Here my friends, is an Author’s draft of my new book to be published this Autumn… with the thirteen early chapters and the outline of the whole.
Enjoy and share discreetly….
DEMOCRACY REDUX & THE PURSUIT OF LIBERTY
Meditations of Liberty seeking a balance with Democracy in a vastly diminished Modern World where human beings have regained their comfortable Serfdom…
“A much needed erudite treatise on the future of the pressing debate between Liberty & Democracy. A must read companion for leaders. Liberty trumps all”
“This book offers the definitive debate between Liberty & Democracy in the European Continent’s quest for Prosperity, Security, and Growth, and it’s overall impact on the World”
“This is the seminal work on Democracy and Liberty, revisited today after 2,500 years of experiential application of this innovation of government. Government by the people, from the people and for the people, as seen from the perspective of the twin truths: Liberty & Democracy ”
“A Book whose time has come. In it Dr Kroko reflects the values of Liberty and Democracy in gutsy story telling as if Hemingway met Hunter Thompson and together took a savage Journey to the Heart of the dream of Liberty and Democracy. Pano helps us travel and see those difficult lives we lead when we are more Serfs than Free and when we forget that we are the guardians of our Future. An essential work-book for Leaders and Sustainable Society and Economy Philosophers alike. Well Done.”
This is a new book from Dr Kroko aimed at the leadership class of humanity. In it he presents a synopsis of thoughts, dialogues, meditations, and original economic pieces, on Democracy and Liberty.
It is a Philosophical and an economic handbook about the instructive current practice of LIBERTY VS DEMOCRACY as seen in the Economics of Europe, China, and the US, and told by a True Leader as Dr Kroko is described by Forbes and Economist magazines. Dr Pano Kroko is the current Chairman of the European Democratic Party, and acting Chairman of the Global Environmental Parliament, as well as a legendary Innovator, Entrepreneur, and Inventor of Personal Democracy and of Politics 2.0 for the twin truths of Liberty & Democracy.
Let’s read this book together in order to look with clear eyes, at the deficit of Liberty we have in this Modern Era and thus manage to understand where our current version of Democracy or lack thereof, has taken us.
If you are a leader, it is a necessity to read this book. Same is if you are a governor, or a governing bureaucrat, who is able to think freely and impact the current State of Liberty and Humanity.
And if you happen to live under a Democratic Rule in this world increasingly turning authoritarian, you are in luck because this book really helps you see the connections between Liberty’s and Democracy’s future, and guides you to action.
Reading this book you can actually become an endowed Leader and help lead your people out of the desert. But like Moses you must bring Liberty and Democracy together even if it takes forty years of wandering the deserts of selfless Leadership.
Follow Dr Kroko’s example and bring the two together, because they are intertwined. And when we think of the future of our world and the balance between Liberty & Democracy, these two are also interlinked in the practice of the Federal Experiment that is Europe today.
Dr Kroko says that he wrote this book because Humanity is suffering at present without enjoying the birthright of Liberty and the mature right of Democracy – is doomed.
But he confided to us that his real wish is to share his thoughts with the Leaders of today and tomorrow, fully hoping that the educated masters of the Art of Governance and Leadership, will know how to LEAD justly, how to balance the rules of Liberty and Democracy, and how to tread securely for an emergent tomorrow.
His advise to Leaders is to read this book with an Open Heart and an Open Mind, and to go out and lead by governing similarly, receiving much needed guidance from the heart.
As John Quincy Adams said: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more – you are a Leader”
This book is a guiding light for Leaders and for the practitioners of Democracy, but it is not a book for the wider audience of serfs, because the television addicted masses do not seem to have any interest in their long lost Liberty. And of course they have similarly forsaken their Democracy, having traded both of the Twin Values, for the pursuit of comfort in order to be able to watch the Reality unfold in their television sets.
And although this seminal work is easily read as simple “stories” parlayed in the midst of our Human Experience, it is clearly addressed to the Leaders, elected or unelected, professional or accidental, private or public, who can read between the lines and see the metaphors, aphorisms, and hidden messages addressed to the heart and spread out throughout this amazing book.
Generally this book is called a Leadership book, aimed at the Prime Ministers, at the Presidents, at the CEOs and the Chairmen, and towards all the Leaders of Government operations and organizations in all of our lives, in all sectors of society, and in the boardrooms of the corporate and political world.
Dr Kroko wrote this book in this form because of his strong belief in Liberty, being the birth right of every human being. And we remember this right that we had as children, although we forgot too easily. Liberty is a human right we all share but we also all too often surrender when we allow those inferiors who happen to govern us in fear, and through insecurity, and thus seek to curtail our own Liberty in order to allay their own primal fears. This is a never ending vicious cycle of diminishment for the LEADERS and the subjects alike. But above all it is a dimming of the Special Light human beings carry as the Enlightened species of this planet we call Earth and inhabit as our masterful home amongst the Stars.
Stardust born humans cannot be slaves. Liberty is the birthright and don’t you forget it. No Righteous Leader wants to lead slaves. Because at the end of the day, a leader of serfs is a bottom end slave too. A Leader who himself is unable to govern freely is the poorest slave of the lot. A slave to fear and paranoia and a person unable to govern justly.
Only a jailer seeks to govern slaves. And unfortunately today we have more jailers than Freedom loving human Leaders.
So read this book and refashion yourself as a leader of Free people, who seeks Liberty as part of our birthright and as the originating quality that can lead a Society towards Grace and Greatness.
And Dr kroko is adamant about this inalienable truth: “Democracy without Liberty is not worth living”
Simple as that.
The two are inseparable twins and need to be allowed to encompass our lives as such. For the good of both the Society and the Benevolent Leader. For the good of Democracy and Liberty.
Because you can’t have one without the other.
You can ignore Liberty at the expense of Democracy and both you and the citizens will be diminished to the point of slavery.
Similarly You can ignore Democracy at the expense of Liberty and create a government in order to govern over a society of selfish serfs.
Sooner or later it will be a dismal failure.
And in both cases You – the Leader will be at fault.
You will fail the people and society and you will diminish the light of all humanity. This Truth is self evident and you cannot claim ignorance, because the future does not forgive any Leader who claims ignorance.
The constant drift of our Democracies of Europe and America towards a totalitarian form of governance is evident in the surveillance we are all being put through each and every moment of our lives. The NSA debacle and the UK and Europe’s equivalents are enough to send chills down the spine of a dead Libertarian let alone this very much alive Liberty worker. As Edward Snowden the American whistleblower famous for blowing the whistle on the NSA, and now on America’s most wanted list says: “It may be that by watching everywhere we go, by watching everything we do, by analysing every word we say, by waiting and passing judgment over every association we make and every person we love, that we could uncover a terrorist plot, or we could discover more criminals. But is that the kind of society we want to live in? That is the definition of a security state.”
The world remains more dangerous than George Orwell imagined not because of the real threats but by the response of the leaders and our Security Apparatus to the imaginary fears they propagate in order to gain more capital and value from our societies. Understand this and then not only You’ll be a better leaders but you’ll also be able to understand Benjamin Franklin when he says that: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither”
This maxim holds true today for the leaders much more than for the followers. Still today those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither and they don’t deserve to be Leaders of Free people living in a Democracy either.
A Leader has to be an adept and able to adapt. Being an adept of the subtle art of intuitive flexible Leadership and able to adapt to leading with an open heart. Adaptation and flexibility go hand in hand.
And there is no more flexible human leadership endeavor than a fluid, upfront, and personal Democracy. This is my take on the Politics 2.0 and once we see ourselves, our Democracy, and our Liberty, with these new eyes – we’ll be able to Lead as well as Moses once did. From the heart and with the power of the Divine Sun guiding your steps forward under the light of the everlasting sun.
After reading this book, You shall be able to see the world anew as the poet always says.
“To see a world in a grain of sand. And a Heaven in a wild flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand. And Eternity in an hour.” –William Blake
Section A: State of Liberty reflects the State of Democracy
1) Europe needs to wake up and see what it is doing to Democracy and to the rest of the World
2) State of Fear
3) Is there Democracy where it started?
4) Is Europe a Democracy?
5) Democracy Now — Greece is Lost
6) ”Democracy is very fragile. Like a candle it’s never ever more than one gust of wind away from extinction. We don’t pass it on to our children in the bloodline. Instead every time and every generation must fight for it, protect it, and hand it to others to do the same.” –Pano Kroko
7) What Happened to Europe? Democracy and the bankers
8) Turkey’s Love changing the world for Democracy because of a bunch of trees…
9) 2 Democracy Anniversaries in Photographs 天安门周年
10) DEMOCRACY ALOUD — Begging out the VOTE — Oil Power Money — No Recession for Politics
11) On this Anniversary of Waterloo — Let’s think Liberty
12) Eurosceptics VS Europeans United
13) Habeas Corpus
Section B: The state of Democracy reflects the state of Liberty
14) Magna Carta
Section C: The State of Federal Europe today reflects the State of Liberty and Democracy
“In my meandering walk through this life, I never found a better companion than Liberty” –Dr Pano Kroko
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I’ve got a new book for you…
It’s called: DEMOCRACY REDUX “A debate on the future of the European Continent, Liberty, Democracy, and it’s impact on the World”
Dr Kroko wrote this book because Europe needs to wake up and see what it is doing to Democracy and Liberty, in the name of Economics, and what it’s impact is to the rest of the World.
A world thirsty for Liberty.
A world thirsty for Democracy.
A world seeking meaning and purpose in Life through Jobs, Hope and Opportunity.
In short, a world yearning to be freely and democratically governed, and purposefully driven …
And of course we want to share it with you so you can play with it’s ideas and get back to us with yours.
So keep on reading…
On Behalf of The Democracy Institute,
“Man is born free and yet everywhere he is in chains” –Jean Jacques Rousseau, French leading philosopher and writer whose novels and ideas inspired the leaders of the French Revolution [b.1712 – d.1778]
Europe needs to wake up and see what is doing to Democracy, Liberty and to the rest of the world
I’ve got some old timers friends of mine who get together in the local every afternoon — and don’t mince their words because they know the end is nigh. And they tell me their truth, without any bit of rancor and without mean feelings. They all have this to say about Europe, Liberty, and Democracy. They say this forcefully when they gang up on me and treat me like the junior student that needs to be schooled amidst the Grey Ghosts.
They drill into me this and ask me to take the fight to Brussels and Berlin, just as surely as they did some sixty plus years ago. The thing is they might be right. Some sixty-seven years ago, Churchill and De Gaulle huddled and conceived together of the United States of Europe.
This was on the eve of the Great European World War and they knew the challenges this world would face hence. Still, they had the smarts, the gumption, and the fortitude, to fight unflinchingly and win that war. And look what a mess we’ve done of it since and see where it is that we are now. We again are under the German bloody boots again throughout Europe in a grey nameless occupation called financialization through Germany’s European Occupation Loans.
Maybe as the old timers say, it’s time to don the kit, grab the arms, and join the unit, to go fight all over again…
Cause sixty years after the Schuman Declaration came into being, what is left today of the European ideal is shambles. Asses and ashes, with a whole lot of institutions built on top. That’s all…
Ahh … and topping the FKK cake is pudgy Angela swirling like a ballerina. Mind you the pudgy dancer on top is the cherry on an otherwise unremarkable black forest chocolate pudding representing Berlin’s hegemony with a bit of bestiality thrown in for good measure like the nuts in the pudding.
At the pub my old friends always say: We didn’t fight and shed blood to win the war against the bloody thick Krauts of the Third Reich, so that we have to fight the Fourth Reich once again.
I’ve got nothing to answer to this one.
I only say these are the fortunes of war and peace. Sometimes You lose the war in peacetime. And maybe the see-saw of history is like the football leagues. You don’t stay on top of the league year after year without having to earn the pole position each and every year through bitter contest and solid play.
So that’s how I appease the old timers, but with geezers like you — I haven’t got to spell it out. Because methinks you get it. But in the non sporting world, the world of politics and Leadership, the question remains: How come we have allowed this to happen to Europe today?
And perhaps more importantly, How come we have allowed this to happen to Democracy and her twin sister Liberty?
And what future does the European Union have?
What nasty future is to behold for Europe and it’s citizens now that together, they have fallen prey to the professional shills and shysters otherwise known as the Brussels bureaucrats and the Berlin sharks? Or what is Life going to be under the Euro-Krauts? As the Old Geezers want to call them…
Still without the old folks punditry, their memory is keen after we just witnessed the D-day remembrances and the vast poppy fields the Normandy cemeteries unfold. The very future of the European Common Market or the evolution of what the European Union was meant to be, has come to a crash. Now the very essence of Europe itself is open to question. And with it Democracy is opened to interpretation too.
So I have gathered the most intelligent folks and their arguments on this very uncertain Future and started a debate through the Democracy Institute for a decade of vigorously fought ideological battles, and then gathered the best arguments, and summarized them for you — in the hope that you’ll get involved.
And maybe You’ll get interested with a bit of enlightenment, and decide to get really involved in the fortunes of our Europe.
And that would mean that you’ll take a stance and either save it or blow it up. Your actions are going to be your call after reading this expose of the best minds and the best theses on Europe. Your understanding of Europe, your functioning within the maze, and your business & political decisions will be greatly enhanced — based on your understanding of this book.
It’s a Kaleidoscope of views and winning theses and as such you can read it effortlessly. There is no tunnel vision here. After You read the book, you’ll be well informed and erudite enough to best any politician or Eurocrat on the ideals and hopes of Europe. But above all else You will be able to discern the distant horizon and thus see where we are heading well before anyone else. And as You know information is power, ad that power is translated into whatever form of currency you want to manage. Political, social, economic or just plain old wisdom. So when time comes to vote for the future of Europe — you can certainly do the right thing. Whatever that is.
Either way we go, am going to be happy. Because am a bad Ass and truly believe in the wisdom of the crowds in a Democracy made up of well informed citizens. And that is a huge caveat, because most always the citizens are treated like mushrooms. Kept in the dark and fed manure [shit from the TV land]. These current daft politicians don’t trust you. And they fear you because the unelected Oligarchy doesn’t believe in Democracy. So am actively educating “you” the electorate in the hope that this book will become a best seller and thus we all start advocating it’s premise, and maybe change Europe and thus liberate our Democracy again to it’s founding destiny. As it stands now Europe has usurped this Democracy ideal and has done horrible things to it and in it’s name. Time to liberate this symbol once again from the clutches of the fascists who saw it as war loot and nothing more thus missing all it’s great powers.
The premise of the book is to liberate our Democracy from it’s moorings and let it soar to the skies taking us along with it. This premise being that we need far more Liberty and far more Democracy in Europe before we even claim to have a semblance of Democracy and we must revolt against this nonsense that Brussels represents today. We must do away with it all and right away allow people to decide whether they want in or out.
Let’s have a referendum not just in the UK and Britain but throughout Europe about our own prospects. We need this because the current Euro-Corruption and official amorality is killing us. And because the present day mess that Europe is it’s killing our friends also. And it’s killing all those aspirants to Democracy and Liberty around the world too.
As an example of this horrible impact the unelected Eurocrats have on all of us is this. In a practical manner the unelected European leaders claim to have a handle on doing what they do best: Corruption. The Van Rompuy idiot just said that he knows how the European people hate the idea of further expansion now but that He will go ahead anyway because He doesn’t care what people think…
Fancy that: The most idiotic unelected person the world has ever seen, says this … Methinks this guy is a comedian and yet he forgets that he looks and acts like a cross between Louie De Funes and Quasimodo. The scary thing is, he pretends to be serious. Or even scarier … He is.
With idiots like him and Barosso and all the other morons how can we construct a European society that will be more fair, more transparent, and more participative?
We will need to debate these questions.
Am known both for straight talking and for the perceptiveness of my analysis. But now I have a new book called: “A debate on the future of the European Continent and it’s impact on the World” and will peddle it to you via Amazon and the local high street bookshop. But if you are really good, I might just play Santa and drop it down your electronic chimney free of charge and with compliments to boot if you email me with a request for the book right here on the blog.
Because so far we’ve only contributed Two Milennia of conflict and Two major World Wars to the world … and am asking if it’s possible to contribute some peace too.
The book is a sharp and insightful analysis of Europe’s handling of the long history of conflict and dominance of various political actors, and travels all the way to the financial crisis and the controversial leadership of Germany’s Mama Bear: Angela Merkel.
To avoid the collapse of the unique European project in order to be able to provide a lasting Peace and Liberty — we need to refocus on the European ideals of Democracy within an open society, through the assurances of individual Freedoms, Human Rights, and Civil Rights for all the citizens. I argue in favour of a European Federal System that is free of the current corruption, free of the bureaucratic fascism, and full of Hope and Opportunity for all members by offering more solidarity throughout Europe and thus demanding more active involvement of its citizens.
