Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We Are All Greeks; We Are All Black Bloc; We Are All Vulnerable

Prometheus the Fire Bringer
"Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends."

The details of the Greek "bailout" remain vague, but there is no sign at all that the Eurozone has backed off any of its sadism and cruelty toward Greece and its people. For all intents and purposes, Greece is being treated the way European imperial powers treated their colonial outposts, seizing revenues and exploiting the people to feed their financial interests. The United States has a long history of doing the same.

In effect, Greece has lost its sovereignty; the country and its people are now the "property" of the Eurozone, principally Germany.

The same fate awaits Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and the struggling nations of Eastern Europe. The same fate awaits all the Peoples of Europe; the march of the Gods of Finance will not be impeded by mere mortals.

The People are reduced to suppliants. Powerless -- or meant to believe they are powerless -- in the face of their ravenous Financial Gods. They are being divided and set one against the other as their Financial Gods loot and plunder everything that is not nailed down, and then they pull out the nails and steal that as well.

Nothing can satisfy them.

Black Bloc is a tactic of solidarity among the Powerless that has been demonized as much as the People of Greece (and now Spain; I just heard a new piece of propaganda on NPR claiming that Spaniards are dastards because some of them are "earning money" while receiving unemployment benefits -- "on the dole" as it was put in the story.) The Powerless are always demonized as a prelude to the "solution" to the "problem" of the Powerless.

The demonization of the Black Bloc tactic is one of the strangest outgrowths of the innumerable attempts to hijack or co-opt the Occupy Movement. Black Blocs are almost entirely absent from the Occupy framework of direct action. Yet from the near-hysteria of the anti-Black Bloc'ers, you'd think they were everywhere, every day, and that there is hardly a window unbroken, a bottle un-thrown anywhere that Occupy occupies. The hysteria is nonsense on one level, but on another, it is pure -- and relatively effective -- propaganda. No different than many other demonization campaigns that have been launched throughout history by the stronger against the weaker (preferably the weakest) elements in society. Whipping up hysteria against the demonized Other is an essential part of the propaganda program.

Anyone can be scapegoated and demonized in this manner. It is one of the least appealing attributes of most human societies. The weaker the target appears to be, the easier it is to scapegoat and demonize them. The result is typically "unpleasant" for the target(s), up to and including genocide.

We are all vulnerable.

Either as scapegoats or as scapegoaters. For those who engage in demonization and scapegoating pay a heavy psychic, and often a heavy physical, price.

While the scapegoating and demonization propaganda campaign against the targets is being ratcheted up, there is a simultaneous propaganda campaign to convince the targets to submit, to not fight back. "Nonviolence!"

The current propaganda campaign from the outside and within Occupy to enforce "nonviolence" -- violently (but only if necessary) -- is part of that effort to ensure the targets don't fight back against their demonization.

So far, it has had a kind of mesmerizing effect, something like the repeated LRAD announcements in Oakland on January 28 as the multitudes were corralled in front of the YMCA. "Submit to your arrest!" Over and over and over. "Submit!"

My proposition has always been that Occupy is by nature a nonviolent resistance campaign. It's obvious. Nothing has happened to change that. None of the rare incidents of vandalism or bottle throwing that have occurred has changed the nature of the Occupy Movement from nonviolent to violent resistance. To assert otherwise is silly. But it is crucially important to propagandists and demonizers to magnify the least incident into a monumental problem, and if there are no incidents, to manufacture them.

I was listening to a very strange panel discussion yesterday on the topic of Occupy nonviolence and Black Bloc -- and "getting beyond" the dispute -- and the point was made by one of the panelists that there has never been a Black Bloc associated with Occupy Wall Street in New York City. Not once. And yet here we were, still, listening to constant denunciations of Black Bloc as if they had a presence everywhere all the time when clearly they don't. It's a major disconnect.

I would say, no, it's propaganda. It's the standard propaganda of demonization and scapegoating.

This is how the Overclass maintains its power.

Awareness needs to be matched with action. Whether our friends in Greece can show the way remains to be seen. Prometheus may still be bound to the rock by Zeus in the single play of the trilogy that's come down to us; but there is more to the story: "Prometheus Unbound," and "Prometheus the Fire-Bringer."


In Addition to Which:

This is just great. It's an Open Letter from an 87 year old Greek Resistance Fighter, Mikis Theodorakis, (composer and Parliamentarian) to the World: The Truth About Greece

An excerpt:

There is an international conspiracy whose target is the complete destruction of my country. They began in 1975 aiming at Modern Greek civilization, continued with the distortion of our modern history and our national identity and they are now trying to eliminate us biologically as well through unemployment, hunger and impoverishment. If Greek people don't rise as one in order to prevent them, the danger of Greece becoming extinct is evident. I place it within the next ten years. There will be nothing left of us but the memory of our civilization and our battles for freedom.


