As mentioned in "Part one" of this Commentary, Merkel, by thrusting 1/3 of the Greeks into deep poverty, managed to radicalize towards the Left almost the greatest part of the Greek society. Which resulted in the spreading of panic not only in the Greek elites but mostly in the European and US elites.
Let us examine in more detail this new situation:
– An important development has been the split of the (Eurocommunist) "Coalition", today called SYRIZA, in two parts, with the creation, in 2010, of a new party, the "Democratic Left", under the leadership of Fotis Koovelis.
Fotis Koovelis (64) is a mild-mannered lawyer with a diligently cultivated profile of political moderation. He has been part of the Eurocommunist movement after the military dictatorship of 1967.
In the most recent opinion polls the "Democratic Left", the new party of Koovelis, got almost 13 % to 20 % of the vote of the Greeks, while the governing "socialist" PASOK, which has been governing Greece for almost three decades, got around 10 %. Of course the term "socialist" means: a reactionary rightist party, participating in the CIA orchestrated two-party charade.
– The leader of (the Eurocommunist) SYRIZA is Alexis Tsipras, a young (38) and dynamic civil engineering colleague of mine, who, during the last many months has repeatedly attacked quite effectively the corrupt old political guard of the PASOK "socialists" and the Rightists of "New Democracy". Of course, the old guard considers the youth-factor as a … "defect".
The older members of SYRIZA constitute a rather restraining factor in the present political process. However, there are younger members with solid educational and cultural background that are worthy of the support of the Greeks.
A very positive development not only for SYRIZA but for the Greek society at large, could be the support of SYRIZA by the young Greeks who can push SYRIZA towards a more "social libertarian" (anarchic) attitude.
– The leader of KKE (the Stalinist Communists) is Aleka Papariga (67), a graduate of the "History and Archaeology" department of the University of Athens.
The rank and file of the party, as expected, constitute a very disciplined and dynamic force in the Greek society, who, justifiably, are very proud for the history of their party and for the rivers of blood and the suffering that its members have been undergoing in the hands of the Greek Right, the Nazis, and the US, for almost 3/4 of a century.
Yet, at this specific point in time, their behavior could be crucial not only for the Greeks as a people, but, also, for the rest of Europe, if not for the world. Their hard-headed insistence to go it alone and their contempt for the rest of the Greek Left could be destructive for the struggle of the Greeks. Also, their quasi-religious insistence that the communists hold the absolute truth, is a huge minus for the Left.
Finally, their aggressive disdain for the "social libertarians" (anarchists) has always been (and is) bizarre.
The Greek people will not forgive an undermining of the unique chance present in this, Merkel-initiated, situation. The rank and file of the party should push to avoid such a tragedy. They have to cooperate with the rest of the Left.
– The leader of the Greens is Michalis Tremopoulos (54), a lawyer. He is a Murray Bookchin "social ecologist". A more combative presentation of the Bookchin ideas among the Greeks could add a significant percentage of votes to the Left. Again, it is imperative that the Greens put aside any personal disagreements with the rest of the Left and be part of a wider effort.
– The "social libertarians" (anarchists), are dispersed all over Greece. Naturally, there are (or should not) be any leaders. There is no way for them to participate in the electoral process. However, there is a very simple and effective way to let them present their vision to the Greek people: The other parts of the Left, the Communists, SYRIZA, the Democratic Left, and the Greens could invite them in their rallies, in their TV presentations, etc. to do just that, present their vision, in which the Albert-Hahnel "Participatory Economics" holds an important part.
– Finally there is a very important part of the Left: a very angry Greek people. All the above parts of the Left should seek to contact these ordinary Greeks in sincerity and respect.
On their side, the ordinary Greeks should demand from the above parts of the Left to unite and free the country of the blight; domestic and foreign. My estimate is that the Greeks are so angry and desperate, that, as previously mentioned, they are not going to forgive any irresponsibility on the part of the leaders of the Left.
[Parenthesis: This is the morning of Wednesday February 15, 2012 and this was just announced in Athens: Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German Minister of Finance, decided, in essence, that the Greek parliamentary elections, scheduled for April of 2012, should not take place.]
So, it seems that I was right (in "Part one" of this article): "[The] real problem is not the [Greek] 'debt' but the 'Lefties'".
However, even taking for granted that Merkel "succeeded" to radicalize the Greeks, will the elections change things?
Unfortunately, the (Stalinist) Communists, have, already, expressed the view that the elections are not so important, implying that only a revolution will bring the change.
The rest of the Left spectrum and the majority of the Greeks understand that right now it is imperative to get rid of the corrupt old political structure. After that, it is up to the Greek people to change things and to seek a new vision.
By the way, is the following statement correct: "History teaches that the majority (if not all) of the politicians are problematic persons who decide for themselves that they should be our leaders"? The answer was given by the ordinary Americans of the Clinton era: "Throw the bums out!" However, the same ordinary Americans brought in W. Bush and Obama.
Of course, Noam Chomsky is right: it is the institutions that count. The individuals, as instruments serving the institutions, are simply replaceable. Yet, people like Merkel, Schaeuble, et al, can spread very deep anger to entire populations.
Also, there is an additional dimension, a moral one, in the Greek drama: the racist attitude of the European Schaeubles against the Greeks as humans.
The regular ZNetters will remember the article by Michael Lewis of "Vanity Fair" magazine (ZNet Commentary: "Thackeray's Greeks?" of September 26, 2010) who denigrated the Greeks as a people. Schaeuble does the same as a post-Hitler "good German", for he thinks of himself as a "superhuman" that can dictate to lesser humans his wishes, e.g. when the Greeks should be allowed to hold parliamentary elections.
So, let us check if Schaeuble is right in considering the Greeks as lesser than his German self:
– In the late 1950s George Mastoris, a fellow-student of mine in the Greek Polytechnic and a civil engineering colleague, found himself in Germany at one of the best technical institutions of the land. The German colleagues at the time were faced with a difficult structural problem which they could not solve, in spite of their efforts, for three years. When faced with the problem, Mastoris (the Greek subhuman) solved it in 15 minutes. [In case Dr. jur. (Doktor-in-Law) Wolfgang Schaeuble does not understand the term "structural" here is an aid for him: "Structural" means the mathematical analysis and consequent design of the members of buildings, etc and refers also to the physical properties of engineering materials. Herr Schaeuble: the term definitely does not refer to the "structural adjustments". That is, to give the right, for example, to corporations to push tens of thousands of families to poverty. By the way, Herr Schaeuble, how come you, a member of a supreme race, copied the "wisdom" of the Milton Friedman criminal idiots of the University of Chicago? Or, was it because originally the name might have been … Friedmann? Or is it that Merkel is still carrying her Rumsfeld & Co. umbilical cored?
Let this be a tribute to the memory of my colleague George Mastoris, who died so young.
– Quite a few years ago Mikis Theodorakis (it is more than certain that Schaeuble knows who he is, not only because Mikis is a mortal class enemy of his, but because Mikis is adored by millions of Germans), was presenting, in Athens, a new work of his, the opera of "Karyotakis". I happened to sit by two German ladies, a middle-aged Mother with her daughter, in the concert hall. Discussing Mikis and his music, I told them (with pride) that Mikis was the Johann Sebastian Bach of the Greeks. The German ladies not only agreed, but told me that the Greeks are lucky because Mikis is alive, while JSB is not. Do you think Herr Schaeuble, that the German ladies committed treason by praising the member of a lower race? Or was it that the ladies, simply, belonged to the 2/3 of normal ordinary humans of the German population, in contrast to the members of the 1/3, defined earlier (in "Part one" of this article)?
– Many years ago Professor S…, the top expert in soil mechanics of Germany, and I were checking in Greece the foundation of the piers of one of the most important bridges in Europe, at the time. He asked my opinion and he agreed with it. Did he, too, commit treason by agreeing with me, given that I belong to a lesser race?
– Do you, Herr Schaeuble, consider that the Greeks are morally corrupt, as does the "Vanity Fair" journalist, because some Greeks, belonging to the Greek 1/3, were not paying taxes or got bribes from Siemens? However, do you have the right to pass such a judgment, when in Regensburg the local priest was fucking the kids of the town for decades and the German parents, who by now must have been aware of the situation, looked the other way?
– During the Vietnam war, some young Germans, belonging to the healthy 2/3 of the German population, were throwing leaflets in Munich's "Marienplatz" with content against the US murderers of the time (late sixties). I picked one of the leaflets and started reading the text on it. Then, a very dignified German couple, he in his early 70s, she a bit younger, approached me and tried to persuade me that all I was reading were lies. I had (and have) the opinion that the couple belonged to the post-Hitler 1/3-kind of Germans. Do you agree, Herr Schaeuble?
– A first cousin of mine, a second generation Greek-American, took part in the "Battle of the Ardennes" during the Second World War. In a moment of frankness, he told me that his unit had captured an entire company of German soldiers and then executed all of them, even though the Germans were prisoners of war. [You can check that Herr Schaeuble, in the German archives, which the diligent Germans always maintain]. Now, in 1944 during the Nazi occupation of Greece in the "Battle at Karoutes" the fighters of the Greek Resistance won the battle and captured numerous German soldiers. The Greeks did not kill the German prisoners. The commander of the Germans, a colonel, committed suicide. The second in command, Otto Webers, now a general, can testify to this, as I think he is still alive.
– "Vounihora" is a small village a few miles away from the cosmopolitan Delphi, where the millions of the tourists of the civilized West pay tribute to the murderous priests of classical Greece. The word "vouno" means mountain in Greek. The word "hora" means country. Therefore, the word "Vounihora" means the "mountainous country". In Vounihora, around 3 a. m. the women of the village, young and old, wake up and start climbing the mountain, the "vouno", for about 2 hours to reach the top of the mountain, where there is the only flat area available, to tend to their lentils plots. And this has been going on for centuries. Of course, Her Schaeuble, in Freiburg the ladies, belonging to the German 1/3, are not that lazy as the women of Vounihora.
No need to go on Herr Schaeuble and "Messrs" Schaeubles of Finland, Holland, Czechia, "Vanity Fair", etc. By now it is clear that it is not the 2/3-part of the Greeks who are corrupt, lazy, etc, etc. It seems that it is the racist 1/3-part of the (northern?) Europeans that are rather morally weak.
You have to understand Herr Schaeuble et al, that right this moment, say, in the Congo of Africa, a child is born that is as talented as Johann Sebastian Bach, yet he or she will live all his life as a laborer in a mine or as a "servant" to the white elites of the world. This has to change and it shall change! Starting with the Arabs of Northern Africa.
To close this article let us go back to Athens.
What are the prospects for the Greek 2/3 to unite and win back their dignity? As expected, it is impossible to prophesy. Yet, there are indications pointing that way.
As a 10-year-old to a 14-year-old (1941 to 1944) I had lived through the Nazi occupation in Athens. There was not solidarity among the starving people of Athens, then. Each family was struggling to survive alone.
Today, again people are starving in Athens. I am amazed and surprised at the flood of solidarity that has appeared among the Greeks, of all ages, but especially among the young Greeks and the working class. It is not only moving, it is precious.
As previously mentioned, the Greeks are angry, especially the women, women of all ages, with older women at the top. I consider this as a formidable force, which will contribute greatly to, literally, gaining back our land from the "supermen"; American and European.