If I were a European taxpayer seeing my money being used to bailout a near-bankrupt socialist government due to outrageous spending while I live responsibly, I would be angry. Why should I be the guarantor of a profligate? But if I wanted the Eurozone to stay intact, I would bite the bullet and angrily pay for the bailout.

If I were a European taxpayer funding the bailout, I would be fuming mad with the Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou’s referendum plan. After all the hassles and the blows punched to get the money, however insufficient it is for the whole of Eurozone, Papandreou hides behind the angry masses, trying to deflect blame from the Greek government to the benefactors of the bailout facility.

The Greek government is a bunch of coward socialists, refusing to own up for its mistake, too insignificant to be bold and solve it. Papandreou may say it is done in the name of democracy, but he forgets the adjective representative. He could easily do it but no. He is afraid of the political cost and so he adopts direct democracy and gambles the whole structure for his own convenience. He wants to refresh his mandate but he has his mandate already. This is about passing the buck.

Oh, he is Papandreou the socialist, the coward, the opportunist.

But I am not a European. Yet, I am very angry at the Greek government.

I hope Greece burn. Let Papandreau fiddles while Greece burns, as Nero did when Rome did. Let us see how bad the austerity plan compares to a complete bankruptcy. Let Greece be demoted to the third world. On with the natural experiment on the socialists.

9 Responses to “[2454] Oh, Papandreou the socialist, the coward, the opportunist”

  1. […] haircut, although that haircut itself is in question after the Greek government decided to have a referendum on the bailout and its conditions. Because of the referendum, CDS holders, especially speculative holders, may yet win their bet. […]

  2. on 06 Nov 2011 at 04:20 Kris Khaira

    Socialism is neither bailing out the rich nor is it populism. In fact a left coalition of socialists, anarchists and communists are out on the streets fighting the government.

  3. on 06 Nov 2011 at 09:49 Hafiz Noor Shams

    Just because socialist-anarchist (hey, these two are fighting each other as well eh?) are fighting the government doesn’t mean the government is not socialist.

    And yes, the socialists are fighting a socialist government so that the government doesn’t cut welfare spending and continue spending as if nothing happened.

    Nobody likes bailout but these socialists want to have their cake and eat it too. Money grows on tree, and there should be no consequences to profligacy. That is socialism.

  4. on 06 Nov 2011 at 17:40 Kris Khaira

    The most basic part of socialism is collective management and regulation of the economy by the people. The Greek government is not a true free market capitalist, which otherwise should be allowing banks to fail but neither is it socialism where the planning of the economy including deciding whether to allow this bank to fail should be decided on by the people. It’s just a top-down state bureaucracy.

    I would agree completely to a free market and no government if it comes through purely democratic means where a transition to a free market is regulated, agreed upon and managed by the people after mutual understanding, agreement and discussion between the different communities who might be affected by it.

    The scapegoating of socialism or any other label only serves to draw lines between groups who could be working together – those who believe that means justify the ends. It’s no different from those on the left who can’t tell the difference between a free markets and a state capitalist bureaucracy.

    That said, I came here after seeing your tweet while searching for “occupydataran” and am very curious why you don’t see the opportunity in Occupy Dataran to share your ideas. For the sake of disclosure, I’m a member of PSM and only because their commitment to democracy attracted me. I identify myself more as a radical democrat and anarcho-socialist preferring decentralised planning over centralising planning. From what I’ve seen from attending Occupy Dataran, it’s filled with anti-statists looking for a platform to fight for a fairer society because they’re really not into political parties or working through governments. The assemblies week after week have rejected proposals to adopt any ideological positions including socialist or anti-capitalist and at one point rejected an anti-capitalist proposal and decided to have a workshop on economics instead. There are anarchists maybe, but definitely more anti-statists than statists. In fact I don’t know if there are any statists. Unless you believe a free market should come through any means necessary including being imposed from above, I’m just curious why you don’t see the opportunity to work together with these guys. If a free market is really the way to go, won’t people eventually see the light through understanding and democratic discourse? Mind this long comment – it’s just that when I read this article and your others, you seem to take a principled positions on things, but time and time again I see people playing ideological tennis and it goes nowhere.

