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Next Steps for Greeks after the Austerity Bill (AKA: Hope for Greece, at last)

2012 February 12
by Ian Welsh

Ok, another austerity package just passed.  That’s the bad news, but amidst the bad news there is some good news.  More than 40 MPs were expelled from the PASOK and ND parties, two from LAOS—those MPs need to form a new, explicitly anti-austerity, pro-default government.  Odds are good they will win the next election, and can form the new government.

No deals made by a sovereign are unrevocable.  Whatever this government is doing, has done and will do, can be undone by a new government.

Oh, and Greek rioters – if you’re going to riot and burn, burn down the houses of the MPs and bankers, the banks and their offices (I see some of the right places did get firebombed.)

Greece can be fixed, if the Greeks are willing to do what it takes, both in terms of electing a new government and that government doing the right things.  Those things will be unorthodox and painful, but no more painful than austerity, and unlike austerity, they will lead to a better economy, and based on experience elsewhere, probably within two or three years of doing the right thing, with some relief being felt within 6 months.

88 Responses
  1. February 12, 2012

    Is there any breakdown on how many from each party? It will be interesting to see what people and parties are backing down from selling out the Greek people.

  2. Ian Welsh permalink*
    February 12, 2012

    PASOK 23, ND 21.

  3. Khalid permalink
    February 12, 2012

    “Two central branches of National Bank of Greece and Eurobank EFG, both leading lenders, were also firebombed” http://on.ft.com/ze6kmR

    Do all the MPs pass it and flee? If not, seems obvious that some will be murdered.

  4. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    February 12, 2012

    Al Jazeera has this:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/02/2012212233530251998.html

    Athens is burning.

  5. Ian Welsh permalink*
    February 12, 2012

    Good news. Until it was, further austerity was a certainty. We’ll see what happens now, but at least there is a chance.

  6. Benedict@Large permalink
    February 12, 2012

    The Greek police are onto something here:

    Greek police union wants to arrest EU/IMF officials
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/10/us-greece-police-idUSTRE8190UC20120210

    And you got to admire the spirit of these folks in Kilkis:

    Greek hospital now under workers’ control
    http://libcom.org/blog/greek-hospital-now-under-workers-control-05022012

  7. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 13, 2012

    And yet another relevant article from AJE featuring Nouriel Roubini;

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/20111112131427670973.html

  8. February 13, 2012

    This is what protest looks like. Not a coffee klatch in a public park with tents and music sessions. If you are going to protest, make them fear you, make them fear for their lives.

  9. Ian Welsh permalink*
    February 13, 2012

    Up to somewhere around 15 banks in flames…

  10. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 13, 2012

    As in Iceland, so it shall be in Greece. They’re finally getting “it”. They might even get back their democracy, no?

  11. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 13, 2012

    I wouldn’t be too quick to conflate Iceland with Greece. That’s too simplistic. I admire the Greeks who are taking a firm stand against this Plutocratic Tyranny, but let’s keep in mind, Greece is center stage. It is the true test case, not only for us, but for the Plutocrats, as well, and don’t think they don’t know it. The Plutocrats will do everything in their power to undermine Greek Independence and Sovereignty…..and I mean EVERYTHING! What happens in Greece will happen everywhere in the West, eventually, meaning within the next five to ten years, so it’s vital that we stand as one with the people of Greece in this matter and don’t settle on Greece only, if the people of Greece manage to throw off the yoke. That momentum needs to be built upon and used to catapult a crushing tidal wave across the Global Plutocracy, forcing them to abdicate their stranglehold and remand themselves to “the people” so that “Justice” can be administered, and real and true peace can be pursued.

    All that’s a mighty tall order, and perhaps nearly impossible, but it’s not implausible so long as EVERYONE believes, and doesn’t cave to more incrementalism and a deferring of the inevitable.

  12. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 13, 2012

    As we would expect, the Plutocrats are making every attempt to manage perceptions over what is happening in Greece, to include downplaying the massive resistance and rioting, and to embellish the valueless (for The Masses) edict of austerity. Here’s Bloomberg’s front page as an example. Note the Headlines.

    U.S. Stock Futures Rise On Greek Austerity

    That’s purposeful and by design. Bloomberg’s a scum-sucking Plutocrat, and surely one of those who must remand himself, along with his technocratic minions, to “Justice” if, or once, this thing catches fire (literally and figuratively), globally.

  13. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 13, 2012

    Actually, if you consider it more closely, Greece needs to go well beyond Iceland in this matter. It would be a half-measure, or a quarter-measure for the people of Greece to settle on an arrangement like that in Iceland. Yes, Iceland refused to bail out the banks, and that was the right thing to do, however, it stills has its national debt…meaning the Plutocrats still get paid back on wealth they either created out of thin air or have stolen through the ages, and that’s part of why it’s only a half, or quarter, measure. The people of Greece not only must take back their government and governance, but they must also repudiate the entirety of the debt that was criminally placed on their backs. And, as I have said several times on this thread, and others, the guilty, and we know who they are, must be brought to “Justice.”

  14. Jack Olson permalink
    February 13, 2012

    Refinance at 1% with a term of 100 years? A fanciful plan, for several reasons. Who would invest in Greek bonds for a century for an interest rate which is no higher than you can get on a one-year American C.D.? Imagine the inflation risk. If prices rise by 3% a year for a hundred years, a bond will lose 95% of its purchasing power by the time the bond matures. And by what justice do the citizens of a country indebt their great-grandchildren to the great-grandchilden of another country? Such a plan is merely default by another name. “I will gladly pay you in 2112 A.D. for a hamburger today” is hardly distinguishable from “I’ll never pay you at all”, so why not just default openly and get it over with?

  15. February 13, 2012

    “This is what protest looks like. Not a coffee klatch in a public park ”

    You first, tough guy.

  16. Everythings Jake permalink
    February 13, 2012

    Just noting that the struggle seems to be ongoing in Iceland, where on IMF advice, “vultures” and the creditors of the old banks were permitted to buy the assets of the nationalized banks at severely discounted value, but did not live up to an agreement that debts would in turn be written down for borrowers (the IMF has of course been pressuring the government against intervention), with the problem further compounded by the ability of banks under Icelandic law to add principal to debt based on changes in the consumer price index.

    http://michael-hudson.com/2011/11/icelands-fair-value-vultures/

    It may take more than banging on pots to bring about real change in Iceland as well.

  17. Ian Welsh permalink*
    February 13, 2012

    Jack,

    it’s not an offer if you do that, it’s a “you can take this or nothing.” Of course, if they have CDS’s, they can try and take nothing, but why people think the insurer’s can pay is beyond me.

  18. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 13, 2012

    Interesting thread by Numerian over at Agonist;

    http://agonist.org/numerian/20120213/delightful_news_out_of_greece_this_morning_for_bankers#comment

  19. February 14, 2012

    Notorious,
    I took my lumps on ships at sea, and on picket lines in the days when axe handles were the rule not the exception. I’ve lived my life and am nearing the end of it now, but I never backed away from a threat and I carry the scars to prove it. So, just what are your credentials to be calling names?

