(MR Zine, 8 July 2015)
The Greek People are an example to Europe and the world.
With courage and lucidity the Greek people have rejected the ignoble diktat of European and international finance. They have won a first victory by affirming that democracy cannot exist unless it knows how to put itself at the service of social progress. They have unmasked the farce of democracy that accepts submission to the degradation of social conditions demanded by the dictatorship of finance.
Social progress is illegal in Europe.
Europe has been constructed systematically to reduce “the danger of democracy” to zero. Since the end of the Second World War, the United States, Jean Monet, and Robert Schuman (two Vichyites) have initiated the preparation to restore the legitimacy of the political forces that were compromised through Europe’s collaboration with the Nazis. The construction of the European Communities, and later the forced adoption of a constitution, despite being rejected among others by the French referendum (an unparalleled denial of democracy), has enabled the rise of a dictatorship of finance capital. Deceived by the systematic brainwashing by media pundits in the service of the financial oligarchy, the European peoples fed on the illusions that still remain powerful enough to destroy their capacity to respond to the challenge. They must “save Europe and the euro from the debacle,” they still largely believe (now a little less so in Greece and Spain). Europe as it is — and it cannot be other than what it is so long as it is imprisoned within the fetters of its institutions — has declared illegal any attempt to question the odious established order. The Greek people, by their choice, became outlaws.
The euro is not viable.
The subsystem of the euro violates the elementary rules of a sane and feasible management of the currency. It imposes common rules of so-called “competitiveness” on economies too unequal to bear the consequences of them. The euro has made it possible to wipe out the progress made earlier within the context of the emergence of productive systems composed largely of small and medium enterprises in order to open up a restricted market to raids by financial monopolies. Spain is a tragic example. Others — Finland and even France — in turn are victims of it. The euro is now only the tool for a rerun of the German Europe.
The crisis is not that of the Greek debt, but actually that of Europe and the euro.
Shame on European governments.
Shame on all those who have accepted the idea that the “troika” represents the European peoples. Shame on the governments that have installed in the presidency of “their Europe” a Luxembourgian functionary in the service of a tax haven; installed in the management of “their central bank” a character who made a career at Goldman Sachs, the bank associated with all the financial villainies of the century; installed at the head of the IMF a good pupil incapable of understanding anything other than what she was taught. It’s not a case of men and women of politics, of whatever side they may be, but just a case of contemptible characters.
Europe presents itself to Greece in the figure of those nostalgic of fascism.
The heroic Greece liberated itself from Italian fascists and German Nazis. “Europe” then intervened in Greece, in the uniforms of British (and then US) officers to massacre the children of the Resistance and restore the power of fascist collaborators. The reconquest of democracy by PASOK’s electoral victory in 1981 permitted some incontestable social achievements; but it also opened the path to “Europeanist” illusions; the Greek people now find themselves once again vis-à-vis the real Europe dominated by the financial oligarchies. So they are rediscovering the memory of their past and the debt that Germany, the inheritor of the Nazi debt, still owes them. Shame on Mrs. Merkel, whose government refuses to recognize that the Greek people have a right to reparations.
The Greek state must be reformed in a democratic spirit.
Yes, the Greek state suffers from serious defects, which result, among other things, in tax evasion. But who can undertake the necessary reforms? Certainly not “the friends of Europe.” Those are the very same who lied about the Greek debt upon Greece’s accession to the euro, with the active complicity of Goldman Sachs, whose servant is none other than the president of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The Greek ship owners? The cheats who have always benefited from attentive care of international banks and the IMF. SYRIZA is the only Greek government capable of reforming the Greek state in a democratic spirit and making the rich pay. A nightmare for the Europe that cannot tolerate this choice — only the poor must pay!
The struggle continues.
The Europe of billionaires of finance does not intend to renounce its objective: slaughter the Greek people to teach a lesion and prevent a contagion of democracy. Let us not forget that if the ruling classes of western and central Europe (still) do not need fascism at home, they do not hesitate to solicit the help of fascists elsewhere, as we can see in Ukraine.
The European peoples must take the measure of their responsibilities. With PODEMOS, the Spanish people have issued another wake-up call. It now falls to the French, the Germans, the British, and other peoples of the European continent to understand that the Greek people’s struggle is theirs as well.
The alternative is now clear and visible, for Greece and for all those, in Europe and the rest of the world, who are inspired by the same social and democratic aspirations. Defy the so-called European “constitution”; dismantle the euro and replace it by negotiated management of a snake of national currencies; send Draghi back to his masters in New York pending the closure of the fake central bank in Frankfurt; derail the IMF by firming up financial arrangements beyond its reach, as the Shanghai Group and the ALBA have taken the initiative in doing so.
With whom to wage these battles? The range of political forces who are beginning to understand that austerity (for workers, not for oligarchs) and regressive stagnation that inevitably accompanies it no longer have a future is widening day by day, to the point of now including politicians of all stripes, like François Fillon in France. Great Britain has lost confidence in this Europe mired in mediocrity, even though England remains neoliberal, more Atlanticist and less European than ever. Of course, the apparent rallying of certain far-right formations remains, for me, suspect. Fascists are lying demagogues par excellence.
In this situation it is incumbent upon the forces of the potentially radical left to take back the initiative, with SYRIZA and PODEMOS who have primed the movement for it. Failing that, Europe will not be able to avoid implosion and will be engulfed in chaos.
6 July 2015
Samir Amin is director of the Third World Forum in Dakar, Senegal. His books published by Monthly Review Press include The Liberal Virus, The World We Wish to See, The Law of Worldwide Value, The Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism, and Three Essays on Marx’s Value Theory. En français; em português. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi.