I never imagined I’d be starting a report on international affairs with “I told you so.” But here it is, the day most of the world is looking on in disbelief at more political promises which were just that – promises. New presidents and older prime ministers stand out in front of billions in dismay. Here’s that “I told you so” I never wanted to give you.
I woke up this morning reading a story from The Independent with the punchline, “The people’s voice is loud and clear as French lose faith in Macron and his popularity plummets to an all new low.” Author Adam Nossiter does a nice job painting a picture of ordinary French people stunned once again by the reality that is the French political process. I have to quote from the lead-in of the story for you here:
“The cheese lady, the melon man, the retiree downing his morning glass, the olive seller, the housewife sipping coffee and the village mayor submerged by constituents’ unpaid bills – all agreed that their country’s president, Emmanuel Macron, was letting them down.”
Rothschild’s Manservant – We Said
Indeed. Nossiter goes on to cite an aging merchant who says the Macron government is an effective one for the rich, which is entirely the point. I told you Macron was a Rothschild lackey all along, but all the warnings could not stick Marine Le Pen in office. At the time of the French elections, I performed a test of the elites’ controlled media with a story entitled “Why Marine Le Pen Really Really Matters,” which was blocked via a new Facebook but I believe they were testing as a censoring tool. My story explained how Le Pen was for “defeating a failed ideology and EU establishment,” which is the biggest reason Europeans are trapped in stagnation mode.
Next, I reported on the pre-election blocking of opinion here on NEO and warned of what was to come. Many independent media outlets were blocked at this time, but the wider world was still sedated by the mainstream media. People from France to Zanzibar still figured elections mattered. I don’t want to tax the reader’s patience here, but we also did a deep analysis of the forces behind Macron, and concluded that “the French are so apathetic and confused they would elect Osama bin Laden himself if Le Monde told them to.” Many of us warned you of Macron’s role in selling weapons to kill Yemenis. Independent media foretold what is happening now, but the people behind Emmanuel Macron own most of the media. I’ll not stretch you out farther on the “I told you so” branch.
The Independent, which by the way is one of the only mainstream media outlets anybody trusts anymore, tells us how French socialists swung the vote for Macron. If you allow me a final quote from this piece, then we can better understand every ordinary Frenchman’s disbelief now:
“Mr. Macron swept to power 17 months ago at age 39, imploding France’s ossified politics amid a yearning to move the country out of years of economic stagnation.”
So, enough on France, nothing has changed there except the rich are getting even richer. Now let’s move on to Greece, and to the biggest travesty of public good on Earth.
Beware! No Gifts for the Greeks
At eKathimerini, Maria Katsounaki writes about the Greeks’ growing disdain and utter hopelessness toward leadership in the wake of the recent fire catastrophe. A country that should be in the top five economies in the EU is impaled by the German bankers and the IMF, but even worse, by its own leadership. The author hits the proverbial nail when she comes to a conclusion on Greece’s (and the world’s) biggest setbacks with this:
“The fact that common sense has flown out the window, that lies are constantly being presented as truth and, mainly, the public’s refusal to inform itself responsibly of the facts (however trying this has admittedly become) lead to the creation of different parallel realities.”
Separate realities? I think this is wrong somehow. The truth should be the ONLY reality, and Katsounaki gives the Greek politicians too much slack by insinuating they really believe what they say. As for the people, they are wholly dependent on their media to supply them with facts. It seems prudent here to mention the fact that Kathimerini is owned by one of Greece’s shipping oligarchs, Giannis Alafouzos, who is known to support the center-right opposition New Democracy. I don’t want to get into a history lesson here, but it was New Democracy that assumed power after Henry Kissinger and Gerald R. Ford helped dismantle the Greek military junta back in the early 1970s. My point in mentioning this alongside Mr.Alafouzos is that Greece is mostly in the hands of very powerful oligarchs. This fact leads us to the state of Greece today.
The people of Greece are at the mercy of mostly unscrupulous and extremely powerful businessmen. Democracy in Greece, as it the case almost everywhere, is a charade run by puppetmasters who hold all the strings. The hope that Greece will emerge to become what it once was (1967-1974) is a fragile tendril of freedom Greek people cling to. The tourism Mecca millions flock to in Summer, she faces the harshest warm winters you can imagine. And the Greeks’ plight is solely dependent on the fight between good and bad oligarchs. But this is another story. For now, all of Greece has to come to grips with the fact they elected the Greek version of Emmanual Macron. A big, fat, liar.
This article at OZY reveals something called the “footballization of politics.” If you read in between the lines, it also shows us the Greeks were probably better off when King Paul lived. What’s happening in Greece is not unlike what took place in Russia during the Yeltsin years. Greek billionaires like Greek-Russian oligarch Ivan Savvidis (pictured) are snatching up resorts, hotels, real estate, media outlets, private and state-owned property, and a multitude of smaller businesses in the wake of austerity and privatization. In short, the heritage and legacy of Greece are being stolen – carved up like a billionaire birthday cake. And the people are not invited to the party; they only get to watch the football games the oligarchs run. Meanwhile, all my friends along 25th August Street here in Heraklion work in their shops 7 days a week, 14 hours a day just to cling to that tendril of hope. Really. I am not kidding.
The Never Ending Oligarch Story
I just reread The Guardian story which asked the quintessential question all Americans should ask; “Is America an Oligarchy?” As we all know by now, most Americans do not want to admit the United States is a great big kingdom of the super-rich. According to the story, a study by two prominent scientists in 2014 tells us:
“… the influence of economic elites and big business far outstrips that of ordinary citizens. In their view, America is less a bastion of representative democracy than a nation trammeled by the desires of the hyper-wealthy.”
I must point out here that some experts claim this study is “too dismal” in its findings. However, the scientists go so far as to make their findings “less impactful” for implicating the elites in America. Short version – America is an oligarchy – period.
Moving on, we find Manny Villar, the Philippines real estate billionaire who wins while others lose in a country that has been termed an “oligarchipelago” by Manila Times writer, Yen Makabenta. His math shows the nation of hundreds of islands is run by the elites. Surprisingly, countries like the UK, China, and India are openly classified as oligarchies these days. Then there’s the Salverria Family in El Salvador, the Ukraine billionaire killers, those in Moldova and in Georgia, and the Latin American ones lovingly called drug lords, etc. The list is impossible to type, so I will end my report with some notes from the author of “The Rise of Political Lying and The Triumph of the Political Class,” journalist Peter Oborne (pictured), who spoke about the new political elite in Europe back in 2015:
“Members of the political class consider themselves exempt from the routine constraints that apply to their fellow citizens. They feel certain that they are making extraordinary sacrifices, and therefore deserve exceptional compensation (this emotion is the psychological trigger that sets off a great deal of low-level corruption). Once in government, they are soon part of a parallel reality, in which they live and breathe a separate world than the one experienced by voters.”
He went on to say how these European elites’ reality is constructed around the financial icon of the Euro, and that there is an enormous effort full of “ungainly maneuvering and deceit” in order to prop up the coinage no matter what. For those unfamiliar with Oborne, he’s one of those dinosaurs who believe in journalistic integrity. The writer resigned from his position at The Telegraph over his assertions that the paper suppressed negative stories and dropped investigations into HSBC because of the bank’s advertising in the paper. So much for his journalistic integrity: the public was not up in arms against The Telegraph either. However, the situation today is clear: we are ever more run by the elites. As to “answers” to our dilemma, I only have this.
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” – Thomas Jefferson
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Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
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