So ask for this in your electronic bookshop: DEMOCRACY REDUX “A debate on the future of the European Continent, Liberty, Democracy, and it’s impact on the World”
And you’ll be wiser if not a tiny bit sadder, but there you have it. ——–
So if you have a friend who needs to read this book, do write to me to get an electronic book Gratis and then spread it around and read it carefully because it matters more than what you’ll ever know for your own Life and Livelihood.
State of Fear
Greece, the cradle of Democracy, has been going through a tough time these last few years…
A seven year long crisis that is not going away is sapping the strength of all people’s desire to live same as it sucks the marrow of their bones, and impoverishes the spirit.
Yet as the real hunger of poverty bites — the harshness is never shared with those who merit this austerity due to their own complicity in the opaque affairs of the Failed State of Greece, but is directed towards those lesser human beings, the weakest and the poorest ones, the citizens who are unemployed and defenseless, the refugees, the illegals, the ones without strong passport, and all those clearly innocent of any wrongdoing.
The injustice of it all make me want to cringe in sorrow and pain, because I remember from Civics class that “How we treat the vulnerable is how we define ourselves as a People.” And how we affect the well being of others who “don’t matter” or who are weak enough to not be counted — is ultimately how we define ourselves as a species and what kind of divine retribution we should expect.
This last month saw at least 17 people dead when an overcrowded boat sank on the crossing from Libya to Italy, with many more still unaccounted for. This is just one of the many horror stories we hear & see where refugees drown in the dark wine-blue waters of the Mediterranean sea. We don’t know their names or their stories. They join the grim toll of perhaps 20,000 people over the last decade whose lives have ended trying to reach Europe for protection, aiming for a better life. But because of Italy’s free press we hear about all the sea tragedies that take place and involve refugees. In Greece with a muzzled press that is not the case … Far too many cases of refugees perishing in the vast Aegean sea with the ten thousand islands, go wholly unreported.
With its conscience pricked by the deaths of more than 360 migrants near the island of Lampedusa (deaths that Pope Francis called “a disgrace”), the Italian Navy has begun a massive rescue operation called “Mare Nostrum” that is saving thousands of lives. It is criticized in some quarters as a “pull factor,” presumably because it removes death by drowning as a deterrent. And the European Commission has used its money and political clout to try to fix Greece’s broken asylum system, with some success, although abusive and prolonged detention remains the norm there.
But the basic philosophy of EU migration policy can be expressed simply: to keep them out, make life as unpleasant as possible for those who do arrive, get rid of them quickly if you can, and if you can’t, then detain them for as long as possible.
Thus Europe’s general stance offers plenty of “the spectacle of compassion” but nowhere near to a real adherence to Human Rights. A superficial adherence to European values concerning respect for rights, access to asylum, and humane treatment, masks a brutal reality driven by base politics and nowhere is this more evident than in poor Greece, where systematic abuses are the norm and represent the official policy of the country towards the lesser ones.
In this ancient country of hospitality and respect for the inviolate Right to Asylum — we’ve become modern barbarians under the pretense of protecting Europe from unwanted migrants. Enforcing Berlin’s policies the Greek government does the dirty work. It’s a form of extraordinary rendition with a summary sentence to a watery grave. Bad Policy for people who have met the nemesis of fates time and again. And if any people have experienced this they are the Greeks.
But it seems to me that their leaders now are not following these ancient norms. Well … rest assured we are watching and keeping score of the grim tally. Rest assured … Karma, and the laws of Fate & Nemesis, are also doing their bit. And you should know they are tough bitches — not to be trifled with. Retribution stemming from your actions cannot be avoided any more than the laws of nature can be escaped. You can never find succor and comfort when You have denied that to others weak enough to fend for themselves. Try as You may, and see if you can escape the merited punishment, because when your actions negate Human principles, justice is always rendered. Your actions cause reactions in the physical world, and are as certain of attracting retribution — regardless of your station in Life — as jumping out of a skyscraper will certainly result in a mud-puddle with your name on it. Try this and see if your exalted government position will allow you to defy the laws of Gravity.
But You’ve also got Free Will and the option to Be Great. Try this and see the wonderment and Joy flood your Being, and giving purpose to your Life. Do this because at the end of the day — that is all the Humanity we have…
And yet we squander it each and every day in ways big and small through the incessant Corruption that rules everyday Life in Greece.
Today the Greek government, in accordance with EU directives and official policy enforced by the ministers, and the police, make life “unlivable” for all refugees and political asylum seekers, in a clear, direct, and criminal violation of Human Rights. They must be called to Account at the Court of Human Rights promptly. This much is certain…
The head of the Greek police was secretly recorded recently as saying that “Asylum seekers who land in Greece must be made to reside in “unlivable” conditions before being “repatriated.”
The issue of migrants dying in the seas around Greece gained global attention in January, when a boat carrying asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Syria capsized in the Aegean while being towed by a Greek naval vessel. Twelve migrants drowned, and those who survived alleged that the Greek coastguard was attempting to tow them back towards Turkey instead of to a nearby Greek island, and that the naval officers purposefully allowed migrants to drown. The Greek navy denies the migrants’ allegations, but the UN, the EU and Amnesty have released statements expressing deep concern about the incident.
This sad and fully preventable event happened again and again in the months before and since. But it happened again in those few months that followed in one terrible instance having drowned more than 70 people in front of the boats of the Greek Coast Guard that was offering no help but stood by watching idly…
Murder by any name is still murder.
[Above is a photo of a Public Protest in downtown Athens from citizens gathered in order to defend the rights of asylum seekers in Greece. This protest was organized after the "Farmakonisi" asylum seekers' boat tragedy where scores of children and women drowned under the eyes of the Greek Coast Guard...}
Greek People gathered to demonstrate against the practice of torture by police wearing hoods, immigrants with toddlers in their arms drowning in the sea while the Port Authorities stand by enjoying the “spectacle” floodlit by the spotlights from their boats, and against the organized terror of the government against those weak enough to “swim” on their own — in sea or dry land alike.
It is in these evil terms reminiscent of Nazi Germany that “State Security” is defined in modern day Greece and it is not the result of isolated decisions made by those serving in the Security Forces. The orders come directly from the political leadership in Greece of 2013. A computer and video file that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the UN and AJ4JD, have now on hand, reveals that all the torture suffered by political asylum seeking refugees, & immigrants — although denied by the Minister of Public Order, Nikos Dendias — not only happen regularly, but are the result of Government Policy and direct orders from the Head of the Greek Police, Nikos Papagiannopoulos. While the Greek Police General Nikos Papagiannopoulos was issuing the direct order ‘make their life unlivable’, the political leadership, along with the Prime Minister of the country, claimed that the torture chambers they have set up are simply centers for the repatriation of illegal immigrants.
In the last year at least 130 immigrants and may be as many as 700, have drowned in the Aegean under the eyes of the Coast Guard. Many more have drowned undocumented. Suddenly the Greek seas have filled with corpses, even though for years immigrants and Asylum seekers have taken the same route to Greece.
Why is it that more and more the persecuted people who are leaving their country due to bloody conflict, internecine war, civil, war or persecution, arrive dead in Greece?
Why is it that the 5 or 6 immigrant deaths in previous years have now become at least 130 and maybe 700 as many claim? In many cases we have received reports denouncing the Port Authorities and Coast Guard, for just standing by and watching them drown, having received orders not to intervene in order to create the image of a new harsh stance towards illegal immigration in Greece which will act as a deterrent for others who might try to enter the country…
Sadly amongst the dead there are always the children. The heavy halogen spotlight from the Port Authority’s craft illuminates the Coast Guard crews watching them drown in several mobile phone video clips we have on record. Those who are able to swim, and manage to survive and make it to dry land, are then tortured by hooded police, who plunder whatever they find. Gold, money, mobile phones are said to be the booty for those police officers who carry out ‘repatriation operations’.
There are hundreds of such incidents, but the response of the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Public Order is: ‘Such things don’t happen. They are simply the accusations of those who want to give Greece a bad name.’ In the incidents we have kept track of, the facts are irrefutable and are confirmed by police officers who believe that the Police Force is no longer adhering to democratic means and legal procedures and encourages torturers and racists who are held up as carrying out ‘a national errand to save Greece from immigrants.’
That torture rooms for immigrants do exist is confirmed by a conversation between the Head of the Security Forces and some of the top men of the Greek Police. The meeting between Lieutenant General Papagiannopoulos and his men took place so that he could be informed about the problems that have arisen in the Greek Police, and the border guards — particularly with regard to the immigrants. Some of his men point out the inhumane and illegal treatment of immigrants, and demand that action be taken. The Head of the Police rejects what they say about civil rights and urges the police to make their lives hell. He says the following: ‘We must make their lives unlivable, in other words, so that whoever comes to this country knows that he will stay inside. He will not get out, so that when inside he will give us details of where he’s from, his identity, so that we can send him back, and not after three months outside, because otherwise we don’t do anything. We become the perfect destination for illegal immigrants.’
What is of particular interest is that the Head of the Greek Police appears to consider immigrants “en masse” as thieves and robbers, a theory adopted by the German Nazi party and recently also adopted by the criminal gang masquerading as a neo-Nazi political party “Golden Dawn” of Greece. This is the Nazi ideology which the head of Greek Police claims to reject, yet in his speech it is clearly evident as He states that detaining immigrants in camps is not absolutely necessary, but a political decision with the aim of mistreating those retained so that they won’t come back. The Lieutenant General says in a formulation that Nikos Michaloliakos (Leader of the neo-nazi fascist Golden Dawn party) might envy: ‘and me too, if they told me that in the country I went I’d stay three months there because I’ve got nowhere else in the world to go, and you’ll stay three months inside and then you’ll be free to steal, rob and do whatever you like, fine. That’s what we were after, further detention, because they can’t be kept for more than three months. It used to be nine months and then they made it eighteen months, for what reason? We must make their life unlivable.’
The Head of the Greek police explained this government policy to police officers in a calm & assured manner, without hesitation. He went on to state the Policy clearly, even when some of the officers objected on grounds of human rights violations. During the meeting a young police officer asks: ‘Sir, we are not only racists, we are also criminals. Sir, let me ask you, what have these people done to have to spend a year inside? Have they killed anyone? Have they committed a crime? These people are to be repatriated and they spend one year in detention centers without having killed anyone or committed a crime. If the worst criminal spent more than one month inside, he’d have eaten us alive.’
The Head of the Police is not put off by the protests and at some point simply repeats: ‘so what it boils down to is that with so many of them we have to build more detention centers. It’s a simple logic.’
By citing such racist and illegal tactics so openly in favour of making life unlivable for those who are protected by international agreements signed by Greece, even though he is not talking to a close circle of officers but to a wider group, it is evident that the Head of Police has political backing and is carrying out political decisions. Nor is it coincidental that the Port Authorities use the same methods of torture against immigrants even though they are not under the administration of Nikos Papagiannopoulos. Clearly there is a common political agenda from which orders are being issued, including denial and cover up of any incidents of torture that come to light.
The recent report by Amnesty International fully confirms the recent revelations. The government has indicated that it intends to establish another ‘legal system’ in place of international and Greek law. This ‘legal system’ is introducing Greeks to racist views, perceptions of ‘bad’ immigrants and is flirting with the idea of ‘Greek superiority and racial purity’. The Prime Minister himself said in a recent speech before the passing of the Budget in Parliament: ‘And I remind you that until recently, no one in European circles dared say the words illegal immigrant! Now along with other countries in the southern Mediterranean, we have made it a priority. And also by using deterrent tactics, which until today was also forbidden.’
Antonis Samaras is proud of the fact that he is implementing tactics that ‘until today were forbidden’, while he and his party systematically speak about ‘illegal immigrants’ and not just ‘immigrants’, creating the impression that it is foreign invaders and not immigrants who have left their homelands to escape danger to their lives. And he does this in a country that has sent immigrants all over the world and continues to do so today when scores of Greek immigrants flood the European capitals in search of work…
In the 2012 elections, Antonis Samaras was elected on the main slogan ‘let us go forward and take back our cities from illegal immigrants.’
In October 2013, after his meeting with the Prime Minister of Malta, the Greek Prime Minister said, ‘In Greece there are as many unemployed as there are illegal immigrants and that cannot continue.’ He openly echoed what Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and many other fascist leaders in Europe have also said, that unemployment is a result of immigration and unwanted elements of society.
The fact that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, and of Nikos Dendias Head of Public Order as an accessory before the fact — does not exonerate the Head of the Police from moral and criminal responsibilities with regard to the State Policy of torture of immigrants and encouraging his subordinates to commit barbaric and illegal acts. The same goes for all Police personnel and Coast Guard officers who engage in the criminal activities in violation of the law of the land and sea, and in clear subjugation of Human Rights.
Executing crimes while claiming to follow orders is no defense of country nor principle. It certainly does not constitute a defense for any police officer to follow an illegal order. German officers found this verily in the Nuremberg trials. It goes without saying that a police force that functions outside the law and humanitarian principles, using violence as a tool, a police force using habitual violence will not restrict its violence to the bodies of immigrants, even if this torture is extended in the name of so-called righteousness. Sooner or later, they will find other villains or internal enemies to afflict.
And that has become evident when they turn their attention to Greek Citizens whistle blowers against the Public Corruption who have been attacked, tortured and jailed in prisons and asylums under chemical lobotomy conditions. Conditions so harsh that these Greek Citizens were given Political Asylum from other countries of the European Union who have seen Greece devolve into the least Democratic and most Authoritarian State of Fear in the Union. A sad day indeed when Greece has reached the nadir of it’s loss of DIGNITY.
One may ask: What other terrible ignominy will follow? What ghosts will rise up and demand retribution? And whose head this karma will fall upon?
Pontius Pilate answered this some time ago clearly: ” May the blood of the innocent be upon you and upon Your children and your children’s children…”
Is that what we want?
But there is another way to deal with Crisis…
It’s the way to protect One’s DIGNITY by protecting the Human Rights of others…
One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized, and cruelly mocked — but it can never be taken away unless it is voluntarily surrendered…
I want you to learn to think, to ponder life, to make discoveries, to create. You have been gifted by God in unique ways. I want those to bloom. They can’t bloom in the shadow of fear.
They need life, real life, to bring them to light.
I want you to be confident in who you are. I want you to be able to look people in the eyes and speak life into them.
I want You to be able to look into the eyes of the people — the strangers and to see their soul. The common soul we all share. Look in their eyes and you can’t hate them because eyes are a window into their heart. You see what can’t be seen in the colour of the skin or in ideologies of hate. You can even see God if you try. The Indians say “Namastay…”
When I tell you say “No” to Hate, indifference, and terror — am giving you a gift. And I’m giving me a gift. It’s a gift of relationship. True human connection. It’s a precious treasure, because we only have each other.
This connection means everything to us. The Human Capital. The Human Rights. The Human Family. And all those people mean so much to me that I don’t want to miss another person going down in the dark sea…
I want all of you. The fullness of your humanity. I want to experience all the gifts that you will bring to this world. I want to truly experience your progress through Life and your innovations and contributions to our Common Future and our Shared Destiny. I want to see you making a family…
I want You and your children alive, and I can’t do that with you when there is an implicit murder between us.
You see it acts as a barrier of consciousness.
Instead, I want to see you animated with Joy of Goodness and purpose. I want to see your Life-force and see what brings life to those eyes. I want to watch the wonder and magic dance across your face as you discover the wonders of this world. In Peace. In Contentment. In Brotherhood. I want to watch you as you figure things out in your new country. I want to watch you process life, develop your thoughts. I want to know you, and I want to know your passions.
And maybe I’ll be given the right to watch you as you discover your God-given talents and gifts to make immense contributions to your new country.
That’s what I want…
A country made richer because of it’s immigrants.
A country made safer because of your safety.
A country made more human because of your humanity.
That’s what I want.
Yet when you hide behind a electric fence, or in a watery grave, or buried in a shallow tomb — I miss seeing your eyes.
I miss seeing your face… your beautiful faces — all of you.
And that’s Why am fighting for your RIGHTS, because my time with you….
– well –
it will be over in the blink of an eye.
The above was the prelude to my new book “DEMOCRACY REDUX” and it stays so in the electronic edition because it traverses the transom of propriety and procedural process.
This book is meant to invigorate Democracy not to make it palatable for the gentle folk. It best act as the cannon for a revolution and not as food for thought in the drawing rooms.
I want to educate the new generation of European Leaders to what democracy is and that is why this book is a snapshot of instances where we fail to see how far reaching the damage has been that we have allowed to enter the Body Politic by not attending to our Mother – DEMOCRACY.
The very Democracy that nourished us when we were down and out – unable to escape fascism.
This Democracy that is now ravaged with cancer, the cancer of Corruption is what we need to save and reinvigorate for our own sake.
