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Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Future Costs Of Politically Correct Cultism

I rarely touch on the subject of political correctness as a focus in my writings, partially because the entire issue is so awash in pundits on either side that the scrambling clatter of voices tends to drown out the liberty movement perspective. Also, I don’t really see PC cultism as separate from the problems I am always battling against: collectivism and the erasure of the individual in the name of pleasing society. Political correctness is nothing more than a tool that collectivists and statists exploit in order to better achieve their endgame, which is conning the masses into believing that the group mind is real and that the individual mind is fiction.

Last year, I covered the PC issue in my article “The Twisted Motives Behind Political Correctness.” I believe I analyzed the bulk of the issue extensively. However, the times are changing at a pace that boggles the mind; and this is by design. So, it may be necessary to square off against this monstrosity once again.

In order to better examine the true insanity of what many people now term “social justice warriors,” I must study a few aspects of that strange movement separately. First, let’s take a brief look at the mindset of your average social justice circus clown so that we might better understand what makes him/her/it tick.

Rebel Without A Legitimate Cause

I spent several years (up until 2004, when I woke up from the false paradigm madness) as a Democrat. And before anyone judges that particular decision, I would suggest they keep in mind the outright fascist brothel for the military-industrial complex the Republican Party had become at that point and remains to this day. Almost every stepping stone that Barack Obama is using today to eradicate the Constitution was set in place by the Bush dynasty, including the Authorization Of Military Force, which was the foundation for the National Defence Authorization Act and the legal precedence for indefinite detention without trial of ANY person (including an American citizen) accused of terrorism by the president of the U.S., as well as the use of assassination by executive order and the implementation of mass electronic surveillance without warrant.

But, hell, these are real issues — issues that many of my fellow Democrats at the time claimed they actually cared about. Today, though, liberal concerns about unconstitutional actions by the federal government have all but vanished. Today, the left fights the good fight against flags on the hoods of cars from long-canceled television shows and battles tooth and nail for the “right” of boys wearing wigs and skirts to use the girl’s bathroom. Today, the left even fights to remove the words “boy” and “girl” from our vocabulary. Yes, such noble pursuits as these will surely be remembered as a pinnacle in the annals of societal reform.

Maybe I realize the ideological goals of the social justice machine are meaningless on a surface level; and maybe you realize this, too. But these people live in their own little universe, which doesn’t extend far beyond the borders of their college campuses, the various Web forums they have hijacked and a trendy Marxist wine-and-swinger party here and there in New York or Hollywood. They actually think that they are on some great social crusade on par with the civil rights movements of the mid-1900s. They think they are the next Martin Luther King Jr. or the next Gandhi. The underlying banality and pointlessness of their cause completely escapes them. The PC cult is, in many respects, the antithesis of the liberty movement. We fight legitimate threats against legitimate freedoms; they fight mostly imaginary threats and seek to eradicate freedoms.

Don’t get me wrong; sometimes our concerns do align. For instance, liberty proponents fight back against the militarization of police just as avidly as leftists do, if not more so. But our movements handle the problem in very different ways. Look at Ferguson, Missouri, where anyone with any sense should be able to admit that the government response to protests was absolutely a step toward tyranny, ignoring violent looters while attacking peaceful activists. Leftists and PC cultists decided to follow the Saul Alinsky/communist playbook, busing in provocateurs from Chicago to further loot and burn down businesses even if they belonged to ethnic minorities. In the meantime, the liberty movement and Oath Keepers sent armed and trained men to defend those businesses REGARDLESS of who owned them and defied police and federal agents who tried to stop them.

The left gave the police and government a rationale for being draconian, while we removed the need for police and government entirely by providing security for the neighborhood (killing two birds with one stone). Either their methods are purely ignorant and do not work, or their methods are meant to achieve the opposite of their claims. In the end, the PC movement only serves establishment goals toward a fully collectivist and centralized society.  Their publicly stated intentions are otherwise pointless.