  5. on 06 Nov 2011 at 19:27 Hafiz Noor Shams

    The entry above is not so much about socialism although it forms the background (welfare, populism, labor union, wages, etc). It is about the direct democracy, i.e. the previously proposed referendum to the Greek people.

    And direct democracy is the essential aspect of Occupy Dataran. The weakness of direct democracy is the reason why I included the tag on Twitter. That tag on Twitter alluded to the proposed Greek referendum, and the parallel Occupy’s consensual approach.

    I’ve been to Occupy Dataran thrice, with the earliest attendance in August this year before it rode on the popularity of OWS. I learned very quickly it isn’t worth my time.

    Discussion and then the production of minutes? There’s nothing substantial to work together. It’s just some banal discussions/debates with below par quality. It’s a coffeeshop.

    I have a number of issues, and its consensual approach is most disagreeable, apart from the pointlessness of it. The Greek referendum is the logical extrapolation of the Occupy’s consensual style. If the referendum had gone through, those Occupy groupie can see the consequences of (socialist) populism.

    And you it cannot get consensus in the so-called general assembly, it pushes it to some committee. So, not only its suffers from the flaws of direct democracy, its committee style is hypocritical.

    And of course, it claims the Parliament is full of nonsense. In reality, Occupy is no different. At least, the Parliament has power. Occupy? Just a bunch of neophytes easily excitable over nothing.

  6. on 07 Nov 2011 at 03:40 Kris Khaira

    You’re failing to see some big differences between referendum in representative democracies and Occupy Dataran’s assemblies. Referendums in Greece are passed by simple majorities. Occupy Dataran’s decisions are passed by consensus. Instead of pushing through a populist agenda for example to please the 55%, if at least one person is there to speak out against it, his/her voice is heard, a discussion happens and the proposal is either rejected or everybody ends up reaching a compromise through a new proposal.

    Occupy Dataran’s working groups don’t make decisions. They do research, run workshops and carry out the instructions of the assembly but if faced with a situation where they have to make a decision or take a stand, they bring it to the following assembly. Even working groups tasked with drafting press statements don’t sent them out to the press until passed by the following assembly. All this takes a lot of time of course, but the movement’s young and people are just learning how to get organised with this way of working.

    But I guess if you’re more interested in quick results and power instead of process, then Occupy probably not for you.

  7. on 07 Nov 2011 at 11:24 Hafiz Noor Shams

    To the differences, there are similarities and shared weaknesses. Just because there are differences, doesn’t mean there are no similarities (just like just because the socialists in Greek oppose the government, doesn’t mean the government isn’t a socialist). Referendum is a practice in direct democracy. Occupy is also a practice of direct democracy, along with its consensual approach, which makes it all the more debilitating. Both belong to the same branch. Direct democracy is fine for a small village. It won’t do with anything larger. It’s impractical. Add the consensual recipe, and you have something worse than Greece, or ASEAN where nothing tangible gets done.

    And yes, the working group takes the disagreement away from the general assemblies, discuss, and bring them back. How exactly it helps other than playing ping pong? I’ve seen things like these elsewhere even in professional life. Occupy is no different, just neophytes experimenting things that I and many have known. But Occupy call itself radical. I call them naive.

    And yes, Occupy is not for me. That what I’ve been telling you earlier.

    My dismissal isn’t based on “quick results and power”, it about outcome, never mind the flawed process. Tell me one thing. What is the outcome of Occupy? What it hopes to achieve?

    I haven’t heard anything other than a form of protest. I in fact expect it to be just another coffee shop full of neophytes, hence my dismissal of Occupy.

