Youch; Varoufakis reveals cloak and dagger ‘Plan B’ for Greece, awaits treason charges


Via the Telegraph UK: ‘Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis claims he was authorised by Alexis Tsipras to look into a parallel payment system’  by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

(I’m going to reproduce the entire article in case you’ve already used up your six free articles and have hit the paywall; h/t juliania for the graphic.)

“A secret cell at the Greek finance ministry hacked into government computers and drew up elaborate plans for a system of parallel payments that could be switched from euros to the drachma at the “flick of a button”.

The revelations have caused a political storm in Greece and confirm just how close the country came to drastic measures before premier Alexis Tsipras gave in to demands from Europe’s creditor powers, acknowledging that his own cabinet would not support such a dangerous confrontation.

Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister, told a group of investors in London that a five-man team under his control had been working for months on a contingency plan to create euro liquidity if the European Central Bank cut off emergency funding to the Greek financial system, as it in fact did after talks broke down and Syriza called a referendum.

The transcripts were leaked to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini. The telephone call took place a week after he stepped down as finance minister.  (read more here)


Via Naked Capitalism: ‘Comparison of Greek and English Version of Kathimerini Scoop on Varoufakis Parallel Currency Plan’, Lambert Strether

It includes this translation of a bit of the recording by NC contributor Andrew Dittmer by email:

“Starting last December, the former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, with the authorization of Alexis Tsipras, had undertaken to work out a detailed Plan B; Varoufakis aimed to create a parallel banking system “that would be, yes, denominated in Euros, but that could be converted into a new drachma in a
single night.” An extremely interesting conversation [of Varoufakis] with investors and managers of international hedge funds took place on July 16, coordinated by Baron Norman Lamont, a well-known British Conservative politician and former Finance Minister under Prime Minister John Major, within the framework of an international forum on analyses [i.e. on global economic prospects?]. At the beginning of the discussion, Mr. Varoufakis was clearly informed that “this conversation is being recorded.” Despite this fact, the former Finance Minister describes in great detail his alternative plan [i.e. his plan B], which entailed having tax registration numbers (AFMs) be intercepted [i.e. hacked] by a childhood friend of his, whom [Varoufakis] had appointed into the ministry in order to get around Mr. Sabbaïdou, as well as an electronic attack (hacking) directed at the web page of the General Secretariat of Public Revenues. When after a plea [on his part for discretion] the participants assure him that nothing he has shared in the discussion will leak out, he responds, laughing, “And if something did, I would say it wasn’t true,
I would deny it.

‘Trusting a bunch of hedge fund guys to keep his deep dark secrets, on which the fate of Greece may depend…, he’d added.  Indeed.

Yikes, fallout: ‘Greece rocked by reports of secret plan to raid banks for drachma return; Opposition demands answers after covert proposals attributed to Yanis Varoufakis and fellow ex-minister highlight deep split in Syriza party’, the Guardian

From  ‘Varoufakis Admits Plan B Involving Hacking’  Five short paragraphs, and zero comments?

Also from ‘Moody’s: Uninsured Depositors Compromised by Greece’s New Legislation

“Ratings agency Moody’s said on Monday that uninsured depositors in Greek banks are in danger of losing some of their money in case of a bank’s insolvency.

Moody’s noted that the changes in the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, which was legislated in Greek Parliament last week, established new guidelines for the cases of bank insolvency. One of these is a haircut option for uninsured deposits exceeding 100,000 euros.

The ratings agency warned that uninsured depositors and bondholders are compromised by the new law as it limits the use of state funds to save banks as well as by distributing the cost of insolvency to all types of uninsured deposits, including bondholders.

Under the new legislation, the government has a number of options when it comes to lending institutions that become insolvent. It could decide that the bank must be sold, a bridge institution could be created and assets could be disjointed based on whether they are good or bad.

After January 1, 2016, the Greek government can also choose to bail-in deposits of more than 100,000 euros.

Moody’s also noted that non-performing loans will account for 40% of total loans in 2015-2016. Non-performing loans accounted for 35% by the end of 2014. This increase will further compromise the capital sufficiency of Greek banks, which scored a 12.8% ratio of common equity in Tier 1 capital ratio.” for savers, if it’s so. There have been conflicting opinions as to whether or not even the insured deposits have the capital to back-stop them at this point.

From TRNN: ‘If Syriza Ruptures, Will Greece’s Left Unite to Oppose Austerity?  Dr. Panagiotis Sotiris, Member of Antarsya, talks to Dimitri Lascaris about Syriza’s failure to implement its anti-austerity program and the political options that are now available to the left in Greece’ –   July 27, 2015

added: (the transcript is up now.)

95 responses to “Youch; Varoufakis reveals cloak and dagger ‘Plan B’ for Greece, awaits treason charges

  1. overnight:

    Want to know what Greeks really think about the crisis? Check out the graffiti

    Professor James K. Galbraith’s statement on the Ministry of Finance Working Group convened by former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis

    (Yves Smith and Louis Proyect stress that neither dealt with the complex IT issues.)

    German Economic Advisers Propose Bankruptcy Mechanism Within the Eurozone‘, By Anastassios Adamopoulos -Jul 28, 2015

    (it’s potentially a Very Big Deal, not having bailouts being the only choice.)

  2. Supreme Court Brings Lawsuits Against Varoufakis to Greek Parliament
    By Philip Chrysopoulos -Jul 28, 2015

    “The lawsuits were filed by Stylida Mayor and “Teleia” party head Apostolos Gletsos and lawyer Panagiotis Giannopoulos. The two men filed the lawsuits after the tapes of a Varoufakis speech revealed his scheme to set up a secret parallel payment system and push for the return to a national currency.

    The former Minister’s plan created an uproar among opposition parties who demanded that Varoufakis is kicked out of SYRIZA. Some PMs even accused him of treason, while several coalition MPs openly criticized Varoufakis’ statements and suggested that the Prime Minister removes him from the party.

    Varoufakis defended himself speaking to The Financial Times on Tuesday, saying that all he wanted was to generate a scheme that would help Greece overcome liquidity problems. However, the plan included hacking in to taxpayers’ accounts.”

  3. Hah hah hah. Greek compradors and running dogs already have insurance policies of their own. Any solicitude they have for Greek proles who will lose savings disproportionately should the drachma be reinstituted is a performance. Did you know the opportunist and bullshitter Gletsos is a fucking soap opera actor? Shades of MIC puppet Ronnie.

    And then there is the “left-wing” economist going to a congregation of (British?) finance vultures to confer on hacking Greek finances to liberate Greece. Only to be sued by a fucking soap opera actor in defense of Greece.

    Oh my goodness, can we flush this shit media down the crapper, now?


    • i never remember what a comprador is, no matter how many times i go looking for it. but i didn’t know that glestos is a soap actor, but this whole debacle is reminding me of one.

      pretty strange bedfellows varoufakis chose, but that he’d been TOLD the call was being recorded, then asking for hush-hush? and his: “i never intended for greece to leave the EU!” my goodness.

      but what do you mean by ” can we flush this shit media down the crapper, now?” no comprende, save for all media is shit save for some live-streamers and some indy media.

  4. I mean that this story is so ridiculous, the parts and players so absurd, that you know your leg is being pulled …

    Give me meat and potatoes, comrade!

    • could you make do with pasole, elk sausage, and roasted poblanos?

      (but you failed to define ‘compradors’ again.)

      and still i grieve for the massive suffering of everyday greeks, don’t you? and with worse yet to come?

      • Compradors – “middle class” who sell fellow country-proles down the river. Is that the same I gave last time?

        You know, USan-proles are supposed to enjoy this foreign finance war spectacle. Hah hah, look at that Greek communist piss-ant, he asks his people to rebuke the Germans and then he betrays them!

        Grief, comrade, will not do.

        • you’d never given your definition, but i find alternately:
          ‘a person within a country who acts as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation.’ or on da wiki, the portuguese term for a ‘procurer’, (lol) for a chinese person acting as an agent for european business X, Y, or Zed. i should have remembered my ‘tai pan’ stories.

          but okay, i went back and read what Kathimerini had reported, then read again jamie galbraith’s statement, then bounced upstream to: ‘‘Statement by Yanis Varoufakis on the FinMin’s Plan B Working Group & the parallel payment system’ (and his piece on what lurks beneath the treason charges from today). they’re both short, abut this stood out, and may be entirely a horse of a different color. the comments are really interesting, as well.

          “Regarding the recent article by “Kathimerini” newspaper entitled “Plan B involving highjacking and hacking”, Kathimerini’s failure to contact Mr Varoufakis for comment and its reporter’s erroneous references to “highjacking tax file numbers of all taxpayers” sowed confusion and contributed to the media-induced disinformation. The article refers to the Ministry’s project as described by Minister Varoufakis in his 6th July farewell speech during the handover ceremony in the Ministry of Finance. In that speech Mr Varoufakis clearly stated: “The General Secretariat of Information Systems had begun investigating means by which Taxisnet (Nb. the Ministry’s Tax Web Interface) could become something more than it currently is, to become a payments system for third parties, a system that improves efficiency and minimises the arrears of the state to citizens and vice versa.” That project was not part of the Working Group’s remit, was presented in full by Minister Varoufakis to Cabinet, and should, in Minister Varoufakis’ view, be implemented independently of the negotiations with Greece’s creditors, as it will contribute considerable efficiency gains in transactions between the state and taxpayers as well as between taxpayers.”

          but he make a good case that ‘fund managers’ (not hedge-funders) know the IT side, and he had needed some insane leverage against herr schnauzer and frau frumpel, not that even his early statements yielded anything better, but…worse.

          and i do grieve, and will, as i will when italy, spain, and now haiti suffer from the troika and hedge fund vultures.

  5. Many thanks as usual, wendye, and I will be back to carefully look at all that has transpired above – whilst for my own self being transported back to the era of Chaco Canyon with aforementioned visitors, (a mindblowing experience yesterday – Chaco and environs enveloped in magical greenness I and park operatives never have experience in New Mexico our various lifetimes here). In other words, much catching up to do.

    I also was over at the Varoufakis blog site just now, liked very much this bold comment:

    sibadd on July 29, 2015 at 21:28 said:
    “No-one in the world has yet managed to grow an effective grand theory that can stand against the neo-liberal paradigm. I suspect there are dormant seeds in many places, even unseen seedlings sprouting in unexpected soils; sturdy perennials which are yet indistinguishable at this stage of their growth from transitory annuals. . .

    No great idea (the heliocentric theory of the solar system, the evil of the death penalty, the wrongness of slavery, the rights of women, the theory of evolution, the equality of races) came to flourishing growth in the lifetime of those who first intimated its innate truth and rightness. Stand against neo-liberalism? Commit yourself to loneliness, doubt, ridicule, humiliation, and despair – yet still be brave, happy, good humoured and sweet company. In that respect I give high marks to Yanis Varoufakis. The charges against him amplifies the dangerous credibility of his ideas, serving as additional stigma to his accusers. It is all too apparent that Varoufakis has been corrupting the minds of the young, believing in supernatural phenomena of his own invention rather than in the gods of the Euro-state.”

    • No-one in the world has yet managed to grow an effective grand theory that can stand against the neo-liberal paradigm.

      O Bullshit. The imperial thought collective will use whatever mindrot to keep pwoggies and compradors in line. The ruthlessness, desperation, and fraud of the thought collective is testament to the vileness of it’s “theory”.

      As with all “theo”reticians, heavy amounts of ideocide must be applied to all contestants. Rather than a dearth of ideas, the problem is the Deadly “Theo”reticians.

      It’s galling the celebrated Yani the BMW Biker gets compared to Galileo. Fucking degenerate culture never ceases to grate.

    • i’m envious of your chaco experience, juliania; i’ve never been. that said, i *have* watched the movie a least four times (the one robert redford narrated). ;-)

      i liked his flowery metaphorical praise, as well, esp. his last sentence.

      • I am currently reading “Anasazi America” by David E. Stuart, kindly presented to me by my guests. It’s almost as mindblowing as the actual experience of going there after being warned we would be in for heat, bad roads, possible marooning. There are indeed now four miles of dirt road beyond a long stretch of rutted gravel, and a menacing dry wash to cross, but we were blessed with a beautiful day, some clouds (which are our ancestors); but fortunately the rain waited till I was home in my much-hotter-than-Chaco house before sending down a deluge. Thank you, ancestors.

        An eager young guide from the visitors center gave a sprinkling of us visitors the Hopi spider woman creation story as we circled Pueblo Bonito, and then we were left to our own devices. They have a super library of books at the center – felt like settling in to read them all, but this one is a goodie. It compares present day American society to what developed at Chaco – a very good read so far.

        For instance:

        ” . . .a powerful society (or organism) captures more energy and expends (metabolizes) it more rapidly than an efficient one [he’s just explained that men are powerful and women efficient, heh]. Such societies tend to be structurally more complex, more wasteful of energy, more competitive, and faster paced than efficient ones. Think of modern urban America as powerful, and you will get the picture. In contrast, an efficient society metabolizes its energy more slowly, and so is structurally less complex, less wasteful, less competitive, and slower paced. Think of Amish farmers in Pennsylvania or contemporary Pueblo farmers in the American Southwest. . .”

        I hope you can go sometime, wendye.

        • only in my dreams…or via the documentary, juliania.

          but i’d forgotten that spider woman was a central part of hopi mythology, as well as dineh. so i looked up her key role, and it was huge. ‘Spider Grandmother caused a hollow reed (or bamboo) to grow into the sky, and it emerged in the Fourth World at the sipapu. The people then climbed up the reed into this world, emerging from the sipapu. The location of the sipapu is given as in the Grand Canyon.’ ( well, actually at the confluence of the GC and the little colorado river.)

          if you ever get to canyon de chelley, or have, two massive stone spires are known as Spider Rock, her home, and among other things, it was she who taught the dineh to weave. it was in that canyon that kit carson (i spit on his soul) burned down the dineh’s peach orchards (some say 5000 of them) and hogans to demoralize them enough to surrender to him, and begin the Long Walk to bosque redondo. (Mr. wd helped replant many a couple decades ago.)

          dunno about yani and fdr, but i’ve seen you write that. from what i know, fdr took the bold steps creating a social saftey net due to increasing communist labor unions interrupting business with their strikes. some say he feared revolution.

          it was also the time that the private police, the pinkertons, were given full power to beat, maim, and kill protestors and strikers, although there are still plenty of private police working against labor today.

          the evidence of the vast understanding of astronomy at chaco is simply mind-boggling, as as so many of the features there that aren’t understood at all. whooosh. just the system of roads cause one’s breath to stop when they’re seen from the air.

  6. YV:

    Unveiling how previous Greek governments turned crucial government departments, such as the General Secretariat of Public Revenues and the Hellenic Statistical Office, into departments effectively controlled by the troika and reliably pressed into the service of undermining the elected government.

    From the horses mouth, Varoufakis Tapes: Listen to Excerpts From Greece’s Former Finance Minister on the Crisis:

    “The general secretariat of public revenues, within my ministry, is controlled fully and directly by the troika. It was not under the control of my ministry, with me as minister; it was controlled by Brussels. The general secretary is appointed effectively through a process that is troika-controlled and the whole mechanism within.

    “It’s like Inland Revenue in the United Kingdom being controlled by Brussels. I am sure that as you hearing these words your hair is standing up.”

    So, now that Yani the loose cannon has gotten a look inside, it’s necessary to disable him. The evaded question is, “WTF is Yani hoping to achieve spilling these details to international hedge fund mongers?”

  7. The Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum is an independent platform for dialogue and research. It serves as a non-lobbying network for worldwide public-private sector interaction in finance and economics. The aim is to promote exchanges of information and best practice in an atmosphere of mutual trust.

    OMFIF focuses on global policy and investment themes – particularly in asset management, capital markets and financial supervision/regulation – relating to central banks, sovereign funds, pension funds, regulators and treasuries.

    Membership, open at an annual fee to institutions (from both the public and private sector) and individuals, offers services through two complementary channels. OMFIF Meetings take place within central banks and other official institutions are held under the Chatham House Rule, where the source of information shared is not reported.

    Fucking bunch of morons need to hear from the horses mouth what should be already widely known.

    Capitalist dipshits.

    • (i hope i deleted the right one; i assume you wanted the ones with the italics?)

      well, hmmmm. right from the horse’s mouth, indeed, at least some key snippets. thank you. so…which of those trustworthy conferees leaked the tape? never mind.

      but close on the heels of this what, ‘tempest in an agean teapot’ or ‘major greek drama/scandal’ come:

      Yanis Varoufakis may face criminal charges over Greek currency plan; Supreme court prosecutor, Efterpi Koutzamani, has ordered parliament to examine an array of complaints against former finance minister

      Brussels rejects Yanis Varoufakis’ claims that troika controlled Greek tax system; Allegations of covert scheme described as ‘simply not true’ by European commission as Alexis Tsipras looks to conclude third bailout deal with creditors’

      (although they adroitly say they don’t control ‘all the tax system’, ha ha.

      oh, and beppe grillo is certainly one of the ‘seeds’, podemos…dunno, haven’t they moderated their position on the troika?

      but i admit that it’s hard to hear you dismiss the plight of a majority of the greek citizens so cavalierly; this is NOT a game to them.

      i came across this, haven’t listened but as i remember i once liked his website. er…i think…

      Who Rules Europe?

      • Thanks for the deletion. I “dismiss the plight of a majority of the greek citizens”? Comrade, why must you pick ludicrous fights?

        “The secretariat general of public revenue is a quasi-independent entity, responsible for tax administration, that is formally part of the Ministry of Finance” versus “The general secretary is appointed effectively through a process that is troika-controlled and the whole mechanism within.” Is “quasi-independent” the best rebuttal bumblers could come up with? Methinks their denouncement of Yani makes themselves look bad.

        If Yani only contemplated hacking Taxisnet to liberate Greece from Troika, compradors and running dogs would still project TWEASON! on him because they can’t honestly defend themselves.

        • ‘ludicrous fights’?

          because of your earlier comments, and i’d rather have people her with moral/ethical compasses *somewhere* toward the light/true north. you evidence neither, from what i’ve seen.

          as with the #blackLivesMatter movement: ‘this i an emergency; stop killing us!’. and i burned the hell outta 3 fingertips roasting tortillas earlier, so i’m likely done for the night. (i’ll let other threads know, too, as i ice them for a few minutes.)

          • Like Burt says in “Conversation Piece”, “It’s just as though we spoke two different languages.”

            Ha ha ha ha ha.

            • i reckon you’re right, son. and 5 ha’s back to ya. :-)

              it’s unclear, but the Syriza central committee may meet soon, or it did yesterday, or a new referendum will be called, says tsipris via the ekathimerini rag…to the guardian. ;-)

              guess for now we’ll have to be glad that the troika has been exposed in europe; rather cold comfort for the everyday greeks.

  8. I forgot. If “left wing” Yani was conferring with hedger pigs, perhaps he thought demonstrating how un-left wing he was kept the oinking down. How could “left-wing” Yani forget that hedger pigs have no honor? Is it “left-wing” Yani’s curse to forever demonstrate how untrustworthy capitalists are?

    What kind on insanity does “left wing” Yani have if this is his mission?

    Ho ho.

    • now that did make me laugh. ;-) i do remember looking up the CV of a dude whose piece on the greek mess yani had linked to (his name was a bit similar to Ogden Nash), and was quite taken aback. upper echelons of finance are indeed full of murky bastards. it’ll be nice when some of those ‘helpful’ think tanks come out in favor of anti-capitalism.

  9. Doesn’t Yani quote FDR someplace that he ‘welcomes their hatred’ with respect to the banksters? I mean, there’s surely theatricality in that too, but you have to get people’s attention in theatrical ways (within Pueblo Bonito, the curve of the walls behind the space with kivas in the ground containing foot drums make for sound amplification even with them only partly reconstructed, plus then the sheer cliff behind – you wouldn’t have to raise your voice much to be heard, and a gathering of dance/singers/drummers would vibrate all along that huge wide canyon. . .)

    Sorry. It will take me a while to leave that place.

  10. Look, the pope’s a crypto-commie:

    It is not only about ensuring a supply of food or “decent sustenance”. Nor, although this is already a great step forward, is it to guarantee the three “L’s” of land, lodging and labor for which you are working. A truly communitarian economy, one might say an economy of Christian inspiration, must ensure peoples’ dignity and their “general, temporal welfare and prosperity”.[1] This includes the three “L’s”, but also access to education, health care, new technologies, artistic and cultural manifestations, communications, sports and recreation. A just economy must create the conditions for everyone to be able to enjoy a childhood without want, to develop their talents when young, to work with full rights during their active years and to enjoy a dignified retirement as they grow older. It is an economy where human beings, in harmony with nature, structure the entire system of production and distribution in such a way that the abilities and needs of each individual find suitable expression in social life.

    Course, he has to stake Christian claim on the idea, but we’ll forgive him his self-indulgence.

    • yes, we’ll forgive him for that bias. he has indeed laid a few important things out for the world to consider. good on him.

      • Stiil, ya gotta keep an eye on ‘im; even here he’s slippery, “talking about structuring the entire system of production” to give “full rights” and “dignified retirement”. ‘e a little late with that shizdom.

        • had i not had an important date with my basil, my longer response would have been that i had just posted a diary at my.fdl on Liberation Theology, which i as just learning about…when the white smoke came up from the stovepipe, and francis was elected. i made a prognostication that he wouldn’t be that flavor of pope, and he’s not quite, of course, but far, far closer than i’d imagined. (i mean, we’re talking post-ratzinger…)

          but it’s hard not to quip about his issuing an encyclical for the vatican to divest itself of its portfolio, and doing something beneficial for the chirren of the world. more on the order of ‘teach a man to fish, not give him a fish’ sort of idea.

          i did laugh though, after his fine climate change encyclical, that i read that ‘the vatican is *considering* divesting in fossil fuels.

          gotta go clean and shock my basil; later.

  11. former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis continues to pour abuse on the agreement in daily media interviews and articles, accusing the creditors of trampling on Greek sovereignty and justifying his own secret planning while in office to set up an alternative currency.
    European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici laughed off Varoufakis’s disclosures about a “Plan B” he had developed with a covert five-member unit that would have involved hacking into citizens’ tax codes to create a parallel payments system.
    “This is perhaps something for domestic politics. It’s a career plan, a Plan C for Mr Varoufakis,” Moscovici told France’s Europe 1 radio. “Everything done in a dilettante way is an absurdity.”

    Poor Yani, he’s doing his best to edgicate the morons, but they just return him disrespect.

  12. Greece:

    Budget cuts have left the debt-stricken country’s financial crimes unit short-staffed, but extra inspectors will be drafted in from other departments to help with the audit push, Alexiadis said. Offices that handle public enquiries will also be closed periodically so staff can concentrate on anti-evasion work.
    In a recent report on Greece, the International Monetary Fund said that while debt collection was improving, tax evasion remained rampant among the rich and the self-employed.

    Ask not what your country can do for you, we tell you what you can do for your country.

    Fuckers always playing games with your heads.

  13. Been watching the Greek Thing from a distance… in something of amazement to tell the truth. Varoufakis and Tsipras seem to be handling the theatrics of all this darned well.

    Treason? Heck, why not? The trial should be a definite spectacle, no?

    But it probably won’t get to that point, not unless something happens on the Euro side that must be distracted from.

    There’s a link to a radio interview with Tsipras over at Yves’ Place. While I think her perspective on this whole thing is way too narrow, she and Lambert come up with some pretty good links that illuminate more of the big picture than they have been willing to acknowledge — and this one is a doozy.

    He said Europe has not been the same since July 12. As he said in Greek Parliament, Tsipras believes that what he gained was a “Pyrrhic victory.” He quoted Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin when speaking of compromise and said that compromise, too, is a method of revolutionary tactics. At one point, Lenin had said – according to Tsipras – that if a gunman calls for you to give your life or your money – then what are you, as a revolutionary, supposed to do?

    My bold. Get it? Europe hasn’t been the same since July 12. That’s what this whole thing has been about from the get — widely ignored in the media, but “changing Europe” has been a fundamental of the SYRIZA program all along. A Pyrrhic Victory, yes, because Greece suffers, continues suffering, and in some ways the victory increases Greece’s suffering, but there could never be any relief (a la Prometheus chained to his rock or Sisyphus endlessly rolling his rock uphill) for Greece — or any other suffering peoples of the Euro-periphery — unless the SYRIZA coalition had held together through the “negotiations” and fought for what was right, what was rational, what would actually begin to make progress against the problem of Europe.

    “We are proud of our battle,” he said.

    Indeed, had they not done battle nothing would have changed, and the gross mistreatment and mishandling of the debt problem by the Euro-titans would have been brushed under the rug. Now it’s seen and known by the whole wide world. Yves still believes that Tsipras should have caved at the outset — and by doing so, he would have secured a better deal. But he and the Greeks continue to defy that assessment. In their view, they wouldn’t have gotten a better deal, and the terms of any subsequent deal would likely have been much worse if they had not fought.

    It was a defeat only for small-minded people, says Tsipras. He pointed to the domino effect that his negotiations would have throughout Europe. He noted damage caused by capital controls but added that these problems are reversible.

    He said that Greece was saved around 15 bn euros with measures such as the lowering of primary surplus targets.

    “We never promised a walk in the woods!”

    There’s been a lot of talk about “promises broken” — specifically the promise to “end austerity” — which just seems to get worse, not better. But the Greeks would rather have their dignity (with or without austerity) having fought against the Troika, than be a broken and suppliant people having never fought at all. The psychology is important, no?

    We are battling in a specific framework. “We are working to break this asphyxiating monitoring gradually,” he said. He likened Greece as the prisoner who was near escaping from austerity but was captured and put in a tighter jail cell. He said jumping in the moat with the crocodile is not a solution. “We can only escape through solidarity,” said Tsipras.

    The difference between the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) and previous governments is that ownership does not belong to the left but to those who had lead the country down this path. “A government of the left that is obliged to apply a program which it signed, but it will simultaneously find a way to offset the negative impact …”

    That’s the key. To date, Europe has not lived up to its “offset” pledges — at all. Essentially, Europe promises that this, that and the other thing will mitigate the worst effects of austerity, but Europe does nothing to implement those mitigations, blaming the victims in every case for their own dismal fate. The Greeks have turned this into a negative for the Troika, who now — despite the harsh terms of the current agreement — allow as how mitigation must occur — there is no alternative. Not just talk will do this time. There must be mitigations and amelioration, and everybody knows it.

    A Pyrrhic Victory, yes, but… the consequences reverberate throughout Europe and Europe will never be the same.

    • as for parliament passing a bill for trying varoufakis for treason, dmitri lascaris says that he has parliamentary immunity, hih would have to be lifted to proceed, but:

      “Whether parliament will do that or not I don’t know, but I do know that there has been an ominous sound coming out of the Syriza leadership. Yesterday aides of the prime minister were quoted in the Guardian, I believe, as stating that they had tired of Varoufakis. And so one wonders whether they’re getting ready to throw the ex-finance minister under the bus. Hopefully that, it won’t come to that. Because whatever criticisms can be leveled against Varoufakis one that would certainly not be justified is that he took steps to protect Greece from a forced exit from the monetary union.”

      he and varoufakis have both made the case that the greek secretariat and mint are controlled by the ECB, which sovereignty may have been the price of entering the EZ, from what i can tell. if so, then all knew that the EZ wasn’t meant to democratic, and there’s part of the rub, isn’t it?

      but of course it made sense to craft a plan for a forced grexit, but some of the left platform seem to have wanted a voluntary grexit, certainly against the wishes and apparent promises tsipris has made.

      “Costas Lapavitsas: Forget the euro, Greece needs a new currency
      When Greece joined the eurozone in 2001, entry happened without an adequate public debate, without anyone explaining that the EMU came with a severe institutional framework and a rigid logic based on austerity and neoliberal ideology.
      As a monetary union, the EMU has already failed. The reason is that Germany has been keeping its wage costs too low, thus running huge trade surpluses and becoming the biggest lender and most powerful state in Europe. Greece has been devastated by its policies, and it is only a matter of time until we see their devastating effects in large countries of the EMU centre, such as France and Italy. But until recently, the ideology of “Europe” had been allowed to cover up the harsh reality of what the EMU has actually meant for European economies and societies. Now Greece has destroyed any illusions in “Europe”. The insistence of the Greek political system to keep the country in a failed monetary union come what may and whatever that means for the Greek people, is now approaching the limits of tragedy.

      What Greece needs now is a detailed exit plan, drawn up with the help of a wide range of economists. Of course a new national currency is not a magic wand. But it would liberate the country from the trap it currently finds itself. It would also allow the government to finally get started on a productive reconstruction of the economy.
      Syriza formed a government with a very successful electoral strategy, but its strategy has collapsed miserably in governance. The agreement that emerged on Monday will not solve the country’s problems and is likely to prove totally unworkable. The prospect of leaving EMU will be raised again very soon.”
      • Costas Lapavitsas is an economist and Syriza MP

      yes, most Syriza MPs agree that europe has been changed forevermore, and both france and germany have shown their true colors. that’s a good thing, of course, but…are you quite convinced that the everyday greeks are suffering better in dignity, and wish to remain europeans or in the EMU? would we trust any polls conducted by the oligarchical media?

      i began to wonder about the conflicting translations and takes on what the referendum question actually said, and that is indeed a political football. so i finally found this speech PM tsipris made to the country announcing it.

      i reckon these sentences toward the end are key, but i’m not sure what they mean exactly, but perhaps the greeks did know:

      “Greece is, and will remain an indispensable part of Europe and Europe an indispensable part of Greece. But Greece without democracy is a Europe without identity or a compass.”

      “Concerning the “Grexit” issue:

      “… The “Grexit” issue must be resolved once and for all. For certain partners, this idea, this plan remains in the back of their minds… Even now, just a few days ago, during a meeting between the US Secretary of the Treasury and the German Finance Minister, this plan was suggested once again, by the German side.

      No matter what agreement one reaches, no matter how positive the financing outlook may seem, no matter the prospects one might have of getting rid of the specter that has been haunting the country for the last five years, if certain individuals deliberately keep raising this issue, the specter will continue to haunt us…”

      so lew has joined herr schnauzer? i’d thought he was given express orders to prevent a grexit because: china, russia….

      added on edit: i know that since you watched a tsipris interview from maybe…2013?…it’s been an article of faith with you that his goal was to change europe. i just can’t believe that even more crucial was to end austerity and continue the ‘extend and pretend’ of the creditors.

      • I see the dramatics in all of this as being quite deliberate on the part of the Greeks. This is something they know how to do. They invented drama after all.

        The (oligarchical) media coverage, and a lot of the alternative media has been covering Greece as if they were handicapping a horserace, who will win this round, not really paying attention to the throughline of the story, not even recognizing it in many respects, and so we’ve seen all kinds of speculations and predictions that have little or no relationship to what’s really going on. The media people on the ground sometimes can’t seem to see beyond the next few minutes and they report every goddamned rumor that gets whispered in their ears.

        The media obsession with a Grexit is fascinating, for it’s not something that the Greeks seem to be obsessing over at all. If it comes, it comes, but it’s looks like it’s not going to come because the Greeks want it. The fact that the Greeks don’t seem to want a Grexit drives some observers and commentators nuts.

        Oh but look, the incompetent SYRIZA naifs — long accused and condemned for not having a Plan B — apparently have a raft of Plans B, and could act on one or more of them if they had to, but they aren’t going to unless it’s necessary. One of those plans has been highlighted in the media, but clearly it’s not the only one nor would it have been the only option should putsch have come to shove. On the other hand, their plans are not something they’re going to deliver to the Troika with bows on, are they?

        So Varoufakis will not be tried for treason, at least not this week, and Tsipiras has been saying pretty clearly what their strategy is intended to achieve and he has said what’s been accomplished and what has not, and he’s been very clear about the intention to “change Europe” — which is happening — and yet… it’s like none of that matters, partly because what they’ve been doing and are doing doesn’t fit the expectations of what they should be doing.

        I read something in somebody’s column a while back that may help explain why the Greeks seem to be doing things so chaotically or inexplicably. During their struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire, someone asked why they did such seemingly irrational things. The answer was “To confuse the Turks.”

        Seems to me they’re still doing it…

        • okay; good-o, then.
          . ;-)

          too curt; more later as i consider and read a bit, time allowing.

        • yes, many see now that europe has changed forever, i’m just trying to say that it was only one part of the plan. i admit i don’t have the somewhat romantic overview of the greek culture’s appreciation of drama that you believe is in play, and while you may be correct that dignity will allow suffering to be mitigated to some extent, i really dunno how far that can last. or are we talking past each other on this?

          but it may fit your overarching dramatic theme that tsipras certainly has yani’s back, ‘stating that he had been the one who had asked for a contingency plan in case of a collapse in talks with Greece’s creditors’. i’m sure he’s quite relieved; it may mean that his parliamentary immunity won’t be suspended . and yani’s plan b is being given accolades all over. my own notion, after hearing that the ECB controls the banks, the tax system and pin codes, and the mint, is that given the cruel barbarity and punishment of Syriza, that it might have been close to treasonous to not have a backup plan for the short run. yani made the point that if they needed the codes, the Hellenstic parliament would have doubtless okayed the ‘hacking’ access openly, perhaps gratefully.

          where tsipras was naive, imo, was believing that after the resounding 61% referendum Yes vote, the Troika might be more forgiving and conciliatory. but Donald Duck Tusk and Herr Schnauzer would rather watch the eurozone and maybe the EU itself dissolve rather than see democracy take hold, and neoliberal sovereign destruction blown apart.

          oh, yes, the world is watching, and even Frau Frumpel is ‘concerned’ that her Yapping Doggie has gone too far, and is making them pariahs. Good; they are.

          and i remember the quip about ‘confusing the turks’ as well. ‘-)

          • Ah, glad to see your expanded view. Who is this “Curt” of which you speak, BTW? Some German wonk ready throw the Greeks into the Aegean and let them drown, once and for all? ;-)

            As I see it, “changing Europe” is the key to everything else, for nothing that amounts to real relief for the so-called Periphery’s misery is going to happen until/unless the stranglehold of Germany on European financial policies is loosened/removed. The Periphery shouldn’t be in the economic state it is in, but it is in that state because Germany (and its running dogs and allies) demand it — against common sense, basic humanity, and ultimately their own self-interest. German demands are barbaric. The pathetic, hapless behavior of the EU/ECB/IMF until recently has merely magnified the suffering and done nothing at all to mitigate it.

            Not only does Germany demand it, the European titans of finance are all neo-liberal freaks who encourage German excess and go along with (almost) anything Germany wants.

            From a strategic point of view, it would do no good for Greece or the rest of the Periphery to openly plan for or execute an exit from the euro/Grexit at this time — despite all the catcalls and insistence that they do so, and despite all the hoo-hah out of Schauble (“Well, if they won’t do it, I vill!”) Bless his heart, as soon as that happened, the onus shifted to Germany — wah-lah! — and off of Athens. It was like a burden suddenly lifted. As supposedly incompetent as they are, the SYRIZA team forced Schauble’s and Germany’s hand — yet again — something they’ve been doing all along, seemingly unnoticed in all the coverage of the boxing match/horserace — well as all the unsolicited advice from abroad regarding what they should be doing.

            I don’t think looking at the situation this way is “romantic” at all. Ha! Basically, I try to see the situation from the point of view of the Greeks — at least to the extent I can, not knowing the language and all — which is very different from the media narratives of what is going on and what “must be done.”

            Lapavitsas (among others) says over and over again that “changing Europe” is impossible. That’s a point of view, but it’s self-evidently wrong. The change is happening before our eyes. The fact that scrappy little Greece has been able to do what no other suffering Peripheral nation has been able to accomplish is so far not something the media (oligarch or much of the alternative) wants to acknowlege, and so it doesn’t make the headlines. “Change” is noticed but it’s not because Greeks did or said anything — of course not. They’re unimportant. They don’t matter. They don’t have power. Just so, what Tsipras says about what they’ve been doing — including SYRIZA’s strategies, successes and failures — is largely ignored because he doesn’t have “power” and has not fulfilled his central promise to “end austerity.”

            The recent harsh agreement reached in Brussels has been partially implemented, but interestingly the government has (so far) refused to repeal the austerity mitigation legislation they passed in the spring — despite the demands of the Troika. And Tsipras keeps saying more mitigation is necessary and must be implemented before (not after) other aspects of austerity go into effect.

            Is this a backdoor way to “end austerity?” Maybe. Is Tsipras a Clintonian/Obamaish stalking horse for the Oligarchy? It wouldn’t be surprising. Yet just maybe what he’s been saying for years is actually what he and SYRIZA are doing…

            I think we’ll see more referena and likely new elections sooner rather than later. The results will no doubt once again defy polls and expectations…

            • You:

              Lapavitsas (among others) says over and over again that “changing Europe” is impossible.

              No, Lapavitsas says Greece cannot wait for Europe to change. The political theater you attribute to strategy more seems to arise out of the fear of Eurozone tyranny. Even if it were strategy, you must accurately represent the forecasts made by Lapavitsas.

              The eurozone cannot be reformed and it will not become a “friendly” monetary union that supports working people. Greece must bring a full array of options to the table, and it must be prepared for extraordinary liquidity measures in the knowledge that all eventualities could be managed, if its people were ready. After all, the EU has already wrought disaster on the country.

              Syriza could gain succour from the European left, but only if the left shakes off its own illusions and begins to propose sensible policies that might at last rid Europe of the absurdity that the common currency has become. There might then be a chance of properly lifting austerity across the continent.

              Lapavitsas’ would certainly have an excellent handle on the policy argument. His (or your) estimate of the capacity of the left in Europe is much more speculative. Certainly their left must be resuscitated and appropriately some are waking to the challenge of the brutality visited on Greece (and even within the Reich). The dismal state of the left in Europe (and everywhere) is due to a long and vicious campaign of fraud and violence (cointelpro, gladio, etc). Waiting for the apocalypse may not be wise.

              My concern is Lapavitsas’ calculations regarding this deep state power and nefarious “market” movers. Probably he knows more than he should say (just as Syriza investigated alternatives it could not publicize) but that suspicion gives me no comfort that his plan is any less risky than stirring the revolution in Europe.

              In fact, neither plan provokes this hot potato; this lack certainly seems to indicate doom.

  14. our power’s been off, so: no wifi. i’m tired, cranky, and the blisters on my burned fingers cracked open, so typing’s a beach. i’d meant to add these, pardon the raw links.

    “Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras launched a staunch defence of his embattled former finance minister on Friday, as he spoke for the first time about the secret “Plan B” he ordered from Yanis Varoufakis.
    Following almost a week of silence, Mr Tsipras told his parliament he had authorised preparations for a system of “parallel liquidity” should the European Central Bank pull the plug on the Greek banking system.
    “I personally gave the order to prepare a team to prepare a defence plan in case of emergency,” said Mr Tsipras, who compared Greece’s situation with being on a war footing.
    “If our creditors were preparing a Grexit plan, should we not have prepared our defences?”
    But the prime minister said he “did not have, and never prepared, plans to take the country out of the euro”.

    via TRNN: Varoufakis Sued for Alleged Treason While Syriza’s Left Platform Is Accused of Conspiracy

    (the transcript)

    i’ll never catch up and save what’s left of my dwindling sanity, sorry.

  15. Yani pulls the NAZI card again:

    Europeans must not fear to negotiate a European New Deal that restores the dream of shared prosperity within a democratic polity. If we fail, barbarism will rise up from within. For a continent that has generated the best[!] and the worst humans are capable of, this ought to be a sobering thought.

    It’s the commies versus the Nazi’s, round 3! Place yur bets.

    • fascism, if not nazism, no? not that fascistic G’s aren’t at loose planetwide.

      but feel free to explain your objection; i’m not feelin’ terribly bright tonight.

      • Hayek was a fascist. It’s 60+ years the libertarian fascists have been conspiring and Yani talks of restoring the dream that only took two world wars to get started.

        Yani lectures the unconscious collective which rather needs deprogramming.

        • yes, i’ve read at the von mises institute site once or twice; did yani mention him in his list with mitterand, please forgive me, but any more i forget what i’ve read in about sixty seconds. yesterday? oh, rarely.

  16. As Ché Pasa says, changing Europe is the key to everything. Here’s my thought on that, remembering Tsipras’s speeches against austerity in the meetings before those final capitulations – this Syriza government, like Atlas, shoulders a burden, voluntarily, that was not of its making – a burden that has two aspects to it. One: yes, Greece came into the EU in a duplicitous manner (with the help of Goldman Sachs.) The then state of the economy was masked – the actual economy disqualified them at that point.

    In spite of point One, Syriza feels, Tsipras and Yaroufakis feel, that Greece has riches of a different sort that well qualify them for membership. They have actual stablity ideas that would benefit the EU in the long run, enable it to become a truly democratic (and above all fair) community for all of its states, not just the more powerful ones. Such as is being attempted in the new BRICS grouping, still very much in its infancy.

    Point Two is that previous Greek governments haven’t been able to govern well, and oligarchs within Greece have sucked what remained of value in institutions dry and still support troika programs, even though those are aimed at forcing Greece out.

    And I am of two minds: I think for the sake of the people, out they must and will go, having made a huge difference by pointing to how the EU must reform itself if it is to survive. And if that reform happens, then the EU must come back on bended knee to a Greece revitalized by a forced grexit and implore it to return; because the spirit of that European regeneration first sparked and flamed brightly in Syriza’s dramatic and memorable, shining moment.

    Of course, I am a huge romantic; but that’s how I’d stage the movie, Cecil B. DeMille style.

