are affiliated with Syriza. I am no fan of either side of politics because of the labels they wear. Would I stop supporting Sanders if he wouldn't deliver? certainly. It seems we have too many fans of politicians and political parties. People have hard time admitting that electing their candidate was a mistake. I don't, how can I know in advance? I have to take chances. I was hoping for Syriza but I was mistaken. they can't do it even with their own currency.

John said...

"Golden dawn is a little too much but I would personally vote for Le Pen."

Greek neo-Nazis are "a little too much" (not completely nuts, racist fanatics, or even much too much, but just "a little too much") while French crypto-neo-Nazis are just fine.

Well, they may end austerity and relaunch their national currencies but who cares what they do to people who don't fit in.

Malmo's Ghost said...

"French crypto-neo-Nazis are just fine."

Either you are simply ignorant or intentionally dishonest and thus badgering with your slander here.

NeilW said...

"Well, they may end austerity and relaunch their national currencies but who cares what they do to people who don't fit in."

Much as those proposing austerity and fixed exchange rates don't care what they do to the people who don't fit in. Unwell, low level worker, native male white person - all for sacrifice to the Gods of neo-liberalism.

The state of politics is such that it really is about deciding who you are going to throw to the wolves. That's how much the left has failed.

Kristjan said...

I guess in politics you have a choice between bad and very bad.

"Well, they may end austerity and relaunch their national currencies but who cares what they do to people who don't fit in."

There are a lot of people who don't fit in under neoliberal doctrine. Bill Mitchell recently wrote about Latvia's populagtion declining 10% 2007-2015. They didn't fit in. The superincredible left is underwriting all of this. Endless mumbling: Europe needs reforms, we need solidarity, nationalism is not the answer etc.

NeilW said...

"Endless mumbling: Europe needs reforms, we need solidarity, nationalism is not the answer etc."

Unfortunately the world has changed and is moving towards a greater number of smaller, more cohesive tribes running their own affairs.

The EU is a dinosaur and needs putting out of its misery.

The idea of a United States of Europe is dead. The people don't want that.

Malmo's Ghost said...

People always have been and always will be tribal. Being tribal and at the same time getting along with those not in one's tribe are not mutually exclusive states of being either, but it is oft times a balancing act.

Government, its attendant laws, and common culture (not the cluttered ethos of multiculturalism) seek to at least bridge our divides, while at the same time not forcing peoples to love one another. But there are limits to the leftist, everyone must love each other, utopias. Ethnicity and religion influence those limits more than anything else and they are generally intractable barricades to fully getting along, liberal pie-in-the-sky sentiments notwithstanding.

Tom Hickey said...

The state of politics is such that it really is about deciding who you are going to throw to the wolves. That's how much the left has failed.

The Right is about throwing the misfits to the wolves. The neoliberals are just not as obvious and direct about it as the neo-Nazis. Same result though. Moreover, the neoliberals and neocons are not at all shy about using violence when push comes to shove or the stakes are very high.

The Left comprises "the misfits."

Tom Hickey said...

People always have been and always will be tribal. Being tribal and at the same time getting along with those not in one's tribe are not mutually exclusive states of being either, but it is oft times a balancing act.

Government, its attendant laws, and common culture (not the cluttered ethos of multiculturalism) seek to at least bridge our divides, while at the same time not forcing peoples to love one another. But there are limits to the leftist, everyone must love each other, utopias. Ethnicity and religion influence those limits more than anything else and they are generally intractable barricades to fully getting along, liberal pie-in-the-sky sentiments notwithstanding.


Marx realized this but conservative political thinkers and economists not so much. Conservatism is based on the concept of a a single universal "human nature" and natural law. Traditionalists view this in terms of the Great Chain of Being.

Conversely, Marx sought a naturalistic explanation. Rather than human nature he spoke of species nature, rooting what is universal in the species in biology. He held that humans are more socially determined than biologically determined, however.

"Human nature" is both biologically and socially determined in Marx's view. He thought that most make the mistake of projecting the socially determined aspect of themselves as constituent of a single human nature, using its characteristics of this that they view positively as normative, and they measuring all against that standard.

Thus the ruling class sees itself as the standard and those not measuring up to it as misfits in one way or another.

In Marx's view as long as there are widely divergent groups socially, politically and economically, this error will persist. To the degree there is a leveling in the species so that all stand on the same level, those asymmetric categories will be eliminated.

Many if not most Americans (disingenuously) assume that they have done this by creating a "classless society" such that differences are based entirely on matters related to individual incentive and personal responsibility.

This is evidenced in the assumption of methodological individualism that presumes ontological individualism, for example, and the representative agent rationally pursuing max u that lies at the foundationof the neoclassical model is based on this.

John said...

"Either you are simply ignorant or intentionally dishonest and thus badgering with your slander here."

Padon me, I meant to write the FN are crypto-neo-fascists. The party traces its origins to French fascists who modelled themselves on Italy's fascists. The creators of the party were pro-Vichy and enraged by Algerian independence. It has had ties to neo-fascist political parties all over Europe like the BNP in the UK and Jobbik in Hungary, which they have only very recently chosen to distance themselves from, but this alleged detoxification is political opportunism. Indeed, Bruno Megret, the former deputy leader of the FN, explains the less blatant fascism of previous years as a mere "vocabulary struggle", but that hasn't stopped many of their political candidates from being openly racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and homophobic. Apparently, one political candidate, Paul Malaguti, was a Gestapo agent.

Jean Marie Le Pen, the previous leader of the FN, is a convicted racist and anti-Semite yet gained huge support from the French electorate. His previous record as a torturer of Algerians during Algerian's war for independence did nothing to stop the French from voting for him in huge numbers. Evidently his daughter, Marine Le Pen the new leader, was so disgusted by the FN's disgraceful past she decided to join it and engage in a "vocabulary struggle" rather than join any respectable rightwing political party.

In the UK the extremely rightwing UKIP refuse to have anything to do with the FN. UKIP's leader Nigel Farage points to their "nasty, anti-Semitic past". Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schauble has denounced the FN as "fascist", and so have many others. Within France there are mass demonstrations, many by trade unions, against the "fascist Front National". I would bring up the fact that Marine Le Pen lost a court case in which she sued for being called a "fascist", but that may have more to do with free speech than anything else. Although you'd imagine if, say, Hollande, Sarkozy or Chirac had sued for having been called "fascist" in print that they would have won.

I suppose a newly formed political party in Germany by the name of the National Socialist German Worker's Party could be formed by octogenarian former SS and Gestapo torturers, claim to be different to their predecessor but say all the things but in a different fashion by playing a game of "vocabulary struggle". I'm sure many "ignorant or intentionally dishonest people" would be take in.

Clearly the FN's history is not the history of a liberal party or even a conservative party but that of something very sinister and reminiscent of something from the thirties. Only someone deeply "ignorant or intentionally dishonest" would claim that the FN is anything but a neo-fascist political party engaged in "vocabulary struggle". Being a charitable sort of chap, I'd say that your comments are "ignorant", which is not a slander but a recommendation to read a little about the history of the FN, its new "vocabulary struggle" so as to give the appearance of respectability, look at what many of their candidates say, look at their policies, and not be taken in by rebranding and a new vocabulary to thinly disguise their true nature.

Ignacio said...

If I were French I would FN. The problem right now is that the only way to undo the EU nightmare is to vote in the far right.

It's a gamble: will we be able to get rid of them once they gain power? Is hard to say, but once the authoritarian neofeudal agenda of the EU is dismantled at least we get the chance to fight an other day.

Whereas the left now is just advancing further into neofeudalism. Our chances are slim in both cases, but one gives as the opportunity to fight an other day, the other is signing up on the NWO of transnational neofeudalism

Ignacio said...

Also the only chance at avoiding a multicultural/racial civil war in Europe right now is moving the far right into power so they start to crack down wahhabbism and religious crusade from muslim extremists in Europe and close down borders.

It's paradoxical, but otherwise we may end up in an open war and ethnic cleansing in Europe with extermination camps included in 15 years. Closing down the borders and getting more isolationist governments right now may be the other option to avoid an open war and the massacring of the Middle East and a (one-sides probably) nuclear war in the future. Israel doesn't need many excuses to start throwing nukes around and as soon as the alignment from the West is towards approval of such means it will happen.

John said...

"Also the only chance at avoiding a multicultural/racial civil war in Europe right now is moving the far right into power so they start to crack down wahhabbism and religious crusade from muslim extremists in Europe and close down borders."

The Western powers and their clients have destroyed Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, what's left of Palestine, and a whole host of other countries, leaving total chaos in the wake and creating the most fertile breeding ground for the most radical religious warriors, but "the only chance at avoiding a multicultural/racial war in Europe" is to vote for neo-fascists.

Interestingly, when these religious maniacs massacred millions of secular and leftwing Muslims in the Islamic world there was not a peep of concern. It was realpolitik to support them. The secular nationalist opposition were considered a menace to the western powers. When a comparatively tiny number of people die on the streets of New York, London, Madrid and Paris, it's the end of the world. That's why the jihadis are winning hands down. Until we care as much for the dozens of Shia murdered in Kuwait yesterday as we do for the European tourists in Tunisia then we have no hope of avoiding anything other than a third world war that will take decades and result in millions of deaths.

ISIS is now in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Mali, even Afghanistan, and it can launch attacks almost at will. Did Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS exist before the western powers decided to play power politics in these regions? Afghanistan was on a road to modernity and secularism until the US decided to lure the Soviet Union into Afghanistan by flooding it with jihadis. Egypt was a secular liberal country under Nasser. This independence had to be ended. Mubarak and now Sisi do as they're told.

In any case, the source of almost all the Islamic world's religious madness comes out of Riyadh, aided and protected by the US. If the US ceased its support and protection of the House of Saud and its foreign policy of spreading jihadism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere, almost all of the jihadi networks would disappear.

Ignacio said...

John I agree with all you wrote, but what's the solution now? the left idealism will doom us all as hatred increases and the West marches again to war, this time will be a real war, aa war like the old ones were the only policy will be indiscriminate annihilation, this will be the Balcans on a world wide scale and no one playing "the good guys". Hatred will consume, once again, humanity and millions will perish in the name of some stupid religion or ideology.

The left and the neocons will never stop supporting the wahhabbists in Saudi Arabia.Is not guaranteed a far right regime would either as we are just too fond on the black gold. Even Hitler did the most strange 'temporal alliances' before hell broke loose. But at least the chances are higher than with the status quo that we may get an isolationist regime that will be the only "moderate" solution forward in the future.

Multiculturalism has failed, once again, at all levels, and if it's pursued further we will only have destruction in the future. Economic interdependencies are the only thing that may stop a more pacific resolution I fear. And maybe in the future we will have a chance at supporting the moderates or leftists in the arab world to change it. If it's not too late and we live in a neofeudal world, which may be very well the end-game now.

Tom Hickey said...

Even worse. The US is cynically using ISIS/Daesh and Al Qaeda under the cover "moderate Islamists" to prosecute hybrid warfare against Syria and Iran, and also Russia and China in the Central Asian republics and the Caucasus. The idea is to sue them to finish off "the remaining "axis of evil" in MENA and then finish them off. This is the same strategy that the US used in Afghanistan against the Russians and according to Zbig, the blowback from the "freedom fighters" transforming into Al Qaeda down the line was well worth it.

John said...

"John I agree with all you wrote, but what's the solution now?"

Not giving in to our own maniacs would be a good start. All good causes look hopeless, but you just keep plugging away by not accepting defeat and organising and educating those around you. Labour rights, suffrage, civil rights, gay rights, were won by organised people who wouldn't take no for an answer. Yes, it took a long time but these things always do.

"The left and the neocons will never stop supporting the wahhabbists in Saudi Arabia."

That unfortunately is true. But will they invade to support the House of Saud from its almost certain fall? That's far from certain given that you'd have to be willing to then fight hundreds of enraged Muslims who won't be particularly pleased in seeing Mecca occupied by foreign troops. The House of Saud is on its last legs. The only thing propping them up is the violence they export elsewhere. A functioning democracy on Iraq, Egypt and Tunisia would have dealt a deathblow to the Saudis. Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states would have also been swept by the Arab Spring had they and their western patrons successfully fought back the revolutionaries with their own violent jihadi counterrevolution. Hindering our own governments in aiding the Saudis foreign policy is instrumental. The Saudis were apoplectic with rage that the West didn't topple Assad. As far as it goes, that can be counted as a success: I'd take Assad over the jihadi freak show any day of the week. Assad will one day go and Syria will fall to its own democratic revolutionaries. But in the meantime the Saudi financed and trained jihadi freak show has to be kneecapped by western populations kneecapping our own governments.

"Multiculturalism has failed, once again, at all levels, and if it's pursued further we will only have destruction in the future."

First of all, I don't want the state telling me what my culture should be, what I can eat, how I should dress, or anything else. That's not for the state to decide. These are personal choices, and conservatives on the whole are far better on this than so-called liberals. Modern day liberals and trendy lefties are nothing but authoritarian bullies and on the whole deranged bigots because they'll only accept someone as long as they become a trendy clone of themselves.

To the extent that multiculturalism has failed, the racism of the host community is to blame. Putting people in ghettoes and forgetting about them doesn't help. The poverty and social services offered in these deprived and overwhelmingly Asian communities is shocking. People don't escape all the social pathologies that come from poverty (illiteracy, ignorance, bigotry, patriarchal and violent family life, low life expectancy, being subject to labour exploitation, etc) in a ghetto. Jews were in ghettoes for centuries and were incapable of raising themselves out of the terrible situation they were in. Once they had opportunity they became as successful or more successful than the "native" populations of the countries in which they arrived. Unless your'e a racist, there's no reason to believe that African and Asian communities can't do the same.

Tom Hickey said...

Has multiculturalism failed (that would be the American experiment), or has bigotry won?

Neither is the case. The experiment is still underway and the bias so far has been largely liberal rather than conservative inspire of all the obstacles that those attempting to conserve tradition have place in the way.