  20. groo permalink
    February 14, 2012

    here is some good reporting from talos over at European Tribune:

    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/2/12/8913/17655#78


    I don’t think moderate voters exist anymore as such, at least not as a determining quantity. Poor and moderate do not mix. I think Samaras is old news. If (when) the conservatives regroup, they will be a much more populist and much more nationalist party – which is why they elected Samaras in the first place…

    Also here:
    http://greekleftreview.wordpress.com/

  21. groo permalink
    February 14, 2012

    “Greek MPs Watch Basket Ball Match, While…”


    Several members of the Greek Parliament chose to relax from the tiring debate on the new loan agreement, including the austerity package, and the riots and fires in Athens: They left the plenary hall and sat comfortably on soft chairs and couches to watch the basket ball game between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos. At the lounge of the Greek parliament…

    http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2012/02/13/greek-mps-watch-basket-ball-match-while/

  22. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 14, 2012

    For some further context on Greece, a good movie, or two, or several, never hurts. I caught one on TCM last night called Z.

    Here’s a review of it, which you’ll find interesting, especially after viewing this movie. For those who contend the U.S. has become more fascist, try to square that assessment with the review. I believe the U.S. has always been quite Fascist.

    The movie is a blueprint on how it’s done, so no doubt, the who’s who didn’t want anyone picking up on the tried and true strategy. Of course, these days, in general, not much has changed, but specifically, methods of containment and control of The Masses has become much more sophisticated. In any case, it’s important to know exactly what you’re up against, and this movie helps highlight that. Resistance is futile if you don’t know what you’re up against and you don’t have a comprehensive plan on how to deal with it. If you don’t, you’re sheep to the slaughter.

    When the preview of “Z” was shown at the Oscars, it received a standing ovation. I didn’t know why until I saw the movie. The Oscar forced it to be shown in the United States. At the time, the US backed the military government in Greece. The totalitarian government represented a stand against communism. This movie depicts the true story of a beloved olympic athlete who became a doctor and began speaking out against his Greek government. For that, he was murdered. This is about a brave investigator who begins to search for the origin of the orders to have the doctor killed.

    It leads to the downfall of a country. Mikis Theordorakis wrote the music from house arrest in Greece and it was smuggled out to be placed on the film. Yves Montand played the lead role and was blacklisted from getting a US Visa for his participation until some strings were pulled and he was allowed a 24 hour visa, to be extended each 24 hours in order to allow him to film “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever”. At the end of filming,that night he made a surprise appearance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. He told the story about “Z” and commented that he was in the care and custody of US Immigration and the FBI. The camera panned right and a dark suited man slid quickly behind the curtain. He apologized for his abruptness, but his visa expired at midnight and he had to get to the airport. When I saw these things, I was shocked my government would take a movie so seriously. When it showed up in an obscure movie theater in Houston, I had to go. I was the only person buying a ticket just after noon that day. Upon entering the theater, a dark suited man was sitting in the lobby. I walked into theater and then stuck my head back out to see what the only other individual in the theater was doing. He was stepping away from the ticket booth. I watched as he walked the short distance to my car, took out a notebook and wrote in it while looking at my license plate. This is how it happened. It was 1969. J. Edgar Hoover had stated publicly that no truly loyal American would pay money to see such a movie. It was unpatriotic. Newspaper articles that spring reported it.

  23. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 14, 2012

    groo, love that basketball observation. I often wondered what it would take to suspend professional, or unprofessional, sporting events in the U.S., since it’s what many U.S. citizens live for these days. Without this cornerstone of Bread & Circuses, people would drop dead left and right. What would be the point of going on? I kid you not, I believe that the world could witness a regional nuclear war in the Middle East or greater Asia, and the games would still go on. I can envision a spectacular photo of Tiger or Phil launching a massive drive directly into the heart of a blossoming Mushroom Cloud as the crowd screamed “You Da Man!!!” Increasingly, Idiocracy is not a satire, but rather a documentary.

    Case in point, as Greece burns and its people rise up, the headlines are concerned with the death of yet another drug-addled entertainment icon, Whitney Houston. What a telling juxtaposition, wouldn’t you say?

  24. February 14, 2012

    Oh, Ian, don’t you understand the supreme failure of these Greek protesters? They’ve slipped into the most unforgivable behavior: violence against property and even police. They can never be successful now. No one will join their cause. Their moral superiority has been completely undermined.

    What they should have done to face down an undemocratic, repressive and unjust government is have long discussions about whether or not violence should be allowed in these protests. Or at least that’s the impression i get from reading about the US’s great Occupy movement.

    /s

  25. groo permalink
    February 14, 2012

    Morocco Bama,

    or as the always impressive Phil Rockstroh said


    Authoritarian personality types favor empty spectacle, such as sporting events and parades, over occupations and protest marches, because there is little danger of the primary taking on a life of its own, of evolving a consciousness beyond simply a provisional surrender to the intoxication evinced by an immersion in the mass. People are transformed by social movements, while they are benumbed by spectacle.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/13-1

    (There’s also an interesting anecdote in it about J.Edgar Hoover.
    One never learns enough about the pathologies of power.)

  26. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    February 14, 2012

    By the time this Greek tragedy runs its course exposing the bankruptcy of German Merkel’s ideology, this will be waiting in the wings (From Russia Today):

    http://rt.com/news/russia-iran-summer-conflict-nato-us-265/

    The carrier Abraham Lincoln transversed the straits of Hormuz and was reportedly shadowed by the Iranian navy. Likely false flag bombings of Israeli “diplomats” have turned up the heat to boiling cross accusations between the countries, not one accusation showing the least sign of being sustainable by independently verified fact.

    The thing in the white house has a ring in its nose, leashed to the madmen in Tel Aviv and the traitorous AIPAC fifth column; there will be no restraint from that quarter.

    The Military-Industrial-Governmental complex requires more feeding at war levels.

    This could turn out to be a very bad year. Indeed.

    And Iran is still not developing a nuclear weapon, nor does it have one at hand. This has been verified by all competent inspections required by the Non-Proliferation Treaty that Iran is signatory to but not Israel, Pakistan nor India. The dis-information presented by the U.S. government mirrors that which was used to criminally attack Iraq.

    No incumbent politician should be returned to any public office. Clean the slate of proven corruption, this is the last chance there will be. If there are no criminal charges leveled for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the place is not worth the saving nor anything in it.

  27. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 14, 2012

    Hey, remember the got milk? advertising campaign that ran for several years? Using that same sentiment, in honor of Hedges recent article, we could start a new campaign called got cancer?. :-)

  28. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 14, 2012

    If there are no criminal charges leveled for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the place is not worth the saving nor anything in it.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    That’s long been my bottom line. The geography is gorgeous; but the alpha vermin are toxic.

  29. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 14, 2012

    Wow, after watching this, if you weren’t already certain, you should be now. War with Iran is going to happen, and the possible ramifications of it are innumerable. The General clearly states that “America” is Iran’s greatest enemy, and he has clearly stated that Iran is not only not intimidated, but it is ready and willing for a U.S. attack. That’s tantamount to dangling a salmon fillet in front of a bear. Even if no evidence has been found that Iran is developing nuclear weapon capability, you’d have to be naive to believe that it is not their goal. They would be idiots not to, at this point, since it’s their only hope. I’m afraid they waited too long, though. This thing’s going to happen before they complete it.

