SYRIZA Is A Cultural Constituency

syriza1

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated, “there can be no democratic choice against the European treaties.”

In 2014/15 Year of Culture I described SYRIZA as a ‘cultural constituency’, as opposed to a traditional political movement whose raison d’etre is economic rationale. This means that SYRIZA and movements like it are not motivated by economic objectives in the traditional sense. This is a consequence of the fact that in the developed economies economics is no longer a central driving factor in the creation of policy by authority. Since policy is no longer oriented around economics the response to authority can no longer be oriented around economics. Cultural constituencies are evolving to fill this hole left where economics once was.

My analysis was made was before SYRIZA actually came to power. Since then they have been duly elected and have carried out the first in a series of negotiations with the EU and the Troika with regard to the Greek debt.

The outcome of these negotiations have caused massive confusion on all sides of the so called ‘left’ and ‘right’. Even the Germans, who appear to have scored a substantial victory, are somewhat baffled by the ease with which they achieved this outcome. The result of the negotiations just does not seem to make sense. What can account for SYRIZA’s apparent total capitulation?

If you try to understand what SYRIZA seeks to achieve in terms of economic rationale you will never be able to understand their approach and motivation. You have to compare SYRIZA to my definition of a cultural constituency to understand what this movement really is and what it will do:

  1. I said that SYRIZA as a cultural constituency would be:

Condemned by the post war establishment; Pundits and politicians of the post WWII order are not going to like these groups. And they are going to act against them.

From ‘Zero Hedge’

‘Let us begin with what should be indisputable: the Eurogroup agreement that the Greek government was dragged into on Friday amounts to a headlong retreat….

Such a thorough failure is not, and cannot be, a matter of chance, or the product of an ill-devised tactical manoeuvre. It represents the defeat of a specific political line that has underlain the government’s current approach.’1

 

From ‘The World Socialist Website’

 

‘It has taken less than one month for the Syriza government in Greece, led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, to repudiate its anti-austerity election program and betray, totally and utterly, the impoverished working people whose votes placed it in power.’2

It is fairly clear from these two examples that the insurgent ‘left’ is firmly against SYRIZA from the get go. And I don’t have to try very hard to find examples on the European right that are as at least as negative. The left more than anything, is a product of the post WWII political order. The left is the direct product of economic rationale- the belief that economic interests dominate all other considerations, to the extent that the class of people who have the same interests can consider themselves international socialist ‘brothers’! It is no wonder then, that this left would be in the forefront of the move to attack a new configuration like SYRIZA since it represents a direct and mortal threat to the ‘socialist’ project.

So who, if anyone, will have a good, (or at least not very bad), word to say about SYRIZA?

The answer to that would be the Monetarists in the Anglo Saxon bloc. Here The World Socialist Website finds evidence of collaboration:

‘A comment by Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Münchau, published on the eve of today’s meeting of the euro zone group of finance ministers, points to significant differences over German-led insistence that the demand of the Syriza-led Greek government for debt restructuring should not be met.’3

 

‘The publication of such a vigorous comment in one of the world’s major financial dailies points both to the considerable opposition in financial centres to the policies of the German government and to the fact that the Syriza program, far from representing some far-left agenda, is a thoroughly bourgeois program enjoying some measure of support in ruling political and financial circles’. 3

‘Münchau’s comment is significant from a number of standpoints. It underscores the opposition to the austerity agenda, at least in its present form, emanating from sections of the US, British economic establishments, with support in some parts of Europe’. 3

  1. I said that for SYRIZA as a cultural constituency that:

Economic demands (are) secondary or irrelevant.

 

As regards the debt, the text mentions that “the Greek authorities reiterate their unequivocal commitment to honour their financial obligations to all their creditors fully and timely.” In other words forget any discussion of “haircuts,” “debt reduction,” let alone “writing off of the greater part of the debt,” as is Syriza’s programmatic commitment.1

 

Virtually everybody is at a loss to explain the totality of SYRIZAs economic climbdown. In order to try to explain what has happened, all parties have tried to portray SYRIZAs actions as the consequence of ‘losing’ the negotiations.

‘It is clear from the above that in the course of the “negotiations,” with the revolver of the ECB up against its head and resultant panic in the banks, the Greek positions underwent near-total collapse. This helps to explain the verbal innovations (“institutions” instead of “troika,” “current arrangements” instead of “current program,” “Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement” instead of “Memorandum,” etc.). Symbolic consolation or further trickery, depending on how you look at it.’1

The trouble with this explanation is that the outcomes we have seen don’t come from an unsuccessful confrontation with the EU because there has not been any confrontation with the EU!

At no time has the EU and its interests been directly threatened nor will it be. Search as you might you will not find ANY evidence of a single concrete threat made by SYRIZA’s Tspiras or Varoufakis against the EU because there isn’t one. Not one. Is it seriously possible that SYRIZA could not think of a single thing to threaten the EU with? Because I could think of about ten serious threats they could make in less than a minute

So it is clear that SYRIZA has not climbed down because it never climbed up in the first place. Once you understand this it becomes obvious SYRIZA never intended to confront EU on economic matters. In fact, SYRIZA has used the negotiations with the EU to buy time to launch its attack on those it perceives to be its real enemies and the real reason it came into existence. Which leads us to:

 

3. I said that SYRIZA would be

 

Willing to compromise on periphery, completely unwilling to compromise on core; creating new spheres and forums for co-operation, even international organisations that encompass Cultural Constituencies. But less and less willing to negotiate with their own national governments.

  

 

What is the periphery and what is the core?

The periphery, by definition is the EU and from this it follows that compromise with the EU was always going to be inevitable for a cultural constituency. The CORE with which SYRIZA will not compromise is the deep Greek state, by which is meant the oligarchs and those who have been in power since the end of the post WWII emergency including PASOK and the parties of the right.

This brings us back to the post WWII order and brings SYRIZA and movements like it into sharper focus. The post WII order in its totality rests on left/ right and economic rationale. But these things have been increasingly undermined and it was always only a matter of time before this was reflected in politics. But the details were always going to be unclear up until the time that they weren’t- that time is now. SYRIZA is going to war with the post WWII order.

 

4. From this it follows

They make permanent rather than transitory demands; the removal of American military bases from Japan instead of a change in interest rates.

  

Permanent demands are ones which which will be difficult or impossible to overturn. To overturn austerity is by definition transitory since austerity is an emergency temporary measure. To disenfranchise the Greek oligarchs would be permanent.

 

  1. And finally and most importantly:

Profound realignment of politics within constituencies; Less and less will traditional areas of contention and politics operate within cultural constituencies. The members will tend to see what they have in common over what they have in difference.

 

This will prove to be the acid test of my analysis- specifically what will be the future of SYRIZA over the next couple of years or so.

The standard analysis will predict a breakup of the SYRIZA alignment under the pressure of dealing with the demands of the negotiations and failure to achieve economic concessions from the EU.

Under my analysis these traditional areas of contention based on economic rationale will become less and less important and will be replaced by a new network of agreements and understanding. What this means is that SYRIZA will not come under pressure to implode as is expected.

Instead we will see a period of bloody trench warfare between the post war establishment in Greece and SYRIZA. The establishment will do everything it can to cause strife between Europe and SYRIZA to distract SYRIZA from its core objective of attacking the oligarchy. SYRIZA in turn will do everything it can to promote peace with Europe so it can focus on the Greek elite.

  

 

1. Revolt In Athens: Syriza Central Committee Member Says “Leadership Strategy Has Failed Miserably” 02/24/2015 12:28 -0500

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-24/mutiny-athens-central-committee-member-slams-syriza-leadership-strategy-which-failed

 

2. The capitulation of Syriza and the lessons for the working class 23 February 2015

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/23/pers-f23.html

 

  1. A revealing Financial Times comment on the Greek debt crisis

By Nick Beams 16 February 2015

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/16/munc-f16.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Q Everything and Q Everywhere

One

 

About forty years ago, a hard line group of Anglo Saxon economists, politicians and financiers put into action a plan to build an alternative economic and political system within the framework of the developed western economies. This group was generally referred to as ‘Monetarists’.

 

First the Monetarists manoeuvered a committed core of extremists into key positions in academia and politics who prepared the way for the new regime by vociferously agitating for change. The Monetarists and their spokespeople influenced media and opinion formers to change the general tone and nature of public attitudes towards their project.

 

Through the systematic use of media the Monetarists coalesced a hard line grouping within the population who were disaffected with the existing order and were now prepared to countenance extreme methods to forward the agenda to which they had been persuaded to give their allegiance. This group would be the shock troops of the new order.

 

Having successfully placed loyal supporters in key positions and having created a core of committed, even fanatical, support within the general population, Monetarists then were in a position to overthrow the existing financial and political order and replace it with their own. The legal and the democratic validity of this coup was questionable to say the least.

 

Throughout this process, Monetarists relied on international support against resistance within the native populations they were disowning. They explicitly used the economic and political power of their international network of supporters as a threat to cow the domestic population and to claim legitimacy for their project.

 

Monetarists were broadly successful in their first phase of introducing a new regime. But perhaps inevitably they came up against increasing resistance from sections of the public when it became clear what the consequences of their project would be.

 

Then came the Credit Crunch; the point where the new regime began to collapse under the effects of its own inherent weaknesses. At this moment of maximum weakness and vulnerability, owners of major banks and their Monetarist advocates confronted the very government they claimed to be implacably opposed to and said: ‘We want another chance to implement our project and you have to give it to us. Because if you don’t we will cause chaos’. They again referred to their international supporters as an explicit threat and a legitimation.

 

They said: ‘although we have claimed to have acted in the cause of the free market we now want you to suspend the free market’. And: ‘if you give us this second chance we will use it to repair the damage caused by the Credit Crunch and to rebuild our common society in a way that takes into account oppositional points of view’.

 

The Monetarists were given the funds they needed to prevent their political economic project from collapsing in the form of Quantitive Easing. This completely changed the nature of the legal and financial system.

 

However, once they had succeeded in gaining the required breathing space the monetarists did not attempt to repair the damage they had caused. Quite the opposite. In fact, they increased their onslaught in a frenzied attack on what remained of the old system.

 

They had relied for survival on a massive bluff.  They upped the ante. The bluff succeeded.

 

Two

 

About five years ago a hard line Anglo Saxon group of economists, politicians and financiers put into action their plan to build a pro NATO regime within the framework of Ukraine. The name given to this group was The Maidan.

 

First they put a committed group of extremists into key positions in academia and politics who prepared the way for this project by vociferously agitating for this change in Ukraine .The Maidan did this by spending something around five billion dollars to create and promote what are referred to pro democracy NGO’s or ‘activist’ organisations. These ‘pro democracy’ NGO’s influenced media and opinion formers to change the general tone and nature of public attitudes towards their project.

 

Through the use of the media the Maidan formed a hard line right wing group of thugs within the population who were disaffected with the existing order and which were prepared to use extreme methods to forward the agenda to which they had been persuaded to give their allegiance. This group would be the shock troops of the new order on the streets.

 

Having put supporters in key positions and having established a fanatical core within the general population, the Maidan then overthrew the existing financial and political order and replaced it with their own. The legality and democratic validity of this overthrow was at least questionable.

 

Throughout this process the Maidan relied on international support against the native populations they were disowning. They explicitly used the threat of economic and political power of their international supporters to cow their opposition within the domestic population.

 

The Maidan were successful in their first phase. Then, perhaps inevitably they came up against ever increasing resistance when it became clear what the consequences of their project would be.

 

Then came the military offensive in the East of Ukraine, when the new regime began to collapse under the weight of its own limitations. After the stalling of their offensive, at their moment of maximum weakness and vulnerability, the Maidan went to their opposition and said: ‘We want another chance to complete our project and you have to give it to us. Because if you don’t we will destroy this country and any chance of peace in the region. They again referred to their network of international supporters who loudly proclaimed that they would support the Maidan. They upped the ante

 

They also said :‘if you give us this ceasefire we will use it to repair the damage caused by the civil war and to rebuild our common society in a way that takes into account oppositional points of view’.

 

The Maidan were given the space they needed to prevent their political economic project from collapsing in the form of a ceasefire.

 

However, once they had succeeded in gaining the required breathing space the Maidan did not attempt to repair the damage they had caused. Quite the opposite. In fact, they used the ceasefire to reorganise their army units and facist millitias and then increased their onslaught on the remnents of the Ukrainian state in a frenzied attack on what remained of the old system.

 

They had relied for survival on a massive bluff. But unlike the Monetarist bluff, the Maidan bluff failed. Because the East Ukrainian resistance has so far successfully fought back to the extent that a signifcant number of Maidan millitias and soldiers are surrounded and trapped in East Ukrainian territory.

 

So now the Maidan have sent Merkel of Germany and Hollande of France back to ask the East Ukrainians for a second ceasefire!

 

So why did the Monetarist bluff succeed and the the Maidan bluff fail?

 

Because the Anglo Saxon governments and populations that the Monetarists faced in their negotiations were from the same cultural group as the Monetarists. They were dealing with their own kind. This was the power they had. They had a commonality they could bargain over.

 

The Anglo Saxon Maidan are dealing with governments and populations that come from different cultural group. They are dealing with people who are not of their own kind. They have no power of commonality with their opponents. They have no commonality they can bargain over.

 

And this is the fundamental flaw running through the Anglo Saxon neo liberal United States of Everywhere. It has no concept of mutuality.

 

It has no concept of Mutually Assured Destruction.

 

It has no conception of anything outside of itself.

 

Because the United States of Everywhere believes that deep down everybody wants to be exactly like ‘us’. And when ‘they’ hate us they only really ‘hate us for our freedoms’. Which is another way of saying that really they love us.

 

And they won’t really, can’t ever really bring the hammer down on us, because EVERYBODY knows deep down that we are the good guys. And fate and destiny and progress have put us in our natural position at the top of the heap.

 

There can’t be anyone who will not bend the knee to us.

 

There can’t be.

 

Because that would be wrong.

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PURPLE HAZE OR DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

 

 

http://tradewithdave.com/

 

Foreword:

 In correspondence with Dave Harrison (‘Trade With Dave’) on the subject of cultural constituencies, Dave raises the important point:

On what basis do different cultural constituencies constitute themselves?

Where are they coming from?

 

 

Fans of SUPERB IRONY have been treated to the recent spectacle of Germany launching a frontal assault on The Democracy Brand right on its home turf. The German message to Greek population and Syriza government alike is : ‘Elect who you want, it makes no difference!’. Newly appointed Greek leader Alexis Tsipras has responded by visiting the war graves of communist resistance activists murdered by the Nazis and referring more than once to the favourable 1953 debt settlement offered to the emergent West German state by the victors of WWII.. ironic it might be, subtle it ‘aint.

 

All of which diplomatic slapstick would be almost comical if it were not for firm support for the German position across Northern Europe. It is clear that national democratic government as we have understood it for a century or more, is being invalidated by the political realities of the EU.

 

The ‘left’ and ‘progressives’ are powerless to analyse, much less remedy this crisis of democracy. The left continually refers to this democratic crisis, but offers no contemporary analysis of it. Nor will they ever be in a position to do so. This would require an insight into the relationship between ‘Economic Rationale’ and ‘Germanic Land Democracy’ – not something the Germanic left can ever take on. If it ever did, it would invalidate itself immediately and permanently.

 

First of all, there is no point trying to discuss this or any other crisis of democracy in abstract general terms. All attempts to do so inevitably descend into a slanging match of the most simplistic and pointless kind: eg. ‘I am more democratic than you’ or ‘the West is more democratic than the East’ etc. This is simply more rhetorical slapstick.

 

We need a workable definition of democracy that is free from such rhetoric.

 

We can define Democracy as a group of individuals agreeing to exploit a free resource as equals in respect of that exploitation. For example, in ancient Greece slaves fulfilled the role of a ‘free’ resource. That is to say all Greeks were equal in relation to slaves (they owned them and exploited them etc) even if citizens were not equal to each other in different respects. If one ‘citizen’ went out and kidnapped a foreign person to be used as a slave there was no cost imposed on any other citizen as a result of this. This is why ‘classic’ Greek slave owning democracy is fundamentally different from all contemporary nations holding slaves. Greek democracy was slave democracy.

 

The modern democracy we have is different from ancient Greek democracy. Not just in its surface forms of government but in its fundamental construction. Greek democracy was based on the ‘free’ resource of slaves, Germanic democracy is based on the ‘free’ resource of land.

 

Germanic land democracy is based on freedom to buy and sell land within the constraints of the system. What this means is that it is permissible for anyone to buy land anywhere within the designated territory, so long as they can afford it. This form of ownership of land places no cost on another citizen. What happens to, and on, any given piece of land is primarily an economic consideration only marginally mitigated by any other considerations. This is the defining characteristic of the Germanic cult of Capitalism.

 

Freedom to trade land in this way locates Germanic Land Democracy, its origins (and even its eventual demise!), in time and place. ‘Modern’ (Germanic Land Democracy) has nothing to do with ‘Classic’ (Greek Slave democracy), never had, never will have. Any claim that they have anything in common is purely rhetorical.

 

Germanic democratic land ‘freedom’ never existed before it was created by the Germanic peoples of NW Europe. The modern nation state developed as a direct extension of this Germanic right to create and trade ‘private’ land. From the nation state came the modern relationship between the citizen and the nation. It is a particular political relationship.

 

The political relationship of the citizen to the modern state is based not on culture or history but on an economic relationship- the economic relationship encapsulated in Germanic Land Democracy. In a modern developed capitalist state, the questions of free movement, freedom of access, ownership and culture are all supposed to be settled. Now economic ‘classes’ will come to the fore under the auspices of economic rationale. In other words economics will be the focus and purpose of economics and by extension, politics. (see previous post)

 

However, it turned out that the land and culture battles were not exactly over. Since modern Germanic states began to expand outwards from NW Europe periodic conflicts between local cultural groups and the Germanic form of state have occurred. But half way through the last century, a full blown culture/state crisis exploded in Germany. Fascism pitched Germanic race, and culture directly against Germanic land democracy. And Germanic land democracy was overthrown. What followed was the rise and ‘defeat’ of fascism.

 

This next bit is particularly important:

 

Was democracy reconfigured in Germany after the war? No. The democratic German ruling elite had been overthrown by the Nazis. It had proved itself incapable of controlling its geographic and political territory. At the end of the war the German elite was put on an extended period of probation under the tutelage of its Anglo Saxon cousins. It follows from this that the German state is not a real democratic state. For instance, it has only relatively recently been unified. The German ruling class still cannot operate independently. It is constrained within a set of international political chains.

 

Again, Germany is not really a modern national democracy.

 

The damage caused to Germanic culture in general and Germanic land democracy by two World Wars was massive. I have described aspects of the strategy employed by the Anglo Saxon powers to rehabilitate Germanic culture and politics elsewhere. But here I want to focus on the implementation of mercantile nationalism.

 

Mercantile nationalism- is a form of nationalism based on the ‘free movement’ of individuals and mass immigration. In other words it is the most intense form of Germanic Land Democracy that it is possible to have. The brand name for this type of ‘international’ nationalism is Globalisation.

 

Mercantile nationalism was adopted as the antidote to the ‘poison’ that caused fascism. It was supposed to be an overwhelming dose of what had caused the problem in the first place, whose purpose was literally to swamp the ‘enemy’, (those who hang on to a troublesome cultural identity) and finally sweep them away.

 

Because of this, modern Germanic Mercantile nationalism naturally and inevitably causes conflict with expressions of culture and location, since these are deep human needs. Global modern politics has come to be about managing this conflict of interest. Broadly speaking management of the mercantile/culture conflict was going reasonably well (at least in mainland Europe), until the crisis in the relationship between globalisation, monetarism and financialisation caused by the Credit Crunch.

 

Monetarism is the end of economics. This is why I use the term ‘Crackernomics’ to describe the centralised political response to the Credit Crunch. Just as Germanic land democracy was supposed to have resolved the question of land and culture, so Monetarism is supposed to resolve the economic struggle- permanently. Monetarism is the end of economic rationale; the end of economic classes based on income.

 

Monetarism says there are no economic problems, there are only financial/liquidity problems and is only one way to deal with financial/liquidity problems – through money issuance. In other words, there are no economic problems any more, only political problems to be solved by central authority.

 

There is a horrible logic here:

 

  1. The purpose of politics is supposed to be to resolve conflict.

 

  1. Germanic Land democracy is supposed to resolve the conflict between culture, identity and territory and replace it with economic rationale.

 

  1. Monetarism is supposed to solve economic rationale and replace it with………?

 

  1. Culture and politics.

 

Oh dear.

 

Which brings us back to Greece. Monetarism inevitably makes the economic problem caused by the Credit Crunch back into a cultural political problem.   Germany, previously forced to abandon its culture and adopt mercantile nationalism is now forced to promote mercantile nationalism against Greek culture! Germany was caught on the wrong side of the road going one way in 1945 and now it is caught on the wrong side of the road coming back in 2015. That is just plain unlucky…

 

Which brings us to the blue pill and the red pill and the choice that faces the Germanic world.

 

The credit crunch has brought us to a bottle neck.

 

Monetarism has destroyed economic rationale which inevitably means a return to cultural constituencies. But cultural constituencies were what forced the creation of economic rationale in the first place.

 

The entire Germanic world has to choose between the red pill and the blue pill Monetarism or Mercantile nationalism. What the Germanic world wants is half of one and half of the other; a purple pill if you will. But there is no such thing.

 

And time is running out.

P.S.

Both the British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Barack Obama have been yanking the German neck chain recently. Both have told the Angela of Debt that she had better pull her horns in and cut a deal with Greece to save Europe. She will have to comply, the Saxons are still the bosses. But this will cause a  festering resentment in the German population and the German political class. Its not just Greece v Germany on the table, its Germany v the Saxon Axis…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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American Sniper Or ‘Don’t Shoot!’ Or ‘Cultural Constituencies’ Or Money Where Mouth Is

banner

 

Fresh on the news that American Sniper has made a record $92 million on its debut:

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2015/01/19/why-the-american-sniper-box-office-blowout-is-even-bigger-than-you-think/

 

Its time to have a closer look at Cultural Constituencies and how they relate to economic rationale

 

In France,  on the back of ‘Je suis..’, ‘Charlie Hebdo is reported to have printed and disposed of 5 – 7 million copies of its commemorative edition. (I million of which were paid for by the French government.) While in the USA, supporters have raised $ ½-1 million or more for Darren Wilson; the now infamous Ferguson shooting cop.

 

Is a pattern emerging?

 

I think so.

 

I have referred to Cultural Constituencies as the new driving force in politics. I describe them here:

 

https://unitedstatesofeverywhere.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/1415-whiteism-years-of-culture/

 

Having defined cultural constituencies in specific terms, the next question to answer is : What differentiates cultural constituencies from political constituencies?

 

Simply put, political constituencies vote with ballots to control money and cultural constituencies vote with money to control politics.

 

Understanding this relationship between cultural and political constituencies requires a deeper understanding of ‘economic rationale’.

