The Greek Crisis: Three essays, a comment by Almost Marx

The first of these essays dated June 6,2015 is titled Chronicle of a struggle in which quite surprisingly Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, Mr Tsipras literary contribution to the debate, followed by the Oxbridger’s literary contribution of Joseph K. of Kafka’s The Trial and Gregor Samsa in Kafka’s Metamorphosis, play a large part in the rhetorical framing of more Economist hectoring, even bulling tone! The attacks on the Greeks at The Economist has been nothing but relentless, the betrayal of Capitalism, in it’s Corporatist iteration of the E.U., is not to be excused, much less countenanced. The promise of financial ruin and the human suffering that accompanies it is an effective cudgel.

The rules by which this game is played, one-upmanship, of this educated elite is from Stephen Potter’s The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship: Or the Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating, published in 1947:

And one-upmanship here:

To say the least the British are adroit practitioners of this game, they’ve mastered it’s techniques for almost two generations! Two Kafka’s trumps one Hemingway!

The second of these essays, dated June 8,2015, is, again, at the Economist, melodramatically titled ‘Dancing on a volcano‘. Not even two whole days have elapsed before readers are again confronted with Greeks, in their role as the epitome of the mendacious. The Economist engages in tiresome Red Bating as if it were 1952 in America, as a sop to their Conservative readership. The first paragraph of the essay tells the whole story, the rest mere agitprop:

Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s prime minister, knows that time is running short for his country to reach a deal with its creditors. This makes it all the more remarkable that, on June 5th, he made a speech in parliament denouncing the creditors’ latest set of proposals. Mr Tsipras stated that “there isn’t a specific deadline for an agreement”. The country’s bail-out monitors (the European Commission , the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank) are growing impatient with the Greek government’s delaying tactics—most recently postponing a €300m ($337m) debt payment to the IMF, then missing a deadline for presenting a revised set of negotiating proposals to Jean-Claude Juncker, the Commission president. It may be politically necessary for Mr Tsipras to demonstrate his independence from Greece’s creditors and postpone a deal until the last minute, but he is taking his country frighteningly close to the edge.

Then we come to an essay at The Guardian, dated June 9,2015 by Syriza party member and economist Costas Lapavitsas, titled If the eurozone thinks Greece can be blackmailed,it is wrong . The sub-headline is revelatory:

Greece’s creditors do not have the country’s best interests at heart. Syriza, which still has enormous popular support, will not be afraid to examine the alternatives

Mr. Lapavitsas makes his position abundantly clear in his two concluding paragraphs:

The economy, meanwhile, is again moving toward recession, liquidity is extremely short, the public sector is delaying domestic payments and deposits are draining away from banks. Above all, the country cannot meet its debt payments this summer. Crisis is truly upon us.

The only political force that could lead Greece out of this quagmire remains Syriza, which still enjoys enormous popular support. If the lenders prove intransigent, the government should examine all alternative paths. Those who think the country will submit to blackmail because it does not know how to handle the alternative are wrong. Greece can and will survive.

The fate of the E.U. , Monnet’s conception/execution now thoroughly colonized, and or the harbinger of Neo-Liberalism, i.e. the euro as the end of Keynesian economic interventionism by sovereign nations controlling their own currency. Or the E.U. effectively controlled by Germany, bailed out four times in the 20th Century that refuses to grant economic largess to Greece. Is Mr. Lapavitsas bluffing?

On the question of the euro as bulwark against Keynesian interventionism:

On German bailout in 20th Century see:

Almost Marx

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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