    Iran – General Mousavi – How U.S Will be Dealt With if They Attack Iran.

    As groo mentioned, the pathology of power never ceases to amaze, but that pathological power is greater than any nation-state. It has no global boundaries, and the implications of that pathology will be experienced by all. Witness Greece. Yes, a system that has allowed this pathology to inculcate, incubate, perpetuate and flourish is a system that is not worth saving, but that system isn’t isolated to the United States. That system has found its way into virtually every planetary nook and cranny, and at this point, in order to neutralize the pathology of power, the system must discarded by everyone, everywhere.

  30. February 14, 2012

    MB – Never heard of that movie, thanks! Will check it out.

    groo – Great piece of writing you linked to over at Common Dreams. Thanks for the other links, too (T-Bear as well).

  31. groo permalink
    February 14, 2012

    well,

    to come back to Greece, a lot of people already have noticed, that Greece maybe is sort of a testing ground for neoliberalism going neofeudal, with a brief interlude of postdemocratic kabuki in the core countries.

    The modern Greek are sort of a anarcho-rebellius people, going back to Ottoman rule.
    Then this:
    (after the Greek revolution 1827)

    In 1827 Ioannis Kapodistrias, from Corfu, was chosen as the first governor of the new Republic. However, following his assassination in 1831, the Great Powers installed a monarchy under Otto, of the Bavarian House of Wittelsbach. In 1843 an uprising forced the king to grant a constitution and a representative assembly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greece#The_Greek_War_of_Independence

    now something interesting.
    (translated from the German wikipedia)

    To prevent, that from liberated Greece the spark of Republicanism would spread over europe,
    AND especially as a condition of payment for a credit of 472 000 British Pounds and 60mio drachme credit by England, France and Russia to the over-indebted country, the European powers established from the outsige a monarchy.

    So Prince Otto of Bavaria became the king of Greece.
    The Greek kicked him out after 10 years.
    Ha-Ha!

    Now, the Greek never believed in a strong state, and this is how they acted, and do now.
    (the Greek military never seemed to play such a big role, except by the backing of the US during the time of the junta, as Morocco Bama mentiond via ‘Z’.)
    The strong state/rule, whenever there was one, never was benevolent.
    It was an alien force.
    This applies to the 1% as well as the 99%, so to say.

    National traumata easily go back 200years, I’m afraid.

    The dragons of the past can be revived for a long time.
    It is those spirits, which can be abused by demagogues, if a people is cornered.

    All the best to the greek people, and may they not be alone.

  32. groo permalink
    February 14, 2012

    sorry outsige -> outside.

    I would have to go back to the history books, to say something about ‘Greek Republicanism’ of the 1830s.
    It was quite revolutionary in it’s time, and frightened the continental powers, so they neutralized it via ‘debt’.

    Not quite history repeating, but sort of a toolbox, which the powerful use, to contain difficult situations.

    Disclaimer: My subjective reading of history.

  33. February 14, 2012

    Notorious,
    To amplify a little bit; it was late at night and my energy was low. We blocked the gates, cut truck tiresand turned over trucks. They threatened to call in the National Guard. We told them that if they did that we would burn their factory to the ground. They believed us and the National Guard never showed. We won the day.

    I’m not in this fight because I’m an old man and it’s not my future that’s at stake. I fought for mine and these children of priveledge need to fight for their own. They think they can do that with social gatherings and songs. They are pathetic. If that’s the best they can do they do not deserve a future.

    And you have not answered my question. What are your credentials to be calling names?

  34. groo permalink
    February 14, 2012

    Bill H,

    my father fought in WWII, on the other side, You know.

    Not that I argued against my father, then or later.
    Losing a war keeps fathers and sons silent.

    Winning a war is obviously different.
    So I’m a second generation loser?

    I do’nt tell my son about war, and if, I talk about about its ultimate folly.
    Is this loser’s talk?
    And therefore deserve another hit?
    Or is it akin to some thinking?

    The winners tell the winning story until they are ultimately defeated.
    Ironically they tell stories of ‘victory’ , even if the rest of the world repeatedly diagnoses the defeat of the selfproclaimed victor.

    Seems to be a silly story, told by fools.
    Right?

  35. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    February 14, 2012

    @ groo

    You need to read two books by your countryman, Günther Grass, luckily you can read them in the original, translations can be a tricky proposition. Read first his Nobel Prizewinning “The Tin Drum”, and think about what allegory that tin drum might represent (some hints, its
    being central to being, excluding all else, its ability to break glass, its use in purloining jewelry, and how mysteriously the once central focal point of the child’s life suddenly turns silent and disappears from the balance of the book, or how that world morphed into something else when faced with existential pressures). Then read “Peeling the Onion” which is the autobiographical memoir of that time. Grass could not talk directly about those experiences, the trauma and the post traumatic syndrome of the individual are lost in the vast historical tides and currents of those events. Between these books Grass speaks with a clarity that has seldom found voice and gives voice to those silences you report above. Grass’ catharsis depended upon giving voice in some form to the un speakable and then speaking it. It is the process which the ghosts of the past are excised and their spirits lain to rest. If it isn’t done, then the next generation is called upon to close the accounts, and they must do so through your generation’s scars and detritus, their grandfathers ghosts have become remote to the grandson’s knowing. If you can lay those ghosts to rest and assuage their spirits, you will provide yours with a fine and rare legacy. Your talk of stories of winners and stories of losers is a vehicle without petrol, you are not likely to go far with that. The trauma of war is the same for victor and vanquished alike, that is the price of being human.

  36. Guesty permalink
    February 15, 2012

    “You need to read two books by your countryman, Günther Grass … and think about what allegory that tin drum might represent”

    Let’s rephrase that for those not fully attuned to smug condescension:

    “I presume you’ve not read the most important work of postwar German literature, but in the event you do please contemplate the meaning of the titular drum. Like recommending that I read Moby-Dick and not to forget giving some little thought to the whiteness of the whale. BTW, it’s “Günter”!

  37. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    February 15, 2012

    @ guesty

    *chagrin* a typo/dyslexic malfunction of the internal editing system. Of course it is Günter; no intention of disrespect was involved.

    Otherwise your opinion is noted.

    BTW, that last part is what smug condescension looks like when I use it.

  38. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 15, 2012

    BTW, that last part is what smug condescension looks like when I use it.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I had to chuckle at that; I picked up on the same thing.
    ________________

    The ongoing attempt at the public rape of Greece by all involved parties is duly noted.
    What garners my attention for the most part is the lack of meaningful objection by the rest of the EU.
    I applaud the Greek people in their vociferous/demonstrative objection to this blatant rape.
    Fortunately (for Icelanders) banging on pans worked for Iceland (300,000+ residents), but wouldn’t work for Greece.
    For those who object to the violence I would ask; what would be your solution when faced with overwhelming, crushing, violence from the EU/IMF.
    Unfortunately many regard violence in a two dimensional world, not realizing that violence in our three dimensional world is the force extant, exerted on populations implemented in the name of reforms and cost cutting and fiscal responsibility.
    The world today is engaged in a multi-dimensional, violence projected, dogma aimed squarely at the various populations; both first world and especially third world countries and their people.
    Greece is one of many fulcrums in today’s geopolitical chess game. Losing this game is not an option for those who still regard choices as important.

  39. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 15, 2012

    Violence, like Justice, is another one of those concepts that is multifaceted and doesn’t lend itself well, linguistically, to a unifying description. Here’s an excellent example that underscores that point.

    Cold Evil: Technology and Modern Ethics

    Cold evil’s distancing is also profoundly present in those who work for corporations and other technocracies. Our minute and specialized jobs have separated us from ethical consideration of our collective work. Whether processing financial statements at a bank, riveting at a Boeing plant, litigating for a large law firm, or delivering on-line data to corporations, most people’s work represents a tiny cog in the great machine of production. As a result, we become psychologically numbed and removed from the ultimate consequences of the collective work being done. We fall into what E. F. Schumacher termed “‘the sullen irresponsibility” of modern work. Moreover, even if a worker were somehow able to overcome this irresponsibility, to breach the distance and cry out against the immorality of modern production (“I reject this alienating labor. Stop the machines; they are destroying nature, society, and the dignity of work!”), that person’s employment would quickly be terminated.

    Virtually all corporations and government bureaucracies are dictatorships in which autocratic managers quickly punish any underling who begins to demand an ethical basis for work and production. Each of us is caught, therefore, in a kind of job blackmail. By allowing ourselves to become numbed by inhuman, meaningless work and to become fully distanced from what we actually produce, we forsake responsibility for the consequences of our production system. We sell our moral birthright in order to “pay the bills.” In this way we each experience our own “pilot’s dilemma.” The distancing endemic to our huge technological system and the massive private and public technocracies that run this system have turned workers, the vast majority of us, into ethical eunuchs and even unintentional criminals.

    Whatever their ultimate moral and physical cost, our paychecks do allow many of us to become profligate “consumers.” This cold-evil lifestyle is termed “the good life.” We proudly bring home the new, convenient, “family friendly” SUV, fully distanced from the global warming to which this gas guzzler contributes and the respiratory illnesses it cause in our and our neighbors’ children. Similarly, we buy our kids hamburger meals with “happy face” logos. But both parents and children would recoil with horror if suddenly forced to participate in the almost unspeakably cruel slaughter of the particular cow involved or to take a power saw to the rain forest or personally commit the other environmental crimes behind so many of our fast-food burgers. We turn the computer on without stopping to think that the power is supplied by a nearby nuclear power plant with all of its social and environmental risks. We even feel virtuous eating our vegetables, without a thought to the topsoil loss, pesticide pollution, and loss of diversity caused by their industrial-style production. If we paid attention to the sources of what we buy, we would find that we are complicit in myriad wrongdoings stemming from the technosphere’s systemic evil, which is not easily recognized because of the distancing involved.

    Kimbrell refers to violence in his essay as evil, whether it be hot or cold, but to me, it’s about violence. It seems to me that those who eschew hot evil/violence in an effort to rehabilitate a system that engages in cold evil/violence, a system we all partake in to varying degrees, is not an eschewing at all, but rather a exchange of form of violence for another…..the other being the distanced variety of violence.

  40. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    February 15, 2012

    @ 233ºC

    Initially written was: BTW that last part was smug condensation looks like … , but thought better of it. It sounds like a variation of the trickle-down theory of a urinary nature. DoG save those subject to poor interpretation from the intrepid interpreters of their words.
    End of message.

  41. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 15, 2012

    For some reason, the latest flurry of posts has me humming this ever so appropriate song.

    I am a Rock, I am an Island

    And a rock feels no pain
    And an Island never cries

  42. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    February 15, 2012

    @ MB

    Now we know what echos in the caverns of your mind. Thanks for the information.

  43. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 15, 2012

    DoG save those subject to poor interpretation from the intrepid interpreters of their words.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    LOL. EOM.

  44. February 15, 2012

    What did that information reveal to you?

  45. February 15, 2012

    Let’s rephrase that for those not fully attuned to smug condescension:

    “I presume you’ve not read the most important work of postwar German literature, but in the event you do please contemplate the meaning of the titular drum. Like recommending that I read Moby-Dick and not to forget giving some little thought to the whiteness of the whale. BTW, it’s “Günter”!

    Indeed though it is amusing at times.

  46. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 15, 2012

    Now we know what echos in the caverns of your mind. Thanks for the information.

    Ouch, that hurts!!

    Hey, considering your assessment, at least I’m open-minded.

    Simon and Garfunkel have left the open expanses of my mind, and in its stead, this has made its way into the vast recesses.

    I believe the misspelling of Günter is an automatic dismissal from Mensa. The shame of it. Even a fifth grader knows how to spell Günter.

  47. groo permalink
    February 15, 2012

    well, friends,
    thanks for the food, we hopefully give to each other,
    and thanks to Ian again for providing the platform.

    What I have been thinking for quite some years now is ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’
    psychopaths (PP), (SP) , but this maybe not the correct term.
    Upon closer look this seems to be a self-reinforcing loop, which is at work here, where the PP motivate the (learned) SP, who are more numerous, to instate a structure, which we call the ‘state’, or more generally, a ‘system of thought and action’.
    As long as this process prevails, it is the road to self-destruction, if its direction is not determined, or is driven by the ‘wrong’ –to us– force.

    Nowadays it is called eg ‘austerity’, or ‘rational’ speculation on food and commodities, which starve people to death.
    The nonsense and destructiveness of all this seems obvious to ‘Us’ here.

    But the ‘system’ does not recognize that.
    Why can that be?

    A very strange assessment I recently found is via Paul Levy, meditating on Forbes’ notion of ‘Wetiko’:

    “this disease, this Wetiko (cannibal) psychosis, is the greatest epidemic sickness known to man.”[vii] We, as a species, are in the midst of a massive psychic epidemic, a virulent collective psychosis that has been brewing in the cauldron of humanity’s psyche from the beginning of time.

    Not to make this a cornerstone of my thinking, but Forbes has a point:
    The dark other, as CG Jung said, is an active entity, and must be investigated.
    This is Levy meditating about Forbes:
    http://www.realitysandwich.com/greatest_epidemic

    Narratives are VERY stable.
    Like fairytales.

    Via the narrative of ‘austerity’ versus ‘growth’, which is quite silly in itself, one has to ask, what sort of mind invents and propagates such silliness?
    Malthus was a fellow of the East India Company.
    Aha!

    Chancellor Merkel, the latter day Thatcherian, is quite incorruptible, to be sure,
    and one has to ask again what motivates her in her destructive drive, to destroy the EU?

    It has something to do with protestant ethics in the Weberian sense.
    Scarcity and relative reward/abundance have a mediator, which is THE supreme force.
    Forbes/ Levy would interpret this as the dark-other, or the Wetiko-mind.
    Not sure, if this is the last word -probably not- but we are nearer to the -ahem- ‘truth’ here.

    I am exhausted.
    Sorry.
    Work in progress.

