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Lefty Prof

Lefty Prof's Public Library

  • the government has identified subsidies—oil, food and fertiliser—as the most important sector that must now be “rationalised” to unleash the economic potential of the country.
  • the Survey has pointed to a sharp decline in rural wages, declining rate of employment and also, a declining rate of agricultural growth.
  • all three worrying facts have been manipulated to argue that subsidies have not reached or are not reaching the people. Thus, they must be rationalised or done away with. The deep decline in rural wage rate has been articulated as a sign of recovery of the economy

  • The leadership of Syriza is faced with a dilemma that nearly all left governments have faced in one form or another: either neutralize the party’s left wing and continue marching down a path of retreat, or take stock of its failures and begin preparing for a more radical break.
  • This, then, is perhaps the clearest lesson from Friday’s deal: reversing austerity will require confronting political and business elites, both foreign and domestic, head on.
  • to force capital to accept a new growth strategy. If the party does not reorient its relationship to domestic elites, this will remain one of its largest blind spots.

  • But not speaking up when such inappropriate policies are being applied to Germany’s European partners is collectively disastrous. Indeed, what is so tragic in this crisis is how the center-left throughout Europe have not just accepted, but in many cases actively supported, policies that have done nothing but hurt their supposed core constituencies.
  • “Structural reform” used to be called “structural adjustment.” And European lefties like us used to condemn it as absurd, ridiculous, “neoliberalism gone mad” — and yet we seem quite happy to unleash these policies, despite the damage that they have done in the developing world, upon our European partners.

     

    When you ask for the content of what structural reform means, it seems to be a checklist of lower taxes, deregulate everything in sight, privatize anything not nailed down, and hope for the best. But are these policies not disturbingly American, if not Thatcherite? Indeed, isn’t this everything that the SPD is supposed to be against, and much of which the German public would never put up with?

  • First, and I know all about this being married into a family of East Germans, was reunification. Having ten million extra workers suddenly enter the labor market puts massive downward pressure on wages that begins to show up around 1994.

     

    Second, moving parts suppliers for the German Auto complex out to the former eastern bloc countries makes the inputs for German exports even more competitive. This starts around the same time.

     

    Third, German unions, at the same time, realize that globalization starts east of the Elbe and simply stop asking for wage increases. The combined result is a squeeze on wages that lasts for nearly twenty years that is masked by the transfers of the welfare system. This is where your competitiveness comes from.

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  • The strategy behind the attack aims at a polarization of French society, at an escalation of the conflict and, above all, at the resuscitation of the mantra of "the clash of civilizations." It further isolates the Muslim population in France (around 5 million people) and exposes it to a further escalation of the already worrying and rampant Islamophobia. It is pushing the white population to gather behind the banners of the national republican unity and identity, perceived as under attack from the new French--that is, the Muslim French. And, in order not to leave any option of resistance other than radical Islamism to the Muslim population, it is hitting the French left, the only barrier against an uncontrolled proliferation of Islamophobia in the country, where it hurts the most: in its troubles in dealing with France's colonial past and legacy, and in reformulating universalism in such a way as to give full inclusion to Arab and Muslim people.
  • Its defenders, in the wake of the criticisms and accusations of Islamophobia Charlie Hebdo started to receive, kept pointing out that its satire was addressed to all religions indiscriminately. Whether this is true or not (and I think it is not entirely true), this answer shows a fundamental misunderstanding about context
  • Muslims are not only a largely oppressed and exploited minority in France, they are increasingly becoming the scapegoat of the economic crisis, the mirror upon which white Europeans project their deepest nightmares and fears. Every single week in Germany, several thousands of people gather in various cities under the organizational denomination of PEGIDA for demonstrations against the "Islamization des Abendlandes" (PEGIDA stands for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West")

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  • just over 5 percent of the money pledged to rebuild Gaza after last summer's devastating 51-day conflict with Israel has been delivered. What does this say about the international community's commitment to the beleaguered territory and its 1.8 million residents?

  • “It’s one thing to quell demonstration and protests,” Boykin said, “but it’s another thing to use antiquated Gestapo tactics that are more commonly found in parts of the underdeveloped world or in places like China or Russia.”

     

    “Not in America.”