    • romance (n.)
      c. 1300, “a story, written or recited, of the adventures of a knight, hero, etc.,” often one designed principally for entertainment,” from Old French romanz “verse narrative” (Modern French roman), originally an adverb, “in the vernacular language,” from Vulgar Latin *romanice scribere “to write in a Romance language” (one developed from Latin instead of Frankish), from Latin Romanicus “of or in the Roman style,” from Romanus “Roman”
      Romance (adj.)
      mid-14c., “French; in the vernacular language of France” (contrasted to Latin), from Old French romanz “French; vernacular,” from Late Latin Romanice, from Latin Romanicus (see Roman). Extended 1610s to other modern tongues derived from Latin (Spanish, Italian, etc.); thus “pertaining to the languages which arose out of the Latin language of the provinces of Rome.
      One millennia after Rome died …

  17. romance (n.)
    c. 1300, “a story, written or recited, of the adventures of a knight, hero, etc.,” often one designed principally for entertainment,” from Old French romanz “verse narrative” (Modern French roman), originally an adverb, “in the vernacular language,” from Vulgar Latin *romanice scribere “to write in a Romance language” (one developed from Latin instead of Frankish), from Latin Romanicus “of or in the Roman style,” from Romanus “Roman”
    Romance (adj.)
    mid-14c., “French; in the vernacular language of France” (contrasted to Latin), from Old French romanz “French; vernacular,” from Late Latin Romanice, from Latin Romanicus (see Roman). Extended 1610s to other modern tongues derived from Latin (Spanish, Italian, etc.); thus “pertaining to the languages which arose out of the Latin language of the provinces of Rome.”

    One millennia after Rome died …

  18. — millenium —

  19. Yes, indeed, Comrade X, a hefty slice of our current English language is Latin-based, and perhaps that has echoes of Greece (hro-a = pomegranate; hro-ay = river), though probably the mysterious Etruscan figures in more. I do love the history of language origins and links.

    Here’s my most recent adherence to the word ‘romantic’ though:

    “. . .the trouble is that while I have just one biography, I have two novels [‘roman’ in Russian]. The main novel is the second one – about the activities of my hero in our time, that is, in our present, current moment. As for the first novel, it already took place thirteen years ago and is even almost not a novel at all but just one moment from my hero’s early youth. It is impossible for me to do without this first novel, or much in the second novel will be incomprehensible. . .”
    [Dostoievski’s ‘From the Author’ introducing ‘The Brothers Karamazov’; Pevear translation]

    Even a lowly romantic can be enigmatic.

    • In our country, we call ourselves Hellenes and not Greeks which some ignorant Latin came up with about 2000 years ago.

      !!!!! Not very Romantique, those Greeks.

  20. enigma – a standing in the way, a plunging into (as into battle), a resistance, a blockage, a puzzle [my ideas about the term looking at ancient Greek root verbs]

    In defence of the Latin language, Rome wasn’t always an empire. Neither was Chaco. That happened when good things, res publica, were distorted by greedy tyrants, the language itself as well. Today the puebloans retain their individual languages while speaking ours, and it is not taught to outsiders.

    • Ok, so the romantics expressed popular appeal “in the vernacular” (in degenerate languages of lost empire) for liberation from a growing enslavement to the state and “progress” and “enlightenment”.

      What is an earnest liberatory optimism for Greece? Under the tyranny of a degenerating capitalism, it would be incredible that the Eurozone would “reform” such it would be liberation to return. But it could be that Greece outside could prove so traumatic that slavery to the Germans would appear beneficial …

      In our time of terror, I guess the romantics must satisfy themselves with entertainment.

      • this is the current drama of the European Left. In its depths of despair, Syriza and Podemos offered it powerful cause for hope, feeding its desire to believe in the possibility of continent-wide renewal. And let’s admit it, it’s easy to understand this: how could we not ourselves have felt the temptation to let this sentiment take us over, too? But political strategies based on ‘hope’ are a false alternative, if they decide to place everything on emotions and abandon reasoned analysis when it threatens to contradict them. Sadly, it’s rarely to our advantage not to look situations square in the face, however painful that might sometimes be. A true political strategy – recognisable as such in that it emphasises lucidity as well as hope – must preserve both the undoubtable political energy that these movements brought to life – whatever their faults – and a clear consciousness of the impasses to which they (and therefore we) are headed when they refuse to pose the question of the euro. Which, we mustn’t tire of repeating, is the radical straitjacket of our time.

        If Tsipras’s shipwreck is to be something other than just more reason to be depressed, it has to be made intellectually productive, and help us to clean the slate once and for all, so that we can finally get in motion. Which, in this case, means now and already ‘chalking up’ Podemos’s losses, such as we can reasonably expect them to be. Unless… Unless rather than counting on the failure of Podemos to reanimate (defectively) the European Lefts, we instead counted on the European Lefts to reorient Podemos – and why not Syriza, too, if something remains of that (which we hope for more than anything, it must be said)? Such a reorientation, with the Left in Europe committing its fate to the possibility of finally escaping from inanity, entirely relies on breaking with the euro and its institutions, having understood – and it’s really high time for this – that no, another euro is not possible.

  21. Everything is impossible — until it is done.

    Until Greece threw some spanners in the works, everyone knew “nothing could be done” — about the Troika’s demands, about German hegemony and intransigence, about the cruelties and irrationality of austerity, about the tyranny of the euro, and so on and so forth (h/t Zizek). Nothing could be done.

    Everything was impossible.

    Because everything was impossible, nothing was done to stop the madness. The screws were ratcheted ever tighter, the suffering intensified. Complainers were told “There is no alternative.”

    And then something happened. Unchangeable Europe started changing.

    It’s because the Greeks stood up and said “no more of this shit.” They pointed to the madness, to the greed, to the cruelties and to the ultimately unsustainable impositions that were being demanded not solely of Greece, but of the European proletariat in general. Austerity was affecting almost everyone. Those who were immune ignored the suffering they were imposing because — as Lagarde so eloquently put it — “there are children in Africa who have it much worse than the Greeks.”

    There were other ways to go about doing what SYRIZA and Tsipras have done, and those ways may or may not have worked or if they worked, they may have worked better. What has been done, however, is more than anyone has tried to date. Sometimes it seems that a lot of the critics of SYRIZA/Tsipras really want to maintain the status quo ante. Bad as it was, at least the way things used to be were predictable…Now, there’s so much uncertainty!

    When the other lefts of Europe have the power to do more, more power to them.

    • “Everything is impossible […] until it is done.” Therefore, nothing is impossible.

      Yes, the principle of explosion will lead you far astray. An agenda to categorize all critiques of Syriza as bashing and defeatist is itself suspect. And then the comparison of left-critics to TINA-chanters is probably scurrilous. Tsipras either chose or was threatened to drop plan B. I suppose he’s guilty of thinking there was no alternative there.

      This TINA bullshit, sermonized to proles so they have their fairy tale to forgive their acquiescence, now sullies lefty discourse.

      Are we driven to an existence where “those who were immune ignored the suffering they were imposing”? No. While Raygun was having Breakfast in America, the architecture of the international police state was fertilized. This suppression by fear rests on fraud, and fraud has become endemic. Lagarde’s “eloquence” is itself a fraud. Those not immune to the suffering being imposed are the “99%” in all of Europe. Yet they are ignored purposely and not through neglect. Lagarde’s preaching masks the dominators’ malignity.

      In the unveiling of capitalists’ barbarism, many compradors will squirm. So be it.

  22. How can we help but use ‘degenerative language’, Comrade X? You yourself are using it. I am just learning the fascinating tale of Chaco Canyon – and I have advocated, as you suggest, that Greece shake the dust from their sandals and leave. My romanticism consists of the hope that in doing so, the example is set for the remainder of the EU, to reform that body – a rebuilding of Chaco if you like, because Europe is a small place really, and Greece is historically a part of Europe, so a reformation would be a good thing. I don’t think, for instance, that the fragmentation of the Middle East has been a good thing for all those little countries – it just makes them so vulnerable to all the depradations the powerful invaders are happy to inflict upon them. Look at what’s happening to Gaddafi’s son in Libya, for instance.

    I came here, though, to recommend an article today explaining what could be happening in the IMF from Yaroufakis’ blog. Within that article is a link to the transcript of his famous telephone call describing Plan B. I think wendye has linked to it somewhere above, but this was the first time I read it. It is well worth a read.

    • The term I used, in an aside, was “degenerate language”, comrade. And I remain convinced that a romantic return of profligate Greece to a reformed EU is an entertainment. If only we could all abandon our masters until they wised up …

      Schauble wants Greece to leave as an example to the rest of EU proles; leaving is a defeat for them all, no? Contrast that to advocating a reoriented “Left in Europe committing its fate to the possibility of finally escaping from inanity” who themselves depart the Euro.

      Reading Yani’s latest “vindication”, I get little comfort from the serpentine logic therein. That the IMF is bureaucratically incapacitated by contradictions is perhaps a technocrats amusement, but I am sure the hegemonsters behind the scene are not so trapped. Has Theseus-Yani forgotten that the monsters’ maze protects them?

      From another European Theseus:

      In my opinion Yanis didn’t had the good advisors. American economists. They don’t know us, Northern Europeans. They have the idea the continent Europe is something like a small American. And that is a big, big mistake.

      We are different. Complet different. We are neither Americans nor Australians. We have too much history and a good memory. And it is a very violent history. I grew up in the ruins of war. And that is not long ago. If you understand something of our history you will understand that the Troika never, never will arrive in Paris. Never! And that France never, never will allow Germany to force Greece out of the Eurozone. No way!

      Perhaps rhetorical and technical quips only go so far.

  23. I would just add to Comrade X that it wasn’t entertainment that motivated my romantic idealism – there is an archeological record of the Chaco experience, many tragic happenings along the way, but of regeneration of positive aspects of that community without the stratification which led to its undoing, in present day riverian pueblo communities. A different kind of Chaco and not perfect by any means, but it has survived – I can verify that since I live here.

    • Yes, but have the Greeks taught “that the EU must reform itself if it is to survive”? I think their trajectory will be much too complicated and fraught to be called a romance.

  24. Keynesians generally lay the blame for the Greek crisis in the formation of the Eurozone because it took away the ability to devaluate the national currency (drachma) to protect less efficient and less productive firms and economy from external competition. The Keynesian solution for Greece requires re-adoption of a national currency (e.g., drachma) and its devaluation to make Greek exports cheaper and more competitive but it will also lowers the purchasing power of the Greek working people as the economy is heavily dependent of imports. Although to promote growth the Keynesian alternative includes deficit spending and public works to reduce unemployment it also envisions austerity measures once the crisis becomes manageable. To make Greek capitalist economy stable and more competitive in the framework of the capitalist Europe it must lower labor, capital and raw materials costs. In the short term, it has to cut back labor costs as it is much more challenging to reduce costs and improve efficiency for capital and raw materials needs in production. As with the neoliberal policies the Keynesian option is ultimately aimed at saving Greek capitalism and neither address root-cause of the crisis which lies in the capitalist social relations of production.


