Monday, July 6, 2015

Cork solidarity with Greece rally, words from the Connolly Youth Movement.

The political character of the Troika in Greece, phantom like, has donned the same uniform of the colonial empires of old, casting to the wind all doubts and apprehensions about its true nature. The much-vaunted myth and propaganda of the European Union as a fraternal brotherhood of nations has been well and truly laid to rest, and even its most delusional adherents now find themselves bereft of recourse. The bellicose, exploitative actions we have been witnessing since the beginning of the recession, the bullying and manipulation, have shed light on a framework of control that a prescient few have recognised since its inception.

The posture and methods of the Greek Ruling class mirror the gombeen men and robber barons of colonial Ireland, where the capitalists and the land owners were propped up precariously by a foreign power in order to ensure that the bottom line continued to be extracted from the country, a national bourgeoisie which only sought to champion the interests of the whole nation when its own financial and political security was at risk, and even then tentatively.
The same principles of colonialism have existed, in different forms, for centuries, and what we are observing in Greece is merely its latest incarnation. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the ruling class of Greece has been attempting to placate the international hierarchy of capital one hand, while preventing the rise of radical politics and revolutionary activity at home on the other. Their policy of austerity and servility has exposed them to the latter and alienated the working class.

Syriza has capitalised on the aspirations of the working class and society’s desperation for a solution, and has risen to power on a mandate of representing Greece’s interests in opposition of the Troika’s. Despite this, the offensive of the IMF, European Central Bank and European Union has been relentless, and Syriza has been forced into a position where they have no options remaining to them other than to capitulate or take on a revolutionary character.

The Greek Communist party, which has voluntarily remained independent of the ruling government in Greece, has been a strong exponent of a repudiation of the debt in Greece as the only solution which can provide a future for its people, and the Communist Party of Ireland strongly advocates this policy in tandem.

The debt both countries face has been foisted upon us as a result of the irresponsible borrowing practices and underhanded dealings of the most privileged of society. People who, from the cradle, have neither known want nor fear of poverty. The socialisation of debt carried out by their cronies in successive governments has given the the opportunity to avoid losing their lavish lifestyle despite personal culpability, and has enabled their puppetmasters in Europe to retain a return on investment and enhance their own already considerable personal wealth.

In this untouchable sphere of profound opulence, the level of wealth is growing and growing. In repulsive contrast, working class people are being pushed into deprivation and poverty. Away from this surreal world of unaccountability and excess, cuts are having tangible and debilitating effects on the lives of ordinary people. Suicide rates are rising and more young people are opting out of higher education and living at home. We all only have one life, and the options and privileges available to working people are shrinking yearly, all in order to fill the pockets of bankholders and speculators. It is an illegitimate, odious debt. The only honourable course of action open to the Greek people is to reject it.  

As peripheral nations, Ireland and Greece are going through experiences which mirror each other, and we have a unique knowledge of the struggle the Greek people are facing from our own experience as a colony and an exploited people, both outside and within the European Union. The decision made today will reflect the discontent felt by the Greek people, and I believe it will show an exuberant spirit worthy of admiration and respect. And we certainly owe the Greek people our admiration when they are taking a step which the Irish people have failed to take in facing down one of the most powerful institutions in the world. 

If we allow the impoverishment of ourselves and our loved ones for the enrichment of sociopathic aristocrats hundreds of miles away, if we allow our lives to fade away in ignominy and in stolen hours, it is a capitulation that will follow us for the rest of our lives, it is a surrender that will haunt us when we exhale our dying breaths – not just that we failed future generations, not just that we failed an abstract ideological principle – but that we failed ourselves.  If not us, then who?

Fergal Twomey, National Chairperson of the Connolly Youth Movement.

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