For Brexit to be a Success, UK and US Must Work Together to End German Hegemony

For Brexit to be a Success, UK and US Must Work Together to End German Hegemony

  (Photo by Calgacus) By Joshua Tartakovsky Calgacus 13 January 2016 Britain chose Brexit. Now Britain must find a way to leave while protecting its interests and finding an honorable compromise with its central trading partner. The problem is that forging a fair agreement with the EU, dominated by Germany, is impossible. In an election year where both French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel are facing increasingly potent eurosceptical challengers, and as Merkel’s refugee-friendly policy is revealing itself as lunacy in the streets of Berlin, it takes a high level of naiveté to assume that EU elite in Brussels would want to give Britain a fair deal. Anything less than ‘punishing’ Britain for daring to break free would embolden Front National, Alternative for Germany, and Wilders’ Party for Freedom in the Netherlands where elections will be held in March. Hollande and Merkel can hardly have the tranquility and good judgment needed for even a meagre compromise as they feel the ground shaking beneath their feet. Britain buys 7% of German exports. But Germany will not permit the EU to unravel for the sake of staying in good terms with Britain. If the EU breaks up, German industries would no longer dominate the EU, and Spanish, Italian or French products, now cheaper without the euro, could present a viable competition as they will be more attractive for buyers abroad. Similarly, Germany has already shown its inflexibility by the hardline it took towards Greece’s desperate pleas for a compromise on its debt. The Greek economy is on its death bed but Germany did not flinch. Germany’s financial interest is to...
A Strategy For Our Times When Democracy Is A Vestige

A Strategy For Our Times When Democracy Is A Vestige

Joshua Tartakovsky,  13 April 2016 Despite a massive fear campaign that by voting against an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement they would be “helping Putin,” the Dutch courageously defied the EU neoliberal powers with a majority voting No. 32% of the public participated while the Parliament said that it would respect a participation of over 30%. But several days later EU and the Ukrainian President seemed to reach a deal that would provide for a visa-free status for Ukrainians to come to the EU. The vote of the Dutch was ignored. (Of course, anyone who knows the history of EU referendums should realize that this would be the case, with the referendums given to the Irish over and over again (2011, 2012) until the desirable ‘Yes’ was achieved.) In the United States, erroneous ballots were handed over and delegates voted en masse for Ted Cruz and not for Donald Trump. GOP Colorado also tweeted shortly after that ‘Never Trump.’  The tweet was then deleted. There is a good reason to believe that the GOP establishment will do everything in its power to prevent Trump’s nomination. He challenges the status quo too much. The delegates will move en masse to Cruz at the end. That will defy the popular will of the voters, but who is naive enough to assume we still have democracy? If Trump managed by an odd miracle, for now quite unlikely, to get the delegates anyway, he might be assassinated at some point. Either way, even if the public votes for him which it seems largely willing to do, the powers that be will never allow him to...
Greece: In the Eye of the Storm

Greece: In the Eye of the Storm

By Joshua Tartakovsky, 7 April 2016 Greece is once again in the eye of the storm. This is true for several reasons. It is the only EU country where transnational EU capitalism failed (remember that when people tell you about how communism failed, and while they are right, capitalism failed and is failing too). Now according to Wikileaks, the IMF is considering creating a“credit event” against the country. Greece also became a magnet for migrants and so-called refugees. The country is mired in such a deep recession that it can never possibly recover. Ever. (How about that for American optimism?) In fact, in order to continuously pay for the debt, more cuts will be needed, homes will be repossessed, pensions will be sliced. All this in a country where a third are under the poverty line, where a majority of youth are unemployed and where the entire family often lives off pensions of the elderly. The debt will be paid for an eternity but it will not be followed by economic growth. When “life as it is” is not bearable, what do more cuts mean? More suffering, deeper into the endless pit. No hope. No future. Welcome to 21st Century EU Capitalism. Recession, austerity, crisis. Of course, Greece was the first victim. Its naïve populace with its good intentions believed joining EU was a glamorous endeavor. The Euro seemed shiny and starry.  But now that industries are destroyed, people have no money, and businesses close every day, the EU does not seem like such a big fantasy anymore. Now it is too late. (However, if only the Greeks could...
INTERVIEW WITH DIMITRIS KAZAKIS LEADER OF EPAM. PART 2

INTERVIEW WITH DIMITRIS KAZAKIS LEADER OF EPAM. PART 2

By Joshua Tartakovsky, 21 March 2016 Maybe you can talk about that a little bit… It’s easy. If I am Mr. Buffet, I know we are not talking about Buffet but a financial elite… in order to create new situation of more profit for my own investment capital, I cannot deal with different states. And I have more then, nominally, we have more than 327 trillion dollars in terms of investment capital worldwide. Controlled by 40 banks… even less. 40 banks. 327 trillion… We have a GDP, a world GDP, from 75 to 77 trillion dollars. And they are only for investment. We’re not talking about derivatives or other aspects of the financial market. We’re talking about 327 trillion dollars. So in order to create opportunities for my capital to provide new, or even more profit, for my portal, we have to destroy and re-destroy the whole… I cannot provide more out of the normal economic cycle. We have to destroy and recreate the cycle itself. And there’s no way I can do that if we have normal states or people or national economies, things like that. We tried that through financial means. We saw that. And we saw how the whole market was destroyed back in 2007 up to 2008. After that, they recreated the whole market and right now they have even a worse situation then back in 2007. So, in order to subsist that kind of a situation in the financial market, we need an army, we need political means – the economy cannot provide any more. You will see that the big international corporations are avoiding...
INTERVIEW WITH DIMITRIS KAZAKIS LEADER OF EPAM. PART 1

INTERVIEW WITH DIMITRIS KAZAKIS LEADER OF EPAM. PART 1

Photo taken by Christina Polychronopoulou (C) Joshua Tartakovsky, March 17, 2016   One year ago, while in Athens, Greece, I interviewed Mr. Dimitris Kazakis, leader of United Popular Front (EPAM), a popular Left movement that emerged from the anti-memorandum protests of 2011. Mr. Kazakis is an erudite speaker, a socialist economist, and one who knows both the terrain of the social struggle and the high-end banking sector in London where he worked for many years. At the time, Mr. Kazakis was not very optimistic about Syriza – the Left party governing Greece, if to say the least. He warned that Prime Minister Tsipras has no intention of breaking with austerity and that he will take on a new contract that will enslave the country further. The interview was conducted in February 2015, but it took me months to publish it since I wanted to give Syriza a chance. Mr. Kazakis was right. It happened exactly as he said. One year later, on February 17, 2016, I met Mr. Kazakis at the offices of EPAM in Athens again. Things are much worse in Athens now. Mr. Kazakis covered almost all issues under the sun. He talked about the migration crisis, why he supports a Brexit, Greece’s economic predicament, the world economy, NATO in the Aegean, Erdogan and Merkel, NGOs dubious roles, nationalism, why cosmopolitanism is dangerous, the Germans, perpetual war, Venezuela and Cuba. Below is the full interview. You actually predicted what will happen at the time because at the time what you said was that these negotiations are a sham, they are going to sign on another contract and so...