    A key difference with the capitalist prescriptions is that [the following socialist] measures require a corresponding rise in working class self-activity and self-organization. Thus, revolutionary socialists—unlike electoral leftist parties and coalitions—view elections not primarily to get elected to an office but to help develop working class self-activity and self-organization. Further, once elected they will not shoulder the task of managing the capitalist economy, state and society for the capitalist class. They would use their offices to promote their socialist agenda instead.

    • No new austerity measures, no new agreement, no negotiations
    • Reduction of working hours, along with raises in wages and pensions
    • Stop paying off debt and fully cancel it
    • Expropriation of banks and big enterprises, with no compensation for capitalists, and operation under workers control
    • Self-management of closing factories and enterprises
    • Disengagement from the euro and the EU, for an anticapitalist internationalist perspective
    • For the self-organization, the government and power of the working people

  25. Syriza fails to rise and raise to this consciousness. Now it is understood that the neoliberal Reich would torment Syriza even further if it were to so propagandize; the Reich is now punishing for just the potential that Syriza could so propagandize. And here lies is a key negligence/complicity of Syriza: the necessary, ecosocialist, prescriptions are completely obscured by this play of domination and obsequiousness SO THAT the Reich’s prescription for the root crisis is the only visible one viable.

    Double teamed by crapitalists!!!!!!!

    The true alternative of the ecosocialists:

    It is necessary and desirable to reduce and transform production and consumption in the Global North and increase and transform production and consumption in the Global South. The transformation in production and consumption must be in the direction of reducing the ecological foot print until human society will not pose a danger to the planetary, regional and local ecosystems and, in fact, reinforce their vitality.

    Thus, in contrast to neoliberal “austerity now, prosperity later” and Keynesian “growth now, austerity later” policy prescriptions to save capitalism for the capitalist class, ecological socialists should call for degrowth in Greece and elsewhere in the Global North. This would be a consciously and democratically planned transition by the grassroots that will eliminate entire industries that are hazardous to society and nature such as the war machine, advertising, fossil fuels, chemicals, insurance, etc., transform others such as housing, food, health care, education, transportation, etc., and build new ones such as clean renewable energy. At the same time, technologies must be re-examined and discarded in favor of those that are people and ecology friendly. Production will become largely local both to make it ecologically friendly but also to ensure local control or what is produced and how. In tandem, consumption and life habits must be transformed to allow for the transformation of the productive apparatus and bring the new society into being. The process leading to the new ecological socialist society will include population planning led by empowered women because population pressure is a key factor contributing to the ecological crisis. There will be a need for production as well as consumption councils where grassroots make all these decisions.

    Or you can be austerized, comrades.

  26. And Syriza abetted Greek compradors:

    When Syriza took power, the banks were in much better condition; since then, Greek households have sent more than €41 billion abroad. All forms of deposits in Greek banks are now €120 billion. Before the crisis, this figure was €230 billion. The Bank of International Settlements has calculated that Greek households have a net financial position of €250 billion. This is a surplus of forms of deposits minus all private debts held all over the world.

    These data shows that the Greek middle class and the rich sent money abroad since long before Syriza’s electoral victory, but this process has accelerated ever since the endless negotiations.

    Demonstrating the Reich’s barbarity had a huge opportunity cost. Maybe reeducated compradors want to reimburse them for the privilege?

  27. And then this:

    The third aspect: the appeasement of the center of economic power, the oligarchy, and what is called in Greek “diaploki,” the intricate nexus between business interests, politicians, and the state. And here we must be absolutely specific. It would of course be a mistake to attach all blame to individual persons. But we should be quite clear about the fact that there have been enclaves providing bridges with sectors of the oligarchy inside Syriza, even before it came to power.

    There is nothing coincidental about the exceptionally opaque role of the vice prime minister, Giannis Dragasakis, as the person par excellence devoted to keeping the status quo untouched in the entire banking and financial sector, standing as a barricade against any attempted change in a system that today forms the nerve center, the literal heart, of capitalist power in its relation to the state.

    Maybe the reeducation of compradors was not a priority?

  28. Even before assuming office Syriza had tended to become less and less democratic as a party, not in the superficial sense of the term — being permitted to express one’s opinion — but in the sense that its members had less and less influence on the shaping of policy and on where decisions were being taken within the party.

    What we saw being constructed after June 2012 — step by step but systematically — was a party form increasingly leader-centered, centralized, and detached from the actions and the will of the membership. The process went entirely out of control when Syriza went into government. From that time on, the high circles of the government and the key centers of political decision-making acquired absolute autonomy from the party.

    Oh My Goodness. And here comrades are defending the hierarchy that prostrated itself to the Reich and pissed on Z peuple. Thanks for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, comrade!

    • i’m of course way behind by now, but i wish you’d provide links to the passages you quote; thanks in advance, comrade x. a few pieces at jacobin, perhaps?

    • Comrade X, a clarification. It was not to defend the hierarchy – the Russians call them the 5th column – intransigents embedded within the system – that I was suggesting reform in my ‘romance’ post. At Chaco the ones who survived were the ones who voted ‘oxhi’ with their feet, leaving the elites to take themselves off elsewhere. The ‘oxhis’ of the Chacoans, being the farmers and less well off set up new communities that were and are non-hierarchical, with spiritual centers separate and individual to each community. I think that is not too different from what you describe must happen in your quotations above.

      Greece is going through agony at present, having as you say been profligate in the past. Surely that is going to have some ‘weeding out’ results – already the stock market is doing a nose dive. The rats will leave the sinking ship and good riddance to them!

      One can only expect the conflagration to expand to the rest of Europe. (I concur with your assessment of Christine LeGarde; she is nothing without her haute couture.)

      • Capitalism “progressed” from feudalism to Reichstadts to nation-states to the deep Reich mono-stadt, which wants to refeudalize internationally. What is described above does not address the means of battle, it shows an alternative organization to that of the deep Reich’s.

        Oxhis here and there are of no consequence for deep Reich’s barbarism. I suppose if I had a time machine I could enjoy the world-game-play but instead I’ve been Shanghaied while sober.

  29. Greece is thus being converted — I go so far as to draw this analogy — into a kind of Kosovo writ large, a country bound hand and foot in neocolonial chains and consigned to the status of an insignificant and ruined Balkan semi-protectorate. In such a conjuncture, reference to nationhood indicates that there is a problem of regaining national sovereignty as a prerequisite for exercising not even anticapitalist but democratic and progressive policies of the most elementary kind.

    So the hegemonsters have been toying with national sovereignty for some time. Well, I suppose, getting some socialist scouts up close and personal with hegemonsters could be beneficial, if they weren’t screened for access. They couldn’t handle Yani, and he’s not even an enemy of theirs (yet?)

    If the Reich were to act on instinct, wouldn’t it be a disadvantage to have sedulous Yani’s as our primary offense?

  30. The fight of the Greek and of the other European people against the iron cage of the EU will reveal the class and imperialist character of this edifice and will thus allow the struggles inside the historical center of world capitalism to connect with the broader movements against imperialist and capitalist domination at a global scale, and more particularly with the movements of the Global South, which begins just at the other side of the Mediterranean.

    Ah, but hasn’t that been revealed some time ago? Yes, proles like spectacles, and hegemonsters will commodify their own defense for sale to proles. And, here, in the current center of world crapitalism, to debased life inside the empire, who will be illuminated by “fights”?

    Compradors don’t reject the perpetual illumination by fighting.

    But what of the current center of world crapitalism’s relationship to the historical center? Do we hear much more in the current center than projections of barbarity on the historical center?


    a genuine “other Europe,” which cannot be but socialist in orientation, requires the dissolution of today’s eurozone and of the EU, [and of the comprador empire overseas,] starting with breaks in the weakest links. In addition, this dissolution is a prerequisite for a proper break on the part of Europe — both with its colonial past and with its neocolonial and imperialist present.

    Anybody remember markfromireland? He condemned the current center as a settler-colonial state. Is it likely that breaking the weak links of crapitalism’s now shadow colony, Europe, would stop our hegemonstrosity?

  31. Comrade X, perhaps we can meet in the middle. One element I think Ché Pasa and I have been trying to preserve is that part of the entire Greek process which supported the Oxhi vote. We’ve seen intimations and reports that Tsipras did not, but that was the tipping point for Varoufakis, whatever his public statements of cameraderie may involve. The latter’s revelations about his lack of control of his own ministry (having to hack into it to make preliminary plans for a possible currency switch) indicate the poisonous atmosphere he was dealing with even in Greece, let alone with European bigwigs.

    You give a link to a Verso article – here’s another that gives an indication of thinking within Syriza:

    I think you’ll like this quote from near the end of the interview:

    ” . . . What interests me is an anti-capitalist strategy for the here and now, in a European country and in the conjuncture that we are living in. And indeed I think that this is the necessary mediation for setting out an effective anti-capitalist strategy, based not on abstract propagandism or the temptation to repeat old schemas that we are perfectly aware are no longer valid, but on the actual contradictions of the day. A strategy that draws the lessons of recent political experiences, struggles, and social movements and that tries to make progress in such a direction, posing the question of power and political strategy. So it is not simply a so-called ‘anti-European’ project, and nor is it one limited to southern Europe, but an authentically internationalist one – which does indeed suppose more advanced forms of coordinating the forces opposed to the system. . . “

    • Why cast Syriza criticism as squabbling? Syriza’s condemnation is justified. An authentically internationalist anti-capitalist is not satisfied with the sacrifice of Syriza to the Hegemonster.

      As I commented above, there is an ulterior drama missing from Syrizan self-critique. While some vicariously mistake the Syriza failure as a learning experience, even the failed Syrizans have not learned this dimension of the play. And, as I mentioned above, spectating Syriza in the colliseum makes one stupid.

      The ulterior drama would be a better basis for international coordination than the spectacle of Syriza and her gladiators.

      Yes the oxhi vote was spectacular but it really reveals how badly Syriza failed the communal potential.

      Are we near the middle yet?