 

Economic rationale is the idea that specific groups of people have defined and identifiable economic interests that they can and should recognize and seek to advance, hence the ‘rationale’. It follows that these groups are defined as economic ‘classes’ and interact with each other on this basis. In ‘democracies’ economic classes are supposed to interact through the democratic process and the outcome of this process is an economic compromise, The nature of this compromise is the content of politics.

 

But in order for this to work satisfactorily democratic power is supposed to be divorced from economic power. However, we all know that this is not so. The Credit Crunch and international governmental response it provoked illustrates direct political control of economics and direct interference in politics by economic actors.

 

This has given rise to a crisis of democracy that is directly attributable to financialisation, the democratisation of money and the Credit Crunch. This crisis of democracy has led to the appearance of cultural constituencies and its latest and so far most potent expression in the Syriza movement.

Syriza as a prime example of a cultural constituency for which:

 

‘Economic demands (are) secondary or irrelevant’.

 

‘Profound realignment of politics within constituencies; Less and less will traditional areas of contention and politics operate within cultural constituencies. The members will tend to see what they have in common over what they have in difference.’

In other words cultural constituencies produce political alignments which are unexpected and difficult to explain in terms of left and right. Which brings us to the following in ‘The Telegraph':

‘ ..Syriza and their new allies, Independent Greeks, are strange bed fellows. Their differences could herald a highly unstable new phase in Greek politics as Mr Tsipras embarks on bruising negotiations with the EU and IMF over the country’s massive debt and deeply unpopular austerity regime, writes Nick Squires.

Like Syriza, the Independent Greeks are stridently opposed to the “troika” of international creditors who have leant the country 240 billion euros (£180 billion), saying that Greece simply cannot pay the money back.

But beyond that, they have little in common with Syriza, raising fears of even more uncertainty in a country battered by five years of recession and political conflict.

While Syriza is a coalition of socialists, Marxists, Maoists and Communists, the Independent Greeks are a conservative, nationalist party.

They were formed in 2012 by a breakaway group of rebels from New Democracy, the conservative party of Antonis Samaras, the outgoing prime minister.

They also have close links to the Greek Orthodox Church, further putting them at odds with Mr Tsipras, who is an atheist.’ ‘

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/11368361/Greek-election-Syriza-expected-to-seize-victory-live.html

 

Some of the key points to draw out from this brief description are:

 

This new political alignment is to be regarded as ‘strange’ and ‘unstable'; which means unpredictable within the standard left/right context.

 

This new alignment will be hard fight and control using traditional political and economic methods because it contains elements of both left and right.

 

This new alignment will be hard to negotiate with because it has no economic rationale (see above). Simple economic interest is no longer the end point of its activity, now it is only the means to an end. The cultural constituency that Syriza represents will be willing to pay in hardship to make this point.

 

Just as a cultural constituency in USA was willing to pay into the Darren Wilson retirement fund effectively bypassing the political governmental control of the police force. Just as a cultural constituency in France was willing to effectively invest in Charlie Hebdo as a promotion of their collective identity, so the cultural constituency of Syriza is willing to face economic consequences of defying the German leadership of the EU.

The point of all this is that SYRIZA is not ‘left wing’ any more than the people who donated to Darren Wilson are ‘right wing’. Any more than the people who bought Charlie Hebdo are left wing. They are cultural constituencies. Next I will deal with what this means in terms of Whiteism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plugholenomics or There’s No BISness Like ShowBISness or This Boot Was Made For War Kings or Crack(ernomics) In The World or Thank God It’s Only A Motion Picture!

 

 

BIS

 

crackinworld

 

“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett

Here is a paradox.

The area round the plughole remains the last place to dry out when you are emptying the bath. The place where the actual hole is, is the last place to feel the effects of the hole. All the rest of the bath dries out first. You would think that the place where the hole first appeared would be the first to become dry, wouldn’t you?

 

Same with money.

 

In previous pieces I have described the international war on state issued currency led by America. Interest rate reduction (Zero Interest Rate Policy), and quantitive easing have been used to lower the value of all state issued currency in comparison to stateless Democratised Money or derivatives.

 

When the Derivatives boat started sinking in 2008, International Monetarists used ZIRP and QE to blast a massive sinkhole in the financial earths crust draining out state money liquidity. The theory was that if the sea level could be made to drop faster than the derivatives boat dropped, the boat could not sink!

 

State money liquidity flowed into the massive financial chasm caused by Monetarists. But it flowed from the periphery first. It is the developing world that became dried out as the sea emptied. The plughole still has liquidity at this time. Ironically, Despite the fact that USA is leading the war on state money, it is their national currency that remains one of the strongest.

Here is another metaphor:

 

When an atomic bomb detonates you can see the shockwave blast pushing outwards, but this is rapidly followed by a vacuum that develops at ground zero, which then sucks IN all the stuff that was initially blasted outwards. QE and ZIRP blasted ‘free’ money out from America into the developing economies- the initial shockwave. Now that money is being sucked back into the vacuum at ground zero. First the periphery was blasted one way now it is being blasted the opposite way.

It is this flow, first outwards and then inwards that is causing all the devastation. It is this flow that is the real cause behind the oil price shocks that are causing financial carnage among oil producers. But it is not just the developing nations that are feeling the effects of this flow.

 

Basel, Switzerland is the home of the Bank of International Settlements and the Financial Stability Board. In fact they share the same building, which is incongruously shaped like a massive Roman boot. It is ironic that the Swiss franc has been caught up in the blast, exploding in comparative value compared to the Euro and destroying Swiss export viability.

 

It is the Bank of International Settlements and the Financial Stability Board that are creating the legislation for the new Democratised Money World Order. Yet in doing this it seems they are laying waste the very territory they are situated on and protected by. Do you think the time might come when even the Swiss population have had enough of them and break out the pitchforks?

 

Perhaps the most appropriate metaphor would be that of a magma chamber that forms the reservoir for a volcano. First the magma chamber expands upwards then it contracts, then it blows.

 

The first hole in the financial earths crust was planned by the Monetarists. Now It appears that another fissure has opened up . This one was unplanned and unforeseen. I wonder what is going to happen next…..

‘Painting’ by George W Bush..

bush_bathtub

 

 

 

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Charlie Hebdo: Death of a Moral Entrepreneur

 http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=wGbhKS3BvqMC&oi=fnd&pg=PA169&dq=moral+entrepreneurs+becker&ots=Z9f7IePWog&sig=yg-SFnOSqk8aO6EW5snJE8f6p84#v=onepage&q=moral%20entrepreneurs%20becker&f=false

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_S._Becker

charlie

 

Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there’s no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back—that’s an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple spots on your hat and you’re finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream boy, it comes with the territory.”

― Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

 

There are few ideas from Gallic culture and politics that the Anglo Saxon world will enthusiastically embrace en masse. The Mortgage, (death-grip), the en-suite toilet, and entrepreneurship are some of the few notable examples.

 

Of these, the runaway favourite has to be the entrepreneur ; the self styled swashbuckling risk taker that brings innovation, flair and brio to the world of toilet paper, butter and vacuum cleaners.

 

In the Anglo Saxon world entrepreneurship has made the leap from a principle of commerce to the principle of morality itself: We now live in a moral meritocracy, with a moral marketplace to efficiently distribute our moral resources. And at the centre of this ethical order is the moral entrepreneur.

 

Traditionally Judeo-Christian morality has been a matter of compliance to The Will Of God and religion a matter of finding out how best to do it. The fundamental innovation of Protestantism was   self interpretation of what God wanted; in the words of the ‘Subway’ advertising slogan, to: ‘Have It Your Way’.

 

In time, even the freedom to specify olives or mayonnaise on a universal sandwich of existence has paled. Now the moral consumer demands a farmers market experience of hand crafted artisan beliefs. This is amply provided for by a multitude of small scale moral entrepreneurs hawking their versions of the good life from a million social media stalls. Just like Willy Loman in ‘Death Of a Salesman’ there are a million purveyors of moral gizmos to make your life better including:

Women Bishops

Gay marriage

Kony 2012

The campaign against female genital mutilation

Environmentalism

Bring back our Nigerian Girls taken by Boko Haram

 

And on and on

 

And you, the moral consumer is ‘empowered’, free to fill your spiritual wire basket with as much or as little as you want. But these moral campaigns seem only to offer a high impact/high sugar rush that only lasts a short while. How many of them have already fallen into obscurity after a couple of months of headline grabbing prominence?

 

This moral meritocracy is the milieu that satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ and its contemporaries operate in. Charlie Hebdo’s stand out moral product has been the ‘Image of Mohammed’ controversy. From now on Charlie Hebdo will inevitably be known for printing disparaging and derogatory images strictly forbidden in Islamic practice.

 

Some might question whether this kind of deliberate provocation is necessary. But these images have to be provocative and offensive to make the point that freedom of speech is a moral good that trumps any moral considerations that Muslims can have. They have to offend or they are pointless. Charlie Hebdo took it upon itself to bring to the Muslims and wider society a lesson; free speech is a morally superior consideration to respect for belief.

 

Unfortunately for ‘Charlie Hebdo’ this was essentially a bluff. They even went so far as to publish a cover with the tag line ‘still no attacks’. But of course they spoke too soon and their bluff was called.

 

Which brings us to where we are now.

 

Everybody recognises there will be consequences from the Charlie Hebdo killings. Politicians have wasted no time promenading at the head of mass demonstrations and putting into place dangerous new ‘security’ protocols. The relationship between Muslims and wider European society has changed. The depiction of Mohammed has become a new red line. The BBC is revising its guidelines on showing images of Mohammed; it is likely that they will now be allowed. This is a sea change from the standard multicultural conventions that have shaped British media policy for three decades.

 

This is inevitably destabilising to the broad multicultural structures that are a feature of western society. But there is something more profound underpinning this.

 

The stock that rises and falls on the moral NASDAQ 500 changes from week to week. The more frenzied the trading, the harder to bridge the gap between a western fluid, superficial, understanding of the universe and a Muslim or Christian or Judaic fundamental and eternal one. As the conflict of understanding accelerates each side is driven to express its own understanding in more forceful and explicit terms.

 

Then there is the Kony 2012 postal problem. Jason Russell, once ‘moral entrepreneur of the month’ discredited the entire Kony campaign after he was caught on video en dishabille. The question inevitably arose: Was he mad when he started the Kony campaign or did he go mad after? And what does this say about people who bought into the campaign?

 

Collapses such as these are inevitable since so many of these campaigns rely on small groups or individuals. When these individuals fail the entire campaign is discredited. And this again is profoundly disorienting for the consumers of morality: Where can I find a moral supplier I can trust?

 

And this conflict and disorientation is further exacerbated when moral entrepreneurs start campaigning against each other. The anti Semitism debate is a good example of this with some groups campaigning against the evil of anti- Semitism and others campaigning against the evil of Israeli occupation of Palestine. Pick a side?

 

Christopher Hitchens’ famous attack on Mother Theresa caused considerable outrage at the time but now is more or less accepted by a certain section of the metropolitan moral market. In some ways Christopher Hitchens was the first moral entrepreneur.

 

The Bigger Picture

 

So what does it all mean? Can we draw out any significant lessons from the shooting at Charlie Hebdo?

 

The first point to make is that the moral entrepreneur aspect is not the whole Charlie Hebdo story. This affair obviously benefits those domestic and international political forces who would like to see France ever more closely enmeshed in the NATO western war on terror.

 

And there are the disturbing facts that identity cards were reported to be found in the getaway car and that both assailants were killed by the French security forces. Even for those of us who try to avoid overt conspiracy theories there are clearly reasons to be suspicious.

 

But the focus on Charlie Hebdo as moral entrepreneur offers a long term perspective.

 

Despite the superficial impression of freedom and variation, the Moral Meritocracy produces similar variations on a theme. Rather like the rows and rows of mass produced mechanically produced raw material packaged and labelled as ‘farm fresh’ and ‘organic’ you can find on a supermarket shelf.

 

On the list of main ingredients is sexual/identity ‘freedom’, actually meaning state endorsed sexual freedom. Because if sexual freedom is sex without consequences, there is no ‘sexual freedom’ that the state can give you, because this freedom is not in the gift of the state to give. But the state are not going to tell you that are they?

 

So we can begin to discern among the various campaigns a semi-comprehensive central vision. What is a constantly changing panoply of morality within a central vision? It is the essence of pagan belief.

That the particular morals and deities you subscribe to at any time are the product of circumstances and not principle.

 

With that in mind, consider this possibility:

 

The truth is that we are involved as one side of an asymmetrical form of spiritual warfare. But the power relationships are exactly reversed from those of conventional warfare. The spiritual world has collapsed in the west.

 

Without a central command and a spiritual standing army, the west has been reduced to sporadic and uncoordinated individual guerrilla actions against Islam. They are a spiritual superpower compared to the post Protestant west.

 

We are taught to celebrate the inauguration of a moral marketplace and moral entrepreneurship, but is it possible this is nothing more than empty war propaganda?

 

That the west can no longer support ethically or intellectually a unified and comprehensive belief system that makes sense of the world for the people within it?

 

That in some sense it is Charlie Hebdo who are the intellectual and moral suicide bombers out to bluff the Muslim and indeed the entire monotheistic world?

 

After Willy Lomans death, his son despite his better judgement, decides to step up and carry on as his father had. To validate his fathers death, so that Willy Loman did not die in vain. In other words:’Je suis Willy Loman’

 

“HAPPY: All right, boy. I’m gonna show you and everybody else that Willy Loman did not die in vain. He had a good dream. It’s the only dream you can have– to come out number-one man.”
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

 

Sound familiar?

 

 

 

 

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Crackernomics 14/15 The Devil And The Law Or Articles Of Faith

 

The news that the Bank of England is preparing to release the minutes of their emergency Credit Crunch deliberations, (suitably censored of course), is a confirmation that 2014 was a time of consolidation and the consequences of five years of Credit Crunch shenanigans coming to the fore. It was a time of tying up loose ends and setting the stage for the next round of change.

 

With this in mind I would like to briefly review two of the most important events of 2014: The tapering of the Federal Reserve bond buying programme and the Brisbane G20 meeting in which the rules for the ongoing management of ‘systemically important’ banks were broadly finalised.

 

The Tale Of The Tapering

 

It has been an article of faith on the radical side of economics that there would be no substantial winding down of the Federal Reserves QE programme, yet the Tapering duly appeared in the latter half of the year when the Fed stopped its ongoing purchases of privately issued money in the form of ‘bonds’.

 

In response to this development insurgent pundits chose to focus on the fact that QE as a global phenomenon was still ongoing. They observed that Japan was engaged on a new round of QE; the infamous ‘Abenomics’, and Europe is supposed to get in on the act later in the year with a big fat euro-helping of bond purchases (at least according to Mario Draghi and the ECB..)

 

So is tapering on or not?

Is QE still on or not?

 

Tapering for the USA is on, for Japan it is not and for Europe it will probably never begin. This is because unsurprisingly, conditions are different in America, Japan and Europe.

 

O.K. then, this leads us to the question: What is different between America and Europe and Japan?

 

America and England- the main Saxon economies, have experienced some sort of economic ‘growth’ although this is hardly traditional (certainly not export and manufacturing led), and it is mainly credit based. They have managed to do this because they have partially at least, restructured both their societies and economies. Which leads to the question: What is the nature of this restructuring?

 

  1. Both America and Britain are some way along the road to establishing a Permanent Credit Economy. This means: Increased deregulation and a shrunken state.
  2. Discontinuation of the work and social rights and safeguards that have been a feature of developed economies since the end of WWII and most importantly of all:
  3. An end to the consumer society, by which I mean an end of freely disposable income.

 

Remember! Saving is free disposal of income the same as spending is; this freedom is the essence of the ‘consumer society’. Prohibiting saving is a deliberate infringement of this freedom.

 

In contrast to America and Britain, Japan and Europe have so far significantly failed to restructure both society and economy.

 

Despite two decades of a kamikaze war on saving, Japan is still a ‘bank it’ society. Why is this?

 

Japan never established a welfare state in the way that it would be understood in Europe or even America. Instead it created a full employment model, which in theory made welfarism mostly unnecessary. In essence, saving was a necessary part of preparing for retirement since the state was only going to offer minimal protection. This worked until the labour market was deregulated in the post 1980’s Big Bang. Once the Japanese ‘job for life’ went away , a culture of saving and insurance became even more important. This is why Abenomics is insane. In essence it is like trying to frighten people out of buying insurance!

 

Remember! Saving is free disposal of income the same as spending is; the essence of the ‘consumer society’. Prohibiting saving is a deliberate infringement of this freedom

 

(As I write I hear on ‘Max Keiser’ that the Japanese savings rate has gone negative for the first time since the 1950’s and wages are falling rapidly too..but the next big question will be where has this money gone?)

 

Europe, especially Southern Europe, is markedly different form the Anglo Saxon and Northern German economies. Here the problem is that the post WWII state never managed to establish the depth of control necessary to implement something like the QE economic restructuring programme. Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal, (did I hear someone mention Eire?), are all characterised by the fact that they have found it impossible to create a stable geographical and political boundary, never mind such a thing as a stable North European civil society. Fundamental structural weaknesses are increasingly being brought to the surface by national elites trying to implement austerity on behalf of German led Europe. One effect of this is the appearance of Cultural Constituencies (see previous post).

 

So what is going to happen next?
America will raise interest rates towards 21/2 % (as per my earlier forecast) which will mean that fully half the worlds economy is serviced by privately issued democratised money.

‘Hang on a minute!’ , I hear you say,

 

‘That’s impossible! There is no way that the Anglo Saxon elite will rise interest rates with the economy in the fragile condition it is in.’

 

But your analysis assumes that this is an economic decision and it is not. It is a political decision. It is the next step in the normalisation of privately issued democratised money. It is exactly the same in this respect as the dynamics controlling what happens in Europe. And China. And Eurasia.

 

And what will happen when American interest rates rise?

Intellectually we will come face to face with the lurking horror, the heart of darkness that has threatened to emerge from its cave since this all began in the 1970’s.

 

The Devil and the Law: Bankrupt Bankruptcy

 

The year end season finale of the democratised money project was the announcement of new rules for the resolution of banks in trouble at the Brisbane round of the G20, usually known as the ‘Bail In’ rules.

 

Proposed by the Financial Stability Board and titled the ‘Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution” this G20 endorsed plan was created to establish a stable ongoing banking framework to support democratised money.

 

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of this document, because it specifically lays out the boundaries governing the survival of individual banks and the growth of democratised money.

 

One of the fundamental mistakes made by the insurgent economic opposition is to argue that it is financial institutions that are being protected by the Monetarist state. This is wrong. It is not specific institutions, but democratised money that is being shielded and protected by the international legislative framework that is being put in place.

 

In fact, hard core Monetarists would be quite keen to see one or two small to mid sized banks go to ‘resolution’ to refute the charge of crony capitalism. When this happens the insurgents will be dumbfounded; they will not be able to understand that the failure of these one or two banks guarantees the survival of democratised money because it legitimises the system as being ‘fair’.

 

To this end the resolution document specifically states that the derivatives held by financial institutions will be given unchallenged precedence over all other creditors. In other words, they will not be paid a proportion of what they are owed on a pro rata basis like other creditors, they will be paid in full, off the top.

 

The international law says that derivatives cannot be written down like private debts. They are above private debts and sacrosanct. They are sacrosanct because they are money- democratised money with the full weight of national governments behind them. And this is now international law.

 

This is the significance of the bail in. Not that it will affect ordinary small scale bank customers, but that it places state money deposits at the mercy of democratised money. And ordinary people are not going to stand up for the rights of large scale investors, are they?

 

Again to reiterate:

 

It is not Banks being given precedence over individuals. It is Democratised Money in the form of derivatives being precedence over State Money in the form of deposits.

 

Even more shockingly, this document effectively proposes an end of bankruptcy for banks, to be replaced by the process of ‘resolution’ I referred to above.

 

As I observed in ‘Crackernomics’, bankruptcy is a Capitalist Sacrament; the equivalent of the Last Rites of the Catholic Liturgy. It is the means and justification by which a dying Corporation passes on to the afterlife. It is supposed to be the fair and equitable legal basis for the entire concept of limited liability. For it to be effectively abandoned is astounding.

 

In Crackernomics I examined the bankruptcy procedure and what it means, (used to mean). I also argued that the legal changes created by the democratisation of money would be as significant and far reaching as those of the end of Soviet Russia. This vindicates that view.

 

One of the fundamental principles of Capitalism itself has been quietly dispensed with.

 

As if these two developments were not astounding enough there is another philosophical change, more subtle and perhaps more pernicious for that.The difference between ‘failed’ and ‘failing’. Because banks aren’t going to fail anymore. Instead they are going to be ‘failing’ and they could be failing without actually having failed for a long time- maybe forever. Which means there might never be an ending that is understandable to the majority of their creditors and shareholders.

 

That is what ‘resolution’ really means.

 

‘Its Not Me, Its You’ , Or Irreconcilable Differences

 

In recent correspondence Dave Harrison from ‘Trade With Dave’ made the following very pertinent observations:

A). Zero interest rate policy means no more time value to money.  

B) Mervyn King’s “divorced currency” model could also mean politics divorced from economics.

 

What binds politics and economics together is the law. Law is the formal expression of will of the society that creates it. Law as applied to the material conditions of a society creates an economy.

 

When Dave Harrison points to Kings ‘divorced currency’ model as the future he is really pointing towards a system that has chosen to seek to circumvent its own foundational principles. And the means by which it is doing this can best be expressed as an end of accounting.

 

Just as elites abandoned ‘mark to market’, (which means saying what any given stock or bond is actually worth here and now) so zero or limited interest rates means abandoning any idea of what state money is worth here and now. And that is very important, because if people ever got a real idea of what State Money is worth here and now they might start asking some awkward questions.

 

In the same way the derivatives that infest the books of ever major financial institution can never actually be brought to the book and reconciled. Because if they were, then their value relationship to state money would have to be examined and that would lead to some awkward questions etc.

 

The Devil and The Law Or ‘If She Be a Witch’…

 

Henry the Eighth famously divorced himself from the Catholic Church in pursuit of a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. He then married Anne Boleyn. And when he did not want Anne Boleyn anymore he famously got Cromwell to argue that the marriage to Anne was just as invalid as his wedding to Catherine!

 

And who could argue the point? They had gone along with the first crime, how could they stand against the second?

They were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.

 

Once the state has interfered in the markets, rigged and controlled them, how can it ever claim that there are ‘free markets’ again? If you argue for the state to get out of the economy, then you negate everything that has happened since 2008. But this is madness, what is done is done, it cannot be undone. Free markets are over whether you like it or not.

 

You cannot become a virgin again, no matter how much you regret your first night! You can only live in a fantasy world of regret or face reality. No- one except a madman will ever dare argue in favour of ‘free markets’ again.

 

If you abandon your first principles you make yourself a liar from then on no matter what you do to try to fix it. This is what is meant by the devil turning on you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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