Germans Have Right to Oppose Migration, Greece Threatened by NATO Takeover. One of the most intelligent and interesting Greek politicians talks on different topics and today`s main geopolitical issues.
17-21 March 2016 gianalytics.org
One year ago, while in Athens, Greece, I interviewed Mr. Dimitris Kazakis, leader of United Popular Front (EPAM), a popular Left movement that emerged from the anti-memorandum protests of 2011. Mr. Kazakis is an erudite speaker, a socialist economist, and one who knows both the terrain of the social struggle and the high-end banking sector in London where he worked for many years.
At the time, Mr. Kazakis was not very optimistic about Syriza – the Left party governing Greece, if to say the least. He warned that Prime Minister Tsipras has no intention of breaking with austerity and that he will take on a new contract that will enslave the country further. The interview was conducted in February 2015, but it took me months to publish it since I wanted to give Syriza a chance. Mr. Kazakis was right. It happened exactly as he said. One year later, on February 17, 2016, I met Mr. Kazakis at the offices of EPAM in Athens again. Things are much worse in Athens now.
Mr. Kazakis covered almost all issues under the sun. He talked about the migration crisis, why he supports a Brexit, Greece’s economic predicament, the world economy, NATO in the Aegean, Erdogan and Merkel, NGOs dubious roles, nationalism, why cosmopolitanism is dangerous, the Germans, perpetual war, Venezuela and Cuba. Below is the full interview.
You actually predicted what will happen at the time because at the time what you said was that these negotiations are a sham, they are going to sign on another contract and so on. At the time when I wanted to publish the article, many people were warning me not to publish it, not to bring down Syriza, and it turned out that it happened exactly as you said. So that’s why I published it later, but at least, I published it before basically what was a betrayal of a promise.
I can understand that because when I went to a conference in Nice, in November, they asked me to explain what happened to Greece, what happened to the Left party, or to the Left government of Syriza. And I told them what exactly happened from day one. Right after the elections of the 25th of January, back in 2015. Everyone was astonished. There were French, Spanish, Italians, Germans. Everybody. And of course, afterwards, everybody came to me and told me that we are very very sorry. We were totally wrong in our estimation about Syriza the Left government.
The problem is that by then it was too late…
Yeah, exactly. Too late for us, especially. And for Europe. Because the system invested in the Syriza government, to show everybody, every European person, that no one can do anything with the whole system, the system of the European regime, of the banks, of the Euro. And in that way, they were trying to disappoint the society. Especially Greece and, of course, all over Europe. No one could understand what happened here in Greece. How the anti-memorandum coalition of Syriza and Kammenos [the Independent Greeks –ANEL] can do such things as sign a third memorandum against the people and produce such a politically incorrect situation here in Greece.
This brings me to a related question which I think is relevant. In Britain, the UK, the place where you lived in the past and also worked, there will be a vote on Britain leaving the European Union. So, if I may ask, do you support Britain leaving the European Union?
Yeah, of course.
And does that mean you would also support UKIP and the Eurosceptical people?
As EPAM, we have relations with the umbrella of the movements against the European Union in Britain. And I was asked by British colleagues, fighters against the EU, to go there on a speech tour. I don’t know if I can do that because of the political situation here in Greece…
Schengen, because of the everyday situation?
Exactly. And now we have a social – we are in the process of a social resurrection of the Greek society, so we have a lot to do in Greece. I don’t know if we have the spare time to go over in Britain on a speech tour. But, anyway, we support any movement that is against the European Union in terms of democracy. We are fighting for democracy. And in order to fight for democracy you have to fight for national sovereignty. That’s the basis of democracy. You cannot have democracy without national sovereignty of any people. British people, Greek people, the German people. And that’s the only way. So, yes. We support the NO campaign against the European Union. And we have discussed with certain members of the UKIP.
Of course we are on a different page in terms of social and economic policy. But that’s our difference. But we support them for Britain to leave the European Union. And they have to leave. Because otherwise they will face one way or the other the same sort of situation that we are facing.
How so? If you can elaborate on that a little bit….
You cannot have a European Union, you cannot participate in a union and have mainly the banks, patrons, and of course the banking elite, or the financial elite – the engine of the financial elite – as first and foremost against the people, and against the interests of the people, and on the same page have social security, or social insurance or a social security state, or provide for the unemployed and the poverty-stricken population. You cannot have social labor and democratic rights in a state that is participating in the European Union. Because the European Union was built from day one to support the financial elites’ interests. That’s why we believe that Britain has to go. It has to leave the European Union. It will make our struggle much easier. Because if Britain decides to get rid of the European Union, it will be much easier for us, to convince the Greeks that you don’t have to be afraid of anything. You see, bigger countries, huge economies, like the British, are leaving EU. So why not you? Simple.
As you told me one year ago, that basically the EU-led austerity – “made us less than human.” This is a general question. What is the current situation with pensions, social security, farmers? What is the economic situation in Greece at the moment since the past year?
I’ll give you official data: Now, if we take the middle family income, the average family budget. The income of this middle family budget is calculated according to the official data of 2014, because we don’t have any new data. We’re talking about 18,000 Euro per year. Ok? Back in 2010, it was 23,000. Now, we are at 18,000. Of course, you have enough money to buy the things you need, the consumer products, the things you need to support the family. To provide your family’s basic needs, you need 47,000 Euro. And you have an income of 18,000.
Is that all? No. You also have to pay for the bank loans another 2,500 per year. You have to pay extra taxes on your income. That’s another 3,700 per year. You also have to pay social insurance fees. That’s another 3,500 per year. If you put all this down, you’ll see that on an income basis of 18,000 per year, the obligations of the middle family, are up to 36,000-37,000 per year. Give me a situation similar to this and provide me with an alternative… There is no way you can get rid of that economic circumstances. You cannot even imagine how you can get rid of the depression we have here in Greece, and of course, how will the economy turn around. There is no way. There is just no way. We need more than double of the income for the middle family to keep up with the obligations. There is no way you can have that because we have to withstand austerity, we have the memorandums. Now in 2016, they say they need more than 2 to 4 billion more taxes out of the family budget, and this will destroy the basis of the social insurance system in order for the beneficiary to pay more fees and get less in pensions, in social security support.
What is the situation of homelessness at the moment?
We have a problem of homelessness, but right now because of the dispersion of the homes, in Greece, more than 75% of the population owns the apartments or the houses that they live in, so there is no huge problem. Of course, most of the families now own the houses of the apartments, but they were taken through loans from the banks, so the banks now are trying to confiscate the private property from them, but they didn’t dare, up till now, to do what they did in Spain or in the US.
Of course, they have the laws now. When we talked one year ago, they didn’t have the law, but now the banks do have the law on their side. The Left government provided the bankers with the legal status of what they have for foreclosures and confiscation, the same type of legal status they have in the US. This is the product of the Left government, not of the rightist or the Left government we had back then. The current Left government provides the legal tool for the banksters for foreclosures and to confiscate private property. It was out of the question, if we go back two or three years.
The Syriza government has been waiting for this issue of enacting foreclosures. And at some point, they will be forced to take action probably.
Yes, they will try. And they even voted for a law that allows the banks to sell overdue loans for the funds we call vultures. And right now one bank, one systemic bank, the Alpha bank, sold a package of overdue loans to a private fund for 3% of the nominal value. 3%. Right now in Greece we have 100 billion of overdue loans. Now, the bankers will sell these 100 billion overdue loans to vulture funds. For how much? For 3-5 billion. And I proposed to the government a simple solution: give the bankers the 3-5 billion, take the 100 billion nominal value of overdue loans and destroy them.
But they are not doing that…
No… not even to help the citizens who cannot pay for the labor men. They cannot provide because they don’t have jobs, they don’t have income. So, we pay the recapitalization of the banking system more than 60 billion Euros as taxpayers. 60 billion. And now Mr. Draghi wants the Greek taxpayer to pay another 14 billion Euros for the recapitalization of the bank system in Greece. Why don’t they give to the bankers at least 3 to 5 billion – that’s nothing, compared to what we gave already to the banks and what they are asking for – and take the bloody overdue loans and get rid of them. Leave the people alone.
But they aren’t doing it…
No. This government doesn’t do it.
I think it’s not even possible for the Government to take unilateral actions without the approval of the Troika…
Exactly. Because that’s the new matter about the Third Memorandum. We have a new memorandum, the third section of it. If you go back to the law that was passed by the Greek parliament on the 14 of August 2015, you will see in the third section of the memorandum that the government cannot do anything without the approval of the IMF or the European Commission and the European Central Bank. We are under an occupation regime. We are less than a colony. And we cannot provide even for the borders, to guard the borders of Greece. No. We do not even have a right to say a word about this thing. That is why we are less than a state, in international law terms.
This brings me to the question of the migration crisis which is facing Europe now. Obviously Greece has already so many big economic problems; now it also has to deal with Hotspots which are being imposed by the European Union, besides the fact that NATO decided to patrol in the Aegean supposedly to stop the coming of the migrants. This brings me to ask what do you think Greece should do about it if it could.
The first thing Greece has to do is to get rid of the Schengen Treaty and the Dublin Treaty in order to provide for the migrants and of course for the refugees coming from Syria. More than 60% of those coming from Syria, up to now, are refugees coming from the war. The first thing you have to do is to follow international law. And if you cannot afford to deal with the whole situation, if you have more than 1 million, a half a million refugees and migrants, call the United Nations agency to come in and provide financial help, provide for the infrastructure you need to provide for the refugees and migrants.
The first thing that you have to do is to get rid of the Dublin and the Schengen treaties, in order to follow international law. Let me give you an example: the same situation happened in Lebanon. Right now Lebanon is providing for more than 1,250,000 refugees. We’re talking about 25% of the Lebanon population. Who is talking about Lebanon? Nobody. Because Lebanon follows international law.
Since it is not a member of the European Union, Lebanon does not want to create a slave labor out of the refugees, and what they are doing is what international law provides in a similar situation. Draghi does not want that. The European Union also does not want that. They want to take the refugees and of course the migrants and provide their own labor markets with slave labor. And that’s the whole situation…
Let’s look at the things logically. The refugee coming from Syria or Iraq is going through the trouble. The first thing a law abiding state has to do is to provide him with all the papers the refugee needs, all the papers that say who a refugee is and who he is not.
Draghi does not do that. They subsidize the whole industry of providing slave labor to the EU through Greece. And of course, Greece as a state has to go to international bodies, like the International Maritime Organization and say: “look at Turkey, what are they doing? They are creating a situation in the Aegean. You have to take measures against that.”
Turkey is a member of the International Maritime Organization. The International Maritime Organization can decide that “we have a situation – a crisis – that is created by a member state, and we have to do something about it.” Now, Greece does not do that because it’s a member of the European Union. And the European Union decides what will happen to the Greek islands. And Greece is only a member of the whole thing. It is only to abide by the decisions made by Mr. Tusk, Mr. Juncker and Mr. Erdogan. That’s what we have right now. If we decide to provide the refugees the same type of asylum and infrastructure Lebanon provides it would be not a problem. Because you would give the refugee the same kind of international treatment as the international law provides and let him go wherever he likes. He wants to go to Germany – he may go to Germany.
And, we even could say that “Ok, we have refugees. From where? Syria. Who destroyed Syria? The United States. Ok, the United States must take 80% or 90% or 100% of the refugees from Syria.” You cannot destroy through war – a whole country – and then say “Oh, I have nothing to do with the refugee situation from that country.”
The same thing with Afghanistan and with Iraq. That’s the international law. If you remember back in Vietnam days when the southern Vietnam collapsed, what did the US do? They took more than a million Vietnamese refugees, I don’t remember for whatever reason, they took the Vietnamese refugees because they were involved in the Vietnam war. Now, what is going on in Syria? The same thing.
And I believe that the first countries that have to deal with the refugee problem are the United States and Russia. Because they are fighting on Syrian soil. And on top of that we need the Greek government, if we have a democratic government of course, to say, Ok, first and foremost, in order to deal with the refugee program, we need to stop the war in Syria. And of course, not only to stop the war, like they are doing right now, but establish law and order in Syria. And give back the situation to the lawful government – the Assad regime. Ok, I don’t believe in the Assad regime. But that’s the lawful government. And who is Mr. Obama or Mr. Putin or whoever to decide how many parts will be dissected, that Syria must be dissected, and for what reason…
Give back the national sovereignty to Syria. Take out the foreign armies and the mercenaries, everybody. And of course then you will see all the refugees, or most of the refugees, coming back to Syria. And let us provide investment infrastructure to Syria in order to rebuild Syria because they demolished the whole country. That’s how you deal with the refugee problem.
So I’m just trying to understand. This is a simple question. So the difference between Lebanon and Greece is that in the case of Lebanon, refugees are free to go elsewhere and in the case of Greece, the European Union…
They don’t have Hotspots. Of course, they do have infrastructure to provide for the refugees, with the help of the UN. But they are trying to deal with the problem in terms of the international law. With what international law provides for the refugee. A refugee is a sacred person. He’s escaping war or a regime. So you have to deal with him as a sacred person, to provide for him, and, of course, to give him the opportunity to go back to the country. He didn’t leave on his free will; he escaped from a situation. It’s not an opportunity for Germany or for France or for Poland or for the EU to have 2 million slave labor for their own labor market in order to bring down the wages and destroy the social infrastructure of the country so that the labor or the working class cannot fight against their own government or the European elite. A refugee is a sacred person. And you need to provide for him. And of course, do whatever you can, to stop the situation or to alter the situation that the refugee is escaping from. That’s our opinion.
How do you think the mechanism of the Hotspots will work in terms of slave labor?
It’s simple.In Greece, we already have a law passed back in 2012 that provides the ability for the government to take from the Hotspots whoever it is, either he’s an outlaw migrant or a refugee, and to provide labor supply in terms of whatever the government decides. For example, now we have a big situation with the farmers all over Greece. The government proposes to the farmers to give them free – without any charge – free slave labor from the Hotspots, and the government will subsidize the farmers for the slave labor of the migrants and the refugees working for them. That’s a way to buy out; it ‘s a way to buy the social consciousness of the farmers.
So why is the government subsidizing it, because it ends up being much cheaper?
Yes, of course. You’ll have cheap labor for yourself, and on top of that you’ll have all the income coming from the government, that normally will go for the refugees and the migrants – for the Hotspots – you’ll get the revenue as a farmer. And you’ll be provided with more income out of the slave labor you are using for every migrant or refugee you are occupying. It’s policy. It’s a policy proposition from the Greek government, the Left government for the farmers to keep them quiet and not to revolt against the memorandum policies. “I’ll provide for you slave labor, don’t worry. Go back to your farms.” That’s what the Left government is saying right now to the farmers.
But obviously for Greece to treat the refugees according to international law it would mean to leave the European Union first, but that’s impossible…
Yes. Because you have to get rid of Schengen Treaty and Dublin Treaty. The Dublin Treaty created a special situation in dealing with refugees and migrants for the EU. It created an international situation, because back then when they provided refugees with international law, back in the protocols in the 1950s, they thought of the refugee and the migrant situation as an international problem, not a European problem. An international problem. Now, the EU wanted to refurbish the whole situation as a European problem, which it isn’t.
That’s why they created the Dublin I and Dublin II treaties. For members of the EU to decide themselves what to do with refugees and migrants. Not according to international laws and protocols. No. But through their own private interests. That’s the privatization of an international problem.
Recently, as you obviously know, terrorists were found in Greece, trying to pass through. And what is very strange is how a caravan filled with AK47s and bullets managed to make its way, all the way, I think it was from Western Europe – Germany and Austria, all the way to Greece. Do you think there are flaws in the way the EU is managing its security?
Yeah, it’s a huge industry. And the banking system that supports this, the banking logistics – is based on the Greek bankers and the Cyprus banks. That’s why they are specially protected. No attorney, no justice system, can penetrate the banking system, and no one can say let’s see what is going on, who’s laundering money. Through what channels they are taking rights, or are there payoffs, things like that. We know that the Greek banking system and the Cypriot banking system, the systemic bank, they are first and foremost launderers of black money, coming from weapons, prostitution, and of course, migrants and refugees.
