Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I see this "blame the people" narrative all over Europe. Who who was the primary beneficiary of this neoliberal binge? How much were workers exploited in Ireland? A lot (see below)


If working people were not the main beneficiaries why are they expected to be the sole suckers that have to foot the bill and not the people they've been making money for?

And tell me (I really don't know): What percentage of national income went to hospitals, to education? Wasn't Ireland among the most unequal countries in the EU? How about the people at the top who made real money out of the bubble?

We had the same discussion with the Icelanders, and look where they are now. And we're having some variety of this discussion in Greece. There is no excuse to pretty much annul democracy and throw a country to the markets, witch pretty much is synonymous to shielding the elites form real damage. And this is not just about Ireland (although Ireland is an especially odious case given that the Irish government unabashedly burdened their own voters with the debts of their banker friends, at the ECB's request): it is about the whole EU periphery (and indeed even the working class EU-core) which, after Merkel is done with her "competitiveness" plans, will become German vassal states with quasi-feudal elites running them. So I personally as a citizen of Greece have a lot of sympathy for Ireland, and will root for them in the rather unlikely case that they manage to knock down this whole theater of vampire bankers feeding off a disaster they invented, by any means necessary. Heck raise a new independence army. I'll come and join as a volunteer, if we don't manage to kick off our own bag of mayhem down here.

Note that the elites where I am are pretty much disparaging the Greek people for not following exactly the sort of road the Irish have "chosen", they then fail to explain how that road led to the exact same consequences when all was said and done was that much better.  

The concept that people are "responsible" for policies that are presented to them by all the "important people" (and I won't even go into the international claptrap concerning the Irish model, and the Celtic Tiger) as inescapable and without alternative, assumes too much of democracy as is currently practiced. Especially if the end result of the bitter medicine they will be forced to swallow is even less democracy, fewer options and a vastly more skewed income distribution.

Having said all that, I think IM is helping a lot in honing the arguments and preempting criticism. So I think that this is becoming a rather useful exchange.

If it's going to a vote: I will sign whatever is agreed upon. As Egypt shows, many humble efforts can have unpredictable results - and what do we have to lose anyway.

One general question to Jake, Migeru and all: what would a similar proposal for Greece look like? Is there anything that Greeks can do to avoid this neolib hell we're experiencing? Apart from mass protests civil unrest and general havoc that is...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Feb 4th, 2011 at 05:55:25 PM EST
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