Tag Archives: Britain

The “Destroy Greeks” operation: Chapter II (Cyprus)

An international legal and political coup d’état is taking place these days, with the help and co-operation of the European Commission, against yet another state of the EU, after Greece: the Republic of Cyprus.  As unbelievable as it may seem, Juncker and Guterres are trying, through application of the guidelines of US and British policy, to destroy a second member of the EU after Greece and to transform it into a kind of post-modern protectorate. What is even more impressive, nearly nobody is speaking about that in international media, or, when they speak, they just reproduce the official narrative.

As 82% of the Cypriot population are Greeks by nationality, this coup should be regarded as continuation and “radicalization” of the “Destroy the Greeks” program that has been under implementation by the EU and the IMF, under supervision from High Finance in alliance with Germany, for the last seven years. From the economy they are now moving on to geopolitics. Up until now they have been usurping Greek sovereignty on matters of economic policy. With the Cyprus coup they are attempting to usurp “hard” sovereignty from the Greek people.

I am not using the term coup d’état as a rhetorical schema, I am using it stricto sensu.

An international conference has been convened in Geneva, with three foreign states (Britain, Turkey, Greece) represented along with representatives of the two largest national groups in Cyprus: Greeks and Turks. The Republic of Cyprus, a member state of the EU, is not officially represented in that conference. Two of the three states (Britain and Turkey) have in the past launched very bloody wars against the Cypriot people.

The purpose of this conference is to draw up a new “Treaty for a Federal Cyprus” and to decide the future constitutional and international regime of this state, without taking into account what the citizens of Cyprus think about this! The reason they have convened such a conference is that they are unable to persuade Cypriots themselves in a referendum to vote the solution the Western powers propose to the ethnic conflict on the island, a solution  tantamount to the suicide of the Cypriot state and its transformation into a protectorate!

The Greek government, which now acts more and more as a representative in Greece of the Troika and the West, not as a representative of the Greek people, has agreed to participate in this criminal farce. The same has happened with the President of Cyprus himself, who is openly, internationally and publicly being blackmailed with various criminal allegations, in  particular the Lebedev scandal, at the hands of the US administration and courts.

Unfortunately for the Greek people in both Greece and Cyprus, its political and ruling class has made the greatest progress in Europe in advancing the totalitarian agenda of the foreign powers that are seeking to subjugate and destroy the Greek people, their states and their democracy.

In the new “state” they want to create in Cyprus, the rule of the majority (the foundation of democracy) will be officially abolished, as the 18% minority will have a veto on all essential decisions, and foreign judges and officials will have to take the decisions in the very likely  contingencies where Greeks and Turks disagree.

The new state will not have any army or police of its own, but will be under the power of an International Police Force!

In fact, their intention is to return Cyprus to the status of a colony, which is what it was before its revolution of 1955-59 and before it achieved independence in 1960!!! They are gestating a monster, a kind of Frankenstein state.

This coup d’état is one more expression of the world-wide attack against popular and national sovereignty, against the social welfare state and against all forms of democracy.

It is the same attack which is also being organized through treaties such as TTIP, CETA, etc. which aim at establishing nothing less than a totalitarian world order, destroying any existing possibility of elected powers, at either the local or national level, having any influence on the decisions affecting people.

Neoliberalism was initially an economic and political proposal. It is now becoming a proposal for regime change.  It is already clear that, since the Maastricht Treaty at least, we have been witnessing a multi-faceted coup d’ état in the West, undermining the very foundations of the Western political order. They are abolishing the principle of popular sovereignty as such, seeking to replace it with a kingdom of Finance, whose power is embodied in various international organizations and their bureaucracies, including the EU institutions and bureaucracies and most “national governments”. They do not state as much openly but they are proceeding through various means, including TTIP, CETA and the other treaties of similar character.

We seem to live through a gigantic international counter-revolution, against the social and political results of the Second World War and the victory of the European peoples against Nazism and Fascism and, in reality, against also the very principles of Enlightenment and the French and similar revolutions (including the Greek one of 1821 and the Cypriot of 1955-59).

Our nations are in jeopardy and our states have already been, more or less, hijacked by globalization, that is, by the international dictatorship of finance capital, or at least its politically and strategically coherent wing, in alliance with the US military-industrial complex and NATO.

The content of the Western political regime as we have known it since 1945 has already been to a great extent abolished and its legal form is now gradually changing to reflect this new reality. One of the means being used is the previously mentioned international treaties. Another relevant factor is the way the European Union, the IMF and the ECB responded to the banking crisis of 2009, transforming it into a debt crisis and using it as a tool to destroy popular and national sovereignty, particularly in southern Europe.

Nowhere has this experiment gone as far as it has in Greece, which is being used, at the same time, as an example to frighten other Europeans, as a scapegoat and as a field of experimentation. The bailout program imposed on the country has already led to an economic and social crisis of unprecedented proportions, deeper than the huge crisis of 1929 in the US or the crisis in the Weimar Republic in 1929-33.

Greece is now the battlefield of the new financial totalitarianism, as between 1936 and 1939 Spain was the experimentation field of the rising Nazi and Fascist totalitarianisms.

The program being applied to Greece is not a classical program of neoliberal reforms. It is a mistake to describe what is happening in Greece using terms like austerity. What we face here is the assassination of a nation. The creditors have already taken away Greek national and popular sovereignty. A troika is running even the everyday affairs of the state and the government. All Greek public property is being looted. The Greek population is shrinking as young people are not having children; young people with specialized qualifications are emigrating in large numbers; mortality is rising among pensioners as a result of the crumbling of the health and social security systems. Greek pensions have been reduced fifteen times in the seven years of the “bail out” program. The psychology and morale of the Greek people are at an all-time low, strikingly similar to the psychology of Mr. K., the accused in the Trial by Franz Kafka.

It is not only a political, an economic, a social experiment. It is a kind of an anthropological one. They want not only to destroy the nation, democracy, the state. They want to destroy the idea of them and the very idea of citizenship. They want to lead Greece into committing a kind of collective suicide and they have up to now been to a large extent successful, especially since the betrayal by SYRIZA, one of the gravest betrayals in the history of the international Leftist movement.

Now, with the Cyprus coup, this attack against Greeks is taking new, unprecedented and even more dangerous forms.

