…syriza, ‘¡sí, podemos! – and in spite of the oligarchs…

…the trap set by the conspiring oligarchs for scotland failed here…

The tragedy of the Scotland ‘No’ vote has roots in the insidious (?) role played by the BBC (as well as other media), the Westminster lot, the US establishment, and the EU gang. And the scare tactics and deceit did succeed. The strategy for independence failed to anticipate the overwhelming, ruthless opposition of the rich and powerful of the UK, EU, the US, Canada and their camp followers.

That the abject failure of the austerity medicine imposed on already weak economies of the European periphery would lead to a continuation of the same medicine cannot but bring to mind the social pecking order of another era, the landed gentry, the aristocrat, and the peasant. The rise of Syriza, as that of Podemos in Spain, did seem a promise of a new dawn, of hope for the desperate and defenceless citizen. And as elections in Greece neared, the corporate media onslaught against Syriza would grow ever increasingly shrill – but to no avail, even though Syriza did fall short of a majority by two seats.

However, standing out from the feckless corporate media has been The Guardian. Its series of articles set the issues in unambiguous context, and serves as an indictment of the conscience-less policy executioners for the 1%. In this article, Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites, there is recognition of and plaudits for the purposefulness and ingenuity of the youth in striving to restore Greece’s society, its dignity and economy. And little mincing of words – couple excerpts,

So the economic collapse – about which all Greeks, both right and leftwing, are bitter – is not just seen as a material collapse. It demonstrated complete myopia among the European policy elite. In all of drama and comedy there is no figure more laughable as a rich man who does not know what he is doing. For the past four years the troika – the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank– has provided Greeks with just such a spectacle.

As for the Greek oligarchs, their misrule long predates the crisis. These are not only the famous shipping magnates, whose industry pays no tax, but the bosses of energy and construction groups and football clubs. As one eminent Greek economist told me last week: “These guys have avoided paying tax through theMetaxas dictatorship, the Nazi occupation, a civil war and a military junta.” They had no intention of paying taxes as the troika began demanding Greece balance the books after 2010, which is why the burden fell on those Greeks trapped in the PAYE system – a workforce of 3.5 million that fell during the crisis to just 2.5 million.

[And, on the issue of the Nazis, there would be that inevitable counter-productive involvement, meddling of Britain and the US in Greece’s attempt then to establish a democracy, an independent Greece. Michael Wood, the British historian, is the guide in this documentary, Britain and America’s War Against the Left in Greece.]

Another Guardian article examines Greek resilience and ingenuity amid the unending social and economic debacle, the cruelty visited upon the citizens of the country. From, Greece’s solidarity movement: ‘it’s a whole new model – and it’s working’, we get,

Citizen-run health clinics, food centres, kitchens and legal aid hubs have sprung up to fill the gaps left by austerity – and now look set to play a bigger role under a Syriza government

Few in Greece, even five years ago, would have imagined their recession- and austerity-ravaged country as it is now: 1.3 million people – 26% of the workforce – without a job (and most of them without benefits); wages down by 38% on 2009, pensions by 45%, GDP by a quarter; 18% of the country’s population unable to meet their food needs; 32% below the poverty line.

And just under 3.1 million people, 33% of the population, without national health insurance.

With such stark facts and no immediate signs of improvement, for the EU, the ECB and the IMF to continue their ‘bleeding the patient’ would, in a just world, suggest criminal malpractice.

As for the ‘leading’ MSM, the NYT and the WSJ would stand out in their negative coverage of Syriza, defending and promoting the neoliberalism of the Washington Consensus, summarily rejected only after so much social and economic destruction, by many countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Yves Smith over at her blog, naked capitalism, gives free rein to contributors who evaluate Syriza in contrast with its demonisation by worried oligarchs and their media propagandists, Media Demonization of Syriza: Pretending that Neoliberalism is Popular and Mainstream. One noteworthy difference with the demonisation is that it has not yet attained the level of uncontrolled intensity as that towards Venezuela, its late President and the incumbent (President Maduro, ever described as ‘former bus driver‘ by NYT). Then again Venezuela, despite US machinations and present economic challenges, has succeeded in eliminating illiteracy, reducing inequality, promoting education and training, and increasing job opportunities for all – which explains the antipathy.

As a sign that all are not quite on board at the NYT is Paul Krugman who, not surprisingly, fails to hew to the NYT line. In this, Those Radical VSPs, one of his posts on the issue, he observes,

As we head for the big Greek face-off, Francesco Saraceno makes a point I’ve also made on a number of occasions: although many of the press reports describe Syriza as “far-left”, it’s actually preaching fairly conventional economics, while the supposedly responsible officials of Brussels and Berlin have been relying on radical doctrines like expansionary austerity and a growth cliff at 90 percent. The same has to a certain extent been true in the US context.

[bold added for emphasis]

From Krugman’s analysis, no great leap of imagination is needed to know what is radical, what is extreme, what is inhumane, what is sociopathic.

In this interview Yanis Varoufakis’, possible Finance Minister for Syriza, sets forth his views, and without the customary agenda-driven interruptions of the BBC, Greece election: Syriza’s Yanis Varoufakis. And clearly Varoufakis is no ‘far left’, ‘radical’ – then again the well-used cudgels of corporate media are always within grasp.

The experiences of countries of Latin America like Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina (and its punishing ‘corralito’) can serve as guide for strategy by those GIPSI countries, for which the rout of neoliberalism (with reclaimed independence) should be priority. The movement toward a much less inequitable world, one with less oligarchic control, toward a democracy that respects and addresses the  interests of all citizens should continue with strong support, such as would come from the inevitable ascendance of China, a recovering Brazil, a determined and assertive Russia, albeit now facing a recession.

…and the conspirators are already busy at work seeking ways to extinguish this spark of democracy…