But let's be practical here.
Am not asking you to do anything special for anyone else.
Don't do it for me.
Just do it for yourself and for your own children.
And let's hope that we are good tutors and we are able to teach them to respect Liberty, live in Equality in the eyes of the Law, and thrive within the practice of Democracy.
That's the best we can hope for our Future.
Because it is in our own selfish interest to save Democracy for the next generations and maybe we'll teach them to safeguard it for their children as well and in this oral tradition of activism we will attain this goal of transcendence from one generation to the next.
Is there Democracy where it started?
Democracy got started in Europe in the small hills of Athens inside the cave of the “Mouth” in Philopappou hill next to Acropolis where a bunch of dedicated Liberty lovers conspired for thirty seven years and before, from father to son and on again, all in order to overthrow the Oligarchy ruling over them and making their lives miserable and unlivable every moment of the day.
They succeeded and managed to do just that. They established a new form of government. By the people, from the people and for the people. A crowdsourced form of governing themselves. And they succeeded with this revolutionary idea to create a mighty state and launch the Golden Era of Athens and the Athenian alliance of hundreds of cities. It was this golden moment in human history that is unprecedented by any innovation since. Of course these momentous events took place more than Two thousand and five hundred years ago...
So we need to revisit and reinvent the basics. We need to get back to the roots and rekindle the fire burning in our loins forcefully against the creeping drift towards fascism and oligarchy that is the reason we need to remain vigilant ever.
Comparatively to the advent of Democracy, 2,500 years ago – the Democracy project is a baby. A ten year long study of the Democracy Institute that I had founded a couple of decades ago, and which asks the difficult questions nobody dares ask. Namely: Do we have Democracy now? And if so – and that is a big “IF” – where is it that our democracy is heading to? Which direction do we drift? Towards always less and less Liberty and less and less Equality in front of the law? Or towards a blatant form of populism and Demagoguery? Or maybe towards a sickness presented as the best Democracy that money can buy?
The Democracy project is apolitical, yet philosophical, and scientific in that we are discovering via experimentation and observation the Politics 2.0 and because we are trying to show the world, that the ever progressing humanity's aspirations are the true moving equilibrium of Politics, Economics, and Society.
This is where the arc of change propels us all forward on the Spectrum of Freedom and Democracy.
Liberty is our birthright and Democracy our Maturity. Yet without Economy and Social Justice we are nothing.
And yet instead of enjoying this birthright, and maturing towards a full fledged Democracy — our movement forward, is hampered by idiots micromanaging our reality through Media that presents us as living in the best possible moment whereas the reality is that often times we find ourselves living in a regressive world which through official corruption, oppression, secrecy, surveillance, and injustice is all we can get. Maybe the smart Mad Men of advertisement and Public relations and the News in the mass Media want to resign us in this Brave New World, but we know better. We know there is a Free World out there waiting for us the moment we choose to embrace Liberty and Democracy.
But we both know that we can't get there without a cultural revolution. You've seen Les Miserables... You know how change comes around.
Because if you trust the bastards running the show now, you'll not even live long enough to regret it. When we allow our Democracy to be eroded and our Liberties to slip and disappear in the interest of a State made of Fear – we lose our very own Life. End result is not just the steady slippage of our Liberty, but is the loss of basic Human Rights, Democracy, and people’s hope and dignity. Fear, doubt, and uncertainty is the stage of pre-death of any Democratic aspiration.
This oppressive state of mind, results in control mechanisms that have been so well entrenched, and are so well funded that even in these times of official austerity — the mechanisms for the enlargement of the secret surveillance, oppression, and militarization, of Citizen’s lives, have the Midas touch of all public procurement projects. In short this “Orwellian State” permeates society and stifles all dissent when comes time to spend money. But what is really insidious about this is that it stifles dissent and limits discourse to within allowable limits. Maybe that’s not important to you getting your news off the telly, but as it turns out, without dissent we have No Democracy.
You can forget about Liberty altogether cause you gave that up when you started watching the telly and accepting as gospel it’s mind-rot.
But as with all problems there are cures. Methinks, we need to start moving in the opposite direction slowly. And the way to see results is to cut the gold off the Monster and starve it to death. This Big Data reliant monster is Big money reliant and unable to feed itself without unlimited wealth. Like a cancer the best technique is to go on a fast. And maybe then we can see some results of the fast — rather fast.
One could rightfully ask that given the existence of bitter, base, and determined enemies, what’s wrong with having this much secret monitoring, surveillance, command & control systems with extensive prison facilities, to keep a close eye on them and control their excesses?
The thing is that all this “Orwellian State” apparatus is being used habitually against our own Liberties and against our Democracy first and then against Society in general, and lastly if there are any resources left it tracks some terrorists. Simply because society at large is unprepared for this assault on Liberty whereas terrorists are always on a stealth mode knowing that they are waging battle. So the general society unwittingly unleashed a Monster against itself and against our Democracy — thus depriving us of our basic Liberties through our own hand.
Well Done duffus.
And is not that this Orwellian State capacity is regularly being used against the enemy either. Judging by the constant failures of intelligence as is the case in Iraq and Afghanistan or in the 9/11 World Trade Center in New York, and the 7/7 London Subway Bombings — it clearly doesn’t work against a determined enemy.
I think mass surveillance systems are a bad idea because a surveillance and control society is one in which people understand that they are constantly monitored, and are given a very small space of acceptable discourse. Of course when people understand that they are constantly monitored they are more conformist, they are less willing to take up controversial positions, and that kind of mass conformity is incompatible with Democracy or Liberty.
The second reason is that mass surveillance creates a dramatic power imbalance between citizens and government. In a democracy the citizens are supposed to have all the power and the government is supposed to be the means by which the citizens exercise that power. But when you have a surveillance state, the state has all the power and citizens have very little. In a democratic society you should have a state with maximum transparency and maximum civil liberties for citizens. But in a surveillance state the exact opposite is true.
We are trying to push perception as far as we can, so we can create a vantage point to look back at ourselves with very different kinds of eyes – fresh eyes, if you will.
And we are trying to show, the historical moment that we are living in.
The secret world, the shadow of the world as we know it, has of course been with us for as long as human beings have organized themselves in societies. But the attacks on America and Europe, cruelly exposing the failings and limitations of the intelligence agencies, produced a bonanza of funding never before seen: the “black budget” of the US defense department, for example, has more than tripled since George W Bush became president and, according to information released by Edward Snowden, was $52bn in 2012. The secret world’s shadow is today far bigger and blacker than ever before – and by definition, we the public, whether in the US or the rest of the world, know next to nothing about it.
Surveillance, secrecy, and official oppression, go a long way at doing things undemocratically because without transparency and with the full on surveillance and control — we have a huge deficit of Democracy.
This undemocratic way of trying to organize human activities, has political, economic, legal, and governing aspects in a way of trying to do things whose goal is invisibility, silence, obscurity, and oppression.
In short totalitarianism.
The Democracy project as we said earlier, is apolitical.
But it is also philosophical.
And in that it is highly political.
We adore our Freedom. We espouse the ideals of Democracy. And above all else we cherish our Liberty.
So if you can live as that — come along.
And above all else we are a Human Rights project, in that we are trying to show the People, that an Orwellian State is not as the media present it — a world of Kayne and Kim — but it is a horrible and evil study in wholesale Oppression.
And that world in which official oppression, secrecy, and surveillance, have been so well entrenched, are ubiquitous, and are so extravagantly well funded that it is impossible to escape their reach and their cold death grip — is killing our Democracy.
So wake up and lend a hand to throw a spanner in the works and regain the Sun and start breathing FREE again.
Same as when we were born…
Is Europe a Democracy?
A question has been gnawing at me for a while…
As we are facing another European Parliamentary election we need to ask ourselves the following:
What is the European System Today, and is it a Democracy?
A thinking European Rousseau said that “All men are born free, but everywhere they are in chains…”
And today the scientific consensus in an observation of the amorphous mélange of institutions that comprise the European Union as it stands today, may lead one to believe that is true today just as much – if not more – as the day Rousseau spoke thus.
My thoughts are also along these lines: In Europe today, indeed, we have some kind of a quasi-democratic form of government led by the economic power of Berlin and Frankfurt — but not a Democracy. Far from it…
Because in Europe today we seem to be having a giant Deficit of Democracy. Indeed we have some kind of Bureaucratic and Institutional Corruption of Democracy that is akin to a Dictatorship of the Northern tribes. Still I like to believe that we have freed ourselves from the limits of conventional national and parochial interests after the Second Great War — but in doing so we have enslaved ourselves to an Institutionally prescribed way of being that is again led by Berlin’s deep state interests.
An artificial arteriosclerosis has set in Europe today stifling Democracy and General Freedom. This is the purpose of the system. The Germanic system that is keen to restrict all freedoms and democratic functions and instead direct them to convergent and predictable ends. Thus the European Project is no different than the Fourth Reich in the hearts and minds of the Germans who don’t trust democracy and people’s rights. But what is it in the hearts and minds of all the other freedom loving Europeans?
That question is the one we have to answer together…
Today, though we appear to have more freedom, and far more choices, than the time of the Third Reich of old, we are actually far more contained and severely confined to a few minor iterations of institutional freedoms, always hampered by the Orwellian Bureaucracy and steady Loss of Democracy.
The Democratic Deficit of Europe today is so large that we can hardly speak of Democracy when both Van Rompuy and Barosso are appointed puppets of the powerful puppet masters in Berlin and Frankfurt.
True Democracy requires eschewing the infinite salamization of our Liberty and revolting against the islamization of our right to the Pursuit of happiness. We need to stand up and fight against the Colonization of our Hopes and Dreams that is currently done through the German and Northern European Uniformity Doctrine and through the unyielding Cartesian ideology…
We best rebel and fight for our ideals and shed blood for our Democracy because are all in this together and right now we are experiencing just the tip of the iceberg and only a small portion of the infinite variety of truly repugnant terrors this Crisis of Leadership of Europe has wrought.
It’s now time to rethink and refashion our Democracy because our future hangs from it and because it is only through discovering the essence of our Principles by going back to our ROOTS — we can hope to be free. Free from the shackles of the total German uniform that looks like a straight jacket to most of us who are not inclined to march in lockstep every time a crazed yet charismatic leader orders us so.
The current drive towards sameness, orderliness, efficiency, uniformity, and towards the management of Peoples as industrial assets, always leads to bloodshed and terror. And this certainly is not a Democracy no matter what distance you go to, and what pains You suffer to call it so. Doublespeak was never so sweet as when coming from the mouths of European bureaucrats and assorted Berlin lackeys…
Instead we should think as Free Peoples of Europe, as Democratic economic agents, and as human beings, and thus celebrate our uniqueness and originality. We can exercise this code of conduct by enjoying our freedoms, as we respect the rights of others. and then we can all come along to fight for a Democracy and a Demos greater than ourselves.
The Democratic Deficit must be cured before we can have any kind of European Integration.
And it is only through the Federalist ideals and a European Federation of independent nations that we will come out of this deep dark wood we’ve lost ourselves into these last few years since the inception of the European project.
It is only through this Freedom of Belief, Liberty of Will, and Independent Thinking & Action, that we can develop the vital perspective to understand all, respect all, and embrace the differences — thus finding the ability to create a Europe worthy of sharing
Democracy Now — Greece is Lost
Ancient Athens, when seen across the hill from Acropolis, is but a small piece of barren land. Yet this exactly, is the miracle to behold. A miraculous achievement of a little city governed by a Free and determined People, as head of a Commonwealth of free city states, that spawned the arts, sciences, and all the wondrous achievements and inventions at the start of our Western World.
Athens 25 hundred years ago it was a heady time of synthesis and creation, based on a simple political innovation called Democracy. And it took root in the Hill across from Acropolis. A hill named Philopappou and was practiced on an open air parliament on top of the hill called Pnyx.
Government by the people, for the people, and from the people is still called by it’s Greek name – Democracy – in all the Free States governed by Free Peoples across the world. This innovation married with simple rules led to the emergence and creation of our Western Civilization and it was simple in and of itself enough, to fulfill the requirements of creating this miracle.
But what are the ingredients or prerequisites of democracy?
The Anatomy of Democracy leads me to see 3 simple rules that absolutely need to be followed. 3 things that are unalterable if a Democratic republic can be successful as a Democracy or a failed state as modern Greece now appears to be.
3 Absolute Rules that need to be always followed: Justice, legal equality, and meritocracy. These three simple qualities alone suffice. But we should follow them as cardinal rules in order to succeed.
Let’s take it one by one.
Justice is represented best by the collective efforts of a Democratic People in a society that is collective and individual at the same time. And the just Demos allows for just contributions towards all according to their need and capacity. Justice is the highest form of Democracy. It is a just and almost religious ethic, and it all adds up to a well functioning Democratic state and a winsome Republic. Collective effort means that every citizen is expected to participate with all his strength, yet, this does not mean that everyone has the same opportunities nor carries the same burden. If citizen A has twice the power of citizen B — he must lift double weight to the collective effort. If the opposite happens, there is no justice. This applies to taxation, representation and the same applies to penalties, which must always be proportionate to the offense and applied judiciously to the offenders, not to punish and exact revenge, but to educate and reform.
Equality in front of the law is the simple glue of Democracy. Cleisthenes the father of Democracy spoke thus, and it has to be so because according to Pericles, who really put Democracy on steroids and produced the Golden Era of this Public Administration — it is the key ingredient. He says regarding equality: In a democracy all citizens are equal before the law and the first to have to obey the law are the rulers. All citizens have to respect the laws, not by fear, but out of respect.
Meritocracy is the rising up of the Individual which means that any office or position shall be filled by the ablest person, because only then the best public and private citizens serve the needs of the community. Nepotism, and political climbing, regardless of their personal value do not fit in democratic societies. Furthermore, there is no democracy without merit, which is the basic feature of any democratic state.
Given the principles of justice, fairness and equality in the eyes of the law, and meritocracy, we can see now how these simple rules created the miracle of Athenian democracy. Democracy, was the idea that the Athenian citizens never abstained from their duty to run for office, expose themselves to fighting elections, and always voting, as well as polling in every opportunity. They talked about politics and leaving matters to their leaders was unthinkable because it would mean leaving the fate of their country in the hands of an oligarchy. At the same time, according to Aristotle, a well-governed democratic state and demagoguery are mutually incompatible concepts and where demagogues exist — law and justice are not the supreme authority.
We conclude therefore that the glory and prosperity of the Athenian state attributed to democracy, was only achieved because justice, equality in front of the law, and meritocracy, were the rule of the day. This and eventually the maximum level of civic participation as an act of responsibility, propelled Democracy to the forefront as the crowning achievement of the Human Spirit, that led rise to all other traits of our Civilization today.
Let us now see if and how the above applies to the current Greek democracy.
Sadly we look and can’t find any of the three rules functioning.
And yet this is a good exercise because we looked hard, only to find the reasons that led us to the present day COLLAPSE.
In the context of justice: Guilty Citizens prosecuted for crimes or sentenced to imprisonment for several years are seen free sitting around drinking their coffee in expensive Athenian haunts undisturbed. Famous drug dealers acquitted in bought courts, when small time debtors and entrepreneurs who owe small amounts to the unyielding state are imprisoned as Victorian era debtors, in the last remaining debtors prison in Europe today.
In the area of tax justice, the weak bear the burden of “the crisis” and the rich and powerful having enjoyed the benefits of their tax evasion — carry no burden whatsoever. The tax code justifies anything the corrupt tax men and tax women can swindle. The whole tax effort is not comprehensive and each citizen is trying, with whatever means available to escape the injustice this unjust system hurls in all directions.
The hope is that if there was a just tax system administering justice, each of the Greek Citizens in a common effort to exit from the crisis — would have lifted the weight he deserved in unison.
As regards meritocracy, leaders don’t emerge depending on their abilities, where there is nepotism. Where the meritocracy gets shattered we have idiots ruling because thus it befits the money and client state elites, leading to the offices of state being occupied by people mostly incompetent, not ambitious problem solvers, and folks prone to corruption. This is damaging and unsafe for the State and the Civil Service, because inadequate executives always choose ‘poorer’ inferiors, to cover up their own inadequacies and thus bankrupt the whole sector and government in an interminable vicious circle leading on an ever accelerating downward spiral. Thus the contribution to society is poor and the goal of development – and much more welfare – becomes an elusive dream. And if somewhere someone competent evades the Lilliputian system, they take the appropriate care to smear, slander, isolate, devalue his contribution, sack the project, and ultimately drive him out — thus justifying the removal of this ‘systemic risk.’
As for demagogy, this has become a national pastime, being the prevailing false political speech, exaggerations, and meaningless promises. So, according to Aristotle, democracy has given way to populism, which ally propaganda influences, and guides the electorate in the wrong for the public benefit options of a Democracy gone to the dogs.
Therefore, what we call democracy deficit is lack of political, social, and fiscal justice, a meritocracy deficit, and strong demagoguery. And the larger the deficit of democracy, as that is proven by the catalyzed institutions and violated laws — it increases the power, the influence, and the abundance of the oligarchy.
If these three values, justice, legal equality, and meritocracy were present, we would have had a real democracy and abstaining from the common practices would be a crime for any citizen. But today people largely believe that their vote is ineffective, and from being the highest expression of Democracy it turns into a liability act as it is seen as an endorsement of the practice of the corrupt political parties. This is reasonable assumption since the political parties rule as oligarchs, despite the apparent conflicts, contradictions and disagreements, because they have agreed to jointly manage an oligarchic regime, where the state wealth is the loot to be gained as the spoils of power. The thinking citizens rightfully say that current politicians hurry democracy and that the citizen’s vote in favour of rapists and pillagers of institutions and laws is not an act of responsibility.
Instead, they believe that abstinence is an act of respect for institutions manipulated by demagogues who aim to preserve a rogue rampant injustice, cronyism, lawlessness and demagoguery. Others, again, react even more strongly, supporting with their vote those extreme forces, who seek to destabilize, destroy institutions rather than focus on indirect and gradual cures of the political ills of Democracy. Sort of like the old remedy of when head hurts – you cut head…
The conclusion reached is that the current crisis is a crisis of Justice, legal equality, meritocracy, institutions, values, and vision. The current crisis is political, cultural, social and economic.
This is a national crisis – and as such it should be treated with the utmost of care.
To even have a hope of recovery and to overcome this national crisis requires a national plan, the guardian of which should be a new citizen entity. A vector will appear soon, if not tomorrow, and will give reason national, social, patriotic, capable of enlisting all healthy democratic forces in a common national goal.
I presume that JUSTICE is just such a goal.
This newfangled citizen led non-political organization will be moving in two arcs. Firstly, it should support a welfare state that provides quality health services, education, welfare and safety, and security — free to all citizens residing in the country, workers or unemployed nationals or foreigners, legal or otherwise, without distinction. The most important feature, however is the establishment of a democratic arc where the values and institutions of justice, fairness, merit and participation, will be placed as top priority, and will embody the foundation on which we can built this national recovery plan to get the country out of the crisis. Because if we could serve the fundamental principles of democracy described above and if we restored the raped and pillaged institutions, the exit from the economic crisis will be swift.
But who will undertake to lead this effort?
Surely, there are remarkable people who have what it takes.
But they are hiding behind the curtains fearing the coming Armageddon.
Reality is we know of some folks who have what it takes, because they have the right stuff, the personal quality, the diligence, the focus in honesty, democratic action, and understand the political path to get us out of the impasse and the morass.
Let us summon the courage and their virtues for all of us.
You can join them and be one of them at the organization site http://www.AJ4JD.org
”Democracy is very fragile. Like a candle it’s never ever more than one gust of wind away from extinction. We don’t pass it on to our children in the bloodline. Instead everyone, everytime, and every generation, must fight for it, protect it, and hand it to others to do the same.” –Pano Kroko
”Democracy is very fragile.
Like a candle it’s never ever more than one gust of wind away from extinction.
We don’t pass it on to our children in the bloodline.
Instead everytime and every generation must fight for it, protect it, and hand it to others to do the same.”
What Happened to Europe? Democracy and the bankers
What Happened to Europe?
Democracy and the decisions of bankers.
A discussion with Amartya Sen
“What Happened to Europe? Democracy and the Decisions of Bankers” Essay by Amartya Sen, offered as a lecture to the Bank for International Settlements in the June 2012 meeting.
Amartya Sen teaches economics and philosophy at Harvard University and received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998. He is the author, most recently, of the book, “The Idea of Justice” published by Harvard University Press.
ABOUT FIFTY YEARS AGO, in 1961, Jean-Paul Sartre complained about the state of Europe. “Europe is springing leaks everywhere,” he wrote. He went on to remark that “it simply is that in the past we made history and now history is being made of us.” Sartre was undoubtedly too pessimistic. Many major achievements of great significance have occurred in the last half a century in Europe, since Sartre’s lament, including the emergence of the European Union, the reunification of Germany, the extension of democracy to Eastern Europe, the consolidation and improvement of national health services and of the welfare state, the legalization and enforcement of human rights and the establishment of a common climate change and renewable energy policy. All this went with a rapidly expanding European economy, which comprehensively re-built and massively expanded its industrial base, social services and infrastructure, which had been devastated during World War II.
Of course bumps along this road were inevitable but things are better now than they were ever before.
There is indeed a long-run historical contrast to which Sartre could have pointed. For centuries preceding World War II, a lot of world history was actually made in Europe. And this generated much admiration, mixed with some fear, around the world. But the situation changed rapidly in the second half of the twentieth century. When I first arrived in Cambridge as a student from India in the early 1950s, I remember asking whether there were any lectures given on the economic history of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. I was told that there were indeed such lectures—and that they were given for a paper called “Expansion of Europe.” That view of the non-European world would seem a little archaic now, not merely because the grand European empires have ended, but also because the balance of political prominence and economic strength has radically changed in the world. Europe is no longer larger than life.
There is, of course, nothing particularly remarkable—or lamentable—in the changing role of the different regions of the world. This has happened again and again. What is really striking is not the historical re-balancing of the different parts of the world, but the mess that Europe has managed to get into in the last decade or so, particularly over the last couple of years. There is a lot of discussion right now—appropriately enough—about how Europe is going to liberate itself from its financial disarray, economic misery, and political chaos. “What to do now” is certainly an important issue today, but “what not to do” is no less important in looking at Europe’s immediate past. This is so not just because past mistakes are relevant in deciding on what to do in Europe (even though what has been done cannot be readily undone—there is no automatic translation from past follies into present rectifications), but also because the negative lessons are essential if we are to avoid similar adversities in the rest of the world.
Europe in recent years has lost it’s way. Much of what has gone wrong is simple bankers greed and another tulip bubble in the form of state sovereign debt gone wrong. We shall be analyzing this in three broad subjects: the challenge of European unity; the requirements of democracy; and the demands of sound economic policy. These are all related to each other, analytically as well as empirically.
The unification of Europe is an old dream. It is not quite as ancient as it is sometimes suggested — the dream is not of classical antiquity. Alexander and other ancient Greeks were less interested in chatting with Goths, Vikings, Angles, and Saxons than they were in conversing with ancient Iranians, Bactrians, and Indians, and Julius Caesar and Mark Antony identified more readily with ancient Egyptians than with Europeans located to the north of Rome. But Europe went through successive waves of cultural and political integration, greatly helped by the powerful spread of Christianity; and by 1464 King George of Poděbrady in Bohemia was talking about pan-European unity. He was followed by many others in the centuries to come, and by the eighteenth century, even George Washington wrote to the Marquis de La Fayette that “one day, on the model of the United States of America, a United States of Europe will come into being.”
But it was the terrible sequence of the two World Wars in the twentieth century, with its floods of European blood, which firmly established the urgent need for political unity in Europe. As Auden wrote in early 1939, on the eve of World War II:
In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate.
The events that followed only confirmed the poet’s worst expectations. The terrible fear of a repeat of what European countries had seen in the World Wars continued to haunt a great many Europeans. It is important in this context to appreciate that the movement for European unification began as a crusade for political unity, rather than for financial unification and a common currency.
The birth of the European federalist movement was motivated strongly by wanting a political unity free from self destructive wars, as the content both of the Ventotene Manifesto in 1941 and the Milan declaration of 1943 brings out very clearly. There was no hostility to economic integration and not even to a financial union; but the uppermost priority was not banking and currency. It was peace and goodwill and a gradually evolving political integration. The fact that political unification has fallen way behind financial incorporation was a later development, and the problems generated by that oddly chosen sequencing are not irrelevant to understanding the present economic crisis in Europe.
One point is particularly important to note in this historical context, especially since it is often missed. The problems created in the euro zone by going for the integration of currency and a monetary union without the prior supportive presence of a closer political union and a fiscal union extend well beyond economic mishaps into social adversities in the relations between people in different European countries. Anger and frustration, in many different forms, have generated tension among countries with different fortunes within the euro zone, and have also empowered extremist politics of a kind that Europe expected to leave behind.
There is nothing particularly surprising about the problems of balance of payments and other economic adversities that many of the European countries––Greece, Spain, Portugal—have faced, given the inflexibility of the euro zone restrictions on exchange rate adjustment and monetary policies. The consequent crises and rescues involving demands for draconian cuts in public services have also frayed people’s tempers on both sides of the divide. They have strongly exacerbated internecine disaffections within Europe, as is clear from the political rhetoric coming in recent days in very different forms, from the north as well as the south of Europe—with pejorative anger targeted at objects of contempt that vary from “lazy Greeks” to “imperial Germans.”
The often-invoked “analogy” with German sacrifices to achieve the unification of East and West Germany clouds at least some European thinking, and is thoroughly misleading. This is partly because the sense of national unity that prompted the German sacrifice does not exist now between the different European nations, and also because the sacrifice in that remarkable exercise of national unity fell mostly on the richer part of Germany in the west, not on the poorer areas as is being demanded now from many of the afflicted European countries, from Greece to Spain.
The costs of failed economic policies extend well beyond the statistics of unemployment, real income, and poverty (important as they are). The grand vision of a union with a cementing sense of European unity is itself threatened by what is taking place in the economic arena. Those who advocated the “unity of a European currency” as a “first step” toward a united Europe have in fact pushed much of Europe into an entirely counterproductive direction for achieving European unity. There is, of course, no danger of a return to 1939, but, to use Auden’s analogy of the “dogs of Europe,” barking from sequestered regional bases of resentment and contempt does immense harm to the cause of cultivating European amity and unity.
I TURN NOW TO DEMOCRACY. The founders of European unity whose ideas led the European movement wanted a “united democratic Europe.” The Europe that emerged from World War II had learned certain things from bitter experience that it was not going to forget. Perhaps the foremost idea was the importance of democracy, giving each person not only a vote but also a voice. If democracy in the form of regular elections is firmly instituted in the constitutions of most European countries, the commitment to have preparatory public discussion before making large policy decisions is no less ingrained in contemporary European values. Walter Bagehot defined democracy as “government by discussion”—following a line of political analysis that John Stuart Mill had done much to clarify and to champion—and the visionary leaders initiating the quest for European unity never wavered in this dedication.
Some of the policies that were chosen by the financial leaders and economic powers of Europe were certainly mistimed, if not downright mistaken; but even if the policy decisions taken by the financial experts were exactly correct and rightly timed, an important question of democratic process would have remained. The decimation of something as fundamental as the public services that are essential pillars of the European welfare state could not be appropriately left to the unilateral judgments of central bankers and financial experts (not to mention the error-prone rating agencies), without public reasoning and the informed consent of the people of the countries involved. It is true, of course, that financial institutions are extremely important for the success and failure of economies, but if their views are to have democratic legitimacy, and not amount to technocratic rule, then they must be subject to a process of evolving public discussion and persuasion, involving arguments, counter-arguments, and counter-counter-arguments.
If democracy has been one of the strong commitments with which Europe emerged in the 1940s, an understanding of the necessity of social security and the avoidance of intense social deprivation was surely another. Even if savage cuts in the foundations of the European systems of social justice had been financially inescapable (I do not believe that they were), there was still a need to persuade people that this is indeed the case, rather than trying to carry out such cuts by fiat. The disdain for the public could hardly have been more transparent in many of the chosen ways of European policy-making.
Quite aside from the question of democratic legitimacy, there is also an important issue here of political practicality—the practice of the “art of the possible” that politics is meant to be. People could be denied their voices, but with democratic institutions they could not be denied their votes in periodic elections. The people excluded from taking part in the process of policy-making could not be politically silenced, and in election after election the incumbent governments carrying out the dictates of the financial superpowers have been deeply threatened and sometimes summarily removed. And voting rights without effective policy voices have also made it very difficult for practical solutions to emerge, with appropriate attention to well-reflected priorities and to acceptable compromises.
Public reasoning is not only crucial for democratic legitimacy, it is essential for a better public epistemology that would allow the consideration of divergent perspectives. It is also required for more effective practical reasoning. It can bring out what particular demands and protests can be restrained in interactive public reasoning, in line with scrutinized priorities between a cluster of quite distinct demands. This involves a process of “give and take” which many political analysts, from Adam Smith and the Marquis de Condorcet in the eighteenth century to Frank Knight and James Buchanan in our time, have made us appreciate better.
AND WHAT ABOUT the soundness of Europe’s economic policy-making? There are two issues that arise immediately: the viability of the common European currency, the euro; and the policy of austerity—chosen by or imposed upon—European countries in financial difficulty. On the first question, most of the attention has tended to be concentrated on the short run survival of the euro, through providing liquidity to the troubled countries, by one means or another. Many alternative
rescue efforts are being considered right now, such as new bailout packages helped by the financially stronger countries, or the floating of guaranteed euro bonds, or the purchase of Greek, Spanish, and other high-interest bonds from troubled countries by Germany (thereby earning high interest, without much risk, so long as the euro survives in its present form). Many of these “rescue” proposals are certainly worth considering and may prove useful, but none of the proposals address—or are meant to address—the long-run viability problem arising from the inflexibility of the exchange rate through the shared euro, even as countries with relatively lower productivity growth (such as Greece and Spain and Italy) fall behind other countries in the euro zone in terms of competitiveness in trade. A country such as Greece may find that it has increasingly less it can sell abroad at the fixed exchange rate of the euro, unless what is not done by exchange rate adjustment is brought about by the brutal process of cutting wage rates—even in terms of the national currency—to an extent that would not be otherwise necessary.
In the absence of exchange rate adjustments, competitiveness for the countries falling behind can indeed be recovered through sharp wage cuts and other ways of cutting earnings, thereby reducing living standards more drastically than would be otherwise necessary. This would yield much extra suffering and an understandable resistance. There would also be political resistance to the other “solution” through increased migration of the population—for example, from Greece to Germany. A unified currency in a politically united federal country (such as in the United States of America) survives through means (such as substantial population movements and significant transfers) that are not available to a politically disunited Europe. Sooner or later the difficult question of the long run viability of the euro would have to be addressed, even if the rescue plans are completely successful in preventing a breakdown of the euro in the short run.
HOW EFFECTIVE is austerity, or drastically cutting public expenditures, in steering the countries in difficulty out of their immediate problem of excessive deficits and huge debts? It is difficult to see austerity as a soundly reasoned economic solution to the European malaise today. And it may not even be a good way of reducing public deficits.
The policy package demanded by the financial leadership of Europe has been, despite its rhetoric, severely anti-growth. The economic growth of the euro zone has been undermined dramatically, and the GDP there has been falling rather than growing—so much so that the recent report that there was zero growth in the euro zone in the first quarter of 2012 has been widely greeted as “good news.” If Germany is taken out of the total, the result would be continued bad news of falling output for the rest of the euro zone. Spain, Portugal, and Italy continued to decline in these months, and while Greece tempered its free fall from a previous negative 6 percent in 2011, the Greek economy has lost nearly a quarter of its production since 2008. While the economies and the people involved have suffered, the deficits have been quite resistant. The earning of public revenue is impeded by dampened—or negative—economic growth, and this directly cuts down the state’s ability to cut deficits.
There is plenty of evidence in the history of the world that indicates that the most effective way of cutting deficits is to resist recession and to combine deficit reduction with rapid economic growth. The huge deficits after World War II largely disappeared with fast economic growth in the postwar years. Something similar happened during the eight years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, when Clinton began with a huge deficit and ended with basically none. The much-praised reduction of the Swedish budget deficit between 1994 and 1998 occurred in a period of fairly rapid growth of GDP. The situation is very different today for many countries asked to cut deficits that are having zero or negative growth rates under an imposed discipline of austerity heaped on a recession.
That austerity is a counterproductive economic policy in a situation of economic recession can be seen, rightly, as a “Keynesian critique.” Keynes did argue—and persuasively—that to cut public expenditure when an economy has unused productive capacity as well as unemployment owing to a deficiency of effective demand would tend to have the effect of slowing down the economy further and increasing—rather than decreasing—unemployment. Keynes certainly deserves much credit for making that rather basic point clear even to policymakers, irrespective of their politics, and he also provided what I would call a sketch of a theory of explaining how all this can be nicely captured within a general understanding of economic interdependences between different activities (emphasizing in particular the fact that someone’s expenditure is another person’s income). I am certainly supportive of this Keynesian argument, and also of Paul Krugman’s efforts in cogently developing and propagating this important perspective, and in questioning the policy of massive austerity in Europe.
