The Greek Referendum: "When You Have Nothing You Have Nothing To Lose"

Mick Hall writing ahead of last weekend's referendum in Greece. Mick Hall is a Marxist blogger @ Organized Rage.

The mainstream media is incapable of writing about a socialist without prefixing words like hard left, fiery, extreme, inexperienced, and radical. The latter is a special favourite in today's warped world: radical/radicalisation are the latest neoliberal hate words which are propagated daily throughout the mainstream.

As Frankie Boyle recently wrote: "It's as if radical change wasn’t obviously needed; as if the status quo has any decency, or is even survivable."

If ever radical reform was needed its today, when the Status Quo serves the minority at the expense of the majority, nowhere has this been better demonstrated than in the European Commission's Troika's negotiations with the Greek Syriza government.

From the start the EU have failed to conduct these negotiations in an open, reasonable and constructive manner. The current impasse has proven they always expected the Greek government to rubber stamp their demands. When the Greeks conceded to one EU demand, the Trioka made another, making it almost impossible for the Tsipras government to agree to their ever more fanatical neoliberal demands.

When Tsipras said it would be up to the Greek people to decide whether to accept the EU demands and called a referendum, they reacted with cold fury, denouncing the Greek government’s decision to hold a popular plebiscite. They are now conspiring against the democratically elected Greek Government, just as they did in 2011, when having reached a similar impasse. George Papandreou's Government called a referendum; and was forced to cancel it after the EU brought intolerable pressures to bear which resulted in the fall of his administration.

Throughout these negotiations the EU's position has always been do as we say and do as you're told. Given Tsipras democratic mandate from the Greek people was not to cross the red austerity lines, things were always going to end badly. It was as if these EU bureaucrats and politicians have no idea what makes socialists like Tsipras tick. For these quislings bending the knee to Capital is what politicians do.

When Christine Lagarde head of the IMF said if only there were "adults in the room," implying the Greek delegation were acting like children, she is expressing her total bewilderment about why the Syriza government refuses to off load the debt onto the Greek people. To demand the Banksters take a massive haircut as the price for their reckless lending is unthinkable in her world view in which the banks must always be first in the queue.

People like Lagarde and the other members of the Trioka live in a gold fish bowl of their own making, in which their writ must prevail. Otherwise they fear we the citizenry will see them for what they are, emperors with no clothes.

Yet she of all people understands just how hard the Greek people are suffering under the Trioka's austerity measures, and if the Greek debt is not written off it will continue to strangle the Greek economy for decades to come. Yet due to her fanatical mindset she refuses to think outside of the neo liberal straight jacket, so her only response can be more of the same.

It may not seem like it now, but when it sinks in just how badly the EU have behaved towards Greece, siding with the Banksters against the people, it will not be long before the population of  EU asks why should we give allegiance to a Union which fails to come to our aid in our time of need. What purpose does the the EU serve today?

As to the Greek people; as the Minnesota songsmith sang "When you have nothing you have nothing to lose." And I doubt I'm the only one to wish them well.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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