I am totally dedicated, body and soul, to this cause (the unification of the People in one Front) and I believe that I will be proved right in the end. I have fought, gun in hand, against Hitler's occupation. I have experienced the Gestapo's dungeons. I have been sentenced to death by Germans and have miraculously survived. In 1967 I founded PAF (The Patriotic Anti-dictatorial Front), the first resistance organization against the military junta. I fought underground, was caught and imprisoned in the junta's "slaughterhouse". Once again I survived.

I am today 87 years old and it is very possible that I will not live to see the salvation of my beloved country. But I will die with a clear conscience, because I will continue doing my Duty towards the ideals of Freedom and Justice until the end.

We haven't seen the end of this story by a long shot. Read the whole letter. It's an eye-opener.


  1. Che, mijo,

    I wonder if the old guy, Papandreou, had a moment of courage standing up for the Greek people, or is he was simply paid off to make it APPEAR as though he were opposing the troika - thus setting the stage for his own removal and ensuring that he would be replaced with the former Fed Reserve guy. (The new guy, Papademos, served as the senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in the 1980′s after studying at several American universities. He was the vice president at the European Central Bank until last year. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission - David Rockefeller’s neoliberal think tank. - quoting myself.)

    I suspect he was playing a part, given this development:

    "...On Monday, former PASOK Prime Minister Giorgios Papandreou and his appointed successor under the coalition, economist Lucas Papademos, gave a written guarantee to EU ministers that they will stick to the planned spending cuts, regardless of the results of elections, currently scheduled for April. Parliament is expected to approve the latest package when it votes today.

    "Their agreement came as a leaked confidential report prepared by analysts for the troika admitted that its targets were unachievable and that, even under the most optimistic forecast, the cuts and demands being imposed can only produce greater indebtedness and economic crisis.

    "Everyone knows this to be the case. The latest bail-out package is broadly acknowledged to be a “suicide pact”, by which the Greek population is subject to ever greater penury while the troika prepare contingency plans for a supposedly “orderly default.”..."


  2. Shit, the one time I didn't preview...first sentence: "if" he was paid off, not "is".

  3. teri49: I'm not sure how the Greeks are processing this monstrousness.

    Both Papandreou and Papademos are contemporaries, I think. Both are highly Americanized and internationalized Greeks of a certain kind of privileged and sophisticated background and status.

    My perceptions are that they know how the world works 'cause they've been there, and have been intimately involved in its workings for good and for ill, at the highest levels. I don't know that they can be paid off at this point.

    In the end, they are Greeks. They are not Americans, they are not "Internationals." They will do what they are compelled to do, but at the same time, they are thinking ahead toward an escape route, at least that's how I read it.

    Much of it has the feeling of a set piece, a real-life drama to be sure, but one that has been played out many times in the past. I used the Prometheus as a metaphor, but I suspect the Greeks see it somewhat differently, more like Odysseus and Polyphemus.

    Which is probably part of why the EuroCons are so skittish around their new colonial possession. The Greeks may appear to submit, and they may make huge sacrifices in the face of superior force, but they cannot be easily tamed. They will fight back. And they will probably... win.

    I would not take anything that's happening at face value in other words.

  4. I hope you are right. It just appears that both men are eager to go along with the austerity measures. Papandreou, I recall, said how he "wasn't wedded" to the idea of being in charge and that he had just been throwing around the idea of a referendum by the people, but didn't feel that was particularly important either. (He said that after he was given the bum's rush.)

    We'll see. I hope the Greeks break bad in a big way - we are going to need an example in the coming days.


  5. Check out the Open Letter I added excerpts from to the post. I'm sure we have not seen the end of this story.

    As for Mikis Theodorakis's contempt for Papandreou and Papademos (as well as any number of other traitors in the government), I don't think I would want to be one of them when Mikis comes calling for Justice.

  6. "I don't think I would want to be one of them when Mikis comes calling for Justice.-- Che"

    Exactly, it may be difficult to suss out what is authentic and for show, but there must be a fundamental level on which self-preservation would kick in. Because there will literally be blood. The Greeks are being bled dry as sacrificial lambs.

    As the austerity measures start to really be felt, desperate people will make increasingly desperate choices.

    I don't kid myself for a minute; hungry people do what they must to survive. And we may soon be in the same boat. -- Morning's Minion

  7. I'm actually surprised the Athenians haven't stormed the Parliament and burnt it to the ground by now.

    But then, of course, the propaganda would be that they "reject democracy!"

    The Greek People will eventually do what they have to do, oh yes.