Plutophiles’ “Grexit”.

“Grexit” is how Greece leaving the Eurozone is called. (Momentarily introducing a fake currency as California did with “IOU”s, when it had a severe deficit, would not be “Grexit”; California has now a surplus.)

The IMF just recognized having been bone-headed about Greece “Too much austerity” induced:… Notable failures.” 

The IMF enforces monetary orthodoxy, the Eurozone follows. What the IMF is now saying is that monetary orthodoxy is unbalanced. In other words, conventional economists, so far in command, are lunatics.

Presidenta Argentina: I Told You IMF Was Nuts

Presidenta Argentina: I Told You IMF Was Nuts

So what does Paul Krugman conclude? Yes, you guessed it right, the Euro is uglier than ugly. Here is what he said:

“you have to wonder whether it was worth trying to keep Greece in the euro at all. “Grexit” would have been ugly, and will still be ugly if it eventually happens. But compared with what has actually taken place?”

Paul knows a bone when he sees one. He does not like the idea of the Euro, as an equal to the Dollar, and rarely miss an opportunity to make his feelings known. OK, maybe if I had a cushy life because of the USA supremacy system as explicitly as he does, I would not like the Euro either. The more Euro, the less Dollar, looking forward. A serious thing. After all, Euro preference is why Saddam was eradicated. Saudis are paid in Dollars. If they were paid in Euros, Washington would break down (not true in the close future, because of USA fracking is changing everything!).

Let me make the honorable Paul notice this: the I in IMF is for:”International”, like in “International Monetary Fund“. The IMF is what dominates the debate here, not whether Greece is in the Eurozone or not.

Dear Paul, please go back to the Greek civil war (after World War Two). This happened, thanks, in part to heavy Anglo-American military intervention. Number of dead around 800,000. That is proportionally three times more than the American Civil War.

Next, please go back to the dictatorship of the Colonels in the 1960s, also propped by American interests plutocracy.

The Euro is a political answer to such horrors. These are the horrors one is really talking about.

Property rights are a huge problem in Greece: often nobody has any idea who owns what (this makes honest investors shrink at the possibilities). Plutocrats are a huge problem in Greece: they, be they rich ship magnates or the church, pay no taxes. Tax evasion is giant: Greek fortunes are sitting in Swiss bank accounts , etc.

These are huge problems, indeed. However, they were not caused by the Euro, quite the opposite.

The Greek problems having to do with plutocracy, kleptocracy, and a dearth of State of Law, can be traced back to the manu militari intervention of the USA on behalf of its natural allies there, the friendly plutocrats. Those friendly plutocrats, in exchange, just as with the Saudi family, took care of the interests of the USA. (One of them would even marry the widow of the president of the USA, just to show who was the boss.)

To enter the European Union, Greece was forced to democratize (democracy is a culture imposed on those who enter the EU). it was a gift. So was the well intentioned gift of letting Greece enter by overvaluing the Drachma by 100% (that, plus the Olympic Games, somehow backfired, as Greece, as a nation, splurged!).

In the rest of Europe, Greece has the huge and somewhat benevolent friend to help solve the problems left by 23 centuries of foreign, sometimes even alien, and definitively plutocratic, domination by the ugly.

The rest of Europe will help solve the Greek problems, all the more as it somewhat also has them. To put it crudely, Germans have interest that rich Greeks keep on buying Porsches (that means no revolution, but, also, no starvation). Greeks have to decide, democratically, to squeeze their hyper wealthy. Belgium just decided to tax its Royal family, after ludicrous excesses (except for the reigning queen and king).

Having European stakeholders helping out is better than having some autocrat propped by Washington doing so in his own special way (which is what “Grexit” would mean, in practice!).

Such autocrats are no view of the mind, looking at the past: the Egyptian military is an example, one of many. The Egyptian military is completely infeodated to Washington. Yet, plenty of foreign NGO officers got five years in jail in Cairo this week from proceedings started under… Mubarak. (Most of these professional do-gooders had already fled Egypt.)

Problem in Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood. It had a long love-hate dependency upon both the Saudis, and Washington.
Why not to focus instead of the horror that is Saudi Arabia, and the little arrangements with Washington allowing it to be so (9/11, or the Mali invasion being details of that picture)? These arrangements are fundamentally economic and financial. They are not pretty. They are intrinsically entangled with the nature of the currency of the USA, and its financial potentates.

And how did the dollar start? As the greenback, to pay Federal troops during the Secession War. The central bank was created half a century later.

Ultimately, all state dependent currencies reflect the might of the state behind it. Or the might of a confederation of states: the Imperium Francorum, de facto behaved more as a confederacy as anything else, especially when, having been renamed the “Roman empire“, it got diluted in hundreds of states.

Speaking of that, where did the word “Dollar” come from? From the Thaler“. Or more exactly its Czech version: “Tolar”. The Americans are Czechs, and never knew it! The Thaler was a silver based currency used throughout much of Europe for 400 years. It replaced various coins whose real value was about 5% of their nominative value (inviting forgery). Notice that this transnational currency lasted three times longer than the Dollar.

 The questions of currency, debt, structural deficits, rogue bankers, politicians doing exactly what plutocrats told them to do (“rescue our banks, and let us do exactly what we did before!”) are not the same. By confusing all the issues in a conceptual soup, economists end up playing in the hands of the plutocrats.

It’s particularly telling that American economists obsess about Greece. What’s in it for them? Did Greece organize 9/11? No, Greece did not organize 9/11. 15 out of 19 highjackers in 9/11 were Saudis (and 2 from the UAE). It is the Saudi system, the system that allows a family to own a country, that instigated 9/11. And guess what? That has to do with economics. With the Wall Street induced economic system.

Now, that, is a perspective worth gaining. Instead of moaning of Greece and the Euro, lamenting, fundamentally, that Greece left the orbit of the binary system Washington-Wall Street.

So why do American economists lament about Greece? Because therein their daily bread, pleasing their masters, whether they realize it, or not . Lots of bread, as I explained in Euro Derangement Syndrome. Europe breaking in World War Two gave us the satisfaction of the American Century.

Now the American Century is breaking down, mostly because of the rise of China and Europe, and all the other critters using that tectonic opening (see the Argentinean president above, a butt of hostility for the IMF, for daring to discard the old IMF). Paradoxically global plutocracy is stronger than ever. But it is lacking in dictators anxious to please, and behind whom it could hide.

Thus it would be so much nicer, for Wall Street dependent economists, to see a financial and economic catastrophe in Greece. If “Grexit” happened, Greece would collapse, and, surely, a Washington supported dictator emerge, no doubt a great hope for all sorts of plutocrats and plutophiles.

However, I doubt Europe will not see the peril this time of succumbing to American sirens. Europeans are coming to slowly realize how alien the system in the USA is becoming. They observe, aghast, the great democratic hope Obama going to sleep within homes of countless billionaires, guns all over, millions incarcerated, the security state, spying all over, and, insult added to injuries, the USA being the only advanced country without any mandated paid vacation. Among other things.

And that’s why the right wing temptation has been resisted throughout Europe (even Hungary). So far. Differently from the 1930s, the sort of American plutocracy supported civil war that occurred in Germany in 1932 (10,000 dead, thanks to smuggled USA weapons such as those made by conspiring Browning) will not be tolerated this time. Nor should any ideological drift conducive to European break-up.

Japan itself is drawing the same conclusion: PM Abe, although he has perfect credentials as a right wing politician, broke with Washington diktat. He is devaluating the Yen massively, and engaged in an economic program, with massive structural investments, that true progressives approve. Damn the 240% debt/GDP. To save the world, please default!


Patrice Ayme


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37 Responses to “Plutophiles’ “Grexit”.”

  1. Charley James Says:

    Minneapolis MN

    The Euro’s fundamental problem is that while it forged a currency union, it did not – as Dr. Krugman has written about a number of times – forge a political union.

    A banking union exists in name only. Even more devastating and with greater long-term implications (which we’re seeing now) is that, the way it was compromised into existence, nations with strong economies such as France and Germany, had effective control over countries with weak economies including the GIPSI’s and all of the former Soviet bloc nations that were admitted. So, it became the worst of all possible worlds, as I noted elsewhere.
    June 7, 2013

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Charley: How does a currency forge a political union, according to you? The Thaler, as I explained, did not practice politics, and worked fine for 400 years. As a currency. Transnational. Transnational is also what, BTW, the dollar pretty much is, at this point.

    • EugenR Says:

      Dear Charley,
      I believe your perspective of economic reality in Europe is based on opinion that looks at Europe and its economy from very narrow point of view. So if you let me i would like to put it in a perspective.

      1. Europe is rather Continent than a State (or this is how the Europeans perceive themselves) that happened to be created some 1000 years ago out of the ashes of Roman Empire and barbarian invasions. Its history is full of bloodshed sometime for understandable reasons but mostly out of very peculiar reasons. Some like to call the bloodshed civil wars, some revolutions and other national wars, but all of them were the result of political system that put the wrong guys in the head of the decision hierarchy. They were called kings, dictators, cancellers, presidents, chairmans, you name it, but all of them had one thing in common, they felt they are destined and have the right to murder the OTHERS as much as they like. (As contrary to them the founder father of US were the right man in the right position and look what a wonder they created, that makes US relatively a well managed country in spite of all the following inappropriate leaders that followed them). The peak of this bloody tradition was World War II, that ended in some kind of draw between the “Liberal democratic” politician and despotic rulers, who continued the usual state of European history for another 50 years until the despotism collapsed under the burden of their own economic mismanagement.
      2. After WWII the “liberal democratic” politicians, who happened to run the western part of Europe (probably because it is closer to US and not for any other reason), felt threatened buy the despotic part of Europe and concluded that something has to be done, but couldn’t figure out what. Luckily from somewhere appeared a man called Jean Monnet, have you ever heard his name? If not it is not surprising, not like De Gaul or Adenauer, he was just an unimportant figure who happened to establish the European Union. To make it short he successfully persuaded the mentioned above to create an economic union. Nothing was said about national sovereignty in this union, it was all about customs duties and creation of a common market for goods and services. (just a thought, I wonder if not the Soviet threat, would these two Egos agree to do anything of this kind?).
      3. This European Union surprisingly became a great success. Surprisingly, since i would expect that the politicians will spoil the party (As it happened in an other economic unification the Comecon, that was initiated by Soviet politician and its aim as contrary to its misleading name “Council for Mutual Economic Assistance” was to achieve only political goals).
      Luckily the “Liberal-Democratic” politicians were still in state of shock after what happened in WWII and what’s more important they felt threatened by the despotic Soviets, who did not stop to try to penetrate Western Europe through their agents the members of the communistic parties, so they made their best to be successful with this experiment.
      4. The result was a great success, and all the countries of Europe, surprisingly even “Great Brittany” (even if they always felt to be above the rest) joined the club. The members of the other club, the “Comecon”, could only watch with envy (if they were let to watch) what’s going on in the EU. So when the Soviet Union and with it the Comecon finally collapsed, all the East European countries rushed to join the club.
      5. After the great success the leaders of European Union were persuaded to do the next obvious step to create a common currency. Just don’t think it was a easy task to persuade them. Not at all, all kinds of compromises had to be made on the way, where the different states kept most of the symbols and tools of sovereignty while joining a process that ended with a common currency, the Euro.
      Since in the process a political compromise had to be done, it was voluntary for each country to join or not. Guess who joined the Euro club? Of course the founders of EU; France, Germany, Italy and their related neighbours, and all the economically weak countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece and some others. Forget the solidarity, non of the Scandinavians and not the British joined, after all why to join a club into which they have more to contribute than gain. The only one who was ready to pay the price to create the Euro were the Germans, who are still under the shock and shame of their crimes, that just recently with the unification of Germany wose a bit released.
      As it happened the southern countries politician immediately realized that being in the Euro club gives them almost unlimited possibilities to take loans. They like vultures immediately jumped on the novelty, that wouldn’t have to be so bad, if they would use the borrowed money for investments. But they, as these failure politicians know best to do, used the loans to maintain their corrupt political system and with the left over they corrupted their electorates.
      6. At 2009 finally all this came to the end, after the banks together with the rating agencies, who beforehand were part of the game, suddenly changed their skin and stop to support this process. The crisis that followed, be it as severe as it may be, is a correcting process. No more transfer of finances to the waist. No more transfer of resources to those who are not doing for themselves, what from adult people is expected to do, to earn honestly the living. No more solidarity from the strong and capable, to those who don’t take responsibility to their doing. And more to that many political obstruction for real unification of Europe were removed. As a prove just try to remember how the proud Irish people, enriched out of bank speculations, rejected the Lisbon Treaty at 2008, to ratify it few years later after they lost their national dignity with the collapse of their casino economy.

      Conclusion, even if with lots of pain, the process is positive.

  2. Patrice Ayme Says:

    @ Charley James: the Euro is part of the European construction-of-unification project. Europe is independent of the USA. It seems to me the USA has enough messes of its own to not interfere with Europe Unification.

    Americans who obsess about the Euro as “the worst of all possible worlds” are just showing themselves to be against European Unification. As simple as that.

    In other words, you want Wall Street and its Washington poodle to keep on ruling the world, and find it would be much better if the USA could keep on treating European nations as so many Indian tribes, each with their own currency.

    Considering what happened early under Nazism and World War Two (USA plutocracy making Hitler all that he could be), France and Germany do not feel that further USA interference is welcome.

    Why don’t you mind the dirty deal between Wall Street-Washington and the Saudi family, centered around the Dollar, instead? That’s also known as “the war against terror”…

  3. MasonBauknight Says:

    Patrice, I fear this is another one of your Euro-groupie pieces. Actually, the success of the EU is vital to the interests of America, and the Great European Project has very few enemies here (even among plutocrats). The problem is that Europe shows no signs of becoming a strong player in the world. The US and China will be the two superpowers by default, and for decades to come. Europe is incapable of cultural and political union; its martial societies are Britain and France, while much of the rest are pacifist. How all 27-plus countries will ever develop a coherent foreign policy, acceptable to most EU members, is beyond me. On a more minor note, most Europeans (including the Germans) would want English to be the official language of any federal Europe, but France will fight that to the end (and lose). For the foreseeable future, Europe will remain a loose economic confederation and a military lightweight. The 21st century will be dominated by America and China. Continental Europe will be known for its good quality of life, nice vacation time, and lousy pop music. And remember, too, that the crisis in Europe is still far from over.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Mason: Euro-groupie? Hmmm… I always dreamed to be a groupie of something famous… Well, OK, the Euro is not as old as the Rolling Stones, but the European Monetary System is 34 year old. Britain was in it initially, one could even say, initiated it (under Jenkins), but got chased out by a plutocrat (Soros), as if it was just a cowardly mangy dog… Hence the resentment…

      When one differs in systems of moods and thoughts, and battle is engaged, the enemy sinks after being penetrated by enough mental torpedoes. So here are a few:

      1) Right now the European Commission, European Central BankS (yes, bankS), are thoroughly perfused by agents of Goldman Sachs and the like. Hence the love.

      2) Being a “strong player”, I don’t know what it means. Without overplaying its military hand (as the USA does), the French republic is pretty much capable of defending all of Europe all by itself at this point.

      After 1914-1918, and then 1939-1945, no country seems willing to even want to argue with France at this point. All the more as Russia has implicitly recognized this, by ordering sophisticated military equipment to France, to Washington’s horror, all the more as the US army has ordered 345 combat helicopters to Eurocopter in Marseilles. The USA has not designed and produced a new copter in 20 years at least, while the French keep on churning new types… Is that strong?

      France has hundreds of supersonic bombers of four different types (some of them Active Stealth Rafales) capable of carrying ASMP missiles, hypersonic 500 kilometers stand off RAM missiles. The thermonuclear 300kt warheads (20 times Hiroshima) are the first entirely designed on computers. The USA has no such system (but wished it had: the first eight supersonic passive stealth F35s will not be operational before 2016! At best…).

      The question of what powers mean nowadays is complex, dynamic.

      I will adress it in another further comment, right now I have to run.

      Let’s just notice that the Franco-German backing off on the Banking Union was pretty much decisive (it enraged The Economist, which understood nothing: Merkel has elections within 4 months, and Hollande made her a favor…)

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Lousy Euro music? OK, we Daft Punk types want to get recommendations for non lousy Euro music! A miracle! Want to know! Serious!

      • EugenR Says:

        Not lousy Euro Music. If you will be patient enough you my even like it;

      • MasonBauknight Says:

        Thanks for your reply. France’s aggregate military hardware is pretty much small potatoes. Helicopters don’t protect continents; they provide logistics and reconnaissance. As a military power, the US is a higher degree of magnitude. Collectively, Europe is just not there and should be much closer if it wants to pull its weight. France needed US logistical help in both Libya and Mali, and the entire EU needed US intervention in Bosnia. Europe must become a military power if it ever hopes to be a power in the world. Many who rather like Europe don’t particularly respect it, and that includes most of the political/economic elite in the US (not just Krugman but Obama, H. Clinton and others), in China and elsewhere.

        Daft Punk is a formulaic pastiche of late 1970s American disco sung in US English. (The featured vocalist is an American.) France hasn’t had a true international hit, sung in French, since the 1960s. Since then, local Euro-hits in the native language haven’t exported well beyond their own countries. Most hits from Europe are Scandinavian and sung in Euro-English. If you’re a native English-speaker, you find this to be irritating, inauthentic English. To their credit, Daft Punk wanted to go beyond sappy Euro-English and so they hired “natives” as co-writers and vocalists. It worked.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Mason: I gave you an extensive reply, as another comment…. I am still waiting for recommendations of USA music more recent than “Thriller”…;-)!

  4. EugenR Says:

    Dear Patrice, a year ago i predicted (with some sarcasm) what will happen to Greek economy if they elect the left-right extremist parties, that appeared to be doing rather well, Luckily it did not happened.

    published at May 17, 2012
    I really don’t get it what’s so difficult about to understand where Greece and Europe are heading too.
    – Greece GDP is about 240 milliard Euro.
    – Greece debts after write offs are about 400 milliard Euro, mostly external. The interest payments are about 20 milliard Euro 8% of the GDP.
    – Greece annual current account deficit is about 30 milliard Euro or 13% of the GDP. There is no way to finance this deficit unless someone is willing to give them new loan.
    – All what IMF &ECB &Others are ready to do is to change the old loans for new ones, with prolonged expiration date and reduced interest rate.
    The general Greek public is surprised that non of all the write offs and restructuring of loans (write offs), goes to their pockets, but in contrary it increases their economic misery.
    The Greek people said what they want, they want to stay in the Euro zone, and getting help to finance the 30 milliard current account deficit, (forget about the debts). As reward to Europe for letting them live their previous life, Greece will not destroy the European Union. Are the European leaders frightened? Is the remaining Greece debt too big to fall? It is annoying, but not too big.
    As to Greece, it will have after the new election an extreme left-right government, with no will to make any real decisions, except of its plan to receive from Europe annually 30 milliard Euro to cover the current account deficit. If Europe doesn’t agree, it will default and stay in the Euro Zone, but without Euros to pay government employed, the pensioners, etc. To overcome the problem, the new left-right government will issue bonds called Eurodrach, with securing delayed Euro payments for four years (the life expectancy of the left+right government). The Euros, will slowly disappear from the markets and be replaced by the Eurodrachs, its rate after wild fluctuations will stabilize on 1 Euro to 3 Eurodrachs. Slowly Greece economy will return to function. Finally after the new elections at 2017, a new central liberal-conservative-socialistic coalition government will be created, and will try try to negotiate its return to Eurozone, that it never officially left. After long negotiation on new terms for restructuring its sovereign debt, that officially never defaulted, and a very very long weekend, Greece, IMF and ECB will agree to write of the Greece debts to sustainable level of 120% of its GDP, subject to its voluntary withdrawal from the Euro zone. By then the Greek GDP will be 120 milliard Euro and its new dept accordingly 144 milliard Euro.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Eugen: Supposing your numbers are correct (they seem so to me), I don’t see the problem. An extreme left government is what Greece needs at this point, IMHO. Indeed:
      it could proceed in an accelerated redistribution/appropriation of property rights.
      it could tax the rich, and the plutocrats (see Belgium’s royal family).

  5. Dominique Deux Says:

    The old French saying “qui veut noyer son chien prétend qu’il a la rage” (“if you want to drown your dog, just say it has rabies”) applies perfectly to anything with “Euro” in its name or mission statement. In that respect, I agree with yout scathing indictment of the Krugmans and some posters here who claim to support Europe’s union, while hammering at its every attempt to achieve it. Sure they have every interest in Europe’s success – as a supine playing ground.

    But you seem to let European national governments and opposition leaders off the hook. They, not Washington, keep appointing corrupt nonentities to the EC, with the strong mandate not to do anything outside the neoliberal envelope. They, not Washington, never miss an opportunity to ascribe their own mistakes to their puppet “Brussels”.

    Europe has extremely strong assets; it is, accordingly, carefully kept in extremely strong fetters. A real Gordian knot, and we have been trying to unravel it. That’s not the good way, as Alexander showed. But we don’t have a suitable sword.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dominique: I agree with all your points. The old opposition used to be between the “Europe of nations” a la De Gaulle and the federal Europe. I always hated the “nations” stuff, because that’s how I got deprived of Africa, and the understanding that went with it. For me, De Gaulle’s position led to racism, and, moreover, was impractical (now at least 10% of France is of recent African origin, to spite de Gaulle!)

      De Gaulle had, ironically enough, an ally and successor: English plutocrats, infeodated to Washington. Since those rats have got into the cheese, federal Europe is out, as a direct project. It is still advancing, but slowly,in the most pragmatic way.

      The last event, the practical blocking, at this point, of the deepening of the Banking Union, is a flower from Francois to Angela. It allows to give more time to the Banking Union as it is, for the 200 largest banks. Maybe Angela will smile more.

      So, at this point, the games are out. European construction is mainly a Franco-German affair (in all senses), complete with “histoires”, and that’s the core, and that’s good enough. Brussels is assistant barking dog, and allows to play sophisticated games (as now with China). fact is, Bruxelles is not elected, Francois and Angela are.

      As long as France and Germany want to unify, the rest will follow. Germany has thoroughly agreed to the leading role of France for European defense… and even Russia does, and now, as shown in Mali and Libya, even Washington does. that’s a crucial point, in the light of the last 25 centuries. Defense is where it’s at, whatever the vegetarian pacifists munching the grass obediently feel while watching the trains pass.

      Politics is complex, Machiavelism, just an aspect of it. The work of Washington against Swiss plutocracy, we should be able to use for a sickle strike from behind!

  6. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Dear Mason: France as a military power is “small potatoes”? I think this reflects a misevaluation of contemporary military power. Qaddafi’s armor heading to Benghazi was a formidable force, protected by a never-seen-before deployment of anti aircraft power (it was accompanied by all sorts of anti-aircraft missiles, including some Libya was not supposed to have because too recent and nasty). However it was eradicated in a few minutes by a French strike.

    That happened as a conference about what to do in Libya was going on in Paris; the Americans were put in confrontation with the fact of unilateral French military action. As far as the French are concerned, what they mean is: “no more non intervention, as during the Spanish civil war”.

    On the other hand, the French understands the necessity to involve the USA as an ally in war, so as not to repeat the scenario of 1938-1939-1940-1941, when Washington, and Wall Street, and corporate America, were playing a double game with the Nazis. And I am generous by calling it a “double game”.

    So in Bosnia, the French eradicated Serbian artillery destroying Sarajevo, and got involved enough to get at least one of their own supersonic jets shot down (and the pilots made prisoners). But the real aim was to get the Americans involved. So now much Serb resentment is directed at the USA, not France. It’s not just a question of winning wars, it’s how they are won.

    At this France existing armed forces, completely unleashed, could kill hundreds of millions of people, on three continents. Is that “small potatoes”? More importantly, France stays the most aggressive nation that ever was. No more Munich’s 1938. In the name of good stuff, of course, basically the 1789 inheritated United Nations’ charter. Right now, France seems keen to intervene militarily in Syria, for example (that’s a very delicate situation, though, as it’s not clear who to help, ha ha ha…)

    Effective and successful military power is what counts. The USA launched its worldwide empire with a succession of small, but effective wars (the ones in the Philippines being the largest). More distantly, so did the Franks.

    Huge wars such as the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, just broke the bank, and China reaps the profits… they can in no way be seen as victories. As Pyrhus figured out famously long ago.

    The military power of Europe, at this point, is potentially huge, and plenty enough, just with France and Britain for the tasks at hand.

    What was important was for Germany to learn to salute briskly, and follow French military leadership (contrarily to what happened initially in the Libyan war). Now it’s the case.

    The Brits, of course, constitute, to a great extent, another aspect of France. Nobody doubt that, should Scotland kick out the British strategic nuclear subs, they would take refuge in France at Ile Longue and other secret strategic nuclear facilities (BTW, the British military is not happy to have only subs for deterrence, and looks enviously at France’s formidable strategic nuclear bombing force, more capable than that of the USA itself!… a force with the only deployed supersonic stealth bombers, and the only deployed hypersonic thermonuclear cruise missiles…).

    BTW, I do not know of any good recent American music, do you have any recommendations?

  7. Dominique Deux Says:

    “Right now, France seems keen to intervene militarily in Syria, for example (that’s a very delicate situation, though, as it’s not clear who to help,”

    I would say the issue is not which side to help, but to what extent. My own recommendation as an armchair strategist would be to provide carefully dosed military assistance so as to ensure neither side wins, rather than hand victory on a platter to the usual hand-biting snakes. Let the jihadists discover what a real killing ground is – not some kind of half-baked assymetrical gesticulation, which is their best breeding ground as Iraq and Afghanistan showed. Protect the good guys to be found in the melee, but do not seat them in power as long as the nasties are still breathing, giving the latter all the time they need to eradicate each other. Cynical? Sure. But the Syrians willed this on themselves, Bachar by his pigheadedness, and the “freedom fighters” by their eagerness to toe the Saudi-Qatari line.

    Exactly what Britain did during those long centuries when it made sure no single power would wind up at the head of Europe…

    The current successes of the Bachar-Hezbollah coalition make this moment a good one to start such an on-off intervention, with the recent exposition of chemical weapon use a handy pretext…

    • EugenR Says:

      Dear Dominique, what you are saying let them enjoy the 77 virgins. Do these jihadist really believe there are so many virgins left up there waiting for them? By the way, what if one of the virgins doesn’t appeal to the jihadist or God forbid vice versa?

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Francois Hollande, French president:”Vous me demandez quoi faire avec ces terroristes? [Pause, looking bewildered by the incongruous stupidity of the question]… Ben, les detruire!” (What to do with terrorists? He, destroy them!”
        77 waiting virgin cartridges for each ought to do it…

      • Dominique Deux Says:

        Dear EugenR

        You wonder “Do these jihadist really believe there are so many virgins left up there waiting for them?”
        Some certainly do, since they take care to swathe their precious manhood in protective layers of cloth before going out with a wham. The issue of virgin supply has been taken care of neatly: they are not virgin human females gone to heaven, who (if existing at all) would be in very limited supply indeed, but specially designed denizens of the place, with the knack of growing a new maidenhood after every romp in the clouds. Since the poor guys would be reduced to their rampant zebbs, you can envision the place as some kind of harem, with real flesh dildoes replacing the boring old cucumbers. For eternity. Ugghh.
        As you see, like you I’m ready to poke fun and heap ridicule on a creed which richly deserves it. But I also feel sad for them. What kind of society do they live in, if their only hope of getting some good time, DSK-like, is to blow themselves up? Patriarchal societies, such as fundamentalist Islam or Christianity, are built on universal sexual repression of males and females alike (except for the bosses, who get all of the perks). Not so funny after all.
        I also think it is not good policy to demonize and/or ridicule and/or underestimate one’s enemies. I’m all for helping them achieve mass martyrdom, but the fact is they show courage and skill in the process. The waste of their enthusiasm and abilities is a genuine loss for mankind.

        This leads us far from the Grexit topic. Coming back to it, I’d simply want to recall that a fundamental reason for Europe to help Greece out of its self-inflicted mud pit is that Greece once provided a large part of Europe’s soul. The EU is not a fat cat club, it is the political expression of a millenia-old entity, which simply would not exist, then and now, without Greece. Forgetting this would truly mark the end of the EU.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Agreed, especially about Greece. I will answer in an independent comment (I don’t like the way replies stack up, hard to read, as the space shrinks mysteriously).

  8. TomAlex Says:

    “An extreme left government is what Greece needs at this point,” The reason why this has not happened is that there is no CONVINCING more competent or trustworthy alternative to the present incompetent and corrupt government. We already discussed this in a previous post about what fuels extremism. The main opposition party slams the government for not passing an antiracism bill, while its own spokesman questions the need for “the last cop”(flic, i.e. a derogatory word) to carry a gun. It would grant citizenship to illegal immigrants demonstrating “death to democracy, islam is coming”, no questions asked. Maybe their heart is in the right place, but their head is not and they have no credentials of competence. Normally people are given a simple job, if they do it well, then they are given a more complex one. If they also do it well, they are given an even more complex one. Politicians want to parachute to the top with no record of competence. To make matters worse, they do not have a clear plan, while the refusal of their head to disclose ‘Plan B’ before the elections on the grounds of avoiding to frighten the voters is completely ridiculous. The only reason why the current government is in power is simply the idiocy and incompetence of the alternatives. So what is needed is not some extreme left or right, but a sane, honest, competent and focused alternative. If the people are to blamed for anything, it is for allowing lambs to lead the lions. Although it must be stated that it is not easy to create a new party(just to run, one needs something like 1M euros)

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear Tom: I suffered a computer crash in the meantime, losing what I wrote… The point is that what passes in Greece for far left legislation has to pass: make the plutocrats pay (as, symbolically in Belgium the Royal family will have to pay, the opening of a pandora box, as, in Belgium, fat cats are treated like kings!)

