“The Greeks are NOT lazy.” Fighting Austerity for REAL is complex

THere is a lot more to fighting against Austerity than slogans, demands and even a humanistic programme for the people. This is one important lesson from SYRIZA’s negotiations with the representatives of European finance capital. In this case, it means complex negotiations. Solidarity with the Greek people and with SYRIZA must also include an unrelenting determination to fight the propaganda that financial capital and their aides in governments like that of Germany and France promote to justify austerity against the majority.
Michael Roberts’ – in this article – refutes the German promoted myth that the Greeks are lazy, and therefore deserve austerity. He povides basic information to back up these statements:
“Greeks work more hours in a year than any other country in Europe – and more than even the Americans or Brits! And surprisingly, it is the Germans who are the ‘laziest’, if measured by hours worked.” And …
“Although Greek economy-wide productivity started from a low base when the country joined the Eurozone in 1999, growth in labour productivity since then has been faster than the strong capitalist economies of Germany or France, up 25% compared to just 10% in Germany.”
… and a few other choice facts that make solidarity with the Greek people and SYRIZA essential. https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/troika-grexit-or-plan-b/

Reading about Cuba’s “lines”, ie queues

There is an article in today’s Havana Times that compares the Cuban way with standing in line with the way travellers, particularly one group of Australians, cope with that.


I am not sure what the message is. Maybe its just a description or observation of tourist behaviour, and how that can carry the “imperial” mentality. Maybe its suggesting how in Cuba there are just too many “lines” and that “under Cuban socialism” this is part of the trial of daily life. That the way the tourists do it has something going for it. Maybe.

My experience in Cuba. I like the Cuban way for waiting for your turn. Its relaxed, its friendly, its cooperative (not competitive). Its humanist. That’s an apt word from a previous commentator. There are queues in Cuba, but for the traveller who tries, its a great chance to practice Spanish and learn from the people. If you want to.

Make no mistake, there are queues in Australia and other places. In Australia enough people stand in line with great impatience to make the queue a trial … as if they are blaming the others in the line, or the workers doing their best to handle each enquiry. I dont like Australian queues. At airports there are security guards everywhere to make sure your frustration is kept under control. There are usually long queues in post offices because of staff cuts in the name of efficiency and doing things better.

In the USA there are queues all over the place: the homeless trying to get a meal, for example. The people in the queue are waiting also for decent health care, coherent public transport, and a few other basic things like language and literacy support. Those people seem to be pretty patient. Or, are they just worn out? Or maybe they enjoy watching the queue across the road where a few – usually overweight – in smart clothes wait for their gigantic cup of coffee.

The worst queues in Australia are the Help Desk queues. That is your telephone queue. Except no one sees each other getting frustrated.

Don’t tell me that Cuba’s queues are bad. Capitalism can do queues really bad.