But I would also argue that the unsuitability of the policy of austerity is only partly due to Keynesian reasons. Where we have to go well beyond Keynes is in asking what public expenditure is for—other than for just strengthening effective demand, no matter what its content. As it happens, European resistance to savage cuts in public services and to indiscriminate austerity is not based only, or primarily, on Keynesian reasoning. The resistance is based also on a constructive point about the importance of public services—a perspective that is of great economic as well as political interest in Europe.
THERE IS A CENTRAL ISSUE of social justice involved here—that of reducing rather than enhancing injustice. The public services are valued for what they actually provide to people, especially to vulnerable people, and this is something for which Europe had fought. Savage cuts in these services undermine what had emerged as a social commitment in Europe at the end of World War II, which led to the birth of the welfare state and the national health services in a period of rapid social change in the continent, setting a great example of public responsibility from which the rest of the world—from East Asia to Latin America—would learn.
In order to understand the inadequacy of Keynes as a guide to solving the European economic crisis, we have to ask: what kind of an economist was Keynes in terms of his vision of a good society? Keynes did say—famously, and accurately enough—that paying laborers to dig holes and then to fill them up can be a very good thing, because of its impact on increasing effective demand to combat a recession or a depression. This is fine as far as it goes, but Keynes had extremely little to say on what social commitments a state should have—what public expenditure should be for, other than for just strengthening market demand through state intervention.
Keynes showed little concern about economic inequality, and was extraordinarily reticent on the horrors of poverty and deprivation. He had little interest in externalities and the environment, and neglected altogether the subject that his rival and adversary A. C. Pigou concentrated on, which was The Economics of Welfare, the title of Pigou’s most famous—and certainly most profound—book. It was the allegedly right-wing Pigou who initiated the measurement of economic inequality, spent time on analyzing the nature and causes of poverty, wrote extensively on externalities and on environmental degradation, and stressed the need for public economics to aim at remedying the allocational errors of the market economy.
So the need to question current financial policies in Europe arises for economic reasons that go well beyond Keynes (while incorporating some important ideas of Keynes), in addition to the political and social reasons to which I have also tried to point. This skepticism does not in any way question the need to recognize the importance of reducing, on an appropriate timetable, the burden of public debt. But good economics is not only about what to aim at, but also about what can be effective, and how and when.
If we add to this economic argument the long-term concern in Europe about some form of social justice and the more immediate political worry about the undermining of the European sense of solidarity, we can see what a disaster the recent European financial policies have been. The case for resisting the savage cuts in public services can hardly be ignored. This is not because the commitment to social justice must always be paramount, but surely it must be a serious concern that cannot simply be discarded by bankers and financial leaders. There is, of course, always a need for rational scrutiny and examination of what a country can afford and what it cannot—taking into account all the relevant factors, including the changing age distribution of the population. But this is not the same question as checking what a country can afford with inefficient economic and financial management, with fuzzy thinking on exchange rates and market demands and economic competitiveness.
The guiding principle has to be, rather, what Adam Smith specified with clarity in The Wealth of Nations: how to work for a good functioning of the economy to be able to provide the public services that people agree are needed. Sound political economy, Smith argued, has to have “two distinct objects”: “first, to provide a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people, or more properly to enable them to provide such a revenue or subsistence for themselves; and secondly, to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue sufficient for the public services.” Achieving the latter is just as much the goal of good economics as achieving the former.
Finally, and very importantly, the cause of necessary economic reforms has not been served by confounding that necessity with the policy of austerity. Indeed, serious consideration of the kinds of reform that are needed has been hampered, rather than aided, by the loss of clarity about the distinction between reform of bad administrative arrangements (such as people evading taxes, government servants using favoritism, banks being exempt from necessary discipline, or—for that matter—preserving a nonviable system of early retiring ages), and austerity in the form of ruthless cuts in public services and basic social security. The requirements for alleged financial discipline have tended to amalgamate the two, even though any analysis of social justice would view policies for necessary reform in an altogether different way from drastic cuts in important public services. Even if that distinction may have been lost in rather crude financial thinking, opportunities for adequate public reasoning, in “government by discussion,” could have brought out its relevance clearly enough.
Europe has been extraordinarily important for the world, which has learned so much from it. It can remain globally important by setting its own house in order—economically, politically, and socially. The first step is to understand properly, with some clarity, the policy challenges that Europe faces today. A failure to do so will reverberate far beyond Europe’s own borders.
Amartya Sen teaches economics and philosophy at Harvard University and received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998. He is the author, most recently, of The Idea of Justice (Harvard University Press). A version of this essay was given as a lecture at the Bank for International Settlements in June.
The real war fought today in battlefield Europe, is a cultural one.
It is a war that pits the clear principles of Democracy and Political Union against the constant harping of those praying to the false prophets of markets and money, as the “Raison d’ Etre” of Europe.
It is the old conflict between false idols and real ones.
It is our choice to be more political and less Mercantile still maintaining a healthy balance — or not and tilt all the way to being the servants and supplicants of Markets and money elites.
Choosing our priestly class wisely will get us out of this mess.
Because what we choose to believe in and act upon is our choice, and it will determine the future.
At the end of the day, we choose how we define ourselves.
We can become again dark age peasants and bazaar dwellers and give power to the mullahs of the markets and end up like theocratic Iran with the golden calf as our God and the Bazaar people in power, or we can follow the example of the ancient shining city of light and go on practicing a form of enlightened Democracy as was practiced for a thousand years across form Acropolis in ancient Athens.
That is the real litmus test for Europe
Turkey’s Love changing the world for Democracy because of a bunch of trees…
The idea of the wholesale destruction of the Gezi park in middle of Istanbul, in order to built a Grand Mosque and a giant shopping mall is incredibly daft.
Of course huge protests erupted and I gave a speech under police cordon here but the three thousand people listening had fun. Here the protesters brought a huge piano in the middle of the Taksim square… next to Gezi park to continue their revelry.
You can watch the video…here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151965919914688
And Mr Erdogan the current Sultan and the authoritarian government started escalating the peaceful protests into a conflict situation. They were so arrogant that they called on the mothers of the Gezi park protesters to come and take their children away, because they warned them if you do not take them, some hazardous and very bad things may happen to them…
Guess what happened next:
Thousands of mothers came to Taksim and they created a love and protection chain around them!
No fear from anything, just committed to love and freedom.
Something extraordinary is happening in spite of everything, my eyes are full of tears. Gas bombs are coming to the Gezi park and the protesters are planting trees and flowers, cleaning the garbage that is created, singing. In the park everything is free, no money. Everybody is offering others, sharing.. All different groups with conflicting ideologies and life views, enemy football teams are together, saying we are sisters and brothers. I hope this innocent movement out of love is not politicized or provoked or used badly…
A nation is awakening,
People are awakening.
God is awakening…
And I am so proud to be here…
~ Aylin Kafalı Deniz
2 Democracy Anniversaries in Photographs 天安门周年
TIANANMEN SQUARE 24 years on…
GEZI PARK this week…
Seems to me that the trees of Democracy need to be watered often with copious amounts of blood…
Am Sorry it’s got to be this way.
Any similarities between the two events are completely accidental…
but collaborative governance proves it’s value thus.
DEMOCRACY ALOUD — Begging out the VOTE — Oil Power Money — No Recession for Politics
Coming for my regular bi-monthly, working sojourn through New York and Washington DC, is always an eye opener because of my participation in the incredibly stimulating conversation and debate about the current workings of our Democracy and the Future shape of it.
Am fortunate and Thankful being amongst the great Thinkers and practitioners of the Art of Politics and the awesome learnings about the Great Democracy this country represents. Lately the Presidential Election Campaign Finance issue has been dominating the Agenda. Rightfully so. And nowhere is this discussion more potent than in Washington’s beltway of Power and in Manhattan’s Wall Street — beltway of Finance. Being in New York is always thrilling and a growth experience. Hearing the various voices for or against issues and political ideology and personal economic choices is the “Conversation” du jour and is a more fascinating feast, than any dish the famous Chefs of New York City can serve out in their upscale eateries around here in Manhattan.
Because there is a serious effort at usurping our Democracy going on right NOW.
And this is no fallow conspiracy theory but simple Politics. Simple Economic Theory Politics, blended with High Finance and the old school politics of “begging” out the vote… “Begging out” in the marketplace. Yet how is this “marketplace begging machine” gets oiled in order to keep working smoothly, is another matter altogether and not much thought is given to that here in the suave dinner parties of the rich and powerful…
Oil for “Political Money” and “Political Money” for Oil is a Realpolitik axiom as old as the oil industry itself. Oil Politics dates back to the first oil discoveries in Pennsylvania and the rise in power of the Rockefellers, the other oil men and the JP Morgan’s ilk, and their commensurate rise of political influence, rising right along with their wealth in a fairly virtuous cycle. By now Oil Politics, is a well understood medium of exchange, financing a well oiled machine through the immense profits generated — most of them overseas and untaxed – by the BIG OIL COMPANIES, pooling together their resources and influence and thus having a huge and shadowy impact on the elections cycle of the United States. An asymmetrical impact when fighting the election for the most important post of Leadership across the world…
In the past, the oil barons, had a clearly understood political, patriotic and public benefit agenda and fought for it as self made men loyal to the Free Enterprise Democracy. Free Minds — Free Markets. Success all around and great economic growth ensued. And in that past, all the Oil barons were honourable Americans.
Clearly, that’s not the case anymore. Not all current big oil men and the Big Oil Companies, are as virtuous as those titans of Free Enterprise of yore. And the aims and legacy of the current decision making leaders in the Energy business and the oil industry executives’ isn’t anywhere near as altruistic and philanthropic as the carefully crafted legacy of these old school great men of Capitalism and market driven success. Mainly because the current minions have it too easy being fat cat bureaucrats, with all kinds of supports, aren’t owners and their name isn’t on the shingle above the door. And even in the rare case when it is – they tend to be a far more pedestrian lowly and sickly slick bazaar breed of oilmen. Still they are mostly foreigners and not even allowed to vote in the United States as the case might be for most all of the executives of the world’s biggest Oil companies. Yet they can buy your elections… Because they are brought in by treacherous power hungry Quislings.
In this instance, the Koch brothers. And we know this because this weekend, the Koch brothers are holding “secret” conference, with hundreds of anonymous “Oil business donors” from all around the world, in an attempt to assemble their unlimited Super PAC Big Oil Power Money and use these monies in order to buy the American People’s Presidential elections.
Sadly, I have not been invited.
That shouldn’t be allowed to happen…
How things have changed…
The thing is …
Times haven’t really changed that much.
And buying political influence on the Hill, with oil money is still done rather extensively. Back in the 2000 election it was US oil money. But now the game has been opened up to foreign oil money too. And now is done mainly with foreign oil money and you can thank the convening powers of the Koch brothers and of the Super Big PACs. Not because of the Free Speech protection offered by the Supreme Court’s decision on “Citizens United” but rather the willingness of the Super PAC assemblers to use dirty Oil Power Money capital to do the dirty deed.
In this case we’ll examine the risk of these foreign generated Oil money, buying the whole of the United States Democracy and the White House to boot. Much like back in the year 2000, only now the game is opened up to foreign adventurism to buy that pad on the Hill to call home away from home. Just like a pied-a-terre in Manhattan would be for most of us — except that here is your freedom that’s up for sale.
But let’s get there slowly…
Still we like to comfort & delude ourselves with blaming side issues and looking at side shows.
IE – Just see how David Axelrod, President Obama’s political strategist, recently stoked a common misconception about the 2012 political campaign finance, by blaming the Supreme Court for empowering 21st-century “robber barons trying to take over the government” and in doing so caused a further erosion of the Public Finance option and the need to reform campaign finance… Because nobody in their right mind living in America thinks that the electoral process is well run and the finance of candidates fighting elections, and issues is transparent, well thought out and democratic. That being said, the current US great recession is still reeling the populace around the barrel of uncertainty, and seeing so many billions of dollars wasted in pointless electoral banter is seen as a sacrifice of good capital in these moments of crisis.
And as Europe sinks deeper into its crisis, and fears grow about the slowdown in China and in all the other emerging economies, America’s crisis is integrated to the rest of the world. Because the economic ties to the rest of the world are coming to look like restraints rather than supports and this has a bearing into the upcoming Presidential election just as much as political campaign finance rules have. Because vast amounts of this cash come from overseas via a convoluted path that has allowed the choosing of the American President to be influenced by many more people and special interests than just the American people, their votes and their wallets.
So follow the money and see where it emanates from…
And that’s the clue that the worldwide campaign finance of Democratic Parliamentary candidates is interconnected, due to the integration of the US and the rest of the world’s economy into the global matrix of Finance, Political economy and the worldwide intelligent village. So today, we are all responsible — in some fashion — for the choosing of the next US President, same as the US Foreign Office [ie Dept. of State] was and maybe is responsible to some degree, for the choosing of political leaders around the world or at least for those within the US dominated alliances of NATO and ASEAN countries and beyond. Well, so is Democracy working for us, and it is truly working for some of us more than what for others. But that is how the Democratic process works — inefficient, sometimes unjust and all the time susceptible to corruption. Still, an integrated economic world naturally integrates it’s political machinations in order to function at it’s potent best too. An imperfect world yet far from dystopian, is run in a Democratic process where available. Because Democracy far from perfect is still the best system of political governance we’ve come up with so far. And although the increased integration of the world economy is the central factor in the synchronized global downturn of 2007-10, and for some countries still reeling into the recession now in 2012, things have gotten even more intense and insecure. Because now the outlook for the US economy, the world’s largest, is admittedly very important for every other country, but by the same token the US is increasingly dependent on the rest of the world and that co-dependency spells good news and bad news alike. For Politics and for the Economy.
With US unemployment stubbornly high, the internationalization of the US economy is also becoming a central issue for November’s presidential election. President Obama’s team has been attacking Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger, for having “sent jobs overseas” while working in private equity at Bain Capital and making poor judgment decisions.
But that explanation does not account for another development that probably has been just as influential in these pivotal elections, as the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in creating the flood of money into the election process. Namely, the demise of the public financing system for elections. Both Democrats and Republicans have abandoned it and now the system of Public Campaign Finance and all associated Reforms, are dead. Their demise was was hastened by Mr. Obama’s decision four years ago, to abandon it… and instead seek money form the voters and all sundry. This has led to an enormous explosion of Finance wars that mimic the defense spending competition of the old Cold War. A conflict that bankrupted the old Soviet East and subsequently the West as well was this war of attrition end result.
So far, Mr. Obama, Mitt Romney and their respective parties have raised more than $1.2 billion in this Financial war of attrition. This alone is five times the amount raised by all “super PACs” combined, as they race frantically for the cash they need to pay for television advertising, sophisticated technology and old-fashioned get-out-the-vote efforts. But the immense capital from the BIG OIL COMPANIES is just now entering the game. Because Oil Company money from all the International oil companies and their subsidiaries is just now getting into the American Political Game.
The Citizens United decision that Democrats condemn, was a clear signal that the Supreme Court takes a dim view of campaign finance restrictions. And of Campaign Finance Reform too. Really sending this hot potato back to the Legislature but telling them in No uncertain terms that there will be NO NEW RESTRICTIONS ON FREE SPEECH. PERIOD. THAT IS WHAT THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION IS ALL ABOUT. Scotus is right. I know you’ll find this difficult to digest but am certain on this issue. FREE SPEECH NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED… and the Supremes served us well here again.
And after all, it is only a minority factor in the surge of money running into politics, and its effects have been less profound than often portrayed. Still the SCOTUS decision loosened the conditions under which corporations and unions can back candidates, publicly or privately. Yet organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which since the ruling can use undisclosed donations to advocate victory or defeat of specific candidates, could previously use such donations to influence elections under the veil of “issue advocacy.”
The Citizens United decision was cited in a separate 2010 Supreme Court ruling, SpeechNow.org VS the FEC, which made clear that individuals can pool unlimited donations in political committees that operate independently of candidates. But wealthy people like Sheldon Adelson, who recently gave $10 million to a super PAC backing Mr. Romney, have enjoyed the right to spend unlimited sums on their own campaign advocacy since the Supreme Court’s 1976 ruling in Buckley VS Valeo.
Citizens United “is an effective rhetorical tool” for opponents of the decision, said Robert Bauer, Mr. Obama’s former White House counsel. But he plays down its importance in the creation of super PACs that followed the SpeechNow.org decision.
“People have lumped a lot of issues together under the banner of Citizens United,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat who is active on campaign finance issues. Still, he argues that the 2010 decision “changed the psychology” of campaign finance to produce an “anything-goes atmosphere.”
But the largest sums have been raised through the regulated system that now drives the campaign schedules of Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney, as well as those of candidates for the House and Senate. Mr. Obama set the standard with the $745 million he raised in 2008 after opting not to participate in the post-Watergate public financing system, under which candidates received taxpayer funds in return for accepting limits on their spending.
