Monday 14 May 2012

The Greek revolt against neoliberal austerity

The Greek communist party and other left-wing groups
have consistently opposed "austerity".
Stock markets are once again in chaos, this time over the increased likelihood that the crazy Eurozone experiment in mass abandonment of fiscal autonomy is on the verge of collapse. The Greek voters have shown that they don't want "austerity" and the bankers and technocrats of the Eurozone have retorted by saying that they don't want Greece unless they swallow all of the toxic austerity medicine that they have been prescribed.

The important question is why have the voters of Greece comprehensively rejected "austerity"?

The problem with "austerity" is that it is just the same toxic, ideologically driven neoliberalism that caused the economic meltdown rebranded with a new name. Neoliberalism is defunct, it died of terminal hypocrisy when the deregulated financial sector had to go squealing to the state sector for the biggest state subsidies in history in order to save them from the consequences of their own reckless gambling.

Yet the unelected bankers and technocrats that run the European Union have decided that they are going to continue to prop up the debt riddled neoliberal experiment in deregulated finance with €Trillions in secretive ultra-low interest central bank loans, whilst making the ordinary working people of Europe pay the price of it through mass redundancies, wage freezes, pension attacks, the fire sale of state infrastructure, welfare destruction and the reduction of labour rights.

People from across the political spectrum are beginning to realise that the left wing anti-austerity groups were correct when they said that all of this misery is being inflicted simply in order to save the bankers from the consequences of their own stupidity. Instead of letting the banks that recklessly over-leveraged themselves go bust, re-regulating the system to prevent recurrences and allowing the responsible institutions that survived the chaos to make huge gains in market share, the Western leaders have decided to bail out the reckless gamblers to save them from the bankruptcy they deserve and paying for it by mercilessly squeezing €trillions out of the "real economy" under the guise of "austerity".

Not only is this state intervention to save the financial sector gamblers inflicting severe damage on the "real economy" of jobs, manufacturing and industry, it is also an ongoing demonstration that the neoliberal experiment in deregulated finance is fundamentally invalidated, because it is only able to continue through massive and repeated interventions of state.

Members of the right wing Greek right wing have defected
to create a new right-wing anti-austerity party that have
claimed an impressive 33 parliamentary seats at the first attempt.
In Greece it was not just the left-wing groups (Syriza & the communists) and the fascist New Dawn party that made gains due to the politic establishment's compliance with "austerity", the new centre right anti-austerity party Independent Greeks took 33 seats at their very first attempt. The party is led by Panos Kammenos, who was thrown out of the once dominant centre-right New Democracy party for opposing more bailouts and austerity. This surge in support for a centre-right anti-austerity party exposes the popular media line that "it is only "far-right" and "far-left" parties that made gains in the Greek elections" as an outright lie.

People from across the political spectrum are realising that now is the time to ditch the broken ideology of toxic corporatist fundamentalism, yet the political establishment of the west know nothing else. They are unable to conceive an alternative to the orthodox neoliberal economic model, and have neither the wit nor the will to develop an alternative strategy to repeatedly bailing out their failed experiment at the expense of the majority of ordinary working people. To admit that their experiments in ceding state power to corporate interests have been abject failures and attempting a return to the last functional model (the mixed economy) would reflect badly on their competence and also harm their vested financial interests, so they just plough on regardless of the suffering they are inflicting on millions, in order to maintain the economic status quo.

It is up to the relatively tiny European anti-austerity block to explain that it is precisely because of this weak willed and self interested adherence to transparently defunct economic dogma by the political establishments of Europe, the US and many of the other western economies that China's ascendancy as the economic global superpower looks completely assured.

No comments: