A false reality has contributed to a new political reality
The descent into complex post-factual politics goes some way to showing why Brexit and Trump were so successful, and their opposition so ineffective.
Nothing is real. A lot of us feel that this is close to the truth right now, waking up each day hoping that it was all a dream. Brexit didn’t happen. Trump didn’t win. Two men of the people didn’t have their picture taken in front of a dictator-esque golden door. But each morning you wake up and realise it is all real, that the world has turned upside down.
The worse thing is that these two events haven’t even happened yet. Britain hasn’t lost access to the biggest market in the world, it hasn’t shut its borders to millions of people it used to consider friends, it hasn’t brought back imperial measurements. And Trump hasn’t torn up the Paris climate deal, he hasn’t built a massive wall/fence.
But they will happen and I, for one, look forward to measuring everything in hands and yards again, just like the good old days. But why did they happen? These were things that seemed absurd when first suggested, but eventually caught the imagination of millions of people and were victorious. One idea, brilliantly shown by Adam Curtis in his film HyperNormalisation, is that nothing is real.
We live in an incredibly complex, interconnected world. The world finance system is a large web running through banks, institutions, countries, companies, people, all built so that the richest few who can interact with it gain the most out of it. With the rise of neoliberalism, the ethos that if business thrives, a country will thrive, took hold and further embedded the importance of finance into our national politics.
Privatisation and tax cuts would be used to show that a country was business friendly, unions would be broken, business friendly policies would be taken up. When this resulted in fewer taxes and greater unemployment, governments would have to borrow to fill the deficit in social spending that this would create. The lenders would be banks, who would place even more business friendly – or growth friendly – conditions on the borrowing countries. This is what is happening in Greece at the moment. This would reduce choice in how a country was run, as the assets that politics haggles over were greatly reduced, set free into the private world. As things worsened for ordinary people, they were being told that their lives and their countries were great. Told they had more freedom than ever at a time when they worked longer for less, when freedom was being taken away by hidden networks of financial power.
Geopolitically, the world was becoming more complex too, with western interests in the Middle East creating a web of truths, half-truths and lies that are impossible to disentangle. Governments were becoming increasingly adept at counter-intelligence. This added to the feeling of helplessness and despair at the complexity of the world, leading people and politicians to retreat into a simplified version of the world of good and evil, right and wrong, left and right. This trajectory carried on until now and is reflected in the increasing popularity of conspiracy theories in the world.
No one believes anything from governments any more. The trajectory is also most eloquently expressed by Vladislav Surkov, Putin’s ‘Grey Cardinal’, who advised Putin to finance both left and right groups within Russia, making people unsure who the real and who the fake opposition was.
Such uncertainty helps to paralyse opposition. Thinking they are playing a game with the same rules, their voice becomes neutered, actions ineffective. These tactics have been used by Russia in what is called ‘non-linear warfare’, which always keeps the opposition guessing at what Russia is doing, allowing Russia to take the advantage. It did this in Ukraine and it is doing this in Syria.
This is only a brief overview of the descent into the complex post-factual politics that we have fallen, however it goes some way to showing why Brexit and Trump were so successful and why their opposition were so ineffective.
They understood two things. The first is that people did not believe what they heard any more, so what they said did not matter. The second is that what mattered was that people wanted change, and it was the direction of change that mattered. They wanted to be able to grasp reality again. People knew that their lives had not improved and that politics as it stood offered them no choice. They also knew that they did not fully understand or trust the world they were living in. So when they were given the option to vote for something that would both bring tangible change, and that would put them on the track to a less complex reality, they jumped at the opportunity.
Fighting under the impression that truth still mattered, and that all the system needed was a little tweak, unwilling to understand the complexity of the world, and the desire for a reality where actions mean something, the opposition failed.
We crave reality but a simplified version of it. That’s why we watch reality TV, follow stars on Instagram, spend hours on YouTube. We are searching for meaning, for reality, trying to forget the unreality of our existence, forget that whatever we do, nothing seems to change.
When we vote, we feel like we are voting for the same thing, we feel like nothing changes, that we are stuck, invisibly bound. Brexit and Trump gave us a way out, a route back to reality and some of us took it. Unfortunately, it’s a simplified version, one that will fall apart and leave us in a broken reality. To fix it, we must fight for a world where our actions can effect positive change.
A somewhat biased film review
By Gilad Atzmon
In her book Denying the Holocaust (1993), Deborah Lipstadt confessed that it was David Irving’s considerable reputation as an historian that made him “one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial.” “Familiar with historical evidence,” she wrote, “he bends it until it conforms with his ideological leanings and political agenda.” Irving responded by claiming that Lipstadt’s words were libellous and filed a legal case against her and her publisher Penguin Books.
Was Irving brave or naïve in putting the Holocaust on trial? Probably both. Back in 1996, was Irving a hero or just grossly miscalculating in believing he stood a chance in taking on the Holocaust, still the most popular Jewish religion? Again, probably both.
The other day, I watched Mick Jackson’s ‘Denial’. The film tells the story of Irving’s 2000 defeat in court – a disaster he voluntarily brought upon himself and indeed, Irving has clearly made some mistakes in his life. Yet, in 2017 it is impossible to deny that, back in 2000, Irving was well ahead of most of us.
Watching the film in the aftermath of Brexit, the Trump victory and the surge of Right Wing consciousness in the West in general, it is clear that Irving, undoubtedly one of the greatest living biographer of Hitler, understood human nature better than the British judge, Lipstadt’s legal team, the BBC and probably the rest of us altogether.
Back in 2000, the Holocaust narrative was as solid as a rock. The Jews were perceived as the ultimate victims and their plight at the time of World War II was unquestionable. No one dared ask how is it is possible that, three years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the newly-born Jewish state ethnically cleansed Palestine of its indigenous population? At the time of the trial, no one dared ask why is the Jewish past just a chain of holocausts – that is, no one except David Irving (and a few others).
At the time of the trial, I read an interview with David Irving that opened my eyes to the idea that history is a revisionist adventure, an attempt to narrate the past as we move along. I realised then that the past is subject to changes. It morphs along with humanity.
In that interview, Irving was quoted as‘ blaming the victims.’
“If I were a Jew,” he said, “I would ask myself why it always happens to us?”
At the time, I was a still Jew but I took up Irving’s challenge. I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw so I decided to leave the tribe and I stopped being a Jew.
But Irving is no longer a lone voice. Two weeks ago, on Holocaust Memorial Day, it was actually the American president himself who managed to universalize the Holocaust by omitting to mention the Jews or their shoah. As we Westerns obliterate country after country with our immoral interventionism, the Holocaust is no longer a Jews-only domain and all the time more and more people grasp that it is actually Israel and its affiliated Jewish lobbies that are pushing us into more and more unnecessary global conflicts.
‘Denial’ was made to sustain a ‘progressive’ vision of the past. In this progressive but misguided universe, people ‘move forward’ but their past remains fixed, often sacred and always untouched. Nationalists, on the other hand, often see the past as a dynamic, vibrant reality. For them, nostalgia, is the way forward.
But some Jews are tormented by this nostalgia. They want their own past to be compartmentalized and sealed, otherwise, they are fearful that some people may decide to examine Jewish history in the light of Israeli crimes.
In the film, Irving is an old style British gent who sticks to his guns and refuses to change his narrative just to fit in with any notions of correctness. Irving states what he believes in and stands firmly behind it.
For Irving, one of the most damaging pieces of evidenced presented to the court was a little ditty he wrote to his daughter when she was just a few months old, and conceived by the court as the ultimate in crude misanthropy.
“I am a Baby Aryan,
Not Jewish or Sectarian.
I have no plans to marry-an
Ape or Rastafarian.”
On the day of the verdict, Irving visited the BBC Newsnight studio to be grilled by Jeremy Paxman who read the little ditty to Irving.
“What’s racist about that?” Irving wondered. “You are not being serious,” was Paxman’s reply. Paxman, one of Britain’s best TV journalists, was, like the rest of us, trained to react to soundbites. “Aryan is a racial categorisation” he insisted.
Back in 2000, Paxman probably failed to see that,
if Jews are entitled to identify politically as a race, as a biology or as set of cultural symptoms then Whites, Muslims and everyone else must surely be entitled to do the same.
Back in 2000, Irving understood this potential Identitarian shift. Sixteen years later, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage translated this Identitarian shift into a victory. The Clintons, the Soros’ and the Deborah Lipstadts of this world are still struggling to make sense of it.
‘Denial’, is actually a film about righteousness, exceptionalism and victimhood. It is about the condition of being consumed by self-love, that blind belief that justice is always on your side, that you are the eternal victim and the other, namely the ‘Goy’ is always the murderous aggressor.
But this type of ‘denial’ can be dealt with easily and here is just one example: The Jewish press in Britain complains constantly that antisemitism is soaring. The more funds the British government dedicates to fighting antisemitsm, the more antisemitic incidents are recorded. I guess the time is ripe for Jews to listen to David Irving and ask themselves why?
If Jews want anti-Semitism to come to an end once and for all, all they need do is to self-reflect. However, my personal experience suggests that once you do that, you may stop being a Jew.
Note: It is worth mentioning that, since the 2000 trial, Irving is on record on numerous occasions as revising his views on the Holocaust and on the destruction of European Jews. Certainly, as he moves along, David Irving at least is able to revise the past.
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The USA has tried hard to destroy the EU, creating refugees, sanctions against Russia, creation of Ukraine fascist state
DONALD Trump has taken a swipe at the European Union by blasting the bloc as a “consortium”.
He made the stinging jibe during a joint press conference held in Washington with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Mr Trump described brexit as a “wonderful thing” and said it hinted at his shock victory in the US presidential election some months later.
He blasted the EU while discussing his attempts to be approved for a development in a European country – presumed to be Ireland, where he owned a development on the west coast but was denied permission to massively expand it.
Donald Trump speaking about the EU this evening
Filed under: BREXIT, Britain, EU, Europe, Theresa May, Trump, UK, US Congress, US Foreign Policy, USA, Wars for Israel, Zionist entity | Comments Off on USA doesn’t like the EU because it’s the biggest trade block in the world. Trump continues that work
Although multi-billionaire hedge fund tycoon and international political pot-stirrer George Soros lost big with the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States and the victory of the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, he stands to lose further ground, politically and financially, as the winds of political change sweep across the globe.
Soros, who fancies himself as the master of placing short put options on stocks, often cleaning up to the tune of billions of dollars in the process when the stock values collapse, has been dealt a few financial body blows. Recently, the Dutch securities market regulator AFM «accidentally» revealed on line all of Soros’s short trades since 2012. Soros’s trades were revealed on AFM’s website and were removed after the regulator realized the «error». However, the Soros data had already been captured by automatic data capturing software programs operated by intelligence agencies and brokerage firms that routinely scour the Internet looking for such «mistakes».
Among the bank shares targeted by Soros was the Ing Groep NV, a major institution and important element of the Dutch economy. After campaigning against Brexit, Soros bet against the stock of Deutsche Bank AG, which he believed would fall in value after Britain voted to leave the EU. Deutsche Bank stock fell 14 percent and Soros cleaned up. But Soros’s celebration was temporary. With Trump’s election, Soros lost a whopping $1 billion in stock speculation. Surrounded by his fellow financial manipulators, Soros explained his recent losses while attending the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Soros’s mega-wealthy cronies placed their own bets against smaller Dutch firms. Those firms included Ordina, an information technology firm; Advanced Metallurgical Group; and the real estate group Wereldhave N.V.
Beware the Ides of March
The Soros data release comes at a particularly sensitive time in Dutch politics. The center-right government led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte is on the political ropes as it tries to fend off, in an election scheduled for March 15, a serious challenge by the right-nationalist Party for Freedom (PVV) of anti-migrant and anti-European Union leader Geert Wilders. An ally of Donald Trump, Wilders is likely to make political hay out of the fact that Soros, the champion of European open borders and mass migration, bet against Dutch banks. The Ides of March looks favorably upon a Wilders victory, an event that will drive another nail into the coffin of the European Union and Soros’s mass migration and open borders dream.
The Netherlands has not been particularly friendly to Soros and his goals. In November 2016, Soros’s Open Society Foundations, and two groups funded by Soros – the European Network Against Racism and Gender Concerns International – advertised job openings for Dutch youth «between the ages 17-26» who are Muslim immigrants and the children or grandchildren of Muslim immigrants to campaign against parties like those of Wilders and Rutte.
Prime Minister Rutte recently issued a warning to migrants who refuse to assimilate into Dutch society. Of course, Rutte was not referring to the thousands of migrants from former Dutch colonies in the Dutch East and West Indies who had no problem adopting Dutch culture, religion, and social manners. Rutte, who faces a 9-point lead by Wilders’s PVV, had some pointed words for the Muslim migrants in the Netherlands. In an interview with «Algemeen Dagblad», Rutte, in what could have been a speech by Wilders, said:
«I tell everyone. If you don’t like it here in this country, get out, get out! That’s the choice you have. If you live in a country where the ways of dealing with others annoys you, you have a choice, go away. You do not need to be here.» Rutte had particular disdain for those who «don’t want to adapt… who attack gay people, shout at women in short skirts, or call ordinary Dutch people racist». Rutte left very little doubt about to whom he was referring, the recently-arrived Muslim migrants, «There have always been people who exhibited deviant behavior. But something has come to pass in the last year where we, as a society, should have an answer. With the arrival of large groups of refugees, the question arises: will the Netherlands still be the Netherlands?»
Coming from a one-time committed Euroatlanticist supporter of NATO, the EU, and the World Bank, Rutte’s words about migrants must have come as a complete shock to Soros and his minions.
The exposure of Soros’s financial manipulation of the Dutch economy is sure to enrage Dutch citizens already weary of migrants and diktats by the European Union. In April 2016, Dutch citizens overwhelmingly rejected the EU-Ukraine treaty that called for closer ties between the EU and the Kiev regime. The outcome enraged Soros, who is one of the Kiev regime’s principal puppet masters.
NGO «Santa Claus» now faces many closed doors
Europe once praised Soros as some sort of benevolent «Santa Claus,» who handed out millions for «good deeds» to one-world government proponents and other starry-eyed utopians. However, the veneer of Soros is wearing thin.
Russia was the first to call out Soros for his interference in Russian politics. The Soros plan to destabilize Russia, dubbed the «Russia Project» by Soros’s Open Society Institute and Foundation, foresaw the outbreak of Ukrainian-style «Maidan Square» uprisings in cities across Russia. In November 2015, the Russian Prosecutor-General’s office announced the proscription of activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation for endangering Russia’s constitutional order and national security.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban now leads the anti-Soros groundswell in Europe. The optics of Orban becoming the first European Union leader to go after the Hungarian-born Soros and his destabilization operations has not been lost on other EU leaders, including those in Poland and the Czech Republic. Orban has accused Soros of masterminding the migrant invasion of Europe. In retaliation for these and other moves by Soros, Orban has warned that the various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) backed by Soros risk being expelled from Europe altogether.
Orban has been joined in venting his anger about Soros by former Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski, who was forced from office and an early election after Soros-inspired demonstrations in his country took place amid a massive influx of Muslim migrants from Greece.
Referring to Soros’s global political operations, the former Macedonian prime minister said in a recent interview, «He is not doing that just in Macedonia, but in the Balkans, across Eastern Europe, and now, most recently, in the United States. Secondly, from what I’ve read about him, in some countries he does it for material and financial reasons, to earn a lot of money, while in others for ideological reasons».
In Poland, where Soros has been very influential, a Member of Parliament for the ruling right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS), Krystyna Pawłowicz, recently demanded that Soros be stripped of Poland’s highest honor for foreigners, the Commander with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. Pawłowicz considers Soros’s operations in Poland to be illegal. She also believes that Soros’s organizations are «financing the anti-democratic and anti-Polish element with a view to fight Polish sovereignty and indigenous Christian culture».
Czech President Milos said, in a 2016 interview, «some of his [Soros’s] activities are at least suspicious and they strikingly remind of interferences in [countries’] internal affairs. The organizing of what is known as color revolutions in individual countries is an interesting hobby, but it brings more harm than benefit to the countries concerned». Zeman claimed Soros was planning a color revolution for the Czech Republic.
Aivars Lembergs, the mayor of Ventspils, Latvia and a leader of the Union of Greens and Peasants, wants Soros and his NGOs banned from Latvia. Lembergs argues that two Soros publications in Latvia – Delna and Providus – have propagandized in favor of Latvia receiving Muslim migrants. Lembergs sees the migrants and Soros’s support for them as endangering Latvian state security. The mayor believes that «George Soros must be outlawed in Latvia. He must be banned from entering the country».
In neighboring Lithuania, the Labor Party has also questioned Soros’s activities in the country. The party and its parliamentary allies have asked Lithuania’s security services to investigate the «financial schemes and networks» of Soros because of the threat they pose to national security. The Lithuanian parties claim that Soros groups specialize at «not consolidating, but dividing, society».
It is no longer easy being a meddlesome multibillionaire who overthrows governments with the snap of a finger. Soros has not only alienated the President of Russia and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom but now the President of the United States. Soros is also enemy number one among the leaders of China. With such an array of enemies, it is doubtful Soros will have any more political successes like Ukraine or Georgia. With all of his billions, Mr. Soros now only commands a «paper doll army».
January 29, 2017
“The Euro”, both the monetary system and the book of the same name by Nobel-Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, can appear complicated.
Take heart from Noam Chomsky, who wrote that nothing in the social sciences cannot be understood by the average bus driver in a couple of minutes – this is not calculus or physics, after all.
Give me just three paragraphs to simplify everything:
Stiglitz successfully makes two indisputable academic assertions: The euro has failed in its promise to bring about prosperity and security, and that there is nothing in its organizational structure which allows for the possibility for change.
Take a moment and realize these do not constitute an attack on the euro – these are clear facts, the former of which is clear to anyone. You’ll have to take his academic word for the latter assertion, unless perusing the euro’s structure is your idea of a fun Saturday night.
After covering the entirety of the Eurozone crisis from France, it is impossible to refute my assertions that the Eurozone has failed to bring about prosperity and security for the average Frenchman, and that there is nothing in the mainstream political structure which allows for the possibility for change.
Trust us. The first part is the main part, anyway.
I thought I’d revisit Stiglitz’s book, seeing as how the National Front’s Marine Le Pen may win the presidency in a few months largely thanks to her promise to leave the euro.
It’s vital to realize that it is not just right-wing ignoramuses like me and Le Pen who want out of the Eurozone – a mainstream, Nobel Prize-winning economist has reached the same conclusion. What I am saying here is: You don’t have to agree with us, but you cannot denigrate euro-exiters by calling us stupid or racist like you did Brexiters or Trumpers – at some point you have to openly debate.
“The Euro” is very good and worth reading. If you want know the truth about the Eurozone, read the analysis of someone who has no personal stake in it, like Stiglitz.
But believing that the euro should continue should be referred to as “Islamic market fundamentalism”, not because it has one single thing to do with Islam, but because then it would hit home with the average Westerner just how fanatical “market fundamentalism”, or “neoliberalism” truly is.
Such a term should make the deranged ideological basis of the Eurozone crystal-clear: Neoliberals are not at all constrained by the facts of 25 years of failure in Africa, a lost decade in Latin America, and nearly-lost decade in the Eurozone – Stiglitz makes this point repeatedly throughout the book.
What Stiglitz fails to do is to point out that the simple root of the Eurozone is capitalism and that this is the ideology which must be questioned, not simply its capitalist variant of neoliberalism.
I can easily relay a bunch of his facts, combine them with my on-the-ground experiences and convincingly make the urgent case that the Eurozone is flawed and must be abandoned or replaced.
But this is not that column.
I want this column to be about something else, and I will get right to the heart of the matter:
Stiglitz is about as leftist an economist as the mainstream media is permitted to report on.
That is why my headline calls him a “fake leftist”- I don’t think any economist would call him a “leftist economist”, but for all intents and purposes he is as economically left as the average person can find without caring enough to dig deeper.
Stiglitz is on the left of the right-wing; which makes him a centrist-tending-right. That he is consistently presented as a “progressive” economist is the mistake this column seeks to make right.
And like so many “progressives” who fall short of real leftism, even Stiglitz cannot believe his own eyes or his own words.
Fake progressives always let them off the hook
So many times in “The Euro” Stiglitz delivers a devastating conclusion about capitalism, only to immediately lets it off the hook by claiming bafflement as to how this could possibly happen. This failure is intellectually indefensible, intellectually unsatisfying, regressive and violently damaging. This passage is, unfortunately, typical.
“Austerity has always and everywhere had the contractionary effects observed in Europe: the greater the austerity, the greater the economic contraction. Why the Troika would have thought that this time in Europe it would be different is mystifying.”
It is not mystifying – this is what capitalism does over and over. Just as they sought in Africa and Latin America, neoliberals want to impose labor code rollbacks and deregulate; in Europe they wanted to end the gains Europeans have fought decades to win. It has worked in France – Hollande rammed through the “Macron Law” last year despite mass protests, and he arrested thousands of demonstrators to achieve it.
Time after time Stiglitz presents a devastating indictment which totally attacks the premise that capitalism is concerned with good governance and promoting even basic equality, only to soft-pedal backwards.
“But the eurozone programs have been a success, in the sense that the German and French banks have been repaid….Perhaps the real goals of Germany and the other creditor countries have indeed been achieved.”
For those not following Europe closely, this is exactly what has happened since the European Sovereign Debt Crisis began and why people have lost faith in the Eurozone: the rich countries of France, the Netherlands and Germany have no solidarity with the average Eurozone citizen at all (which is endemic in capitalism), and are ruthlessly waging economic colonization against the poorer nations (which is endemic in capitalism). It is the banks of France and Germany which have been bailed out, not the average indebted person in Greece or Finland, as Stiglitz repeatedly proves.
Spain and Ireland didn’t even need a bailout in 2009: They had a fiscal surplus and healthy debt-to-GDP ratios, but not anymore. Greece is now actually running a fiscal surplus! No matter – they are slated to be paying back banks further west and north for perhaps decades.
Stiglitz says these things, backed by academic facts, all the time in his book.
And yet with that seemingly ironic “perhaps the real goals” statement –a question mark is missing, which must be a grammatical error because it is clearly a question – Stiglitz simply ends the matter and moves on to a new topic. Tellingly, it is “The Need for Growth”.
Perhaps if Stiglitz were not trapped by capitalist ideology, by capitalism’s obsession with growth, he could have pursued his own hypothesis (which matches with reality) even further. But he didn’t, he dropped the potato once it got hot, or he doesn’t realize he has a capitalist-programmed obsession with “growth”.
“A cynic might say that this was the intent of the law: to preserve power relations. But I am convinced that the rule in Europe was driven more by ideology and misguided economic beliefs than narrow self- interest.”
It is not at all cynical to say that capitalists in the Eurozone have not yet rectified a long-standing criticism by the left: that capitalism needlessly and inefficiently promotes international competition and imperialistic rivalries. Leftists have said this for decades, are saying it now, and will say it forever until 1) capitalism stops doing it, which they won’t (can’t) or 2) capitalism finds a solution to this problem, which they can’t (won’t).
Either Stiglitz, with all of his honorary degrees, has not read basic leftist economist thought, or he has forgotten it, or he has ignored it in the confirmation bias of his definitely non-progressive adoration of capitalism.
Like all capitalist promoters, and like all mainstream media members who live in a 24-hour news cycle, instead of taking a longer view Stiglitz is guilty of viewing the Eurozone as some sort of isolated case in capitalism when the moment arrives from clear conclusions and logical condemnation. He remains in his ivory tower, and his telescope does not take in the full historical view.
“Its construction (the ECB) was based on ideological propositions that were fashionable at the time (Stiglitz is discussing the ECB’s mandate, which is limited to only inflation, and not growth, employment, etc.) These beliefs, however, are increasingly questioned, especially in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis.”
An obsession with inflation is not a “fashion”: this is a fundamental concern of capitalism throughout its history. Why? Inflation is called “the great leveler” for a reason – it reduces the values of the most immense fortunes. The rich have far more to lose than anyone else from inflation!
It also reduces debts, so God send us inflation! At least for the poor debtors, who will be able to pay off their burden and stop being tortured.
Inflation also reduces the power of interest – without that power, bankers/moneylenders will have to actually work for a living, which is why they fear it so.
Finally, lacking the stability provided by communistic cooperation, an inflation-induced downturn also spells chaos, and that could force a revolution and compel the wealthy to flee to some other country with only a part of their ill-gotten gains (see revolutions in Russia, China, Cuba and Iran for examples).
Stiglitz knows that for all these reasons an obsession with inflation is fundamental, not fashionable.
“The dismal (economic) forecasts made it clear: the Troika’s grasp of the underlying economics was abysmal”.
Really? All those eggheads with their salaries so much bigger than mine don’t understand their own domain?
The problem here is not that people with a PhD do not “grasp” their own field – the problem is their ideology.
It is not a conspiracy of stupidity or a confederacy of dunces – it’s the promotion of capitalism over communism.
The ideology of communism shows clearly that the Eurozone was indeed a conspiracy – a money-lending cartel on the grandest scope. And why would such a scope be out of the reach of banks whose yearly gross corporate product can exceed half of all nations in the world?
Stiglitz says that from 1999-2007 the Eurozone had a short period of success – “divergence reigned” – i.e., rich countries loaned to poor Eurozone members (economic redistribution). But what happened is those loans were called in during a crisis, and they could not be repaid.
We know that bankers routinely aim for such a scenario to happen. What happened in the Eurozone has happened all over the 3rd world during the 2+ centuries of European-led imperialism – indebted countries were picked apart by foreigners.
To say that the bankers/Eurozone planners/Troika didn’t know what they were doing is pathetic. Stiglitz has too much sympathy, perhaps, or not enough contempt for negligence.
“Was it just an accident, a slip, that they opted for a property tax that would have inflicted pain on ordinary Greeks, rather than one that would have hit the oligarchs?”
This is – somehow – an honest question from Stiglitz, and a less ideologically-rigorous reader will be lulled into complacency and sympathy for those who are orchestrating the re-colonization of Greece.
Stiglitz poses the question but he never takes a stand. This is as far as a person like him is willing to go – fake leftism. The leftism that nobody wants to associate with. The leftism that loses. The leftism that embarrasses leftists to say that they are leftists.
To take a stand would force Stiglitz to change his fundamentally pro-capitalist view, and it would risk all those honorary degrees. (I have a t-shirt which reads “Where’s my bailout?”. Where’s my honorary degree, huh? Hundreds of unpopular leftist reports and French tear gas attacks don’t cut it, eh?)
For those who do go further we conclude: “No, it was not an accident! It happens all the time. Such pro-oligarchy decisions are routine in capitalism. This is just one measly little example you have publicized and you haven’t even interpreted it correctly, Dr. Stiglitz, PhD, Esq, Rev., DDS,!”
Why care about ‘alternative facts’ when ideology is neglected?
Facts don’t matter because in the social sciences ideology filters everything, people. Again, this is not calculus or physics – if it was, then economic policy wouldn’t be disputed and austerity wouldn’t still be reigning.
The capitalists have an ideology and they won’t call it “Islamic market fundamentalism” so they call it “neoliberalism”, and it is the foundation of the Eurozone.
You want to be a capitalist and not an “Islamic market fundamentalist”, you complain? The Eurozone is necessary, you say?
Fine. Let’s judge the Eurozone on your own neoliberal terms: As a capitalist you obviously accept that economic downturns and depressions are simply a part of life, and you are willing to make everyone suffer the consequences.
But the judge of any capitalist policy is how long and how deep your capitalist downturns are, and by this fair gauge the EU has totally failed. This will be a lost decade. I pity the poor and unemployed youth because they are suffering for the refusal to accept the facts which impose a change of ideology.
There is an alternative to the Eurozone – it has not been decreed by God. As Stiglitz writes, monetary systems come and go. If structural limitations prevent us from changing the euro then the euro has to go.
Capitalist reader, even your emperor is cold from wearing no clothes: Germany has averaged 0.8% annual growth since 2007 – that is failure, and this is your leader and success story?
Joe oughtta know better
But Joseph Stiglitz, with all his egghead degrees that make him so much smarter than me and your regular bus driver, should know extremely well how capitalism ravages everything because isn’t he reading economic literature from the left at least some of the time?
That is not clear. But I say Stiglitz should know better because he is from Gary, Indiana, my former hometown.
