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Re: <nettime> The Greek elections?
Flick Harrison on Thu, 5 Feb 2015 22:19:35 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The Greek elections?

Thanks for the insights, Felix; very helpful.

But, to get argumentative a bit:

On Jan 28, 2015, at 01:04 , Felix Stalder <felix {AT} openflows.com> wrote:

> First, it's generally never wrong to remember victims of the fight
> against a brutal occupying force. I don't think this counts as
> "militant nationalism".

But the timing, sir, the timing!  The rest of Europe was celebrating the
liberation of Auschwitz that week.  Islamophobia, antisemitism and
terrorism are also on everyone's editorial pages after the Charlie Hebdo

As long as we're laying flowers to their victims, let's remember that
the Nazi regime itself was born out of rage against austerity and unfair
debt.  Greece's political stage (not to mention the rest of Europe)
includes plenty who draw opposite lessons from the World War II story to
the ones drawn by leftists.

To be fair, the whole episode turned out to be great for the German
economy in the long run.  ;-)

When you have so much violence happening, war in Ukraine, Isis and Syria
and so on, it's irresponsible to use war martyrs as metaphor for trade
agreements and debt rearrangement.  Unless you are really making a
threat, which you had better be prepared to back up.  The austerity is
indeed a form of violence itself - money taken from the mouths of babes
and so on - but if you want a peaceful solution, act it out.

The most disturbing thing I've heard since the election is the handing
of Defense to ANEL.  Not sure how much of the Army votes GD but I bet
it's plenty high, and we can't forget the lurking possibility of a coup
or assassination with so much extremist hate organized all the way from
parliament down to the police front lines.

Anyway, there's a sense of liberal / democratic triumphalism in the West
/ North associated with the defeat of the Nazis, which plays through the
same emotions as #jesuischarlie.

That's why the new trend of using WWII as a metaphor for defeating the
Euro-banks is so troublesome.  Works fine in Russia, not so much in
Ukraine where it symbolizes the defeat of a foreign invader, whomever
that may so just happen to be at the moment.

And Russia has invited Tsipras to their next Victory Day celebrations,
mushing up all these anti-Nazi celebrations into one ideological soup.
I mean, do the Golden Dawn celebrate the defeat of the Nazis as a symbol
of liberation from the Eurozone?!

> Second, when the German president, Gauck, visited Greece a few years
> ago, he promised to look into the question of reparations, with no
> results so far.

I doubt that German war guilt is still a bankable resource.  That
definitely smacks of irrational nationalism, useful for rallying the
troops back home but perhaps with an equal and opposite reaction in

> From Syriza's point of view, the question is still very much open.

Fair enough, though it has no legal basis as far as what you linked
seems to indicate.  Not that legal basis ever serves to interest of the
general population at the international level... and making radical
demands is what they were elected to do, so fair enough.

> Finally, Syriza likes to make another WWII link, mainly the  London
> Debt Agreement of 1953, which slashed Germans WWI and WWII debt by 50%
> and set out very flexible payment conditions for the rest (including
> postponing some repayment after reunifcation, which, at the time,
> seemed like a very unlikely prospect to ever happen.)

That sounds like a fair thing to bring up - we gave you a break, maybe
you should do the same.  Especially when the Greek debt is so
ridiculous.  And this kind of thinking is less inflammatory than the
"you owe us from World War II" argument.  I mean if destroying half of
Europe stills leaves your enemies with enough goodwill to forgive a lot
of debt, surely signing a terrible bailout deal can be cut some slack.

* WHERE'S MY ARTICLE, WORLD? http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Flick_Harrison 


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