I'm in a somewhat predictive mood today, so let's deal with The Greek Thing.
The new election is something like two weeks away, and the polls seem to be all over the place, with first the "bailout" parties commanding a sufficient lead to form a government after the election and then the "leftists" having the lead, and so on. The horserace, of course, is all that interests the media in any case; substantive issues like policy and whatnot are of no interest.
The bailouts of Greece and everywhere else in the Periphery of Europe (oh how I would just adore being a Peripheral if I were in Ireland...not) have nothing to do with bailing out the People or keeping the economy afloat; the bailouts are entirely devoted to paying off the banks' gambling debts just like here and squeezing the Greek People for every lousy dime -- and then some.
So, the leftists come into the second round of elections with a program that goes something like this:
- Nationalize the banks, the ports, the telecoms, the energy sectors;
- Set up a tax system based on Social Justice
- Improve the minimum wage -- which has been cut drastically due to the demands of the Troika
- Renegotiate -- or something -- the extractive Memorandum
All of which sounds pretty straightforward and good until you realize that the likely outcome is a German-backed rightist coup, probably installing a military junta yet again to rule on behalf of the Germans.
The Greeks have lived this tragedy before; they know the plot very well. The last time they were ruled by a military junta though, at least the Colonels were smart enough to buy off certain key sectors of the population, specifically an emergent middle class, so that resistance was kept to a minimum -- for a while anyway. Of course torture and murder and what not had their usual salutary effects on the rabble as well.
It is, after all, the way these things are done.
But today's rulers in Germany and apparently throughout Europe, let alone the U S of A, care not a whit about "buying off" anyone. They don't care about the pathetic "resistance" of the People. They don't care about anything when it comes to Greece or the rest of the Peripherals except imposing their authority and extracting their tons of flesh; the pathetic People be damned. All of them. To hell.
Though their actions haven't -- yet -- been quite as cruel as those of the Nazis toward the Greeks, the attitude and public statements of today's Euro-goons is if anything harsher than that of the ever-so-diplomatic Nazis. The Nazis could at least pretend to consider the interests and well being of their conquered peoples, but not the Euro-goons and their banker owners.
I've never seen anything quite like it in my long life, and I'm not sure anyone in Europe has either, at least not for much longer than I've been alive.
Christine LaGarde encapsulated the Euro-goon attitude toward Peripherals, specifically the Greeks, when she declares:
it is payback time for Greece and makes it clear that the IMF has no intention of softening the terms of the country's austerity package.
Using some of the bluntest language of the two-and-a-half-year debt crisis, she says Greek parents have to take responsibility if their children are being affected by spending cuts. "Parents have to pay their tax," she says.
Greece, which has seen its economy shrink by a fifth since the recession began, has been told to cut wages, pensions and public spending in return for financial help from the IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank.
Asked whether she is able to block out of her mind the mothers unable to get access to midwives or patients unable to obtain life-saving drugs, Lagarde replies: "I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time. Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens."
Neither wise nor helpful, she was lambasted far and wide, and not solely in Greece, for the atrocious and unrelenting cruelty of her remarks, and later her flack at the IMF issued a sternly worded "apology" for her comments. But really, all she was doing was honestly expressing the way the community she serves views the Little People. All of them -- ie: all of us.
As is widely known, the IMF's "concern" for the poor children in Africa pretty much matches its concern for the plight of the Greeks. Ie: none at all.
Given the complete contempt expressed for Greece and the rest of the Euro Periphery by the goons who are running things over there, it would be surprising if there weren't a coup on behalf of the Memorandum of Endless Exploitation.
This is the basic pattern set during the Imperial hey-day.
Which, as some of us recall, didn't turn out well.