Greek game play by Syriza

So, let’s imagine you’re a pretty hard left type of government. You’d like a very much more, umm, socialist? communist? socio-economic organisation of the country.

One obvious way to do that is to take control of the banks. At which point you do rather control the economy…..to the extent that any government can control something so chaotic. So, if this is what you really want to do, because you really do think that the overthrow of private capitalism will make the country a better place, then you’d be doing what Syriza have been doing.

Hem and haw, delay, until the banking system is in fact bust. At which point you’ve got to bring back the drachma. And everyone will applaud as you nationalise the banks because, well, you’re the only people who can save the country from not having a financial system at all.

You’ll not get the IMF applauding all of your actions, not at all. But they, and BIS, and everyone else among the Serious People, will agree that you really do have to nationalise those banks in order to recapitalise them.

Yes, I know, very tin foil hat. But are we all absolutely, 100%, certain that this isn’t the actual desired end game? I’m 99.9% certain that it isn’t but…..

If you were of a suspicious mind, you might wonder whether Mr Tsipras has not in fact lured European leaders and officials into a legal trap, and that they have fallen for the bait.
His Byzantine negotiating tactics may make perfect sense after all. Just a thought.

28 thoughts on “Greek game play by Syriza”

  1. Beware the Greeks – especially, if they shut the banks and turn them into a Trojan horse.

  2. I hope for the Greeks that your suspicions do not represent a firm belief amongst the religiously Marxist that they are intentionally bringing about the Last Crisis of Capitalism which will necessairly usher in the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

    If it is, then it’s remarkably similar to the the fundi Shiites who try to bring about the return of the 12th imam, really.

  3. Now the British left have suddenly decided that the EU is a neoliberal monster I wonder how this will affect the referendum? By 2017 they’ll be saying they were against it all the time.

  4. Dongguan John

    That is indeed what they are starting to say over on the Tax Research blog. “If Only” is the title of Ritchie’s latest ejaculation on the subject.

    BTW, he seems to be inching towards Colin Hines’ “free movement of people is also a neoliberal plot” argument.

  5. I’m not sure it’s tinfoil hattery. Their actions seem entirely compatible with wanting to get out, but in a way that casts the IMF etc as the bad guys.

    There’s nothing about the body language of Tsipras or his finance minister that suggests people who are desperately concerned about how things are going.

  6. “Now the British left have suddenly decided that the EU is a neoliberal monster I wonder how this will affect the referendum? By 2017 they’ll be saying they were against it all the time.”

    This is starting to happen with some SNP types already.

    The Greek situation has caused them to realise that perhaps being a minor nation in a currency union isn’t the best idea. Admitting this is awkward for them, as it was the plan for an independent Scotland.

    So they are now turning against the EU (even though, again, it was a fundamental part of the independence case).

    Like Ritchie, these SNP types are using the “wrong kind of EU” argument to try and excuse their volte face.

  7. GlenDorran, I always thought the SNP support for the EU was nuts anyway.

    The SNP’s whole raison d’etre is as a counterweight to remote and unaccountable government in Westminster and their proposed solution is to sign up to a bigger, remote and unaccountable government in Brussels.

  8. Greece accused of
    over regulation
    useless bureaucracy
    dodgy accounting
    nepotism
    cartelism
    unfunded retirement plans
    etc

    … by the EU.
    This spectacle better regarded as a satire by Aristophanes, not a tragedy by Sophocles.

  9. Bloke in Costa Rica

    We read that 85% of Greeks think their problems are all the fault of the Yids, naturally. I wouldn’t give the Bubbles the steam off my shit. The whole country can fucking burn for all I care.

    As for the SNP not making a lot of sense: Demented Porridge Wogs tend to do that. Because they are demented.

  10. OTOH, the EU’s destructive economic programme for Greece could be a plot to convert that nation to a satrapy & thus beta test The Final Union.

  11. @JeremyT

    I wonder.

    I think the end game might be – with plausible deniability – to force everyone to help Greece out (again), thus enraging the voters of Ireland, Italy, Spain etc who took a shitstorm of cuts etc on the chin.

    When the above try to vote in new Eurosceptic governments in their forthcoming elections, there’s then a lot of talk about final collapse of the EU and the Euro and the apocalyptic consequences (they would be quite apocalyptic, temporarily).

    So the EU and the Europhile elements of the establishments in those countries, aided by the pro-Euro dumbass cattle who will cheer them on, overthrow the elected govts and really institute ‘ever-closer union’.

    For the people, see.

    OK, a bit tinfoil hattish. But still.

  12. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    Interested, there’s nothing tin-foil-hatted about that.

    It happened in Italy, when Berlusoni was ousted. In fact it happened in Greece when “It was my dad who was the crook” Papandreou was replaced by a “technocratic” regime.

    We had something similar in Austria: when the FPOe came second in the elections in 1999 and were about to form a government, the EU sent in its Three Fat Men, including Europe’s most corrupt politician the late Jean-Luc de Haene ( I mean really, fancy sending in this bastard to check on Austria’s democracy) and the Finnish PM Maarti Slartibartfast to ensure that the Alpine Republic kept on the EU’s straight and narrow. I think that they were kept quiet by being locked into a room full of food.

    EU Commission…Kill, kill them all with rusty bayonets…

    p.s. at least Tsipras isn’t acting like a traditional Greek and taking it up the a**e

  13. It might well be Tsipras is taking it up the a**e, but the question is from whom?

    cough… Vlad… cough

  14. If Syriza were following an evil plan to create some sort of statist dystopia, its first step would have been to create a tax collection system that works. That’s what the troika wanted; the Germans would even have come and helped.

  15. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    German TV, not unsurprisngly, is very exercised by Greece and there are any number of documentaries detailling how “it all went wrong”.

    Some salient points that I never realised:
    after the War much of the economy was handed over to oligarchs who of course bunged the politicians and colonels so as not to pay any tax ( sound familiar ?);

    another is the fact that Greece kept its defence expenditure off-book, or at least deferred ( until delivery apparently);

    projected income from the new Athens airport and Olympics was brought forward and put on the books.

    The finance minister under Schroeder , Eichel, is getting the blame for ignoring all the warnings from the federal bank and statistics office when Greece joined the euro.

  16. So what’s so extreme about nationalising the banks anyway?
    You want the present private banks in the UK to carry on creating money and pumping up the property market again? Since Martin Wolf wrote “Strip private banks of the power to create money” in the FT; the BoE produced “Money Creation in the Modern Economy”and the Sovereign Money movement got going, the idea of the State controlling the national money supply looks quite mainstream.
    All the private banks have done over the years is de-industrialise Britain and turn it into morally degenerate rentier economy (Look at the figures for bank lending going to industry: 8%?) Communists may not like this but neither do industrial Capitalists. Something may get on the wick of us Lefties but it may not always be good for capitalism. The Rentier economy where everyone tries to live off inflating land values is a common enemy.

  17. theoldgreenfascist

    GlenDorran: The British left have been against the EU and its predecessors for a long time. The No vote in the 1975 referendum was supported by Tony Benn, Michael Foot, Eric Heffer, Peter Shore etc. The Labour party as a whole voted 2:1 against continuing membership at its conference in April 1975. The Morning Star was the only national newspaper to back the No campaign.
    The Tories, under the leadership of the Blessed Margaret, supported the Yes campaign and the campaign’s treasurer, Alistair McAlpine, said that the thrust of the Yes campaign was to portray anyone who was against them was as off their rocker or virtually a Marxist.
    You should not confuse the modern Labour party with the British left.

  18. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    morally degenerate rentier economy

    Rentier is German for reindeer.

    Fnarr, that conjures up all sorts of images of debauched stags in stripey shirts and braces.

  19. “Rentier is German for reindeer.

    Fnarr, that conjures up all sorts of images of debauched stags in stripey shirts and braces.”

    And DBC as Father Christmas bringing in the limitless bounty of socialism from the North Pole. Or the Land Beyond Beyond or wherever. Actually the Thief of Baghdad is the more appropriate metaphor.

  20. So Much for Subtlety

    Ironman – “Or Tim he might just be a socialist idiot.”

    And so Rusty shows an interesting set of priorities. This unrepentant Stalinist sh!t gets a coherent, properly spelled and only mildly abusive comment from the Man Who Uses Stalin’s Name. Interesting.

    Johnnydub – “The SNP’s whole raison d’etre is as a counterweight to remote and unaccountable government in Westminster and their proposed solution is to sign up to a bigger, remote and unaccountable government in Brussels.”

    Actually it makes perfect sense – politics is not about politics but unresolved issues in our childhoods. So the SNP hates the English. So does the EU. Natural partners. Moreover the SNP is happy to let Brussels run all the, you know, difficult parts of government. Like foreign policy. Agricultural policies. Fishing policies. Economic policies. Who to invade. Things like that. But they know the EU is happy to leave the SNP in charge of the important things – like showing off to the girls who would not go out with them in High School (and yes, I am looking at you Nicola) and even more getting even with the successful young men those girls did go out with.

  21. “GlenDorran, I always thought the SNP support for the EU was nuts anyway.” – so, the SNP want out of the political union with English who are immigrants from Germany and France, to join a political union with the Germany and France ?!”^$^$%!!????

  22. @SJW

    ‘If Syriza were following an evil plan to create some sort of statist dystopia, its first step would have been to create a tax collection system that works.’

    I didn’t say that they did (and neither did I use phrases like ‘evil plan’ or ‘statist dystopia’, these are strawman words designed to discredit the argument).

    In my scenario, insofar as I regard it as truly serious, Syriza are the useful idiots. The EU – as I pretty clearly said – wants Greece to fail.

    Even if I really thought this was likely – I tend away from the conspiracy theory of organisational plotting, that’s more the left’s bag – I don’t think they’ll succeed.

    Greece (and Europe) are screwed by a stack of things including demography and the welfare state. Your kids (and mine) will reap this whirlwind, sadly. I’m sure we both have the cash to get out, but I feel for those who don’t.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *