Greece vs. the Troika: the Proxy War Between Democracy and Corporate Totalitarianism

Make no mistake, Greece’s “negotiations” with the troika are a proxy war between the forces of democracy and the global superpower that is corporate totalitarianism. The country where democracy was first conceived is being made an example of by the corporatists, sacrificing the people and the sovereignty of Greece, just to exhibit the collective power of the “people” — the multinational corporations and banks — that compose the totalitarian state.

In a cunning plan hatched by the corporatists, Greek politicians, led by prime minister Lucas Papademos (who, purely by coincidence of course, before “serving” as prime minister, was the vice president of European Central Bank, one of the three members of the troika) distorted their debt figures in order to qualify for massive loans from French and German banks that they could not afford to repay, and so when they could not repay these loans, the corporatists graciously loaned Greece more money so that Greece could pay them back (the debts were a matter of spreadsheet finances, and forgiving a large portion of the debts — perhaps acknowledging their fault in not being interested in “seeing” whether Greece could actually repay — would not cause actual financial losses, they would merely look soft on Greece, according to Michael Hudson, “distinguished research professor” at Missouri.)

The only condition was that Greece had to adopt their view on the amount of social spending and investment that is ideal — next to nothing. This had the benefit of ensuring that the Greek economy would never recover, as without government debt-spending to create jobs and provide a social safety net to pursue work, and so to raise the fortunes of the people so that they could generate tax dollars and pull themselves and the government out of the hole they were in, the Greek government would have to continue to borrow money, racking up spreadsheet profits for corporatists but at the cost of real-life misery of Greeks.

Current Prime Minister Tsipras, leading a leftist government on an election-given mandate, has fought to lessen the crippling austerity measures, without success. The corporatists want to see the pensioners, who have come to expect redistribution of the wealth of corporations acquired at their expense, executed by the impoverishment imposed on them. The next generation of Greeks will not expect the corporations to share with the persons who made them wealthy. The corporatists want us to know that, like the Greeks, going forward under their despotic rule we should not expect to share any of their wealth. That is already the immediate lesson to take away from this proxy war.

Tsipras has said that he will put the final decision — whether to stay with the Euro and accept the suffocating austerity measures or leave the Euro and break from the current cycle of increasing indebtedness to the corporatists and reclaim Greek’s economic freedom – to the people of Greece in a referendum to be held Sunday, July 5th. It is a testament to the power of the propaganda machines of the corporate totalitarian multi-national state that many Greeks think it best to stick with the Euro. The propaganda that plays on financial anxiety makes it such that if Greece ultimately chooses to stay with the Euro, it will not have been a choice made freely, given the coercive methods employed by the corporatists. Yet the risk of losing this vote is one that we must accept as supporters of democracy. It is right that Tsipras and his cabinet not make the decision themselves but put it to a vote by the people of Greece because democracy is precisely what is at stake in this proxy war between democracy and corporate totalitarianism/neoliberal capitalism.

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  1. #1 by jmeqvist on July 5, 2015 - 11:58 am

    I also admire Tsipras for putting this issue to a popular vote given that his mandate as Prime Minister was to battle against austerity, and agree that the framing of this issue as a simple relation between lender and debtor is one that obscures the wider history of corporate influence and corruption.

    Another issue issue that relates to the issue of inverted totalitarianism and corporatism that you speak of is the relation between economics and politics. For the Greek creditors it seems that the ultimate God to which we must bow is a laissez faire notion of contract and the unlimited pursuit of wealth. They may pay lip service to democracy, but ultimately the two principles above cannot be regulated by democracy, but are subordinate to it. The people are free to vote, but they cannot question the dictates of the current structure of the economy. Karl Polanyi in “The Great Transformation” shows that this disembedding of the economy from society is bound to fail, and whenever it is caused has been an utter catastrophe (ie 19th century Britain). The economy is always something that must be subordinate to the social imaginary of a society, and when it becomes its own perverted version of a social imaginary, we are left in a situation where the ties that bind us to one another as citizens dissolve, and while we leave side by side, we fail to live together well.

    Also, the language you use reminds me of Sheldon Wolin. Have you read his work?

    • #2 by jmeqvist on July 6, 2015 - 8:01 pm

      In the second sentence of the second paragraph it should not say “the Greek creditors,” but “the creditors”.

    • #3 by ausomeawestin on July 6, 2015 - 10:41 pm

      Very well said! Thanks for sharing these points, they strike me as quite right. This seems to push us towards the idea that a better way of embracing capitalism while still keeping the economy embedded in society as you say, might be to enter into cooperatives, where workers own the company, with the hope that this micro-level democratizing of the economy might lead to the macro-level democratization of the overall economy. Just a thought.

      It’s funny you ask about Wolin, because I haven’t read his work directly, but I’ve been reading Chris Hedges and Hedges references and quotes Wolin frequently, and so I just a few days ago put in an order for a copy of Democracy Incorporated. What are your thoughts on Wolin? I see you used his term, “inverted totalitarianism.”.

  2. #4 by SelfAwarePatterns on July 5, 2015 - 9:13 pm

    I doubt there was any conspiracy. I think all the players blundered into this. But I also think the European insistence on austerity as the only solution has been short sighted and cruel. The Greek people have suffered terribly in the name of an economic theory which apparently can’t fail often enough, historically or contemporarily, to convince some people to give it up.

    I’m glad Greece stood up to the ECB and Germany. It’s usually not remembered that the creditors have just as much at stake in Greece recovering as anyone. Maybe they’ll look for solutions involving economic growth instead of grinding the Greek people further into the ground.

    • #5 by ausomeawestin on July 6, 2015 - 10:17 pm

      I don’t know, it’s hard to not be suspicious of the heavy presence of former Goldmann Sachs executives in this whole affair; this wouldn’t be the first time Goldman bankers sold debts that they then bet against, the Timberwolf deal comes to mind.
      I definitely agree with you per your comments on austerity. It truly is baffling that the troika is pushing for stricter austerity measures when they haven’t had any success so far.

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