What is happening in Greece, what is happening in the Middle East, what is happening regarding climate, all are proofs that we are faced with a horrible, extremely radical and ruthless offensive by the most dangerous and reactionary forces humankind has ever produced. No illusions are permissible. But most of us do not make a proportionate response to the situation. We frequently condemn these phenomena but we do not behave as if they are a question of life or death for human civilization.

It is important in these conditions to defend every element, everywhere, of popular and national sovereignty. But at the same time we should understand that such a struggle cannot ultimately be won at the local or national level, especially as we are already living, to a large extent, in what objectively is one state, and this state, whether we like it or not, is the EU.  Our opponents already have a sophisticated regional and world agenda, but we try to confront them within the narrow context of national realities that are becoming more and more irrelevant.

We need new political subjects that will take into account the radical character of the offensive we are facing, enshrined in our national realities but also, at the same time, in the objective international reality.

More than ever we need a Zimmerwald B conference, a century aft. ,,er the first one.

 Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

* The above is from an intervention to the Conference on a democratic response to Free Trade Agreements, organized by the Fundación Galiza Sempre and the Centre Maurits Coppieters in Coruna (Galiza).

Le Pen, Trump, Corbyn and the prospect of War

by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos (*)

Let me begin by expressing my profound and sincere admiration for the political instincts of the Islamic terrorists. They seem to possess a formidable sense of political timing.

For the last three weeks no serious and knowledgeable observer (unfortunately there are not many of them these days) could be in any doubt about our being thoroughly implicated in an accelerating momentum towards war.

Ostensibly against Islam, “radical” or otherwise, and against Korea. In reality against Russia, China and the rest of the world.

But also against ourselves! Becoming an empire, Rome has ceased to be a republic.

 

War and Peace

This is not just the opinion of the author of these lines. Mr. Leon Panetta, former US Secretary of Defense, has warned that Mr. Trump is risking a nuclear war in Korea. Former  acting CIA director Mike Morell has also characterized  Trump’s policies in East Asia as “provocative”.

The Russian Prime Minister has said that the world went one step away from a direct military conflict between the two nuclear superpowers that are present in Syria. His Minister of Defense thought it appropriate to recall, on the very day that Mr. Tillerson was in conference in Moscow, that his country’s entire nuclear arsenal is in a state of “combat readiness”. According to one of the best-known “Russologists” in the US, Professor Cohen of the University of Princeton, the United States and Russia are in their most dangerous confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Of course your newspapers and televisions are telling you that nothing very important is happening. Our politicians are either trying to hide the truth (if they understand it themselves) or are at a loss to know how to face this situation.

This race towards war in reality began much earlier but now,   with the election of Mr. Trump in the United States, which has already proven to be political history’s most egregious act of deception, it has entered a decisive phase, though the process is not linear and much further twisting and turning may still be in store.

Most people, including decision makers and those who are well-informed, are not psychologically ready or intellectually prepared to accept what we have just written. But one should bear in mind that this is exactly how things were on the eve of the First and Second World Wars, and it greatly facilitated their outbreak.

The possibility of a large-scale war, though the progress towards it is complicated by the existence of nuclear weapons, was already inscribed in the global economic crisis that made its appearance in 2008 and is still ongoing.  This crisis is profound, comparable in  its depth to the crisis of 1873-96 that led to the First World War, and the crisis of 1929 that led to the Second World War. It also explains the crisis of the European Union, clearly the most important in its history.

 

Donald Trump exposed

Over ten days in April we had the bombardment of Syria, threats against Russia, Iran and Korea, the reminder from Russia of the existence of its nuclear arsenal, the threat of nuclear war in Korea, the bombardment of Afghanistan with the most powerful bomb employed in war since the bombing of Hiroshima, and the test of a new atomic weapon in Nevada, destined to destroy the enemy leaders, even in their bunkers.

The world has never before seen this kind of thing in such a short space of time, even at the beginning of the two world wars. Not a bad harvest for just ten  days!

They are trying to tell us that everything that is happening is nothing more than business as usual, that this is not a project that has been under preparation for years but is a just a sudden inspiration from Ivanka Trump and her husband, who come into Daddy’s office every day and suggest that he should bomb this country or threaten that country, risk or not risk a nuclear war, test this or that weapon.

If this is true Ivanka and her husband seem to combine the ambition of an Alexander the Great with the strategic skill of a Napoleon,  of a Marshal Tukhachevsky and the generals of Hitler, who planned the blitzkriegs at the beginning of the Second World War, all together.

One might expect that the international press would raise some very serious issues and ask questions. But there has been nothing. The big newspapers have treated all this as banal routine. They have even hidden from their readers information of very great  significance, which would have made headlines if we were living in the sixties or the eighties of the last century. Such as for example the reminder by the Russian press agency Sputnik on 13th April (the same day that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was having talks in Moscow) of the Russian Defence Minister’s statements that almost all of his country’s strategic nuclear arsenal is “combat readiness” and that 96% of the missile launchers in a state of “immediate launching”.

One cannot find such information in these same newspapers. Nor can one find a debate on the possibility of a nuclear war that could eliminate life on earth. But one can find numerous articles on the atrocious treatment of homosexuals in Chechnya, published simultaneously in many different publications. If Goebbels were still alive in our day, he would be green with envy.

All of the newspapers that were criticizing Mr. Trump so severely   only two weeks ago are now quite happy with him. It seems that what Mr. Trump has achieved is very much in line with the expectations of those who control global information.

 

Prepare Europe for War

On the face of it the war is against Islam and Korea. But the “real adversary”, as Monsieur Hollande would say, the enemy that is lurking behind Islam and Korea is none other than Russia, China and the rest of the world.

If one is in such a situation it makes no sense to try to understand and analyse what occurs in France, Great Britain, the United States, without taking into account the international context.

If, as just postulated, we are well entrenched in the dynamic of preparation for a war in a different category of importance from those we have seen in recent decades, then Politics is called to prepare the War (its continuation) and War has to condition political choices.

Whether she is conscious of it or not (this is not the most important aspect), this is precisely what Madame Le Pen is doing, attacking Islam every second day. It is the war for which she is preparing the French people by centering everything in her discourse on the question of security, characterizing as “totalitarianism” not the extraordinary hold of finance over all mankind, but “Islamic Jihadism”, which is the political result of our own interventions in the Middle East and the “organizational” result of the work in the Middle East of the American secret services and their allies.

That said, it is remarkable that this “radical” Islam is bending over backwards to… help Mme. Le Pen, choosing to carry out its attacks at the moments that are most opportune for her, whether on the eve of the regional elections in November 2015, or on the eve of the first round of presidential elections in France.

And in fact there has been in these last days a perceptible current, weak but perhaps sufficient, of voters moving from “radical Lepenism” to the “Mélenchon radicalism”. This little  current   could perhaps have propelled M. Mélenchon into the second round, and subsequently into the presidency. But the attacks in Paris three days before the elections may well have had the effect of checking the rise in support for Mélenchon,  securing his exclusion from the second round and so contributing to the final victory of Marine Lepen in the first round and of M. Macron in th second. We shall see.

 

Eliminate Corbyn!

If politics paves the way for war, war also conditions political choices. We cannot go into a great war with Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party. But all attempts to overthrow him have failed. This is most likely the reason why Theresa May decided to call early elections in Britain, hoping to inflict a defeat on Labour and thus finally enable the British establishment to get rid of this Mr. Corbyn. (It is perhaps also the reason for the violent attacks on the former mayor of London Mr. Ken Livingstone).

A few weeks ago, the British Minister of Defense made a very rare visit to Cyprus, where there are British bases of vital importance for any intervention in the Middle East. He declared that these bases “are more important now than at any moment in history.”  Given that “history” includes the creation of the state of Israel, the Israeli-Arab wars, the Suez crisis and the 1974 crisis between Greece and Turkey, there are reasons to be worried.

 

Controlling Turkey and Cyprus

Since September 2015, Russia’s military intervention has changed the strategic configuration of the Middle East as a whole.

If one wants to reverse the situation, neutralizing the Russian military force that is installed now in the center of the region,  it is necessary to impose the strictest possible control on the actions of Turkey, which finds itself between Russia and the Russian forces in Syria. This could be an explanation of the very hasty coup prepared against Erdogan in July 2016, a coup that was openly encouraged and announced before it happens by the American neocons.

To completely encircle the Russians it is also necessary to achieve total command over the island of Cyprus, which controls all the Eastern Mediterranean. This could very well help to explain the enormous pressures applied recently to “resolve” the Cyprus problem, avoiding the obligation of a referendum and imposing as a solution the transformation of the Cypriot state into a kind of post-modern Western protectorate, the second, after Greece, inside the EU.

 

“Encircle” Germany

In 2003 opposition in Paris and Berlin to the invasion of Iraq  gave Washington some problems. Now that something much more serious seems to be under preparation against Russia and/or China, it is absolutely essential to control Europe.

Words are not innocent. It has always been through words that one has prepared the way for wars. Mr. Steingart, editor of the most important German economic journal, Handelsblatt, and one of the most original minds still existing in the European press, wrote an article in August 2014. He did not take a position for or against Russia. He simply said that the German press is dealing with Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, in reference to the Ukrainian crisis, in the same way that it dealt with Russia and the Russians in August 1914, that is to say at the outset of the First World War.

Germany already supports the US line on Ukraine and the Middle East, contrary to its own interests. But how long can it continue on such a course, for which it risks having to pay the costs?

There is no way of being sure in advance. This is why it is necessary, for a start, to control France and Great Britain. Consequently, given Berlin’s isolation from all of Europe’s periphery because of the economic war it has launched against its own partners, Berlin will find itself totally alone if it wants to oppose any project of a major war.

 

Reappearance in France of the US electoral triangle

On the eve of the first round of the presidential elections the French political landscape resembles last year’s scenario in the United States.

  • the emergence of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, totally unexpected, as was the emergence of Bernie Sanders in the United States (or of Corbyn in Great Britain), of a radical left current authentically  hostile to the wars in the Middle East and the confrontation with Russia. What is at issue here is not the chances of success of this current given the demands of the objective situation. The fact is that it constitutes a certain progressive opening and a certain impediment to the push towards war.
  • the official representative of financial capital and globalization, the ex-banker and financial advisor to the Rothschilds: Emmanuel Macron, the French equivalent of Hillary Clinton.
  • Marine Le Pen, apparently corresponding to Donald Trump in the United States.

Le Pen says that she is against the attack on Syria, but all her declarations on Islam prepare the political ground for a great offensive in the Middle East. Trump also said that he was against the policies of overthrowing Assad, but he has just started a new war against him.

Mme Le Pen says that she is a friend of Russia. Mr. Trump also let it be understood that he wanted better relations with Russia, but he has already led relations with Moscow to their most dangerous point since the Cuba crisis of the sixties!

Donald Trump also intimated that he is an enemy of Goldman Sachs, multinationals, finance, globalization. And he ended up investing Mr. Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs (one of the architects of Greece’s economic and social ruin) with all the powers over economic subjects.

The fact that the adversary of Mme. Le Pen is M. Macron suggests to electors that she is an adversary of Finance, and that facilitates victory for her in a duel with Macron. But probably M. Rothschild realizes that as well as anyone else. If he really wanted to eliminate Le Pen and have her lose the election, why didn’t he advise his banker not to stand against her and propose a personality less well-known for his relations with the world of finance and more likely to beat Le Pen?

Is Mme Le Pen really what she makes herself out to be? Or is she too an accessory to what looks like world history’s greatest act of deception, which started with the election of Trump on a platform that is the total opposite of what he is now implementing?

It is one thing to judge ideas, another to judge people. People should be judged on the basis of their own ideas, not ours. A nationalist,  a fascist, a liberal, a socialist, a Trotskyist: they are to be judged by comparing what they do with the ideas they announce themselves as defending, with their own supposed ideology and system of ethics, not with ours.

How can one explain that Mme Le Pen, given her origins, has become a friend of Israel or of homosexuals? Could a partisan of General de Gaulle defend France’s colonial heritage in Algeria?

Is it a question of run-of-the-mill political opportunism, which is so prevalent? Or is it a question of a quasi-Faustian “historical compromise” that she has already concluded with the Devil, as each of our readers might like to understand him?