  48. February 15, 2012

    Morocco, that “Cold Evil” link was an awesome read. Very provocative, and it settled some things for me.

  49. Jumpjet permalink
    February 15, 2012

    The protestors in Greece are growing bolder and angrier. I wonder how much more courage they need to work up before they band together and storm the parliament meeting? A hundred thousand or so of them would be enough. Storm it, cast out all the filth within, and burn it to the ground. Germany can suck on that.

  50. groo permalink
    February 16, 2012

    Jumpjet ,

    “We are all Greeks,”
    http://greekleftreview.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/saturday-18th-of-february-international-mobilization-day-we-are-all-greeks/#more-2334

    then this (translated):

    “the social democrats in the EU-parliament will send an ‘alternative Troika’ to Greece.
    They want to establish/propagate a program of growth and work”

    http://www.deutsche-mittelstands-nachrichten.de/2012/02/38242/

    Not that this will help a lot, because if anybody nowadays says, ‘growth’ will help the issue, my hairs stand up.

    But so it is.
    Despite this ‘growth’ nonsense, I support the central thrust.
    It is about the VECTOR of common thought, and not the exact direction.

  51. groo permalink
    February 16, 2012

    on a broader scale, any money-system is also a value-system.

    A local money-system can also develop/cultivate a local value-system. See all those local currencies spreading.
    They keep the currency local, and also the the associated ‘values’.
    A fictitous global currency in the extreme, may it be Gold or something other, would destroy these local valuations.

    Greece has been a decent place, because of what?
    Because their values fitted the place.

    Any society has to be robust and self-confident enough, to stand the ups and downs of global tides.
    It does this by placing its -ahem- local currency into the global mess.

    How exactly are Maine Lobsters traded against Silicon-valley 8-core-Intel-processors?

    See the point?

  52. February 16, 2012

    I heard on the radio this morning, NPR no less, that there are these entities called “people” in Greece, and they are not “happy” at all about the course of events, and they’ve been mentioning something known as “history” among themselves, even going back to “ancient times.”

    It’s all very drôle, and no one quite knows what it means, but it seemed to the news folks at NPR worth mentioning in passing…

  53. groo permalink
    February 16, 2012

    Ché Pasa

    The southern Mediterranean –Egypt-Libya,Tunesia-… is in turmoil.

    The northern Mediterranean also– Greece-Italy-Spain-Portugal.

    Now, what’s the difference, exactly?

    Must be the Muslims, right?

  54. February 17, 2012

    Yes, groo

    It’s obviously the Muslims. But wait.

    Wasn’t Greece at one time a province of the Perfidious Ottomans? Muslims, weren’t they? Wasn’t there once a mosque in the midst of the Parthenon?

    Therefore the tumult must be due to the Mediterranean itself. That wine dark sea…

  55. February 17, 2012

    Three things: Food, fuel, and medicine.

    Greece is not self-sufficient on any of those. All of them have to be imported. Iceland at least has its geothermal power plants, Greece has nothing, it has to burn oil, gas, or coal imported from elsewhere to keep from going black. Icelanders ate a lot of fish when their external credit lines were cut off, but at least they were a net exporter of fish to begin with.

    So basically, every asset Greece has would need, in the aftermath of default, to be dedicated towards bringing in the foreign exchange needed to import food, fuel, and medicine. Problem is, those assets are currently in the hands of the Greek 1% or of Europeans outside of Greece who own Greek assets. There would need to be a massive socialist seizure of assets to reallocate them, and given that the Greek 1% owns the government (regardless of party) due to bribes, it’s hard to see how that can happen without the government also being overturned. The good news(?) on that front is that the Athens police is out of tear gas and pretty much everything else, and of course there’s no money to buy more because the Germans have it all. A government that rules over the 99% by force that has no functioning police force is soon a *former* government…

    The only question is how many Greeks are going to die for Germany’s austerity plans before the inevitable end game comes to pass…

  56. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 17, 2012

    Morocco Bama
    Cold Evil
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Listened and read it twice.
    Three things stood out for me;
    Cold Evil: Evil is an interesting term which I don’t necessarily accept.
    Theology centric: Alluded to a few times and an undercurrent through the talk; again, major problem with anything centered in theology. It was also addressed in the Q & A after-wards. Buzz words requiring a knowledge of or a construct of a belief system; his/theirs.
    An assumed arrogance of moral superiority; the correctness of “his” belief system.

    This isn’t to say he didn’t have anything salient to say; but it didn’t really resonate with me.
    It reminded me of the “Ted Talks”, which I find disturbing at times; rarely listen anymore.
    Of course, I’m also realizing, I’m so out of the mainstream western thought these days that I’m bordering on being a misanthrope.

  57. February 17, 2012

    FWIW, here is a…Eurocrat-sympathetic econ blogger’s take on Europe’s policy options in the form of a Choose Your Own Adventure novel.

    http://crookedtimber.org/2012/02/16/so-what-would-your-plan-for-greece-be/

    I very quickly got to “disorderly default/leaving the Euro” solution (section 52) with very little hesitation. The objection to this one is that Greeks are going to suffer for it.

    Um…

  58. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 17, 2012

    Got it, Celsius, and I understand. It’s much easier to tune into Arthur Silber and listen to him beat his dead horse, or is it a cat, endlessly in the subways of despair and drop a few alms in his wooden cup, then to try and understand what drives people to do what they do. Theology, whether you like it or not, helps determine how many people act and behave. You can repudiate it all you like, but you can’t ignore it. It’s not ignoring you because you have to survive in this system, and this system is greatly affected by those who subscribe to theology of one sort or another. I say one sort or another, because theology comes in many forms, and in my opinion, doesn’t always have to involve a deity. Arthur has his own theology. His soapbox is as prominent as Creflo Dollar’sCreflo Dollar’s, absent the prodigious parishioners.

  59. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 17, 2012

    Morocco Bama PERMALINK
    February 17, 2012
    Got it, Celsius, and I understand.
    _______________________

    No actually, you don’t get it.
    I seriously doubt there is much of anything I could say that you would understand.
    I commented on your link; and you launch into a personal attack on my opinion.
    It’s posters like you who drive away opposing ideas in an open discussion forum where differences should be welcome.
    I post for thought; critical thought, not ad hom attacks. I didn’t attack you on any level. Are you so bloody insecure you can’t even accept any critical thinking that may go counter to your belief system?
    And then, you launch into assumptions of what/where I’m coming from in my comments.
    Take your narrow, opinionated, unoriginal, thought police style crap and…
    I’ve said this before; you need to grow up
    I need to go before I say something I’ll regret; you are not worth that…

  60. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 17, 2012

    Celsius, your response to that article wasn’t critical thought at all and was severely lacking. After reading what you wrote about it, you could have used one word to describe your thoughts, and the effect would be the same. You could have said “meh.” Also, my response to you about your alleged critique is couched in the context of all your posts. You and T-Bear have espoused that you repudiate anything and everything anyone has to say from the U.S. Yet hypocritically, you consistently link to things people have to say who are currently residing in the U.S., i.e. Arthur Silber. I’m taking you, and T-Bear, at your word. You don’t care what I say, you don’t care what Kimbrell says, both of you have made that clear, so why do you bother? If you claim you repudiate, then repudiate, or else confess that that’s just tough talk and you didn’t really mean it.

    I have some criticisms of the article myself, although by and large, it does resonate with me and validates much of what I have pondered over the years. I believe the article underscores what Ian has asserted here in regards to responsibility. In fact, it brings this song by Sting to mind when I read it. That song was the theme song of my monotonous, meaningless and wasteful commutes to downtown Atlanta back when I was shoveling coal into the Beast.

  61. February 17, 2012

    Mandos,

    “I very quickly got to “disorderly default/leaving the Euro” solution (section 52) with very little hesitation. The objection to this one is that Greeks are going to suffer for it.

    Um…”

    Ha! Yeah I love that reasoning too. Apparently stiffing the Banksters who are standing on your neck causes you more suffering than living under their tyranny.

  62. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 17, 2012

    Here’s a fair and balanced analysis from the mainstream…a rarity, nay an aberration, these days.

    Brian Stewart: The danger in shoving Greece too far

    Should Greece “blow,” as some fear, the shockwaves could create similar unrest in other weakened European nations, battered by imposed austerity and few prospects of growth.

    It’s hard not to conclude that those anxious to make an example of Greece, to force it either to bend to Europe’s will or to leave the eurozone altogether, may well get the result they want.

    But it may prove a Pyrrhic victory — and the stuff of tragedy, which the Greeks, through the ages, have taught the world.

    One person’s tragedy is another person’s liberation, I suppose.

  63. February 17, 2012

    Ha! Yeah I love that reasoning too. Apparently stiffing the Banksters who are standing on your neck causes you more suffering than living under their tyranny.

    Yeah, so the content of the claim is that Greece is not Argentina—ie, no oil to export. Fine, fair enough. But what is never answered is how the apparently chosen policy leaves Greece on a better trajectory.
    Practically everyone has now conceded that shrinking Greece’s economy won’t make “its” debts more sustainable. Despite conceding this, we’re all still presented with the same insane menu of choices.

  64. February 17, 2012

    Wait, Authur Silber has his own theology? I dunno about that…that may be stretching the term beyond reasonableness. And, comparing him to Creflo Dollar (btw, I LOVE his wife’s name – Taffi L. Dollar) is REALLY out there. I mean Silber’s a very old guy in very poor health who occasionally has to ask his readers for contributions just to survive. Creflo Dollar on the other hand…..

  65. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 17, 2012

    ks PERMALINK
    February 17, 2012
    Wait, Authur Silber has his own theology? I dunno about that…that may be stretching the term beyond reasonableness. And, comparing him to Creflo Dollar (btw, I LOVE his wife’s name – Taffi L. Dollar) is REALLY out there. I mean Silber’s a very old guy in very poor health who occasionally has to ask his readers for contributions just to survive. Creflo Dollar on the other hand…..
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Dunno; never made a reference to Arthur Silber in my life. Oh well…

  66. February 17, 2012

    Celsius 233,

    Heh. I don’t remember seeing you link to him but, I could be wrong. Maybe MB knows better…..

  67. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 17, 2012

    ks PERMALINK
    February 17, 2012
    Celsius 233,
    Heh. I don’t remember seeing you link to him but, I could be wrong.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Nope; I barely know who he is and have no idea what he’s about.

  68. John Puma permalink
    February 18, 2012

    Here IS a link to Silber’s site.

    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/

    Find out directly.

  69. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 18, 2012

    T-Bear, in the midst of calling all “American” commentators “the herd” to which Celsius emphatically agreed, subsequently deposits this:

    Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 13, 2012

    Seldom does an opinion carry great weight, This one does:

    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2012/01/varieties-of-pissing.html

    It should be printed and framed, displayed upon the sacred places you have in your life.
    And, should you have a few coin, the author is in dire health and needful of any generosity you might be able to generate. Follow the proffered links to discover the dimensionality of excellent essay.

    To which Celsius replies:

    Celsius 233 permalink
    January 13, 2012

    Arthur deconstructs the myth/lie with surgical precision. One of the best I’ve ever read.
    I get a perverse satisfaction in my decision to leave almost 9 years ago.
    I thank the gods I learned the truth more than 40 years ago while a young man in my 20′s facing the draft for Viet Nam.
    Thanks T-bear; not many walking this sometimes lonely path.

    The point is not that I disagree with what Silber says, or how he says it, the point is in the context of how Silber was presented.

    And then, here we have yet another link to an Establishment U.S. scholar/journalist presented by the repudiating T-Bear and Celsius’s prostration before it.

    Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 30, 2012

    An exquisite piece of writing appeared in translation on Juan Cole’s Informed Comment and is worth the read:

    http://www.juancole.com/2012/01/beji-we-are-all-tunisian-jews.html

    if not a bookmark.

    Celsius 233 permalink
    January 30, 2012

    Formerly T-Bear
    January 30, 2012

    _____________
    As usual; hammer-on-nail. I’ve advocated this (Nicole Foss a.k.a. Stoneleigh at The Automatic Earth) for years here and elsewhere; to no avail.
    Community; without it, all fails as evident in America today.
    If I could have gotten through the stupid social cliques in the small communities in which I lived in the states I’d have probably stayed.
    Failing that; fuck ‘em; let them hold hands and sing kumbai ya as they go to hell in their carefully constructed and protected fantasies they think is a reality.

    I’ll definitely check out your Juan Cole link and get back to you. Cheers.

    There’s nothing wrong with any of that, obviously, unless, and until, this is triumphantly articulated:

    Formerly T-Bear permalink
    February 5, 2012

    Like Celsius 233, expatriated from the nowadays “homeland” is also my story. There are no voices that speak for me from that country, nor is it likely there will ever be. Repudiation of those rude voices pretending to speak with such authority should be automatically assumed; they are voices of ignorance and fools, their words given appropriate weight, you will find no pearls hidden in their garbage.

    I also agree with your comment to Ian; which, once again, makes me question WTF am I doing commenting here or anywhere else?
    Oh well, the beat goes on, no?
    Cheers Bear…

    So, we have them, meaning Celsius and T-Bear, essentially claiming, or effectively claiming, it’s “the Americans” which is eerily similar to the Nazis claiming it’s “The Jews” and henceforth “repudiating” anything the “American” herd has to say, all the while linking to and high-fiving some things that some of the “American” herd have to say, and then pretending that they never did any such thing, and claiming innocence in the matter.

    Celsius has the nerve to refer to me as the thought police, yet he agrees with T-Bear that I should be banned, or the comments section should be invite only for the “grown-ups.”

    So, ks, if that’s the basis on which you want to build a revolution, have at it. We’ll see how that works out. If you want to throw your lot in with those who call you herd animal, and look down their noses at you and say you are not worth saving, and that if you want to save yourself, your only hope is to globe trot, then hey, have at it. For me, I can’t stand with that, because that’s not standing. That’s running and hiding behind a tree, and sniping anyone who’s trying to stand up. That’s not solidarity. That’s not support. That’s not collaboration. That’s sabotage, and it’s aiding and abetting the enemy, so excuse me if I take issue with it.

