Monday, July 04, 2011

Should We Pay For The Crisis?

Written by Alan Woods
Monday, 04 July 2011


Latuff - Euro timebomb

As I write these lines the destinies of Greece are being decided in a titanic struggle in which the Greek working class is confronting the big banks and capitalists of all Europe. The EU is subjecting Greece to the most shameless blackmail. They say: either accept draconian cuts in your living standards, or else we will refuse to hand over the next tranche of 12 billion euros.

Read the rest here



RENEGADE EYE

27 comments:

Ross Wolfe said...

In response to your post over at my blog, Ren:

"Yes, I had read this once before. Thank you for sharing it again (I had no idea that there was a version online). Breton, at first a Dadaist and then the founder of Surrealism, was one of many avant-gardists who also possessed a revolutionary politics. Unfortunately, not all in the Surrealist movement were so trustworthy. Its most well-known figure, Salvador Dali, ended up weaving in extremely traditionalist themes into his later work, and was tacitly complicit with the Franco regime of Spanish fascism. And even though Rene Magritte, Breton's other great disciple, was miserable under the Nazi occupation of Belgium, he chose to stay, leading to a split with Breton."

The Pagan Temple said...

Short answer, fuck no we shouldn't pay for it, if we do we'll just encourage it to continue by propping them up, and there's nothing we can do to prevent that. If we try to attach conditions somebody will find a workaround, money being fungible and all. Fuck them, they made the bed. Let them do what needs to be done, slash regulations to the bare bones minimum, cut taxes, and reform their entitlements.

Or, they can keep going like they have been, or are trying, and faw down go boom.

Either way I don't give a fucking rats ass, other than I'm tired of the US subsidizing the fucksticks.

Thersites said...

The sooner they default, the better. Nothing says a "return to laissez-faire economy" better than a government default.

...and yes, when that happens here, I won't be wringing my hands.

Renegade Eye said...

Ross: I added more at your blog.

I've had several posts about surrealism on this blog.

Pagan: Nobody is subsidizing Greece. They are even selling coastline.

Farmer: It will happen.

Ross Wolfe said...

I could care less whether the U.S. or anyone else decides to bail these countries out. Ultimately, the decision will probably be one of self-interest; is it worth propping up a debt-ridden, bankrupt economy simply to ensure global economic stability? The answer to that question will probably determine the course of action the various world powers decide to take. I see this, of course, as an affair of the major capitalist governments of the world, and am rather indifferent to the collateral damage that might be incurred in either event. This may seem a callous, catastrophist position to adopt, but in the end I welcome any decision that will lead to more global economic instability.

Thersites said...

Farmer: It will happen.

We agree.

The Pagan Temple said...

I was talking about Europe in general. If somebody is determined to commit suicide there's only so much you can do to stop them, and you damn sure wouldn't jump after them in some desperate attempt to catch them if they jumped off a cliff.

sonia said...

Greece should default and so should all the other countries that have too much debt (and includes the United States). It's a win-win situation for everybody: no more debt payments for Greece (and therefore no need to beg EU for those 12 billions euros) and, more importantly, no new debt in a forseeable future (since no bank will lend them anything after a default). Greece should stop living on credit and adopt a simple system: government revenues X euros = government expenditures X euros. That's it. If the revenues fall, so will the salaries. People will protest, but they are already doing it, so what's the difference.

But the most positive influence of the default will be on the banks. They will finally learn that lending money involves risk. Some people don't pay back. Right now, banks are like drug dealers. They give cheap credit (like giving drugs for free) and then, when a government is hooked on easy money, they increase the interest rate to milk their loans for maximum profit. There is only one way to punish those banks for behaving like drug dealers - don't pay them back.

Of course, all Greeks will scream bloody murder when all their beloved social programs will be gutted (right now they are financed by borrowed money, no borrowed money - no programs), but that's good too. Social programs are like drugs too. Withdrawal is hard, but they will feel better afterwards.

Renegade Eye said...

Ross: Instability sometimes can create a revolutionary situation. Historically its been periods of transition, are revolutionary. Instability can be incapacitating as well. Unionism and Communist Party membership dived during the 1929 depression. About 1934 they grew like crazy.

Farmer: Don't you think the right has a nihilist streak?

Pagan: Europe will take the US down with it. A Euro crash would be a disaster for the US.

Sonia: Instead of barbarism, socialism is a better answer.

I don't understand modern conservatives, are so cavalier, about what capitalism can accomplish.

In the US banks and the auto industry, had to be bailed out by government!

The problem is capitalism. Not Greece, Europe, Spain or Egypt. The system failed.

Thersites said...

Farmer: Don't you think the right has a nihilist streak?

You've got to stop being a "camel" (Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 3 metamorphoses) at some point in the game.

The Pagan Temple said...

Ren, why did the US have ti bail out the banks and auto industries? You can make a case for the banks, maybe, but the auto bailouts were over the top. Bailing out failing companies is not free market capitalism, its a type of state capitalism, arguably a kind of national socialism. It's just more of the same old hole digging we've been doing for decades now only a hell of a lot more of it concentrated over a smaller period of time and for much higher stakes than ever before.

But after so long you dig yourself in so deep you can't toss the dirt out.

Speedy G said...

...can you spell "unions"?

sonia said...

Ren,

Instead of barbarism, socialism is a better answer.

The socialism that I lived under was barbarism. Your socialism exists only in your head.

I don't understand modern conservatives, are so cavalier, about what capitalism can accomplish.

Go to Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai to see what capitalism can accomplish.

In the US banks and the auto industry, had to be bailed out by government!

They didn't "had to be". They were bailed out because Bush was a pussy. Capitalism works because the incompetent are eliminated and replaced by the competent. Bail outs prevented capitalism from working as it should.

The problem is capitalism. Not Greece, Europe, Spain or Egypt. The system failed.

I don't think you understand what capitalism really is. Capitalism cannot fail. Capitalism can only be prevented from doing its job - by bail outs, by social programs, by distribution of wealth etc. Capitalism is so mean, nasty and Darwinian, most politicians don't dare to let it run free.

Joe Conservative said...

Amen!

Renegade Eye said...

Sonia: Greece had a government like in your first comment. Remember the movie Z?

The Tea Party politicians, opposed the bailouts. They are in another world.

What I meant in my remark, about being cavalier, is how people pro-capitalism supposedly, don't care if the US defaults.

Capitalism is an anarchic system. It had its run.

From Cairo to Madison, its not working.

Greece in the 1970s, shows to implement your ideas, a Bonapartist junta is needed.

Pagan: I don't care what you call it, banks and the auto industry, begged for help.

Farmer: I might change my mind, but I'd rather see the US default, than Obama/Boehner's ideas be implemented.

Ross Wolfe said...

I certainly will not miss all of the big government programs, services, and regulatory oversight of business. These controls that were supposed to "stabilize" capitalism (and which effectively did so for a while) have failed, and the more debt and upheaval that this crisis (and the crises to come) brings with it, the better. Long live the government defaults.

Joe Conservative said...

These controls that were supposed to "stabilize" capitalism...

LOL! Are you SURE that THAT is what they were "supposed to do"?

All those "controls" were ever "intended to do" was to transfer power from capitalists who had it, to useless incompetent drones that didn't.

Joe Conservative said...

from the Jowett summary of Plato's "Republic"

