I was very moved by the suicide of the 77 year old Greek man who shot himself in front of the Greek Parliament on Wednesday.
I have been seriously suicidal several times in my life and on each occasion financial troubles were a significant contributing factor – along with the accompanying sense of failure, humiliation and worthlessness. So the 2,000 Greek suicides linked to the financial crisis since 2008 have a particular poignancy for me.
But the response of the Greek para-military police is just as distressing. See this video from The Guardian website:
The shallow veneer of democracy has been lifted in Greece and the reality of elite rule in a Neoliberal, globalised economy is exposed in all it’s brutality.
The same is true in Italy where the EU has effectively installed a non-elected technocrat to control the economy in the interests of global capital; A non-violent, bureaucratic coup, but a coup nonetheless.
It seems to be widely accepted by the elites in Europe and the U.S. that it is now the job of the government’s of Italy and Greece to defend the interests of worldwide capitalism at all costs. There is no longer any reference to even basic notions of democratic legitimacy; even the Western parliamentary system of elected oligarchy has had to be abandoned; brute power is simply being asserted violently by the State, using the police & the army, in the interests of global capital.
And no one in the mainstream media, including the BBC, is seriously challenging any of this. In the mainstream media I have never heard or read anyone describe what is happening in Greece and Italy as the destruction of democracy in the interests of capital, let alone question if these installed governments have any democratic legitimacy.
In the 1930’s many Leftist commentators perceived Fascism as the inevitable and ultimate expression of Capitalism; with the State working hand in glove with big-business in the interests of an industrialised, totalitarian notion of National, ethnic supremacy.
Yet after 60 years of Western Cold War rhetoric where free-markets were portrayed as a necessary pre-condition for free societies, the totalitarian tendencies of Capitalism seem to have been entirely forgotten – despite the evidence staring us in the face in Italy & Greece.
I pose this question – How would the U.S. and the E.U. react if a popular revolution in Greece threw out the current puppets of Brussels and installed a progressive Socialist government that nationalised the means of production, reinstated the welfare state, cancelled the countries debts and left the Euro?
Even if such a government were demonstrably supported by the mass of the population, the interests of global capital represented by the E.U., the U.S., the World Bank, the IMF, The G 7, NATO, even the United Nations simply could not let it succeed.
At the very least we would see economic sanctions and a trade war (see Cuba), but more likely I think we would see troops on the street to ‘liberate’ these wayward countries from the evil communists, possibly in the form of military coups led by the General’s of the Italian and Greek armies. And of course in Greece there is a very recent precedent for this in the Military Junta of ‘The Colonels” from 1967-74 – covertly supported by the U.S. in order to depose a Centre Left President with popular support.
On the Guardian website, the video I’ve posted above is preceded by advertisements for consumer goods. Which illustrates neatly why no mainstream media can seriously question whether the interests of global capitalism coincide with the interests of ordinary citizens, or whether the interests of global capital can/do undermine democracy.
There is a direct historical link between the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the world-wide depression of the 1930’s, the growth of Fascism in Europe and thus to WWII.
In Greece and Italy non-democratic regimes have already been installed. If the mass of the population refuse to accept the toxic medicine they are told they must take to protect the interests of the wealthy, then history tells us to be wary of what is to come and I fear for the people of both countries because the current masters of the universe, like those who have gone before, will stop at nothing to maintain their power and privilege.
More details can be found here.