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The Greek Resistance

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This Aljazeera video seeks to understand how Germans and Greeks view each other in light of the way the Trokia is breaking Greece as an example to other periphery countries (yes, Greece would have had adjustment problems regardless, but they are being made far worse by the measures taken to avoid exposing the insolvency of French and German banks). It covers how the crisis has rekindled lingering hostilities. It also sheds new light on the pre-crisis economic relationship between Germany and Greece, including corrupt deals between the Greek government and German arms-makers. It also treats austerian thinking with more dignity than it deserves, but that is a secondary theme of this show.

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22 comments

  1. psychohistorian

    It is the sale of austerian thinking that is the Big Lie in Greece and throughout the Western world of ongoing inheritance, accumulating private ownership of property, private banking and money supplies, corporate personage, etc.

    As goes Greece, so goes the 99%.

    If the global inherited rich can continue to sell their myth of public austerity for private debt, mankind will be the poorer. Assuredly we can find a better social organization than the class system and economic myths we have today.

  2. Ruben

    “(yes, Greece would have had adjustment problems regardless, but they are being made far worse by the measures taken to avoid exposing the insolvency of French and German banks)”

    So you know that all German and French banks are insolvent right? Or maybe you are imprecise? Maybe you mean some of those banks? Which ones precisely are insolvent?

    1. richard in norway

      Reggie middleton has done the forensic research on the European banking system, he writes from an Austrian economic view point, rather than a neo liberal or socialist viewpoint but he clearly shows with fact and figures that the European banking system is insolvent and the Greek bailouts have been backdoor bank bailouts, of course the entire banking system the world over is insolvent

      1. Ruben

        Why to stop at the world banking system? To a certain degree of approximation, the whole world is insolvent; for f*cks sake, the biosphere is insolvent!

  3. Ted Braun

    This is really not a very good documentary. There is no analysis of how Germany arrived at its position of dominance in Europe and its banks ties to Wall Street. It is an overly dramatic job of looking at the surface issues. If this is the best reporting that can happen in 60 minutes don’t waste your time. It would be better to read a chaper of Yanis Varoufakis’ book The Global Minotaur

  4. Norman

    Might this be a preview of what the U.S. could be in for, if the “O” & the congress make draconian cuts towards the 99%, while leaving the 1% & business elites/oligarchs alone? Perhaps if the congress critters were to suffer a reduction to 1/3 their present pay, along with having to lose their retirement plan[s], oh, but that’s just wishful thinking, isn’t it?

  5. diptherio

    Oooohhhh…the reporter’s earnest expression as he asks whether Greeks are, in fact, lazy, corrupt, tax-dodgers, is disturbing to me (@ 26:30).

    tell me sir, are the racist stereotypes about your people true or not?…No, you say?…interesting, interesting…I’ll take that into consideration…

    I mean, come on…

  6. rotter

    “Why has a European vision designed to heal the wounds of the past instead brought them back to the surface”

    Because thats not what this scheme of Capitalist internationalism is “designed” to do..its doing what it was, and is intented to do.

  7. steve from virginia

    The Greeks are unhappy with the Germans because they won’t give them (Greeks) low-cost money like they did in the past. The Greeks used the cheap money to buy German stuff.

    The Greeks are broke because the stuff cannot pay for itself. HELLO! Germany is broke, too … for the same reason!

    The defect in the system is the stuff itself, as well as the desire to have it without accounting for the costs. Included are the destruction of capital and the increase of accumulated debt. Greece wants to:

    – somehow keep the stuff,

    – get more,

    – while having the old debt discharged,

    – and borrowing more.

    – Meanwhile, the stuff is worthless. Time to move past stuff and into something else.

    – What is underway in Greece (France, Ireland, Spain, France, Japan … Germany … China … USA … is conservation by other means. All of these places are becoming car-free the hardest possible way. Greece is merely the first in a line that reaches around the world.

    There is no way back for Greece or any of these other countries. Without big changes (getting rid of stuff) the Greeks will eventually starve in large numbers … Stuff = cars, airplanes, freeways, main battle tanks, ‘high speed rail’, nuclear power stations, ‘shopping malls’, luxury jobs, office towers, resorts, suburbs, televisions, rappers, finance companies … all that American Way crap.

    This is nature, it doesn’t fuck around. It’s also ugly, like a lion biting the head off a baby wildebeest. Get used to it.

    1. Susan the other

      well maybe not high speed rail, but a good rail system would be better than cars and highways; and thorium reactors are “clean” so that’s not as bad…

      1. A Real Black Person

        I think Steve from Virginia is talking about fossil fuel depletion and environmental degradation. There will be little need for long distance transport if industrialization is no longer possible to maintain.

  8. Benedict@Large

    Had to quit 10 minutes or so from the end. Germany is an employment nirvana? Has this guy ever heard of the Hartz reforms? No minimum wage? The one-Euro job? Germany has an established class of wage earners towering over a growing underclass of wage slaves. Just like EVERY other neoliberal-infatuated country around the globe. So far, they’re just better at hiding it from people who don’t want to see it.

    In the end, however, it’s just one long string of dominos; Greece at one end, and Germany at the other. What you sow, Germany, you will reap.

  9. Robert Asher

    Take the documentary for what it offers. Useful. But the total obliviousness to the socio-economic structure of Greek society and all European societies is typical of mainstream reporting. Elites are elites; they call the shots. They make sure that Occupy demonstrators in NYC and other places are beaten by the police. And they are moving to take over more and more of the environmental movement.