These two classes are to the State what phlegm and bile are to the human body; and the State-physician, or legislator, must get rid of them, just as the bee-master keeps the drones out of the hive. Now in a democracy, too, there are drones, but they are more numerous and more dangerous than in the oligarchy; there they are inert and unpractised, here they are full of life and animation; and the keener sort speak and act, while the others buzz about the bema and prevent their opponents from being heard. And there is another class in democratic States, of respectable, thriving individuals, who can be squeezed when the drones have need of their possessions; there is moreover a third class, who are the labourers and the artisans, and they make up the mass of the people. When the people meet, they are omnipotent, but they cannot be brought together unless they are attracted by a little honey; and the rich are made to supply the honey, of which the demagogues keep the greater part themselves, giving a taste only to the mob. Their victims attempt to resist; they are driven mad by the stings of the drones, and so become downright oligarchs in self-defence. Then follow informations and convictions for treason. The people have some protector whom they nurse into greatness, and from this root the tree of tyranny springs. The nature of the change is indicated in the old fable of the temple of Zeus Lycaeus, which tells how he who tastes human flesh mixed up with the flesh of other victims will turn into a wolf. Even so the protector, who tastes human blood, and slays some and exiles others with or without law, who hints at abolition of debts and division of lands, must either perish or become a wolf—that is, a tyrant. Perhaps he is driven out, but he soon comes back from exile; and then if his enemies cannot get rid of him by lawful means, they plot his assassination. Thereupon the friend of the people makes his well-known request to them for a body-guard, which they readily grant, thinking only of his danger and not of their own. Now let the rich man make to himself wings, for he will never run away again if he does not do so then. And the Great Protector, having crushed all his rivals, stands proudly erect in the chariot of State, a full-blown tyrant

The Pagan Temple said...

You're both right in my opinion. It was supposed to stabilize the system and lessen the impact of economic downturns but it was also meant to redistribute wealth. Or to use Obama's pet phrase "spread the wealth around".

Speedy G said...

It was supposed to stabilize the system

Only to the extent that the wealthy also seek to use government to both limit/supress competition and protect/lock-in their market advantages. To them, it's a convenient, yet necessary pay-off system to gov mafia thug drones for strong-arm "protection". These drones keep most of it for themselves, but do dribble a little honey back to their voters/supporters to "justify" this extortion of wealth.

Speedy G said...

The real world as seen through eyes not wearing rose coloured glasses.

Ross Wolfe said...

Pagan:

Certainly. One of the main aims of the big government regulation of business and social programs was certainly supposed to limit the impact of all the crises and depressions that kept recurring. But the redistribution of wealth and welfare state unemployment benefits were basically government-run charity programs designed to keep the poorer parts of the population from having too much unrest with capitalism. I say go even one step further and repeal laws restricting child labor and job safety requirements. The unions, having sold their soul to the Democratic party and capitulated to bourgeois liberal democracy, deserve to be reminded of why reformism always fails under capitalism, A return to some of the more apocalyptic conditions akin to 19th-century industrialism, with children getting crushed underneath Cyclopean machinery, might finally reawaken an anti-capitalist consciousness.

Speedy G said...

lol!

Actually, if we got rid of all those stupid "university profs" and brought back "apprenticeships", the kids just might straighten out and we would all learn why the so-called ivory-tower "intellectuals" cannot be trusted with positions of responsibility and should NEVER be listened to on the subject of politics and/or government.

The Sentinel said...

"Actually, if we got rid of all those stupid "university profs" and brought back "apprenticeships"

Oh yeah.

But the problem with that is apprenticeships must teach a real world, actual applicable skill that can be practically used to benefit society in a tangible way.

Whereas ...

Renegade Eye said...

Ross: The whip of counterrevolution, as events in Wisconsin, do get people in motion. That's not the only way.

Obama's cuts in the debt ceiling talks, are deeper than what the GOP is asking.

Pagan: redistributing wealth by your definition, is different than mine. With all your libertarianism, your advocating what would be a police state.

SpeedyG: The right complains the liberals control media. The right is against book learnin.

Sentinel: The British right is less anti-intellectual than the American.

Farmer: I don't get what you're saying about stabilization. No power is transferred.

Speedy G said...

The right complains the liberals control media. The right is against book learnin.

The right has no problem with book learning just so long as the books we're supposed to be learning from weren't written "yesterday" (as in "the newspaper") and that the thesis they espouse are tried and true.

This picture sums it up nicely (look at the feet)...

Remember, it wasn't that right that banned the "western canon" from the university and replaced it with "black history" and "womyns studies".

-FJ said...

Farmer: I don't get what you're saying about stabilization. No power is transferred.

No power is transferred? What about a "proxy" for power. $$$$

Poor people don't pay taxes.