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comment by Wintermute
Wintermute  ·  2203 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Greece and eurozone reach agreement in bailout talks

Am I reading this right? The Greek people voted against more austerity last week, and this week the Greek government decides to go ahead with more austerity measures anyway? What was the point of the vote then?

amouseinmyhouse  ·  2203 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's an excellent question. The guy who called for the vote was asked to step down, and it seems like the vote itself was a bit of a stunt to try to strong arm the eurozone. The stunt doesn't seem to have worked and so a lot of people were just left scratching their heads.

gymnologizer  ·  2202 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Tsipras was playing to lose: call a vote, and when it gets the expected "Yes" result step down and let someone else manage the continuing grinding austerity. But the Greeks voted "No", and now Tspiras is just standing there with his dick in his hand.

The problem is that Syriza has a democratic mandate to do the impossible: keep Greece on the Euro, but get relief from the troikia-imposed austerity. If Greece is really unwilling to leave the Euro, though, they have exactly zero negotiating leverage. If Germany has decided that it would rather see a Greek exit than debt relief, there isn't even that potential leverage. Staying in the Euro means unconditional surrender to the troika, and austerity forever.

shiranaihito  ·  2203 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, who would have thought that politicians could change their tune like that?! :P

It's all a charade, and a game with the masses used as pawns. Rulers and their cronies benefit, and the masses suffer. That's how ruling over subjects works.

But hey, let's go vote in the next (s)elections too - this time it will matter! This time they'll do what they promise! This time they'll be looking out for our interests (instead of the ruling class')

Wintermute  ·  2203 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, I guess I don't really understand the Greek model of government. We don't have any equivalent to a national referendum in the US, but we do in California (where I live). It can actually be quite a pain in the ass at times because politicians can't just change their tune contrary to a pulic vote here.

If the same vote had been held in California, it would have created a legal requirement that the politicians not introduce new austerity measures. I guess I naively assumed that a similar mechanism existed in Greece. Instead it appears that Greek referendums are closer to Whitehouse.gov petitions in terms of political power.

shiranaihito  ·  2203 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    politicians can't just change their tune contrary to a pulic vote here

They can just ignore the Constitution though, whenever they think it's "necessary". Bradley Manning didn't get a fair trial for example.

The all-encompassing surveillance kind of flies in the face of the Constitution too.

So basically, you're placing way too much faith in laws, which is of course exactly what they want you to do.

But in reality, the only limit on what rulers can do, is what the masses let them. Can they monitor everyone without getting overthrown by force? Then they'll do it.

Can they brutalize OWS protesters without getting overthrown? They'll do it.

Can their thugs arbitrarily confiscate people's property when they feel like it? They'll do it.

"Governance" is an euphemism for enslavement.

Wintermute  ·  2201 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Here" in the quoted bit referred to California, not the United States. California's state government is severely hamstrung at times by state constitutional amendments passed by popular vote. See, for example, Prop 13.

shiranaihito  ·  2201 days ago  ·  link  ·  

California is part of the very same United States whose government ignores its Constitution whenever "necessary", though?

Wintermute  ·  2201 days ago  ·  link  ·  

... Yes, but that has nothing at all to do with my post?

shiranaihito  ·  2201 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't know what we're arguing about so I'll just stop :p

deepflows  ·  2203 days ago  ·  link  ·  

For one, the Greek didn't get to vote about further austerity measures. They voted against a deal which wasn't in the cards anymore by the time they said "Oxi". Second, I doubt there would have been a referendum if the results were legally binding.