The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Greek Pivot East and the Future of Greece In Europe

In my most recent article on Greece and Syriza’s options I pointed out that cutting deals with other pariah nations might be wise.

Practically the first thing Greece did was say that they will not be onside for any more Russian sanctions.

Russia said they would consider, if asked, bailing out Greece.  (This is a way of saying, “go ahead, ask”.) Given Russia’s own reserve problems, one wonders where it would find the money, BUT my guess this is a “if you default” scenario.  Russia won’t pay off European banks for Greece, but if Greece defaults, it will help Greece running. (Not least, most likely, by selling them heavily discounted hydrocarbons, and probably even loaning them the rubles to buy them with.)

That takes care of one of Greek’s main problems: food, oil/gas, and medicine—what they MUST have which they MUST buy from other countries.

A few words on Greece’s negotiations with Europe are also in order.  First, note that the “bailouts” given to Greece mostly weren’t — 89% just went back to lenders.  Worse, the imposed austerity conditions caused an actual collapse in GDP and employment, which means that the cost of the bailouts was far more to the Greek government and economy than the actual amount of money received.

In other words, this was all just a bullshit way of bailing out banks, and as the FT notes, only because bailing them out direct was “embarrassing”.  To avoid embarrassment, millions were impoverished, people set themselves on fire, and Greece was devastated.

This, people, is why I say, and mean, that Merkel is monster.  A disgusting, rotting excuse for a human being, let alone a statesman.  Millions suffered, not just in Greece but in the other peripheral countries, for no good reason.  Austerity is just the voodoo economics of the modern day, but even more devastating.

The deal Greece wants is more than fair to “lenders”.  And I mean “more than fair” literally.  They deserve to be defaulted on, because they didn’t do their due diligence, and all loans since the financial crisis at the very least, should NEVER have been made.

An independent Bloc is desperately needed in the world.  BRICS plus allies, with their own payment system, reserve currency and international trade and settlement system.  Until it exists, countries like Greece will feel (and often be right) that they have no choice but to buckle under to whatever terms the West sets.

Enough.  This suffering is not required in any world which runs on rational economics AND has as its goals the welfare of everyone.  It never was required.  All of the deaths, job losses, homelessness, hunger and so on was optional.  It was chosen because it suited oligarchs and politicians like Merkel.

This is the world you live in. It must be changed.  Since core westerners are unwilling to change it from withing in time to save millions and millions from suffering; it will have to be changed by those it is most severely impoverishing.

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My thought in two compendia


The burning of the Jordanian pilot


  1. Jeff Wegerson

    Once again voodoo’s reputation takes a hit by association.

  2. Squirrels of War

    Merkel, Harper, Hollande…bitter, resentful nerds make some of the worst leaders.

  3. V. Arnold

    @ Ian

    This thread by YOU is so spot on!!!
    You got it all.
    What I can’t figure out is why the hell aren’t they (the Syriza party) following the Icelandic model?
    Fuck the bastards! Fuck the monster crooks! Fuck the banks and the bankers!
    A new world order? You betcha and it ain’t the bullshit being peddled by the U.S. and the disfunctional EU. Merkel certainly is following the Teutonic stereotype. Beware Germany.
    My fervent hope is that Syriza is the beginning of the end of the EU and neo-liberalism and the fascisti.
    But I hope for too much, I should know better at my age…

  4. someofparts

    For those of us in the belly of the beast, I’m thinking the rule going forward should be to expect nothing from our investing-class misleaders – if we are lucky. If their other victims wise up and cut bait we should expect to get squeezed all the harder.

  5. Virtual Nomad

    In today’s Europe, Greece will always be the rump. Visiting the country’s archaeological museum in Athens, one sees it wasn’t always that way. When Greece was a rising civilization, it was pointing east into Asia Minor (Turkey).

    The European Union doesn’t give sufficient weight to Greece as strategic bulwark. Beyond merely importing more weapons than any other European country, its geography filters the streams of human misery that trickle through from the East.

    Greece needs to do more than restructure its debt. The country needs to pivot its collective attention back toward its immediate sphere of influence. That means, in addition to weighing its future as a Euro nation, Greece may also consider whether the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a natural alliance.

    Could Greece adopt neutrality? How would that affect resolution of the Cypriot stalemate? Can we imagine Athens joining Ankara as dialog partner to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

  6. Fqw

    It wasn’t about “voodoo economics”.

    It wasn’t about embarrassment.

    It was about conquest.

  7. this is not the left, call me when it is.

  8. bob mcmanus

    I guess I should give him more than a week before losing faith in Varoufakis. I feel like my heart’s been breaking for twenty years.

    Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism is following the details.

  9. Dxfar

    SN: You’ll know when it is by the deafening silence from the media.

  10. Don’t count on the younger generations in the West (not that anyone has hope for the USA). As my friends age and the economy puts the screws to us, I am noticing that they are starting to pick up mindless, populist nonsense – the anti-vax stuff, prisoners should pay fines to be prosecuted, etc.

    It’s ineffectual and misguided, and precludes any genuine populist movement against elites. This has happened especially to white suburban friends who used to espouse third-way political attitudes with a focus on social libertarianism.

  11. markfromireland

    @ George February 4, 2015 Where are these friends of yours who are ” starting to pick up mindless, populist nonsense”? The USA? Canada? UK? where? I suspect you’re conflating “anglophone” with “western”.


  12. V. Arnold

    Ilargi @ TAE;
    So my take is tone it down a tad on your opinions – after 10 days – of what Yanis and Alexis should or should not do. See, I don’t see Yanis Varoufakis as someone who would come unprepared. I think for one thing the fact that he doesn’t come all dressed up to the nines for meetings with Osborne et al says he did prepare. You can just feel the likes of Osborne go: how come HE doesn’t have to wear the stiff stuff?
    Good advice and excellent commentary, IMO.

  13. Formerly T-Bear

    Curious about the future? Remember those scenes from the Godfather, the ones about respect? Well, that in a nutshell is what the newly elected government of Greece is facing – an organized crime syndicate has taken hold of the levers of power that control the EMU, it’s the same crime syndicate that produced the hardly noticed coupe d’état in the U.S. that usurped the constituted authority of government in the election of Bush 43 – the much vaunted NWO of Bush 41. That is what newly elected government of Greece face. But it is no film fiction godfather in the seats of power, rather poorly educated, unimaginative and vacuous suits pretending for all they are worth they hold power in their very hands. There is play afoot and the audience is only in the opening scenes yet, the plot has only been established but not unfolded in any degree, that will transpire soon enough, the protagonists have great wit and sympathetically drawn parts, it will be hard to foretell their positions before intermission is called. The median and concluding acts will have many surprises in store for their audience.

  14. Apneaman

    Nothing new from the elite and their managerial class. They will do the same thing in N America when the time comes. They do not care about others and they will whore your daughters and use your sons a cannon fodder. Most people, in some combination of ignorance, denial and self flattery, will claim that it cannot happen here, but we are in global overshoot, the pie is shrinking and power never gives itself up without a fight. Why do you think they keep granting themselves new powers? Watch Brazil for a preview of what the fate of all countries will be (Dry season in a few months).

  15. V. Arnold

    T-Bears comment is spot on, a fragment, a very relevant fragment;
    “But it is no film fiction godfather in the seats of power, rather poorly educated, unimaginative and vacuous suits pretending for all they are worth they hold power in their very hands.”

    Our political class is the most poorly educated in our entire history. I also question their IQ’s as well…

  16. pete

    from the onset there was no way Greece was going to pay back the loan it was set up so Greece could be plundered by the IMF(America) and it ws good that some one came into Greece’s polatics with balls to tell the eu and the rest of them, no this is how its going to be, I hope and wish Greece every success in breaking the strangle hold over them and there economy. I hope Russia do help Greece out, what ever the deal will be, it can not be as bad as the mess that was imposed on them now.

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