So the banks are complicit, in let’s call it, intentional lack of monitoring its security, allowing smuggling?
Exactly. That’s why they keep refinancing bankrupt institutions. Like the four systemic banks here in Greece that are bankrupt since 2009. And we know that. But they keep them afloat, although they are utterly bankrupt. We are under capital controls, as you know, from June 2015. Actually, we are under a banking moratorium. You cannot do free banking, or if you go to a bank and take the money out of your private account, you cannot do that here in Greece – since 27th of June if I remember correctly. They closed the banks from that point and on and they didn’t open them. And they are not going to open up the banks, only until they do a haircut to whatever they can to accounts, to whatever. So, they are totally bankrupt.
They are under – we are under – a banking moratorium or capital control as the Europeans call it, and on top of that we have to refinance and recapitalize the closed-down banks. That’s… as an economist I can say, that’s a historical phenomenon. You cannot do that. There is no other historical precedent… None. You cannot have a closed down banking system and refinance… Why do they do that? Because it’s the logistical basis of this huge laundering business. … for all Europeans. I’m talking about the cash flow coming from this, through Turkey, to the European banks.
The cash flow?
I’m talking about armaments, prostitution, and the commerce of human beings – refugees and migrants.
So I’ll just simplify so that people will understand. What you are saying is that there is the network of smuggling of prostitutions, of weapons, and also of drugs?
Of drugs also, it goes to Turkish banks, and from Turkish banks it gets laundered again…to the European Union.
Through Greece. They are going to the huge banks, Deutsche Bank and others banks in the Europe.
So they carry the money on their bodies?
Yes. They want a free market for this kind of business. And we are a free market for this kind of business. Because Mr. Tusk, Mr. Juncker and Mr. Erdogan decide what is going to happen. For example, I’ll give you an example you probably don’t know. What Mr. Erdogan said to Mr. Tusk and to Mr. Jucnker back in November. Probably it was Russian intelligence that took the conversation and gave it to the Greek newspaper. Probably Russian intelligence, I don’t know. But the newspaper printed a week ago a conversation between Mr. Tusk and Mr. Juncker with Mr. Erdogan, discussing the situation with the Greek islands, the refugee and the migrant problem. And Mr. Erodgan asked not 3 billion but 9 billion. And when Mr. Juncker said to him, “I cannot provide such funds for Turkey,” Mr. Erdogan said, “you saw the drowned body of the 4-year-old in the Greek island”? – “Yes.” “How about sending you 14,000 such bodies to Greek islands?” – That’s what Mr. Erdogan said to Mr. Juncker and Mr.Tusk. And when Mr. Juncker said: “What do you want? Are we dealing with like you are a prince”? And Mr. Erdogan said: “Yes, I am a Prince. I’m an Ottoman Prince.”
So, you see, we are under a political mafia. And no one, even in Turkey or in the EU, can deal with this Mafiosi because we don’t have democracy or even parliamentarism to provide the people with a voice, or to have some people who will deal with it. They negotiate in the dark rooms. What the people could say a few decades ago – it is something like Nazism. That’s why we say that we are facing not the European Union but a new European Reich. Full fledged.
So what does Erdogan do with the money he gets?
Mr. Erdogan wants to provide new funds to the industry we are talking about in Turkey. It’s official policy. And you can have illegal planning: take 100 refugees with your boat or whatever it is and bring them to the Greek islands. So you have the NGOs on the Greek islands. In my opinion, most of the NGOs working on the Greek islands are working for smugglers. Smuggling people.
Let me give you an example: more than 10,000 children coming out of the sea and identified by NGOs – “saved” by NGOs – they were lost afterwards. No trace. No trace at all. While going to the EU. About 10,000 children. Who is responsible for this? We’re talking about a massacre. Because, the children up to 14, 15 years old, are going to the European Union, for what? For prostitution and of course for illegal forms of human organs. 10,000 children. And that’s the situation the EU created in our armed forces with the support of our own government.
What do you think can be done about the fact that a lot of Greek people are simply apathetic and they don’t see the connection between the Euro and their own economic situation. The longer they wait, the worse it’s going to get. Because there are growing chances, the war in Syria is going to get much worse. If that happens, Greece, as a member of NATO will get involved in the war in Syria.
I know. And we are very very fearful right now about the rise of that possibility. Because NATO is in the Aegean not for the refugees or the migrants. They are here to confront Russia. Ok?
Russian forces in Syria?
Yes. We’re talking about a huge naval force from Russia coming from Crimea and the Baltics and for the first time after the 19th century the Aegean is closed off. They cannot get safe passage to Crimea. You can see what is going on?
But how will boats manage to block Russian forces?
Because the Aegean is now out of reach for the Greek government and nominally for the Turkish government. Who is going through the Aegean is up to NATO to decide, who is to have safe passage. NATO decides. Not Greece, not Turkey, not even international law. You can say that according to international law I can have safe passage… No! Because NATO is doing surveillance all over the Aegean and NATO decides who is going to pass. Because let’s say the Russian warships are working for refugees or for migrants, whatever. They can say whatever they like. Who is going to say otherwise? – Russia. Oh, so what. That’s what happened here in Greece.
Of course, we lost our sovereignty, and on top, we’re totally involved in the war creation process of NATO against Russia. And of course, that’s why the Russians, Mr. Putin, agreed on a set-back in Syria. Agreed on a ceasefire in Syria that provides for the mercenaries. Because the mercenaries were to use the ceasefire situation to refurbish their forces with new material and of course ammunition and, of course, men, coming especially from Turkey.
Then the talks in Geneva collapsed and then NATO decided to go to the Aegean…
The talks collapsed pretty much with the support of the US…
And now, Mr. John Kerry, can go to Lavrov and say to him: “Ok, you have two possible situations. Either your fleet is cut off from Crimea, and we’re talking about a huge fleet that’s with cruise missiles, the major ships of the Russian Crimea fleet. Either you lose your fleet, or we decide together to get rid the Assad Regime.”
And that’s right now what is happening. Of course, Russia tries to manipulate or whatever but what is happening right now in Syria is exactly that. Even with the declarations of Mr. Steinmeyer two days ago. What Mr. Steinmeyer, the secretary of the foreign policy of the German government said was that the only thing we need right now, is that Tehran and Moscow will persuade Mr. Assad lay down his arms. That’s the whole plan. To dissect Syria, into 3 or 4 zones. Similar to what they did in Tunisia, or Libya, or Iraq. Same situation. And after Syria, they will go on. They will go to Jordan, they will go to Iran, they will go to Turkey itself. And they will dissect again and again the whole Middle East region. And of course, us too… But we are easy to be dissected.
This leads me to a different question: The European elites must be aware of the social unrest here, so; how do you think they plan to continue?
I believe that by the end of 2017 – this is my own conclusion – we will not have Greek forces involved either in national defense or security. Inner security will be provided from NATO. Even the army of Greece will be demolished and only a few units will remain, just like in Bulgaria or Albania. And they are going to be totally submitted to NATO.
And right now, we have on the northern borders of Greece, Academi and Group 4 forces, provided with Frontex budgets, right now.
Sérres and Komotini. Greece and Macedonia – Greek Macedonia. And everybody knows that. The Greek army knows, the Greek police knows that. But it was decided by the Europeans.
But what are their purposes for being there exactly?
Officially to provide security service guarding the northern borders of Greece because Greece cannot provide such level of security. Let me give you an example of the whole situation, of how dire it is.
In the third memorandum, you will see that we have to provide less and less for our national defense. The state budget of 2016 provides 200 million, not billion, 200 million to the federal defense budget. In the 2015 budget, the national defense budget was 500 million. In one year’s time, the Europeans decided that the national budget must go down by 300 million. With only 200 million Euros, you cannot even pay the wages of the military personnel you employ as a state. On the budget of 2017, the memorandum says that the national budget will have to go down even further.
So in the future, we will see a situation whereamidst social unrest, Greeks will find themselves confronted by mercenaries, Academi?
Exactly. When you will have such a situation in Greece, I can guarantee you, the Greek people will take arms. It was done back in the 20th century a lot of times and it will be done again. Of course, we don’t want that, to go down that road. But we will travel this road, if we cannot do otherwise. We will fight for our country. Our forefathers fought for our country. We will fight even with arms, if we are against foreign troops, mercenaries or whomever. We will fight.
Of course I believe that in 2016 there will be a social resurrection here in Greece, one way or the other. I don’t know which way the social unrest will go. But we will have social unrest. If you walk on the streets Greece you will see a lot of people now, saying: “Ok, the situation is over our heads. I cannot afford any longer to stay silent. I have to do something.”
Ok, we have the farmers. We have the lawyers. We have the medical workers. All over Greece, the social rage is climbing. We will have a social unrest… and we will try, through EPAM of course, to make it a participation, to pave social unrest and to create a situation that can end up in a social revolution. Because the only way we can get rid of the whole regime is through a social and political revolution.
When we are talking about creating a social revolution we are not talking about – in the same way – like we’re expecting an attack on the Winter Palace like the Russians did back in 1917. No. We are talking about the organization of a huge part – a major part of the Greek population in my opinion – that will demand the demolition of the whole regime.
We will see that. And I believe that we will see that in 2016. I don’t believe that it will be before August. After we see the weather in Greece opening up, you will see that most of the major movements, the social movements here in Greece, they are coming out like when Spring is coming. When we have spring in terms of the weather, it’s the same thing with society. Something like a natural biological process in society. You have a spring in society. And you will have that in 2016.
Otherwise, I don’t know what we will face in 2017 and in 2018. Probably, we will have to fight through other means.
By the way, speaking of Iran, I read a report on this on one website that Albania received about 2,000 fighters of an Iranian opposition group.
Yeah, that’s true.
Well, let me give you a scenario. I don’t know if it will come out… but it’s a kind of scenario that happens in Greece especially on a military level, and of course, with the security forces.
They are expecting some kind of a UÇK situation on Macedonia or even closer to the Albanian border. A UÇK situation is like a thousand, two thousand mercenaries, coming and creating a situation. Like the UÇK did in Serbia, in Kosovo.
Yes, the KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army]. We call them the UÇK. Mercenaries. NATO mercenaries. It’s very easy nowadays. We don’t have the means to guard the borders of our country. By 2017, we will have foreigners guarding our borders. Especially mercenaries, Academi and Group 4. British multinationals and American multinationals – the corporation created out of Blackwater. They already have an agreement with the Frontex organization to provide security services.
So, it’s quite easy. Who is going to stop them? Nobody. Except of course the Greek people. And they have in their minds the same situation. They will create a monstrous regiment, leading the section of Macedonia, the mercenaries will probably invade, and come down to Athens. And when the Greek citizen sees refugees, Greek refugees, coming… they will be frightened so much, they will accept anything. That’s the NATO scenario.
Of course, our history is quite different. If the Greek sees a Greek citizen coming as a refugee from a foreign invasion, you will see what will happen. You will see the same thing that happened back in 1940. Barefoot, they went up to the Albanian mountains fighting against the Italian fascists. No guns. No political leadership. With the military dictatorship and fascist dictatorship here in Greece. And the Greek people went up there without even stopping. Because back then we had more casualties from the winter than from the Italian fascists. Because our forefathers had nothing. And they fought back then. Nobody believed back then…
Even Ciano who designed the Italian offensive in Greece said back then when a British diplomat asked him, “How sure you can be that through your offensive Greece will collapse in a few days”? And Ciano said, “We bribe the whole regime, the Metaxas regime.” It was a fascist regime. And what happened? Every Greek, even my grandfather, who walked with a limp, he was one leg short from birth, he went on foot from Kalamata to the Albanian border. We are talking about more than 1,000 KM. On foot. Without even a gun. He took a gun from a dead Italian fascist and fought down to the end. You will see the same thing happen again. They don’t know the Greek people.
Of course, it’s easy to say that if you take the Greek and close him in a dark room for days and then tell him “You know, don’t open the door because the light will blind you.” Well, probably most of the Greeks will decide not to open up the door. But when you squeeze him against the wall, he will decide, either to be a traitor or a hero. And most of them will decide to become heroes.
It’s easier for Greek, even if you see the history, to give up his life, rather than to give up his watches or his wallet or whatever. It’s easier for him, to decide to give up the life.
Why would NATO want to do such a thing? To prevent a social rest?
No, no. It wants to create a corridor in the Balkans.
Yeah. A corridor coming through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, and Albania. It’s a buffer zone to control the whole Balkans.
And then NATO will come in to restore order…
Exactly. And through that you’ll have gas pipes, or installations, whatever. It’s only for foreign forces to control the whole Balkans. And of course, through the Balkans you control Central Europe. You control Russia. If you’ll go back you’ll see the same thing as the Truman Doctrine in the new situation. What we had back then – the Truman Doctrine that took us into a civil war in Greece – it’s the same thing.
They will create this buffer zone, they will reduce Southern Greece, in order to provide for an installation of Israeli forces and NATO forces, in order to have a lever, a foothold for Israeli defense. Because they want Israel to be like it is right now. It’s a constable for the US imperialism in the Middle East. They need it. By destroying the whole Middle East you need to provide Israel with a backbone of defense – a buffer.
Let’s go back to 1967, when Israel started the Six Day War against Egypt. The US asked the military junta we had back then – created by NATO here in Greece, – to provide Crete for military installations for the Israeli air force against Egypt. Back then even the military junta thought of the political reactions here in Greece and they didn’t accept. Right now, the Left government signed an SOFA , a treaty, with Israel. And now Israel is creating a military airport, in Kastelli in Crete, and bigger military installation of radars in Crete. They are creating installations all over Crete. Crete is another, you know, unsinkable airbase, it’s like a…
An aircraft carrier.
An unsinkable aircraft carrier for NATO. And the Left government signed all of this, for NATO and Israel. We are the only state, besides the United States, to have SOFA treaty with Israel. Nobody else, nobody else. Only us and the United States.
That’s why NATO and US allies like Israel need it: from Larissa downwards to south of Greece, for military and geostrategic purposes. From Larissa upwards – that’s Macedonian Greece – it’s going to become a buffer zone to control the whole Balkan situation.
But that’s obviously not a long-term solution for them. It just means perpetual war and conflict.
Exactly. We have a perpetual war on the financial market. So as long as we have that kind of functional situation of the world economy, we have perpetual war. 100%.
And in my opinion, we have a third world war. It started in 2014. Why? Because it was the first year that 11% of the world population was involved in military action or worse. The first time since the Second World War. And from that point and on, you will see every year, 2015, 2016, more people coming in… That’s world war. And we will probably the surpass the second world war.
But on a different plan, we will have perpetual war all over the place. With Rogue states, civil wars, demolition wars, the destruction of nations and states, things like that. That’s the new form of the world war.
And that is inevitable because of the financial support of the major world powers.
They need states, nations and people to be liquid as capital.
Maybe you can talk about that a little bit…
It’s easy. If I am Mr. Buffet, I know we are not talking about Buffet but a financial elite… in order to create new situation of more profit for my own investment capital, I cannot deal with different states. And I have more then, nominally, we have more than 327 trillion dollars in terms of investment capital worldwide. Controlled by 40 banks… even less. 40 banks. 327 trillion… We have a GDP, a world GDP, from 75 to 77 trillion dollars. And they are only for investment. We’re not talking about derivatives or other aspects of the financial market. We’re talking about 327 trillion dollars. So in order to create opportunities for my capital to provide new, or even more profit, for my portal, we have to destroy and re-destroy the whole… I cannot provide more out of the normal economic cycle. We have to destroy and recreate the cycle itself. And there’s no way I can do that if we have normal states or people or national economies, things like that. We tried that through financial means. We saw that. And we saw how the whole market was destroyed back in 2007 up to 2008. After that, they recreated the whole market and right now they have even a worse situation then back in 2007. So, in order to subsist that kind of a situation in the financial market, we need an army, we need political means – the economy cannot provide any more. You will see that the big international corporations are avoiding from investing. They keep the money on the coffers, and they are using it re-buying equities in the financial market. Things like that. They cannot…
They buy what?
Equities, their own equities. You will see the world commerce going down. So the normal world economy cannot afford to go up on the same level as the financial market. And the difference between the level of the real economy and of the fictitious economy is even bigger than that. What covers the difference is the political means. Creating opportunities for the fictitious capital. That’s the only way. There’s no other way.
That’s why when the equities market went down back in 2014, the US decided that “Ok, forget all about lowering the defense budget. No. Forget all about it. Give more bills to the defense budget.” From 2014, you have the advancement of the defense budget in the US. The same in all over neighboring countries. You will see, new wars erupting all over the planet.
How will they happen in NATO countries? The migrants or…
All over. Germany, went from 4 to 5 billion – if I remember the data correctly from the first budget – right now on 2015, do you know how much was the defense budget of the Federal Republic of Germany? 162 billion euros. That’s huge. And for what? To re-create a world-class army. That’s why the US wanted to give the leadership of the maritime mission of the NATO mission in the Aegean to Germany. It’s the first time after World War II, after the Bonn Treaty of 1951, for the Germans to only participate but to take leadership of a military mission. It’s the first time. And of course, Germany is a world class economy. And they want to keep that kind of status in the world economy. They tried a military partnership with Russia back in 2010. But, of course, the US destroyed that. They tried, through the EU, to create the so-called European Army, the European military force. But it was destroyed by NATO. And now, they are going through NATO military force with the agreement of the US.
That’s why they decided about the Aegean, 4 days after the General Secretary of NATO said it is Ok for the US to quadruple the military installations and military personnel in Europe. Ok? That’s a huge change in the US policy of NATO. And of course, “to defend Europe against Russian aggression.” All these political changes and developments you will see on the background of the situation in the financial markets. And what we have now is that even the BRICS economies cannot provide for the world economy. After 2008, we had the collapse of the Lehman Brothers, the world economy, even the US and, of course, the banks, the economies of capitalism and imperialism, and they had a way out. Through BRICS they invested a lot… and now the BRICS are coming down, especially in China or even in India, Brazil, even in Russia they have big problems. Of course, they cannot do anything. China cannot do anything. Because these are totally dependent on a world scale demand. If you don’t have a world demand for your own economy to grow 8% every year or 10% every year, then you have to recreate your own economy on a basis of a local market. But in doing that, you have to provide your own citizens with more income. More labor rights. And more protection for social situations. Can China, the Chinese Communist Party or the Chinese Government do such a turn? No, I don’t believe that they can do it. Because it would be a fortune for the Chinese to get out of the economic model they had from the 1980s. They cannot do such a social political turn for their own economy. They will destroy the whole system, the political system in China. And if you do that, you will have a Chinese working class demanding more and more and more. And the capitalist world economy would lose the Chinese wage. So, the only way for the world system to go ahead is only through war. There is no other way. They cannot invest anymore. Only in a total destruction. Perpetual war.
But, obviously, that’s not a long-term solution. So we’re just going to see more and more wars throughout the EU?
Exactly. Or up to the point where you will have people’s revolutions – people who want to take back their own country and rebuild it. And in order to rebuild it they have to get rid of all the connections they have with the financial markets, the loan sharks, investment banks, or whatever. That’s the only solution. The alternative.
But any country which would do a revolution, of some kind of gain, any country which would reclaim its sovereignty… would find itself under attack, will find itself under debt, so…
Well, yes. But it’s difficult to find who will fight against sovereignty. It’s difficult for NATO or whomever to create a war situation against Greece because you don’t go up against people that are united and decisive enough to fight for their own country. That’s why they didn’t go against Iran. You will see them trying to use the difference between the government and the people, like they did in Syria. You have the regime, the Assad regime, which is not – you know – “people friendly” let’s say, and create a situation where you can demolish the social cohesion of the whole country. So if you have a social revolution or a popular revolution in Greece and the people are decisive enough to fight for the country, no NATO, no noone can go up against such a people. Or of course we will face an economic war. So what? We don’t want to be part of the financial market. We are not going out on the financial market for loans. We can do without loans. We are not in need of them. Greece is a small economy.
… Greece can be self-sustaining in terms of producing its own food.
Exactly. It’s easy. It’s easy for us to find the oil we need for our economy. Or the industrial profits, or the industrial technology we need. If we want to rebuild our own industries of textiles, we’ll go to Bangladesh, we won’t go to the US. In Bangladesh we can find whatever we like, in industrial technology, in the textile industry. And we will rebuild it.
But I’m not sure how… if you already made the case that NATO and the financial system, at the current crisis that we’re in, how it profits from and encourages and is causing more and more wars. By that same logic then, if we follow that logic, any place that would have a revolution, NATO would attack that place…
Yeah. They will try…
Maybe the people will fight back, as in the case if they would have invaded Iran. But they would still try…
They will try. They will try by going from the backdoor, you know. Not through the front door. Because by going from the front door you risk a revolution in your own country. And they don’t want that. They want to be legitimized in the people’s eyes, even in their own country. The people would have to say that the Greeks are wrong, and NATO is right. For what? Because the Greeks asked for the country back? And because they said no loans, no nothing, we don’t need anything from you?
“We’re going to work our country and prosper. That’s the only thing we are asking for… And of course, we want democracy.”
They need some kind of an excuse. They cannot go and destroy… For example, in Libya, they had the excuse of Gaddafi. In Syria, Assad. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein. In Iran, the Mullahs. In Greece, what? They are leaving the EU? They want to rebuild their own country with their own abilities? And to rely on whatever their own country can provide? It’s quite difficult. Of course, they can say whatever they like. But if we do a good job, if we provide for the people, which is what we are saying. If we create a new kind of a situation, a real democratic situation – not, you know, a sign of democracy – but a real democracy, it’s very very difficult, even for the CIA, to create a situation like this. Even to create a situation we see in Venezuela. They forgot that a revolution everywhere in the world, if you want a revolution, you have to trust the people, not the regime, whatever good it is, not the party, no. The people. The grassroots. And if you forget that, you will pay for that. And that’s what happened back in the Chavez era in Venezuela. Now they are paying for that. Create a grassroots democracy. Take to the people your own things. Give the people the ability to decide…
How are they paying for it in Venezuela?
Because they create a democratic regime, Ok. But they have an election system that provides for someone who takes 44% of the electorate to have 65% in the national assembly. Why? Of course, the Chavistas say this is all work of the reactionary forces. Ok. And now they are facing their own medicine. That’s why I’m talking about going to the people, giving them the ability to decide themselves. Through communes, through councils, through whatever you can find. Let the people’s imagination decide.
Since I was there and studied a little bit my impression of Venezuela is that… their mistake was that they didn’t follow the Cuban way. I’ll tell you what I mean. Basically, first of all, Maduro wasn’t strong enough about crime, there’s a lot of hoarding done by poor people…
And secondly, when you have elections every four years, and you have a socialist government running, you create a situation where you have populism. You just give free goods to the people and you don’t try to do anything that would be painful, like cracking down on crime. And then at some point, the more populist you become, the more they get tired of you, and then they throw you away.
The opposition had two major weapons against Maduro: inflation and crime. What can you do? First of all, socialize the money circulation process. They did not do that.
How do you do that?
You take the banks and destroy the private banking system. Destroy it. Through their own means, through money. Give money to the people, in terms of income or in terms of jobs.
They didn’t do that…
No. They let the private banking system create money through debt. That’s totally destructive. Even nowadays the Venezuelan government is indebted to Goldman Sachs. Are you crazy? What are you doing? And the other situation is exactly the corruption and the crime problems.
The crime situation: You can deal with it in two separate ways. One is the security forces problem. And they had the security forces problem. That’s why we had in 2002 and 2004 a situation of a coup d’état, through the security forces in Venezuela. So they didn’t solve that. They did a, you know, tried to solve it through the personality of Chavez. But that’s Ok; that’s one way to say “Kill my leader in order to leave me without a head and then deal with me easily.” The other way is to provide for the society itself to fight against crime, especially in barrios, and organize the society. We know that. Even from the US history of fighting crime back in the Roosevelt years. The society itself. Not the police, or the justice system. The society itself. Organize.
What would be the incentive? You had a situation in Venezuela where people could get a PhD, they could do a Master and instead they chose to join a gang. What would be the incentive for communities to crack down on crime…?
You provide good jobs for the people.
When you nationalize the…
Yes. And good income out of the good jobs. And more leisure time in order to get involved in the political situation. Provide more of a decision-making process for the people. For, let’s say, a convention in every neighborhood. Call the people from every neighborhood to decide what to do in the neighborhood. And whatever the people decide, it will be implemented. They will implement their own decision. Through that, they will fight to implement their own decision. They will be responsible for implementing their own decision. And through that you will fight gangs, you will fight everything. Most of the people who join gangs do that because they want a different type of an organization. And they find that through gangs. No. They can give them a different organization, and through that organization, they can decide and implement what they decide. They have the first and the last word in their own situation. In the social and political situation they are facing. And through that, who is going to join the opposition or to vote for multimillionaire that doesn’t care even for the people who are working for them. Nobody. Well, you know only the elite or a quasi-elite. How much? 5% of the population? 10% of the population? Whatever.
That’s the same conclusion you draw from the revolutionary process all over Europe from day one. Even if you go back to the great French revolution, or the Paris Commune’s revolution or whatever. You will see the same pattern. If you lose track of money, and if you lose track of grassroot democracy, you will lose permanently. That’s what happened even in the Russian revolution.
But in Cuba they are…
Well, yeah. But in Cuba, it’s a very different story. Because what they realized, even the American elite, realized by now is that the Cuban Revolution survived because of the encirclement of the American hegemony. Because the people, the patriotic people, the Cuban people, created a huge form against any foreign oppression or invasion. So even if the Cubans have any complex about the Castro regime or whatever, Ok, leave it aside, we’ll fight against any kind of foreign invasion and recreation of the Batista regime.
Now, the American polity, the political elite, acknowledge that by going through the back door. They tell to Raul Castro, “Ok. Let’s talk. Let us give you a little bit of money, a few dollars. Instead of having the Americans flying through Canada, Vancouver or Montreal and going to Cuba, Ok, let them go in easily.” They will do the same thing, or try – let’s hope that the Cubans, or the Cuban Party, draw the conclusions we are drawing right now. If they keep the bureaucracy, the party, the state bureaucracy in tact, they will lose the country. One way or another. Because when you have the bureaucracy, it’s easy for someone like the US to buy out their way into the country. No questions asked. We saw that back in the Soviet Union. In a few years’ time, you will see the same. The same one, in a few years’ time, I’m talking about 3 or 4 years, became the worse type of Capitalism in Russia. Party of state bureaucrats. The same thing with Cuba.
I don’t believe that Cuba has any other way out because it has to go through negotiations with the US. But it has to recreate the state apparatus. Give more freedom. Let go of the war-type organization of the society and the economy. Give more space for the people. Invest in the people’s opinion and give them more. Give them more. It’s the only way to defend the regime, of course, and the party – against the new invasion, the invasion of US “friendship” and the takeover of Cuba…
You can fight it easily, but you have to change your own mindset. You see. The type of Ernesto Che Guevara or Fidel Castro type with military clothes has passed… You cannot fight the imperialism, the new stage of imperialism, through these things. Of course, you have to keep up your military alert up to the most possible scenario… you can have a US invasion against you in matter of days. But through that, give more power to the people. Grassroots power, to decide their own decisions. Give them the space to make mistakes. So what?
Going back to Venezuela, some people suggested that if the pro-Chavista military will take over the country that could stabilize things more, they can bring back order…
I don’t know.
Because the way things are going now the opposition will take over the country.
I know, I know. And I see Maduro’s declarations. It’s a very very risky business. If the military decides to come in, you create a precedent that everyone can use. Even the opposition. And the opposition is far more advanced in these matters than you are, then a movement like the Chavistas or Maduro’s PSUV party. The opposition can do whatever they like. They have the backing of the US.
But there are generals who are different, who have good relations with Cuba, China, Russia, and Iran…
I know, I know. But what about a civil war?
That will happen anyway.
I believe that if they try that, they will have the possibility to create a situation of a civil war for decades. Like in Colombia. You see, a civil war since the 1960s. It’s very difficult, a situation like this.
Either way, if the opposition takes over the Chavistas will do a civil war…
I don’t believe it’s an easy way out right now. What they had to do- they didn’t do, years back. Now, it’s very difficult to choose. Whatever you chose, you’ll have cons and…
But in this kind of a situation you have to make an imperfect decision.
…And I think the military can make the situation better for everyone.
If you have the military, and at the same time you will have a popular movement, and the popular movement will try to recreate from the bottom-up the whole situation- that’s a good thing. Of course, it’s a risky business, but that’s a good thing. But in order to do that, you cannot stop at anything. If you use a knife, use it well, without any hesitation. I’m talking in a matter of time, and I’m for it, Ok. If you have to use it, use it. You don’t mess around, use it. If you decide that the whole situation is up to cutting some throats, cut them. No questions asked. Cut them. In a few day’s time, in order to pacify the whole situation. If you prolong it, you create more strife. And that’s my opinion. If you decide that the only way out is using the military, do it. And do it in 24 hours, get rid of them all. And then find a way to legitimize. Are they traitors? Ok, they are traitors. Hang them. And let history judge.
From that time on, you will work to put the people in front of the whole situation. And from that point on you will recreate the whole regime, from the bottom-up. A grassroots democracy. And through that everybody, at the end, will say, Ok, it was a situation. And of course, go out to the people and take the blame yourself. You will say that “Ok, it was my fault, as a movement, that we came to that point. We made certain mistakes. We are not going to do that anymore. We will fight for our country because we are facing an invasion, it is a new type of invasion than Syria, but we will fight,” if you decide to use the military. And tell to the people: “Ok, we made the situation worse but we will rectify, with you. And from that point and on, you [the people] will decide, and we will follow.” That’s the only way, if you come to this. And that’s what we said about Greece. If we come to this situation where we have to use weapons or arms to deal with the enemy, we will do that. No hesitation. No way around it. No. We will do that. And we will do that with the most resourceful and efficient way we can do that. In order to resolve the whole situation in the smallest possible time. No prolonging, no nothing. We will fight. We will get rid of them. And then our recreate our own country, we will build a true democracy. And that’s what back in the 40s, the national revolution movement against the Nazi occupation did. Up in the mountains. From day one, they created a democracy for the people. It was very good. But they did the same mistake again. They didn’t trust the people, the grassroots people. And on a specific… the leadership was not adequate to deal with the political situation and accepted the presence of the British military in the country and that was the start of the civil war.
Their mistake was that they didn’t believe in the people. They fought for the people, but they didn’t believe…
The people need to be educated for you to really believe in them…
No. I believe that the people, when they start to fight, they learn from their own experience. Let’s see, you can see the Egypt situation. When the people without a political leadership or a political program, learn how to deal with the government, and how to dethrone a government or a regime – the Mubarak regime – it’s something that, you know, it’s written on the genes, on the people’s genes. They know the way. If they get rid of the fear of dealing with the regime or the government, then it’s easy, to topple one government, and then topple another government. Of course, when you have a political program it is easy to topple a government and create a new political situation. That’s the deficiency of the Egypt situation right now. But the people know how to deal with them…
But that’s only possible when the people reclaim their rights.
Exactly. You cannot have a successful revolution or social insurrection without a political program, a very specific political program. Ok, we don’t want them. We have to know what we want. What will succeed after the toppling of the government or the regime.
That’s where we are trying to organize, and we are trying to educate the people politically. You know, we need democracy. But what kind of democracy? We don’t need any type of democracy; we need grassroots democracy. We need the people to decide, not only every four years but every time any serious situation involving the people comes. To involve the citizens. To create a situation that even one citizen can make a difference.
Why in the world would Merkel want to accept millions of migrants to Germany after she said in the past that multiculturalism failed?
The main problem of the German economy is the export of capital. The net investment position of the German economy is about 26% of the German GDP. It’s a huge provider of capital for the national market. 26%, out of 20% before the EU. So the main strength of the German economy is to keep exporting capital. It’s a more typically imperialist economy compared to the US. Like an old European imperialist economy. Where I need to export capital in order to provide for the financial and economic elite.
In order to do that, it has to squeeze down all the labor costs and the social costs.
Ok, they did that for 20 years. Now they are facing a social situation. They cannot squeeze now, even more, the German labor or the German working class. They need some external force. The Germans know. The Germans know from the 60s. In order to create a German miracle back then they wanted millions of immigrants. That’s the same thing right now. But the difference is back then, it was a different world situation and European situation. A different capitalism, let’s say. They tried, most of them, especially the German trade unions, they tried to take most of the immigrant people, to take them and create a new kind of a German citizen. Now there is no more of that. “We need, immigrants for the specific time of staying in Germany.” “We need – the German oligarchy needs – a few hundred thousand or 1 million immigrants only for a specific time now. We need to get rid of them as soon as they start asking for rights.”
And how will they do that?
Easy. They take them back to Greece. Easy.
It will create a civil war. You can just do that easily…
So what. They did that.
So there could be a civil war in Germany?
Yes. Because the Germans now – the German worker or the German middle class will lose everything. And that’s why you see Nazi parties in Germany coming up, especially in Bavaria. All over Germany you see people, political factions, that they say that they are not Nazis but Ok, over the political rhetoric you will see that Nazism is coming up again in Germany. Based on the social situation created by that policy.
But not everyone who opposes migration in Germany is a Nazi. They have a right, would you say they have a right to oppose migration?
Yeah, of course. I do. The difference between the Nazis, is the same thing like in the middle war years. The Nazis weren’t against migration. They were for migration, of course using them as slave labor. During the Nazi regime there were 7.5 million migrants working in Germany as slaves. There were more migrants than at any other time in German history. So, they were not against migration; they were for.
Of course, you had… it was like Marx said. The capitalists are for migration using them in order to bribe their own working class. The same thing happened with the Nazis. They were using slave labor in order to bribe the German working class to accept the Nazi regime. Bribing them or through the army or providing more for the Germans against the slave labor force from Eastern Europe or from all over Europe. They were working for jobs the German working man didn’t want; the jobs were not respectful enough. They were working for less than trash, Ok? And of course, all during the war, the German soldier coming from the working class, had the ability to loot the whole Europe to provide for the family. And that’s how, more or less, it was a blind eye, even for the German working class, a blind eye for what the Nazis did all over Europe, and of course, the death camps and things like that. It’s something you know; it was a bribe. Of course, it was quite different under a totalitarian regime. But it was exactly the utmost scale of what the British imperialists did with the British working class using the slave labor of the Irish back in the 19th century. That’s why Engels and Marx said you have to get rid of the bulk of the Irish, in order for the British working class to become revolutionary. And first and foremost, you have to give national sovereignty for the Irish in order for them to stay in their own country and not to come into Britain. It’s the same thing.
What I found interesting is as you said, just as there is a farmers protest here and entire farms are being taken over by corporations and Monsanto’s power grows more and more, we’re seeing the same crisis in the US. Because the government is taking – from what I learned – the government is taking land from private farmers and ranchers, to create a national park, and then they sell off the area to private corporations, even areas with uranium. So what happened now in Oregon, is that a lot of farmers and ranchers, white farmers and ranchers, came out to protest against the government. But the interesting thing is, that the American Left who you would think would be the first ones to join – didn’t join. So what is your opinion about that?
Well, in my opinion, most of the Left, even in Europe and the United States, lost the ability to know or to acknowledge the real problems. In order to provide a revolutionary movement, let’s say. If we consider the Left to be a revolutionary force, you have to know the grassroots’ problem. You are fighting for the working class, that in order become a dominant class, it has to be a dominant class for the nation. That is what the Communist Manifesto said back in 1845. Marx said that the working class doesn’t have countries. But at the same time he said that since the working class has to gain power, it must become the dominant class of the nation. A nation is not something you sign off at the doorsteps of the country or on the constitution. Nation is something that comes from the bottom-up that creates a society. A place where someone can fight for rights, for the rights to self-government. If you lose sight of that, it’s easy to cross sides and to become part of the dominant class and adopt the ideology of imperialism. See how easy it is nowadays internationally to become mixed up with cosmopolitanism – the ideology of imperialism. “You don’t need nations.” Even in our own country, we have Left forces, saying that because of the migrants and the refugee crisis, “Let’s get rid of the national borders.” Ok. NATO did that for us. That’s what NATO did. So, the extreme left, let’s say, the most radical left, by saying “Let’s get rid of the national borders,” invited actually NATO to do that. That’s why I went out and said that “Ok, the radicals of Left saying that are only agents of NATO imperialism.” It’s the same thing. We’re fighting for the people first and foremost, for everyone who has the right to own a land in the country, as a farmer or as a citizen, to have his own traditions, beliefs, even a religion. I don’t believe in any religion but I will fight to death for my people to have their right to have their own religion. That’s what Ernesto Che Guevara said about the theology of liberation in Latin America. He was not a religious man. But he fought and said that a revolutionary or liberation theology was part of parcel of national liberation movements in Latin America. You can see that even in Greece.
For the people in order to become free, first and foremost they have to have national self-determination. National sovereignty. To become a nation. To become a nation is where the last of the last of the citizens has the right to create the state that the citizen lives in. That’s what nations is all about. And on top of that he has the ability, has the right, to create his own tradition, it’s own art, civilization. We don’t have to earn a civilization. We have it. Human civilization, created from different cultures, different historical types of civilization. Every type of civilization, of people’s civilization, has the right, to become the dominant civilization in its own country. And by dominant civilization, I don’t mean “get rid of the minority.” No. Every citizen has the right. In order to do that we have to have national sovereignty. I believe in the Greek tradition. I’m proud of the Greek tradition. Because I know the Greeks that have fought for, the Greeks that came out of the revolution or war of independence, like the US historical textbook I am talking about, and the major slogan from the period was “Freedom or Death.” We were the first people who said “Freedom or Death.” Not “Patria O Muerte” [Homeland or Death] like the Latin Americans. We said that also. But we said “Freedom or Death.” We were fighting not only against Ottomans but against all the empires of Europe, the holy alliance. And I am proud of that tradition. And I have the right to keep to that tradition. And to keep calling myself “I am a Greek.” And since I am a Greek I have a huge tradition looking back. And since I am a Greek, I am living in Greece, I have to fight for democracy. Because it’s my tradition. It’s not only a political demand, it’s my tradition. It was here that the first fight for democracy, real democracy, took place, going back to the classical time. So it is my tradition.
It’s only a world tradition. It’s my tradition, first and foremost. And that’s why they are fighting against Greece. They want to destroy the Greeks. That’s why they slander Greeks. That they are nowadays Jews for Europe. What the Nazis said about the Jews back in the middle war years, they are saying now about the Greeks. Why? Because they want to destroy the classical tradition of Greece. And the classical tradition of Greece was about democracy. Was about how to provide for the people. Demos we called that. The power of Demos, the power of the people. And they recreate the whole classical tradition, through their own imperialist aims.
They say in Berlin, in Paris, in London, and even in Washington, that they are the continuers of the classical tradition. No, the continuers are us. That’s why I see a civilizational collusion. Different civilizations. And I’m not talking about high from bullshit. I’m talking about real civilizations. Our civilization, even through our religion, it’s not mine but most of the Greeks, we’re talking about free will. The Greek Orthodox Church is based on free will. It’s not like Catholicism or Protestantism. We believe in free will. Because even Christianity had to adopt to the classical Greek tradition. And that’s why in the Greek Orthodox Church you will see even the most religious person talking about free will. The free will of the human.
For us, we are fighting for human freedom. And we are facing the Protestant tradition in terms of economics and politics that says first and foremost it’s submission. No. For us, it’s free will. It’s freedom. Freedom to do whatever we like in terms of the person inside a society. That’s the difference between the Greek culture. Even now the European elite call us stubborn, we don’t cooperate with what they say. Their vision of cooperation is the submission of the person to the totality. A totalitarian view of cooperation. No. We say that we can be different. Quite different. For a different road. But we can fight together. That’s how the Greek city-states back in the fourth century BC fought against the Persians. They were fighting each other before, but in the critical moment, the Athenians decided to leave their own city-state in order to go to Salamis to fight effectively against the Persians. And of course, they were fighting for freedom and democracy against Eastern despotism. That’s the whole meaning. And it’s even today. We are very different. We can fight easily each other. Easily. You can see it even in our own close relations. But at the critical moment, we will find a way to unite and fight the common enemy.
And that’s the difficult part also. We’re not soldiers, like the Germans. Following the leader, the Führer. No. We are quite different. You see, our national hero, one our national heroes is Kolokotronis. Kolokotronis is like, I can translate it in English, Kolos is in us, and kotrona is a stone. It means “us, as a stone.” Kolokotronis.
No. Actually, he had a forefather that could jump easily more than 10 meters from a stationary position. And the Albanians, the Turkish Albanians back then said – he was admired by the Albanians, you know, back then, they were very renowned fighters. And the Albanians called him Kolokotronis, he has an “us” out of a stone in order to jump out of a stationary position ten meters away. That’s why he was called Kolokotronis. Kolokotronis said “it’s easy.” He fought for Napoleon and for the English as a mercenary back in the early 19th century. When he was the leader, one of the military leaders of the Greek revolution, he said “It’s easy to lead a European army. It’s easy. You are the general, you have a staff, you deploy your plan, and then you give the orders to your staff, and the commanders and the staff decide what to do next. It’s very difficult to lead a Greek army. Because a Greek army, you have to go out and say good things about someone, say bad things about the other, give presents to the other, and things like that. It’s very difficult. No European can lead a Greek army.” It’s the Greek society, it’s the Greek flavor, it’s the Greek culture. But that’s what we are. That’s our Greek temperament. That what differentiates us from all over Europe and the Balkans. And that’s what we want to keep. If we go back to the 16th century, the 17th century, if you read the Europeans that came here as travelers, you will see the same thing. When they were coming to Ottoman Greece, they were expected to see philosophers discussing philosophy matters and things like that. Instead they met poor people subjected to a very despotic regime, the southern regime. But they liked the term “freedom.” That’s why all over the place, you’ll see easily, you’ll find the names Elefteris and Eleftheria. Elefteris is a very common name, Elefteris means “free,” “freedom.” Eleftheria means “Freedom” in Greek. And you’ll see that all over even in the 16th century. English, Germans, French travelers came here, to Ottoman Greece, from all over the place and heard everywhere people saying to each other “Yasu Elefteris” [Hi Eleftheria]. Elefteris is the Greek name for freedom, or Elefteria – the female name. It’s something, you know, you have to… It goes back centuries. And, we are proud of it, we are not going to get rid of it, and we don’t want to get rid of it, to become a German type of society. And that’s why the human center of civilization started from here, something to do with the climate, and of course, as Hippocrates said back then, “The Greeks are much better fighters than Asians because they are not under a despotic regime.”
It’s the same thing right now. Of course we are trying to keep up because we don’t have a political situation that is free and democratic but it’s inside every Greek. And you want something like that. They didn’t have… We try to fight, our people fought for that kind… it’s easy for the Greeks when they start fighting to find a way to create a democratic situation. It’s easy for us. We did that back in the war. And if you remember the partisans were fighting up in the mountains. And in the villages are the most socially backward socieities, but in these villages a new kind of democracy was created. And it was easy for the most backward village to adapt that type of democracy, a new type. The villagers created their own judges, they created their own political system and they decided themselves what to do. Under an occupation. Even the intelligence secret agents that fought in Greece, who were of course against the Partisans…
Yes. Mr. Woodhouse. Even he said, in his own book, afterwards, that in a period of three years of fighting over the mountains, the Greeks managed to civilize the most uncivilized place, the mountains in Central Greece, because you know it’s something with the Greek people. It’s the same thing. The difficult thing for us to start, but after that it’s easy. It’s our tradition. It will come up. We will find our way to create the most fantastic and admirable democracy. The only problem is to convince people you have to get rid of the whole regime, not only a party or a government. Otherwise, you will lose and die.
Thank you very much. Efhartiso poly.
Big graffiti on wall in Athens
I must inform everyone who still believe the European news media’s version of what happens in Greece, and what they report about Greece and the referendum, that a huge “yes”-propaganda machinery has been unleashed from all those who with their “courts” have brought the country to this position. Of course with huge foreign support and help, since at least WWII.
EPAM’s general secretary the economist Dimitris Kazakis says:
“The YES-side is struggling to hide that YES means confiscation of deposits, salary, pension, private and public property of Greek citizens, as required by the lenders. YES means the release of layoffs without compensation, permanency of the interests of the employer, unemployment and temporary short-term work for the vast majority of Greeks. It means the continuance and increase of misery, soup kitchens, suicides and deaths because of lack of the basic necessities. All this that the lenders call bailout.
And the government? What is the government doing? At the same time that they are closing the banks, leaving them at the mercy of the deliberately caused panic among the pensioners and the private sector, in the Government Gazette, Sheet no. 1295, June 30, 2015, the government gives new guarantees in public to the Eurobank, so that this particular bank can sell its own bonds of around 1.91 billion euros, and to the Greek National Bank for 4.26 billion euros.
The government supports bankrupt banks and guarantees that the Greek taxpayer will pay their debts if these banks cannot. But when it comes to protect the people’s savings, wages and pensions, they hold up their hands. It closes banks, puts a ceiling on withdrawals and paves the way for “haircut” savings from the first euro.
At the same time, and while having announced a referendum, Mr. Tsipras submit an ostensibly own proposal based on which the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will redeem the IMF. In other words, it suggests that the Greek should be further burdened with the IMF debt with ESM money and with at least twice the rate.
And the worst, he proposes to put the whole country under the ESM, which operates as a super state with complete immunity and privileges capitulations. This will move away from the IMF, which is unable to declare Greece bankrupt the and thus surrender completely to the ESM. To a super state that has the ability to sell, dismantle, cut and maim entire Greece.
Even though he wants to hide it Mr. Tsipras can not. He is with the YES even if he in public says NO. As does the leadership of Perissos (head quarters of the communist-party) that very much would like to say yes, but for show throws in an invalid vote. The referendum has already clarified the cloudy landscape. Every crook goes back to his own counter and shows his true colors.”
The yes-side, everyone should know, are those who have become used to not work for their income, but want to keep a position in the corrupt system and the subservient Greece of the cartels and the European banksters. They exist in the top of all the established parties in Greece and in all top channels in Greece and all of them are dependent on money from the different private and political interests, domestic as foreign. It’s all those who want to keep Greece a plutocracy and an oligarchy in dependence and in the lap of the foreign vultures. And I am not talking about serious investors who have long-term interests in Greece and in accordance with the Greek people’s interests, but the vultures that roam from country to country waiting for national collapses and is pushing for such things to happen and who lives on blood money and crimes against humanity… These are the ones that EU generally mean when they talk about “investors” and those are the ones that the Eurogroup doesn’t want to disappoint.
Anyone who are advocating a “yes” in this referendum wants to put Greece in a final colonial status to Brussels and Berlin and the Greek people to become debt-serfs in their own country…
Since the images of fighting pensionaries’ stomping on eachother or chaos and havoc in ATM queues that the photographers wanted didn’t actually occur to extent that they expected, they simply arranged them or in some cases I even saw images from other parts of the world broadcasted by European media as if they were from Athens… Even a number of buses from Sofia was chartered by ND-members and filled with Bulgarians, who for 100 Euro per head acted as “yes-supporters” on Syntagma on the YES-rally. Friends tried to talk with some people and they talked some Slavic language they told me and many others discovered the same… The current European propaganda machinery is not only spreading a ridiculous kind of black “journalism” but it also is a great humiliation to the intelligence and the common sense of the European citizen. Well apart from a few remote and intellectually dark corners of Europe.
In Sweden where I happen to be at the moment, unfortunately as always almost everyone are more or less very supportive of EU’s “defend-the-criminals-and-blame-the-victims” policy, the austerity-policies and they are completely influenced by the European Brussels directed media, so they listen to and trust every imaginable crap that comes out of every media-parrot’s beak in TV. The alleged critical voices in main stream media are ludicrous and on a level that not even kids in first class would believe in Greece, Spain and Portugal. In Sweden those voices are the absolute limit for what they can handle.
But forget about the Swedes. The Europeans that are actually able to critically follow the current events are not that stupid or that well conditioned, so at this time in history the masks are falling and everyone will show their right faces and their right intents and I have quite solid reason to believe that the nations and the people in Europe with a spine will stand up and do their historic duty. The Swedes will read about it and get the point in the history books in 60 or 70 years.
12.06.2014 :: Analysis
Introduction: The principle Nazi ideological prop that secured massive financial and political support from Germany’s leading industrialists was the Communist and Soviet threat. The main Nazi military drive, absorbing two-thirds of its best troops, was directed eastward at conquering and destroying Russia.
The ‘Russian Threat’ justified Nazi Germany’s conquest and occupation of the Ukraine, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, with the aid of a substantial proportion of local Nazi collaborators.
After Germany’s defeat , division and disarmament, and with the extension of Soviet power, the US reinstated the Nazi industrial and banking giants, officials and intelligence operatives.At first they were engaged in rebuilding their domestic economy and consolidating political power, in collaboration with the US military occupation forces.
By the late 1960’s Germany regained economic primacy in Europe and was at the forefront of European ‘integration’, in association with France and England. It soon came to dominate the principle decision – making institutions of the European Union(EU). The EU served as Germany’s instrument for conquest by stealth. Year by year, through ‘aid’ and low interest loans,the EU facilitated German capitalist’s market penetration and financial expansion,through out south and central Europe. Germany set the agenda for Western Europe, gaining economic dominance while benefiting from US subversion and encirclement of Eastern Europe, Russia and the Baltic and Balkan states.
Germany’s Great Leap Forward: The Annexation of East Germany and the Demise of the USSR
Germany’s projection of power on a world scale would never have occurred if it had not annexed East Germany. Despite the West German claims of beneficence and ‘aid’ to the East, the Bonn regime secured several million skilled engineers, workers and technicians, the takeover of factories, productive farms and, most important, the Eastern European and Russian markets for industrial goods, worth billions of dollars. Germany was transformed from an emerging influential EU partner, into the most dynamic expansionist power in Europe, especially in the former Warsaw Pact economies.
The annexation of East Germany and the overthrow of the Communist governments in the East allowed German capitalists to dominate markets in the former Eastern bloc .As the major trading partner, it seized control of major industrial enterprises via corrupt privatizations decreed by the newly installed pro-capitalist client regimes. As the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgarian, the Baltic States “privatized” and “de-nationalized” strategic economic, trade, media and social service sectors, ‘unified’ Germany was able to resume a privileged place. As Russia fell into the hands of gangsters, emerging oligarchs and political proxies of western capitalists, its entire industrial infrastructure was decimated and Russia was converted into a giant raw-material export region.
Germany converted its trade relations with Russia from one between equals into a ‘colonial’ pattern: Germany exported high value industrial products and imported gas, oil and raw materials from Russia.
German power expanded exponentially, with the annexation of the “other Germany”, the restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe and the ascendancy of client regimes eager and willing to submit to a German dominated European Union and a US directed NATO military command.
German political-economic expansion via ‘popular uprisings’, controlled by local political clients, was soon accompanied by a US led military offensive – sparked by separatist movements. Germany intervened in Yugoslavia, aiding and abetting separatists in Slovenia and Croatia .It backed the US-NATO bombing of Serbia and supported the far-right, self-styled Kosovo Liberation Army ( KLA),engaged in a terrorist war in Kosovo . Belgrade was defeated and regime change led to a neo-liberal client state. The US built the largest military base in Europe in Kosovo. Montenegro and Macedonia became EU satellites.
While NATO expanded and enhanced the US military presence up to Russia’s borders, Germany became the continent’s pre-eminent economic power.
Germany and the New World Order
While President Bush and Clinton were heralding a “new world order”, based on unipolar military supremacy, Germany advanced its new imperial order by exercising its political and economic levers. Each of the two power centers, Germany and the US, shared the common quest of rapidly incorporating the new capitalist regimes into their regional organizations –the European Union (EU) and NATO– and extending their reach globally. Given the reactionaryorigins and trajectory into vassalage of the Eastern, Baltic and Balkan regimes, and given their political fears of a popular reaction to the loss of employment, welfare and independence resulting from their implementation of savage neoliberal “shock policies”, the client rulers immediately “applied” for membership as subordinate members of the EU and NATO, trading sovereignty, markets and national ownership of the means of production for economic handouts and the ‘free’ movement of labor, an escape valve for the millions of newly unemployed workers. German and English capital got millions of skilled immigrant workers at below labor market wages, and unimpeded access to markets and resources. The US secured NATO military bases, and recruited military forces for its Middle East and South Asian imperial wars.
US-German military and economic dominance in Europe was premised on retaining Russia as a weak quasi vassal state, and on the continued economic growth of their economies beyond the initial pillage of the ex-communist economies.
For the US, uncontested military supremacy throughout Europe was the springboard for near-time imperial expansion in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and Latin America. NATO was ‘internationalized’ into an offensive global military alliance: first in Somalia, Afghanistan then Iraq, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine.
The Rise of Russia, The Islamic Resistance and the New Cold War
During the ‘decade of infamy’ (1991-2000) extreme privatization measures by the client rulers in Russia on behalf of EU and US investors and gangster oligarchs, added up to vast pillage of the entire economy, public treasury and national patrimony. The image and reality of a giant prostrate vassal state unable to pursue an independent foreign policy, and incapable of providing the minimum semblance of a modern functioning economy and maintaining the rule of law, became the defining view of Russia by the EU and the USA. Post-communist Russia, a failed state by any measure, was dubbed a “liberal democracy” by every western capitalist politician and so it was repeated by all their mass media acolytes.
The fortuitous rise of Vladimir Putin and the gradual replacement of some of the most egregious ‘sell-out’ neo-liberal officials, and most important, the reconstruction of the Russian state with a proper budget and functioning national institutions, was immediately perceived as a threat to US military supremacy and German economic expansion. Russia’s transition from Western vassalage to regaining its status as a sovereign independent state set in motion, an aggressive counter-offensive by the US-EU. They financed a neo-liberal-oligarchy backed political opposition in an attempt to restore Russia to vassalage via street demonstrations and elections .Their efforts to oust Putin and re-establish Western vassal state failed. What worked in 19991 with Yeltsin’s power grab against Gorbachev was ineffective against Putin. The vast majority of Russians did not want a return to the decade of infamy.
In the beginning of the new century, Putin and his team set new ground-rules, in which oligarchs could retain their illicit wealth and conglomerates, providing they didn’t use their economic levers to seize state power. Secondly, Putin revived and restored the scientific technical, military, industrial and cultural institutions and centralized trade and investment decisions within a wide circle of public and private decision makers not beholden to Western policymakers. Thirdly, he began to assess and rectify the breakdown of Russian security agencies particularly with regard to the threats emanating from Western sponsored ‘separatist’ movements in the Caucuses, especially, in Chechnya, and the onset of US backed ‘color revolutions’ in the Ukraine and Georgia.
At first, Putin optimistically assumed that, Russia being a capitalist state, and without any competing ideology, the normalization and stabilization of the Russian state would bewelcomed by the US and the EU. He even envisioned that they would accept Russia as an economic, political, and even NATO partner. Putin even made overtures to join and co-operate with NATO and the EU. The West did not try to dissuade Putin of his illusions .In fact they encouraged him, even as they escalated their backing for Putin’s internal opposition and prepared a series of imperial wars and sanctions in the Middle East, targeting traditional Russian allies in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
As the ‘internal’ subversive strategy failed to dislodge President Putin, and the Russian state prevailed over the neo-vassals, the demonization of Putin became constant and shrill. The West moved decisively to an ‘outsider strategy’, to isolate, encircle and undermine the Russian state by undermining allies, and trading partners
US and Germany Confront Russia: Manufacturing the “Russian Threat”
Russia was enticed to support US and NATO wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya in exchange for the promise of deeper integration into Western markets. The US and EU accepted Russian co-operation, including military supply routes and bases, for their invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The NATO powers secured Russian support of sanctions against Iran. They exploited Russia’s naïve support of a “no fly zone” over Libya to launch a full scale aerial war. The US financed so-called “color revolutions” in Georgia and the Ukraine overt, a dress rehearsal for the putsch in 2014 Each violent seizure of power allowed NATO to impose anti-Russian rulers eager and willing to serve as vassal states to Germany and the US.
Germany spearheaded the European imperial advance in the Balkans and Moldavia, countries with strong economic ties to Russia. High German officials “visited” the Balkans to bolster their ties with vassal regimes in Slovenia, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Croatia. Under German direction, the European Union ordered the vassal Bulgarian regime of Boyko “the booby” Borisov to block the passage of Russian owned South Stream pipeline to Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and beyond. The Bulgarian state lost $400 million in annual revenue . . . Germany and the US bankrolled pro-NATO and EU client politicians in Moldavia – securing the election of Iurie Leanca as Prime Minister. As a result of Leanca’s slavish pursuit of EU vassalage, Moldavia lost $150 million in exports to Russia. Leanca’s pro-EU policies go counter to the views of most Moldavians – 57% see Russia as the country’s most important economic partner. Nearly 40% of the Moldavian working age population works in Russia and 25% of the Moldavians’ $8 billion GDP is accounted for by overseas remittances.
German and the US empire-builders steamroll over dissenting voices in Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia, as well as Moldova and Bulgaria, who’s economy and population suffer from the impositions of the blockade of the Russian gas and oil pipeline. But Germany’s, all out economic warfare against Russia takes precedent over the interests of its vassal states: its theirs to sacrifice for the ‘Greater Good’ of the emerging German economic empire and the US – NATO military encirclement of Russia. The extremely crude dictates of German imperial interests articulated through the EU, and the willingness of Balkan and Baltic regimes to sacrifice fundamental economic interests, are the best indicators of the emerging German empire in Europe.
Parallel to Germany’s rabid anti-Russian economic campaign, the US via NATO is engaged in a vast military build-up along the length and breadth of Russia’s frontier. The US stooge, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg, boasts that over the current year, NATO has increased 5-fold the warplanes and bombers patrolling Russian maritime and land frontiers, carried out military exercises every two days and vastly increased the number of war ships in the Baltic and Black Sea.
What is absolutely clear is that the US and Germany want to return Russia to the vassalage status of the 1990’s. They do not want ‘normal relations’. From the moment Putin moved to restore the Russian state and economy, the Western powers have engaged in a series of political and military interventions, eliminating Russian allies, trading partners and independent states.
The emergent of extremist, visceral anti-Russian regimes in Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania served as the forward shield for NATO advancement and German economic encroachment. Hitler’s ‘dream’ of realizing the conquest of the East via unilateral military conquest has now under Prime Minister Merkel taken the form of conquest by stealth in Northern and Central Europe , by economic blackmail in the Balkans ,and by violent putsches in the Ukraine and Georgia.
The German economic ruling class is divided between the dominant pro-US sector that is willing to sacrifice lucrative trade with Russia today in hopes of dominating and pillaging the entire economy in a post-Putin Russia (dominated by ‘reborn Yeltsin clones’); and a minority industrial sector, which wants to end sanctions and return to normal economic relations with Russia.
Germany is fearful that its client rulers in the East, especially in the Balkans are vulnerable to a popular upheaval due to the economic sacrifices they impose on the population. Hence, Germany is wholly in favor of the new NATO rapid deployment force, ostensibly designed to counter a non-existent “Russian threat” but in reality to prop up faltering vassal regimes.
The ‘Russian Threat’, the ideology driving the US and German offensive throughout Europe and the Caucuses, is a replay of the same doctrine which Hitler used to secure support from domestic industrial bankers, conservatives and right wing overseas collaborators among extremists in Ukraine, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria.
The US-EU seizure of power via vassal political clients backed by corrupt oligarchs and Nazi street fighters in Ukraine detonated the current crisis. Ukraine power grab posed a top security threat to the very existence of Russia as an independent state. After the Kiev take-over, NATO moved its stooge regime in Kiev forward to militarily eliminate the independent regions in the Southeast and seize the Crimea .thus totally eliminating Russia’s strategic position in the Black Sea.
Russia the victim of the NATO power grab was labelled the “aggressor”. The entire officialdom and mass media echoed the Big Lie.
Two decades of US NATO military advances on Russia’s borders and German-EU economic expansion into Russian markets were obfuscated. Ukraine is the most important strategic military platform from which the US-NATO can launch an attack on the Russian heartland and the single largest market for Germany since the annexation of East Germany
The US and Germany see the Ukraine conquest as of extreme value in itself but also as the key to launching an all-out offensive to strangle Russia’s economy via sanctions and dumping oil and to militarily threaten Russia. The strategic goal is to reduce the Russian population to poverty and to re-activate the quasi-moribund opposition to overthrow the Putin government and return Russia to permanent vassalage.
The US and German imperial elite, looking beyond Russia, believe that if they control Russia, they can encircle ,isolate and attack China from the West as well as the East.
Wild-eyed fanatics they are not. But as rabid proponents of a permanent war to end Russia’s presence in Europe and to undermine China’s emergence as a world power, they are willing to go to the brink of a nuclear war.
The ideological centerpiece of US-German imperial expansion and conquest in Europe and the Caucuses is the “Russian Threat”. It is the touchstone defining adversaries and allies. Countries that do not uphold sanctions are targeted. The mass media repeat the lie. The “Russian Threat” has become the war cry for cringing vassals – the phony justification for imposing frightful sacrifices to serve their imperial ‘padrones’ in Berlin and Washington – fearing the rebellion of the ‘sacrificed’ population. No doubt, under siege, Russia will be forced to make sacrifices. The oligarchs will flee westward; the liberals will crawl under their beds. But just as the Soviets turned the tide of war in Stalingrad, the Russian people, past the first two years of a bootstrap operation will survive, thrive and become once again a beacon of hope to all people looking to get from under the tyranny of US-NATO militarism and German-EU economic dictates.
To women, he promised to protect and expand their social rights and end the gender gap in wages and salaries. To human rights and civil liberties activists, he promised to end police state surveillance and torture, and to close the Guantanamo concentration camp, which had denied political prisoners a fair and open trial. To blacks, he promised higher living standards and greater racial equality in income. To Latino-Americans, he promised immigration reform facilitating a path to citizenship for long-term residents. Overseas he spoke in Cairo of a “new chapter” in US policy toward the Muslim world. To Russia, he promised President Putin he would ‘reset relations’ – toward greater co-operation.
Obama’s rhetorical flourishes attracted millions of young activists, women and minority voters and leaders to work for his election and the Democratic Party. He won a resounding victory! And the Democrats took control of the House and Senate.
Obama Embraces the Rightwing Agenda
The rhetorical exercise was a massive smoke screen. For his electoral campaign Obama raised over one billion dollars from the ‘1%’ – Wall Street bankers, Hollywood media moguls, Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Chicago Zionists and the Mid-Western business elite. Obama was clearly playing a double game – talking to “the people” and working for ‘the bosses’.
A few analysts cut through the demagogy and identified Obama as the ‘Greatest Con-Man of recent times”, the Washington counterpart of the great contemporary Wall Street swindler Bernard ‘Bernie’ Madoff.
According to the somewhat more skeptical liberals and progressives, Obama would have to ‘choose’ between those who elected him and those who groomed and bankrolled him.
Obama quickly and decisively resolved the progressives’ ‘dilemma’. He re-appointed the two central officials who designed disgraced President Bush Jr’s war policy and Wall Street bailout: Robert Gates was confirmed as Secretary of Defense and Timothy Geithner was renewed as Treasury Secretary. Obama followed by teaming up with the head of the Federal Reserve, Benjamin Shalom Bernacke and Treasury Secretary Geithner to launch a multi-year trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street, while hundreds of thousands of Obama voters had their mortgages foreclosed and millions of workers, who voted Democratic were fired and remained unemployed, because Washington prioritized Wall Street recovery of profitability over funding job-creating public works.
In response, millions of indignant citizens repudiated the Washington bailout and Congresstemporarily shelved approval. However, the White House and the Democratic majority in both Houses, reversed course and approved the biggest State –to- Bankers handout in US – or for that matter, world – history.
If the Obama’s ‘First Wave of Reaction’ appointed powerful Wall Street clones and Pentagon war hawks to his cabinet and the ‘Second Wave of Reaction’ led to sacrificing workers’ incomes, employment and living standards, so that Wall Street could return to profitability, and the ‘Third Wave of Reaction’ was the escalation of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has dispatched tens of thousands of US combat troops to ‘end the war by expanding the war’!
The Democratic Electorate Strikes Back: 2010
By the end of 2010, sufficient masses of Obama and Democratic voters were disenchanted to the point of not voting in the Congressional elections: The Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives.
The most lucid and clearheaded progressives understood that nothing more was to be gained by waiting patiently ‘at the gate, like benighted pilgrims’ for their president Obama’s gaze to ‘turn left’ or for the Democrats to reverse course in Congress. Hundreds of thousands of citizens shook off the trickster’s spell and took to the streets blocking financial districts.‘Occupy Wall Street’ – direct action in the streets, citizens clearly targeted the principle source of the economic crisis and the real power behind the demagogic rhetoric of the White House confidence man.
Federal, state and local police broke up, arrested and incarcerated the peaceful activists. The Occupy Wall Street movement, under massive and coordinated police-state siege, and without political direction, dispersed and disintegrated.
The ‘Fourth Wave of reaction’ was illuminated by the Snowden revelations of National Security Agency (NSA) intrusive spying into the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans as well as allied leaders in four continents – and unimaginable numbers of citizens in countries around the world. The White House gave unconditional backing to the entire, gargantuan police state apparatus and its unconstitutional intervention into everyday life of individuals and their families. Hundreds of thousands of civil libertarians, human rights activists and attorneys and millions of liberal democrats were shocked by Obama’s blatant refusal to rein-in or even acknowledge the enormous scope of illegal domestic spying.
The ‘Fifth Wave of Reaction’ was the cumulative impact of five years of nurturing Wall Street profits and ignoring working and middle class income and declining living standards. Thanks to virtually free federal ‘bailout’ money, Wall Street borrowed and invested overseas -reaping returns triple the miniscule interest rates in the US. They speculated on the stock market. The ‘D-J boom’ continued for five years while real incomes of most Americans continued to decline. Young Democratic voters, who had believed the con-man, remained mired at entry level jobs barely paying room and board. The ‘Audacity of Hope’ became the ‘Humiliation of Return’ into their parents’ homes for millions of young workers unable to support themselves…
Millions of Latino citizens, who were conned into believing that Obama would provide a ‘road-map to citizenship’ for twelve million fellow immigrants, discovered that the real Obama policy toward immigrants was a ‘road map to violent arrest, incarceration and deportation’: A recordtwo million immigrants were expelled in five years, exceeding the totals of all previous Presidents, even the most rabid rightwing Republicans.
Probably the most egregious and cynical con-job of all was the mega-con Obama perpetrated on Afro-Americans. More than any other group in the US, Afro-Americans have supported Barack Obama: Ninety-five percent voted for the ‘First Afro-American President’.
Under President Obama, Afro-Americans have lost more personal wealth than under any president since the Great Depression. Many key indicators show that the economic conditions of Afro-Americans have worsened dramatically under Obama.
According to the US Federal Reserve’s survey of consumer finances, between 2009-2014, non-white household incomes have declined by nearly a tenth to $33,000 a year. Median incomes fell by five percent. Data on net wealth – assets minus liabilities – tells an even more brutal story. The median non-white family today has a net worth of just $18,100 – almost a fifth lower than it was when Obama took office. In contrast, white median wealth increased by one percent to $142,000. In 2009 white households were seven times richer than blacks; that gap is now eightfold. Both in relative and absolute terms, black Americans are doing much worse under President Obama. His ‘Wall Street First’ agenda (bailing out the banksters and mortgage swindlers) has relegated Afro-Americans to last place. Racial inequalities have deepened because Obama, who may have ‘shot some hoops’ on an urban ghetto playground and dressed up as a ‘black role model’, in fact, oversaw an increasingly segregated and deteriorating school system. In Washington, he marginalized African-American concerns about double digit rates of unemployment in Detroit and other urban centers, while offering pompous, stern ‘moral’lectures to unemployed blacks about their ‘family responsibilities’.
Obama’s demagogy and deceptive populist posturing bamboozled most progressive voters for a period of time, but after five waves of reaction, many of the activists ‘wised up’ – first in the streets and then in the elections – by refusing to vote for Democrats running in the Congressional elections of 2014.
The Democratic Debacle of 2014
The major reason for the Democrat’s debacle in the ‘mid-term elections’ was the high rate of abstention and lack of activists getting out the vote. In many states, where the Democrats lost, the overall rate of abstention among eligible voters approached seventy percent. And there is reason to believe that the vast majority of non-voters (aka – the ‘none of the above’ voters) were Democrats, people disenchanted or hostile to Obama’s betrayals and, in particular, voters who believed that he had deceived or ‘conned them’.
Young people’s participation in this election, a major factor in mobilizing voters for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and doubly deceived, were notable by their absence: Young voters’ share of the electorate declined from 19% in 2012 to 13% in 2014. Parallel declines were documented in Latino-American and Afro-American turn-outs.
For those who voted, nearly half (45%) said that the ‘economy was the key consideration’ and by economy they didn’t mean Wall Street’s booming profits, or record high Dow Jones Stock quotes, which White House Democrats had hailed as their ‘economic success’. For the American middle and working class voters ‘ the economy’ that drove some to vote on November 4, 2014, was measured in the deterioration of affordable health insurance coverage and pension plans, the decline of living standards and the growth of ‘dead-end’ low-paid, contingent employment that rendered the lives and future increasingly unstable.
Most former Obama voters did not defect to the Republicans: They realized that both Democrats and Republicans were responsible for the domestic economy-busting decade-long wars and Wall Street hand-outs. They did not vote: Most abstained! Some former Democrats and Independents, and not a few Republicans, turned their anti-Obama animus into a rabid racist rant against the black President and extended their anger toward people of color in general. Obama’s con game has aroused deep racist undercurrents in US politics.
If his image as the first African-American President inspired a moment of hope and promise for greater racial equality in this country, his reactionary economic policies in practice allowed rightwing politicians to divert white worker and middle class economic discontent away from the criminals and swindlers on Wall Street to racist hostility toward the beleaguered black communities.
Post-Elections: The Con-Man is Cornered
The new Republican Congressional majorities will continue to implement the fundamental economic and foreign policies of the Obama regime. Wall Street profits will continue to grow, income disparities between capital and labor will continue to sharpen and the highly militarized foreign policy of the last six years will become more overtly bi-partisan. The Democratic President will join with the Republican Congress in pursuing military confrontations in the Ukraine and in sending more US troops to Syria and Iraq. Under pressure from Israel and its powerful US supporters, increased sanctions against Iran will scuttle US negotiations with Tehran. Obama’s blockade of Cuba will continue, as will bi-partisan hostility to center-left governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina. The grotesque narco-state terror and mass murder in Mexico and Central America will continue to fuel the massive refugee pressure on the US border and expose the hypocrisy of Washington’s humanitarianmilitary missions in the Middle East.
The Republicans rode to power by exploiting discontent with Obama’s ‘Five Waves’ of reactionary policies; they will now co-operate with him in launching a ‘6th Wave’. The Republican Congressional majority will embrace Obama’s proposal to ‘fast-track’ free trade treaties covering Asia and Europe, currently blocked by House Democrats and opposed by US trade unions.
The Republicans will join with Obama in backing corporate tax ‘reform’, which substantially reduces the tax on US multinational corporations’ overseas earnings in order to end the hoarding of profits in low tax countries – while intensifying austerity on American workers and the poor.
In other words, Obama will now openly coordinate with his Republican counterparts on an agenda they have shared from the first day he took office. This time Barack Obama, the Con-Man, will have to play it straight and cut the populist palaver– Republicans and their business partners demand economic payoffs and overseas military victories. Obama, the ‘cowering Con-Man’, has been unmasked by progressives and is cornered by the Republicans… and they have no further use for his congab
James Petras latest book is “The Politics of Empire:The U.S, Israel and the Middle East“
Introduction: American living standards are plunging and it’s not simply because they are paid less, work longer (or shorter hours) under highly stressful workplace conditions and pay a higher percentage of their income for health and pension coverage.
The ‘workplace’ is only one of several locations where American working people are experiencing a sharp decline in living standards. The new oligarchical Kleptocrats and political elites have elaborated new ways to fleece Americans. These include:
(1) Increased costs and declining quality of internet, cable and other communication systems.
(2) Intensive pervasive and perpetual surveillance by punitive espionage agencies eroding personal freedoms and violating the confidentiality of personal, political and business decisions affecting everyday life.
(3) Large scale, repeated financial swindles by the most active and influential private and publicly trading investment companies resulting in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in pensions and savings for tens of millions of middle and working class investors.
(4) Increases in taxes and charges, including sales taxes, social security deductions, medical co-payments and reductions in social services … This is a result of the government’s commitment to finance US corporate investments and bail-outs. Big business hoards their cash holdings abroad to avoid taxes on overseas profits. To pay dividends they borrow. The growth of corporate debt, concentrated in a few large corporations, holds the US taxpayer liable for any present or future collapse of the financial markets. This corporate-induced ‘hoarding of capital’ compromises present and future living standards. It plays a major role in the deterioration of employment, wages, social services and public infrastructure.
(5) The astronomical growth of state spending on wars of conquest, financial giveaways propping up right-wing dictatorships and building a vast network of global military bases, proxy wars and other empire building measures reduce living standards of Americans. By militarizing everyday life, citizens are subject to mindless repetitive propaganda designed to lower their mental capacity. State terror-mongering propagandists in the mass media distract citizens from their declining living standards. Political elites bully citizens to continue ‘sacrificing’ basic living standards. Video games reproduce the worlds of war and terror, reflecting the real world policies of the ruling class.
Video games allow Americans who know they no longer have influence on political decisions and whose living standards are in decline, to vicariously exercise power and realize favorable outcomes on their mobiles. Purchasing mobiles, video games and other gadgets enrich billionaires’— so-called “high tech” capitalists – and convert citizens into impoverished consumers. They inhabit a bubble of illusions and passivity in the face of growing economic inequalities and political-cultural impoverishment.
The Political Bases of Declining Living Standards
The case of Comcast, the communication monopoly’s seizure of internet, is illustrative of how politics and plunder converge. Comcast TWC, the largest communications company, presently will control 40% of the US broadband and one-third of the US cable television market. By controlling the internet, Comcast will monopolize the principal means of communication of most Americans. The Federal Communications Commissions (FCC), which is supposed to regulate the industry and prevent price gouging monopolies, is “dominated by senior former industry officials” (Financial Times, (FT) 4/14/, pg. 9). Almost every elected national politician from Obama down has received substantial campaign funds from Comcast. During Senate hearings on Comcast’s bid to monopolize the internet through the take-over of Time Warner Cable, Comcast CEO David Cohen smirked and brushed off the Senators puff-questions. FCC complicity, Senatorial whitewashing of the private monopoly, is only part of the story. The internet was developed largely by public funds as was Google’s search engine: the public sector took the risk and the private monopolists , in this case Comcast, harvest the profits.
Comcast charges Americans several times greater then what it costs to use the internet in Sweden, South Korea, Singapore and elsewhere. Yet, US average internet speed is as little as a tenth as fast as that in Japan. In other words the hundreds of millions of US citizens who rely on the internet spend more money for less internet quality in their work day and everyday life. Their work life is intensified, their free time is reduced and their living standards are diminished. With greater concentration of ownership, come greater inequalities in power and income, and a greater disparity of living standards. All of which is obscured by the main beneficiaries – the communication barons and their political cronies.
Declining Living Standards in the Era of the Police State
‘Living’ in the deepest and most intimate sense of the term, means the ability to share ideas, feelings and experiences with individuals, families, friends and citizens without the intrusive and pervasive presence of a punitive state apparatus. When a state spy apparatus intercepts, collects, files, analyzes and makes a police evaluation of citizen’s communications, scientists refer to it as a police-state. The gigantic growth of a police state and its permeation of civil society has dramatically changed for the worse the fundamental bases of inter-personal life and communications. Police state rule, has sharply deteriorated cultural, social, political and economic living conditions. The ‘standards’ for living have been harshly reduced. The ‘legal’, but arbitrary, executive prerogatives of the state have been enhanced. The parameters of the basic rights of citizens have shrunk. As police state expenditures grow and the subjects of surveillance increase, so do budgets and taxes.
Kleptocracy: The Highest Stage of Capitalism
Marx and Marxists for the greater part of the 20th century, focused on capital’s exploitation of labor and the resources of overseas colonies and neo-colonies. In the 21st century a new more dynamic and totally parasitic form of economy has emerged based in the dominant financial sector. Kleptocrats engaged in large-scale, perpetual financial swindles and the pillage of the public treasury greatly impoverish small investors, and the pension funds of employees and workers.
For the better part of two decades, major financial institutions have been engaged in systematic large scale swindles, involving the sale of fraudulent financial packets (dubbed ironically “securities”), profiteering based on insider trading and other illicit activity which is prejudicial to productive activity, investors, tax payers, salary, and wage workers.
Every major investment banks in the US and Europe has been repeatedly investigated, fined and rarely prosecuted. They pay a relatively light fine and return to criminal activity. Looking only at the mega-swindles, involving hundreds of billions of dollars, we would include Enron, the Information Tech “bubble” of the 1990’s to 2000, the Home Mortgage fraud, the Barron, Lehman and Bear Sterns scam. In the run-up to the 2008-9 financial crash , Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America were part of the “pump and dump” of low grade home mortgage bonds and equities. The swindlers are recidivists and are so because of the complicity of top Government officials at every moment. State officials design the rules promoting Kleptocracy (deregulation), suspend safeguards, provide tax incentives, and eliminate risk via trillion dollar bailouts of the biggest investment kleptocrats when the swindlers cannibalize their assets and run out of new victims to swindle.
Under kleptocratic capitalism the apex of the system is occupied by the top fifty investment banks, hedge funds and speculators who ‘make markets’. They determine what ‘stocks or investment objects are targeted, to be pumped or dumped, at what rate and for what period of time. The entire activity of the kleptocratic elite has nothing to do with financing the ‘real economy’. Kleptocrats creates paper ‘values’ – paper assets at paper prices, for real victims and huge profits. The kleptocratic system operates like a chain. Kleptocratic speculators extract the savings and investments of a second tier of financial houses. They draw on real resources: savings, trust and pension funds. The second tier speculators are the ‘bag men’ for the dominant kleptocrats and they receive a minor share of the booty in exchange for conning the savings of producers. They write the prospectus to entice investment funds; they formulate the promise of lucrative returns. They send progress reports to clients in exchange for ‘commissions. They also ‘take the rap”, when the crises hits and bankruptcies, foreclosures and scams unfold.
The pension funds, the individual trusts and savings of workers and employees, resulting from decades of creating value in the real economy, forms the base of the pyramid. They have no influence on the political officials who promote, protect and bailout the kleptocrats. Under the kleptocratic elite ideology of “too big to fail”, the state eliminates all the risk for the klepto’s and imposes the losses on the second tier, who pass the losses on to the wage and salaried workers as taxpayers, via trillion dollar transfers from Treasury. Investors suffer via the loss of equity; workers via the loss of jobs, homes, income and social services. Given the vast chasm between the perpetual fraudulent transactions in the mega paper economy and the daily work routines at the bottom, there is great uncertainty, volatility, and insecurity in the work-life of the wage and salaried classes. The uncertainty and capriciousness of the ‘normal’ capitalist economic cycle, is vastly exacerbated by the turbulence caused by the mega-swindles, endless frauds and crooked trades, endemic to the kleptocratic stage of capital.
Kleptocrats and Militarists Together: They Shall Overcome
Just as kleptocrats rule the paper economy, political confidence men and women engage in imperial wars prejudicing the real economy. Imperial militarists extract wealth from the Treasury (the taxpayer) via perpetual political swindles. Imperial invasions and interventions of sovereign countries are ‘sold’ to the taxpayers as “wars on terror”; non-nuclear Iran is sold as a nuclear threat; the violent overthrow of the democratically elected Ukraine government by a pro Washington junta is sold as a “democratic transition”. Just as the kleptocracy’s “driving force” is repeated, large scale swindles, so the governing militarist elite’s “driving force” is the perpetual need to engage in warfare.
The ‘bridge’ between the kleptocrats and the militarists is the respectable financial press (Financial Times (FT), the Wall Street Journal(WSJ). They publicize and praise high level paper transactions (buy outs and mergers) and encourage imperial warfare everywhere and all the time. They editorialize in favor of wars which destroys lucrative trade and investment markets in the real economy because they are aligned with the kleptocrats linked to the paper economy. The Financial Times should change its name to the Military Times. The editors and columnists have supported wars destroying the Libyan, Iraq, Syrian and Ukrainian economies and back sanctions prejudicing trade with Iran. The financial press no longer promotes market relations of the real economy; it is embedded in the paper economy of the kleptos.
Kleptocratic activities have become ‘routinized’ and based on advanced technology and have created highly respected billionaires. Even as I write today (4/14/14) the FT reports that ‘insiders at some of the hottest private and publically traded web companies sold big personal stakes before the slump in stock companies’ (my emphasis) taking advantage of a bubble of their own creation (“pump”) to reap billions at the expense of small investors. Tell it to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, who sold at the pre-slump peak, prior to the tech bubble bursting
Domestic Corporate Debt and Overseas Corporate Tax Havens
According to Standards and Poor (S and P), the rating agency, “the biggest US companies have added significantly to their debts during the past three years, at the same time as corporate cash piles have increased” (FT 4/14/14). The total cash holding of the 1,100 companies rated by S and P rose by $204 billion to 1.23 trillion between 2010-13. However, during the same time span their gross debts grew fivefold, rising from $748 billion to $4 trillion. Their net debt (gross debt minus cash holdings) rose 24 percent to $2.78 trillion. By holding cash overseas, US corporations avoid domestic taxes – increasing fiscal pressures, the tax burden on domestic producers and workers, heightening the regressive nature of the tax system Secondly, by loading up on domestic debt, the corporate elite crowds out local borrowers. Piling up debt increases corporate vulnerability to bankruptcy if and when interest rates rise. The corporate elite evading taxes via overseas cash piles include Apple, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Chevron, and Merck among others. All told the top 25 multi nationals account for 43 percent of the total debt (FT 4/14/14).
Hoarding profits overseas avoids taxes. High domestic indebtedness results from the need to pay dividends and inflate returns to big shareholders. In other words, corporate elites escape taxes and increase economic insecurity for domestic job holders, both of which contribute to a decline in the material and psychological dimensions of ‘living standards’.
Kleptocracy and Militarism: Declining Living Standards
The rise of a powerful kleptocratic economic elite which ‘interpenetrates’ and shares power with a militarist political elite have joined forces to pillage the productive economy and the US Treasury. Their powerful links are the main reason for heightening class inequalities, political and social insecurities. They have driven American society into a permanent state of crises and wars. Over the past quarter century, Americans have lived through two major economic crashes, prolonged periods of stagnation and declining income, three major wars and a multitude of overt and covert military operations – all of which have eroded living standards.
Military propaganda saturates the mass media and permeates all mass spectacles. Stock reports, dominate the economic news. Investment speculators and swindlers are presented as cultural heroes. The gap between elite opinion and interests and those of the majority of citizens widens.
This leads politicians to greater dependence on billionaire campaign funders. The electoral process is unabashedly and totally controlled by the economic oligarchy. The vast majority of Americans recognizes and publically admit their total lack of political influence on all public issues of interest including those privileging the kleptocrats and the warlords.
The deeply felt and pervasive malaise resulting from social impotence in vital spheres of life is the clearest expression of the decline of political living standards. The shrinking of public involvement, the narrow focus of isolated individuals manipulating computerized gadgets , the replacement of face to face public engagement by impersonal electronic communications, are an expression of the decline of social living standards. The rise of ethno-religious chauvinism among klepto-elites is matched by the political warlords’ reliance on systematic deception and espionage of American citizens. Warlords and kleptocrats are enclosed in privileged living enclaves, including the private appropriation of former public spaces, but their intrusion into private communications define the diminished world of everyday life for the most Americans. Life expectancy may have increased but human life has decreased, drastically, over the past quarter of a century.
Blood and gore does not drip off the Saville suited clever inside trader. They never see or hear their victims, nor do they have an interest in them, except to fleece them collectively and anonymously.
America is ruled by a division of labor. The financial speculators, corporate tax evaders, investment bankers – the kleptocratic ruling class– pillage the treasury and productive economy. Their political counterparts manipulate, distract and police their exploited victims – to ensure that they submit or are intimidated if they protest.
When they political elites come up short, there are the new “opiums of the people’ videos, painkillers, terror threats, entertainment and sports spectacles.
But citizens are restless– as living standards continue to decline. Nobody believes in bailing out speculators because they are ‘too big to fail”. Nobody trusts the political leaders who lied their way to twelve year wars, adding others along the way. No one follows media pundit extremists in defense of kleptocrats and warlords. Passive resistance is widespread because it is clear to most Americans that living standards are in a free fall. Time awaits a popular backlash. Will it happen in our lifetime?
About James Petras
He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.
His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).
He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Professor Costas Lapavitsas, School of Oriental and African Studies. (Photo: UNCTAD)
The neoliberal capture of the state has laid the ground for the financialization of capitalism, a stage of capitalism that cannot be reversed without developing new methods of public provision in housing, education, health, pensions and the other sources financialization has used to create profit.
This is the crux of the argument advanced in Costas Lapavitsas’s latest work, Profiting without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All, recently released by Verso Books.
With this book, Lapavitsas sheds much light into one of the most misunderstood processes in the evolution of capitalism, correcting in the process the tendency on the part of many “progressive” economists to regard regulation as the ultimate solution to the exploitative nature of finance capital. For Lapavitsas, the struggle against finance capital is simultaneously a struggle against capitalism and for democratic socialism. This interview is also appearing in the Greek Sunday newspaperEleftherotypia.
Costas Lapavitsas is a professor of economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is the author, co-author and editor of scores of books, including Financialization in Crisis, Crisis in the Eurozone and Development Policy in the Twentieth-First Century: Beyond the Post-Washington Consensus. He has published hundreds of articles and is a regular contributor to The Guardian.
C.J. Polychroniou: The landscape of contemporary capitalism has been shaped by neoliberalism, globalization and financialization. Your new book deals with the financialization of capitalism. First, what does financialization mean for you, and in what ways does it represent a new feature of capitalism?
Costas Lapavitsas: For me, financialization represents a new historical period in the development of capitalism. Marxist political economy typically recognizes three great periods: laissez-faire capitalism around the middle of the 19th century, monopoly capitalism toward the end of the 19th century and imperialism that lasted perhaps until the Second World War. The 70 years since the war have been very difficult to categorize, not least because of the extraordinary Long Boom that lasted until the early 1970s, with unprecedented growth rates, rising incomes and greater equality. The Long Boom has been followed by four decades of indifferent growth, often stagnant incomes and rising inequality. In my view, financialization is a term that adequately characterizes this period. Its dominant feature has been the extraordinary rise of finance, which has come to penetrate areas of economic and social activity previously relatively distant to it.
More specifically, I understand financialization as a historical period characterized by three closely related tendencies at the molecular level of capitalist accumulation. First, big industrial and commercial capital has become “financialized,” i.e. it has ample retained profits to finance investment but often uses the funds to engage in financial transactions with a view to extracting financial profit. Second, big banks engage less in lending to big capital, while seeking profits by transacting in financial markets as well as by dealing with individuals and households. Third, households have been drawn into the orbit of formal finance, both to borrow and to hold financial assets. A key reason is the retreat of public provision in housing, education, health, pensions, and so on, typically replaced by private provision. Private finance has emerged as the mediator of access to these very important goods and services for households and individual workers.
How does finacialization relate to the other two forces in contemporary capitalism – neoliberalism and globalization?
I see neoliberalism as an ideological framework that has critically shaped economic theory and policy during the last four decades. It has determined the institutional setting of financialization through, above all, the deregulation of financial and labor markets. I find Mirowski’s argument that neoliberalism is not the enemy of the state and nor does it genuinely ascribe to the simple opposition “state versus market,” very persuasive. Neoliberalism is, rather, about capturing and using the state to achieve pro-market changes across society. The neoliberal capture of the state has laid the ground for the financialization of capitalism. To be more accurate, financialization would have been impossible without the state. Globalization, on the other hand, is much more difficult to pin down either as force or as concept. There has certainly been growth of global commodity markets and considerable foreign direct investment during the last four decades, facilitating the internationalization of production. The most striking aspect of globalization, however, has been the explosion of financial markets and lending. Even foreign direct investment to a large extent refers to establishment of banking facilities abroad. Globalization, then, appears to me as a notable feature of the historical period of financialization.
The rise of financialization coincides with the deindustrialization process in the United States in the early 1970s. Do you see a link between the rise of financialization and the decline of industry?
In historical terms, there is little doubt that financialization has been accompanied by lower rates of both accumulation and productivity growth. During this period, real accumulation has been plagued by difficulties, while financial accumulation has had explosive growth. Yet, I do not think that the difficulties of real accumulation are fundamentally due to the explosion of finance. They have deeper roots related to the “forces of production,” including new technologies in information and telecommunications, changing labor skills and new forms of corporate organization. In the course of financialization, the new “forces of production” have not contributed to dynamic and sustained expansion of real accumulation, but they have encouraged the explosive growth of finance.
I do not subscribe to the view that “good” industry is opposed to “bad” finance. Relations between the two are far more complex and nuanced, reflecting mutual dependence as well as opposition. I sympathize with Hilferding’s and Lenin’s classical Marxist approach to imperialism claiming that industrial and financial capital have developed a symbiotic relationship in advanced capitalism. At the same time, I do not find that during the period of financialization, industry and finance have melded together to form “finance capital,” i.e., the special form of capital that was thought to characterize the period of imperialism. Rather, contemporary industrial capital is increasingly independent of banking capital – certainly among large enterprises – and is able to finance investment out of retained profits. Yet, big business has become “financialized,” that is it engages in financial transactions on its own account with a view to extracting financial profit. The “financialization” of big business has affected its internal organization and its long-term investment strategies in negative ways.
While financial transactions have increased substantially in the past 30 or so years, the contribution of the finance industry to GDP is in single digits. Yet finance capital, as the subtitle of your book blatantly states, exploits the rest of society. What makes financial markets so inefficient and finance capital so exploitative?
Finance is an intermediary and does not, strictly speaking, contribute to the fresh flows of value. More than that, it currently makes a limited contribution to employment and thus to the standard measurement of GDP. In my view, this is related to the extraordinary role of new technologies that have transformed the operations of finance without commensurately expanding employment. Furthermore, the internal organization of the private banking firm and the mobilization of the labor of bank workers leaves a lot to be desired in terms of efficiency. The image of private finance being at the frontier of progress because it deploys new technology is deeply misleading – it operates inefficiently on the whole. Last, but far from least, what exactly is the commensurate benefit to society from placing highly skilled labor and expensive technology at the disposal of financial markets? What is the great benefit from being able to arbitrage and set derivatives prices in split seconds across the world?
The remarkable thing about finance, however, is that it is not simply inefficient but also exploitative in ways that industrial capital cannot be. It is a primordial capitalist activity that long predates the establishment of industrial capitalism and has retained its ancient predatory outlook. Finance can extract profits from any money income and stock of money – its profits are not limited to the fresh flows of value produced annually. During the past four decades, it has become expert at making zero-sum profits that involve transfers from one economic agent to another. Financial profits have become an incredible proportion of total profits – particularly in the USA for which we have relevant data. The exploitative outlook of finance in relation to households and individual workers is also evident. This is a characteristic feature of financialization and marks it out as a historical period in the development of capitalism.
In some of the literature on financialization, there are hints of the emergence of a particular class grouping with the power to shape the direction of mature capitalist economies in ways conducive to the interests of that social class. In post-Keynesian analysis, for example, financialization is based on the concept of the rentier, and the regulation of banks and the finance industry is seen as the only viable solution to avoiding future financial crises. Your financialization thesis, however, which draws its insights mostly from Marxist political economy, implies that what is going on is something more profound and with far more serious implications for policy making than the regulation remedy suggests. Could you elaborate on the question of class analysis and financialization from the perspective adopted in your book?
The rentier is a very old category found in Classical Political Economy, Keynesianism and other currents of thought, even in Marxism. The term essentially refers to a section of the capitalist class that does not engage in production but makes its money capital available for lending. Rentiers draw their remuneration primarily in the form of interest, which is part of the profit generated in production. It is natural to assume that this type of remuneration would create an opposition between the “functioning” capitalist and the rentier and between “good” industry and “bad” finance.
In my view, financialization does not represent the return of the rentier, if there ever was a period during which capitalism was dominated by rentiers. The financial system has grown enormously by mobilizing idle money across the face of society, not simply by drawing funds from a putative rentier section of the capitalist class. Moreover, financial profit – based on interest – accrues to broad social layers and not primarily to a rentier group. There is no persuasive evidence that contemporary capitalism is dominated by rentiers, and certainly not in the classical mold.
At the same time, the explosive growth of finance has led to profound changes in social stratification. Enormous incomes accrue to a thin layer of people associated with finance, but not necessarily through the lending of money or by making money capital available to accumulation in other ways. Instead, financial profits accrue due to the beneficiary’s function in relation to the financial system and often take the form of income from work, rather that payment for ownership of capital. Bonuses are the most egregious – but far from the only – form of such remuneration. There is an aspect of “rent” to such returns, but they derive in good part from function relative to the financial system rather than simply the ownership of money capital.
These modern rentiers, if we can call them that, rely on the state to maintain their ability to extract financial profit. Mere regulatory change would not dislodge them. They have positioned themselves pivotally in relation to policy making and actively shape it to serve their interests. It is far from accidental that the main concern of the US state in 2008-09 was to restore financial profits, which it did successfully. The ability of the state to control the issuing of legal tender and to mobilize tax revenues has been placed at the disposal of this group. Moreover, modern rentiers, precisely because they are not related to the classical ones, can make enormous profits even when the rate of interest is driven to zero by the central bank. This appears to be one of the great paradoxes of financialization, but the paradox disappears when financial profit is conceived in the way I am suggesting.
If regulation is an ill-conceived approach to deal with the problem of financialized capitalism, what other realistic alternative are there?
The period of financialization, contrary to what is often believed, has been characterized by a surfeit of regulation. It is true that there has also been extensive deregulation, mostly by removing controls on the level of interest, on the functional specialization of financial institutions, and on the international activities of finance. Lifting these controls has been instrumental to finance expanding enormously, both domestically and abroad. But at the same time there has been a great deal of fresh regulation of the activities of individual financial institutions, particularly of banks. The Basel Agreements, focusing on capital adequacy, are typical of this trend.
The characteristic feature of the new regulation is that it has been shaped by the financial institutions themselves, and its purpose has been to ensure the ability of the financial system to grow and extract profits. It has not contributed in the slightest to avoiding financial bubbles nor to imposing the costs of financial crises onto those responsible for them. On the contrary, contemporary regulation has led to society bearing the brunt of financial disasters, while private individuals associated with finance have reaped the benefits of expansion. Society has little to expect from more regulation of the type we have known for four decades now.
In confronting financialization, it is vital to start with the recognition that it does not represent “progress” in human affairs. Financialization does not amount to a socially productive expansion of the forces of production that could potentially benefit society, if it was brought under control through a series of bold measures and interventions. Financialization ought to be reversed. To this purpose, regulation alone is not enough, particularly when one bears in mind that financialization is a historical period of capitalism. Confronting it inevitably raises issues of ownership, but also of broader policy and social relations.
There is, of course, no question that regulatory controls ought to be applied to the international flows of capital as well as to the activities of banks. Regulatory controls must also be applied to interest rates. But it is clear that for such regulation to be effective, there must also be intervention in the sphere of international money to control exchange rates. If interest and exchange rates were controlled, a body blow would be delivered to financial markets, particularly derivatives markets. It is apparent, however, that this kind of intervention would be impossible without also expanding public ownership in the economy, including among financial institutions. I do not mean simply nationalizing banks, but introducing new public financial institutions that would operate on a communal and associational basis and would be democratically controlled and permeated by a spirit of public service. It follows that changes of this kind would go directly against the core of capitalist relations in society. Opposing capitalist relations would be vital to reversing the financialization of households, which clearly requires new methods of public provision in housing, education, health, pensions and so on. In short, reversing financialization is no less than reshaping economy and society in an anticapitalist direction. For me, it is an integral part of the struggle for socialism today.
by Stavros Katsoulis*
There is a well orchestrated operation of disinformation regarding the situation in Greece spreading worldwide. It is especially widespread in, what we know as, civilized countries, and even though informed citizens of these countries now know that disinformation is the classic modus operandi of the media moguls operating in these otherwise ‘democratic’ countries, the narrative on Greece follows the same path, and it is easy for anyone to be mislead by it. Any attempt by the average listener to become informed on the true situation in Greece by these media outlets, results in the same falsified news, as the same ‘story’ is repeated ad nauseam:
“Greeks are patiently and quietly waiting for their ‘incredibly capable’ government to pull them out of this crisis, and save the day.”
The mainstream media also make sure to repeatedly mention the ‘fantastic help’ that is being given to the Greek people by their ever-righteous ‘partners’ in the European Union. On top of that, an outpouring of ‘kindness and loyalty’ is bestowed upon the International Monetary Fund by the mainstream media – as is always the case in these on-going, tragic situations in other parts of the world. Finally, the Banks are being portrayed as always trying to do their best to help these countries. In addition to the above, the media make sure to constantly remind you that they are treating the whole situation with extreme understanding and sensitivity, as their one and only noble goal is to tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – so help them god.
But none of these distinctions could be further from the truth. The Greeks, being fully submerged in the reality of this crisis on a daily basis, experience and see things in an entirely different way. They can no longer be fooled by international or internal mainstream media outlets, and their meticulously applied PsyOp (psychological operations).
The following facts portray the true perceptions of the Greek people, their awareness of the actual situation, and more importantly… their awakening.
FACT 1: Greeks do not look at the financial “aid” they are supposedly receiving as aid at all.
Contrary to popular international belief, Greeks understand that they are not getting – nor ever got – any help, whatsoever, from their so-called ‘partners’ in the European Union. And they are correct: No sensible mind would consider mounting mandatory extortionary debt – piled on top of existing debt, where the additionally borrowed money doesn’t even go to the country borrowing it, but rather back to the banks loaning the money in the first place – as ‘aid’ or ‘help’. All that’s left is multiplying debt, with no end in sight.
Greeks can’t be expected to be grateful for something that is nothing more than plain extortion.
FACT 2: Greeks don’t trust their political system anymore.
Greeks see their current government – including the previous two – as nothing more than traitorous. In fact, what has transpired since the beginning of the Greek crisis, in the minds of ordinary Greeks, is nothing short of treason: Officially since May 6, 2010 Greece’s national sovereignty and rights as a nation have been abolished willingly and irreversibly, by its own politicians. These politicians, in the eyes of the Greek people, are nothing more than mindless puppets who have given free reign to external powers. And while other countries have laws to prevent politicians from discussing internal affairs with foreign entities – one example being the ‘Logan Act’ in the United States – this is no longer the case of Greece, as the ‘Troika’ (European Commission, ECB, IMF) made sure to have any such rules disappear: these ‘common-sense’ laws, stating that the people of a nation be able to make their own internal decisions, do not apply to Greece anymore.
To the Greek people, treasonous acts are blatantly occurring before their eyes on a daily basis. How could anyone, in their right and Patriotic mind trust such a political system?
FACT 3: Greeks do not trust ‘their EU partners’ in any shape or form.
If they were to decide, the Greek people would leave it all behind. Austerity being forced upon the people, is but a small fraction of the problem. Greece, or any member state for that matter, by entering the EU and adopting the Euro, has lost the ability to govern itself for the good of its people. For years now, the EU has been imposing its own sociopathic rules on entire populations it knows nothing about. Even worse, it has been applying policies which clearly benefit a small, select group of interested parties who lobby at the highest ‘EU level’. The Greek constitution – like many other national constitutions – was required to be modified in order for the country to continue being part of an evolving EU: Article 28 of the Greek constitution, which defines that all EU law is to supersede any local law, is the corner-stone that Greeks believe sacrificed their country for the sole benefit of the EU.
Today, ‘who decides’ about Greece’s fate has been taken to a whole a new ‘dictatorial’ level, with decisions being made by unelected EU officials. For the Greeks, the Euro, and the way it’s being used by the EU “feudocracy”, has now become a much hated currency, and it should come as no surprise that most Greeks don’t want anything to do with it anymore. European nations are slowly waking up to the fact that EU federalism may not be good for them after all. Increasingly, the citizens of Europe are realizing that Chancellor Angela Merkel and her EU ‘partners in crime’ are imposing their anti-democratic policies upon Greece and the periphery, while gradually abolishing democracy all around Europe.
But for the Greeks very bad things have happened already: the EU ‘tools’ were put in place a long time ago, and the rapid, violent destruction of an entire country and its people, started way back in the day. Ordinary Greeks now want out.
FACT 4: Greeks see Democracy being abolished in Greece and EU-wide.
The current Greek government with its norm-breaking extended form of coalition does not even represent a third of the popular vote. By now, this could even be representative of a figure as low as 1/5 of the popular vote, or even lower. Thanks to stretched-out electoral laws, most MPs have been voted into their positions by a mere few hundred votes. Yet the government, blatantly ignoring the fact that it represents hardly anyone, and circumventing normal parliamentary procedures – even the old corrupt ones – continues to methodically apply the policies dictated to them by the ‘Troika’. Greeks know by now, that all these policies are created and compiled in the darkest dungeons of the corporate fascism found at the core of the EU. It’s no secret, as they are shamelessly told this by their own ‘leaders’. Every time any new, deadly austerity measure is being ‘negotiated’, Greek ‘leaders’ tell their citizens the exact same thing: “The ‘Troika’ must decide on that. We must wait for the ‘Troika’ to decide on whether an objection to a measure can be accepted or not.” In addition to the above, Greek Courts are called to decide upon – and support – absolute unconstitutional laws for that matter. Basic and fundamental human rights are being violated every minute, and the justice system chooses to turn a blind eye.
Greeks were the first to violently learn what other peoples of Europe are now getting to experience, or are slowly realizing: Democracy in Europe is gradually, painfully, and irreversibly being taken away from its citizens.
FACT 5: Greeks expect nothing from the Opposition.
The ordinary citizen of Greece doesn’t seem to consider the opposition parties as relevant. While the so-called ‘government’ of Greece continues the destructive ‘reforms program’, Greeks are witnessing the lukewarm role played by the Opposition. In fact, the main opposition party is no Opposition at all. By merely playing ‘spectator’, and being quite silent all throughout, it has proven, despite claiming otherwise, that it is, indirectly, quite supportive of every decision taken by the financial occupiers of the country. By not refusing to discuss with the sources of corruption and greed, the members of the Opposition thus prove that they approve of the institutions destroying the country. And even though they claim that they stand up against the system in their usual ‘left-leaning’ rhetorics, in the minds and hearts of ordinary Greeks, they look like nothing more than accomplices.
One would think that the main opposition party would attract innumerable sympathizers, since massive austerity is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Greeks. Yet, as even the easily disputed ‘official polls’ suggest, the Opposition has epically failed to convince the people of its sincerity: its numbers are usually equal or slightly higher than the governing party’s, all figures being extremely low.
FACT 6: Greek citizens do not just want a new government, they want a complete change from the ground up.
Conventional knowledge tells us ‘elections are the cornerstone of Democracy’, but that’s filling the minds of people with blatant lies. The truth to the matter is, that the cornerstone of Democracy (demos: people kratos: power) is that the power must derive directly from the people, and this on an ongoing basis: Democracy is thus a system in which the ‘power to the people’ is both mandatory, and made possible. Is there at all then, a country which has such a Democracy in the 21st century? True Democracy is hard to find, as it seems it’s something to be avoided at any and all costs by the powers that be. Why give ‘power to the people’ when your interests, within a given system, are supported just fine… There is no reason why – so the current system will not allow it. Yet the Greek people seem to think otherwise.
Historically and culturally, Greeks highly honor their personal and social liberties. One could even argue based on historic facts, that this feeling seems to be stronger among Greeks, than it is among many other nations. Freedom is not something the Greek people give up easily, despite the abuse they have let their rulers impose upon them for the past three years. There are already practical, undeniable signs, that the situation cannot go on indefinitely. Millions of ordinary Greek citizens who always paid their taxes are now ignoring current extortionate taxing laws – not to be confused with tax-evaders’ practices performed by privileged groups of oligarchs and politicians for decades, still happening today stronger than ever.
In Greece, there is emerging a new, natural resistance, in various forms and ways, against the dictatorial regime which has abolished the most basic rights of it own people. Recent history has shown too many times already, that Greeks are capable of overturning any political system forced upon them, from the ground up.
FACT 7: Greece can set an example for change, and inspire others
As stated earlier, Greeks have never relinquished freedoms and rights in the past without resistance. Unjust, deadly austerity imposed violently on an entire people, comes with the increasing feeling that the treasonous politicians’ end is nearing, and that justice shall prevail. And while people are still continuously provoked, humiliated, and subjected to even more pain, there lies the seed of resistance that is slowly seeing the light of day.
Greece is the place where Democracy was born. So it is the Greek people’s task today, to start anew, and to become once again an inspiring, shining example for the world to follow.
*Stavros Katsoulis is a member of the Political Council of the United People’s Front (EPAM). The UPF (EPAM) is a political movement/party in Greece which seeks to help Greece return to Democracy: nullify Greek debt as it is catastrophic and genocidal against its people, exit the EU and the Eurozone, and help the Greek people found a new constitution which will defend and establish Justice and Democracy.
EPIC ‘PLUG’ N. Farage on A. Samaras – EΠΙΚΗ ΤΑΠΑ Ν.Farage στον ΣΑΜΑΡΑ στο Ευρ. Κοινοβούλιο.(ελ. υπότιτλοι)
Farage: We Are Now Run By Big Business, Big Banks and Big Bureaucrats
(transcript in English after the Greek one)
Παρακολουθείστε τον Νigel Farage να απομυθοποιεί το success story του φερόμενου πρωθυπουργού της Ελλάδας Α. Σαμαρά, του οποίου από τη ματιά καταλαβαίνετε οτι του έχει φύγει η ζωή, και έχει μείνει μόνο η ψευτομαγκιά…
“Συγχαρητήρια κύριε Σαμαρά για την ανάληψη από την Ελλάδα της προεδρίας της Ε.Ε, η επιτυχής διαπραγμάτευσή σας για τα MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) φαντάζομαι θα έκανε χιλιάδες τώρα στους δρόμους της Αθήνας να πανηγυρίζουν. Δεν έχει σημασία που η χώρα σας,ακολουθώντας τις κακές συμβουλές της Goldman Sachs, υιοθέτησε ένα νόμισμα που της ήταν ακατάλληλο.
Δεν πειράζει η ανεργία έχει φτάσει το 30%, η ανεργία στους νέους αγγίζει το 60%, ότι το νεοναζιστικό κόμμα ανεβαίνει, ότι έγινε τρομοκρατικό χτύπημα στη γερμανική πρεσβεία. Μην ανησυχείτε για αυτά γιατί η διαπραγμάτευση για τα MiFID ήταν επιτυχής. Λοιπόν, υπάρχουν δύο Ευρώπες: Η Ευρώπη που συζητιέται εδώ μέσα από τους αιθεροβάμονες που θέλουν να επιβάλουν τις νέες Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες της Ευρώπης με ομοιογενή ταυτότητα και κοινό νόμισμα, και τη σκληρή πραγματικότητα. Έρχεστε εδώ κ. Σαμαρά και μας λέτε ότι εκπροσωπείτε την σταθερή θέληση του ελληνικού λαού; Συγγνώμη κ. Σαμαρά, αλλά δεν κάνετε εσείς κουμάντο στην Ελλάδα,
Και προτείνω να μετονομάσετε το κόμμα σας από Νέα Δημοκρατία σε ΚΑΘΟΛΟΥ Δημοκρατία. Γιατί αυτή τη στιγμή η Ελλάδα
είναι υπό ξένη κατοχή. Δεν μπορείτε να πάρετε καμία απόφαση, Εχετε “διασωθεί”,έχετε παραδώσει τη Δημοκρατία, αυτό που η χώρα σας εφηύρε!
Δεν μπορείτε καν να παραδεχτείτε ότι ήταν λάθος που μπήκατε στο ευρώ, γιατί ο κ. Παπανδρέου το έκανε αυτό. Μάλιστα, ζήτησε και δημοψήφισμα.
Και μέσα σε 48 ώρες η ανίερη συμμαχία που κάνει κουμάντο στην Ε.Ε. τον είχε απομακρύνει και τον είχε αντικαταστήσει από ένα ανδρείκελο, πρώην υπάλληλο της Goldman Sachs. Τώρα μας ελεγχουν οι μεγάλες επιχειρήσεις, οι μεγάλες τράπεζες και με τη μορφή του κ. Μπαρόζο, οι μεγάλοι γραφειοκράτες των Βρυξελλών.
Οι επερχόμενες ευρωεκλογές Θα υπάρξει μια μάχη της εθνικής Δημοκρατίας εναντίον της γραφειοκρατίας της Ευρώπης. Ό,τι και να πείτε σε αυτή την αίθουσα, οι λαοί της Ευρώπης δεν θέλουν τη δημιουργία Ην. Πολιτειών της Ευρώπης. Θέλουν μια Ευρώπη με κυρίαρχα κράτη να συναλλάσσονται και να συνεργάζονται. Και πιστέυω οτι οι ευρωπαϊκές εκλογές θα αποτελέσουν ορόσημο. Μέχρι τώρα όλοι νόμιζαν, όσο και να μην το ήθελαν , οτι για την ανάπτυξη της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης αυτό είναι αναπόφευκτο. Οι επερχόμενες ευρωεκλογές αυτό τον μύθο της αναγκαιότητας, θα τον καταρρίψουν.”
Well I have to congratulate you, Mr Samaras, for getting the Greek presidency off to such a cracking start. Your overnight successful negotiation in the trilogue on MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive), I’m sure we’ll have them dancing in the streets in Athens, no matter that your country, very poorly advised by Goldman Sachs, joined a currency that it was never suited to, no matter that 30% are unemployed, that 60% of youth are unemployed, that a neo-nazi party is on the march, that there was a terrorist attack on the German embassy.
No don’t worry about all that because the trilogue on MiFID has been a success. And, in many ways, it sums up the two Europe’s: the Europe that’s talked about in here by the dreamers who want to impose a new United States of Europe with an identity and a currency, and the real world out there.
And you come here Mr Samaras and you tell us that you represent the sovereign will of the Greek people? Well, I’m sorry, but you’re not in charge of Greece, and I suggest you rename and rebrand your party – it’s called ‘New Democracy’, I suggest you call it ‘No Democracy’.
Because Greece is now under foreign control. You can’t make any decisions, you’ve been bailed out, and you’ve surrendered democracy, the thing your country invented in the first place.
And you can’t admit that joining the euro was a mistake – of course Mr Papandreou did that didn’t he, he even said there should be a referendum in Greece and within 48 hours, the unholy trinity (troika) that now run this European Union had him removed and replaced by a ex-Goldman Sachs employee puppet.
We are run now by big business, big banks and in the shape of Mr Barroso, big bureaucrats.
And actually that’s what these European Elections are really going to be all about. It’s going to be a battle of national democracy versus EU State bureaucracy.
Whatever you may say in this chamber, the people out there don’t want a United States of Europe, they want a Europe of sovereign states, trading and working together.
And I believe the European elections are going to mark a watershed. Up until now everybody has thought, much as they may not like, the development of the European Union, that it was inevitable. That myth of inevitability will be shattered by the European elections this year.
Video source: EbS (European Parliament)