Gary, if you don’t know, is the American industrial hellhole par excellence. It is the poorest, Blackest, most violent city in America, per capita. White flight, racism, capitalism, pollution, drugs, guns, blocked futures – it all the stuff nobody wants.
You cannot compare it with a stereotypical Soviet-era counterpart because there is humiliating racism, deadly violence and crack instead of vodka.
Gary truly is the foul, steel-fume belching armpit of America. Most people in nearby Chicago are too frightened to even stop there for gas…and mainstream media/politicians couldn’t care less.
Gary’s dismal past, present and future should have been enough for Stiglitz to renounce capitalism, but it wasn’t.
Like most “progressives” who do not go far enough to make any real or lasting difference, the tone throughout his book is that Stiglitz “sincerely cares”. He really, truly does and…this only makes him more enlightened than your average, selfish fascist.
Like most of his fake-leftist peers he never discusses “class”, but loves to discuss the environment. And if there was an economic component to transgender bathroom rights I’m reasonably sure Stiglitz would have focused on that as well.
He – by blinding himself to a true leftist interpretation – by being content with being “mystified” in the most non-poetic ways in the most dismal of “sciences” – he creates a false impression of what “progressive” should truly mean.
The best that such a half-hearted progressive like Stiglitz can do is provide us ammunition for the struggle – and he does in “The Euro”.
This makes him without fault, but it does not earn him great praise. Somebody in his influential position should break free of his mainstream confines and propose real solutions instead of trying to fix what he clearly knows is fundamentally broken: capitalism.
Being “mystified’ should not earn you prizes in economics – the people deserve immediate solutions.
The Euro has proven there is no “Third Way”
Urbane, cultured, human rights-loving Europe has not been able to show that one is able to combine a capitalism and communism in a capitalism-centered system.
This is exactly what the Euro was supposed to do. Capitalism is simply too strong and must be confined in a drastic manner.
The Eurozone has allowed European imperialism to turn on itself. This should be as crystal clear to you by now as it is to an increasing number of Eurozone citizens.
What is working, and even despite the global recession, is combining capitalism and communism in a communism-centered system.
China is booming; Cuba has had steady 2% growth since the Great Recession started, despite the genocidal blockade; since 1989 in Iran (communism’s ignored victory) only one country in the world has increased their Human Development Index more – South Korea.
Destroy the euro, yes, because it has been created in a way so that it is possible to reform, as Stiglitz repeatedly demonstrates. It was an economic union before there was a political union, and the pain of muddling through to finally get that political union correct is going to hurt hundreds of millions of people for decades – that price is too high.
There has to be another way, even though pro-euro people repeatedly cry TINA: There Is No Alternative. The euro was, after all, created in 1992 – the USSR was over and so was “history”. This anti-democratic philosophy has been inscribed in the euro’s genetic structure, per Stiglitz .
But the only way any pan-European project can ever possibly succeed – and Stiglitz repeatedly notes this as well – is through solidarity.
What he doesn’t say is that there is no pan-national solidarity ever in capitalism.
He holds up the US model as an example, but the US has always been, fundamentally, the same country. It’s not as if the US merged with Native American tribes or territories of freed Africans. Europe requires their own solution, not just a US copy, just as Cuba requires their own model, Iran their own model, etc.
The euro has undoubtedly decreased the sentiment of solidarity so vital to something like the euro ever having a chance of working. Greece distrusts Germany, Germany distrusts Portugal, France distrusts everybody including other Frenchmen, etc.
There can be no doubt about that. The capitalist euro project has ruined European solidarity, and I – intrepid reporter on the ground – can report to you that I see no “solidarity boom” on the horizon. I see the far-right, racism, protectionism and closing of borders. Why? Well, the euro has failed to bring about prosperity and security, dummy – you can even ask a capitalist reactionary like Stiglitz!
Modern history proves that any sort of solidarity – especially pan-national or racial – requires a commitment to communist ideology. The USSR was the only empire built on affirmative action, after all.
Communism is the only way forward, as we’ve all known for decades. The question, if there is one, is not “if” but “how much”.
Stiglitz, and his fundamentally pro-capitalist fake leftist ilk, can see that but they look away.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.
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