      • while i understand that you are a communist, comrade x, and i do believe that chéPasa and juliiania romanticize both chaco canyon *and* tsipras a bit too far for myownself…i’d ask you to not let your frustration reach as high as disrespect for them, or ‘the proles on turtle island’.

        ye, the hellenists created drama, both tragic and comedic(Aristophanes comes to mind), and all may be at play now. who was varoufakis, really? so many divergent opinions as to his ‘erratic marxism’ and the administrations he’d served. but now is the now, and i hope that he’s an honest broker, but who can say? or tsipris, for that matter?

        but please understand that we all care deeply about the further immiseration of the everyday greek people. rumbles indicate that either the syriza central committee may be polled soon, or the syriza mp’s themselves, but if either don’t happen ahead of the aug. 20 deadline is hard to say.

        but try to leave off the hubristic insults, please.

        i should have added that juliania has honored you by trying to follow along your links and thinking; please consider that.
        also, i chuckled the other day remembering how vexed southern dragon (marxist economics teacher) would get when you called him ‘comrade’). i, by the way failed his course as the class clown. ;-)

        • Yeah, was ok to call him dragon but not comrade! I guess he just didn’t want your expectations too high. Ha ha ha.

  32. Essential illumination for captured Turtle Island colonists.

  33. I really don’t know why you keep insisting that ‘proles like spectacles’, Comrade X, as if that is what we’ve been examining and promoting here. ‘Proles’, if I understand the term, really don’t like spectacles when they themselves are involved in the shock and horror of it. They would far rather be putting food on the table for their children than pulling their small bodies out from under the rubble of war. It is that horror which Obama and his ilk seem unaffected by, and which will never enable me, as I read it enables nc folk to give credit for seemingly positive late-stage legacy crafting. No way, no how.

    But your last link I do understand and support. Thanks for giving it!
    ” . . . I do not know if we can make up for lost time if Sisyphus this time will carry salvation without falling. But I know that, unlike those unacceptable and historically inaccurate invoke Lenin and the Bolsheviks, EAM and ELAS, even the Vietcong, to give historical proportions in today’s rout and comparable to the heroes of our history, we can have a reference to a historical example. I mean for the topicality of popular resistance, initiative and self-sacrifice that triggered the establishment of the IPU from the then Communist Party in crisis and other small organizations. The liberation from the shackles of Memoranda can only be realized as a work of the great political and social movement of NO. The forces of the left that are not reconciled with the new situation should have this as a first target.”

    That is what Stathis Kouvelakis was also saying in the piece I quoted from.

    • “[T]he establishment of the IPU from the then Communist Party” refers to the KKE’s establishment of the National Liberation Front:

      The National Liberation Front (Greek: Εθνικό Απελευθερωτικό Μέτωπο, Ethniko Apeleftherotiko Metopo, EAM) was the main movement of the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. Its main driving force was the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), but its membership throughout the Occupation period included several other leftist and republican groups. EAM became the first true mass social movement in modern Greek history, and even established its own government, the Political Committee of National Liberation, in the areas it had liberated in spring 1944. At the same time, from late 1943 onwards, the political enmity between EAM and rival resistance groups from the centre and right evolved into a virtual civil war, which was ended only with the Lebanon conference in May 1944. The organisation reached its peak after Liberation in late 1944, when it controlled most of the country, before suffering a catastrophic military and political defeat in the December 1944 events […]

      Here we must depart the Wikipedia frame.

      Even before the final surrender of Nazi Germany, British troops were engaged in a bloody attempt at suppressing the resistance movement in Greece, the Communist-led National Liberation Front. This conflict followed immediately after the German evacuation of the country and was the direct result of British determination to eradicate the influence of the left and, as far as possible, restore the pre-war status quo of an authoritarian monarchy with constitutional trappings that protected foreign investment and acknowledged British supremacy. There was not, it has to be insisted, any attempted Communist takeover. This allegation was the product of a potent mixture of genuine fear of the left and calculated Cold War propaganda. Far from trying to seize power, the Greek Communist Party (KKE) was instead concerned with securing the political influence commensurate with the tremendous popular support it had built up during the wartime occupation. It did not try to take advantage of the revolutionary situation that, it could be argued, existed in Greece in the closing months of 1944 and lead the resistance movement in a revolutionary seizure of power. Instead, the KKE hoped to go down the same road as the French and Italian Communists and reach an accommodation with bourgeois democracy. Their actions were motivated by the need to combat the Greek right, both royalist and collaborationist, rather than by any strategy of revolution. What the KKE leadership did not realise was that while it sought a compromise that would accord it a place within the political system, that would recognise its reformist aspirations as legitimate, the British completely rejected any such outcome and were determined to crush the left. They were prepared to use whatever degree of force was required to achieve this. Moreover, Winston Churchill had already concluded a cynical deal with Stalin in Moscow in October 1944 that enabled him to carry out this policy without any Russian criticism or interference. The result was the bloody days of fighting that overwhelmed Athens and Piraeus in December 1944.

      This policy was continued under the Labour Government that came to power in Britain in July 1945. Attlee, Bevin and co continued to support the Greek right in its campaign against the left, eventually provoking the outbreak of a civil war that was to end in the complete destruction of the Greek resistance. The Labour Government’s support, financially, politically and militarily, was crucial to that outcome. It was Ernest Bevin, the Labour Foreign Secretary, who ensured that Churchill’s partial victory of December 1944 was turned into complete victory.

      Not only does this recounting enthusiastically compare the KKE’s pursuit of a unified front to the opportunity provided by the Oxi vote, it is haunted by the comparison of EAM’s defeat to Syriza’s compromising and loss. “[M]ore advanced forms of coordinating” must draw lessons from 70-year recent political experiences and struggles.

    • I think that proles like spectacles because that’s the best explanation for so little USan understanding of crapitalist managed catastrophe.

  34. Sorry about the ‘degenerative’ instead of ‘degenerate’ – I meant the latter. I’d just disagree with the above author that Syriza’s efforts were only ‘on paper’ – that’s just not accounting for the momentum achieved by the referendum and marathon dialogues within both Greek parliament and the European parliament. There’s a point in Stravinski’s opera ‘Oedipus Rex’ where the narrator says ‘Oedipus falls . . . he falls headlong . . .’ keeps coming to mind. Final chant of the chorus goes:

    ‘Farewell, Oedipus;
    we loved you.’

    Even the illuminating lady you link above uses Sisyphus to illustrate her point. Maybe that’s what you mean about the proles. Greek ones, anyway.

  35. The Comrade’s point of view is often helpful in understanding the tragedy under way in Greece and much of the rest of the European Periphery.

    I question the relevance of standard Marxian analysis and revolutionary socialist rhetoric to what is going on however.

    The SYRIZA coalition includes standard Marxists and revolutionary socialists (though not straight out party-line Communists). As far as I can tell — with the proviso that I do not read or understand Greek — they have argued forcefully for a more radical approach to the economic and social problems Greece faces, but they have not been able to gain the support of their coalition partners for taking more radical action. At least from the reports I’ve seen, it appears that the approach SYRIZA has been taking is the result of sometimes fierce argument and discussion and a vote of the Central Committee. It’s not particularly radical, not even particularly “leftist” — but it is, so far as I can tell, an accurate reflection of the desire of a majority of the Committee and the coalition.

    Of course it is fair to criticize that outcome, to criticize the process and to criticize the individuals involved. No doubt there is error every step of the way. No doubt choosing another way forward might have had a better outcome — or a worse one — for the Greek people.

    But at the very least, what SYRIZA has been doing through this protracted struggle (and they are still struggling) has exposed the deep-seated corruption and hegemonic power mongering that is the heart and soul of the Euro-Project, it has offered a valid and extensive critique of that project, and it has proposed a range of options for a democratic and humane Europe going forward.

    This has had a profound effect on the conscience of many Europeans — if not yet their governments, which for the most part show no capacity for conscience — and it has begun to de-stabilize the Core and the Troika as their brutalities and cruelties have been made manifest.

    Previous Greek governments just went along with the Troika’s austerity demands with barely a peep of objection and with essentially no concern for the effects of austerity on the Greek people. SYRIZA said “no,” repudiated the Second Memorandum, and attempted to negotiate better terms. They failed in that the outcome of that “negotiation” was an even more stringent application of austerity nonsense heading into negotiations for a Third Memorandum.

    They refused to take the bait of a Greek exit from the euro. Tsipras has been very clear for years that a Grexit was not in the cards. It was neither feasible nor desirable according to his calculations (and apparently the majority of the Central Committee agreed.) Nevertheless it should be obvious by now that the notion that they had and have no plan for a Grexit is simply false. They refused to be baited into implementing it and they refused to be pushed into it. Maybe that’s a mistake, but that’s the course they chose.

    They’ve also stated that while they will implement the provisions of the revised Second Memorandum — and have implemented some of those provisions — they will continue to criticize those provisions they say are counter-productive (such as increasing the rate of VAT without any ability to increase VAT collections) and they have so far refused to repeal legislation passed in the spring to mitigate some of the harshest effects of austerity — although repeal is part of the “prior actions” they agreed to in June. In other words, despite their apparent capitulation, they’re still defiant.

    An integrated, democratic and a much more humane Europe seems to be the preferred outcome of SYRIZA and many other European parties. In that context, national sovereignty is not so much of an issue. What’s much more important is replacing the tyrannies and cruelties of the current Euro-project with a democratic and humane reconception of what a united Europe ought to be.

    Whether the Greeks will prove to be the catalyst they’re trying to be for that change remains to be seen. But they are well on the way to doing exactly that.

    • damned eloquent, chéPasa, especially for early morning. i’ll try to ask a couple questions later, but doggone if this didn’t come in on the popular resistance newsletter (and internal link, but i got waylaid trying to read it, skipped to the Goals section, and want to get back to the original article at the socialist project in canada.

      The political resolution of the 1st congress of SYRIZA‘. pretty heady stuff. the section on agriculture caught my eye, because they speak of land distribution, including large private and church holdings. no wonder the orthodox church paid for Yes ads, no? back later; i’m still gonna watch the hearings in ABQ, though.

      • As you can follow in Bob Lyon’s comments below that article, Syriza’s “capture” of the government led to Syriza’s pruning by the “bourgeois” state (the neoliberal Eurozone).

        This is the schema of neo-Kautskyism. The problem, from both a theoretical and a practical point of view, is that it doesn’t work. Not in Greece, not in Bolivia, not in Venezuala. And not in Chile. What companero Lebowitz and others who advocate this approach fail to appreciate the underlying message of Lenin’s The State and Revolution. That is, the bourgeois State is not a neutral entity, and the crystallization of the capitalist social relations, at a political and administrative level. Its very structure is over-determined to block change.

        So, Syriza failed to grasp this old lesson, enervated social mobilization, allowed capital flight to continue, and, though it provoked the Troika’s demonstration of it’s recalcitrance, is muzzled.

        While, thanks Syriza, we have been “educated” on neoliberalism in the Eurozone, thanks crapital again, we have been educated on how to collapse a coalition/non-radical party.

        • you mean this piece, not the 2013 platform.

          reading led to:

          “Something happened, however, in the approach to new elections. In September 2014, Syriza presented its electoral programme, the Thessaloniki Programme. As in its earlier positions, the programme stressed the need for a new government that would challenge the neoliberal austerity demands of the Troika and, in particular, would reduce the debt. Yet, there were some obvious differences. There was no pledge to cancel the memoranda and the implementing laws, no call for public ownership of the banks, no declaration that planned privatizations and the looting of public wealth would be canceled. Indeed, there was no explicit critique of capitalism.

          In place of any anti-capitalist (let alone, socialist) measures was a National Reconstruction Plan which focused upon restarting the Greek economy through public investment and tax reduction for the middle class. Recovery and growth (along with a negotiated moratorium on debt servicing) would rescue the Greek economy and allow it to ‘gradually’ reverse all the memorandum injustices, ‘gradually’ restore salaries and pensions and rebuild the welfare state. Economically, the Thessaloniki Programme was based upon Keynesian (not even post-Keynesian) theory, and it supplemented its focus upon aggregate demand stimulation by proposed measures to deal with the humanitarian crisis (e.g., subsidies for meals, electricity, medical care and public transit for the poor and unemployed).” and tra la la…

          but lebowitz Does Say: “As was always apparent (to both friends and enemies), though, the Syriza leadership was determined that Greece not move out of the eurozone and, above all, was committed to do everything possible to prevent it. So, it did give in but not before euros moved out of Greece.”….
          which was one of your points above. i’ll try to keep reading as time permits. dagnabbit, this day is crazy with communications already, some from the way-back, even; my stars.

  36. best laid plans, and all that rot. kinda distracted by a zero percent contained fire on ute mountain (the west side), and this: ‘Toxic waste shuts Animas
    EPA team leaks contamination from Gold King Mine’ (silverton >durango>farmington.?). the photos are staggering.

  37. time’s already getting away from me. here’s ‘Social Democracy or Revolutionary Democracy: Syriza and Us‘ by Michael A. Lebowitz on ‘The Construction of Syriza’.

  38. Was wondering how close that Animas disaster was to you, and now a fire, too?

    Here’s hopin’ y’all stay safe in the midst of the minor-Apocalypse. Criminy.

    As for the prelim hearings on Perez and Sandy, what a goon show, no?

    • sorry for giving the wrong impression: i’d meant that my attention got diverted along the way (once again). we’re safe; probably equidistant between the ute fire and the acid animas, maybe 40 miles by flying crow? oh, the photo at baker’s bridge was horrid. it’s the most gorgeous spot on the river, imo. deep blue-green pools that froth with white rims; one can get lost gazing into them.

      the prelim trial is sick alrightie, but i’ll keep recording it for the sake of posterity, and likely put up Pt.I in a bit. looks to be longer than anyone had expected; so many witnesses for the defense, and my current favorite pro to boot. grrrrrrr. ptui. ack.

  39. Sorry about Ute Mountain, wendye, and the polluted waters. Up your way the Chaco experience began and ended. . .

    Taking a slightly different tack, (and I gotta go roofing as we have cloud cover here) an article by Louis Proyect references Venezuela and why that happened more fluidly when Chavez came in, going back to your idea, Comrade X, of the importance of community organization – which maybe Greece doesn’t have a lot of experience with presently, they having been so long under the euro’s spell. Even so, the Venezuelan experience seems menaced on all sides, so Ché Pasa’s point about the educational example of Greece has merit.

    Here’s a bit from the final part of the article (“What Now?” currently at

    In 1847 Frederick Engels wrote a draft programme for the newly formed Communist League that made clear how he (and Marx as well) would view the scope of the coming revolution in answering the rhetorical question: “Will it be possible for this revolution to take place in one country alone?” He answered his own question thusly:

    “No. By creating the world market, big industry has already brought all the peoples of the Earth, and especially the civilized peoples, into such close relation with one another that none is independent of what happens to the others.

    “Further, it has co-ordinated the social development of the civilized countries to such an extent that, in all of them, bourgeoisie and proletariat have become the decisive classes, and the struggle between them the great struggle of the day. It follows that the communist revolution will not merely be a national phenomenon but must take place simultaneously in all civilized countries – that is to say, at least in England, America, France, and Germany.

    “It will develop in each of these countries more or less rapidly, according as one country or the other has a more developed industry, greater wealth, a more significant mass of productive forces. Hence, it will go slowest and will meet most obstacles in Germany, most rapidly and with the fewest difficulties in England. It will have a powerful impact on the other countries of the world, and will radically alter the course of development which they have followed up to now, while greatly stepping up its pace.

    “It is a universal revolution and will, accordingly, have a universal range.”

    Now, of course, this is not how socialism has developed up until now. Except for Marx’s interest in the Russian peasant commune late in life, both he and Engels had their sights set on Western Europe. Instead, it has been the weak links that broke with capitalism, from Cuba to Vietnam. And even now, a country like Venezuela has to be very careful about balancing its socialist imperatives with the need to co-exist economically in a brutal and even genocidal world capitalist system. Perhaps in the long run, our mission is to make good on what Engels projected in 1847, the need to destroy the monster in its lair.

    • Proyect juxtaposes socialist development in the “third world” to that in the “first”. He notes that their struggles were external (arising from the neo-colonial master, the US) and they did not require the perennial self-education of the proletariat in the developed world. This is paradoxical in the Engelian world-view.

      You may have noticed that Engels did not project “the need to destroy the monster in it’s lair.” He and Marx believed the revolutionary potential lay with those in the lair. Besides Proyect’s false continuity here, he circumlocutes the national liberation movements arising after Europe “self-destructed”. Those peoples whose consciousness was already adequate where also mobilizing to fight the hegemonster when it came to their homes.

      How were those movements defeated? This issue is an essential lacuna in Proyect’s story. The deep state Engels’ prophesy does not contend with. The deep state traumatized the “first world” proletariat.The deep state defeated the national liberation movements. The deep state will defeat any “simultaneous inter-civil-nation revolution”.

      Apparently, Proyect is still lost in the hegemonsters’ maze. Apparently.

      • I’m not sure what is the ‘false continuity’. Isn’t Proyect just saying what is the case now, as you do when you say “the deep state will defeat…” and “the revolutionary potential lay with those in the lair”? It’s a formidable task, assuredly.

        I will go back to Dostoievski and take a page out of his earlier novel “The Devils” (usually called “The Possessed”) Those, those minions of the deep state are perhaps not as formidable as they seem – or perhaps they will melt a little in time, as their trappings of power fade. In that novel, their final plea was to be allowed to enter swine, which then stampeded into a lake and were drowned.

        Here is perhaps another illusion, though I think it relates to the link you gave above:

        • Today there is not the optimism of Marx and Engels for progress. Neoliberal capitalism signals the failure of that optimism. Proyect proposes we “make good on what Engels projected” 170 years ago but that task is very different than (not continuous with) it was then. The repression of the deep state is growing more severe because of the failure of capitalism so Marx and Engels’ projections are even more dubious now.

          I see your speculation re the fading of the deep state as capricious and disarming. The behavior we’ve seen developing indicates just the opposite–they are more desperate and ruthless.

          Yes, Comrade Bach shows that the “secede and prosper” Grexit is not bitter medicine but patent homeopathy. Ha ha ha.

          • “I see your speculation re the fading of the deep state as capricious and disarming.”

            On the other hand, I can see some wisdom in the “leave it to God” approach, in that unintentional processes of corruption can lead the piggies to doom. Still, that is on such an impersonal scale and, moreover, is so indifferent to human consciousness that it may be negligent.

    • i added the link. i left some comments and links about chaco on the other chaco post.

  40. the privilege and power of the coordinator class is no less “true,” “real,” substantive, or vital to contemporary hierarchy than that of the financial super-elite. In the U.S. as across the world capitalist system and even in non- and even anti-capitalist workplaces and bureaucracies, ordinary working people suffer not just from the private, profit-seeking capitalist ownership of the workplace. They also confront what ZNet founder Mike Albert calls the “corporate division of labor” – an alienating, de-humanizing, and hierarchical subdivision of tasks “in which a few workers have excellent conditions and empowering circumstances, many fall well below that, and most workers have essentially no power at all.” The inequalities between these jobs are not merely about money and benefits. They also reflect vast differences in the autonomy and pleasure of work, along with differences in information, status, training, knowledge, confidence, and voice on the job. Over time, this pecking order hardens “into a broad and pervasive class division” whereby one class – roughly the top fifth of the workforce – “controls its own circumstances and the circumstances of others below,” while another (the rest, the working class super-majority) “obeys orders and gets what its members can eke out.” The “coordinator class…looks down on workers as instruments with which to get jobs done. It engages workers paternally, seeing them as needing guidance and oversight and as lacking the finer human qualities that justify both autonomous input and the higher incomes needed to support more expensive tastes.”

    No wonder the Reich wing are so interested in (hypocritical) righteousness. A personal relationship with God allows one to give one’s piggishness up to him.

  41. In some ways, the coordinators are the worst to deal with. You can often have a decent argument, debate, or conversation with a real 1-percenter (or .1 or .01 percenter) because he commonly doesn’t mind all that much if you are right…he’s still rich as Hell and can buy you 20 times over! When you dare call a coordinator class member’s wisdom and authority into question, watch out because you are challenging their whole claim to privilege and position. The results can be quite unpleasant.

    Ooo … Now I can say to compradors, “Well, at least the independently well-off are pleasant.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  42. You are led to believe that Yani welcomes neoliberal crapitalist hatred. Does that jive with this bit of brown-nosing?

    The era in which a government of the Left was by definition contrary to the milieu of entrepreneurship has passed. If we get to a point when there is growth, we can start talking again about conflicting labour and capital interests. Today we are together.

    Elsewhere I have heard Yani described as being extremely intelligent and well informed. Given the evidence that austerity is imposed by the “mileu of entrepreneurship” in this crapitalist crisis (one which crapitalist ruthlessness provoked), would you say that Yani’s strategy of brown-nosing is intelligent?

    But, furthermore, if it is the case that this is an end to growth (as we know it), perhaps they masters didn’t like to have bullshitting, brown nosing Yani underfoot as they did their bidness.

    Po-or misunderstood Yani.

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