None of this means that Mme Le Pen is necessarily aware of the role she will be called upon to play.  Prior to her, Mr. Trump, Mr. Tsipras, M. Hollande, played out the role that was required of them, not because they knew it in advance but because they didn’t.

 

Trump’s Election – the coup of the millennium!

The election of Donald Trump in the United States has already proved to be world political history’s greatest feat of deception.  Elected as an opponent of Financial Globalization, an opponent of the Middle East wars, a supporter of better relations with Russia (exactly what Marine Le Pen claims in France), Donald Trump (or rather the forces that control him and set him up) has already handed over all the economic power to Goldman Sachs.

To follow up on that he utilized the Idlib provocation (as Hitler used the Reichstag fire) to recommence the well-known and well-publicized  program of the neocons in its most dangerous previsions (overthrowing of the regimes of Assad and North Korea, wars – probably nuclear –  against Iran and North Korea). A program whose most dangerous previsions had been halted  because of the strong opposition, albeit not open and political, of Obama, of an important section of the armed forces and secret services of the United States and Israel and, above all, of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s  decision to intervene militarily in Syria.

Despite certain differences, what is involved here is a repetition sui generis of the historical trajectory of German National Socialism. Nazism was propelled to power through a display of opposition to big capital and the victors of the First World War. Hitler pretened to be a friend, and even an ally, of Soviet Russia.

He then eliminated those, like Roehm and his friends, who helped him take state power (as Trump eliminated Steve Bannon), put himself at the disposal of German big capital and, finally, launched Operation Barbarossa to destroy his friend and supposed ally.

 

Published in DefendDemocracy Press

First publisjed in DefendDemocrasy on April 22nd under the title 

Mélenchon (et Corbyn) ou la Guerre

 “Translated from French by Wayne Hall

 

(*) Journalist, writer, graduate in Physics. Advisor to Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou on East-West relations and Arms Control (1985-88). Greek Press Agency ANA chief correspondent in Moscow (1989-1999).  Collaborated with Michel Pablo to launch the international review for self-management  Utopie Critique. Secretary of the Movement of Independent Greek Citizens (2011-12), Member of Secretariat of SYRIZA (2012-2013).

You can also read the following articles written in March before the initiation of the United States’ new military campaign.

Détruire l’UE, aller à la guerre au Moyen Orient, abolir les droits démocratiques – Qui et pourquoi a besoin de la mi-réelle, mi-fausse extrême droite française?

The Hijacking of France (from Donald Trump to Marine Le Pen)

AFTER THE EU….WHAT?

I must admit that I have been very hesitant about writing the article that follows. I remember that when I went to Moscow to work as a foreign correspondent it took me two years to understand the extent of my ignorance of Russia. I try not to laugh or lose my temper when so many of our foreign friends who come to Greece with good intentions do not seem so interested in asking questions, but nevertheless have answers for everything!

My knowledge of Britain is very superficial and I would like not to have to write about the country in question. If I do so it is because I want to share some thoughts which have emerged out of following the referendum debate, but also because the questions being raised now in Britain concern every European citizen. I admit that I have drawn extensively on my experience from three other referenda that I followed much more closely: in Cyprus (2004), France (2005) and Greece (2015). But I am ready to accept any criticism of having extrapolated from some of the tendencies I have discerned in other cases and then applied these findings to Britain.

In any case, I don’t believe I am in a position to give definite answers. I would be very happy if this text could be considered just once contribution to a wider, and very necessary, debate. If there are mistakes in it, even they could stimulate further discussion. 

by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos (*)

 “To be or not to be?”, was the question that tortured Hamlet. “To be or not to be in Europe?” is the question the British put to themselves time and time again, usually only to avoid giving an unambiguous answer. For the French writer Andre Maurois, England is a country “alone but not isolated” (insulaire mais pas isolée). “We should always remember that we are neighbours, but not part of continental Europe”, was the advice of Bolingbroke (and De Gaulle would be in complete agreement!) And a top secret memo prepared for MacMillan on the post-imperial strategy for Britain, was very clear: “We should not come into a position where we would have to choose between one of the two Atlantic coasts”.

This “ambiguity” is also a dominant characteristic in other fields of the British “collective subconscious”, where coexist the memories of the Empire, but also of the Trade Unions, born in Britain in their modern form, and of its huge workers and socialist movement.

The British “revolt” against the EU is quite similar to other “revolts” in Europe. Cypriots, French, Dutch, Irish, Icelanders, Danes, Greeks etc. have repeatedly expressed their outrage at European institutions and both national and European policies (national elites are, after all, also strictly controlled, as are European institutions, by the “Empire of Finance” and by NATO and the USA, but the mechanism of control has not achieved the totalitarian perfection of the EU). And all those “revolts” included social, political and national elements.

But the British revolt seems also quite different from the previous European revolts, in some important aspects.

For instance in most of the other referanda-revolts people were not refusing European Union, they were implicitly asking a different Union. There was more clarity and less confusion in the debate. Usually, but not always, the ideas of the Left were dominant in initiating and shaping the debates. In the case of the British referendum, a split inside the British ruling class seems to have met a current of unspoken popular reaction to where Britain and the world are going. Those currents are still articulated around ideas created under different conditions, and this is probably one of the reasons there is so much confusion around the British referendum. I wonder for instance, if the strong underground currents which propelled Corbyn into the leadership of the Labor Party are not in fact very similar to the ones that legitimized suddenly some rather marginal rigth wing politicians, propelling them to champions of a national cause. (the same happened also in the United States with Sanders and Tramp supporters some times hating each other but also sharing some common element of anti-establishment revolt.

It is not Corbyn in the Left, or Farage and Johnson in the Right who can create “radicalism”. Radicalism exists in some form and is usually marginal in any given society, until many people feel they need it, either to replace an order they cannot tolerate any more or to defend themselves against a coming, unacceptable and threatening order. We are in the second scenario. People feel it deeply, before they are even able to spell it. They feel it by an instinct of imminent danger all humans (and indeed all animals) we dispose and which, in critical times, can be far superior than any intellectual analysis. Of course, what will happen afterwards, depends very much on the “subjective” factor, on how “radical” politicians are navigating in the sea of conflicting currents, if they want to serve or just to sell ideas they adopt at a given moment. The revolt is grown out of human reaction to what people perceive as a threat or a hope. What will happen with a revolt depends much on the politicians and intellectuals who will be propelled in central roles.

In Greece for instance people did not vote for SYRIZA because of what SYRIZA was, but in spite of what it was. They felt they needed an instrument to save themselves and their country and SYRIZA was the only available. They did not vote No in July 5th, 2015 because they were persuaded by any campaign (nearly all campaign was for a Yes vote).  They did not do it out of any thoughts and rational arguments or calculations. They did it because they felt deeply inside them they had to protect their own dignity, which remains still a basic human need. The fact that sometimes dignity and other moral qualities get in the way of modern politics is, by the way, a source of deep confusion for most established politicians and pollsters, as they are not well acquainted with such notions.

The roots of all recent revolts

European revolts are social in character because of what is called Globalization.

The term is in reality misplaced. We are not facing some kind of “neutral” internationalization, or just a decay of states and nations. We are facing the advent of a global dictatorship of Finance, in alliance with big multinational corporations and the US military-industrial complex. This particular kind of globalization (and of European integration, which is not so much a means of defense against it but rather a way of implementing it), is clearly threatening living standards, post-war social welfare system and any democracy everywhere. It is doing that even in the countries which seem to be its own capitals and the pillars of modern military and financial imperialism, like Britain and even the United States!

European revolts are political because no person in his right mind in the Western world in any way trusts its politicians and Eurocrats, who, even when they are still formally elected, seem in fact to have been selected and appointed by the Empire of Finance (with NATO probably also having a say on whether an appointment should be consented to or vetoed). Everybody understands that popular sovereignty has evaporated. This is happening on the national level and even more so at the level of the EU.

Invoking the necessities of integration, European decision makers are moving more and more powers away from the member states, not for them to reappear at any federal level, but for them to be “lost” in the Brussels bureaucratic labyrinth. The extremely well paid Brussels bureaucracy is intellectually and ideologically completely at odds with what most European citizens believe. The Commission for instance is a machine programmed always to do two things:  “liberate the markets” and “enlarge” the Union indefinitely. The strategy is defined (by whom?), the personnel are educated to implement  it and the politicians are needed to deflect popular opposition from what they are doing! This is why they prefer the term governance, which means governing the masses, as opposed to government, which means the people governing its fate, be it on the national or the European level.

(French citizens voted overwhelmingly in May 2005 to reject the European Constitutional Treaty. In the aftermath of the referendum I asked two friends who held rather high posts in the OECD and the EU how French people working there had voted. They told me that everyone  had expressed an opposite view to the majority of the French population and were even ashamed of the way their compatriots had voted)

This is the EU’s famed “democratic deficit”.  But there is not any power deficit. The national parliaments’ power of decision making is being siphoned off to the Brussels institutions. And it is not staying with the executive branch. It is going to the real decision makers, Goldman Sachs and a number of other mega-banks, the IMF, a handful of multinationals, NATO etc. When a group from the Left in the European “Parliament” asked to be informed about the negotiations on TTIP (a Treaty affecting all fundamental conditions of life for hundreds of millions of citizens), it was allowed to send one deputy in a room to read the relevant documents, without the right to take notes! I doubt that even the CIA is applying such a procedure for US Senators. And by the way, if they are preparing something so good for humanity, why they are hiding it in this way?

European revolts are also national ones. Of course European nations are today a shadow of what they once were but they still represent a formidable psychological and ideological reality, which is not going to change just because some believe it is obsolete. Humans feel the need to belong somewhere and also the need to give a meaning to their existence. The former need is especially strong in a context of massive crisis. The latter pushes people back to their traditions, as all modern paradigms, including the promise of prosperity, of Europe or of socialism have either collapsed or are suffering very serious crises. (The fact that very often some feelings and ideas are just kept in the personal and collective “unconscious” and they are not usually expressed, does not weaken them. On the contrary, being unconscious they are not subject to logical control and if they find the necessary conditions they may escape from where they are with great force and rather primitive character).

Read also:  TTIP – Putting Europeans under the rule of Big Business and USA

But the reasons for people everywhere going back to their national identities are also very real and practical. There is not any other level than the national one in which they can hope to exercise some control over the powers that rule them and enjoy some kind of social protection.

The Left and the Nation

 It is now that the difficulties begin to appear. A large part of the Left, having been incorporated into “globalization”,  has obediently followed the liberal discourse on nations and even legitimized it. It has demonized or devalued the very notion of the nation and does not know how to handle the question when it arises.  It even overlooks the fact that nearly all leftist revolutions of the 20thcentury were of course social but also, and very much so, national revolutions! Its attitude often remains unaffected by the fact that nations are not giving way to some sort of democratic or progressive international structure – they are just being swept away by world financial totalitarianism.

SYRIZA during its rise was something of an exception to this. It was able to adopt a rhetoric incorporating – implicitly, not explicitly – the national with the social and the European element. Tsipras was able to do this by copy-pasting ideas originating from outside his party and in this way acquiring the ability to claim power.  You can secure hegemony only if you have solid national backing, only if you can propose a project for your nation. As it is said in America “all politics is local”.

They are local, but they are also very much global.  This is the limit of nationalism, as a reaction to nowdays threats, and this why European leftists a long time ago should have elaborated a regional and international strategy. The EU is already halfway to being  a state, but also most economic protections of a given policy have been abolished on the international level. You cannot make policy disregarding the national factor (what many leftists like to do), but you also cannot make policy pretending there are still nation-states as we knew them in the past (this is what both leftists and nationalists are often doing).

Only people blinded by “political correctness” and “left” or “right” liberalism could  believe that historic, ex-imperial nations such as Britain or France, (or nations who have resisted Hitler as few in Europe, like Greece), would not react, sooner or later, one way or another against both the Brussels dictatorship and German ambitions. The British, as is often the case with nations exercising trade, cherish their freedom. Britain was able to enjoy more freedom, and for much longer, than most European nations, because the Channel and the Royal Navy protected it from outside threats. The islands were never occupied after 1066.

Even if their politicians would not say so, the British, and everybody else, have also been witnessing how Berlin has been acting since the beginning of the crisis, reserving to itself the right for the final shaping of European policy, behaving like owners of  the European Union, deciding which countries deserve to remain, or not, inside the Eurozone (tomorrow the EU), and even which countries will be completely destroyed or just subjected to pressure.

The fact that the leaders in Berlin hide their nationalism behind “economic reason”, moralistic discourse and the alliance they have forged with Goldman Sachs and the IMF, does not improve anything. It makes things worse. Nobody needs to go through Berlin or Brussels to arrive in the orbit of Washington and New York. There are direct flights.

None of this is usually present in the “official” public debate, it erupts there only rarely. Most people are just in a state of panic and don’t in any way wish to cross swords with the devils that destroyed Europe twice in the past century. But those devils will not disappear just because we don’ talk about them. They will reappear, and indeed they are reappearing, sometimes in the most ugly and destructive forms. In today’s “Animal Farm” that the European Union has become, some animals are certainly more equal than others. But there are also animals that will never accept the status assigned to them.

If some kind of European integration or even co-operation is to be preserved, that cannot mean the abolition of existing nations, especially in crisis conditions. It must mean clear arrangements between the existing European nations, with respect for every one of them.

To attribute the whole situation to the influence of Johnson or Farage is not only an aberration; it is also an enormous gift to the British right and extreme right. In fact we should not overestimate the role they have played. For the political collapse of the European Union, whatever role was also played by the defeat of the European Left in Greece in 2015, the essential responsibility lies with European national and EU leaders. The EU political leadership intervened massively in all referenda to advise people how to vote and frighten them with the consequences to be suffered if they ignored the advice. In all cases this was more than enough to persuade people to do the opposite of what they were being advised to do! Nobody could be more effective than Donald Tusk, or Wolfgang Schaeuble or the IMF to persuade the British to vote for Exit.

In fact, it seems that if Bremain wins finally, very strange as it will be, it will happen not because of the campaign its supporters are doing, but because somebody, who normally would wish the opposite result, has murdered the young and distinguished militant and MP Jo Cox. We live definitely in interesting times.

Corbyn is too recent to be sure about the way he will handle the question of the “nation”. But up to now all “national” questions were the domain of the Right, which was left to play alone. It is more useful to analyze the reasons of the problems, than discuss the sometimes unpleasant or even disgusting results.

Of course it is much more easy to defend your nation if you are for instance a Greek leftist, as Greece is now clearly a nation suffering from a post-modern form of foreign occupation and oppression. Britain and France are nations which are somehow oppressed by the system, but in the same time they are very much part of its center. If their Left is to succeed it has to find a way to address the whole nation, in the same time avoiding to make compromises with its imperialistic characteristics, which would alter its very nature. Easy to say, difficult to implement. (This is also true for Germany, where its history and the role its leaders claim in Europe makes things even more difficult. But the remark is also valid for Germans and Germany).

In this context came the refugee question, which is a very difficult one, reflecting as it does the difficulties the Left has with Nation and Identity. Our full solidarity with the victims of the war we, Europeans and North Americans, have started, is a demand of elementary human dignity. We should try to help them where they are now. But mass immigration of millions of people to Europe is no solution to anything. Even if some believe the refugees have the right to establish themselves wherever they wish, Europeans will not accept it. And such emigration would consummate the ruin of their countries of origin.

The only possible answer to this problem is of course to take care of people in need, but also completely to reverse Western policy in the Middle East, organizing a huge Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of the countries our air forces and proxies have all but erased from the map.

Is the radical Left radical?

The collapse of USSR was a terrible blow to Leftist ideas worldwide, even for forces that  were hostile to the Soviet Union’s bureaucratic regime. It facilitated the replacement of  socialist ideology by “Europeanist” ideology, by the ideology of human rights and by support, sometimes, for supposedly democratic imperialistic interventions. (There was another tendency, a minority one, but one that is getting stronger by the day, especially in France, for socialism to be supplanted by uncritical nationalism).

Some people may still refer to the works of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Gramsci; they may wear  T-shirts with the portrait of Che Guevara on them, but their real psychology and mentality is the total opposite of that of these figures to whom they pay lip service.  Deeply inside themselves, they believe in the stability of the system. They are  conservatives even if they call themselves radical. They want European capitalism more or less to be preserved. They don’t believe that something radically different could replace it. Their inner ambition is to humanize and reform it and the role they reserve for themselves is to constitute its conscience.

Read also:  The face (and the fate) of Europe

History is playing very painful jokes on humanity.  Twenty years after the implosion of the Soviet Union, interpreted as the “End of History” by some Western ideologues (of very poor intellectual background, by the way), the economic and geopolitical forces that  triumphed in 1989-91 have entered their own very serious crisis, which is in fact the most serious since 1929.

It is this crisis that is provoking the EU’s crisis, not the other way around. But who in Europe is radical enough to draw the appropriate conclusions and adapt his policy to this environment of crisis. Sometimes it seems that only bankers are!  Leninism has migrated from the Left to the upper echelons of a world power concentrated as never before in history.

Their terrible illusions about the EU and inner belief in the system was also one of the main reasons for the failure and devastating defeat of SYRIZA in Greece. SYRIZA was right to try to find a compromise, a solution permitting at least some stabilization of the country, given the international correlation of forces and the situation in Greece. But it avoided, at every point, even trying to imagine the prospect of a clash in the event that such a compromise could not be found.

(We should notice at this point that if the majority of the Left clings desperately to the EU, even when it seems very likely that this structure is doomed, there is also a smaller ultra-leftist tendency which believes that everything will be automatically fixed if a country leaves the euro, returning to an impossible paradise of nation-states.  The lack of a real transitional program, belief in one’s capacity to implement it, and the will to try, is compensated for by hoisting the national flag.)

 British nationalism, its character and its contradictions

 It is impossible nowadays to defend your society without defending your nation. This is the mistake typically made by the Left. But the opposite is equally true. You cannot defend your nation without defending its people. After all, the nation is not an abstraction.  It consists of real people. And that is true not only of nations like Greece that are patently under neocolonial rule. It can often also be true of nations much higher in the geopolitical-economic pecking order.

It is obvious that a part of the British ruling class believes it can obtain more of the advantages of globalization from being outside the Union. It is using the “anti-globalization” and “democratic” element of the revolt, not to put in any doubt “globalization”, but to claim for a different set of arrangements for Britain inside the globalization. For the time being this seems a tiny minority in the international establishement, as Obama, NATO, Soros and Rotchild were blunt: They need London inside, not outside the EU.