    And yes, Silber is in the business of flogging this dead horse. We know it’s a dead horse, so we are, or we should be, at the next stage which is why it happened and what to do about it, not you’re fucked over and over again until it no longer has any meaning.

  70. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 18, 2012

    T-Bear, in the midst of calling all “American” commentators “the herd” to which Celsius emphatically agreed, subsequently deposits this:

    Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 13, 2012

    Seldom does an opinion carry great weight, This one does:

    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2012/01/varieties-of-pissing.html

    It should be printed and framed, displayed upon the sacred places you have in your life.
    And, should you have a few coin, the author is in dire health and needful of any generosity you might be able to generate. Follow the proffered links to discover the dimensionality of excellent essay.

    To which Celsius replies:

    Celsius 233 permalink
    January 13, 2012

    Arthur deconstructs the myth/lie with surgical precision. One of the best I’ve ever read.
    I get a perverse satisfaction in my decision to leave almost 9 years ago.
    I thank the gods I learned the truth more than 40 years ago while a young man in my 20′s facing the draft for Viet Nam.
    Thanks T-bear; not many walking this sometimes lonely path.

    The point is not that I disagree with what Silber says, or how he says it, the point is in the context of how Silber was presented.

    And then, here we have yet another link to an Establishment U.S. scholar/journalist presented by the repudiating T-Bear and Celsius’s prostration before it.

    Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 30, 2012

    An exquisite piece of writing appeared in translation on Juan Cole’s Informed Comment and is worth the read:

    http://www.juancole.com/2012/01/beji-we-are-all-tunisian-jews.html

    if not a bookmark.

    Celsius 233 permalink
    January 30, 2012

    Formerly T-Bear
    January 30, 2012

    _____________
    As usual; hammer-on-nail. I’ve advocated this (Nicole Foss a.k.a. Stoneleigh at The Automatic Earth) for years here and elsewhere; to no avail.
    Community; without it, all fails as evident in America today.
    If I could have gotten through the stupid social cliques in the small communities in which I lived in the states I’d have probably stayed.
    Failing that; fuck ‘em; let them hold hands and sing kumbai ya as they go to hell in their carefully constructed and protected fantasies they think is a reality.

    I’ll definitely check out your Juan Cole link and get back to you. Cheers.

    There’s nothing wrong with any of that, obviously, unless, and until, this is triumphantly articulated:

    Formerly T-Bear permalink
    February 5, 2012

    Like Celsius 233, expatriated from the nowadays “homeland” is also my story. There are no voices that speak for me from that country, nor is it likely there will ever be. Repudiation of those rude voices pretending to speak with such authority should be automatically assumed; they are voices of ignorance and fools, their words given appropriate weight, you will find no pearls hidden in their garbage.

    I also agree with your comment to Ian; which, once again, makes me question WTF am I doing commenting here or anywhere else?
    Oh well, the beat goes on, no?
    Cheers Bear…

    So, we have them, meaning Celsius and T-Bear, essentially claiming, or effectively claiming, it’s “the Americans” which is eerily similar to the Nazis claiming it’s “The Jews” and henceforth “repudiating” anything the “American” herd has to say, all the while linking to and high-fiving some things that some of the “American” herd have to say, and then pretending that they never did any such thing, and claiming innocence in the matter.

    Celsius has the nerve to refer to me as the thought police, yet he agrees with T-Bear that I should be banned, or the comments section should be invite only for the “grown-ups.”

    So, ks, if that’s the basis on which you want to build a revolution, have at it. We’ll see how that works out. If you want to throw your lot in with those who call you herd animal, and look down their noses at you and say you are not worth saving, and that if you want to save yourself, your only hope is to globe trot, then hey, have at it. For me, I can’t stand with that, because that’s not standing. That’s running and hiding behind a tree, and sniping anyone who’s trying to stand up. That’s not solidarity. That’s not support. That’s not collaboration. That’s sabotage, and it’s aiding and abetting the enemy, so excuse me if I take issue with it.

    And yes, Silber is in the business of flogging this dead horse. We know it’s a dead horse, so we are, or we should be, at the next stage which is why it happened and what to do about it, not you’re fucked over and over again until it no longer has any meaning.

  71. February 18, 2012

    Seriously MB, what are you on about? The “basis on which to build a revolution”? I’m not throwing “my lot” in with anybody. I don’t need to pick sides and I’m not picking sides. This is a comment board. You need to dial it back a bit or a lot.

  72. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 18, 2012

    Okay, so I was wrong, I forgot about that. So, fucking shoot me.

  73. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    February 18, 2012

    For the non-involved readers, Celsius 233 had not linked to Arthur Silber, I did. I have also linked to others whose writing portrays exceptional points of view or express their opinions in an intelligent thoughtful way that would not have ready access to this audience. Apparently only MB’s opinion will be allowed in these comments. If it is allowed so, you will be the poorer for it.

    Some people, particularly those who have never attained adulthood will not allow others to have access to any material that may carry opinions they have not approved or tend to expand the horizons beyond their own. These jejune minders are those who come here and through either volume or intensity subvert the course of discussion to their designs. They eventually drive off all adult commentary. Woody Allen observed that arguing with such fools brought the discussion down to their level and that the fools had all the practice.

    This MB also displays an immaturity in that everything is someone else’s fault, they are never to blame. Their expectation of perfection extends to all but themselves.

    As long as MB comments here, beware of their opinion. Opinion that uses fiction to express itself is usually opinion of very little weight, fit only to wrap four day old fish or to line the pet’s litter box. Keep tract of the number of comments this child makes, lately something between 40% to 60% of all comments are made by this single person. They need to get a blog of their own and cease infringing on the good will of the proprietor of these page.

    MB feck off.

  74. February 18, 2012

    So would it be fair for me to assume that it was *MB* to whom you were referring when you were making your regular litany of vague and cryptic aspersions such as “removing all doubt”?

  75. February 18, 2012

    I mean, I’m glad we’re reaching this point of…openness and directness here. Speaking of opinions unapproved by others, subverting the course of discussion, expecting perfection from everyone but themselves (or worse, the bizarre mind game of pretending one doesn’t believe one is perfect), and so on and so forth.

  76. February 18, 2012

    Triple post! Yet another way in which people are killing irony, apparently here too: quoting Arthur Silber while simultaneously decrying the moral perfectionism of others.

  77. groo permalink
    February 18, 2012

    Ahem.

    Good-intentioned people should find a way to communicate in a decent manner, right?

    If not, we are in deep trouble, and definitely cannot ‘educate’ others, or even ourselves, about right and wrong.

    Maybe MB should express himself, concerning his deeper motivations.

    I did not make a deep analysis of MBs persona, and thus don’t put him in a corner.
    It is more on a case-by-case-basis, that I give some slack to any commenter, to change his stance.
    Not that I welcome that.
    I personally tolerate it. And somehow ist is necessary, because in the other case we would be immovable.
    We all should try being coherent. True. I try.
    W.R.T. (to) what, is another question.

    But ultimately it is the community, which decides on that.

  78. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 18, 2012

    Formerly T-Bear PERMALINK
    February 18, 2012
    For the non-involved readers, Celsius 233 had not linked to Arthur Silber, I did. I have also linked to others whose writing portrays exceptional points of view or express their opinions in an intelligent thoughtful way that would not have ready access to this audience. Apparently only MB’s opinion will be allowed in these comments. If it is allowed so, you will be the poorer for it.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In the end it doesn’t matter. I stand by everything I’ve said on this forum; everything.

    ______________

    Thanks to;
    John Puma PERMALINK
    February 18, 2012

    For the Arthur Silber link; I went there and spent 30 or 40 minutes reading his last 3 posts; good stuff all.
    I am guilty of being old and a little forgetful at times, but no ill intention is ever meant or implied. I speak rather directly at times so as not to be mis-understood.

    As to MB, well, I feel somewhat badly for him; he seems to need to control the narrative and has taken great umbrage with myself and T-Bear for whatever reason which remains unclear to me and frankly I don’t much care and don’t want a 10 page essay on the muddled thinking that would go with it.
    I will continue to post as long as I feel I’m welcome here. So far only one very prolific poster seems to have a problem with my opinions or comments.
    Need to read more of Silber…

  79. Celsius 233 permalink
    February 19, 2012

    Over at Electric Politics; George Kenney is interviewed about the crisis in Greece by RT;

    http://rt.com/news/moodys-downgrade-greece-riots-227/

    I like his take on this debacle; the EU needs to get it’s proverbial shit together and back off on the Greeks. Of course, Kenney puts it far better.

  80. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 19, 2012

    No, the EU does not need to get its shit together. The EU needs to be put asunder, and the people of Greece are going to lead that effort in a fiery clash. The EU has shown itself for what it truly is. We all now know, and perhaps some of us always did know, it is not the way to prosperity, in the rightful sense of that word, not in the sense that that term has been used by the Plutocracy. It is too late, and counter-intuitive, to rehabilitate a system that has created such poor outcomes. It has to go, and I’m afraid the only way it can go is through conflict of some sort. As Ian has said on numerous occasions, either way there is going to be pain. So, you can self-administer it, or you can wait and allow the Plutocracy to administer it. The former can ultimately lead to empowerment, the latter to peonage, slavery and destitution.

  81. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 19, 2012

    If not, we are in deep trouble, and definitely cannot ‘educate’ others, or even ourselves, about right and wrong.

    groo, this is not directed at you, I’m just using this sentence to further clarify my position, as you have asked.

    It is no longer instructional to holler fire in the theater, or to proclaim the patient is dying whilst giving blow by blow descriptions of the process. We all bloody well know that by now. I have made a basic assumption about the audience here. Everyone, and I mean everyone who posts here and reads Ian, is sufficiently intelligent enough to have already figured this out. So, to me at least, it appears regressive to keep flogging a dead horse, and to keep pointing the way to carnival barkers on the deck of the titanic heralding that the ship is sinking.

    It’s seems more proactive to determine a course on how to free ourselves of this certain fate, and in the process of doing that, to understand what has led us to this point. The only people reading Silber are the people who already know. So, why read it any longer if you already know, unless it has now become some form of entertainment for you?

  82. February 19, 2012

    I have found that when one disagrees with me, I am either wrong or have been misunderstood, or even some combination of both.

    Either way, it is up to me to correct the error, through research and speaking/writing more clearly.

    Attempts to clear up the problem by analyzing the individual(s) who disagree with me have, without fail, been quixotic and counterproductive to my self-education – indeed, to the education of any parties, involved or simply observing.

    (I am aware that the previous sentence is a bit of a paradox, if one is inclined to read it as a judgment/recommendation for himself or herself… so please don’t do that.)

    Everyone here has contributed to my self-education. I would miss anyone who ceased contributing.

    /highhorse

  83. groo permalink
    February 19, 2012

    friends,
    I pursued my personal investigation into our dire situation this Sunday, and found something significant, which I want to share.

    It is ‘The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World’
    by Iain McGilchrist.

    Contrary to my working hypothesis of primary and secondary sociopaths, Iain argues, that our dire state has actually to do with something, which is in our left-right brain organization.

    Having read Julian Jaynes (…the origin of consciousness and the breakdown of the bicameral mind…) in my twenties, which has always intrigued me, but the evidence was quite anecdotic, Iain’s take electrified me!
    Iain turns the issue upside down.
    Not that Jaynes was totally wrong. He definitely was onto something.

    This seems to be a deeply researched issue by Iain and others, about how our brain works and how this projects into the social realm: the particularistic versus the holistic. Ultimately it should be about integrating both.
    Like sort of a particle-wave dualism, built into our brains. Selfcontradictory? Synergistic?

    The message is: If we mis-understand ourselves, we are in deep trouble.
    (not that we ever understand ouselves. But between not-understanding and mis-understanding is a fundamental difference, right?)

    The complementarities/contradictions we perceive, actually originate in our brain structure!
    Whether this is also the case in the ‘outside’ world, is an open question, which Iain does not tackle.
    (note: This is personal speculation.)

    This is the link to the book;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master_and_His_Emissary

    Here the masterful animators of RSA animate:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/iain_mcgilchrist_the_divided_brain.html

    Here is a link to an Australian ABC podcast:
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/the-master-and-his-emissary-the-divided-brain-and/3047408

    Very enlightening, if Your right-brain is in half working order.

  84. February 19, 2012

    groo! I am jumping over to read those links right now, thank you. I also absorbed Jaynes’ book in my twenties.

    In the meantime, I point you (and others) to this TED talk as well, that you may not have yet seen, which discusses this in a very dramatic and subjective way:

    Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight

  85. Morocco Bama permalink
    February 19, 2012

    groo, I don’t know if you give any credence to the concept of channeling, but what you have just suggested is precisely what I have been thinking about for the past several days. I was going to post something along those lines….not the links you provided, but the sentiment, and here you are, experiencing the very same thought form. There’s something more to this than just mere coincidence since this has happened on many more occasions in my experience on the Internet.

  86. February 19, 2012

    MB – it is rather eerie. I watched the Jill Bolte Taylor talk just two days ago…

  87. groo permalink
    February 20, 2012

    friends,

    for the next weeks I have my private struggle for survival, which helps activating my left brain, and – ahem- activates the bigger picture, at least in my mind.

    Iain’s thesis is surely not the ultimate one, but somehow helps to see the triurnal brain (id-ego-superego) from a different angle, where the ‘ego’ is somewhat split.

    And ‘we’ have different ‘egos’.
    The egotistic ones, and the caring ones.
    This aligns with what we observe everyday.

    On a -ahem- ‘higher’ level we have the egotistical drives (left brain) on the one hand, and the
    communitarian drives (right brain).

    Jaynes made a very astute observation: That the authorities (ca 700BC) chose ONE ear, which talked to the left brain.
    Which is, according to Iains interpretation, strange.
    How did they know the ear?
    Obviously the ancients intuitively knew that, in that they enlarged the respective ear, which has to listen to the voice of authority.
    This is documented, and we have some statues, which show this ear-asymmetry.
    Authority speaks into ONE ear, and not the other.

    I think this is quite significant.

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