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11 March, 2017

The private 'investors' as the only option for recovery: another fairy tale by the neoliberal establishment

by system failure

The Greek experiment is already going through its seventh year with the economy completely ruined and no recovery to be seen in the horizon.

Apart from the complete failure of the neoliberal policies imposed on Greece by the Troika of destruction (ECB, IMF, Commission), it is interesting to examine how the neoliberal narratives affect the public opinion and how they becoming part of the rational thought of the societies (in our case the Greek society), mainly through the mainstream media brainwash.

One of the central cliches of the neoliberal mouthpieces in Greece and abroad concerns the necessity of private 'investors' for the recovery of the economy. The private mainstream media and the political establishment managed to persuade the average citizen (not only in Greece), that Greece needs 'political stability' in order to attract 'investments' and therefore thousands new jobs.

The reality of course is completely different. The most powerful lobbies of bankers and private 'investors' inside Greece and abroad, have actually dictated the catastrophic memorandums adopted by the Greek governments during the crisis. The Troika is only their vehicle for this purpose. In real life, the various so-called 'investors' do not care about a healthy economy, or stability. They do not care, of course, to help a national economy to recover. All they care is to make money as much fast and easy as possible. A ruined economy is a great opportunity for such a purpose because they will grab public property almost free.

Furthermore, the memorandums of catastrophe signed by Greece dictate the complete elimination of the labor rights, the radical tax-cuts (but only for big businesses), the sell-off of public property, the destruction of the welfare state. What the neoliberal carriers call 'reforms'. In other words: more profits for the private 'investors', more destruction for the rest.

So, when the neoliberal mouthpieces talk about 'reforms' they mean all the above. When they talk about 'stability' they mean a government 'friendly' to the 'investors', ready to sell-off the whole country to them. That's why the Troika wants to replace Alexis Tsipras with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the purely neoliberal head of New Democracy, the opposition party that belongs to the European Popular Right of Merkel and Schäuble.

For now, Troika controls Tsipras and his administration. It forced him to sign a new memorandum according to the schedule, even through a financial coup. Yet, there are some things that the 'investors' who control Troika, don't like about Tsipras. For example, the fact that he makes some moves to open the case of previous big scandals related to the previous political establishment in which Mitsotakis belongs. 'Investors' don't like that. They want corrupted governments like the ones before SYRIZA that can buy easily through bribes.

There is one more thing that the 'investors' don't like about SYRIZA and Tsipras: they still believe that they can restart the economy through public investments. Of course, Draghi will never allow the QE to open for Greece with Tsipras administration in power because of this 'danger'. If the Greek government be allowed to breathe through a QE package or other EU resources that will help the economy to recover through public investments, it will be the end of the neoliberal experiment and a great defeat for the lobbyists. Other countries who suffer from violent austerity and memorandums would like to follow the example of Greece instead of waiting for the 'holy' investors to come and save them.

And this is another reason for which Greece is kept imprisoned inside the sado-monetarist euro prison. With a national currency and a central bank publicly controlled, Greece wouldn't have to worry about another ECB financial coup that would threaten the economy with a sudden total destruction. The country could direct the money to public investments that could restart the Greek economy.

An example of how public investments helped a country to recover after a major financial crisis can be found in the United States of 1930s. Back in 1933, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) got elected, he had to face the attack of the corporate establishment, which was trying to fight his initiatives to put the state in the front line for the restart of the US economy. Public relations was something new. Edward Bernays had admitted after decades that he was searching at that time for a "smoothest" term instead of "propaganda", to use it in favor of big corporations to sell their products, at times of peace. Corporations used public relations to present the private sector as a far better force than the state, towards the wealth and prosperity. In reality, they were only afraid that would lose significant profits from various programs, taken over by the state to create jobs.

FDR was aware of this type of propaganda by the corporate establishment and the associated political elite. A quote from a Roosevelt's speech is characteristic: “A few timid people, who fear progress, will try to give you new and strange names for what we are doing. Sometimes they will call it 'Fascism,' sometimes 'Communism,' sometimes 'Regimentation,' sometimes 'Socialism.' But, in so doing, they are trying to make very complex and theoretical something that is really very simple and very practical.

Despite its imperfections, Roosevelt's "New Deal" created millions of new jobs and new infrastructure for the benefit of all American citizens, boosted some sectors such as agriculture, strengthened social security and boosted the economy in general. The response of Roosevelt, "of course we spend money", to his opponents, captures the perception of his government, giving importance to the prosperity and relief of people and not to the strict austerity for the sake of economic indexes. Indeed, while in 1933 the national debt was 20% of GDP, by 1936 this figure almost doubled, but what mattered for Roosevelt was to relieve American citizens and give them hope and perspective.

The same narratives are used today in Greece by the banking-media establishment. Anyone who dares to speak about public investments, instantly demonized as 'old-fashioned' or even 'Communist'. The big irony in the Greek case is that austerity didn't manage to reduce debt. On the contrary, the debt reached 180% of GDP compared to 120% of GDP at the beginning of the crisis.

The tragic irony is that, despite the total failure, the neoliberal establishment managed to brainwash the majority of the public concerning private 'investments'. In the mind of the average Greek, private 'investments' is the only way through which the economy could recover. This perception is deeply embedded in his rational thought. In this way, this brutal system continues to destroy the middle class under its consent. The middle class vainly waits for the private 'investors' to come and offer real solution. It won't happen. At the best-case scenario, they will offer very few jobs under slavery conditions ...

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