This could change in two cases. One is the scenario B. If the EU and the neoliberal order is going to collapse, without a different a more democratic European order replacing it, then national antagonisms will be used to dominate the continent, to legitimize authoritarianism, go on with social regression and prepare outside wars against Russia, Islam, China later etc.

Now there is a problem. Can you have a vision for your nation, without having a vision for the world? The nation is nowadays admittedly under ideological attack, but this is not the crux of the matter. The fact is that the nation is also under very practical, material attack from Finance. Brussels “dictatorship” is one form of rule by Finance. But the same rule is organized also for countries outside the EU.

British nationalists say they are anxious about the “invasion of refugees”. But they tend to forget that these refugees are the direct product of NATO bombings and the support Wahhabis receive from the main Western powers! Successive British governments bent over backwards to follow the Middle Eastern policy of the most extremist forces inside the international establishment. Britain participated in all interventions in the Middle East, even when the Germans and French were opposing them, and even when Obama himself indicated some reluctance, as with Libya.

Some British Tories say they are afraid the inclusion of Turkey in the EU will result in millions of refugees coming to Europe. But again it is London that has been, along with Washington, the most stubborn supporter of enlargement of the EU to include Turkey, in order to destroy Europe as a political project, multiply US Trojan Horses inside the EU, “stabilize” the role of Turkey for Middle Eastern interventions, incorporate its cheap labor into European markets and put an end to  European agricultural policy. Are they now protesting about the results of their own policies?

I don’t know if British jobs, social infrastructure and salaries are threatened by these unfortunate refugees. They are certainly threatened by neoliberalism, which will use refugees to reduce workers’ rights and lower their living standards. But again, it has been London all along that has insisted in imposing the most extreme neoliberalism on the EU. It is London that refused any tax or social harmonization in the EU, which was hostile to the agricultural policy and which has struggled very successfully to transform the EU into a mere free exchange zone. This is also the stated aim of Cameron in his Bremain campaign.

Finally, the main question that nationalists and pro-Europeans, leftists and rightists, not only in Britain, but in all Europe are not answering satisfactorily: how can a given nation or a group of nations be protected from the formidable economic and political forces of globalization?

(By the way, it may not be useless to underline the following, because it is of great political importance: the European Union is not yet an accomplished totalitarian structure. It is in the process of transformation from a democratic to a totalitarian structure, both on the level of its functioning and in terms of its ideology. The right of national veto, for instance, has been retained for a number of cases, in theory making even possible a policy like the one to which De Gaulle resorted at one point. In such a situation it makes sense, at least in theory, to push for “reform” rather than proceed directly to “revolution”. The time for revolution is when reform has already proven impossible. Many people believe Greece has proved that this is impossible. Probably yes, but this is still a prediction. Nobody knows what would have happened if the Greek government was prepared not to capitulate. Brussels, Berlin and Washington knew what Tsipras would finally do and this provided them with the certainty they were not taking enormous risks. We don’t know if Mrs. Merkel, the other European leaders, the financial and NATO establishment would be ready to take the risks (political, financial, even geopolitical) of a protracted conflict. They behaved like they behaved because they were sure they were controlling already enough the SYRIZA leadership, at least in a degree to neutralize its capacity to resist, even if it chose to do. Anyway, the problem is not so much to make safe predictions about future crises. It is rather to acquire a sound political strategy. SYRIZA was absolutely right not to advance slogans for the exit from Euro and the EU (especially given that debt and the Memoranda have been more tangible threats than participation in Europe, which provided also Greece with political and institutional weapons it could use if it had the will).  But it should have been prepared to quit the eurozone and block all EU functioning if the EU insisted on capitulation. Events in Britain have taken a different turn, for various reasons, one of them the defeat of the European Left in 2015 and the subsequent fact that the initiative for the present British referendum has come from the Right.

The politics of confusion

All the above contradictions are reflected in the extremely confused and incoherent way that the British debate has taken place, in sharp contrast to what happened in France for instance, in May 2005, leading to the rejection of the European Constitutional Treaty and the end of neoliberal-euroliberal ideological domination in this country.

The French debate of that time was an authentically Cartesian debate, with people even in backstreet restaurants in working-class suburbs discussing questions that nobody would expect anyone but very educated economists and specialists to debate. They were able all the relevant information from analyses of very high quality found throug Internet. The decision that the French people took at that time was an absolutely conscious one.

Confusion is historically bad and worrisome. It is a sign that societies are unable to confront the real problems in a way that is both meaningful and acceptable.

Take for example the debate over whether the British economy will be better in or out the euro. Every side takes it for granted that the international economic (and political-geopolitical) environment is going to remain more or less stable. But that is not the way it is going to be, because we are still very much inside the biggest crisis world capitalism has seen since 1929.

A crisis of this severity has never ended before without a major war. That is not an absolute indication of an inevitable future, but  it remains a dark reminder from the past. Given that the international financial and political system has enormous and unprecedented potentialities for control and manipulation, behind the seemingly chaotic automatism of the “markets”, it has been able to transform the crisis of the financial sector in 2008 into a crisis of the EU and then unload all the economic costs onto the backs of the PIGS, especially Greece, for which this policy has spelt ruin.  The method in question is the politico-economic equivalent of a technique used in modern civil engineering, having been developed in the context of the theory of catastrophes. A huge building inside an urban center can be demolished in a matter of minutes, without there being any necessity even to stop the traffic in the area. One of the reasons the IMF and the German government are arguing about Greece, is that in Washington there is greater understanding of the fact that at some point the destruction process must be attenuated and some of the cost transferred to other European countries. Mr.  Schaeuble prefers to continue destroying Greece at full speed and does not want to accept any transference of the cost.

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By controlling and postponing solution of the crisis, they will not avoid it. They will merely make it worse. The crisis of the EU is not the reason for the underlying economic crisis; it is its reflection. Unfortunately, most discussion of the Euro and EU nowadays is a debate about institutions, carefully segregated from consideration of the coming economic and financial tsunamis.