    But even if process is the paramount feature of Occupy, it can’t be the only thing. Right now, Occupy is a process of nothing. It goes nowhere. I have better things to do, and there are more effective avenue to engage in.

    You said, “[b]ut I guess if you’re more interested in quick results and power instead of process, then Occupy probably not for you.” But you wrong in your premise about power. If you were there when some of them said “when we grow big and popular”, you realize power is in the equation. So, please don’t accuse me of wanting power when Occupy itself is desirous of it. Why did you think they want to exclude politicians in the first place? They wanted to preserve their power, when they are big, if they are to grow big.

    (Oh, its pretension of being neutral is another thing; earlier they were so adamant about political parties and politicians not participating, then decided to restrict restriction to elected officials. In the end, PSM was there and there was no fuss. Even Arul was there when the media came, wasn’t he? Ah, ever the politician. Never mind that the same actors behind Occupy is the same actors behind many lefty youth gathering. If Occupy was really diverse, its consensus style would be completely debilitating. But the process is already debilitating even with its pretension.)

    So, naive, pretentious, hypocritical, pointless. That’s the process that I won’t be part of.

  8. on 08 Nov 2011 at 01:32 Kris Khaira

    The person who used the word popular used it in the context of it growing to involve more members of a population – not a bad thing considering there’s no leader, no committee and nobody imposing changes upon one another. What’s wrong with numbers when put in the context of its participatory and egalitarian system?

    Does this ping pong game of working groups bringing things back to the table to be discussed result in nothing tangible happening. Yes, often. But like I said, people are still getting used and are disorganised. Consensus decision making and direct democracy isn’t for the impatient, but I like to believe that it’s better that nothing happens than for changes to be imposed from the top – a system that can be more easily abused.

    You’re simplifying the concept of power applied in different systems. The political power existing in Occupy Dataran is shared equally by everyone in a weekly self-funded assembly and is used to make changes strictly for itself at an open space nobody really uses anyway.

    Is that really as bad as the power of 222 MPs and 32 Cabinet ministers used to impose changes upon a population of 28 million people who can only vote for them every 3-5 years? In the representative democracy we have right now, an MP has at least a 3-year mandate over an average of 125,000 people who help pay his salary. A Cabinet minister has a similar mandate, but over 875,000 people.

    Arul was there after the first assembly so most of the media had gone by then and he stayed on after they left. He didn’t speak at the assembly nor play any role. Were you there on Oct 15 or were you making an armchair observation? The last decision made on this was by an assembly months ago which decided ad-hoc decisions will be made whenever a politician wishes to speak. Not sure what the fuss is.

  9. on 11 Dec 2011 at 00:17 Hafiz Noor Shams

    All the same power. The more people, the more influence, the more power. That’s a desire for power. Power comes in many forms. Just because the form is different, the desire for power in Occupy is any less power than when you wrote, “[b]ut I guess if you’re more interested in quick results and power instead of process, then Occupy probably not for you.”

    And consensus-based direct democracy works for a small village who the villagers hold the same mentality. It doesn’t work with anything bigger and more diverse. Definitely not suited most things in national politics. There’s some room for direct democracy, but it won’t fit very human needs most of the time.

    And Occupy vs the Parliament, well, at least, the Parliament is voted in however flawed the process may be. For Occupy in Malaysia, some of its attendees claim to represent the 99%. Bold claim, given that Occupy in Malaysia struggles to get 20-30 people at any one time to be there. Really, Occupy is a direct democracy for the attendees, but for no one else simply by absence. I won’t want to be part of that pretend game.

    As for “the fuss” and politicians, I think you should reread the argument to understand it. What at first was a discrimination against politicians (the initial reasoning was that politician already had power; Occupy jealously guarded its power) turned out to be discrimination against some politicians (because you know, some politicians fit certain bias better). But of course, if you support that, there won’t be a fuss for you.

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