A coup is threatening in Greece. Not with bullets and tanks. Not with soldiers and bloodshed in the streets. This time, it is through the impersonal forces of international finance capital, but the suffering will be just as great. This time, instead of thousands condemned to the firing squad, it is tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions condemned to poverty, hunger and despair.
As we have been reporting, the Greek workers finally decided enough is enough: Enough unemployment, enough layoffs, enough poverty and outright hunger. They elected a radical left government to put a stop to it all. However, global finance capital had other plans. They have been using Greece to drive down the standard of living of all workers in the European Union. They could not tolerate any defiance, lest that set an example for workers in other countries around the world.
So it was that they determined to crush the Greek government.
Following the demands of finance capital, as put forward by German Chancellor Merkel and her peers in the rest of the European Union, Greek President Alexis Tsipras decided to call a popular referendum to allow the people of Greece to vote on whether they wished to continue down the path of “austerity”. But there was a side effect: The representatives of finance capital are threatening to kick Greece out of the European Union. Among other things, this would destroy the monetary system in Greece. Thus, the money in Greece rushed for the exit. Businesses sent their capital out of Greece. Individual Greeks started a run on the banks to get as many of their euros as they could, before it was too late.
Tsipras was forced to close the banks. Chaos threatens.
So we see how the laws of motion of international finance capital are moving to destroy the Greek rebellion.
From Germany to Puerto Rico
Meanwhile, roughly 1000 miles away, German workers have been out on strike a cumulative 350,000 days in the first five months of this year. As we write, postal workers are still striking against privatization and cuts. They are fighting the exact same thing the Greek workers are fighting. They are fighting the exact same forces.
And 5300 miles away, the governor of Puerto Rico is reporting that the government cannot pay its loans. This comes after years of the same austerity as the Greeks face.
A way can be found, it must be found, for these struggles to link up.