The EU was accepted as a vehicle for prosperity and democracy, plus – for some – independence. It is in the process of collapse because the liberal post-national order is not able to  secure achievement of these aims. As a result, it is being de-legitimized politically, beyond the point of no return. This has become obvious in the past year, as confirmed in research by the Pew Centre, in the wake of the crashing of Greece and subsequent refugee crisis.  In such conditions everybody tries to save himself, and revolt against Brussels or Berlin becomes generalized. We should not underestimate the explosive significance of the message that was conveyed last year to every person watching the TV coverage of the Greek crash. Even those who don’t like Greeks and/or are indifferent to their problems have seen European Union crashing one of its members. No Union in history has survived the destruction, colonization and looting of one of its members. By crashing Greece the European Union has also destroyed its political raison d’etre. When the next wave of the financial (or anyone) crisis will come, the whole structure is ready to collapse (or reform radically, as there is at least in theory such a possibillity, but it needs somebody to prepare it and there is nobody at sight.

The existing European Union seems hardly sustainable in the medium term. If the poor were unable to explode it, the rich will do it. The real question is not to support in any sense the EU, because the structure seems anyway doomed to a very probable collapse. The real question is what will be the new status quo in Europe. We witnessed what happened to the Soviet Union twenty-five years ago. It was an unacceptable structure for many people but its disappearance, the way and in the direction it was done, represented a huge step backwards, not forwards. It led to the decomposition of the Soviet economy and society, it has made possible all the catastrophic wars in the Middle East. Not many people in states like Moldova or Tajikstan, formally independent though they may be, are today enjoying their independence. They would just lough if you asked them how they feel havinb gained such independence.

The same is possible for the European Union.  A possible collapse of it will not necessarily lead to anything better. It could lead to something much worse, with different countries competing for their shares of a shrinking demand and resorting to social dumping and authoritarian “nationalist” regimes to achieve it, all the while being more than ever at the mercy of International Finance and the USA.

We don’t describe such a worst case scenario as a meansHow toi of persuading anyone to stay in the EU, which is in any case collapsing under the weight of its inner contradictions. Only very deep and radical reform could save and there is no sign of anyone having made serious preparations for any such thing. What we wish to do is underline once more the necessity for building a national and international force able to advance a program that would be acceptable for most European peoples, or at least for a group of them.

The Soviet Union by the way collapsed to the direction it did, because there existed no political force with a sound strategy to reform it to a different direction.

How to unite Europeans

In 2011 I had a meeting with Mr. Tsipras and Mikis Theodorakis. I told them that it will be impossible to face the attack we receive as a nation, only based on our own forces. The Financial Empire had chosen Greece as the first target in a gigantic project of “regime change” in all Europe. We were in the first line of the attack, so we should become also the ones to take the initiative to organize the defense and the counter attack. They were both enthusiastic about the idea and they entrusted me with drafting an appeal to all European peoples, meant as a tool for organizing a large front of international resistance. It was signed by dozens of politicians, personalities and intellectuals around Europe, including the leaders of the German and the French radical left. Tsipras took it with him and read it at a Linke Congress in Germany, receiving also there an enthusiastic welcome. I believe this appeal greatly him to construct an international image.

The main underlying idea was that Finance is transforming its own crisis into a political crisis between European nations. As for national identity, its emergence was unavoidable in crisis conditions, the strategic question was not if national identities would be awakened, but rather to which direction this resurgence, and sometimes revolt of nations would be channeled. We should advance an opposite project, trying to unite European nations against the Finance, perceived as our common enemy. A common enemy is very useful for a union, but a union would be more solid if it had also a common vision. In the appeal there were the very broad outlines of our main aims.

“There is an urgent need for an immediate, cross-border coordination of action by intellectuals, people of the arts and literature, spontaneous movements, social forces and personalities who comprehend the importance of the stakes; we need to create a powerful front of resistance against the advancing “totalitarian empire of globalization”, before it is too late.

Europe can survive only if wepromote a united response against the markets, a challenge bigger than theirs, a new European «New Deal».

– We must immediately stop the attack against Greece and other countries of the EU periphery; we must stop the irresponsible and criminal policy of austerity and privatization, which leads directly to a crisis deeper than the one of 1929.

– Public debts must be radically restructured across the Eurozone, particularly on the expense of the private banking giants. Banks must be recontrolled and the financing of European economy must be under national and European social control. It is not possible to let the financial keys of Europe in the hands of banks like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS, the Deutsche Bank etc. We must ban the uncontrolled financial derivatives, which are the spearhead of the destructive financial capitalism, and create real economic development, instead of speculative profits.

 

  • The present architecture, based on the Maastricht Treaty and the WTO rules,hasestablished a debt production machine in Europe. We need a radical change of all Treaties, the submission of the ECB under political control by the European peoples, a “goldenrule” for minimum social, fiscal, environmental standards in Europe. We urgently need a change of paradigm; a return to the stimulation of growth through the stimulation of demand, via new European investment programs, a new regulation, taxation and control of international capital and commodities flows; a new form of smart and reasonable protectionism in an independent Europe, which will be the protagonist in the fight for a multipolar, democratic, ecological, social planet”.

There is an urgent need for an immediate, cross-border coordination of action by intellectuals, people of the arts and literature, spontaneous movements, social forces and personalities who comprehend the importance of the stakes; we need to create a powerful front of resistance against the advancing “totalitarian empire of globalization”, before it is too late.

Europe can survive only if wepromote a united response against the markets, a challenge bigger than theirs, a new European «New Deal».

What we did after proclaiming all that and stating the urgency of the situation inb order to realize them. Near to nothing! (A remarkable exception, as Kate Hudson indicated me recently, was Tony Benn, one of the noblest figures of post-war British and European socialism. Inspired by this appeal he made another one for the founding of the Greece Solidarity Campaign in Britain, which has raised and send many thousands of pounds to Greece for Medical Aid to Solidarity Clinics etc.)

If we had done something maybe the result of the 2015 crisis in Greece could be different and the European questions put now in a different form. Anyway it is never too late.

Athens, 21.6.2015

(*) Journalist and writer, ex-Secretary of the Movement of Independent Citizens, ex-Member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA, member of the editorial board of “DefendDemocracy.Press”

http://www.defenddemocracy.press/after-the-eu-what/