Your average PC drone does not understand the grander plan at work, nor does he want to. All he cares about is that he has found a “purpose” — a fabricated purpose as a useful idiot for power brokers, but a purpose nonetheless.

People Must Be Forced To Bake Gay Cakes

I personally do not care if two people of the same gender want to be in a relationship, but I do find the issue of gay marriage (and marriage in general) a rather odd conflict that misses the whole point. Marriage has been and always will be a religious institution, not federal; and I find government involvement in this institution to be rather despicable. When the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage came down, I felt a little sorry for all the joyfully hopping homosexuals on the marbled steps of the hallowed building, primarily because they essentially were fighting for the state to provide recognition and legitimacy for their relationships. Frankly, who gives a rip what the state has to say in terms of your relationships or mine? The state is an arbitrary edifice, a facade wielding illusory power. If a relationship is based on true and enduring connection, then that is all that matters, whether the Supreme Court dignifies it or not.

The only advantage to solidifying gay marriage in the eyes of the state is the advantage of being able to then use the state as an attack dog in order to force religious institutions to accept the status of gays in the same way the government does. And unfortunately, this is exactly what the PC cult is doing.  What they do not seem to understand is that recognition by the state does not necessarily translate to recognition by religious organizations, nor should it.

Should an individual, organization or business be allowed to refuse service to anyone for any reason? Should the state be allowed to force people into servitude to one group or another even if it is against their core values?

PC champions desperately try to make these questions a matter of “discrimination” alone. But they are more about personal rights and personal property and less about “hate speech.” Under natural law, as well as under the constitution, an individual has every right to refuse association with any other person for ANY reason. If I do not like you, the government does not have the authority to force me to be around you or to work for you. But this line has been consistently blurred over the years through legal chicanery. As I’m sure most readers are familiar, the issue of gay cakes seems to arise over and over, as in cases in Colorado and Oregon in which religiously oriented business owners were punished for refusing to provide service for gay customers.  Keep in mind, these businesses did not refuse outright service to gays.  What they did refuse, was to make gay wedding cakes.  To do so would have been in outright conflict with their religious principles.

Punishments have included crippling fines designed to put store owners out of business and have even included gag orders restricting the freedom of businesses to continue speaking out against the orientation of customers they have refused to do business with.

In order to validate such actions, leftists will invariably bring up segregation as a backdrop for the gay cake debate. “What if the customers were black,” they ask. “Is it OK for a business to be whites only?”

My response?  Yes, according the dictates of individual liberty, yes it is okay.

First, to be clear, I am talking specifically about private individuals and businesses, not public institutions as in the argument explored during Brown v. Board of Education. Private and public spaces are different issues with different nuances. I personally believe it is ignorant to judge someone solely on the color of his skin, and sexual orientation is not necessarily an issue to me. But it is equally ignorant for someone to think that the state exists to protect his feelings from being hurt. I’m sorry, but discrimination is a fact of life and always will be as long as individualism exists. The PC cultists don’t just want government recognition of their status; they want to homogenize individualism, erase it, and force the rest of us to vehemently approve of that status without question. This is unacceptable.

Your feelings do not matter. They are not superior in importance to the fundamental freedom of each individual to choose his associations.

If a business refuses to serve blacks, or gays, or Tibetans, then, hey, it probably just lost a lot of potential profit. But that should absolutely be the business’s choice and not up to the government to dictate. And in the case of “gay discrimination,” I think it is clear that the PC crowd is using the newfound legal victim group status of gays as a weapon to attack religiously based organizations. Make no mistake, this will not end with gay cakes. It is only a matter of time before pressure is brought to bear against churches as well for “discrimination.” And at the very least, I foresee many churches abandoning their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.  Again, marriage has been and always will be a religious institution.  The PC crowd will not be happy with government recognition alone.  They want to force recognition from everyone.

