by Andrew Gavin Marshall
Writer, Dandelion Salad
July 22, 2015
Andrew Gavin Marshall on Jul 22, 2015
From the outbreak of Europe’s debt crisis in 2010, Germany and the Troika institutions of the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF have come to wield immense influence over the continent and the populations within it. This video examines the individuals and institutions of power in Europe.
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Andrew Gavin Marshall is a researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada. He is Project Manager of The People’s Book Project, chair of the Geopolitics Division of The Hampton Institute, research director for Occupy.com’s Global Power Project and the World of Resistance (WoR) Report, a writer at Dandelion Salad, and hosts a weekly podcast show with BoilingFrogsPost.
from the archives:
Greece is a Nation Under Occupation by Andrew Gavin Marshall
The Problem of Greece is Not Only a Tragedy. It is a Lie. by John Pilger + Grexit or Jubilee? How Greek Debt Could Be Annulled by Ellen Brown
“Guerrilla Warfare Against a Hegemonic Power”: The Challenge and Promise of Greece by Ellen Brown + Hudson: Capitalism & Government Debt at Odds
Greece Rejects the Troika. What’s Next? by Michael Hudson + Greece: It all seems so clear – and so complicated by Siv O’Neall
Between Berlin and a Hard Place: Greece and the German Strategy to Dominate Europe by Andrew Gavin Marshall
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David, What I mean by dismantling the EU is basically a restoration of national sovereignty in the EU countries as it was before. And NATO should have been dismantled over twenty years ago as it outlived it’s purported “mission” to contain the Russian Bear and so-called threat of Soviet expansionism towards Western Europe.
Most European nations have now become vassal client states (to use the Paul Craig Roberts term) of the United States, and are now – as far as their standard of living goes – (unsustainable or not), in decline, while the wealthy-class and the usury specialists of Wall Street and their cronies in Brussels, Frankfurt and the City of London continue to extract money from the worker-class to enrich themselves and their wealthy supporters, or like G.W. Bush would say: “the haves and the have mores.” The erosion of social benefits in many European countries these past few years is a “continental calamity.” The international bankers and the ultra-rich capitalists have even coined a new phrase for this anti-social, misanthropic slow but sure form of returning to the “good old days of serfdom” and it is called “austerity,” the omnipresent word now used for “white-collar” theft.
On “Greece in the dreaded 70’s,” you read what I wrote above. In your second and third paragraphs above, I certainly agree with you about the difficulties and complications of returning (if it can be done at all?) to a pre-Euro continent again.
On paragraphs three and four, I strongly agree with you and genuinely feel this is the way to go, which, on a good note, is slowly catching on around the world.
I haven’t seen “Green Gold” yet and will look at the website in a bit.
Great response Frank, thanks. On almost all levels I agree with what you say, but the tricky bit is how to define this sovereignty not only as it was before, but which before.
I recently read Churchill’s account of the Potsdam negotiations with Stalin on how they were to resolve the problem of Polish borders after 1945. It is really an eye-opener to comprehend the scope and enormity of these decisions. The EU has gone through multiple evolutions, since the early days of the common market and economic area. The debate has increasingly turned on this question of monetary union being impossible without political union, or vice versa. We bleat on about “national” sovereignty in the UK having only just narrowly avoided the break-up of that historic Union. So the ironies abound. I personally think the solutions lie elsewhere, rooted in profound concepts like deep ecology or radical ecopsychology.
Just dealing with the comprehensive polyphony of so many diverse states is enough to daunt most people. Take Spain for example, we don’t have to reflect back very far before we find ourselves back in pre-Renaissance Al Andalus, then remembering the Romans, African Berbers, Greeks, Phoenicians, Ancient Celts and who knows what, Barbary Pirates, Egyptians? Then consider the irony that in London today (greater London estimated as around 20 millions) there are now thought to be in excess of 200 distinct languages being spoken….
I don’t know the answers. All I think I know is that the world is rapidly changing ~ even as we write. We live in an era of total metamorphosis. The whole question of borders seems almost irrelevant in the context of climate disruption, and the politics of the biosphere ~ a notion that barely existed in the popular imagination after the close of hostilities in the 1940’s. We did not even know about plate tectonics until the early sixties or the implications of bioregional geographies, let alone the scale of the heavens as now revealed by Hubble.
So it strikes me we simply do not (as yet) have the critical language(s) or a cognitive political vocabulary adequate to the task of communicating the social and cultural actualities & entangled paradoxes in which we find ourselves embedded at the present. Our politics needs to catch up with our experience.
Yes, David, it is a tricky bit on defining national sovereignty, as it was before, but which before? You make an excellent point, which is paramount in trying to find the best possible and workable solution to present day Europe. I also don’t have a definite answer but can only speculate on a continent willing to dismantle the NATO war-making machine, a return of the ancient act of debt forgiveness or “Jubilee” and a restoration of civil and social benefits which began with the end of hostilities after the Second World War, giving Western Europeans a higher standard of living than they had before and a more humane and egalitarian approach to life, commerce, and the questionable practice of self-aggrandizement at the expense of the many, which leads to oligarchic “influence” on the type of laws and regulations our elected and selected politicians enact, benefiting the few, at the expense of the many.
On the Potsdam meeting and Poland, I remember reading about an additional meeting between Churchill and Stalin, keeping Roosevelt out of it, on carving up Europe, which these two leaders agreed upon. Another subject for another time.
You’re on to something with the deep ecology or radical ecopsychology, which is crucial for the planet’s survival, but hard to implement, as the vast majority have been conditioned to be constant consumers, which is anathema to ecopsychology and sustainability.
I was hoping the Scots did break away from the UK, as England is becoming more and more like the U.S., which is the most belligerent and war-like nation on the globe.
On the issue of migrations in Spain and elsewhere, additional problems arise as more people compete for fewer jobs, and “foreigners” are seen as intruders, creating distrust and eventually hatred toward the newcomers… conditions the ruling-elite enjoy, as it takes them out of the spotlight, and behind closed doors they continue with their nefarious schemes on making more money and obtaining more power for themselves and their cronies, gleefully watching the frustrations, anxiety and uncertainties of the working-class. “Let them eat cake if they can’t afford bread.”
Your last two paragraphs are so important in understanding the current state of worldwide affairs, new knowledge, and yes, we live in an era of total metamorphosis, and as you say: “Our politics need to catch up with our experience,” I’ll add, “asap!”
Much thanks for your input. You are a Teacher!
A bunch of unelected megalomaniacs driving Europe into the ground. We should stop using the word ‘democracy’ because it’s meaning no longer is: the will of the people. Too bad this video doesn’t tell that Mario Draghi is a former Goldman Sachs affiliate. The EU must be dismantled.
Thanks Vera. Marshall has mentioned Draghi many times in his articles as well as Ellen Brown.
I agree with you Vera that the EU must be dismantled. I had my doubts about it many years ago and they made it out to be some sort of economic paradise among the participating nations, and after the Euro was introduced, and the “no-hassle border” crossing benefits, the writing was on the wall on what was to become of the “new Europe.”
I was stationed in Greece during the 1970’s and jobs were plentiful, the tavernas (restaurants) were filled with people every night, even though it was still considered a poor country compared to northwestern European nations, with a lot of bureaucratic red tape: like spending a day at the DMV or other government agency for renewing licenses and permits, etc. but otherwise life was heavenly for the average Greek citizen compared to living there today.
I also agree with the words like “democracy” “liberty” and “freedom” have lost their original meaning and are now buzzwords for the “economic royalists” as FDR called them back then.
Yep, megalomaniacs is an appropriate term for them.
Andrew packs a lot of vitally important information in this concise presentation. Fascinating and necessary. The growing question for us here, within the EU, is not so much what we want “in” Europe but what is the place of Europe within the greater “troika” of Russia, Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean (Levant.)
The habituative emphasis on manufacture is overblown. German “steel” may be the backbone of productive continuity, but the greater need is for ecological renewal, regenerative initiative. Sovereignty and resilience beyond conflict. Quality existence that confers deeper identification with place.
That takes far more than financial wizardry. It needs both intelligent industrial restraint and a capacity for innovation as an exercise in planetary design, that realizes a political vision of micro-abundance; allowing localism to thrive within an unrestricted context of vastly enriched biodiversity.
I agree, David. Andrew, whom I haven’t seen anything from for quite some time (maybe I’m slipping?) does present things in a necessary and fascinating manner to read and understand.
I certainly agree with your comments and certainly the necessity of corrective action for this planet you highlighted on in the third paragraph.
Amen, brother D!
Great to see you back again, Frank.
Here’s the latest article from Andrew: https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/greece-is-a-nation-under-occupation-by-andrew-gavin-marshall/
Most of 2014, I was on hiatus, so didn’t post as much (same for 2015).
Great to be back, Lo!
Hi Frank. Thanks for the warm response.
Personally, I do not see how Europe can be dismantled. Just what gets taken apart? What is genuinely needed is massive reform and ideological maturity. This is not just a European problem though, it is global ~ essentially US-based because of their dominant economic dictatorship.
Greece in the dread ’70’s must have been a life changer. I’ve lived in the UK, Ireland, France and Spain (also Canada) & cannot see how we can successfully revert to a pre-Euro state of affairs in one bite. It is hugely complicated.
The exponential problem really arrived with European expansion following the break-up of the Soviet Commonwealth and the unification of Germany. This created a two-tier arrangement that has always been reckless because it was never thought through; and appropriate mechanisms were not contrived to adequately curtail the worst inevitabilities. I mean, Bulgaria on equal terms with France? It was absurd really.
What is entirely missing in our present naive and amateurish calculus/narrative is a proper understanding of the agrarian principles that actually govern the basic facts of our collective lives. In many respects Bulgaria for example is better off, because its natural ecosystems were probably less degraded than the more “advanced” members. I cannot state that with any certainty, but a general rule of thumb is the less “development” the better.
So this is the real issue in my opinion, not just cooperative manufacture etc. We need better truly representative institutions, drawing upon and feeding a fundamental hierarchy of absolute needs, and principles. We must invest in natural capital. Without a healthy community ecology as a functioning, practical basis for intelligent, prosperous and creative life, we shall go nowhere. And there is nowhere to go anyway ~ we are already here! This is Russia’s great strength, and Africa ~ deep roots.
Have you ever seen John D Liu’s original “Green Gold” about Chinese regeneration & Geoff Lawton in Jordan?
This looks like a promising website
All the best from the “West country!”