There’s a piece here by the inexplicably valued international economist Anatole Kaletsky, entitled ‘Why Syriza Will Blink’.

I must fess up here at the outset and admit I can’t abide Kaletsky. He is Big State Bully personified; and this is reflected in the fact that his sole concern in the piece linked above is to advise the Capone Mob on how to rub out Eliot Ness. It confirms the feeling I’ve always had about the bloke, which is that he has a bit missing. Funnily enough, the missing bit is ‘feeling’.

His new ‘Capitalism 4.0’ thesis was memorably described by the Guardian’s Peter Preston in 2010 as ‘easy to read but hard to follow’. In the thesis, Kaltesky argued for a “pragmatic” approach with minimal use of ideology in developing the future of capitalism….up to but not including an alternative to bourse capitalism. So he is, if you like, a kind of flexibly inflexible easygoing didactic think outside the box while remaining inside the think tank economist. Capitalism 4.0 is about as useful as Window 8.1.

Anatole Kaletsky’s ‘solution’ to the Greek debt issue is to crush Greece, but in an eclectically open-minded and fundamentally Stalinist rescue from deviation manner. Sort of ‘tanks in 1956 Hungary with a human face’.

He gets The Big Things wrong in this piece as he always does, because – like all tedious idealogues orienteering via use of the rear mirror – he and anthropology are strangers. Kaletsky simply doesn’t ‘get’ people.

He postulates (quite wrongly in my view) that the Greeks and the Troika have three options. In reality:

1. There are not three options, there is only one. It is one Draghi fears – Athens resistance within the euro – and AK’s twisted enthusiasm for it is based on the erroneous belief that the Greeks would simple sit there and cave….and Syriza has no currency Plan B. On both bases, I very much doubt that analysis.

2. Draghi’s much bigger fear, shared by the Bundesbank’s Jens Weidmann – that forgiveness of one leads to forgiveness of all – is an alternative that doesn’t even occur to him as an infinitely better, cheaper solution. Equally important, survival of one leads to encouragement of fellow-sufferers…and that’s not just the end of the euro, it’s the end of Brussels.

And so Anna for whom the Bell Tolls proffers the 1941 Panzer solution. What a profoundly chilling man he is.

I am more than ever convinced that we are heading for an age in which the opposing ideologues slug each other to a standstill, because they’d rather have a war than a good idea. It’d be nice to think that they’d wipe each other out, and leave the rest of us to get on with our lives; but we’re all too long in the tooth to believe that. And anyway, I’m a pacifist. No – really – straight up – I am.

The likes of Anatole Kaletsky simply cannot get beyond a vision of the future in which there are no concentric circles. He doesn’t have community mutualism on his two-millimetre wide radar screen, because that involves putting civic humanity before malign, wishful economic theory thinking. He suggests an open mind for others, but from the comfort of his own closed shop. And his shop is closed because all the stock is way, way beyond its sellby date.

I’m sorry to end on this note again, but the controlling fascism of the EU remains utterly ignored by the liberal  British Europhiles. If they don’t want to be tarred with the same brush as Big Brother, then this is an idée fixe they need to unscrew. They are siding with a wannabe socially democratic Union that has been hijacked by banker-driven neoliberalism.

Earlier at The Slog: Resignation, candidacy, and being resigned to the fact that nobody is candid any more


  1. Anyone remember 18 November, 1967 and the pound in your pocket has not been devalued? A typical bare faced lie from Harold Wilson. Greece will stay in the Euro, but default on most, if not all, of its sovereign debt, thus crystallising a rather awkward situation for ‘Europe’. Merkel is geared up for this. Sell French bank shares.. The Greek government will refinance its debt addiction, courtesy of Russia and China. Someone remind me of the new owners of Clubmed !


  2. That was quick John, look: his topic-search must have be on. You got the Big German Troll commenting here in record time – you know, the guy who thinks Pinochet’s Chile would be a blessing for Greece.
    You must be hitting a nerve.


  3. ” … opposing ideologues slug each other to a standstill.”

    Reminds me of Gulliver’s participation in the Lilliputian war against Blefuscu; the lengthy conflict that arose between the big-enders and little-enders (depending upon which side of a boiled egg one must crack in order to eat it). The silly buggers are determined to have another pop, it would seem.


  4. I agree John Problem….. I am seeing very worrying signals here in Ireland, we are still (and rightly so) viewed as completely toxic on the world stage, assets still fleeing the country (Bank of American – 406 Billion to 20Billion is two years) and I have an idea…(more than an idea) the Bank of Ireland, after 232 years, is going home…to England. By the way England is welcome to it….


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