In a partisan country locked in a polarizing campaign, there is no shortage of much discussed divisions: religious and secular, the 99 percent and the 1 percent, red America and blue America.
But you can make a strong case that one dividing line has actually received too little attention and it’s the battle line between young and old. The chasm we used to call it or the generation gap. We draw this at the age of 65, 50 or 40. Wherever the line is, the people on either side of it end up looking very different, both economically and politically. The generation gap may not be a pop culture staple, as it was in the 1960s, but it is probably wider than it has been at any time since then.
Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, younger and older adults voted in largely similar ways, with a majority of each supporting the winner in every presidential election. Sometime around 2004, though, older voters began moving right, while younger voters shifted left. This year, polls suggest that Mitt Romney will win a landslide among the over-65 crowd and that President Obama will do likewise among those under 40.
And that reflects the insular way the economy looks like too. Because the US has traditionally been seen as a relatively closed economy, but that is no more true today, that it ever was. The US was always a Mercantile power and that is where the POWER comes from… Look at the song of the Marines sent to Tripoli in Libya two hundred years ago to protect the American Mercantile and foreign shipping interests…
Always the US had been an export nation and one with the highest productivity among it’s peers. An international power since it’s conception with the sword to match the almighty dollar. Yet since the late 20th century, the US mainline economy, has become significantly more open on just about every measure. When globalisation became a hot topic in the 1990s, it often seemed that it was affecting only poor countries and former members of the Soviet bloc. However, the US was globalizing faster than all of them at the same time.
The simplest measure of economic openness – exports and imports as a share of gross domestic product – is about 30 per cent, in line with the global average, having risen about 10 percentage points over the past two decades.
That is not only because of a widening of the trade deficit: exports as well as imports have risen.
Some of the measures of financial integration are even more striking. Bank lending, the ownership of US securities, and corporate assets and earnings, are now all significantly more international than they were.
Foreign direct investment and takeovers, in both economic and political issues and both within and out, of the US have boomed and blossomed in recent years… There has also been an immigration increase to match the great influx of people in the 1860s-1920s. And that is another way our world’s Democratic nations bond together. Free flows of People…
Democracy is precious, but also pernicious and catchy.
Just ask Aung San Suu Kyi whom I just heard speak at the Parliament in Westminster Palace in London, and you’ll see how important Democracy can be for those who haven’t got it…
Because Burma after it’s independence in 1947 could go either way.
And it did.
As it often happens it went the wrong way … into 50 years of military dictatorships lasting from 1962 to now.
Just hear how Aung Suu Kyi describes this process in her own words addressing the oldest continuously run Parliament in the world – the Westminster House of Parliament:
“Following Burma’s independence in 1948, our Parliamentary system was of course based on that of the UK. The era became known, in Burmese, as the Parliamentary Era- a name which by the mere necessity of its application speaks of the unfortunate changes which followed. Our Parliamentary Era, which lasted- more or less- until 1962, could not be said to have been perfect. But it was certainly the most progressive and promising period until now in the short history of independent Burma. It was at this time that Burma was considered the nation most likely to succeed in South East Asia. Things did not, however, go entirely to plan. They often don’t, in Burma, and indeed in the rest of the world.
Now, once again, we have an opportunity to reestablish true democracy in Burma. It is an opportunity for which we have waited many decades. If we do not use this opportunity, if we do not get things right this time round, it may be several decades more before a similar opportunity arises again.
And so it is for that reason that I ask Britain, as one of the oldest Parliamentary democracies, to consider what it can do to help build the sound institutions needed to support our nascent Parliamentary democracy.” ….
“This journey out of Burma has not been a sentimental pilgrimage to the past, but an exploration of the new opportunities at hand for the people of Burma. I have been struck, throughout my trip, by how extraordinarily warmhearted and open the world has been to us. To experience this first hand, after so long physically separated from this world, has been very moving. Countries that geographically are distant, have shown that they are close to Burma in what really matters: they are close to the aspirations of the Burmese people. We are brought into proximity through our shared values- and no geographical distance, no human-made barriers, can stand in our way.”
“During the years of my house arrest it was not just the BBC and other broadcasting stations that kept me in touch with the world outside. It was the music of Mozart and Ravi Shankar, and the biographies of men and women of different races and religions, that convinced me I would never be alone in my struggle. The prizes and honours I received were not so much a personal tribute, as a recognition of the basic humanity that unites one isolated person to the rest of the world.”
“During our dark days in the 1990s, a friend sent me a poem by Arthur Hugh Clough. It begins ‘Say not the struggle nought availeth…’. I understand that Winston Churchill, one of the greatest Parliamentarians the world has known, used the poem himself as a plea for the USA to step in against Nazi Germany. Today, I want to make a rather different point: that we can work together, combining political wisdom from East and West, to bring the light of democratic values to all peoples, in Burma and beyond. I will just read the final verse:
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.
I would like to emphasise in conclusion that this is the most important time for Burma, that this is the moment of our greatest need- and so I would ask that our friends, both here in Britain and beyond, participate and support Burma’s efforts towards the establishment of a truly democratic and just society.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address the members of one of the oldest democratic institutions in the world. Thank you for letting me into your midst. My country has not yet entered the ranks of truly democratic societies, but I’m confident we will get there before too long, with your help.”
Amazing Energy this diminutive woman has, and I wish her Godspeed and Good luck.
For her work is great and uplifting a whole country isn’t always easy.
Yet she’s got the requisite energy to do just that.
And energy is the one area where everyone is alone. Even the US has managed to disengage itself slightly from the rest of the world, in this field, as the boom in shale gas and oil production has cut imports way down. Self Sufficiency is still a far dream, but that is a dream at best because the US has no native Energy policy either. This is due to the special interest lobbies. As my friend T-Boone Pickens says, the Koch petroleum industries amongst others are the main culprits behind the failure of the political process of the US to have a robust national Energy policy…
And the same Koch Petroleum Industry and their namesake KOCH brothers are just now convening the usual suspects and all of the BIG OIL COMPANIES into their own Super PACs. They are creating the supper pool of international Big Oil Companies to influence American Elections. Just like inviting the Red Coats to protect George Washington’s fledging Democracy. It s a purely traitorous act. Because they are creating a multinational new breed of Super PAC for their super conservative Oil business friends, in order to raise untold zillions of fresh money and throw the lot into the current Presidential Political Campaign. They have one mission alone. They spend all that money in order to defeat Obama and end all the policies that they don’t like. Of course working with Romney must be a Love-fest for the Koch brothers and their cronies as they dig their heads in the sand. Just see the daft law North Carolina passed to stop the sea level rising by making it illegal… Making nature’s reaction to our follies illegal is very smart indeed…
Anybody out there?
And that’s how the international multinational BIG OIL COMPANIES pollute the vaunted American Democratic Electoral System. Seems like a throwback to the days when the big oil companies STAGED COUP D’ETAT AFTER COUP D’ ETAT AROUND THE WORLD, like in removing Mossadek in Iran, in Burma assassinating Aung Suu Kyi father and running a dictatorship for fifty long years, killing Lumumba, killing Allende and installing Pinochet in Chile, Nigeria, Iraq, and so many more examples of BIG OIL MONEY fostering dictatorships in all the oil rich nations around the world. Often times with the blessing of the State Department under the guise of fighting communism…
So now the BIG OIL COMPANIES want to buy this American Presidential Election too…
Nothing strange in this one after the disastrous eight year rule of Cheney’s bush and the deleterious effect it had in all of the world’s economies. Let alone the American Economy that it sank to it’s lowest ebb since the years preceding the Civil War.
Is this now a case of the chicken coming home to roost?
So even here, the US remains tied to the rest of the world economy and is likely to become more so, because oil is a global commodity and operates within a resource priced market, so the price is set principally by the international balance of supply and demand. There is a 12 per cent discount for US domestic crude compared to international prices, because shortages of pipeline capacity created bottlenecks, but that is likely to close over time.
As the economic ties between the US and the rest of the world tighten, the consequences are complex and difficult to disentangle. Economies that trade more with each other are more likely to move into recession and recovery together, but some of the implications of capital market integration may work the other way. If a slowdown in Europe or Asia encourages capital to flow into the US, for example, it could help to support American economic growth and also support the Presidential candidate that this money wants to see standing behind the “Resolute” in the oval office.
On balance, greater economic integration seems to increase the synchronization of countries’ economic and democratic cycles. The latest evidence from the US, including the weakness of the stock market over the past three months, faltering manufacturing output, and a dip in exports in April, may be early warning signs of the impact of the latest problems in Europe and Asia and also spell a worrisome trend for Mitt Romney because he is seen as the anti Quantitative Easement and anti job creation, guy out there. And that attitude doesn’t help the world’s economy, same as it hinders the native economy of these United States.
In a turbulent world, the possibility of US economic and political self-reliance is a comforting thought for many Americans. Yet it appears unlikely to exist IN THIS ERA OF INTERCONNECTED FINANCIAL FLOWS STEMMING TOWARDS THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
Good Luck to us all.
Over the past couple of decades, the US has become significantly more integrated into the rest of the world economy. That shift has brought great benefits, in terms of US companies’ diversification and access to faster-growing emerging economies, the productivity gains brought about by increased specialization, and the spur to innovation created by larger markets and greater competition.
And with elections looming there is a whole advertising industry looking to benefit from this boost in the arms of the economy that the Presidential elections provide. And there is no shortage of money here. Nor is there any reason to expect a slowdown. Neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Romney plans to take the $92 million per candidate on offer from public financing for this general election season, and combined they have raised less than $10 million for spending on the general election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. More than 95 percent of their receipts so far are for use only through the late-summer nominating conventions, meaning they still have far to go to fill their general election bank accounts.
Fred Wertheimer, a longtime advocate of campaign finance-law changes, predicts that $6 billion will be spent on races for Congress and the presidency by Election Day. Of that, he said, $5 billion will come from contributions that are publicly disclosed and limited by federal law, as opposed to the unregulated money flowing into outside groups.
So here is an industry that suffers no Recession…
Just remember DEMOCRACY IS FRAGILE and can’t hurt too much. It’s like a flower and Burma’s spin to the Oil masters who assigned dictators for fifty years is just such an indication of backwards “growth.”
Half a Century of Negative Growth. Only an oil dictatorship can accomplish this… Even Mugabe in Zimbabwe did better than this…
Dirty Oil money polluting the American Presidential Election can have far more devastating effects for the US economy.
Because it can have serious horrible consequences for the Earth as a whole.
It can cause malaise for all the Peoples of this Earth, and for the Planet and for Democracy itself.
All these are far more important than the US economy or even the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and all assorted oil spills combined along with the death of Democracy itself.
Oil Political Money is the biggest Power out there and needs to be harnessed for the good. For the Common Good…
Serious Shit this one…
Mr President, America, Honorable Legislators & People of America,
PLEASE — Beware of Argives bearing gifts.
On this Anniversary of Waterloo — Let’s think Liberty
Am quite ambivalent of which ideological side to claim as Victorious in the battle of Waterloo but in popular culture there is no argument that in recognition of Napoleon’s defeat on the bloody battlefield in Belgium near Brussels; “to meet one’s Waterloo” has entered the colloquial language as a phrase signifying a great test with a final and decisive outcome – generally one resulting in failure and proving vincibility for something or someone who had seemed unbeatable.
So for my purposes and respecting my allegiance to friends and colleagues on both sides of the channel on this anniversary of the battle of Waterloo — I’d like to invite all of us to think of Democracy and Liberty. And this thought is largely due to the fact that am participating in the Liberty 2014 conference in London that stands as #Liberty2014 in the digital sphere. And am also immersed in London Tech Week that allows me to look at the great concepts of our Age through the lens of the modern cutting edge era.
And as the shared economy grows on one end — so the backlash reverberates and the Democratic deficit is increasing across the world today.
Liberty is again under attack and thus am reminded of the very reason why the rise of Individual rights, Human Rights, and Civil Rights, is indisputably the Winner of the conflict of Waterloo. As both sides lost their thin veneer of claim to divine rule, the legitimacy of the State lost ground and the concept of individual Liberty, Freedom, and Parliamentary Democracy, came to the front.
This is evoked because after all major conflicts, the re-examination of the Social Contract leads to a new settlement, and a new Equilibrium in Society. So the bigger the battle — the bigger the movement of the needle. And thus the Battle of Waterloo indeed moved things forth in a very big way. Both England and France benefited mightily and today’s advances in Shared Economy and Technology represent another Waterloo for old Statist influences albeit the Governing oppressors around the world have not yet felt the ground shifting under their feet. That the tremors will come soon is certain. Whether there will be any of them left in a few years is highly uncertain…
So again in my usual time travel sequence I bring the clock forward to the other Big War, the Second World War that was nearing the end when an otherwise unknown economist wrote a seminal book that really didn’t have much truck with the war, but had everything to do with the ideology that brought about the war. The National Socialists of Germany under Adolf Hitler as modern day barbarians destroyed and rearranged Europe in ways reminiscent of Napoleon but without the positive aspects nor the vastly civilizing influence of the Bonaparte.
So the unassuming economist Hayek came into the world stage with a small book named: “The Road to Serfdom” and this book does justice to its monumental status in the history of the Human Struggle against Totalitarianism.
It is Hayek’s spirit that helps us all in the battle against the history of State oppression and in our struggle for Freedom and Liberal ideas, with open Minds. Hayek’s book: The Road to Freedom, was a surge of Free people / free markets, capitalist ideas that are singularly responsible for launching an important debate on the relationship between the state and the individual where political and economic freedoms are concerned.
All of You, who know me as a champion of Freedom and Liberty — and there is a clear distinction between the two — inevitably recognize the Hayek spirit in my work. But what You don’t recognize is that equality and equanimity are central themes of my struggle as well. I don’t believe in unbridled market forces but in Free and Open Markets same as in Free and Open Societies and above all else I believe in Free and Open individuals reaching their potential in Democratic Societies where the are at Liberty to reach their potential in an environment of Freedom, Hope and Opportunity.
Equality of Opportunity is foremost in my mind when I bring the aftermath of the Second World War and the Free Speech of Hayek towards the Liberty of Equal Rights for All people when I say this: Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy, are the rights we won after the bloody Second World War and the terrible toll in lives, that the National Socialists brought to the world — by wanting to enforce a faulty ideology to our world and to our Peoples.
On “The Road to Serfdom” is a stop gap book written by the Austrian-born economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek (1899–1992) between 1940–1943, in which he “warned of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning”, and where he argues that the abandonment of individualism and classical liberalism inevitably leads to a loss of freedom, the creation of an oppressive society, the tyranny of a dictator and the serfdom of the individual.
Hayek challenged the general view among his era’s academics that fascism was a capitalist reaction against socialism, instead arguing that fascism, national socialism, and socialism — all had common roots in central economic planning and the power of the state over the individual.
On that note, Hayek became an important influence in the post war Democracy, Liberty, and Open Market/Open minds world debate. And the book set a new standard for what it means to be a dissident in a world of intellectual conformity. It collected around it a new breed of Liberty minded philosophers, economists and politicos. They gathered and huddled together in early Think tanks,and Don rooms in Oxford and Cambridge, same as they did in Princeton and Harvard, and they all exchanged notes and found the movement as a blast of fresh air to warm their hearts and allow them to breathe. The new adherents to Liberty saw far and were able to detect the negative trends after the war and raised their voice and warned of a new form of despotism coming up. They saw this State Oppression as enacted after the war in the name of liberation. And though this book appeared in 1944, at the tail end of the war it was to have it’s remarkable impact felt mostly today, because no modern thinker can consider himself well-schooled in modern Economics, Policy, Social and Political ideas, without having absorbed its lessons.
What Hayek saw, and what most all his contemporaries missed, was that every step away from the free minds & free markets; toward central government planning and state controls, represents a grave loss of individual Liberty. Statism clearly brings a compromise of human freedom generally and is unquestioningly a step toward a form of dictatorship. This is absolutely true in all times and in all places of human history. We’ve seen it in ancient times and we see it today. Yet there is a balance to be had in order to run the state. And that is the true search for the Holy Grail. Hayek in my mind, and history bears this out — demonstrated rather well, this argument against every claim that government control was really only a means of increasing social well-being.
He clearly demonstrated that government planning would make society less livable, more brutal, more despotic. State sponsored Socialism in all its forms is contrary to freedom and Liberty.
Nazism, or otherwise scientifically called National Socialism — he wrote, is not different in kind from Communism. Furthermore, he showed that the very forms of government that England and America were supposedly fighting abroad were being enacted at home, if under a different guise. Corporate Oligarchy, concentration of power, and Lobby Corruption, he said, are further steps down this road that can only end in the abolition of effective liberty for everyone. And so is the industrial military complex that leads us to war … a weed that destroys the garden of Liberty, Freedom and Democracy — where far too many people have sacrificed their lives to have the flowers of Liberty blossom tenfold.
