The Euro And Austerity As A Powder Keg In Europe

Via Critical Legal Thinking, excerpts from a translated interview with Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza (the Coalition of the Radical Left), Greece’s new second largest political party:

I believe the European model has to be rebuilt from below. We can’t be sat­is­fied with what today is called Europe. The cur­rent crisis is not a European crisis but a global one. Europe today does not have the mech­an­isms to con­front it or con­trol the world­wide fin­an­cial attack against its peoples. Hence why Europe became a con­tin­ent where the attack of the global fin­an­cial sys­tem was fero­cious.

The [euro currency] has become a prison for the peoples of Europe, espe­cially the weak­est eco­nom­ies on the peri­phery going through the crisis. The con­tra­dic­tion is in the base on which the euro was built. The euro is a powder keg that is going to explode if we con­tinue in this dir­ec­tion.

Greece became an ultralib­eral exper­i­ment, a guinea pig. Here the polit­ics of shock were tried out in order to spread them to the rest of Europe. But soci­ety reacts. People no longer have the every­day life they had before and it is those same people who reacted so that things change. Through its mobil­isa­tion soci­ety threatened the elites in our coun­try.

But we have to bear in mind that on the other side the adversar­ies were not only the polit­ical forces, but also a very power­ful global and European fin­an­cial sys­tem that fought us fero­ciously with all their weapons. But if we won the elec­tions Greece might have become the weak link cap­able of break­ing the chain that binds Europe. Per­haps in this way Greece might move from being a guinea pig to being the future baby, the embryo of hope. We have not yet lost that his­toric oppor­tun­ity. The peoples have not spoken their final word.

New demo­cratic insti­tu­tions are also neces­sary. We can­not change clothes and put on the suit worn by the pre­vi­ous powers. That suit does not fit us well. There­fore we have to cre­ate new social and polit­ical insti­tu­tions to raise the forces of the people, which at the moment are mar­gin­al­ized within the sys­tem and have neither par­ti­cip­a­tion nor power.

The Argen­tinian exper­i­ence is very import­ant for draw­ing polit­ical con­clu­sions. I would say that the most import­ant con­clu­sion is rooted in the fact that the polit­ics of neo­lib­er­al­ism is cyn­ical and inhu­mane. It is a dead end. But, on the other hand, Argen­tina showed us the way in which a people can put a stop to this sys­tem and rebuild its bases in order to live bet­ter, to reor­gan­ise the State and soci­ety.

In Europe and in the world social demo­cracy has under­gone an incred­ible muta­tion in recent years. Social demo­cracy oper­ates as a kind of plastic sur­gery with which they want to change some­thing that does not get changed. This casino fin­an­cial cap­it­al­ism can­not change its image how­ever much sur­gery it gets. Social demo­cracy is incap­able of provid­ing solu­tions to the real social prob­lems that peoples con­front. In Greece, the party that rep­res­en­ted social demo­cracy, PASOK, was no dif­fer­ent from the right wing.

My gen­er­a­tion entered polit­ics as a very small force in the uni­ver­sit­ies and col­leges when there was a near com­plete hege­mony of neo­lib­er­al­ism, when there were eco­nomic growth rates that were huge but at the same time abstract and when the examples of the good life were those of super-​​consumerism. Now we are in a dif­fer­ent real­ity. Today, in Greece, half of young people between 24 and 35 have no job. They are con­demning that gen­er­a­tion to live a lot worse than their par­ents, they are con­demning them to live without dreams. What we can give and say to this gen­er­a­tion is that in its con­scious­ness it has to recover hope within struggle.

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  • alizardx

    The essence of neoliberalism is upward transfer of wealth. The people this wealth is transferred to have finally bought enough politicians across the nominal political spectrum to operate more or less openly and dispense with contributing to the upkeep of the society their businesses operate in.

    No form of political governance can work if completely corrupted and run exclusively for the short-term benefit of the elite. This scene has been played out repeatedly in history. The elites either get replaced or social collapse follows, the survivors among the elites are the ones who bugged out in time. Of course, on a planet dominated by a single transnational elite, there isn’t anywhere to bug out to.

  • alizardx

    The essence of neoliberalism is upward transfer of wealth. The people this wealth is transferred to have finally bought enough politicians across the nominal political spectrum to operate more or less openly and dispense with contributing to the upkeep of the society their businesses operate in.

    No form of political governance can work if completely corrupted and run exclusively for the short-term benefit of the elite. This scene has been played out repeatedly in history. The elites either get replaced or social collapse follows, the survivors among the elites are the ones who bugged out in time. Of course, on a planet dominated by a single transnational elite, there isn’t anywhere to bug out to.

  • rtb61

    In reality you are simply dealing, not with socio-political groups but the individualistic nature of psychopaths, the whole of society can burn as long as they individually win.
    The illusion of conspiracy, is just an illusion brought about by psychopaths sharing the same goals vua the same methods, those psychopaths will just as readily prey upon each other as they will the rest of us.
    There is a shift just beginning to occur, the psychopaths are fully aware they a parasitic by nature and their activity does damage the society upon which they feed, too many psychopaths will of course do excessive damage and consequently substantially curtail the opportunities for the psychopaths to feed.
    History is replete with psychopaths actively attacking and destroying each other (the conflicts of those born to so called nobility), thinning their numbers so the remained may more readily feed.
    Psychopaths at the top are becoming all to aware that their excessive number is destroying that upon which the feed and the only solution is to substantially reduce the number of psychopaths so that the remainder may flourish, not breed, simply individual within their own existence wallow in luxury and opulence.
    It is very likely that the major multi-national corporations will tackle the Koch(head) brothers and their associates for being too delusionally destructive and those multi-national corporations will seek too feed upon the various assets of Koch(head) brothers and their associates.

  • rtb61

    In reality you are simply dealing, not with socio-political groups but the individualistic nature of psychopaths, the whole of society can burn as long as they individually win.
    The illusion of conspiracy, is just an illusion brought about by psychopaths sharing the same goals vua the same methods, those psychopaths will just as readily prey upon each other as they will the rest of us.
    There is a shift just beginning to occur, the psychopaths are fully aware they a parasitic by nature and their activity does damage the society upon which they feed, too many psychopaths will of course do excessive damage and consequently substantially curtail the opportunities for the psychopaths to feed.
    History is replete with psychopaths actively attacking and destroying each other (the conflicts of those born to so called nobility), thinning their numbers so the remained may more readily feed.
    Psychopaths at the top are becoming all to aware that their excessive number is destroying that upon which the feed and the only solution is to substantially reduce the number of psychopaths so that the remainder may flourish, not breed, simply individual within their own existence wallow in luxury and opulence.
    It is very likely that the major multi-national corporations will tackle the Koch(head) brothers and their associates for being too delusionally destructive and those multi-national corporations will seek too feed upon the various assets of Koch(head) brothers and their associates.

    • alizardx

      I’ve wondered about that. The transnational elites can’t all be lemmings, and we have better simulation and forecasting tools than their equivalents in (for example) the Roman Empire did.

    • alizardx

      I’ve wondered about that. The transnational elites can’t all be lemmings, and we have better simulation and forecasting tools than their equivalents in (for example) the Roman Empire did.

  • IokSotot

    It stuns me that the Third world debt crisis that has been continuing since the early 80s never gets mentioned in the context of European austerity and banker control. What the bankers are doing to Europe now they’ve been doing to Africa for decades. Many countries in Africa still routinely pay more in foreign/IMF debt payments than they spend on Health, Education and social services combined. The continent was growing and developing very well until they got zapped. The disaster there is just background noise now. 

  • IokSotot

    It stuns me that the Third world debt crisis that has been continuing since the early 80s never gets mentioned in the context of European austerity and banker control. What the bankers are doing to Europe now they’ve been doing to Africa for decades. Many countries in Africa still routinely pay more in foreign/IMF debt payments than they spend on Health, Education and social services combined. The continent was growing and developing very well until they got zapped. The disaster there is just background noise now.