      Clearly, at this point representative democracy reveals itself to be more appropriate to a village than a Greek city-state (let alone the vast empires we have today!). France, by herself, has more population than the Roman empire at its apex. The indecent spectacle of the leader going to beg to the rich has to stop.

      Time to dilute the power…

  9. Lovell Says:

    I am blown away by the extent of your knowledge in science, philosophy, politics, and history. A latter-day Renaissance (Wo)Man that is both inspiring and admirable.

    So, just a curios cat here. What is Patrice Ayme’s nationality? French? British? German? Is that actually your real name?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Lovell, and welcome to the comment side of the site. I think way too much is made of origins. To give more weight to some of my arguments, I had to reveal some of my background, but I reveal it only on a need-to-know-need-to-argue basis. The omniscient “intelligence” agencies know who I am (we have crossed paths, not antagonistically), so there is nothing sinister behind it. Simply if I were of some gender, or nationality, many of my arguments would be catalogued, and “explained” that way, removing the primacy of the logic.
      I lived extensively on three continents, and I have witnessed the full extent of the human condition, from extreme poverty in West Africa, to the mansions where our esteemed president Bushama loves to come beg for money. I know a few languages, including French, English, German…
      Anyway, thanks again for the compliments…

    • Lovell Says:

      Got it. Thanks for all that you do.

      Excellent site. Excellent commentaries to expose the nakedness of plutocratic greed.

      Message received, loud and clear.

  10. TomAlex Says:

    Dear Patrice: I do not think making the people who brought the country to that mess while making fortunes is right or left :It is common sense to me. I’m talking about people like Mr. Pangalos who have been in parliament for over 40 years, voting for deficit upon deficit before discovering that debt sucks, appointed incompetent and corrupt party members to key positions, threw tons of money down the drain and did nothing on public administration and tax evasion and now have the audacity to say “We ate it all together”. It’s a simple matter of taking responsibility or at least not saying “Because I did not do my job, it’s everybody’s fault and YOU(the rest) must pay”. That’s adding insult to injury. Or judges who postpone and postpone or aquit smugglers and gangsters who happen to have the PMs advisor as their laywer. Or “businessmen” who made a fortune out of government contracts. All these have had a free ride till now and they adamantly refuse to contribute to sort out the mess they created.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      we ate it all together” (government and citizens) is what Pangalos, grandson of a dictator, said about all the money that disappeared in Greece. A man of great appetite, a Depardieu of politics (the latter being more into mobsters).

      It’s common sense to me, too. However, common sense has been in short supply. Tax evasion by fat cats in Europe and the USA is above two trillions euros, and that does not count corporate tax cheating. In the latter case, common sense would be to just yank out all corporate taxes, or equally violent solutions (such as taxing sales, not added value). Because as it is, local businesses are getting killed. Quickly. I have seen local bookstores disappear, devoured by tax evading, loss making Amazon…

      So the situation in Greece, although extreme, is more examplary than exceptional. Watch Elon Musk (Tesla, Space X), whose fortune just jumped, by billions, although he gets a free ride from NASA while the latter does not have enough money for, basically ALL its major projects… Orders from above.

  11. old geezer pilot Says:

    Greece fails to tax her wealthy land-owners for many reasons, not the least of which is that record-keeping is terribly vague. “Property extends to the third olive tree…” or “to the second cow in the lower field…”

    This has been going on for centuries, and it is difficult if not impossible to correct this.

    Meanwhile, Greece has signed a 35 year lease on half of the port of Piraeus to China, who needs access to EU countries for her container ships. I am glad Greece did not sell the whole port – at least the contract will end in 35 years when things may be very different.

    BYW, the Chinese operate their half of the port at three times the efficiency. But that might be because they pay their workers on a Chinese wage scale. In any case, it p*sses of the Greeks working their half.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear OGP: Since Bolivia could redistribute land in the 1950s (hence the “Che” disastrous little adventure much later), I am sure a manly government could do something about Greek properties… At least the Piraeus is smaller than Hong Kong, and the lease is not for a century. In other news, China is invading space itself, on its way to the moon, it loudly clamors. I am glad that some plutocrats (in the PRC) have higher ideas for their money than just stealing from the poor…

      • EugenR Says:

        This is an article i wrote a year ago, and seems to be still relevant;

        Will the Greek beaches be beautiful and lonely?

        I happened to be in 1 of May in Athens and met some young communists there, who explained what they want. They want to stay in Euro Zone but without austerities. And they are right, there is probably no way to get them out, and as punishment probably it would be wise to stop to transfer liquidity to the Greek banks. But if not, this money probably will come anyway back to German and French banks as direct transfers of Greek deposits to safe heaven.

        But then, if the Drachma comes back and will be depreciated, then the Euros will come back to Greece and this money will create a huge inflation with appreciation of the Drachma. Exactly this happened in Israel in 1977 with the liberalization of the foreign currency trade, that brought inflation of hundred of percents, viz; my articles,;

        So I don’t see any salvation to Greece unless they are ready to do by themselves something about it. Probably as you suggest, Greece will be depopulated. At least if you are looking for lonely beaches, you will have plenty of them. I am of course joking, but what else is left to us?

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Eugen: A first quick answer. The Greek communists are right: the problem is the austerity. Austerity is another name for plutocracy.

          This whole thing is not just about Greece. The UK has worst GDP numbers than in the 1930s… All of Europe, actually. True the “Greek” money goes back to the big banks (most of them German and French, or UK). “Greece” is another name for a subfertuge.

          And it’s not just about the Obareich. Look at Brazil: an odious plutocracy, lauded everywhere as the temple of progress (and indeed, it is, relative to itself!)

          What the Plutos want is to split to tiny simthereens any will to resist them, starting to all the GOODWILL IN EUROPE. That’s why we have to fight in Greece, as at Marathon, 25 centuries ago.

          Please feel more than free to communicate this site’s adress to all forces of resistance, starting with our Communist friends1 Even Jihadists are welcome!

  12. TomAlex Says:

    Depends what one means by austerity. The first thing to do is stop wasting money. For example: What about EU countries with financial problems merging their embassies abroad, i.e. Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus and anyone else interested(Germany or France included) have a single building as their common embassy. You save on rent for all countries in the world, you save on security, you save on personnel(e.g. cleaning, gardening and so on). And that is NOT austerity. Another example: In the midst of a crisis, all but one parties in the previous parliament have voted in the midst of the crisis to spend 15Meuro to build a mosque in Athens with taxpayer and lenders’ money on government property and pay a mufti for eternity. And of course this creates a precedent so that budhists, scientologists or anyone else can demand their own temple. If you do not have better things to do with 15M plus the land, then you should not be in the government.
    Another case: A well-known figure had gotten hold of a football team and robed some 22Meuros(without interest). The club since had economic problems and was unable to pay taxes, which with interest was up to some 5Meuros. The case had been dragging for 8 years in courts, with postponement after postponement until the club disolved. Meanwhile tax authorities had been going after the club’s presidents and not the judges who had given these postponements. Another case: Another prominent businessman is charged with oil smuggling and tax evasion. The case is dropped because after 9 postponed trials, the time frame for trial had expired. Why were these postponements granted? Because the State lawyer, who one might imagine would have a reason in collecting the tax, failed to show up. 9 times. The defence lawyer was the PMs closest advisor and the guy is groomed to take over the -to be privatized state betting agency- at a price less than its annual profits. And the guy was of course at the front seat in the PMs recent speech blaming the public TV station which he shut down for reasons of fiscal irresponsibility. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    Solving these and many more is not austerity: It is basic government practice. Instead the ‘austerity’ basically aims at putting all the power in the hands of the people who brough the country to this state.

    With respect to property. Yes, that was the case. However, Greece has received EU money to create an electronic archive. So although they have all or most of that info in archives, they made each owner or co-owner pay 35 euros per property and bring all property documentation for selected areas.

    There are many more examples to document the incompetence and corruption of the governments. The problem is that even though the government is not even minor league material, the opposition is no better. So the country desperately needs some new leadership and creating a climate which pits one profession against the other plus poisonous atmosphere where evryone is under suspicion and nothing ever gets proved is the most serious obstacle.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear TomAlex; Merging the embassies is a great idea. I was always for it. However, I have had to eat crow on that one since 2003. Although I detested, and still detest, Chirac, that was when Chirac and his barking dog, his foreign minister, opposed the USA at the UN, and around the world, splendidly, about the Iraq War. Many European countries opted to follow Bush like as many poodles.

      Ever since, it has been like that. I also, personally, opposed the Iraq War, let my feelings and ideas been known. The result was that, except for my spouse, I lost ALL my American friends. Now it has, of course, become fashionable to be anti-Bush, and behind G. W. Obama. Although I helped a lot (I think) personally for the election of Obama, I came to realize that, while he was talking the talk against plutocrats, Obama could not resist expressing his love for Buffet, Dimon, etc, and not doing anything much to breal the worldwide plutocracy. Meanwhile, France tried to do much more.

      Then, of course, there were the war, where France pretty much acted unilaterally, not desiring to repeat the Spanish Civil War experience, she attacked in Libya, Mali.

      Merkel initially betrayed in Libya. This pretty much excludes, looking forward, a merger of French and German embassies. OK, they could merge some of the basic paper shuffling. But the fact is, at this point, France is the West’s second military power, and apparently the West’s first military WILL.

      The latest example is Syria, where France wants to attack (I’m writing an essay on this, supporting).

      Or then the negotiations about culture happening today. The USA proposed to annihilate European culture, France threatens to veto the negotiations about the Free Trade Accord with the USA. Some other Europeans, of the bleating sort, of course align themselves on Wall Street, in the hope of getting paid some more…

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      This being said, yes, I agree with you, there is room to save. But when one ask people to sacrifice a bit, they disagree. For example the French government offered to merge administratively high and low Alsace. They submitted the decision to referendum. The Alsatians said no. Don’t even think to propose the same for Corsica (also in two pieces).

      Any “austerity” aiming at savaging anybody having nothing to do with the crisis ought to be viewed as more than suspect.

  13. budapest guy Says:

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  14. IMF: NSA Trojan Horse? | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

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