Capitalism, he wrote, is the only system of economics compatible with human dignity, prosperity, and liberty. To the extent we move away from that system, we empower the worst people in society to manage what they do not understand.
I trust that you would agree upon re-reading the book “The Road to Serfdom” that the beauty of this book is it’s ideas that not only offer analysis but a debating society style of discourse which is unrelenting and passionate. Even today, the book remains a source of controversy and I’ve often used it to bolster my rhetoric style and win debate after debate over the years.
And I win the debates because all the Statists, Socialists, pseudo-humanitarians, Communists, and all those who imagine themselves to be against dictatorship, yet want to micromanage Society — cannot abide Hayek’s argument, or my rhetoric and leadership practice. Yet my opponents never stop attempting to refute me… All in vain… As for the Statists — they hate my guts… But that’s another ball of wax.
Some other Social extremists on the other end of the spectrum, deep conservatives of the foggy bottom, also find themselves disappointed with Hayek, claimed that He did not go far enough, and made too many compromises in the course of his arguments…
They prove my point that wing nuts on both sides of the political divide, staying clear away from the golden middle are just that. Nuts.
But that is the genius of Hayek and our small group of Liberty and Democracy fighters. Nobody is fully satisfied with his explanation and serene observation of the incoming serfdom of the citizen and yet when you see the NSA having the biggest budget than any other agency of the state of the US it fully illuminates the point. And that makes me think that He was just right. A very Solomon like approach to Economics and Politics is what we need today to parse the needs and wants, the gets and gives of all segments of the political and socio-economic spectrum.
Still for, anyone who loves liberty this is a gospel book and one cannot but feel a sense of gratitude that this book exists and remains an important part of the current debate today that we celebrate the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo and we remember Liberty as the suffering quality in each and every conflict that pits state against state.
Someday we’ll learn this lesson in Europe and we’ll stop fighting but I don’t see this happening in our lifetime.
Hayek served humanity with this work of thought and inspiration, offering it to a world that desperately needed to hear its message, after a devastating and destabilizing World War and also today where we are building resilience to avoid falling in the same ditch that brought about the serious imbalances that caused the two worldwide Wars of attrition.
Eurosceptics vs Europeans United
Eurosceptics United vs European Federalists …
Now that’s a World Cup match I’d like to see played out on the Darwinian playing field and count the score…
Or in pugilistic terms: A fragmented and Eurosceptic Britain would never again punch above its weight on the world stage and will follow the exit of Scotland if Scotland leaves, the Union.
Britain’s influence follows it’s ebb and flow of success on the world stage and the strength of the Empire – real or imagined.
An English academic asked a Scottish Academic what is an Englishman and the answer might surprise you:
“An Englishman is a man who lives on an island in the North Sea governed by Scotsmen”.
He then asked why the Scots want to give up this power over their historic foe?
To which He answered: I guess they will be voting “No” because of the D-Day anniversary. Now we all have been reading some of the contemporary writing of the leading American and British politicians and Generals, and the interesting thing to note is that the leading British soldiers such as Field Marshal Brooke, were from Northern Ireland, and many more from Scotland, and from the other members of the commonwealth, than old Blightey.
I think this goes to the issue that the strength of the UK has always rested on contributions made by each of its constituent nations. Another is the transition in the relationship between Britain and the US as the war wore on. At the start, the British had the expertise and set the agenda. This was to the chagrin of most senior members of the American military – who felt that the British looked down their nose at them. But Roosevelt appears to have appreciated that the US army was not ready to take on the Wehrmacht.
Only after George Marshall created, virtually from nothing, a huge army, and it went through a baptism of fire in North Africa, was it able to fight the German army more or less on an equal footing. Of course it can be argued from beginning to end the Germany army was superior to the other combatants and were it not for Hitler’s blundering both the Policy, and the Diplomacy, as well as his crazy death wish by sending whole Peoples to the gallows and the gas chambers — the outcome could easily have been different. However, once the contribution of the US substantially exceeded that of Britain, not surprisingly the Americans started to call the shots. The timing of this transition was good because the British insisted in 1942 that a cross-channel invasion would be premature (and they were right) and thus they supported a second front in North Africa and Italy to relieve the pressure on the Soviets.
Thus the credit for the war tilting should be in North African and then Italy and Greece. Still most US senior military leaders thought this was an excuse to keep the Suez Canal, the life-line of the British Empire, safe. And they were probably right. Churchill made no bones about it that he was not prepared to see the British Empire dismantled.
Yet by 1944, the British were unable to resist any longer the American and Soviet demands for a wholesale invasion of Europe from across the channel. By then the US was ready and its industrial capacity had been fully harnessed to the extent that it out-produced all the other countries involved in WWII combined. In his history of WWII, Churchill plays down US and British disagreements and suggests that both countries were bound and determined to liberate Europe as soon as possible. And that they did magnificently. Now that’s a footsie game worth following and this was the original World Cup. Ahem … excuse me: World War. Still History is worth studying because the lesson should not be lost with the generational change of the guard.
Remembering this as both a British/Scottish/Greek/European, and an American citizen, I fervently hope that Scotland does not vote to separate and abandon the fertile United Kingdom especially now acting hastily on sentimental reasons. From my own unique cultural experience, am here to tell you that both Scottish and Greek Peoples are alike and run hot or cold with anger and passion. They both have their national drink that overrides all passions and their national game and dress. Both Peoples are fiercely independent and brutal in their anger and myopic approach to logical processes when drunk on their local elixir or on their local version of nationalism gone wild. If you have played a close contact game of golf with a Scotsman juiced on the malted water of the river — you know too well what am talking about.
Still the abundant and overwhelmingly beautiful prose and poetry of these ancient and enlightened Peoples allows me a glimmer of hope that in this instance both of these sentimental Peoples will vote with their head and will not allow their fiery passions to throw the baby out with the bath water. Robert Burns said this: “My love is like a red, red rose that’s newly sprung in June: My love is like the melody that’s sweetly played in tune. … ”
When I last spoke in Edinburgh about the issue of Scottish Independence, I was clearly asking my Sottish brethren, who have a lot of Byzantine blood in them, to be patient. I simply said to the assembled clan-leaders and the Greats of Scotland that is best to await a few more years. Be patient, because in ten to fifteen years we will all be part of a Federal Europe of 87 regions and not of the old Common Market of the 28 nationalities. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who served as prime minister from 1999 to 2001, has said that “the Balkanization of the British Isles is something we are not looking forward to because Scotland will have to start from scratch.” But if Scotland stays put and enlarges it’s role; then Scotland in ten years’ time, will be not only on an equal footing with England, but on par with France, and Germany — and that is worth waiting for.
Mark my words. I said in Edinburgh: “The time is now to build your region and integrate further with the Unions. Now is the time for Scotland to become more militant in favour of a European federation. Let us see Scotland lead the United Kingdom, dragging old England by pulling from the hair, headfirst into the Age of European Federalism. Kicking and screaming, England will love it. That’s how it always happened and that’s how You give old Nigel a stroke and drive a stake through the heart of the UKIP Dracula.
That is the future my friends. That is a future worth fighting for. So Go Ahead. Fight for it. Don’t go to a distant and murky past. You can’t afford it in the first place. Your education will suffer and your deer hunts will not be enough for supper. Your fluorocarbons are not enough to built you an army. And as for renewables you cannot even buy you a solar heater — so go with the flow. Stand together with the rest of us, and everything will work out fine. In the end we’ll all be happy together. And in the long run we’ll all be dead anyway, so what the hell matters?
Make no mistake – be patient.
United we stand – Divided we fall.
Fall into our own sword as this case might be…
So let’s be smart and avoid this horrid auto-goal. A selfie of that kind is not befitting an ancient people and a wise enlightened nation. Let’s not disembowel ourselves and instead let’s go the other direction. Let’s become more. More intertwined. More abundant. More resilient and more robust. Let’s become more United. More united in the big Europe of ours> Let us guide Scotland to become better through a better Europe and a stronger Union. Let’s forget about ancient animosities and let’s not start walking the wrong way and bring an earthquake that will devour all of our efforts and alienate us from all those around us…
I know that’s not what You are thinking but as the Law of Unintended consequences takes effect you shall be powerless to repair the dam. Your plans are not to breach the dam but still. Catastrophes ensue out of “what the hell” attitudes. Or even out of well thought out plans. Same as Robert, the national poet says: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.”
So I beseech you: Let’s think this thing through carefully because if we don’t the naysayers, the negativists and all of our enemies will rejoice. Furthermore, I don’t think the “yes” supporters have really thought out the consequences. Scotland today is still the Enlightened Leader and it has double representation both in the UK parliament and in its own parliament with jurisdiction over local matters. I cannot help but ask what more do you want?
You know that if Scotland votes for independence — you lose your EU membership, and Britain would soon leave the EU as well. That is because should Scotland vote for independence, and/or Eurosceptics win the day in any eventual EU plebiscite, this would not only deal a body blow to the international influence of the United Kingdom, but could even place the continued union between England, Northern Ireland and Wales in jeopardy. And the two issues could feed into each other. This is because Scots, in general, are more favourable toward continued membership of the EU than the English, who account for a majority of Britain’s population. Thus, if Scotland votes for independence, and doesn’t take part in a subsequent EU plebiscite, it becomes more likely that – in a close vote – Britain would leave the EU.
But I have to say this again. We can do well in this country together. I know and you know that a little love goes a long way. So give me some loving here and lay still for a while longer. But you have to agree to love or else this Union will not work. So pray tell — what more is it that you want? If it is more Europe that you want — then wait a decade and a separate seat in the EU is likely to be granted to you, as an independent region. But you separate now it will be twenty years before you can get readmitted into the European Union and that’s for starters. Look at the Balkans and Ukraine where they are today. Instead Scotland should focus on playing it’s strengths. Become a best run European region. Adopt and promote the Gaelic language and all the glory that makes Scotland great. Because Scotland is great as a European region far more than a region of the UK and the Commonwealth. But it was the UK that brought you into the Union and thus your position is assured. Scotland is a darling in a Europe of many languages. We spend 800 million euros in translation services alone, we can surely afford to fit Gaelic into the pot.
So leaving the United Kingdom and by extension the European Union now would be stupid. It’s tantamount to a suicide. A pact with the Devil, and a regressive political move. That’s all I’ve got to say… Barack Obama also said this. He expressed his support for a “strong, robust and united” Britain. He is clear on his preference for a “no” vote in the Scottish independence referendum in September. He gave us comfort as he spoke that the “United Kingdom has been an extraordinary partner to us.”
But am not holding my breath that you will act reasonably, serenely and rationally because as I well know from long experience with both Peoples I hang with — Greeks & Scots, the enlightened mind goes for a holiday when the angry mind goes to vote fortified with the sweet single malt or the anise flavoured water of life. You sing the national anthem and throw caution to the wind while going commando jumping over the parapet to stitch the enemy.
Whoever that enemy might be…
Problem is, sometimes there is no enemy but yourself.
And stitching yourself is not only painful — it’s suicide.
Scottish brothers and Sisters — please listen to the better Angels of your heart.
And then do what you want.
As for the Old England …
Am not too worried.
The English are resourceful beyond compare. They’ll come up with creative solutions to plug the hole that Scotland will leave behind. Surely they will miss the fun and games but employment will be boosted having to rebuilt the old Hadrian wall. And that national game “Golf” you are not getting it back. As for the Scotch whiskey — you might as well forget it. It’s all what the English drink these days and it might as well be called “English whiskey” in a couple of generations because they are better marketeers.
One alternative to the UK after the Scottish devolution, could be a more advanced federalization of the United Kingdom, or what’s left of it.. with the other European sceptic countries. The piglets, the periphery, the south, or even the Ukraine and all other ones from the Maghreb to the Middle east and Turkey. A veritable hodgepodge of festering resentment and dissatisfaction not unlike the average Ukip voter and Nigel with the German dominatrix Haus-Frau to boot.
Or maybe England should focus on the Atlantic role of the UK, in-between the US and the EU. This with an advanced European Federalization, might be an alternative to UK’s full membership to the Federal European Union — although scarily acrobatic.
Or maybe a better role for England and the remaining United kingdom is a renewed Commonwealth with it’s attendant drive for a fuller integration of the Bric economies if not a distant nations federalization.
Yet whatever Great Britain does, as the UK or as England and Allies, or as the Commonwealth, it’s going to be a cataclysmic shift economically — but it is essential to both the EU and the US to maintain England as a go between. That’s what the special relationship is all about.
And maybe this is the sweet spot where England should thrive. As it could be for the Long Now, because alone might have a hard time to remain credible in this transitional position.
But make no mistake England will come back to Europe… and the world stage swimmingly.
As for all those other countries, conquered and adopted when England was heading the British Empire — they can find a renewed role within a larger framework of an ascendant European Federation of which England and Scotland could come to be the prodigal sons.
Learn about this because the only way to protect your Democracy and your RIGHTS is to know what these rights are.
Otherwise You have No Democracy and No Rights either.
So Habeas Corpus is a Request for instant Judicial Review of any deprivation of yours or other people’s Liberty.
A writ of habeas corpus is a court order of the highest power that requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge and into a court.
The principles of habeas corpus are deeply enshrined in any lawful State and especially in a Republic and a Democracy.
If you live in a Democracy, then rest assured that Habeas Corpus ensures that a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention immediately — that is, detention lacking sufficient cause or evidence.
It has historically been the most important legal instrument safeguarding civil rights and individual freedom against arbitrary state action, arrest, and imprisonment. It is the only serious bulwark of protecting the individual and communal Human Rights from the excruciating oppression of Totalitarianism.
But You have to know about it and use it.
Today in a democracy Habeas Corpus has evolved and has been extended to non-police authorities, and not just personal matters, as in the 1898 Queen’s Bench case of Ex Parte Dorothy Hopkins, which has successfully been utilized more recently in India to liberate a woman from a Muslim madrasa. So Habeas Corpus applies across the board to all forms of unlawful confinement such as debtor’s prisons, asylums, wards, military gaols, immigration camps, local police cells, refugee and IDP camps, mental hospitals, rendition centres, secret jails, tax court holding pens, family held individuals, students held in “schools” against their will, [Medresses] boarding schools, religious schools, monasteries, cults, etc. Thus all unlawfully captive people can regain their freedom under the provisions of the Habeas Corpus Writ.
A writ of “Habeas Corpus” also known as the “Great Writ” is a summons with the force of the Highest Supreme Court order, and is addressed to any prison official, police person, and persons of any Authority to imprison and hold people — “custodians” from the Sovereign, down to the Prime Minister, President, Ministers, functionaries, military personnel and bureaucrats, of any level and of any country. A Writ of Habeas Corpus requires that a prisoner be taken before a court to be seen by a judge and to have the case and cause of imprisonment reviewed immediately. Failure of any authority to obey this Habeas Corpus Great Writ disqualifies them from office.
When the “Habeas Corpus” writ is served to the “custodian” — be it a jailer, police, military, and civil official with power to hold people — it requires immediate action. That action is that they present proof of authority and justification, bringing the “prisoner” in front of a sitting Judge, thus allowing the court to determine whether the “custodian” has lawful authority to detain the prisoner. If the custodian is acting beyond his authority, then the prisoner must be released immediately and the custodian be reprimanded. Additionally any prisoner, or another person acting on his or her behalf, not only a lawyer, but any citizen, may petition the court, or a judge, for a writ of habeas corpus.
One reason for the writ to be sought by a person other than the prisoner is that the detainee might be held incommunicado, drugged, gagged, or under duress, or in secret jails, or asylums, or in “clinics” or in local village police stations, or in work camps, or in military barracks, and thus held under rather adverse circumstances, and unable to be reached or communicated with. That is the reason why all the remedies of Habeas Corpus apply always, and must be observed.
All lawful states and jurisdictions across the world, provide a similar remedy for those unlawfully detained. That is the case with functioning countries, except for the totalitarian, communist, and fascist regimes. Hitler’s Germany for example, was famous for abolishing Habeas Corpus with the curt Führer calling the Habeas Corpus an English innovation and dismissing it immediately as soon as he came into power.
Yet history showed us that this ancient innovation of Habeas Corpus is the most useful bulwark of Liberty because it clearly demarcates a Democracy from a Fascist totalitarian regime, and thus separates the bastards of statecraft from the well born and well bred Democratic citizen leaders.
Make no mistake “habeas corpus” or “Amparo de libertad” as is called in some Spanish-speaking nations, best serves as remedy against unlawful imprisonment for the ‘protection of Liberty’ and offers the supreme guarantee of Democratic Freedoms and Personal Liberty.
We have observed in history that when you violate the Habeas Corpus, you shred Democracy and have no claim to lawful authority. Governing bodies, elected and non elected officials who disregard the Habeas Corpus rights of the people are subject to international arrest and can be brought to Justice because of their blatant violation of Human Rights. Such is the strength of this Great Writ that even people like Cheney and Bush had to observe it at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus has long been celebrated as the most efficient safeguard of the liberty of the subject citizens and all other people in a lawful society. The noted international jurist Albert Venn Dicey wrote that the British Habeas Corpus Acts “declare no principle and define no rights, but they are for practical purposes worth a hundred constitutional articles guaranteeing individual liberty”
Now You might rightfully ask why is Pano harping away about Habeas Corpus?
Well … that is a good question and a valid point.
Here is the answer:
I was invited to a Conference held by the Greek Stock Exchange to promote institutional investment in the stricken country under the PR tag line Growth for Greece.
The CEO of the exchange is someone I know and respect for many years and consider a friend and I also want to help rally sustainable investment of the massive scale to tip the balance towards a Green Economy. Mind you Greece is the only country in the world that suffers it’s seventh year of a horrible economic depression with no end on sight. Of course there is no end because Greece is at present under a German administered economic Austerity plan that is no different than any other Nazi inspired solution. People eat from the garbage bins literally and a small tiny minority is lording it over them by collaborating with the Germans. The country and it’s people suffer under a renewed occupation of the economic kind, that has resulted in this ancient country becoming a vast debtor’s prison where the once free citizens do not enjoy even the basic rights of Habeas Corpus and where confiscation of property and even bank deposits happen without any judgment by the courts.
So a person can be and does get arrested and thrown in debtor’s prison for a debt to the state of a few hundred euros. Imagine that Dickensian fate for a human being, a father of family to be thrown to jail for a small debt to the state. A small debt arising out of onerous and unjust taxation that in Greece of today with most people being unemployed — one cannot afford to pay. You surely understand that in the case of the Greek people you would do the same thing. You would also first try to feed your children and then if you have any money try to pay the tax man. But in 2014, this is the German efficiency machine in action. The Greek collaborateurs arrest people and confiscate their property with not a moment’s thought as if the people are animals with nor rights. As if that is not enough, the collaborationist Greek government further trashes the human rights of the people by announcing that they are able to lawfully confiscate the bank deposits of citizens without even a simple notification towards the affected people. And as history happens — I was reading this in the Greek newspaper of record “Kathimerini” while listening to the neo-Gauleiter of Greece, Mr Horst Reichenbach strutting about the stage and showing diagrams of fiction about an economic recovery that isn’t coming any time soon…. very much in Fuhrer mode and in English spoken with a German cadence.
This being the weekend, I had flown over from London via Brussels and Rome, where I had a series of Democracy related meetings, and had arrived in a stifling hot Athens — not in the best of moods. I headed to the seaside hotel venue of the conference and in good spirit I attempted to participate in the proceedings — all the while scanning the Italian, French, and Greek papers for signs of life. And then this moffo German mini-Führer starts spouting inanities and nonsense and am thinking that I have been transported to either a Charlie Chaplin movie in an alternate universe or I am lucid dreaming of the German Nazi era replayed in modern times.
Pinched myself hard next to the balls to wake up and I pained seriously awake recognizing that it’s not a dream but the Greek reality of 2014. To prove the point that the poor country is under German occupation on the official program the first man to address the gathered attendees on the podium was indeed the Defacto leader of the country the German Horst Reichenbach, head of the Task Force for Greece. He is the modern era equivalent of the German Gauleiter of the Nazis who ruled Greece with a convenient Collaborateur government during the WWII German occupation period. Same like today, where a collaborationist government acts on behalf of the Germans and against the interests the Greek people by destroying both Democracy and Human Rights as well as Greek society and all the Laws.
But back then it was war and the Greeks had lost. And the German National Socialist party under Adolf Hitler ruled Greece with an iron fist, through the local Gauleiter and the Wehrmacht assisted by Gestapo. The German occupation forces stole the country’s wealth, plundered all the food deposits, and even took the small national emergency grain deposits, and thus launched the Greek people into a horrible famine.
Still back then and after the war, the Greek official collaborators, the Tsolakoglou government with Papandreou as their adviser and the German Gauleiter of the Nazis, were never held responsible after the war and the Greek collaborateurs and the black marketeers intrinsically connected to the German criminal occupiers still live in Kolonaki ruling the country with their wealthy society families as Papandreou himself became a Prime minister and made certain, that his son and grandson, also ruled Greece as Prime ministers and collectively and cumulatively launched the place into the complete and utter chaos and misery it is today. It’s notable that many Greek Democrats who spoke up and objected to the unlawful provisions found themselves in the trains to Auschwitz where they met their death in the gas shower chambers due to the Greek Black market government arresting them and passing them over to the German Gestapo for further ‘processing” in to the German extermination camps.
History is the school of statecraft and will repeat itself again and again, because the Greek criminals were not tried for their war time crimes against humanity and they did not have to answer for the Million plus Greek people who starved to death. When a million people die from hunger and starvation during your reign — You’ve got something to answer for. In Greece they made the old Papandreou a Prime Minister… And that failure of justice is perpetuated today because this current coalition government thinks with a certain degree of value that they will not get prosecuted ever for their crimes against humanity.They feel they shall not have to answer for the ten thousand suicides per year due to unemployment and for the proud Greek men dying from a broken heart when they can’t feed their families. All in the interest of the euro and the small class of today’s Black Marketeers who enrich themselves through this German led crisis and current famine. An this spirit of injustice is perpetuated, only because the Greek people themselves instead of rebuilding their society and awarding justice and honour where these were due — they launched their own civil war right after the second bloody world war. No time for Justice.No time for Society and Social justice — it will catch up with you.
And here is a view of the Great Famine during the second World War German occupation years: The Great Famine (Greek: Μεγάλος Λιμός) was a period of mass starvation during the Axis occupation of Greece, during World War II (1941–1944). The local population suffered greatly during this period, while the Axis Powers initiated a policy of large scale plunder and requisitioning of all the food supplies and emergency grain storage for the use of the Wermacht. Moreover, the requisitions of the national emergency food deposits together with the blockade of Greece, the ruined state of the country’s infrastructure and the emergence of a powerful and well-connected with the collaborateur Greek government and with the German occupiers, black market, resulted in the Great Famine of Greece. The Great Famine, with the mortality rate reaching a peak of One Million people during the winter of 1941–1942.The great suffering and the pressure of the Greek Diaspora eventually forced the lifting of the blockade, and from the summer of 1942, the International Red Cross was able to distribute supplies; however, the situation remained grim until the end of the German occupation and the liberation of the country by the Allied Anglo-American forces.
Of course during Hitler’s World War Two from 1940-1945 the Greek collaborators were the only ones who were able to see and enjoy economic growth in the ravaged country while their countrymen were rounded up, held, tortured, and either sent to Auschwitz or summarily executed. The rest of the people had only fear, famine, and hunger, as their constant companion. No Habeas Corpus then, and no rights of any kind were given to the Greek patriots who simply strived to feed their families or did what was necessary to find a loaf of bread. Forget about those who fought to liberate their country — they were all summarily executed. Sending people to jail and certain death, without even the summary perfunctory Gauleiter military tribunals — was the norm from 1941 to 1945. And that was an evolution of the Greek Metaxas dictatorship government that preceded the war years and had paved the way for the Axis powers ascent and appetite to dominate Greece.
This seven year occupation today we are witnessing in 2014, is probably the modern era equivalent of that WWII occupation Great famine. Only now as History gets repeated the plan is a bit more subtle. First the causes of general depression, are to be found in the violent integration into the Euro-Zone and then the “assassination” of the people economically and the drive to unemployment and feelings of lack of self worth, that lead in a vicious circle of depression and eventually suicide. Whole people can commit suicide. Through Corruption, and Loss of Sovereignty, whole people can and do commit suicide. herodotus the ancient historian tells the stories of hundreds of these whole nations that are not with us anymore because they collectively lost the will to live as independent nations. Whole Peoples jumped off the proverbial cliff of history. So the modern Masters of the Universe the Germans have a clear plan to subjugate the Greek people once and for all.
I saw clear evidence of this yesterday morning hearing Mr Reichenbach explain away the unexplainable. The way to destroy a whole nation is easy and if anyone has tried to do this scientifically is the Germans. They built a network of twenty five thousand factories, camps, and processing centres, just in order to exterminate a race of people, along with the Democrats and the undesirables of Europe. They learned that game by practicing well and often. They worked at it ever since they assisted the Turks and officiated in the extermination of the Armenian people and later the German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler famously said: ” Who remembers the Armenians now?”
So the German high command is at it now against the Greeks. Deprive them of their self-worth and they will all go terminally depressed and jump off the cliff massively. Spreading division, discord, and depression, cause despair. Then people jump. It’s easy to drive a whole nation to suicide when you control everything including the food supply. Undernourished people seldom rebel and the highly excitable Greeks are easily medicated. Depressed and anxious people can’t mount a defence either. So the game is up. Once you do this to the people — the society will obey whatever You order as is the case with the collaborateurs in Greek government today and then whatever happens — you can blame it on the people all over again. Driving people to suicide is not nice but it is not a provable crime either. And if some people are still revolting against this reality — then you can place them in debtor’s prison so you can scare them enough to not have a voice to object to your crimes.
But some of us have both Memory and the balls to Lead people to rebellion against this dismal fate. It is not “Fait Accompli” because history is not written until much later, and we also remember the Armenian people as both heroes and victims of a historical crime of genocide.
In the Nyremberg trials of the Nazi war criminals we had ample evidence of the involvement of the German High Command and of the Officer Corps in assisting Attaturk and the Neo-Turks in exterminating the Armenian people. And it was this disturbing science that gave them the requisite knowledge to be able to erect their death camp network and exterminate 9 million people in the short years of their ill gotten power.
Where were the Good Germans then?
The WWII occupation years saw vast famine in Greece due to the German plunder of all food supplies. Here are corpses of Greek people collected from the streets each and every morning with the garbage trucks of the day…
That was another era that Greece and the Greek people had been subjected to severe austerity by the Germans and their local collaborators and that resulted in a serious famine that exterminated a total of 15% of the population of the country between 1941-1945. Somewhere around One million and a half of the Greek people perished because of the German caused famine that the WWII occupation brought. But today in 2014, this modern era of occupation was brought about by the occupation loans made to prop up the German collaborationist government that operates like the Black Marketeers of yesterday. They transact in the Greek state and plunder anything of value as their own. The same names are all evident from the one hundred Greek families that were colaborateurs of the Germans and still today are. From Papandreou to Latsis, the politicians, and the bankers, they are all implicated in the modern plunder.
Yet today, it seems that the Greek people will demand justice and will surely get it… if only because the climate of fear is subsiding and the new voices are heard and after all no occupation lasts for ever. Winds of change are breezing and today’s Greek government collaborateurs are going to be found guilty of a whole lot of crimes and when the dust settles they will be sharing cells in the same European jails where Milosevic once stood trial in Den Hague.
So now today in the year of the Lord 2014, am witnessing this Neo-Nazi German Gauleiter ruling Greece, Mr Horst Reichenbach opening up the stage on the Conference about Growth in Greece. This thing happening in 2014 — is Deja Vu all over again. Am rubbing my eyes thinking it’s some kind of a parallel Universe and maybe my constant flying has sent me in a nightmare of major proportions … but it’s for real. Mr Horst Reichenbach, speaking with the unmistaken authority of an occupier, in front of the leading audience of Greece’s business world, he explains with colourful slides the situation. He is showing in earnest the German-hued “facts and figures” and he summarizes the problems with the country and it’s people, and then proceeds with the German solutions about the Greek Economy. Something like the Final Solution — he is telling people do not worry about your fate and the unemployment of 58% because the same is true of the situation throughout Europe … more or less. And then he will direct the people into the Gas chambers telling them it’s a good place to get a warm water shower.
And people believe him and even look up to him and his Greek cronies for advise, help, and support.
Damn near impossible to decide whether to walk away or throw a chair at him. Yet the better angels of my heart prevail and I walk away to go for a swim. The sea is angry and the waves roll in and sharply vomit their foam at the bulwark. And am thinking of the forces of Nature and of how to take this fight to Berlin by sharing with you the Human Rights issues that surround this Greek Tragedy of an occupation government ruled by collaborators who do the bidding of Berlin’s emissary by suspending the basic rights of the Greek people. Tragedy it is because the present day Greek government while drowning in a sea of corruption and collaboration is truly repugnant when they not only encourage this travesty of justice but they sell out the country as a whole. Am certain that this government Ministers and their collaborators should all be investigated and tried in the Tribunal for Human Rights of Europe. Some of the more serious and egregious acts of treason and corruption should be tried in the European Court of Justice because the Greek government personnel do not even care to act or address the hundreds of large corruption cases involving the banks and the government and their conspiracy to defraud the people of Greece and deny them their independence and their Democracy — even though they have been appraised of these cases by the whistleblowers organization AJ4JD.org
Yet the crony corruption is so devastating that this story from the papers proves the point beyond doubt. I read in the local Greek paper yesterday that not only the Debtor’s prisons are alive and well and people can go to jail without a hearing of any sort because they owe this foreign occupation government above a thousand Euros, but that they can also have their bank deposits confiscated without any notice. And am astounded at this lack of the due process of law. Astounded and dismayed…
And people in Greece, do go to jail although we all know that Debtor’s prison has been abolished since we came into the Enlightenment of the 18th century and into the full maturity of Human Rights after the Second World War upon the signature of the new Magna Carta of Human Rights by all the Democratic Peoples of this Earth.
Still today debtors’ prisons for people who are unable to pay debts exist as an ongoing governmental institution in Greece — the only country of European Union that allows for this. These type of prisons have been used as a form of enslavement and coercion since ancient times. In the Victorian era and until the mid 19th century, debtors’ prisons were a common way to deal with unpaid debt in Western Europe. Today, through increasing access to Habeas Corpus protections, Human Rights considerations, and leniency brought through the use of bankruptcy laws — they have been rendered irrelevant over most of the world.
Yet today, debtors’ prisons exist as of June 2014, and persist in rare and undemocratic countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Greece, and Russia. But apparently under the Germans the whole of Greece has become a vast Debtor’s prison and with nary any protection from Habeas Corpus…
Debtors’ prisons are not only an anachronism but the surest way to recognize the failure of Democracy and Human Rights in a country.
According to the Council of Europe, and in article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights [#Protocol 4], civil imprisonment and expulsion for debts are strictly prohibited. Furthermore Protocol 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits the imprisonment of people for breach of a contract.
The only member of the Eurozone that has neither signed nor ratified this protocol, is Greece.
And what reasonable institutional investor or Democratic entity will be willing to perform these hoops to come to Greece and play with this bunch of fascist morons is a great big question mark. Maybe the only ones interested are the Chinese and other totalitarian regimes who are not overly concerned with Human Rights and Democracy because they don’t have any. You see powerful words conveying strong ideas of human concepts like Freedom, Democracy, Habeas Corpus, Magna Carta, Liberty, and Social Justice, and many more are all banned completely in China. Not only they do not exist in the Dictionary, but they are also banned from the daily discussion amongst people, and you cannot even find them in the internet since this is also heavily censored and those words completely erased… Forget about Tiananmen Square, this banning of words, represent a complete reincarnation of what the book 1984 from George Orwell described.
Still this is what China is today that never had Democracy and they don’t know what Liberty is.
But for Greece the cradle of Democracy to have fallen so low?
So as Greece and it’s people march inexorably on the road to Serfdom — am revolting and asking you to stand with us.
Care to join me?
For those of you still wandering — Habeas Corpus, means “you may have the body” in the old Latin…
Yet it has nonetheless evolved to mean “You can have the body and only under lawful detainment and No You cannot have the Spirit.” This at least according to a celebrated advocate no less than Nelson Mandela who as a friend confided to me the meaning he attached to the many Habeas Corpus writs he executed on behalf of many of his comrades and colleagues as well as on behalf of ordinary folk in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela had long run-ins with the Apartheid government of fascist South Africa and spent almost thirty years in the various jails of the Regime always advocating and practising the Art of the Law.
A law he respected fully especially when he revolted against “unjust laws” enacted by an Apartheid government and he spent all of his youth in trying to change these laws and bring about a Democracy.
Mandela succeeded in bringing about this Democracy and he further always respected the law especially when he came out of jail to become the President of South Africa winning a landslide during the first democratic elections this country ever held.
Today South Africa is the only true Democracy of Africa and a model for the rest of the world with growth and prosperity shared by all it’s people and the benefits of Democracy shared far and wide regardless of the colour of your skin. Something that the Greek people do not enjoy in the year 2014 and especially as a quasi independent state inside the United States of Europe…
What a bloody SHAME…
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