If a group wants fair treatment in this world, that is one thing. I believe a gay person has every right to open HIS OWN bakery and bake gay marriage cakes to his little heart’s content. I believe a black person has every right to dislike white people, as some do, and refuse to associate with them or or do business with them if that’s what he/she wants. I also believe that under natural and constitutional law, a religious business owner is an independent and free individual with the right to choose who he will work for or accept money from. If he finds a customer’s behavior to be against his principles, he should not be forced to serve that person, their feelings be damned.

This is fair.

What is not fair is the use of government by some groups to gain an advantage over others based on the legal illusion of victim group status. PC cultists want us to think that choice of association is immoral and damaging to the group. I have to say I find them to be far more intolerant and dangerous than the people they claim to be fighting against, and this attitude is quickly devolving into full bore tyranny under the guise of “humanitarianism.”

Gender Bending Does Not Make You Special

A man shaves his head and eyebrows, straps a plastic bottle to his face, and has his feet surgically modified to resemble flippers: Does this make him a dolphin, and should he be given victim group status as trans-species? I’m going to be brief here because I covered this issue in a previous article, but let’s lay everything on the table, as it were...

PC cultists are clamoring to redefine the scientific FACT of gender as an “undefinable” and even discriminatory social perception. No one, no matter how dedicated, will EVER be able to redefine gender, unless they have the ability to change their very chromosomes. Nature defines gender, not man; and a man who undergoes numerous surgeries and body-changing steroid treatments will always have the genetics of a man even if he gives the appearance of a woman. Take away the drugs, and no amount of make-up will hide the chest hair growth and deepening voice.

This might be deemed a “narrow” view of gender, and I don’t care. Nature’s view of gender is the only one that counts. Psychological orientations are irrelevant to biological definitions. Are you a man trapped in a woman’s body? Irrelevant. A woman trapped in a man’s body? Doesn’t matter. If we are talking about legal bearings, then biological definitions are the only scale that makes sense. I realize that gender bending is very trendy right now, and Hollywood sure seems to want everyone to jump on that freaky disco bandwagon, but there is no such thing as gender-neutral people. They are not a group, let alone a victim group, and do not necessitate special attention or government protection. There are men, and there are women; these are the only gender groups that count. Whether they would like to be the opposite does not change the inherent genetic definition. Period. To make such foolishness into an ideology or a legal battle is to attempt to bewilder man’s relationship to nature, and this will only lead to social distraction and disaster.

There Is No Such Thing As ‘White Privilege’

A person determines his success in life by his character and his choices. Color does not define success, as there are many people of every color who are indeed successful. Do you have to work harder to gain success because you are brown, or black, or neon green? I’ve seen no concrete evidence that this is the case. I know that people who identify as “white” are still around 70% of the American population, thus there are more white people in successful positions only due to sheer numbers.

I know that I personally grew up in a low-wage household and had little to no financial help as I entered the working world. Everything I have accomplished in my life to this point was done alongside people of color, some of whom had far more advantages than I did. I cannot speak for other people’s experiences, but I can say that being white was never more important in my life than being stubborn and dedicated.

I also find it a little absurd that most PC cultists who harp about so-called white privilege are often white themselves and haven’t the slightest experience or insight on what it is to be a person of color anyway.  All of their concepts of discrimination are based purely on assumption. White privilege seems to be the PC cult’s answer to the argument that racism is a universal construct. Only whites can be racist, they claim, because only whites benefit from racism. I defy these jokers to show any tangible proof that an individual white person has more of a chance at success than a person of color due to predominant racism. Or are we just supposed to have blind faith in the high priests of PC academia and their morally relative roots?

The Cost Of Cultural Marxism

Marxism (collectivism) uses many vehicles or Trojan horses to gain access to political and cultural spaces. Once present, it gestates like cancer, erasing previous models of heritage and history in order to destroy any competing models of society.  If you want to understand what is happening in America today, I suggest you research the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960's.  We are experiencing the same Marxist program of historical and social destruction, only slightly slower and more strategic.

Younger generations are highly susceptible to social trends and are often easily manipulated by popular culture and academic authority, which is why we are seeing PC cultism explode with the millennials and post-millennials. In my brief participation on the left side of the false paradigm, political correctness was only beginning to take hold. A decade later, the speed of the propaganda has far accelerated, and we now have a bewildering manure storm on our hands. The result is a vast division within American society that cannot be mended. Those of us on the side of liberty are so different in our philosophies and solutions to social Marxists that there can be no compromise.  The whole carnival can end only one way: a fight. And perhaps this is exactly what the elites want: left against right, black against white, gay against religious and straight, etc. As long as the PC movement continues to unwittingly do the bidding of power brokers in their efforts toward the destruction of individual liberty, I see no other alternative but utter conflict. 

Did SeaWorld send this employee undercover to infiltrate animal rights protests?

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Strange things are afoot at SeaWorld these days. We’ve known that the amusement park giant has been struggling for a while, what with the practice of sedating orcas with anti-depressants and proposed legislation that would make it tough for SeaWorld to get new aquatic stars. Now, PETA has accused SeaWorld of deliberately sending one of its employees to infiltrate anti-SeaWorld protests, and they have some interesting proof to back it up. If it’s true, the company has a lot of explaining to do, especially because the employee in question appears to have been doing this for years.

Blaming the Victim: Greece is a Nation Under Occupation


In the early hours of Thursday morning, July 16, the Greek Parliament passed a host of austerity measures in order to begin talks on a potential third bailout of 86 billion euros. The austerity measures were pushed onto the Parliament by Greece’s six-month-old leftist government of Syriza, elected in late January with a single mandate to oppose austerity. So what exactly happened over the past six months that the first anti-austerity government elected in Europe has now passed a law implementing further austerity measures?

One cannot properly assess the political gymnastics being exercised within Greece’s ruling Syriza party without placing events in their proper context. It is inaccurate to mistake the actions and decisions of the Greek government with those taken by an independent, sovereign and democratic country. Greece is not a free and sovereign nation. Greece is an occupied nation.

Since its first bailout agreement in May of 2010, Greece has been under the technocratic and economic occupation of its bailout institutions, the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). For the past five years, these three institutions known as ‘the Troika’ (though now referred to as ‘the Institutions’) have managed bailout programs in Greece and other nations of the eurozone. In return for loans, they got to dictate the policies and priorities of governments.

Behind the scenes, Germany rules an economic empire expanding across Europe, enforcing its demands upon debtor nations in need of aid, operating largely through the European Union’s various institutions and forums. Germany has consistently demanded harsh austerity measures, structural reforms, and centralization of authority over euro-member nations at the EU-level.

Greece has served as a brutal example to the rest of Europe for what happens when a country does not follow the orders and rules of Germany and the EU’s unelected institutions. In return for financial loans from the Troika, with Germany providing the largest share, Greece and other debtor nations had to give up their sovereignty to unelected technocrats from foreign institutions based in Brussels (at the European Commission), Frankfurt (at the ECB), Washington, D.C. (at the IMF), and with ultimate authority emanating from foreign political leaders in Berlin (at the German Chancellery and Finance Ministry).

The Troika would send teams of ‘inspectors’ on missions to Athens where they would assess if the sitting government was on track with its promised reforms, thus determining whether they would continue to disburse bailout funds. Troika officials in Athens would function as visiting emissaries from a foreign empire, accompanied by bodyguards and met with protests by the Greek people. The ‘inspectors’ from Brussels, Frankfurt and Washington would enter Greek government ministries, dictating to the Greek government and bureaucracy what their priorities and policies should be, with the ever-present threat to cut off funds if their demands were not followed, holding the fate of successive governments in their hands. Thus, unelected officials from three undemocratic and entirely unaccountable international institutions were dictating government policy to elected governments.

In addition to this immense loss of sovereignty over the past five years, Greece was subjected to further humiliation as the European Commission established a special ‘Task Force for Greece’ consisting of 45 technocrats, with 30 based in Brussels and 15 at an outpost in Athens, headed by Horst Reichenbach, dubbed by the Greek press as the ‘German Premier’. European and German officials had pushed for “a more permanent presence” in Greece than the occasional inspections by Troika officials. Thus, the Task Force was effectively an imperial outpost overseeing an occupied nation.

When a nation’s priorities and policies are determined by foreign officials, it is not a free and sovereign nation, but an occupied country. When unelected technocrats have more authority over a nation than its elected politicians, it is not a democracy, but a technocracy. Germany and Europe’s contempt and disregard for the democratic process within occupied (bailout) countries has been clear for years.

When Greece’s elected Prime Minister George Papandreou called for a referendum on the terms of Greece’s second bailout in late 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Europe’s unelected rulers were furious. The economic occupation and restructuring of a nation was too important to be left to the population to decide. Europe’s leaders acted quickly and removed the elected government from power in a technocratic coup, replacing Mr. Papandreou with the former Vice President of the European Central Bank, Lucas Papademos. Thus, a former top official of one of the Troika institutions was put in direct control of Greece.

Papademos, who was not elected but appointed by foreign powers, had two major mandates from his German-Troika overlords: impose further austerity and conclude an agreement for a second bailout. Within a week of the coup, the EU and IMF demanded that the leaders of Greece’s two large political parties, New Democracy and PASOK, “give written guarantees that they will back austerity measures” and follow through with the bailout programs.

Troika officials and European finance ministers wanted to ensure that regardless of what political party wins in future elections, the Troika and Germany would remain the rulers of Greece. Troika officials threatened that unless political party leaders sign written commitments they would continue to withhold further bailout funds from being disbursed to Greece. So the leaders signed their commitments. The leaders of Greece’s two main political parties, Antonis Samaras (New Democracy) and Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK), which had governed the country for the previous several decades, “became reluctant partners, propping up a new prime minister.” In February of 2012, the new Greek government agreed to a second major bailout with the Troika and Germany, thus extending the economic occupation of the country for several more years.

Greece was set to hold elections in April of 2012 to find a suitable ‘democratic’ replacement for the ‘technocratic’ government of Lucas Papademos. But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble was growing impatient with Greece, and publicly called for the elections to be postponed and to keep a technocratic government in power for longer. As the Financial Times noted in February of 2012, the European Union “wants to impose its choice of government on Greece – the eurozone’s first colony,” noting that Europe was “at the point where success is no longer compatible with democracy.”

But the elections ultimately took place in May of 2012, though Greece’s fractured political parties failed to form a coalition government, and thus set the country on course for a second round of elections the following month. The May elections were seen as a major rejection of the bailouts and the two parties that had dominated Greece for so long, marking the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party on the far-right and Syriza on the left.

But with a second round of elections set for June of 2012, Europe’s leaders repeated their threats to the democratic process in Greece. The Troika threatened to withhold bailout funds until the next government approved the package of reforms demanded by the creditors. Jorg Asmussen, a German member of the Executive Board of the ECB, warned, “Greece must know that there is no alternative to the agreed to restructuring arrangement, if it wants to stay a member of the euro zone.” The German President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said that, “The Greek parties should bear in mind that a stable government that holds to agreements is a basic prerequisite for further support from the euro-zone countries.” As Philip Stephens wrote in the Financial Times, “As often as Greece votes against austerity, it cannot avoid it.”

At a May meeting of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, it became clear that Europe’s rulers were increasing theirthreats and ultimatums to Greece. “If we now held a secret vote about Greece staying in the euro zone,” noted Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker (who is now president of the European Commission), “there would be an overwhelming majority against it.”

When the second elections were held the following month, the conservative New Democracy party won a narrow victory over Syriza, forming a coalition with two other parties in order to secure a majority to form a new government. Upon the announcement of a new coalition government on June 20, 2012, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany warned that Greece “must stick to its commitments.” Antonis Samaras of New Democracy was the third prime minister of Greece since the bailout programs began in 2010, and led the country as a puppet of its foreign creditors until his government collapsed in late 2014 and he called for elections to be held at the end of January of 2015.

Upon the collapse of the government, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, declared that, “austerity will soon be over.” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble warned that new elections in Greece “will not change any of the agreements made with the Greek government,” which “must keep to the contractual agreements of its predecessor.”

Jean-Claude Juncker, who was the newly-appointed (unelected) President of the European Commission, warned that Greeks “know very well what a wrong election result would mean for Greece and the eurozone,” adding that he would prefer “known faces” to rule Greece instead of “extreme forces,” in a reference to Syriza. A couple weeks before the elections, the European Central Bank threatened to cut its funding to Greece’s banking system if a new government rejected the bailout conditions.

Syriza won the elections on January 25, 2015, forming a coalition government with the Independent Greeks, a right-wing anti-austerity party. Alexis Tsipras, who would become Greece’s fourth prime minister in as many years, declared “an end to the vicious circle of austerity,” adding, “The troika has no role to play in this country.” Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, warned, “There are rules that must be met in the eurozone,” while a member of the executive board of the ECB added, “Greece has to pay, those are the rules of the European game.”

Nine days after the election, the ECB cut off its main line of funding to Greek banks, forcing them to access funds through a special lending program which comes with higher interest rates. Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research suggested that following Syriza’s election victory, the strategy of European officials was “to do enough damage to the Greek economy during the negotiating process to undermine support for the current government, and ultimately replace it.” The ECB, under its President Mario Draghi, quickly took a hardline approach to dealing with Greece, increasing the pressure on Athens to reach a deal with its creditors.

In early March, the ECB added pressure on Greece by indicating that it would only continue lending to Greek banks once the country complied with the terms of the existing bailout. On 9 March, a meeting of the Eurogroup was held where ECB president Mario Draghi warned the Greeks that they must let Troika officials return to Athens to review the country’s finances if they ever wanted any more aid. The same message was delivered by officials of the European Commission and the IMF. The Greeks were forced to comply. As negotiations continued, it became increasingly clear that the unelected institutions of the IMF and ECB had immense power over the terms and conditions of the talks.

Negotiations were dragged out, and the economy continued its collapse. By mid-June, Prime Minister Tsipras accused the creditors of “trying to subvert Greece’s elected government” and encourage “regime change.” James Putzel, a development studies professor at the London School of Economics (LSE) noted that Greece was being forced to choose between more austerity and reforms under Troika demands, or being booted from the eurozone and losing the common currency (something which the Greek people did not want). “Greece’s creditors,” he wrote, “seem bent on forcing the demise of the Syriza government.” Robert H. Wade, a political economy professor at LSE agreed, referring to the strategy as a “coup d’état by stealth.”

In late June, as Greece was faced with an ultimatum to implement more austerity or be pushed out of the eurozone, Alexis Tsipras threw out the wild card option in a final attempt to gain a better negotiating position by calling for a referendum on the terms demanded by the Troika and creditors. Europe’s leaders reacted as they did the previous time a Greek Prime Minister called for a referendum, and moved to put the squeeze on the economy. The ECB froze the level of its emergency aid to Greek banks, forcing bank closures and capital controls to be imposed on the country, essentially cutting off the flow of money to, from, and within Greece.

Chancellor Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker “coordinated how they would respond” to the Greek government’s call for a referendum. As Mr. Tsipras publicly campaigned for a ‘No’ vote (which would reject the terms of the bailout), Europe’s leaders pushed for a ‘Yes’ vote, attempting to redefined the terms of the referendum as not being about the bailout, but about membership in the eurozone, threatening to kick Greece out if they voted ‘No’.

As Paul Krugman noted in the New York Times, the ultimatum agreement that was delivered to the Greeks by the Troika was “indistinguishable from the policies of the past five years,” and was thus meant to be an offer that Tsipras “can’t accept, because it would destroy his political reason for being.” The purpose, wrote Krugman, “must therefore be to drive him from office.” Mark Weisbrot wrote in the Globe & Mail that, “European authorities continue to take steps to undermine the Greek economy and government, hoping to get rid of the government and get a new one that will do what they want.”

