FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Greece: Sound and Fury Signifying Much

All of Europe, and insouciant Americans and Canadians as well, are put on notice by  Syriza’s surrender to the agents of the One Percent. The message from the collapse of Syriza is that the social welfare system throughout the West will be dismantled.

The Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has agreed to the One Percent’s looting of the Greek people of the advances in social welfare that the Greeks achieved in the post-World War II 20th century. Pensions and health care for the elderly are on the way out. The One Percent needs the money.

The protected Greek islands, ports, water companies, airports, the entire panoply of national patrimony, is to be sold to the One Percent.  At bargain prices, of course, but the subsequent water bills will not be bargains.

This is the third round of austerity imposed on Greece, austerity that has required the complicity of the Greeks’ own governments.  The austerity agreements serve as a cover for the looting of the Greek people literally of everything.  The IMF is one member of the Troika that is imposing the austerity, despite the fact that the IMF’s economists have said that the austerity measures have proven to be a mistake.  The Greek economy has been driven down by the austerity.  Therefore, Greece’s indebtedness has increased as a burden.  Each round of austerity makes the debt less payable.

But when the One Percent is looting, facts are of no interest.  The austerity, that is the looting, has gone forward despite the fact that the IMF’s economists cannot justify it.

Greek democracy has proven itself to be impotent. The looting is going forward despite the vote one week ago by the Greek people rejecting it.  So what we observe in Alexis Tsipras is an elected prime minister representing not the Greek people but the One Percent.

The One Percent’s sigh of relief has been heard around the world.  The last European leftist party, or what passes as leftist, has been brought to heel, just like Britain’s Labour Party, the French Socialist Party, and all the rest.

Without an ideology to sustain it, the European left is dead, just as is the Democratic Party in the US. With the death of these political parties, the people no longer have any voice. A government in which the people have no voice is not a democracy.  We can see this clearly in Greece.  One week after the Greek people express themselves decisively in a referendum, their government ignores them and accommodates the One Percent.

The American Democratic Party died with jobs offshoring, which destroyed the party’s financial base in the manufacturing unions.  The European left died with the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union was a symbol that there existed a socialist alternative to capitalism. The Soviet collapse and “the end of history” deprived the left of an economic program and left the left-wing, at least in America, with “social issues” such as abortion, homosexual marriage, gender equality, and racism, which undermined the left-wing’s traditional support with the working class.  Class warfare disappeared in the warfare between heterosexuals and homosexuals, blacks and whites, men and women.

Today with the Western peoples facing re-enserfment and with the world facing nuclear war as a result of the American neoconservatives’ claim to be History’s chosen people entitled to world hegemony, the American left is busy hating the Confederate battle flag.

The collapse of Europe’s last left-wing party, Syrzia, means that unless more determined parties arise in Portugal, Spain, and Italy, the baton passes to the right-wing parties—to Nigel  Farage’s

UK Independence Party, to Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France, and to other fight-wing parties who stand for nationalism against national extermination in EU membership.

Syriza could not succeed once it failed to nationalize the Greek banks in response to the EU’s determination to make them fail.  The Greek One Percent have the banks and the media, and the Greek military shows no sign of standing with the people. What we see here is the impossibility of peaceful change, as Karl Marx and Lenin explained.

Revolutions and fundamental reforms are frustrated or overturned by the One Percent who are left alive. Marx, frustrated by the defeat of the Revolutions of 1848 and instructed by his materialist conception of history, concluded, as did Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot, that leaving the members of the old order alive meant counter-revolution and the return of the people to serfdom. In Latin America every reformist government is vulnerable to overthrow by US economic interests acting in conjunction with the Spanish elites.  We see this process underway today in Venezuela and Ecuador.

Duly instructed, Lenin and Mao eliminated the old order. The class holocaust was many times greater than anything the Jews experienced in the Nazi racial holocaust. But there is no memorial to it.

To this day Westerners do not understand why Pol Pot emptied Cambodia’s urban areas. The West dismisses Pol Pot as a psychopath and mass murderer, a psychiatric case, but Pol Pot was simply acting on the supposition that if he permitted representatives of the old order to remain his revolution would be overthrown. To use a legal concept enshrined by the George W. Bush regime, Pol Pot pre-empted counter-revolution by striking in advance of the act and eliminating the class inclined to counter-revolution.

The English conservative Edmund Burke said that the path of progress was reform, not revolution. The English elite, although they dragged their heels, accepted reform in place of revolution, thus vindicating Burke.  But today with the left so totally defeated, the One Percent does not have to agree to reforms.  Compliance with their power is the only alternative.

Greece is only the beginning. Greeks driven out of their country by the collapsed economy, demise of the  social welfare system, and extraordinary rate of unemployment will take their poverty to other EU countries. Members of the EU are not bound by national boundaries and can freely emigrate. Closing down the support system in Greece will drive Greeks into the support systems of other EU countries, which will be closed down in turn by the One Percent’s privatizations.

The 21st century Enclosures have begun.

More articles by:

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
Dean Baker
Finance 202 Meets Economics 101
Abel Cohen
Forget Gun Control, Try Bullet Control
Robert Fantina
“Damascus Time:” An Iranian Movie
David Yearsley
Bach and Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail