I am watching via iPlayer a documentary that is Michael Portillo going around Greece and talking to people. And looking at Greece today I am thinking this is the type of futuristic hellish capitalism that Karl Marx hoped his work would help avoid, but sorry Mr M. We are trying. the workers are just really really desperate, and its like hello, capitalism requires austerity whether its via the IMF and Eurozone or a nationalist government. Wouldn't it be a good time to socialise those property relations??
The footage of foodbanks and homeless people makes me cry. It just upsets me to see migrant workers, children, the elderly, every worker forced into poverty and degradation, and I won't pretend that it doesn't.
I have less sympathy for the civil servant who went from doing business with "ambitious European projects.." to, in Portillo's words "managing poverty". I think that is such a cold way to phrase it, I am imaging these politicians talking about how to "manage" the poverty, with sterile anti bacterial handgloves, using such removed and cold terms such as manage to talk about human suffering. The same suffering which by being part of the political capitalist establishment, their jobs and actions have perpetuated.
Although Portillo is keen to push his Eurosceptic agenda on the Greek people he talks to, this is just as backward as a return to the drachma would be for them (as they tell him repeatedly). The Drachma reminds Greek people of all those fun dictatorships they lived under, but somehow people still chose the Euro. I wonder why?
The problem with Greek capitalism is that the rich didn't pay tax. They had a government who would accommodate this, and also pay out for welfare, eventually to their own debt-ridden detriment. Yacht owners had a loophole, new buildings had a loophole, and no one minded. That is the only generalization I will accept about "the lazy greeks", they have a very lazy bourgeoisie & politicians who couldn't control them but, guess what, every country has one of those! It isn't just a Greek thing!
But, owing to a weak economy based on tourism and olive oil, Greek capitalism is looking quite unstable.. and the bourgeoisie aren't as lazy any more. They are quite frantically working with the IMF and the ECB, stamping down the living standards of working people in a hope to protect their profits..
Paying for welfare is not a problem, but accommodating capitalism is. What seems mad to be about the greek crisis, is it is not as if there is less of anything, they have enough people & resources to sustain themselves, but cuts and the recession are forcing so many people into poverty, and its like WHY IS THE ECONOMY CONTROLLING PEOPLE! DIDN'T WE INVENT IT ??
In short, looking at Greece, socialism is the only way forward, unless you like poverty, austerity and military dictatorships.. People can waste a lot of time debating whether they would prefer a national dictatorship or a European one, but I would vote for neither.