  10. The Dork of Cork.

    All of these Euro countries are capital rather then money junkies.
    Those narrow city streets should be even more busy in a energy crisis.
    This is what happens when the banks gain total control of the commons – and the money supply is the most important of these concepts.
    The money cannot flow in Greece or Ireland or elsewhere – it is stuck within a fiction of the banks making.
    I imagine the same thing happened in ancient Rome as the physical and monetary systems began to break down.
    What is striking about ancient pompeii is that most free people did not have much kitchen factilities.
    The money supply was available for them to eat out in Tacco bars……..when the money supply became constrained I imagine city life became impossible.

    But it was probally not so much a collapse of the energy systems but a collapse of growth.
    This caused people with money to rent this money supply.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uG6IIpTXNI

    See 14.40 – 17.00
    & 39.00 “fast food joints is the commonest feature of the Pompeii urban landscape”
    I.e. the + money supply made the place work…
    A negative or static money supply can never work.

  11. The Dork of Cork.

    This can be seen on a small scale right throughout the eurozone.

    For example
    If you remember that Southern French rural , inter village train line that I was talking about earlier in the year (they closed the line in July)
    Well the replacement bus route is now suspended…………..

    http://www.midilibre.fr/2012/10/06/ales-besseges-les-bus-etaient-provisoires,573775.php

    I really can’t see much wrong with the domestic French economy other then a very serious lack of Francs.

    As the neo – liberal era polices of the 80s can be still be reversed quite easily (with the will) unlike countries such as the UK which is much further down this road.

    The Euro boys obviously wish to rob all former nation states of domestic currency which made their internal commerce functional and thus more redundant and resilient to outside input shocks.

    Who can not say now the European experiment is the greatest market state conspiracy in the history of mankind ? (only Yanis Imagine)
    French market towns were once the backbone of France.
    Now what the hell are they ?
    More conduits for the now international corporate fascist super state I imagine.

    The Euro is the most anti labour money concept imaginable – it prepared to burn through massive capital inputs (fuel for cars rather then pay a bus driver)

    The symbolic money must flow like water must flow -or else it becomes stagnant.

  12. Joel3000

    I’d love to see Occupy develop a teach in program on the global banking system. Something that could localized and repeated.

    I’d even kick in for a kickstarter so we could hire Yanis or similar people
    to do it(eg Yves).

  13. H. Alexander Ivey

    My take from reading his summary at the english.aljazeera.net website:

    “When I first moved to Greece in 2006, I read a fascinating book about the Nazi occupation of 1941 to 1944. It is called Inside Hitler’s Greece and is by the historian Mark Mazower. It helped me understand the historical context to the country I was now covering.”

    The past is a good place to start for understanding current problems but going back 70 years for problems that started 20 years ago (late ’90s to early 00s) is a stretch. The reason for his going so far back is to introduce a straw man, the Germans as Nazis, the Greeks as Resistance Fighters)

    “Things began to change in 2010, when the Greek debt crisis erupted.”

    No explanation about this crisis, it’s causes, it’s affects, the solutions attempted and their success/failure, just this naked fact. Since this “fact” is central to his argument, he should explain and give context.

    “I knew that this was a sensitive area, and that it would be easy to slip into exaggeration and caricature. So let me say a couple of things straight away. I do not believe that Greece is sliding towards dictatorship. I believe its robust, outspoken democracy is too strong for that. And I also believe that any attempt to draw a moral equivalence between the Nazi occupation of Europe in the 1940s and Germany’s current economic dominance is absurd.”

    Nice work here, having set up Germans as Nazis, he then shuts off all discussions about who is helping, who is hurting, who caused what. Yes, clearly today’s Germans are not Nazis, but he does not discuss what role they are playing in this crisis, and most importantly, what role did they play in the lead up to the crisis (and where are the other international financiers anyway?)

    “Nonetheless, there is a great irony to the current tensions in the European Union. This Union was born out of the catastrophe of the Second World War, an attempt to ensure that what had just occurred could never happen again. But today, the euro currency, the supposed jewel in the crown of the European project, seems to be having the opposite affect to what was intended.”

    Wrong again, wrong in the big sense that he is arguing from here – that the EU is an arrangement to prevent a Eurporean war. The immediate reason for the EU was for economics and trade. And the Euro currency project is designed for several conflicting reasons, but prevention of war is again not one of its immediate ones. And lastly, the fore runner of the EU was not formed until some time after the Second World War, another misdirection the author uses.

    “In the end, my conclusions are both optimistic and pessimistic.
    Optimistic, in the sense that in both countries attitudes towards the crisis are more nuanced and reflective than we journalists have often shown in our daily news coverage. Greeks, ultimately, blame themselves for the mess they are in, even as they resent outsiders who impose misguided or counterproductive measures on their country. Meanwhile in Berlin I discovered that most Germans are far more sympathetic to the plight of ordinary Greeks than I had imagined.”

    Again, a nice try at being “impartial” but really being underhanded in his arguments. First, the old chestnut, “we journalists have often shown…”, really a weak it’s-not-my-fault-ma excuse. Then the usual find-one-and-only-one-(and it’s always the weaker one) to-blame it on (the Greeks), contrasted against the oh-the-supposed-better-side (always the stronger one)-are-not-so-bad (the Germans).

    “But I am also pessimistic in the sense that the Greek crisis has not yet run its course. Even under the best circumstances, there are years of hardship ahead. By the end of 2014, Greek GDP will have shrunk by one quarter from its pre-crisis level. For Greeks, this is a depression, not a recession.”

    His “pessimistic” view is not a proper contrast to his optimistic statements, it is just a negative feeling about the Greeks position (which is “deserved” since they accepted the blame).

    I haven’t seen the video yet, I hope it will be more balanced, but his summary looks like more MMS propaganda.

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