Well, the time will tell, but before that time I have a word to say about the fear of the Greek tragedy contagion in Europe
For more than a century ago L. Frank Baum wrote the famous novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, which most people are familiar with through the 1939 film adaptation “The Wizard of OZ”. At the first glance the novel appears to be a children novel, but some readers, like Henry Littlefield, offered a political reading of the story, where the characters portrayed stand symbolically for genuine people and the political ideas and economic models which they promoted at the time. Quite understandingly for a writer, Baum never left reading instructions so the novel perhaps unintentionally got to live two lives – the childishly naïve one, and the political life stern and annoying in its insistence to wake us up to the true reality. The novel was perhaps destined to suffer from the split personality disorder.
Anyways, I don’t wish to revive the long ago buried discussion about the plausibility of the political interpretation of the novel, but the fact remains that the great Wizard of Oz in the contemporary political discourse on the left (the left ought to be taken in a very broad sense) is a very real figure. Great credit for this goes undoubtedly to Bill Still and his seminal documentary “The secret of OZ”.
The wizard masters the control of the masses while keeping the big secret of his mastery to himself. He is the king, the sovereign, the one people awe and obey, and the one which they are thought to unconditionally surrender to and even to like. In the novel, however, just as in the real life, it turned out that the Wizard’s power was only real as long as people believed that it was real. The fear he managed to induce in people by maintaining the image of an all too mighty wizard turned out to be groundless. There has never been anything real to fear about him. His power had all along been an illusion that fed on the fears which people let into their hearts. In other words, people have been fooled by his big wizardry, or were dumb enough never to question nor critically examine the causes of the fears that kept them in a state of obedience. In the story, Dorothy thanks to her good heart and her courage, and with the little help from her friends, including the dog Toto, managed to do just that and in the end unmasked it all, disclosing the great wizard for what he really was – a fiat ruler with a pocketful of fiat money. A disgraceful sham and a thief.
Today, more than a century later, the question that many Greeks ask themselves is Are we going to be the cowardly lion or a brave girl Dorothy? Judging by the latest elections the people of Greece have spoken, and this question is now passed on to the newly established government. But the question remained as pressing as ever. Sitting in the room with the representatives of Troika is not exactly the same as standing before thousands of likeminded supporters. The stakes suddenly look much higher and the burden of responsibility feels much heavier. The fear knocks on the door, the very same fear that kept the Wizard in charge for so long. Experts from all over rush to point out the significance of any decision that the newly hatched Greek government, and the minister of finance Yanis Varoufakis in particular, might take. They are especially keen on any possible decision that may not be in line with what the Greece is expected to make by the bosses in Brussels.
Anything foolish might trigger unprecedented crisis and ultimately lead to the breakup of the EU. The cost for the Greeks might be unbearable. That is the scary scenario and the story line that has been repeated over and over in recent days by the corporate media that slavishly try to present the interest of the establishment as common interest, or even as something as oxymoronic as the necessities of the economic science. The wizardry of the great wizard is in full swing once again.
The tensions are raised by the mass media, which almost exalted for suddenly finding their bad guy. In a recent BBC interview with Mr. Varoufakis a BBC journalist in the best Inquisition style tried to press Mr. Varoufakis to admit the crime of trying to do something for all those Greek and Europeans that have been and are being robbed by the too big to fail banks. Of course, there is not a country or people too big to fail, whether it is Russia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Argentina, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Cuba, Venezuela – the list is too long. Still when it comes to banks, there are officially forty in Europe alone which have to be protected at any cost tax payers may bear.
Despite Mr. Varoufakis saying in the interview that it isn’t about who blinks first, everything reminds of the final scene in “The good, The Bad and The Ugly” and I can almost hear Moriccone’s music in the back. What will happen when the music stops? Will he like his predecessors suffer from a fear attack once more and opt for the prolonged agony that soon will put him (or some other foolish Greek minister) back into the same situation? Or will Mr. Yanis realize that unlike his debt holders he is the only one with real bullets in his gun? I wonder if he ever saw the Wizard of Oz, or saw through him.
Does the Troika really has any option left except to keep bluffing? I think not, because they have a gun pointed at them too form the back. However, the bluffing is over, since the Empire has too many cracks and the Titanic has taken so much water that by now everyone knows that it is on its way down. The EU was a stillborn political project simply because it was conceived neither on sound political premises nor on any genuine values, but on the economic interests of corporate capitalism, which entered its terminal phase. In some other time, in some other century or millennia a united Europe might be resurrected, hopefully on a sounder basis, on the basis of solidarity and common good of all people. In the era of the Globalization the EU was but another acquisition of the big corporations that didn’t work out as expected. It probably did, for some time, for how we could otherwise explain the radical deepening of social divisions and economic inequality that swept across the continent and threw it some forty years back in time. But now the rich elite thinks that Europe may not be worth investing in. There is another game in town, further to the east, the China town. It has been there for some time. The circus will leave the town anyway just as a cattle herd will move to graze on a greener spot further away. That is perhaps the only necessity of capitalism – loot, burn, destroy and move on.
There is only one right thing for Greece to do and for the rest to follow – default. Greeks should default; kill the Euro and the EU in its current form. I hope that Yanis will be brave enough to pull the trigger so he one day can have his last name correctly spelled in the history books as Yanis Eurofuckis – the man who killed the The Great Wizzard of OZ.