Monday 26 January 2015

Greece Chooses Hope

The tears and the heartache will follow soon enough, but for now let us celebrate with Greece the wild carnival of hope that is democracy.
Video courtesy of YouTube
This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.


Guerilla Surgeon said...

I would like to think that the new Greek government could somehow break this stupid cycle of austerity, which by now most economists believe does not work. (Unless you're the only country doing it, but even then it's marginal.)
But from what I can gather, they are also going to have to make people pay their damn taxes. Greece seems to be one country where it's not just the rich that don't pay taxes :-).

Richard McGrath said...

GS, I think I might just try your suggestion at a personal level. To hell with my previous 'austerity measures', ensuring expenditure is less than income and putting aside something for a rainy day - I think I'll just run wild with my credit card and forget about tomorrow. Someone else - richer than I am - can pick up the tab. Sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I would have preferred Billy Bragg's version...

What will be most interesting, now that Syriza has actually managed to form a govt thanks to a coalition deal with the (right-wing) Independent Greeks, is how quick and in what form the reactionary response will be.

The combination of the Greek oligarchs -- "These guys have avoided paying tax through the Metaxas dictatorship, the Nazi occupation, a civil war and a military junta"* -- and the Eurozone elite may very well be too much for Syriza.

After all, when was the last time there was a truely successful socioeconomic revolution in Europe?


Anonymous said...

Damn, forgot the link:


Guerilla Surgeon said...

Obviously Richard you will do what you like. But countries are not people, and the economists have spoken :-). Are you going to ignore economists? That's interesting for a neoliberal, because economists are usually neoliberal. Does that mean you only believe the economists that agree with you? It just comes back to what I've been bitching about lately that people simply believe what they want to while ignoring any evidence to the contrary. Not just in New Zealand either. A distressing attitude towards science. A status which economics is striving for. :-)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I don't know about Billy Bragg, good songwriter but he can't actually sing :-). But I do know that just as in America, the right wing will try to sabotage whatever the Greek government tries to do. There are fewer people willing to compromise these days. Personally I think it's a sign of the end of times :-).

Guerilla Surgeon said...


pat said...

am inclined to agree GS, there will be nothing but roadblocks and snare traps for Syriza....but not openly...."They" cannot risk even a hint of a successful alternative.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"To the victor the spoils? Not in Athens, where the new prime minister arrived at his official residence on Monday night to discover that computers, paperwork and even the toiletries had been removed by the outgoing administration.

Shortly after he was sworn in, Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras found himself inside the Maximos Mansion without some basic necessities. “They took everything,” he said. “I was looking for an hour to find soap.”

Already started.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

NOW look who's caught up.

Richard take note :-).

Anonymous said...

Greece got into the debt mess because too many of its voters felt they should receive state support, gold plated terms of employment and yet not pay taxes. To be elected the Greek politicians gave them what they demanded by ignoring null-taxation and promising to spend money the country didn't have.

Syriza has made unrealistic promises to get elected including a huge increase in the minimum wage (in a country with mass unemployment) and to spend money the country doesn't have. This will probably set Greeks up for more disappointment.

Syriza's foreign policy is odious; it supports China and Russia's tyranny against the rest of Europe. This kind of irrationality is like some kind of throwback to 1955 and cannot be seen as any kind of informed relationship with what's happening in the world. Russia (a country that's prohibited LGBT people from driving) has assiduously courted far left and nationalistic parties across Europe and garnered much allegiance from both.

The failure of mainstream politics in Europe is leading to the rise of previously fringe collectivistic far-left and nationalistic parties into the mainstream. While some of these parties are rational, more than half of them are far from it and that bodes ill for the future of Europe.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Funny how most right wing people think running a country is the same as running a household. The problem is of course, that measures that might work for a household don't actually work for a country.
And what has happened is that successive right-wing governments have brought in policies that have been meant to cure the various ills of Europe and the US, but have over the long term if anything, made it worse.
As I have been saying on the site and others for a long time now, austerity simply doesn't work. It may just work if you are the only country being austere. But if everyone is doing it, it certainly doesn't work. Wasn't it Einstein that said doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result is a definition of madness? If it was going to work, it would have worked by now. Greece has given it what - 5 years 7 years?

Similarly, the establishment of a high wage, value-added, technological society in New Zealand has been on about the same level as the establishment of my flying car. And present policies won't do it. I reiterate they haven't worked in the past they will not work in the future. Christ, even the governor of the Bank of England has come out against austerity. Yet the right-wing mindset refuses to take into account either evidence, or iterations by people with qualifications. Never ceases to amaze me.
So when the left gets in in Greece, and the first thing they do is increase the minimum wage everyone screams blue murder. Whereas in fact as Loz pointed out in another thread its demand that fuels the economy. If people haven't got enough money to buy your stuff, you're not going to sell anything. Hence your business won't grow. It is reasonably simple, but the right just can't seem to grasp it. Must be huge cognitive dissonance somewhere in what passes for the collective right wing brain.

Jigsaw said...

You never know with this sort of government in power Greece could end up as successful as Venezuela....then not only the president but the whole country with be hunting for soap and toilet paper..

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Funny about Venezuela, previously – when 80% of the country lived in dire poverty - only a few people had toilet paper anyway. Now the middle-class couldn't get any? What a disaster. Not defending the stupid bureaucracy that prevents them getting it, but let's keep it in perspective. Venezuelan has raised more people out of poverty under socialism than under capitalism.