Europe’s leaders increased their threats to Greece in the run-up to the referendum, warning the country that voting ‘No’ would mean voting against Europe, against the euro, and result in isolation and further crisis. But Greece voted ‘No’ in a landslide referendum on July 5, 2015, in a massive rejection of austerity and the bailouts.

Mr. Tsipras made a gamble with the referendum, hoping that a further democratic mandate from the Greek people would give him a stronger hand in negotiations with the creditors. But the opposite happened. Europe’s leaders instead decided to completely ignore and dismiss the wishes of the Greek people and continued to put the squeeze on Greece, whose economy was pushed to the brink so far that Mr. Tsipras announced the country’s intentions to enter into negotiations for a third bailout program. On July 10, the Greek government submitted a formal bailout request to its creditors.

Europe, noted the Wall Street Journal, was “demanding full capitulation as the price of any new bailout.” The Greek government was betting that Europe wanted to keep Greece in the euro more than Greece wanted to get away from austerity, but Germany – and in particular, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble – were willing to back a ‘Grexit’ scenario in which Greece would be given a five-year “timeout” from the eurozone. As Paul Krugman noted, “surrender isn’t enough for Germany, which wants regime change and total humiliation.”

As Greek leaders negotiated with their European counterparts over the possibility of a new bailout, it became clear that Greece was in for a reckoning. The demands that were being made of Greece, wrote Krugman, went “beyond harsh into pure vindictiveness, complete destruction of national sovereignty, and no hope of relief.” The lesson from the past few weeks, he added, was that “being a member of the eurozone means that the creditors can destroy your economy if you step out of line.”

Financial journalist Wolfgang Münchau wrote in the Financial Times that Greece’s creditors “have destroyed the eurozone as we know it and demolished the idea of a monetary union as a step towards a democratic political union.” The eurozone was instead “run in the interests of Germany, held together by the threat of absolute destitution for those who challenge the prevailing order.” With Germany threatening to kick Greece out of the euro for failure to capitulate entirely, this amounted to “regime change in the eurozone.” As Münchau wrote: “Any other country that in future might challenge German economic orthodoxy will face similar problems.”

After 22 hours of talks, Greece was forced to agree to the new terms. The Greek government would have to pass into law a set of austerity measures and reforms before Europe’s leaders would even begin talks on a new bailout. “Trust needs to be restored,” said Chancellor Merkel. A new fund would have to be established in Greece, responsible for managing the privatization of 50 billion euros of Greek assets. As the Wall Street Journal noted, the deal “includes external control over Athens’s financial affairs that no eurozone bailout country – even Greece until this point – has had to endure.” The Financial Times called it “the most intrusive economic supervision programme ever mounted in the EU.” Tony Barber wrote that the conditions set for the country were so strict that “they will turn Greece into a sullen protectorate of foreign powers.” One eurozone official who attended the summit at which Greece conceded to the German demands commented, “They crucified Tsipras in there.”

And so after six months of a Syriza-led Greece it is evident that Syriza does not rule Greece, Germany and the Troika do. What Syriza’s “capitulation” tells us is not that the party betrayed its democratic mandate from the Greek people, but that staying in the euro is a guarantee that no matter who is elected, they are little more than local managers of a foreign occupation government.

Blaming Mr. Tsipras and the Greeks for the current predicament is a bit like blaming a rape victim for getting raped. It doesn’t matter how they were ‘dressed’, or if they ‘could’ have fought back, because it’s ultimately the decision of the rapist to commit the crime, and thus, the rapist is responsible.

Syriza could become a party of liberation, of a proud, sovereign and democratic nation. But this is only possible if Greece abandons the euro. Until then, the Greek government has about as much independent power as the Iraqi government under American occupation. Syriza made several gambles in negotiations with the country’s creditors, most of which failed. But Greece was never on an equal footing.

Andrew Gavin Marshall is a freelance researcher and writer based in Montreal, Canada.

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