John Weeks On Greece: A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of democracy


John Weeks has an excellent article on OpenDemocracy siteA spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of democracy. In this essay he clearly shows that Troika has no intentions of sponsoring any real substantive economic bailout for Greece. In fact many of its members of Troika have set the new and belligerent neo-reactionary tone:

In pursuit of setting “the EU’s political agenda”, Mr Tusk cemented his right-wing credentials by stating publicly that “I am really afraid of this ideological or political contagion, not financial contagion, of this Greek crisis”. Lest anyone miss his point, the former Polish prime minister went on to say that his concern was caused by the “radical leftist illusion that you can build some alternative” to the EU’s neoliberal economic model.

Are the elites truly running scared; or, is it more likely a nice advert to keep the locals in tow to the iron fisted logic of German economic terrorism? As he will state it the Troika wants nothing but to impose its harsh punishment upon the people of Greece for daring to pursue a left-ward movement toward freedom from the Neo-Liberal Order of Economic Tyranny:

Expect no “just peace” for the country posing a radical threat. The suffering imposed on the Greek people by the Third Bailout will not be “collateral damage”. On the contrary, since Greek voters rejected Troika rule by a landslide, the Hellenic citizenry presents a threat far greater than the government it elected.

It must be punished to prevent a repeat of such democratic impertinence. I am in distinguished company in applying the word “punish” to extremism of the terms imposed on Greece. Germany’s most famous intellectual and long time supporter of European integration, Jürgen Habermas, has described the conditionalities as “an act of punishment“.

As Habermas says it in his article on Merkel in the Guardian:

“I fear that the German government, including its social democratic faction, have gambled away in one night all the political capital that a better Germany had accumulated in half a century,” he told the Guardian. Previous German governments, he said, had displayed “greater political sensitivity and a post-national mentality”.

The outcome of the negotiations between Greece and the other eurozone member states, he said, did “not make sense in economic terms because of the toxic mixture of necessary structural reforms of state and economy with further neoliberal impositions that will completely discourage an exhausted Greek population and kill any impetus to growth.”

Habermas added: “Forcing the Greek government to agree to an economically questionable, predominantly symbolic privatisation fund cannot be understood as anything other than an act of punishment against a leftwing government.”

Yanis Varoufakis

Vorufakis in a recent blog post Death by Debt: My Response to The German Finance Ministry, by Jeffrey Sachs lays it out point blank, that without debt relief Greece will enter a death spiral:

My point is that believing that indebted sovereign governments should always service their debts is a good working principle nine-tenths of the time, but can be a disaster the tenth time around.  We must not push societies to the breaking point, even when they have only themselves to blame for their indebtedness.

Does Greece “deserve” debt relief?  No.  The Greek economy has been badly managed for a long time.  Would debt relief for Greece be a good idea?  Yes.

Greece borrowed too much; failed to crack down on cronyism and corruption; and failed to foster new, competitive industries.  The result is that Greece cannot service its debts in full. The economy is broken.  The export base is too narrow to allow the country to pursue export-led growth – as done successfully in Ireland and elsewhere.  The banks are broken, so firms can’t get working capital to retool.  Greece is in a death spiral of austerity, de-capitalization, brain drain, capital flight, and growing social unrest.

How do I know?  I have watched daily for six years, and have tried to help several Greek governments – left, right and center – to have an intelligent settlement with Germany and the rest of the Eurozone to foster a recovery.  Yet in my experience the German Ministry of Finance has not searched for a true solution during all these years.

Inverted Totalitarianism

One has to wonder if the Third Reich of Adolph Hitler ever truly died? Has it not returned to haunt Europe in the guise of Economic Tyranny? Is Germany after all the economic dictator of the EU? Have we returned to a former world of absolute tyranny by way of economics without political responsibility? Is the subterfuge of Troika nothing more than the mask of tyranny resurfacing in our time? Or something else altogether: maybe an inverted totalitarianism?

As Sheldon S. Wolin in Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism makes clear the most powerful twentieth-century dictatorships were highly personal, not only in the sense that each had a dominant, larger-than-life leader, but each system was peculiarly the creation of a leader who was a self-made man. Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler did not just invent their personae; they literally built the organizations of their respective dictatorships. Each system was inseparable from its Führer, or Duce. Inverted totalitarianism follows an entirely different course: the leader is not the architect of the system but its product.1

Inverted totalitarianism, on the other hand, is largely independent of any particular leader and requires no personal charisma to survive: its model is the corporate “head,” the corporation’s public representative. In the inverted system the leader is a product of the system, not its architect; it will survive him. While Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin were the principal authors of schemes that eventually led to disastrous overreaching, those who counsel the titular head of Superpower, the equivalents of the CEO, supply the hubris that confuses opportunity with capability and grossly underestimates the resources needed to accomplish the grandiose end of world hegemony. (ibid.)

Is not Troika itself the very model of an inverted totalitarianism? These cold impervious bureaucrats whose icy eyes and silences offer neither truth nor hope, but rather an economic system of total subservience and enslavement? As Stephen Lendman recently said in Troika Tyrany!:

The unstated Troika objective is regime change – SYRIZA  replaced by hardline governance fully in lockstep with plans to loot what’s left of Greek wealth, impoverish the entire population beyond its privileged class, cause greater human misery than already – and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt what predatory monied interests intend for all Western nations and as many others as they can get away with.

In other words, a dystopian world resembling Dante’s hell – the privileged class outside enjoying greater than ever wealth and luxury trappings, while inside populations suffer horrific deprivation.

That’s what Troika power and Wall Street are all about – a world run by financial tyranny masquerading as democracy.

 1. Wolin, Sheldon S. (2009-01-15). Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (Kindle Locations 1168-1172). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

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