  • In essence, what it is saying is instead of you and me running around here seeking allies in our struggle for freedom in the Irish neighborhood or the Jewish neighborhood or the Italian neighborhood, we need to seek some allies among people who look something like we do. It's time now for you and me to stop running away from the wolf right into the arms of the fox, looking for some kind of help. That's a drag.

  • After a period of enjoyable defiance, during which they won the backing of the overwhelming majority of the Greek people - 80% according to a poll taken before the latest deal, published in today's Avgi - they have come back with small change.  Pushed to the point where they were at risk of a collapse of the banking system, and unprepared for a Grexit (and thus unable to use it as a bargaining chip), they accepted the most comprehensive drubbing.  
     
     
     
     Tsipras has tried to put the best possible gloss on this, but what he said was delusional.
  •  He said that the deal shows that Europe stands for mutually beneficial compromise.  No such thing.  It stands, as Schauble crowed, for Syriza being forced to implement austerity against its own mandate.  It stands for the crushing of national democracy.  
  • Tsipras said that austerity and the Memorandum had been left behind.  That is precisely the opposite of what has happened.  The Thessaloniki programme, itself a carefully trimmed agenda shorn of the most radical of Syriza's goals, is what has been left behind.

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  • let´s have a closer look at the “Moscovici document” leaked by the Greek government during the Eurogroup meeting last Monday, which it has declared itself willing to sign.

    This document[1] rules out “unilateral action”, sets primary surpluses of an undefined volume as a budgetary target and recognizes the entirety of the debt. All future adjustments made concerning the restructuring of the debt will have to be in line with the Eurogroup´s decisions in November 2012. Essentially, the implementation of the fundamental measures of Syriza´s Thessaloniki election programme is made subject to the prior approval of the lenders; effectively amounting to the programme´s annulment. Additionally, it recognizes the odious terms of the lending agreements, thereby further weakening the Greek negotiating position on the matter. It is obvious, that by accepting such a framework as a supposedly “honourable compromise”, the Syriza government is having its hands tied.

    The request for an extension of the “Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement” submitted Wednesday by Yanis Varoufakis, includes all of the above mentioned points and adds to those - for the first time - the recognition of “the supervision under the EU and ECB framework and, in the same spirit, with the International Monetary Fund for the duration of the extended Agreement (point f)”[2]. In other words, the Troika is back but with a different name. The Greek media have already started talking about “the Institutions” (with a capital “I”).

    But even that is not enough for the EU and Schäuble.

  • By teaching the Syriza government a lesson, they simultaneously issue a warning to Podemos and any other force in Europe that may attempt to challenge austerity, the memoranda and debt-peonage. The German side has either way rejected the Greek request for the Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement, apparently aiming for further Greek concessions and the full humiliation of the Greek left-wing government.
  • A retreat should not be treated as unavoidable, and the Greek government deserves support to the extent that it is holds firm in the war unleashed against it.

  • in fact, the consciousness of privilege in this theoretical conception is an anti-totalizing view of society, where relationships to a single hierarchy of oppression must first be analyzed separately from the social totality, before (at best) later being reintegrated into a more complete view. In many cases, it is not even the hierarchy as a whole that is considered, but simply a comparison of privileges held by one individual and another to decide whether or not the more privileged one has the authority to even hold a particular view.

  • One of the most important of these absurd assumptions, acceptedimplicitly by most Americans, is that there is really only one race, theNegro race.
  • people in the United States do not classify as races peoplesof non-European but also non-African appearance or descent, exceptfor purposes of direct or indirect contrast with people of Africandescent; and even then, the terms used are likely to represent geogra-phy or language rather than biology:Asian or Hispanic.5Even whenterms of geography designate people of African descent, they meansomething different from what they mean when applied to others. Mystudents find it odd when I refer to the colonizers of North America asEuro-Americans, but they feel more at ease with Afro-Americans, a termwhich, for the period of colonization and the slave trade, has no moreto recommend it. Students readily understand that no one was really aEuropean, since Europeans belonged to different nationalities; but itcomes as a surprise to them that no one was an African either, sinceAfricans likewise belonged to different nationalities.
  • Perhaps most intellectually debilitating of all is a third assumption:namely, that any situation involving people of European descent andpeople of African descent automatically falls under the heading ‘racerelations’. Argument by definition and tautology thereby replacesargument by analysis in anything to do with people of African descent.

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  • The concept of whiteness cannot, therefore, solve what I take to be its central problem (at least as far as labor history is concerned): the source of 52ILWCH, 60, Fall 2001 working-class bigotry, often murderous, against persons of African descent. In-deed, as an organizing concept, whiteness leads to no conclusions that it does notbegin with as assumptions. Whiteness is a racial identity; therefore, white peo-ple have a racial identity. Whiteness equals white supremacy; therefore, Euro-pean immigrants become white by adopting white supremacy. Whiteness entailsmaterial benefits; therefore, the material benefits white people receive are a re-ward for whiteness.
  • The concept of whiteness cannot, therefore, solve what I take to be its central problem (at least as far as labor history is concerned): the source of 52ILWCH, 60, Fall 2001 working-class bigotry, often murderous, against persons of African descent. In-deed, as an organizing concept, whiteness leads to no conclusions that it does notbegin with as assumptions. Whiteness is a racial identity; therefore, white peo-ple have a racial identity. Whiteness equals white supremacy; therefore, Euro-pean immigrants become white by adopting white supremacy. Whiteness entailsmaterial benefits; therefore, the material benefits white people receive are a re-ward for whiteness.
  • The concept of whiteness cannot, therefore, solve what I take to be its central problem (at least as far as labor history is concerned): the source of 52ILWCH, 60, Fall 2001 working-class bigotry, often murderous, against persons of African descent. In-deed, as an organizing concept, whiteness leads to no conclusions that it does notbegin with as assumptions. Whiteness is a racial identity; therefore, white peo-ple have a racial identity. Whiteness equals white supremacy; therefore, Euro-pean immigrants become white by adopting white supremacy. Whiteness entailsmaterial benefits; therefore, the material benefits white people receive are a re-ward for whiteness.

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  • He was very firm that the reestablishment of national and democratic sovereignty and of the dignity of the Greek people are non-negotiable.

  • A weakened United States would also force India to rethink its geopolitical maneuverings which is not to say it would begin to seriously oppose the United States but that it would see value in somewhat loosening strategic strings with the United States while exploring other tie-ups. In this respect to call India a sub-imperialist power is in my view to see it as structurally ‘too subordinate’ to US imperialism. A more accurate characterization I would suggest of India is to see it as a ‘regional imperialist’ or given that Pakistan prevents it from establishing itself as the regional hegemon, as a regional imperialism in-the-making, By contrast the more powerful China is an aspiring global imperialist power yet far from replacing the global pre-eminence of a United States undoubtedly in relative but not necessarily absolute decline.

  • Dur­ing the cam­paign the “real­ist” and right-wing turn of the lead­er­ship of SYRIZA became much more evi­dent. The SYRIZA lead­er­ship has aban­doned the demand for an imme­di­ate abro­ga­tion of the mem­o­ran­dum (the con­di­tions attached to the loan agree­ments), which was the main thrust of the 2012 cam­paign. It has moved away from the “no sac­ri­fice for the euro” posi­tion. The nation­al­iza­tion of the bank­ing sys­tem is no longer one of the imme­di­ate demands. The main pro­gram­matic posi­tion of SYRIZA is an attempt to put an end to aus­ter­ity while remain­ing within the insti­tu­tional, mon­e­tary, and finan­cial frame­work of the Euro­zone and the EU. They have insisted on their abil­ity to nego­ti­ate a restruc­tur­ing and pos­si­ble reduc­tion of the Greek debt with our cred­i­tors, namely the EU and the IMF. At the same time, they have pointed towards using against aus­ter­ity the Euro­pean ver­sion of “quan­ti­ta­tive eas­ing” that the ECB has just ini­ti­ated.
  • The main thrust of SYRIZA’s poli­cies, once in office, will be, accord­ing to their pre-election dec­la­ra­tions, the cre­ation of some­thing like a social safety net by rais­ing the min­i­mum wage back to 751 euros, rein­stat­ing basic rights to col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing, revers­ing sus­pen­sions of pub­lic sec­tor employ­ees, offer­ing imme­di­ate assis­tance to 300,000 fam­i­lies below the poverty thresh­old, cre­at­ing jobs, and increas­ing pen­sions. There is no deny­ing that these are urgently needed measures.
  • even such a mild loos­en­ing of aus­ter­ity might not be pos­si­ble

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